Thursday, April 28, 2016

Do real Sadhana ~ Atman Nityananda

To get out of the mind-made matrix it is not so easy, dear brothers. Similarly, it is not so difficult. It depends on our maturity due to practice we did in previous lives.

The great masters declair that even for wise men constant effort is necessary to destroy the ego. How can this can be easy for people who identify with their body and mind?

Sri Adi shankaracharya says:
342. Even wise men cannot suddenly destroy egoism after it has once become strong, barring those who are perfectly calm through the nirvikalpa samadhi. Desires are verily the effect of innumerable births. ~ (Vivekachudamani)

We have to do ceasesless and intense practice until the steady realization of the Self. Nobody knows when realization will happen. It is the divine will who rules everything. Practice accompanied with surrender is the surest and shortest way, 'Thy will be done, not mine.'

Sri Ramana Maharshi says:
'One must be ready to sacrifice everything for the truth.'

'Effort is needed so long as there is mind.' 'Without spiritual practice (upasana), there cannot be attainment. This is certain.'

'Firm resolve to discover the truth for oneself is important. It is the heart, it is necessary to hold on to enquiry till one's mind merges into its source, the heart. Ceaseless effort is needed.'

'But in all cases the effort must be ceaseless and untiring until the goal can be reached.'

'Effortless and choiceless awareness is our real state. But one cannot reach it without effort, the effort of deliberate meditation. All the age-long vasanas (impressions) carry the mind outwards and turn it to external objects..

You have to practise constantly with faith, steady determination, patience and perseverance, japa nama, mantras, pranayama, kirtan, self-analysis, introspection, self-observation, pratyahara, viveka, vairagya sama, dama (control of the mind and senses), concentration, affirmations, prayers, devotionals hymns etc. to purify the mind and heart. Simultaneously study about the nature of Atman, reflect on what you have read and practise meditation and Self-enquiry to realize your true nature. You have to practise until the mind is empty from desires, attachments, egoism, all samskara-s and vasana-s, (impressions, subtle desires and egoic tendencies) until you are established effortlessly to your true nature.

Sri Ramana Maharshi says:
'There is a state beyond our efforts or effortlessness. Until that is realized, effort is necessary.'
'...intense effort is necessary until the I-thought disappears completely in the heart (Self) and all the vasanas and samskaras are fried and do not revive again.'

' Knowledge (of the Self or Atman -Jnana) can only remain unshaken after all vasana-s are rooted out.' '... if one has not rooted out the vasanas, he will not attain salvation.'

Sri Adi shankaracharya says:

337. There is no Liberation for one who has attachment to the body, etc., and the liberated man has no identification with the body, etc.
299. So long as one has any relation to this wicked ego, there should not be the least talk about Liberation, which is unique.
303. As long as there is a trace of poison left in the body, how can one hope for recovery? Similar is the effect of egoism on the Yogi's Liberation.
317... the destruction of desires is Liberation, and this is considered as Liberation-in-life.
~ (Vivekachudamani)

Do real Sadhana dear brothers, do real Sadhana . You cannot wake up from the dream of separation only by talking and listening. Do intense Sadhana from this very moment to realize your divine nature. Time passes by very fast. Tomorrow will never come. Every day there is a tomorrow. Do not waste your time in trifling illusory sense pleasures. Live every moment of your life, for Self-realization. Put Advaita Vedanta into practice. Destroy 'I-ness' and 'mine-ness' that separate you from God and the world. Realize your real Self in this very life. Be an embodiment of peace, love and harmony. This is your birthright and the purpose you took for this human body.

Never think that you will fail in this attempt, that is a very difficult task or anything that can make you feel impotent. The whole universe is going to help you, because what you are doing is not only for you, but for the good of all. Life's main purpose is to be conscious of itself. So anybody who is marching towards Self-realization lives in harmony with the purpose of the whole of life. That's why life will give him everything he needs to to succeed in this endeavor. Never forget that God's Grace is always with you.

Peace, love, harmony

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sexual energy and Self-realization ~ Atman - Sivananda

Sexual energy and Self-realization
by Swami Sivananda 

 Sexual energy is the real vitality in men. It is the hidden treasure in man. It imparts Brahma-Tejas to the face and strength to the intellect.

Sexual energy is the essence of life, thought, intelligence and consciousness.Therefore, preserve this energy very, very carefully.

Sexual energy nourishes the physical body, the heart and the intellect. Only that man who uses the physical body, the heart and the intellect can have perfect Brahmacharya (chastity, preserve and transform the sexual energy to ojas y tejas). Until to dissolve the desire for sexual pleasure from our chitta and succeed in deep meditation, in order to avoid loss of sexual energy is necessary to practice and develop all aspects of our personality; viz. body, prana, heart, mind and intellect.

Meditation, concentration, self-enquiry, study, reflection, contemplation develop the mind and intellect, devotion, kirtan, praises, prayers develop the heart and hatha yoga asanas, pranayama, body exercises like walking, jogging, sports train the body and prana.. There are also special asanas and pranayama for transformation of sexual energy.

But the most importance  of all is to eliminate the desire for sexual pleasure and pleasure in general. Is the desire that makes the sexual energy flow downwards and outwards. Sexual thoughts and sexual emotional impulses  activate immediately  the sexual energy  and due to the memory of orgasmic experience impel the energy to flow outwards. Thus as long as passion and lust exist in our mind it is impossible to avoid loss of sexual energy and especially semen for men.

Desirelessness, dispassion and deep meditation are necessary in order to be able  to transform  the sexual energy completely.

Without chastity and sublimation of sexual energy Self-realization is impossible.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The power of discrimination (Viveka) II by Nityananda Atman

The power of discrimination (Viveka) II

The discrimination is the highest of virtues, because thanks to it we can transform ourselves in real human beings and live in harmony with the eternal Truth (commonly called God) and the universal laws of life experiencing peace, love and bliss,.

The capacity of discrimination allows us to realize the truth behind the illusory phenomena, ie. to realize what is true and what is not, what is beneficial and what is harmful for us and for our fellowmen.

What is beneficial and what is harmful?

Beneficial is what diminishes the ego, what promotes good health (physical and mental), prosperity (individual and collective), causes inner harmony, unity with everything, happiness, peace (individual and collective) awakening and realization of Truth.
Harmful is what causes physical and mental illness, poverty, misery, imbalance and disharmony (personal and collective), wickedness, violence, forgetfulness and ignorance of the Truth.

Swami Sivananda says about Viveka: Viveka is discrimination between the real and the unreal, between the permanent and the impermanent, between the Self and the non-Self. Viveka dawns in a man through the Grace of God. The Grace can come only after one has done unceasing selfless service in countless births with the feeling that he is an instrument of the Lord and that the work is an offering to the Lord. Association with saints and study of Vedantic literature will infuse discrimination in man. Viveka should be developed to the maximum degree. One should be well established in it.

The door to the higher mind is flung open when there is an awakening of discrimination.

The aspirant should separate himself also from the six waves of the ocean of Samsara - birth and death, hunger and thirst, and exhilaration and grief. Birth and death belong to the physical body; hunger and thirst belong to Prana; exhilaration and grief are the attributes of the mind. The Soul is unattached. The six waves cannot touch Brahman which is as subtle as the all-pervading ether.

The highest form of discrimination allows us to have direct experience and knowledge of the essence of life, the eternal Truth (brahman, Consciousness). It allows us to realize that this truth is always shinning in our hearts, that is perfect, unchanging and eternal; that it is unaffected by what happens to the imperfect, variable and perishable body and mind and eventually discrimination allows us to realize that we are this eternal Truth, the immortal Spirit of life, incarnated in a human body.

Paramahansa Ramakrishna have said: "Discrimination is the reasoning by which one knows that God alone is real and all else is unreal. Real means eternal, and unreal means impermanent. He who has acquired discrimination knows that God is the only Substance and all else is non-existent.

Adi Sankaracharya writes in his book Vivekachudamani: The realisation of Truth is brought about by discrimination and not in the least by ten million of acts.

Swami Sivananda Saraswati says: Once you are fully aware of the magnitude of human suffering in this relative world, you will naturally begin to discriminate between what is real and what is unreal. Brahman, the Absolute, is real and jagat, the world, is unreal. This is viveka, right understanding or discrimination. Sincerity and faith will develop, aspiration or keen longing to realize God will be felt and you will remember the truth constantly. You will have to assert constantly, ‘Aham Brahmasmi, I am Brahman.’ By incessant practice, name, form and desire will vanish and you will realize Brahman. It is the vedantic sadhana or spiritual practice. Discrimination, aspiration, always remembering the truth, assertion and finally realization are the various stages or means for realization of Brahman.

The discrimination is not the result of studies in colleges and universities, or the accumulation of knowledge. Socrates, for example, as well as many other sages of the past and the present age have not developed the discrimination due to their erudition, but through intense spiritual practice, self-enquiry, reflection and meditation.  

The main causes that we lack of discrimination is the ego which is an aggregation of multiple small egos, the passions and desires, the laziness (physical and mental) and the predominance of tamas and rajas gunas in the mind.

We can develop discrimination by systematic practice and the increase of sattva guna in the mind.  Control of senses and mind, purification of the mind and heart, the development of virtues such as truthfulness and compassion, satsang and the studying of spiritual books and sacred texts,  reflection, contemplation, auto-observation, self-enquiry, all these are means to develop Viveka. 

Discrimination is the highest faculty of a human being. Every moment we make decisions. Without discrimination we cannot see things as they are and thus we cannot decide rightly according the circumstances. Especially for spiritual aspirants Viveka is a sine qua non. They must be able to discern if something is helpful or not for their sadhana or for their development. They must be able to discern if they do their practice properly. To discern if a suggestion that appears in their mind is something that comes from their consciousness or from the ego. Ego likes also to play the voice of consciousness.  In relation with the ego discrimination enable us detect the play of the ego from its very beginning; viz. we can perceive the first movement of the egoic impulse and thus to avoid identification and be lost in it. The earlier we detect the ego the easier for us to dissolve it and remain focused in our source.  Without discrimination we cannot recognize the tricks and illusions that the egoic mind creates constantly and thus we will fail to dissolve the ego.

Without a great development of discrimination we cannot also eliminate the desires that are powerful and persistent.  If we cannot discern how the ego make us identify with its imaginations and projections and if we cannot discern the illusory nature of pleasure it becomes very difficult or impossible to dissolve the desire mecanism from our psych. Discrimination causes the development of dispassion and detachment which are of the greatest importance to renounce and dissolve desires. Without dispassion we cannot talk about meditation. If our mind is attached to sensual pleasures cannot remain calm and focus for much time; thus meditation is impossible, and without meditation self realization is impossible as well. Dispassion can be of a permanent and intense nature only when is the result of our capacity to discriminate and realize the illusory nature of sensual pleasures. Without this the mind will not give up pleasures and we will be always in a struggle to control our mind and turn it towards it s source. Thus the development of discrimination is unquestionable.

Sri Sankaracharya affirms in his texts the importance of Viveka and Vairagya. Let see some extracts of his work SATA SLOKI about Discrimination, Dispassion, Renunciation, Detachment.

Discrimination and Dispassion (Viveka and Vairagya)

The essential pre-requisite for the dawn of Self-knowledge is dispassion. This is of two kinds according to Sage Patanjali's Yoga sutras, namely, inferior dispassion and superior dispassion
The inferior type of dispassion arises as a result of the realization that attachment to one's house, friends, son, possessions and the like culminates only in sorrow. 
The superior type of dispassion arises from discrimination between what is eternal, namely the Atman and what is perishable, namely the body-mind complex.

Dispassion and Renunciation
When this superior dispassion arises, all worldly objects and pleasures become as revolting as vomit. One who has attained control over the mind as a result of such dispassion is fit to renounce the world. This renunciation not only means leaving his home, but also giving up attachment to his body. 

Everything in this world, being only name and form, is unreal from the absolute point of view. All things appear to have reality and function in various ways only because of the substratum, Brahman (consciousness), on which they are superimposed. By renunciation alone, can the unsurpassed bliss of Brahman be enjoyed and so one should not covet impermanent things like wealth and possessions. 


Fire does not burn wet firewood, but if the firewood has been dried by the heat in the atmosphere in summer, then fire will burn it. 
Similarly, the fire of Self-knowledge cannot enter the mind of a person who is deeply attached to his family, wealth and possessions, even if he has acquired considerable religious merit (punya) by the performance of Vedic rituals, by begetting a virtuous son and by using his wealth for noble purposes. 
Only if he has developed strong detachment can Self-knowledge dawn in his mind. Therefore the scriptures declare that the acquisition of pure detachment is essential for a person who seeks Self-realization. 

Discrimination also helps us recognize the games of pride and vanity in us. Desire and pride are the most difficult egoic tendencies to recognize and be aware of their play. A very well development of Viveka is necessary not to be deluded by them and dissolve them. Without a proper development of Viveka we cannot succeed in the battle against desire and pride. Of course fear and anger are also two of the stronger tendencies we have to work for many years in order to dissolve them. Each thought, emotion and action must be examined with proper attention and the light of discrimination. This is the only way to succeed in the dissolution of ego.

As soon as discrimination arises, the power of the mind becomes weakened and the mind tries to recede and retrace its steps to its original home, the heart. The mind cannot do anything improper in the presence of discrimination. It will be dethroned because the will becomes stronger and stronger when discrimination is awakened. Thanks to viveka one can leave this miserable samsara, cycle of birth and death. ~ Swami Sivananda
Due to the very fact that the ego tries constantly to make us identify with the body and the mental and emotional forms, we must constantly exercise the faculty of discrimination in order to impede these identifications to happen and remain as detached observers of the movements of the ego itself and the mind. This is something we have to do moment to moment. This is the corner stone of spirituality, viz. by the power of attention and discrimination to impede moment to moment identifications to happen (identification with the ego, body, emotions, thoughts, objects) and keep our attention focus in its source. 

Finally Viveka in its higher function enable us discern our Self as the silent substratum of all forms and experiences and totally different and unaffected by the body, energy and mind as well as the external forms. 
Discrimination with dispassion consist the two wings that allow us to fly towards liberation and eternal peace and bliss. These two are the most important virtues which open the gates towards Self-realization. 

 Read also:

Our suffering is self-created ~ Atman NItyananda

As long as we think that the causes of our suffering are outside we will never  enquire what happens inside.
By not investigating what happens inside, we will remain ignorants of the very fact that all suffering is self-created and comes from within.
That suffering is created due to our identification with the body and our addiction to fulfill our desires for pleasure through objects. The quality of our desires depends on the gunic constitution of our mind. The rajotamasic mind and the rajasotamasic desires and habits are mainly the cause of suffering, not the sattvic ones. The rajasic desires, habits and actions are characterized by passion, excess, domination, manipulation, power, competition, while the tamasic by perversion, auto-destruction, unhealthy, violence, exploitation, disregard of life. We must abandon the tamasic habits and desires and substitute the rajasic ones with sattvic and finally go beyond sattva as well and identify with our true Self (Atman), the eternal light of Consciousness which is beyond the three gunas always free, complete, peacful and blissful.
Seeking sensual pleasures is the surest way to suffer. Lust and desire are the enemies of peace, Bliss and freedom eternal.
The vicious circle of pleasure and suffering functions like this: Pleasure becomes, lust, lust becomes desire, desire impels us to action in order to experience again the same pleasure. Until now it seems that everything is ok and you could say what the problem to experience pleasure is. It would be nice if this process of seeking and experiencing pleasure had only a 'positive' aspect but this is just impossible. We cannot have pleasure without suffering.
Let’s see how this process continues. By repetition of the same pleasurable experiences attachment and addiction are created. Each time we experience pleasure, lust, desire and attachment are strengthened and on the other hand weakens our will power, our mind become conditioned by these experiences and also our mind is loaded with rajasic and tamasic energies which cloud our buddhi (the intellect) by which our intellect loses its capacity perceive with clarity, to think and reason and decide with clarity (without the distortion that creates the lust, the desire, the rajas and tamas gunas in the mind), loses its tranquility and luminosity and most of all loses its capacity to discern the real from the unreal. When the intellect dysfunctions we fail to control the mind, the senses and the emotions. Let's see what else.
The strengthening of desires and attachments strengthens our identification with body and mind (the desire and attachment are strengthened by repetition and the degree of pleasure and satisfaction we get). Identification with body is related to fear of death, pain etc. Identification with the mind makes us vulnerable to the movements of desire and all other egoic tendencies. Identification makes us lose our connection with our essence which is the source of true happiness, bliss and freedom and make us a prey to compulsive movements of desire. The more we give in to desire the stronger becomes the desire. The stronger it becomes the desire, the stronger it becomes the attachment to the desired object and the manifestation of negative emotions (which I mention below), and thus the stronger it becomes the suffering.
The eternal company of desire are fear and anger; fear not to get or to lose the desired object and anger when someone or something impedes us fulfill our desire.  The strongest becomes the desire the strongest becomes the attachment, the fear and the anger. And if at the end we lose the desired object that we are attached, if we cannot possess or achieve what we want, then desire transforms as disappointment and depression. Fear, anger, impatience, anxiety, disappointment and depression are the primary modifications of desire that make us suffer. Moreover usually after some time the ego is bored by experiencing the same object (due to rajas guna) and thus seeks another similar or different one; this is the main reason that people change very often sexual partners and make many relations. That keeps our mind and vital energy in a continuous state of stress, anxiety, discontent and dissatisfaction.
Like, dislike, attraction, repulsion, love* and hatred, (which are the primary egoic dualities created by desire), fear, anger, jealousy, greed, depression, impatience, disappointment, anxiety go along with desires and attachments; all these tendencies are only modifications of desire itself. As the milk transforms in yogurt, as the water transforms in ice, snow, rain, clouds and humidity similarly the desire transforms as fear, anger, impatience, greed and all others well known egoic tendencies which make us suffer.
Since desire itself modifies and assumes the form of all painful emotions we cannot have only pleasure without suffering which is other face of the same coin (of desire). Suffering also is due to the fact that because of desires we overuse and misuse our body, energy, mind and senses creating energetic and bodily unbalances which make us suffer as well. All diseases are the effect of desires.
Remember also that by nature desire is insatiable, that´s why it is never satisfied; it wants always more, better and different kinds of pleasure. Thus if you think that you can be free from desire by fulfilling all your desires you just fool yourself. The desire only for a while settles down when we enjoy actually the desired object or for a little more and after some time manifests again and compels us to seek one more time a pleasurable experience assuming first the form of painful emotions such as incompleteness, dissatisfaction, discontentment, boredom and uneasiness. In order to overcome for a while these painful emotions we seek again a pleasurable experience. During the enjoyment of the object all negative emotions subside and our mind becomes temporarily calm and focused, and thus together with pleasure we experience in some degree content and happy (not always) because when the mind becomes calm and focus reflects naturally the happiness of our Soul.
The desires make us selfish and egoistic. The egoism increases in accordance the strengthening of desires; because of it those who help us meet our desires become our friends and those who are an obstacle our enemies. We love or we hate others according our preferences, desires and egoistic needs.
Desire is the cause of pride too. When we fulfill a desire the emotion of pride arises making us feel especial, important or superior. When pride arises we feel also some kind of pleasure. Pride is related with our self-image. Thus what enhances our self-image becomes our friend and what makes us feel small becomes our enemy.
Desire as I mentioned above, modifies to all other well known negative emotions which are the causes of our suffering. Behind all these emotions (impatience, anxiety, depression, jealousy, greed, arrogance, resentment, agony, frustration, discontentment, uneasiness, depression, etc..) there is always some desire or 'need'. If you reflect a little on your own experiences you will find easily that behind every situation there is always something that you want or you don't want.
Knowing all this it becomes clear that there is no other remedy to liberate us from suffering but the dissolution of desire, the enemy of wisdom, peace and eternal bliss.

By intense longing to realize the truth and live in peace, bliss and unity everyone and everything, by devotion and systematic, diligent and regular practice we can eliminate the desire and all the disorders created by the desire as well as the ego or egoism itself which is only another form of desire.

By turning our mind and heart totally to God all other worldly desires lose their power. Thus by devotion and sincere and constant practice we can eliminate easier all desires and by meditation  we can be established in our essence. Since it is very difficult for the majority to renounce suddenly all their worldly desires and be devoted to God is suggested at first to replace the rajasotamasic desires and habits with sattvic ones. However it is urgent to abandon all destructive tamasic desires and habits as well as to replace gradually the rajasic ones with sattvic. We must also change the way we do things; viz do them in a sattvic mode instead of rajasic or tamasic. For example, we must learn to make love with a sattvic way (tantric) instead of rajasic (passionate), or tamasic (perversions). To do sport with a sattvic mode instead of a rajasic one (competitive). We must eat in a sattvic way instead of a tamasic or rajasic one as well as we must choose eat sattvic foods than tamasic (we must abandon them) or rajasic ones (rajasic are necessary to some degree).
By cultivating and practicing discrimination, dispassion, self-awareness, self-observation, prayer, japa nama, japa mantra, control of senses and mind, pranayama, concentration, meditation and self-enquiry kill this eternal enemy of peace, bliss and freedom eternal.
Dissolve all desires, rest in your own Self (Atman) and drink the nectar of eternal peace and bliss.
love*: love here is not referred to the unconditional love which our essential divine nature, but to the conditioned love which has more an emotional nature and which easily can change under certain circumstances to hostility and hatred.

Peace, love, harmony