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.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Website on Teachings of Swami Rama

Someone has created a new website on the teachings of Swami Rama. It has over 50 separate articles by Swami Rama on very practical matters of yogic and spiritual life.


DESCRIPTION (from the site)

One of the greatest gifts of Swami Rama to humanity was bringing the depths of the wisdom of the ancient sages of Yoga meditation, Vedanta, and Tantra to the people in highly accessible ways. His style of writing is extremely clear and practical, speaking from the highest perspective of a Himalayan master. The writings on this website are a small sample of that wisdom.

Although Swami Rama was most known for guiding people on the path to the highest spiritual realizations, his finest worldly accomplishment was founding the Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust near Haridwar, Rishikesh, and Dehradun, India. This includes a 750-bed hospital, a 400-student medical college, a 300-student nursing school, the major cancer center in the region, and a rural development program serving over 1000 villages in the region, including the high Himalayas areas of the sages near the source of the River Ganges. HIHT is also the home of Swami Rama Center, which is dedicated to preserving and promoting the teachings of Swami Rama. Swami Rama also founded Sadhana Mandir Ashram, which is located nearby in Rishikesh.

Swami Rama was born in the Himalayas, lived a life of service to humanity, and left the body on November 13, 1996 at his residence on the grounds of the Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust.

QUOTES FROM ARTICLES (from the home page)

The following quotes of Swami Rama are excerpts from the articles linked at the left.

You are the Architect: When a human being learns to seek religion not in gods, but in his own potentials, then he will know that he is great and that within his greatness lies his happiness. When he rapidly unfolds the chapters of life's manuscript, of which he himself is the author, he begins to realize who he is.You are the architect of your life. You build your own philosophy and construct your own attitudes. Without right attitudes, the entire architecture remains shaky. Once you realize this fact, you will look within.(more)

Enlightenment and Freedom: People continue to build shrines, chapels, churches, and temples. You don't have to do this, just realize that you are a living shrine. The day you have attained the knowledge that the Lord lives within you, you will be in samadhi. All questions will be answered, all problems will be resolved. (more)

Knowing Yourself: The aim of life is Self-realization. The saying, "Know thyself," was written on the temple of the oracle at Delphi in ancient Greece. This is where East and West meet. Both East and West agree on this goal, though they might hold different ways of attaining it. The one important part of life is ignored by the educational systems at home, in society, and in the colleges and universities: "Know thyself." You need to understand yourself on all levels. You don't need much external information; you already have true knowledge within. You need to learn how to apply the knowledge that you have. (more)

Arise, Attain, and Serve: Today's society is waiting for selfless, spiritually enlightened, well-balanced leaders to guide them in how to live happily here and hereafter. Such leaders or reformers will not come from outside our society. They have to be born, raised, and trained right in our own society. We are the ones to become our own guides, our own leaders, and we are the ones to enlighten our own lives. Get up, my friends, arise: attain knowledge, and dedicate your life to the service of your fellow beings. (more)

Sushumna: According to the yogic scriptures, there are 72,000 nadis, or energy channels. Among them, ida, pingala, and sushumna are the most important. As long as the mind is outward, only ida and pingala remain active. But when the mind is calm and tranquil, sushumna, the central channel, is awakened. The joy derived from the mind traveling through the sushumna channel is unique; it cannot be compared with any sensory pleasure. Because of that inner joy, the mind loses its taste for worldly pleasures. Sushumna application is the most important factor in spiritual practice. The moment sushumna is awakened, the mind longs to enter the inner world. When the flow of ida and pingala is di¬rected toward sushumna, and distractions are thereby removed, meditation flows by itself. (more)

Keys to Successful Living: Everyone wants to be successful in life, but where are the keys to success? Do we have to go out and search for those keys, or do we have those potentials already within ourselves? When we begin to examine life, we can see that it is divided into two aspects -- life within and life without; internal life and external life -- and we can see that these aspects are of equal importance. Even if we have renounced the world, gone far away from civilization, and live in the wilderness doing nothing but meditation, we cannot ignore external life. We still have to see that we eat, do our ablutions, and perform our practices on time. So life in the external world is as important as life in the internal world. Even one who has renounced the world has to understand the word "relationship" properly, because life itself is actually relationship. (more)

Internal Dialogue: Developing internal dialogue is a very important step, but one that few students understand. To succeed in meditation you have to develop this important step. You do not begin with meditation itself. First you learn to set a regular meditation time, and then to have a dialogue with yourself. In this process you are coming in contact with your inner, internal states. You are learning about the subtle aspects of your mind, your own conscience, and at the same time you are training yourself. (more)

Mantra and Silence: Imagine that you are standing on the bank of a river and you hear the current as it flows. If you follow the river upstream, you will come to its origin. There, you will find that there is no sound. In the same way, a mantra leads the mind to the silence within. That state is called "soundless sound." The seven sounds, or mantras, of the chakras, if magnified, create a form. Each mantra will make a different form. But magnifying sound in the external world is not going to help you. You have to go to the source within, from which that sound comes. This form gives you a knowledge of the sound, and the sound gives you a knowledge of the silence from which all sounds come. (more)

Guru and Divine Grace: Guru is not the goal. Anyone who establishes himself as a guru to be worshipped, is not a guru. Christ, Buddha, and other great persons did not set up any such example. Guru is like a boat for crossing the river. It is important to have a good boat and it is very dangerous to have a boat that is leaking. The boat brings you across the river. When the river is crossed the boat is no longer necessary. You don't hang onto the boat after completing the journey, and you certainly don't worship the boat. (more)

Self Transformation: For a genuine and everlasting transformation, one must practice a systematic method of self-discipline and self-training. Mere philosophy and intellectual knowledge cannot stand in time of need, if one does not know how to use the essentials of that philosophy in one's daily life. Applying theoretical knowledge and living with it in daily life is called practice. Practice requires discipline. Discipline should not be rigidly imposed, but students should learn to commit themselves and accept discipline as essential for self-growth. Imposing rigidity and following it is not helpful at all. (more)

NEW VIDEO (9 min): Trataka and Soham Mantra: Yoga and Tantra Meditation

NEW VIDEO (9:00 Minutes)

By Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati

VIDEO is at YouTube:

Trataka is gazing, and is a traditional meditation practice of Yoga
and Tantra.

SoHum (or SoHam) is a Universal Mantra, as it relates to the breath,
and everybody breaths.

SoHum is a Sanskrit word that means
"I am that," or "I am that I am."

Inhale with the sound "So,"
And Exhale with the sound "Hum."
Allow the sounds to silently repeat in your mind,
without speaking them aloud.

There are a total of 40 SoHum and breath repetitions
The speed of one repetition is 9 seconds per breath,
which is 6 2/3 breaths per minute.
This rate is ideal for relaxing
the autonomic nervous system, and also
preparing for deep meditation.

Breathe with your diaphragm, while gazing at the center, silently
remembering "So" with inhalation and "Hum" with exhalation.

Debate Argumants: Is Yoga a Religion?


Following is a link to a website called Opposing Views on the question
"Is Yoga a Religion?" Rabbi Sigal Brier says "Yes" and Swami
Jnaneshvara Bharati says "No." Read the arguments for yourself. If you
wish, you can even cast your vote for "Yes" or "No."

Addendum to the Yoga Nidra article on



The distortion of the very high practice of Yoga Nidra is so thorough
in the world these days that it seems necessary to make very bright
titles just to have the point noticed.

Throughout this article (and others linked on this page) you will find
explanations that there are THREE levels of consciousness: Waking,
Dreaming, and Deep Sleep (plus the "fourth" which is the transcendent
state known as Turiya). Yoga Nidra is conscious DEEP SLEEP. Deep Sleep
is NOT conscious Dreaming. It is NOT the transition between Waking and
Dreaming. Those are states to explore, but they are NOT Deep Sleep; if
it did have dreams, that would be called Dreaming, and would NOT be
called Deep Sleep.

It is utterly obvious that Deep Sleep does NOT have Dreams to explore.
It should be self-evident that Dreaming and Not-Dreaming (i.e., Deep
Sleep) are two different things. However, books, articles, and CDs
keep telling people that Yoga Nidra is a state of Dreaming, or
transitioning into Dreaming from Waking. This is just not true.
Throughout the ancient writings of the yogis, sages, and rishis there
are explanations of these three states of consciousness. Please don't
just take my word for it. Read the ancient writings, including Vedas,
Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, and others. You will find these states
talked about over and over, and over again.

Many people are now practicing all sorts of guided imageries in the
name of Yoga Nidra so that they can make money, have better sex, or
manipulate other people. There are CDs out which say Yoga Nidra is for
"this or that" named disease or other specific desire-based purpose.
Yoga Nidra has been made to sound like "The Law of Attraction,"
whereby you fulfill your desires through meditative techniques.

Yoga Nidra was taught by the ancient sages for the purpose of
exploring the deep impressions or samskaras, which drive our actions
or karma. They taught this so that sincere seekers can purify the
deeper aspect of the mind-field, which is accessed in the formless
state of conscious Deep Sleep. If I try to explain the whole process
here in this paragraph, I would have to condense the whole article
here, which can't be done. You must do this exploration yourself. Read
the article. Read the other articles. Read the texts mentioned above.

I'm not writing this here just to complain about other people. The
fact is, that Yoga Nidra is a profoundly useful and deep practice for
enlightenment at this highest level of that word (enlightenment). The
term "Yoga Nidra" has become so watered-down, so distorted that
sincere seekers are not likely to see the extremely high value of
authentic Yoga Nidra. If you read this, research this yourself, and
then do the practices, you'll discover for yourself the very high
value of authentic, traditional Yoga Nidra.

I know that all of this can sound like a "sales pitch." Well, we're
stuck with that. I'm writing this here so that possibly some few
sincere people will move forward with authentic Yoga Nidra. There are
a small handful of people out there who can talk to you about this,
and guide you. I'm not going to recommend any specific names of
people, however. Just explore sincerely; you'll find your way to the
real thing of Yoga Nidra.

While you are here, reading this part of the article, please read
carefully the rest of the article, as well as some of the other
articles about these three levels of consciousness (see levels
articles in the link), particularly the third level, which is the
domain of Deep Sleep. I know it can be a difficult read, but there's
great value in understanding these levels of consciousness and how
Yoga Nidra is used as a tool for higher experience.

Levels articles:

Yoga Nidra article:

In loving service,

Swami Jnaneshvara

Spanish translations of articles on

A total of 14 articles from the website have been
translated from English into Spanish as a most generous offering of
selfless service to others by Zulema Higueras from Chile. The articles
range in size from 1 page to 49 pages. The articles are all in pdf
format and can be downloaded from this page:

Please freely circulate these links to other readers of Spanish who
may enjoy and benefit from the articles. More translations are to come.

In loving service and with gratitude to Zulema,

Swami Jnaneshvara

Indic Contribution Towards Understanding the Word Religion

Indic Contribution Towards
Understanding the Word Religion

Below is the Summary section of a paper entitled "An Indic Contribution Towards an Understanding of the Word `Religion' and the Concept of Religious Freedom," by Dr. Arvind Sharma of McGill University (Montreal, Quebec, Canada). The paper was presented for the Global Renaissance Conference Series in July 2002 in New York.

Dr. Sharma does a very good job of explaining the different ways in which the word "religion" is used. If you are a practitioner of Yoga or a teacher of any form of Yoga, you may find his explanations extremely insightful. If you have ever asked, or been asked the question, "Is Yoga a religion?" you will find his paper most useful, although he is not directly discussing the question of Yoga itself.

The reason I have copied below only the Summary of his paper (rather than the whole paper) is for brevity, so you can get an overview of the topic. The whole paper is well worth reading in its entirety. As I was exploring web links for Dr. Sharma's biography (so that I could share it here), I ran into his personal blog, which also has a very succinct comment about this topic; I have included that below as well.


Here is the link to the entire 36-page paper:
Also here:

The article is linked from this page:

Conference page:

Dr. Arvind Sharma's personal website:

McGill University:


And Indic Contribution Towards
an Understanding of the Word "Religion"
and the Concept of Religious Freedom

Arvind Sharma
McGill University


The word religion is now part of global discourse specially as it is carried out through the medium of English. The word, however, is Western in origin which raises the question: Does a Western word, when used in global discourse, reflect the global religious reality or does it in the process of reflecting it, also distort it? It is contended in the paper that such in fact is the case—that when the word is used to represent the religions of Indian origin, the religions of the Far East and the indigenous religions—it in fact distorts reality. The basis for making such a claim is the following.

The word "religion" came into secular use in the nineteenth century and has since been freely used in the public sphere as if it were a neutral word, which could be impartially applied to all the religions of the world. However, the word embodies a certain concept of what religion is and this concept is rooted in its Christian background. In such a context the concept of religion implies that a religion is something (1) conclusive; (2) exclusionary and (3) separative. In other words, a religion, in order to qualify as such must hold that it has the final truth (conclusive); that in order to obtain it one must belong to it alone (exclusionary) and that in order to do so one must separate oneself from any other, specially prior, affiliation (separative). It is also separative in another sense: that religion constitutes a part of life, separate from the rest of it—a sense particularly pronounced in Christianity.

When this word was adopted in secular discourse these orientations of the word were retained, with some modifications. The claim to possessing the final truth by Christianity was extended to each religion on its own, this process giving rise to the expression "truth claim." The idea that the membership of a religion excluded that of any other was retained, while the third constituent of the concept, that of separation (between the sacred and the profane or the secular and the religious) came to characterise one religion's separateness from another more than anything else.

All the three orientations of the word religion as conclusive, as exclusionary and as separative are in effect exclusivist in nature, a word to be carefully distinguished from the word exclusionary which has been used above in the sense of indicating the fact that the formal membership one one religion must exclude such membership of another. The conclusive element is exclusivist in the sense that only the religion's own truth-claim is considered final, thereby excluding such claims of other religions; the exclusionary element is obviously exclusivistic and the claim that religions must be treated as separate entities by themselves is also obviously exclusivistic.

Such an exclusivistic orientation however does not characterise the Indic religious tradition or what we might also call the dharmic tradition. The word Indic in this context needs to be carefully distinguished from the word Indian. All religions found to exist in India may be called Indian religions. Those religions among these which are Indian in origin in their self-perception, namely, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism alone may be called Indic.

This Indic religious tradition tends to be non-exclusivistic. Each component of it—Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism—tends to view one's membership of it as a sufficient but not a necessary condition for liberation. This attitude finds further expression in the fact that these traditions tend to be non-proselytizing even when they become missionary.

Such a non-exclusivistic attitude in terms of religion is not confined to Indic religions but is shared by religions of the Far East. In pre-Communist China it was common for people to view themselves as both Confucian and Taoist in terms of religious commitment. The example of present-day Japan is also relevant here. According to the 1985 census, 95% of the Japanese population declared itself as followers of Shinto. Seventy-six per cent of the same population, however, also simultaneously declared itself to be Buddhist. The indigenous religions of the world—the American-Indian, the African and so on—are also non-exclusivistic in their attitude to religion.

The use of the word religion, which carries exclusivistic overtones, in these three contexts—of Indic religions, of the religions of the Far East and of the indigenous religions, distorts their reality, because it means that a word with an exclusivistic orientation is being employed to describe "religious" traditions which are nonexclusivistic.

One might still wonder, even if one accepts this point, as to how consequential a point it is. Is it merely of academic interest or of more than academic interest? I would like to urge that the use of religion when applied as a blanket term to all the religions of the world—both exclusivistic as well as non-exclusivistic in nature— when the word itself has exclusivistic connotations, possesses significant policy implications. For instance, it tilts the concept of religious freedom in human rights discourse in favour of freedom to proselytize which is more in keeping with an exclusivistic rather than a non-exclusivistic concept of religion, thereby depriving the non-exclusivistic religions of their religious freedom—which in their case would consist of not being made the object of proselytization. The formal recognition of such a right on their part would then constitute an Indic contribution toward a truly global understanding of the [word] religion.


Dr. Sharma wrote an additional comment on his blog on December 1, 2008; it is a clear, succinct summary.

8.) Indic and Western Concepts of Religion
December 1, 2008 by arvindsharma

During the period of the heavy interaction between India and the West during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the West did not succeed in converting Indians to Christianity on an appreciable scale. This fact has obscured what it did achieve—it converted its intelligentsia not to Christianity but to the Christian concept of religion—not to the West's religion but to the West's concept of religion. This concept of religion was employed by this intelligentsia both during the period of British Raj and after, to describe the Indian "religious" reality, which does not quite conform to it. Hence its use to describe this reality, in the process of reflecting it, also reshaped it. According to this Western concept of religion one can only belong to one religion at a time, while the Indic concept of religion permits multiple religious affiliation. This was doubly unfortunate: It was unfortunate for the West failed to benefit by not taking the Indic concept of religion into account in its conceptualization of religion, a failure apparent in human rights documents available in the West, abetting the charge that human rights discourse is Western, and it was unfortunate for India: By forcing Indian religious reality into a Western conceptual constraints it thereby distorted it and exported to India the problems the Western concept of religion had created in the West.

The reformulation of intellectual discourse in a way in which it takes the Indic concept of religion as seriously as the Western might help solve both the problems.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Videos on Yoga Meditation and Om Mantra - Mandukya Upanishad

It is with sincere heart that I write articles and have created short
videos to explain complex principles in simple language. Below is a
comment I received from a person I do not know. I share this with you
in the hopes that it will help a few to watch these videos closely and
benefit from them.

Swami Jnaneshvara


Thank you for the videos you've assembled. Years ago I turned away
from formal study of Indian Philosophy. The many long and strange
words seemed a wall too high to scale for me. But there was something
in the word 'samskara.' It seemed to contain more meaning than I could
penetrate and had nothing comparable in English. When I came across
your videos (Meditation Visualized, and, Mandukya Upanishad) I watched
again and again with my mouth just hanging open in astonishment. These
video explanations are of highest value, truly a treasure. I've read
so many, many volumes. To think that I could have gained what I have
by watching two, ten minute videos beggars the mind. In fact, if I
wanted to sit down with Guru and plan out my whole life in advance, I
could not have picked a more auspicious moment to have placed these
two videos in my path.


Yoga Meditation Visualized

Om Mantra and Mandukya Upanishad:
Yoga Vedanta Meditation

More videos by Swami Jnaneshvara

126 videos by Swami Rama on:
Yoga Sutras (13 hours)
Sri Vidya Tantra - Saundaryalahari (6 hours)
(This is a separate, external site)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

NEW VIDEO: (3:56 min) The “Seer” Beyond the Mind: Meditation from Yoga Sutras

NEW VIDEO (3:56 Minutes)

By Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati

VIDEO is at YouTube:

Sanskrit drasthri is the “seer”
Who am I?
What am I?
Set aside what I am not...
What I truly am will come shining through.
Yogash chitta vrittih nirodhah (Yoga Sutra 1.2)
Yoga is “nirodha” of the thoughts in the mind field.
Nirodha is coordination, control, regulation, integration, mastery, letting go, setting aside...
Tada drashtuh svarupe’vasthanam (Yoga Sutra 1.3)
Then the “seer” rests in its own true nature.
The “seer” is the “witness.”
The “seer” is awareness itself.
“Drashtuh” is “of the seer.”
Drashtuh is from “drish” which is “to see.”
The “seer” is the self-existent reality of pure consciousness itself.
It was never born and never dies.
It is not subject to pain, decay, or decomposition.
The “seer” lives in the world.

Music is by Chopin
Nocturne in C# minor

Discussion on Yoga Sutras 1.2-1.3:

Extensive writings on the whole of Yoga Sutras:

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

85 Yoga Sutras lecture videos by Swami Rama - 13 hours

Eight lectures by Swami Rama on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali emphasize practical advice on the methods of Yoga and Meditation. The 13 hours of talks have been divided into 85 parts of 10 minutes or less.

YouTube home page of these 85 videos:

Playlist page of these 85 videos:

41 Swami Rama videos - Sri Vidya Tantra Vedanta Yoga Meditation

Here is a link to 41 Swami Rama videos that have shown up on YouTube:

Playlist of the videos:

Swami Rama

The description on the first video is:

Four lectures by Swami Rama on Saundaryalahari, the Wave of Beauty,which is a prominent text of Sri Vidya Tantra. The wave ofcreativity, love and bliss of Shakti is one and the same with Shiva.The lectures contain practical advice on advanced meditationpractices of Yoga, Vedanta, and Tantra. The four lectures are dividedinto a total of 41 parts for the YouTube presentation.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

AUDIO (32 min): Million Dollar Question of Nondual Yoga Vedanta Meditation

Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati

(32:12 minutes)

This recording is on the million dollar question of nondual (advaita) Yoga Vedanta meditation and contemplation. It is from a presentation at the Center for Nondualism on May 25, 2008. Just like the game show, this million dollar question is the last of all the questions of nondual Yoga Vedanta. It is also the hardest question, and the most important question. It is the question that supersedes all other questions. It is the question that is neither in the past, nor in the future. It is the question by which all other questions pale by comparison.

Center for Nondualism:

Swami Jnaneshvara:

AUDIO (28 min): Sermon on the Mount, Nondualism, and Yoga Vedanta

Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati

(32:12 minutes)

This presentation is on the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7 of the Christian bible), Nondualism, and Yoga Vedanta Meditation and Contemplation. It is from a presentation at the Center for Nondualism on May 11, 2008. Here are a few concepts from the presentation: There are over 39,000 Christian denominations. Each denomination has its own interpretations of the teachings. If they have the right to interpret those teachings the way they want, then I claim the same
right of interpretation that they have claimed. I claim the right to say that Jesus teaches that there is one absolute nondual (advaita) reality, that we all are of that one, that he teaches from that perspective, and that he teaches people to seek enlightenment in their own direct experience. I claim the right to believe that Jesus was a supreme Yoga teacher.

Center for Nondualism:

Swami Jnaneshvara:

VIDEO: (3 min) The dance of Yoga on the lips of mind and Mt. Kailash

NEW VIDEO (3:04 Minutes)
(revision of a previous video)

By Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati

VIDEO at YouTube:

Yoga, Yoga, Yoga, Yoga
Ah, sweet Yoga.
The word dances on the lips of the mind.

Yoga, Yoga, Yoga, Yoga
The wave that is one with the ocean of bliss.
The union of the illusory "I" with the "I" of all,
That was never divided in the first place.
Ah, sweet Yoga.

Yoga, Yoga, Yoga, Yoga
How the word flows through the field of mind.
The consciousness as Purusha,
Never one with, but playing with all the layers of being,
All the levels of the finest soil of matter called Prakriti.

Yoga, Yoga, Yoga, Yoga
One without a second.
One absolute reality,
With the appearance of soul called Atman,
As a breeze thinking itself separate from the wind
Of the absolute called Brahman.

Yoga, Yoga, Yoga, Yoga
Ah, so utterly, incomparably, sweet is the word.
The essence that is both the beauty
And creative force called feminine or Shakti,
And her companion of masculine, Shiva.
The two which are one in Yoga.

Yoga, Yoga, Yoga, Yoga
Ah, passionate, loving, driving, quieting,
Fulfilling, emptying, full filling Yoga.

Yoga, Yoga, Yoga, Yoga
Ah, so sweet;
No sweeter word to ring in the canyons of mind,
Than the word of Yoga,
That arises from, and returns to the silence.

Yoga, Yoga, Yoga, Yoga
You and I are one.
Only one. Only Yoga.
Yoga, Yoga, Yoga, Yoga

More of my videos at YouTube:

My website:

VIDEO (9 min): Invoking the Infinite in Yoga Vedanta Meditation

NEW VIDEO (9:29 Minutes)

By Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati

VIDEO at YouTube:

Included are transliterated Sanskrit and eight different English translations of the invocation of the text entitled Isha Upanishad. The wisdom of this text is central to Yoga Vedanta meditation and contemplation. "Isha" refers to that supreme power which regulates and governs all, and which resides in the heart of all creatures. It is that in which we live, that in which we move, and that by which we are. "Upanishad" means to sit down near the teacher to discuss, learn, practice and experience the means and goals of Yoga Vedanta. "Upa" means "near;" "ni" means "down;" "shad" means "to sit."

"Purna" is the full, infinite, whole, complete. Om or Aum is a compound of A, U, and M, which represent waking, dreaming, and deep sleep, as well as the gross, subtle, and causal realities. They merge into the fourth, the silence, which is the absolute reality.

Purnamadah Purnamidam
Purnat Purnamudachyate
Purnasya Purnamadaya
Purnameva Vashishyate
Om shanti, shanti, shanti

That is infinite, this is infinite.
From That infinite,
this infinite comes.
From That infinite,
this infinite removed or added;
Infinite remains infinite.
Om, peace, peace, peace.

More of my videos at YouTube:

My website:

Discrimination is the reason for the 8 rungs in Yoga Sutras

The art and science of Yoga is systematically described in eight (ashta) rungs, steps, or limbs (anga). Thus, this section of the Yoga Sutras is also called Ashtanga Yoga. The eight rungs of Yoga are summarized in sutra 2.29, and explained in the next section (2.30-2.34). Subsequent sutras further describe the benefits and methods of working with those eight rungs (2.35-2.45, 2.46-2.48, 2.49-2.53, 2.54-2.55).

1) Yama: codes of restraint, abstinences (2.30, 2.31)
2) Niyama: observances, self-training (2.32)
3) Asana: meditation posture (2.46-2.48)
4) Pranayama: expansion of breath and prana (2.49-2.53)
5) Pratyahara: withdrawal of the senses (2.54-2.55)
6) Dharana: concentration (3.1)
7) Dhyana: meditation (3.2)
8) Samadhi: deep absorption (3.3)

The reason for practicing the eight rungs of Yoga (2.29) is to develop attention as the tool for discriminative knowledge, which is the means to discriminative enlightenment and liberation. It means using razor-like attention (3.4-3.6) to separate the seer and the seen (2.17), so as to break the alliance of karma (2.12-2.25), and to get past the four mistakes of ignorance, or avidya (2.24-2.25), which are: 1) confusing the temporary for the eternal, 2) the impure for
the pure, 3) misery for happiness, and 4) the false self for the true Self (2.5). Resulting from this systematic discrimination, the seer or Self is eventually experienced in its true nature (1.3).

This one-pointed attention and discrimination, which comes from the practice of the eight rungs, is used for examining, exploring, and attenuating the colorings of the subtle impressions of the mind field (2.10), so as to go beyond, inward to the pure, eternal center of consciousness.

If it is razor-like attention that is the tool for discrimination, then it is the first five rungs of the Yoga Sutras which are honing the edge of that razor. Then, the finer, sharpened tool is the last three rungs, which are concentration, meditation, and samadhi, which are collectively called samyama (3.4).

Please also see the articles:
Coordinating the Four Functions of Mind
Yoga Sutras:

VIDEO (3:40 min): Meditation on the small and the large - Yoga Sutra

NEW VIDEO (3:40 Minutes)

By Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati

VIDEO at YouTube:

When the mind in meditation can be stable on the smallest and the largest, then it is truly under control. Yoga is the mastery, integration, and transcendence of all the fluctuations of the mind field. Then the "seer" rests in its own true nature as pure consciousness or purusha. With equality of purusha and the subtlest intelligence, there comes liberation, and that is the end. (from the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali)

For more information please see:

VIDEO (9 min): Yantra and Mantra of Sri Vidya Tantra Yoga

NEW VIDEO (9:10 Minutes)

By Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati

VIDEO at YouTube:

In the Himalayan tradition, the aspirant breaks through the final
barrier through Samaya Tantra and Sri Vidya, after clearing the mind
through the practice of Yoga meditation as codified in the Yoga
Sutras by Patanjali, and practicing self-enquiry through Vedanta.
Vidya means knowing, and Sri Vidya is the highest of all aspects of
knowing, as it leads to the Absolute Truth. Yantra refers to the
visual form, and Sri Yantra is the form of that knowing. Central to
the practices is Maha-Tripura-Sundari, the great, beautiful one,
essence, consciousness, or reality that dwells in the three "cities"
(tri-pura, or three cities including: gross, subtle, causal; waking,
dreaming, sleeping; conscious, unconscious, subconscious). Sri (or
Shri) is conceptualized as the feminine creative force of Shakti that
is ultimately found to be one and the same with the static
conceptualized as masculine or Shiva.

For more information please see:

Saturday, May 24, 2008

AUDIO (41 min): Theism, Atheism, Nondualism, Contemplation, and Shaktipat

Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati

(41:33 minutes)


Presentation by Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati at the annual conference of the Center for Non-Dualism in Fort Walton Beach, Florida on February 23, 2008. The talk blends three topics: 1) Theism, Atheism, and Non-Dualism; 2) How do I contemplate? What are "great" contemplations? 3) What is shaktipat? How does it work?

See also:
Center for Nondualism:

Theism, Atheism, Yoga, and Fear:

Is Yoga a Religion?

Mysticism, Yoga, and Religion:

Friday, March 07, 2008

Stages of Yoga Vedanta Meditation and Contemplation

Mahavakyas (great contemplations)

Swami Rama

Meditation and contemplation are two different techniques, yet they are complementary to each other. Meditation is a definite method of training oneself on all levels – body, breath, conscious mind, and unconscious mind – while contemplation builds a definite philosophy. Without the support of a solid philosophy, the method of meditation does not lead to higher dimensions of consciousness.

Contemplation makes one aware of the existence of the Reality, but Reality can be experienced only through the higher techniques of meditation. In the Vedanta system, meditation and contemplation are both used. When an aspirant tires of meditation because of lack of endurance, then he contemplates on the mahavakyas [great contemplations] and studies those scriptures that are helpful in the path of Self-realization and enlightenment. Contemplation, vichara, complements the Vedantic way of meditation, dhyana.

In Vedanta philosophy, there is a definite method used for contemplation. Ordinarily, the mind remains busy in self-dialogue, entangled in the web of its thought patterns. Because of desires, feelings, and emotions, unmanageable conflicts are created in one's mental life. But the Vedanta way of contemplating transforms the entire personality of the aspirant, for the statements, mahavakyas, imparted by the preceptor create a dynamic change in the values of his life. These statements are compact, condensed, and abstruse srutis and cannot be understood without the help of a preceptor who is fully knowledgeable of the scriptures and these terse texts. Only a realized teacher can impart the profundity of such knowledge in a lucid language.

The thoughts, feelings, and desires which were once important to the aspirant lose their value, for he has only one goal to attain. The glory of contemplation brings a dynamic transformation to the internal states of the aspirant. This seems to be very necessary, because that which creates a barrier or becomes an obstacle for students loses its strength due to the power of contemplation, which transforms all his internal states.

First, an aspirant attentively listens to the sayings of the Upanishads from a preceptor who is Brahman-conscious all the time.

In the second step, he practices vichara (contemplation), which means that he goes to the depths of the great sayings and determines to practice them with mind, action, and speech.

One-pointed devotion, full determination, and dedication lead him to the higher step called nididhyasana. Here he acquires comprehensive knowledge of the Ultimate Truth. But he has not yet attained the final step of consciousness that leads him to the direct realization of the one self-existent Truth without second.

The highest state of contemplation is called saksatkara. In this state, perception and conceptualization are in complete agreement, and all the doubts from all levels of understanding vanish forever. At this height of knowledge, truth reveals itself to the aspirant, and perfect realization is accomplished, "I am Atman – I am Brahman." This state of advaita is attained by the process of contemplation. Meditation plays an entirely different role and helps the aspirant make his mind one-pointed, inward, and steady.

Steadiness and stillness are practiced from the very beginning in this meditational method. The method of sitting, the method of breathing, the method of concentration, and the method of allowing a concentrated mind to flow uninterruptedly are subsequent steps that help the aspirant to expand his capacity so that he can contemplate without distraction.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

VIDEO (2 min): What Yoga has Become in America

NEW VIDEO (2:00 Minutes)

What Yoga has Become in America
By Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati

VIDEO at YouTube:

For more information about what Yoga has become in America, please see:

VIDEO: Diaphragmatic Breathing for Advanced Yoga Meditation

NEW VIDEO (5:34Minutes)

Diaphragmatic Breathing for Advanced Yoga Meditation
By Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati

YouTube link:

MySpace link:

Proper diaphragmatic breathing is a central foundation practice for
one who wishes to move on to advanced meditation, to experience the
highest direct experiences of Yoga. One of the challenges to
breathing diaphragmatically is in knowing exactly where the diaphragm
is located, and how it works. When breathing diaphragmatically, the
muscles of the abdomen, chest, and clavicles are not involved. They
remain still, while the diaphragm gently contracts on inhalation, and
releases on exhalation. Breath is an extremely useful part of the
systematic process of Yoga meditation, which leads one beyond the
breath to the finer, subtler practices and experiences. There is
tremendous value in understanding the process of breathing, and in
diligently, gently practicing diaphragmatic breathing.

AUDIO: Theism, Atheism, Nondualism, Contemplation, and Shaktipat


(41:33 minutes)

Presentation by Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati at the annual conference ofthe Center for Non-Dualism in Fort Walton Beach, Florida on February23, 2008. The talk blends three topics: 1) Theism, Atheism, and Non-Dualism; 2) How do I contemplate? What are "great" contemplations? 3)What is shaktipat? How does it work?

Center for NonDualism

Purpose of the Center for Non-Dualism: The Center for Non-Dualism is a community for people who share the Non-Dual perspective of Religion, Yoga, and Philosophy. The purpose of the Center is to maintain a loving fellowship and to provide a nurturing environment that is conducive to learning and experiencing the oneness of NonDualism.

Meaning of Non-Dualism: Non-Dualism is the orientation that there is one absolute reality without a second, and that each of us, although an individual person, is one with that reality, just as a wave is not separate from the ocean. The emphasis of our Center is on the practices such as contemplation and meditation which lead to the direct experience of this Non-Dual reality.

Weekly Programs: The Center for Non-Dualism serves the Emerald Coast area of Northwest Florida. Our weekly gatherings are each Sunday from 10:30 to 12:30, with the program itself from 11:00 to 12:00. Our meeting location is the Gardenia Room at Cayo Grande, at 214 Racetrack Road NW, Fort Walton Beach, Florida. A map is on the website.

Invitation: Our view is that all dualistic religions, practices, and philosophies are practical tools that ultimately lead to the direct experience of the Non-Dual reality. All people who share this perspective and approach to life and spiritual practices are welcome and invited to participate in our programs and community. Teachers and organizations with a similar view of Nonduality are invited to network through our community, as friends of the Center for Non-Dualism.