At every stage of life we are shaping and molding our personality by the habits we elect, by what we read, and by all we pursue. The 17th Chapter of the Bhagavad Gita offers us a prescription for self-examination in the light of all expressions of our personality. We may ask ourselves: Are my habits leading me to a richly inspired life? Are my decisions shaped by my emotions, by a restlessness or by self-direction? In this process of self-unfoldment, what guides me?
How utterly profound and complex is the law of karma. It proceeds as the constitution of all creation. All action is karma. Everything we do whether physical or mental is karma. Understanding the effects of our actions is the key to Karma Yoga. There are three aspects for us to know and appreciate about our karma. This awareness guides how we decide what we do and how we meditate.
Why are we here? Where are we going? Where did we come from? These are the impelling questions of science, religion and life itself. In search for their roots, or source, many turn to DNA testing. Does knowing the historic progression and dispersion of our DNA answer the question of our origin? The ancient and profound Kena Upanishad (Kena means “by whom?”) asks: “Inspired by whom does the primordial life seek objective manifestation?”
We all seek forgiveness at times—from ourselves, from others, from God. Why?
This week many participated in the fasting and prayer of Yom Kippur — The Day of Atonement, the last of the Ten Days of Awe. As we seek the perfection of God let us consider what is the ideal of perfection. With all our human failings how does a spiritual practice help us to arise in the consciousness of God?
When sorrow comes into our life it is as though we have entered a great darkness. We look for the light to come out of that darkness.
But where do we find that light? And how does that light bring us out of sorrow? What is the sorrow? We think we know what sorrow is but do we really?
By the practice of Yoga the mind becomes calm. In this calm and serene state we realize the peace of Soul.
There is a book within that we read in the silence of our hearts. It is there that we come to know the Self. It is where our devotion and dedication reveal pure consciousness. Therein lies a treasury of awareness and experience that will guide us through all the obstacles of life.
The great yogi, Henry David Thoreau, spent a vast amount of time observing, contemplating and writing about the transformations of nature. Even beyond his time at Walden he continued to study trees and plants and their interactions with the elements and animals. His descriptions provided a rich glimpse into the deeper consciousness of his being. Thoreau found “the very earth itself as a granary and a seminary.” He found “faith in a seed,” with a realization of its origin, path and destiny. Then he offered its story to inspire humanity.
Is our will separate from God’s will? Is the spiritual path that of renouncing our own will and submitting to God’s will? In truth, there is but one will, and that is God’s/our will. In human life that One pure will is often projected through the clouded lens of our acquired concepts of finitude (our sense identified ego) resulting in disturbing and negative expressions. Let us purify our minds and hearts so that the pure light of God’s/Our will may be expressed in all our thoughts, words and deeds.
The natural symbols of sublime devotion become to us mirrors of the Self. They reflect not only our inner revelations but inspire and guide us on the inmost path. The symbol of the crescent moon is certainly an image of beauty and reflection to the poet and the philosopher in us all.
There is a verse in the Vishnu Purana that includes the Sanskrit phrase: "Sa vidya ya vimuktaye”. It means: “knowledge is that which liberates.”
“Two little birds, linked by mutual friendly bonds, reside in the selfsame tree; one of them is engrossed in the enjoyment of sweet fruit, while the other looks on with perfect serenity.” This verse is found in the Mundaka and SvetasvataraUpanishads and in the Rig Veda. The two birds symbolize our dual nature: soul and senses, subjectivity and objectivity. Which “bird” guides our lives? Is our goal to renounce the objective “bird” and identify solely with the serene transcendental “bird”? Can these “birds” exist within us in harmony and synchronicity?
For the past seven weeks we have shared together in our Kriya meditation series the ideal and means of Kriya yoga. Perhaps now at the conclusion of this series, we may ask ourselves, “Am I a yogi? What does it truly mean to practice yoga? What is the path? How does one live a life of yoga? At what stage of life can one be a yogi?”
In observance of Mother’s Day this Sunday we call to mind the sublime quality of grace attained in the soul’s unfoldment. It is a natural self-expression of divine love and inner beauty.
“Mother” is the standard by which we come to realize selfless and unconditional love, patience, understanding, and forgiveness. Such virtues awaken us to the grace of God. That grace blesses and guides our life’s journey.
The beautiful expression of Rabindranath Tagore to sit before the master poet and ask only that he may “make his life simple and straight, like a flute of reed to fill with music” offers us a sublime meditation on the nature of our own lives.
In the 11th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita are given the words “Salutation unto thee, a thousand times salutation unto thee, and again and again salutation unto thee.” These are the words uttered by Arjuna after witnessing the divine universal form of God in its entire multifarious splendor. His mind and devotion are not shattered into a thousand perceptions and appreciations by this experience but are inexorably drawn to God, the One who is the source and essence of all. This is the path of yoga, of oneness. In all the experiences of our pilgrimage through this vast munificent emporium of God’s manifestation let us always and forever more seek and find the essence of the One. Salutations unto thee, a thousand times salutation unto thee!
After his enlightenment under the Bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya, Gautama the Buddha arrived in Sarnath, also known as Deer Park. It was there that he offered his first sermon regarding the noble path.
The path of self-realization is riddled with challenges on all sides. But one who lives this earthly life in the consciousness of the true nature of the Soul progresses through all the vicissitudes of space, causality, and time, without being overpowered by them.
In the evolution of human thought and expression, we have journeyed through the contributions of enlightened minds who have brought clarity and understanding of the principles and laws of nature. Yet it is in the unfoldment of soul that we awaken to freedom from all limitation and attain the peace which passeth all understanding.
Dara Shikoh was the eldest son of Emperor Shah Jehan of India who built the Taj Mahal. In his treatise entitled: “Majma-ul-Bharayn” (the merging of two oceans), Dara Shikoh explored the confluence of mystical thought of the Qur’an and the Upanishads, merging the currents of two traditions. While he reflected upon the monist message of Advaita Vedanta and the truth of tawhid (the oneness of God) in his reflections, we may gather from this expression a deeper ocean of realization.
The noblest path we can pursue is not the one which is the easiest or the most popular. It is the path that will take us toward the greatest wisdom and joy of our soul. In this pursuit we will strive to resurrect every aspect of our being with consciousness lifted to that Supreme Soul of all. We meditate, pray, work, play, eat and rest — all with the ultimate goal of self-liberation. What is the path and how shall we know it?