Understanding the Concept of God – Part 11 ( Moralization of the 6 bad qualities )
The 6 major bad qualities are strong desire (passion), anger, miserliness, immoral sexual passion, vanity & vengeance. All these qualities arise only when one is in beta level, as normally everybody will be in this level due to their constant thinking of some matters or problems that come across their life. The level swings from beta to alpha according to our thoughts & emotions. So it is in our hands to see that we don’t go beyond a certain level. (To know further about various levels read part 7)
The six qualities, if we are aware of , can be changed into 6 good qualities & they are satisfaction, patience, charity, chastity, equality & forgiveness. If one is satisfied in life with what they have, they will not feel jealous with others, out of greediness for more money & many unwanted happenings can be avoided. That doesn’t mean one should not have ambitions. Once you achieve or earn a lot of money, one should not go on for more money or increasing their properties. Until one knows about himself he will not have satisfaction in life. His expansion goes in hoarding money, increasing knowledge & gathering more & more properties. Once he knows his true self, outward requirements becomes little. Then satisfaction comes in life all the other good qualities comes automatically & we know the way to lead a peaceful & enjoyable life.
Strong desire changes into satisfaction.
Anger into patience.
Miserliness into charity.
Immoral sexual passion into Chastity.
Vanity into equality.
Vengeance into Forgiveness.
Understanding the concept of God – Part 8 (Introspection, thoughts and desire)
In introspection we have:
1. Analysis of thoughts,
2. Moralization of desires,
3. Neutralization of anger,
4. Eradication of worries.
Under analysis of thoughts one should know the 10 steps of thoughts. They are:
- zeal or effort,
- realization &
Any thought, that arises first is due to some kind of a feeling physically or mentally. Once the feeling forms, for e.g. If it is a physical feeling, it might be hunger, thirst, pain or even sexual feeling & that is due to an imbalance in the body energy , the need for satisfying it comes to balance the energy level. Then we take an effort to fulfill it which automatically will lead to do an action & we know the result after the action is performed as enjoyment, which becomes an experience. So when we think back it is a research & through it we know the solution for the feeling & that is the conclusion we make.
So, now through experience we know that when we are hungry we have to get something to eat, which should be something healthy, instead of something tasty. What we do is, eat just to fill up the stomach. Again if we have a strong desire to get things like buying a car or building a house. we first think in terms of need & then make effort as to what one should do & then we put in action to fulfill it. If we have fulfilled it without getting loans, the result will be enjoyment. Instead if we buy loan then the result will not be enjoyment until the loan is over. This is how one should analyze the thoughts. Thoughts come as desires, when not fulfilled it leads to anger & worry. That’s why we need to introspect.
Normally it is said that desires had to be eradicated, but it is not so. One cannot live without desires. It should only be moralized.
How do you moralize you desires? Let’s analyze this with an example. Your desire is to buy a car. To fulfill this desire one has to see that no problems occur to self, or anybody in the present or in the future. This is a very important point one should bear in mind always. If one buy loan & and not able to pay the loan, then there is problem for both the persons. This will lead to the other person’s anger & sometimes lead to enmity . These are simple examples that any normal person on the safer side will see that such things doesn’t happen. Desires increase day by day & all the desires will not be fulfilled in this life time. So in that case we have to keep desires that can be fulfilled & will not harm anybody . This is how we can keep our mind free of unwanted desires.
In the next chapter we will deal with Neutralization of anger.
Understanding the concept of God – Part 6
The 5 states of consciousness:
1. Static state – non-functioning, pure consciousness & Intelligence.
2. Functioning state – expression is energy particle (Sakthi), Universal magnetism & Panchaboothas.
3. First sense to the fifth sense – from plants to the animals & the conversion of magnetism into feeling, light, sound, smell & taste.
4. Sixth sense – mind, finding the root of it as God, Self realization.
5. Reunion with God – to be always one, with God.
Through the evolution process a perfect human being comes into existence, with all the panchaboothas, which are the same energy particles. The energy particles within the body keeps rotating with its centre in the mooladhar chakra – sexual gland(earth).The centre for the blood circulation is heart & for the air circulation it is the lungs & for the body heat, the centre is the brain.
Through the 5 senses the energy particles transforms as magnetic waves & passes through the body & we get (feeling) touch sense, light waves through the eyes – eye sight, sound waves through the ears, smell through the nose & taste in the tongue. The excess of magnetic waves passes through the brain & comes as thought or mind. So the extension of the energy particles as magnetic waves is mind.
I had already said that energy particle records everything. So whatever is our experience that we sense, see, hear, taste & smell is recorded in the particle & get stored in the centre, which is the genetic centre or nucleus, space, intelligence& conscious. Since the recorded particles keeps rotating &touches the genetic centre & comes above, it brings whatever is stored there as magnetic waves & goes through the brain as thoughts.
In the genetic centre, the whole evolution process is recorded. So our ancient Rishis found out the truth that reaching that place is only through the divine process, meditation. In the beginning they start the meditation in the agna chakra, – pituitary gland between the eye brows. It is the master gland which controls the other glands or chakras. The centre which is in the mooladhar has to be brought to the pituitary gland. It takes approximately 12 yrs.
In between there are the other chakras, swathishtana – adrenal glands(water), manipooraha – pancreas(fire), anaahatha – thymus(air), vishukthi – thyroid(akash).
Through strong penance, following chastity & pranayama they bring the energy centre to the higher chakras. It takes 2 yrs to bring the energy from one centre to the next centre. Some might fall sick & die. Only very rare Rishis cross all these & bring it to the agna & thuria – pineal gland. What one calls us Kundalini Sakthi is nothing but these energy particles. Though some quantity keeps rotating & circulates all over the body, the majority lies dormant.
When this Sakthi awakens & goes through the tiny hole that is in the centre of the back bone to come up to the agna chakra .It is like a cobra spreading its hood. That’s why snakes play an important place in Hinduism & is worshipped.
Why do we need a Guru ?
There are so many who want to be spiritual but doesn’t want to have a guru. If one is religious, he can simply pray God with belief in Him. Our parents & great grand parents have been doing this for years & making their heir to follow them.
When some one changes his path & takes into spirituality, he needs a Guru. A Guru is a guide who shows you the direction of God. He comes from outside & then enters within you.
There is always a question if one should have only one guru. As for me I had come across so many gurus & they made me progress in the right path. My first Guru was Sathya Sai Baba, who kindled me to do meditation. I read many of his books which slowly inspired me into spirituality.
The first meditation I started with was Transcendental meditation somewhere in 1980.Some lady masters came to our town & initiated with a mantra & I started doing it regularly. There was a break for some years as I didn’t attend any classes for a follow up. Due to the longingness for meditation, I started again with the T.M.The only change I found within me was that I was not unnecessarily tensed & when something comes as a shock the heart beats just once & will be back to the normal.
Next came the Guru Venugopala swamy, who was introduced by my husbands elder brother. He came to our house & initiated with a kalasa in my pooja room. Then I stated doing that meditation. His book cleared the doubt about what is thought. Still I had so many things I want to make it clear.
This quest for self realization took me to Vethathiri Maharishi, founder of Simplified Kundalini Yoga. A disciple of him who had finished his masters course was taking classes in my aunt’s house….My cousin sister who attended the class called me to join. I first refused telling that I was doing a meditation & as for attending the class I told her that one cannot initiate taking the Kundalini Sakthi to Agna chakra as I had read so many books on it. She persuaded me telling that the teachings they teach are quite different from others.
Finally I made up my mind & went with her. It was in 1990.On the 1st day itself I was very much impressed & inspired to get initiated. Then I regularly attended the classes which were conducted once a week. Slowly I started progressing in my meditation due to the introspection class. This class helped me to analyze my unwanted thoughts. I did my Masters course & started taking class. I gained a lot of confidence which I lacked before. My doubts were all cleared & I had a very clear picture of who is God & how is he omnipotent, omnipresent & omniscient. This is just an understanding, not realizing. I had also certain unforgettable experience in meditation which helped me to progress.
In the mean time I had so many problems in life which I faced it rather boldly & came out of it smoothly. I had the courage as I knew God is within me guiding me & protecting me all the time. Then came the Isha Yoga classes in our town. I wanted to do Pranayama as I thought that too would push me to a higher level & I attended the pranayama class in 2001. Then in 2004 I attended the Bhava Spandana Program at Velliangiri. I experienced another dimension of myself & I finally took Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev as my Guru.
This is my history of my spiritual path with so many gurus. Though there were many they led me in the right direction. It’s like I travelled with them in a car, bus , train & some times in a jet. Without a Guru one will be like a lost child in the midst of a forest not knowing which direction to follow. So there is a need for a right Guru. All my gurus took me for a short while dropped me in a different direction for me to travel more speedily. My travel hasn’t come to an end, but I know I’m nearing my destination.
Idol worship in Hinduism – Playing with GOD
In spite of my bad memory , some events of my childhood are still very vivid to me and here am going to share one of those flash back .
One of my favourite pass time of my childhood is “ Playing with GOD” . I will spend hours absorbed playing with Him. Thinking back , God has been my biggest pal ! I had shared a most friendly relation with Him , had fought with Him , smiled with Him , talked to Him , got angry with Him but never feared Him .
In our puja room , we had a small idol of Lord Vishnu in Ananda sayanam posture. ( Lord Vishnu reclining on Snake Ananta ) . During holidays , I would be playing with God , I see in this small idol. I would spend hours doing abhishek .. bath the idol , do abhishek with water , milk , honey , panchamirtham , sandal , vibuthi etc .. Then decorate with flowers and do aarthi and finally distribute the prasad to people at home. I would be at peace with myself doing this. Did I thought that Idol is God ? No. Later during course of life , my playing with God stopped . Life took its owns turns and twists and after a long period , I again have this inner feeling to play with God. I no more have the idol I used to play with when I was child. So am looking forward to the Idol that I could play with . I can visualize the idol and one day , hope to find Him and keep Him part of my life again .
Talking about playing with God , the concept of Idol worship is largely misunderstood. Non Hindus Condemn Idol worship as superstitious belief and a pagan belief . I have come across many forums and articles where they decry Idol worship and rubbishes the practice as silly and unworthy and to be condemned.
I feel sorry for all those who condemn Idol worship. One has to be a Hindu to understand what a Hindu feels about Idol worship. I am quiet at ease with the concept of Idol worship and I would like to convey my thoughts on Idol worship.
To begin with , I would like to quote a line from a Tamil song
கல்லை மட்டும் கண்டால் கடவுள் தெரியாது
When translated it means :
“ When you see a stone alone , you will not find God ”
Let me put it also in another perspective
“ When you see God , you will not find stone ”
This two lines sums up the Idol worship for me.
As a Hindu , when I pray before an Idol , I very well know God is not the Idol . I don’t expect the Idol to arise , awake and do miracles for me. Bottom of my heart , I know it is a stone . Interestingly , I worship .. so does millions of other Hindus .. Why ?
The answer lies in a simple fact and practice that can be confusing for non-Hindus to comprehend.
My core belief can be summed as follows :
Hindus do not believe that there is only one God. Hindus believe that God is One, i.e. a unity inclusive of all things, manifest and unmanifest. This is quite different from saying there is only one God. To say that there is only one God is to reduce God to a single unit, to the lowest common denominator. This is what monotheists do. For them God is a unit, not a Unity.
Hindus are not monotheists, and Hindus are not polytheists. Hindus are panentheists, i.e. they believe that God is in all things and that all things are in God: God is everything, God is in everything, and everything is in God only. They believe the whole of creation is the body (actually, the manifestation) of God Who is the One Infinite-Eternal-Existence, and cannot be separated from God
The foundation of my spiritual belief is moulded on the above mentioned definition. My faith in Idol worship also evolves from the same. When I pray an Idol , I feel God in the stone. I don’t think the Idol is God rather I see God in the idol. There is a difference in both. God is everywhere , I am at ease to see God in everything around me and seeing the God in the Idol makes the spiritual life easy. Its like teaching a Kid “ A for Apple ”
Easy to feed faith :
Depending on how deep one dwelves into The Concept of God it can be both simple as well as difficult to comprehend. For ordinary men , Identifying God in an Idol helps in building a bridge between God and oneself easily. Vedas does not mention Idol worship. Vedic scriptures identified the power of Supreme God with nature. It advocates feeling , seeing , identifying the power of God with everything in nature. The invocations we find in the Vedic slokas are basically to find the power of Supreme God with and within nature and oneself. Later as the various yugas (ages of mankind) progressed , the human mind failed to grasp the concept of omnipresent God and the later rishis advocated the concept of Idols to help common man identify with God easily . The Idols are mere tools to identify with God. idols are symbolic representation of various manifestations of God. Though the concept got corrupted down the ages along with various superstitious beliefs.
Easy to concentrate :
For Hindus God, as is, is beyond any attributes of form, color, shapes … That is, God does not have any specific form or name. In this state God is referred to as nirguNa brahman (attributeless god). However God takes forms as perceived by humans and this perceived form is called saguNa brahman (god with (good) attributes). These forms could range from calm to fierce to yogic (1). Each form has its significance. For example when one is depressed and sees the form of God Strong and Powerful, the seeker feels the moral boost that God would definitely be the support for the right thing. Similarly when in an auspicious ceremony would like the God to be the calm provider of boons. In a spiritually elevated state, the choice would be the yogic form of God. The forms provide a basis for the Hindu worshipper to easily pursue the otherwise incomprehensible Supreme. So Hinduism supports both form as well as formless worship of the God. Whether one worships in saguNa or nirguNa way, it is ultimately the same God
The Idol worship or worshiping saguNa brahman way aids in concentration of mind. It helps a human mind to focus one’s mind with the Brahmam ( Supreme God) Human mind is easily prone to be distracted and diverted and so perceiving a God through Idols helps in the concentration of mind to God. It is the first and easy step in the spiritual walk.
Silent communication :
In the beginning of this post when I narrated my childhood pastime of “Playing with God” , In true essence it was actually a silent communication with God. I was on my own , undistracted for hours , silently in communication with God. The immense satisfaction , pleasure , solace , positivity it gave can only be felt and not explained in words. Though outwardly , it seems a one way communication with God , down my heat I could feel the two way communication , otherwise I would have not played with God like that for countless times and still have the urge now to restart the communication. In H
indu temples and puja rooms of faithful Hindu household , one could witness the silent communication of the Human and God before Idols. The communication is not between the mere idol and Human but the Soul and Super Soul perceived through the Idol.
As one elevates in his spiritual quest , One may see the God within Himself. The body becomes the Idol – Aham Brahmasmi – I am Brahman . Its the highest elevation of the spiritual plane where one sees God within himself and no longer requires an Idol to feel the God. The concentration goes within Oneness and realization of God goes deep into one’s own Soul .
Will talk about my understanding of Jeevatma ( soul) and Paramatma ( Super soul) in another post soon.
Aham Brahmasmi !
Tale of foolishness – the legend of the ritual cat
Long Long ago there lived a Saint who lived in utter simplicity in his mountain monastery with a few disciples. One night, a young monk felt a new sensation in his meditation on his knee. Something warm, pulsating, loving… and… furry? He looked down and saw a cat scratching his knee. The tail flicked against his face again. The cat turned and rubbed his head on his knee, purring loudly. Gently pushing it away, the monk settled back into his meditation. Unruffled, the cat wound himself around the next disciple, to be again pushed away.
No matter how many doors and windows they closed, the cat always found its way into the meditation room. After a month of this torture by the cat, the disciples had enough. They put a nice embroidered collar on him and attached it with a long lead to a pillar in the temple. They gave him a silk pillow, and every day they would feed him, stroke him, and play with him. The cat was very content with his new arrangement.
A few years later, the Saint died. A young Saint from a different area was installed, and life resumed its peaceful rhythm. The new Saint did notice that a black cat was always tied to the northern pillar of the great monastery, surrounded by choice offerings and sitting on an ornate silk pillow. Not wanting to look ignorant, he did not ask anyone about its presence, and assumed that it was a tradition of the monastery.When the cat died, the abbot ordered another black cat to be found to take its place, and installed with full honor.
Over time, all the disciples who had known why the first cat was tied to the pillar died. The successive generations of monks gradually forgot the utilitarian purpose of tying the cat to the pillar. Yet the tradition lived on and flourished for centuries. The original collar was reverently worshipped as a relic. Books of theological commentaries were written on the spiritual significance of tying a black cat to the northern pillar.
Legends of miraculous healings due to the intercession of the holy cat were compiled and studied devotedly. Trinkets and memorabilia were being mass produced. Business had never been better.
Comment : This tale is not a sarcastic attack on religion, as some would think. Yet it does point out what inevitably has happened in all organized religions
A conversation with my aunt
I was having a conversation with my aunt 3 weeks back when I visited my native. She is spritual. She has followed various path of hindu philosophies and finally she found her way in the teachings of Vethathiri Maharishi and Jaggi Vasudev , the founder of Isha foundation
So I asked her about God and We . This is the essence of the conversation we had.
God is the Universal energy.
Universe is not vaccum . There is an universal energyy and that energy lives in each and every tiny spec of the universe. God is nothing but this universal energy. The same energy is within each and every living being also but the energy is undermined , unutilised , forgotten , unrealized cause of our previous karmas. The karmic force influences our actions and reactions. Having said that , we the human souls , do have the energy to battle out and overcome the karmic force provided we have that will to do so.
Her view of life is to embrace every events in life with postive energy. Be good to others , think good , live good. Inspite of that if things turn wrong , take it in right spirit and without being bogged down by the negativities of the events try to overcome it with positive thoughts. Her main underlined advice was to “Take things positively and deal things positively”
Everyone is born the same.
Another point she made and most important one is not to hate anyone. No one is born as a bad human. There is no bad or good person when he or she is born. The cirumstances, the society plays an important role in choosing what he or she becomes. So in one way we in general are partly responsible for what a person becomes. So don’t hate anyone . Try to understand him and try to bring a good change in him.
Another aspect of her thought was – Detachment. She says its better to view the world in a detached point of view. Never allow the various hues of emotions of the world affect your own positive conscience. This reminded me the principles of Jeevatma and Paramatma which I learnt in Bhagavad Gita. ( will write an extensive topic on it later )
She has no kids. She said earlier she used to feel very sorry and demoralised thinking about it . But now she finds that even that is a blessing in disguise as she has more time and liberty to seek her spritual quest. Life will be simpler and easier if we take things in right spirit and embracing it with positive thoughts.
It was a brief conversation but enriched one.
There is no true religion but only true followers
The claim of True religion is a fallacy. If any religious person claims his/her religion is the true religion and rest are false , he/she is sure living with a false ideological perception.
There is no true religion but only true followers. The souls are wanderers. Some souls dont believe in God , Some believe in God. Those souls who believe in God find shades under different trees i.e , religions. Some souls are born in the same tree , while some souls fly to different trees which they find suitable for them. The concept of God is the same in all religion only the means of worship is different. So if God is the supreme being and each religion talks about God , obviously the God they talk is the same its only that the means to reach Him is different.
Trees give shade and many other benefits. Each Tree nourishes all those who nest in them. The name of the Tree could be different but they all serve some purpose to those associated to them.
Even Atheism is a Tree that gives shade to some wandering souls. I dont think a God will get angry if a Soul don’t believe in Him. If an atheist does the duties in life well intended and without harming other people , An atheist will be dear to the God.
Am I sounding philosophical ? Well , This piece of article was in draft section for weeks now . I just thought of publishing it. I have no idea in what frame of mind I was when i wrote it but going through it now , I like this article. What you say guys ?