Gita: Never Lose Faith

 

Oh Krishna, asks Arjuna, what does he do, he who has faith but no action

Cannot control his mind and not practise Yoga to perfection 6.37

 Oh, Krishna, he who fails in action and in reaching oneness with spirit

Does he then perish deluded as he seeks the eternal spirit  6.38

 Oh Krishna, help me resolve this problem now

I have no one else to tell me how   6.39

 Dear Arjuna, says Krishna, no one in the right path falls from my Grace

Neither now or any other time and space  6.40

 He who lives doing good for years and yet in Yoga fails

Will be born again in a good home where bliss prevails  6.41

 Or, he is born again in family of Yogins wise

A birth that is otherwise hard to realize  6.42

 He continues where he left his action

And works towards perfection  6.43

 His practice before forges him on to realization

In Yoga practise he goes beyond the words to perfection  6.44

 Through committed practice, over many a birth

The Yogin purified reaches the ultimate truth   6.45

 The Yogin is superior to an ascetic, and even the wise men

He is above men of action, be thou a Yogin   6.46

 Of all Yogins, he who full of faith seeks Me

With his Self, he reaches Me.   6.47

I acknowledge the picture from the Net.

Arjuna feels like Sisyphus, pushing the rock up the mountain. What do I do, he wails, however much i do, with all faith in you, i can’t control my mind. Do I keep trying? How does it help? I feel like a failure. Where do I end?

Krishna’s answer is very simple. Nothing good you do ever goes wasted. The karma, the good action, accumulates. It pays back. Krishna says, even if you do not believe that you have achieved much, even if you feel you cannot control your mind, as long as you practise the path of yoga, and strive towards the oneness of the individual spirit with the universal spirit, you keep moving forward.  From birth to birth you progress.

Krishna says, you will be born in wealthy comfort that will enable you to move up. Or you may even be born in a family of yogic adepts which will take you beyond mere concepts and words.  You’ll realize experientially. You will be a Yogin yourself.

It’s easy to take Krishna literally and start arguing about rebirth and reincarnation. These may be or may not be. They may even be metaphors. No one dead has come back to prove reincarnation, despite various claims. I believe in it personally, but i do not expect others to believe. But, what Krishna says here is true in anything we do. he gives us hope that when we embark on something with faith and commitment and work on it without worrying about outcome, we will progress.

He says more. Work towards the understanding that you are one with the universe, that you are divine. You are then better than a man of knowledge, man of renunciation and a man of action.  You are then with Me. You are then Me.  with this statement, he ends the first part of Gita, Karma Yoga.

I believe that Karma Yoga is the crux of Gita. Gita is not about a God and religion outside. It’s not about temples, churches and mosques, and priests and mullahs. It’s about who we are, that we are spiritual beings in a human body. There is no need to seek a spiritual being called God outside. That God is within. Look for him within and you’ll find Me, says Krishna.  Do what you need to do,with no expectation, Krishna says, and you will find Me.

As Arjuna wails, we all wonder how do we even begin this path. The easiest is to fall prey to the thousands of false prophets who seek to guide you. I too did. To my good fortune, i realized that the external path of dependence on a guide, guru or prophet led me no where. I turned within and found what i sought outside.

In my future blogs, let me reveal to you the hundred odd techniques that help you travel within. Within these you will find at least one that works for you.

Gita: Being Fulfilled

 

Disconnected from outside, attention on the third eye, breath balanced

Senses, mind and intellect in control                                     5.27

Freedom from body mind attachment as the only goal,

Free from fear anger greed, the Wise one is already liberated            5.28

The Wise one knows Me, Lord of all Worlds, Lord of all sacrifices

And with that knowing attains fulfillment                                5.29

I acknowledge this picture from the Internet, Shiva’s Third Eye.

What’s Third Eye and why has Krishna referred to it?

The Vedic mind body energy depiction talks about a virtual energy network within us. A similar concept exists in Traditional Chinese Medicine and probably in such ancient cultures as Egypt, America etc. Our body has a network of energy pathways, called nadis in Sanskrit, and centers where they meet, called chakras.  There are six chakras, starting from the root chakra at the perineum point where trunk meets thighs and ending at the point midway between eye brows, the Third eye chakra. The gateway after the final third eye chakra is the crown center, atop the head, where the feminine kundalini Shakti energy meets the super conscious Shiva.

 The Third Eye chakra, called Ajna chakra or Will energy center, is the master center of all mind body energy. It is linked to the Pituitary gland, the master gland. Like the Pituitary  controls all other glands, Ajna controls the  remaining chakras. This is named the Ajna or Will, based on the a belief that when one acts with one’s attention focused on this chakra, action will lead to desired outcome.

Ajna is also the center of our ego, both positive and negative.  Moving beyond Ajna, leads to conquering of ego, and enlightenment where Shakti meets Shiva. When as Krishna says one’s attention is on Ajna, one can conquer ego, moving to liberation from desires. Liberation from desires leads to liberation from all bondage and attachment, which is liberation and fulfillment.

The Third Eye is the center of Self Awareness. A simple meditation that is very effective follows.

Sit comfortably on a chair or cross-legged on the floor, if need be with a cushion to support one’s seat, and with spine erect. Keep your feet planted on the ground , if on a chair. Keep hands loose on your lap, with first three fingers touching forming a circle. Close your eyes and keep your attention on the Third Eye, the point at the middle of eye brows.

Inhale deeply, visualizing that you’re drawing energy into your body. Next, hold your breath for as long as you are comfortable, visualizing that energy spreading through your body.   Next, exhale all the stored breath, visualizing that you are expanding into the Universe. Finally, hold after exhalation, again as long as you’re comfortable, visualizing that now you’re now one with the Universe.

Keep repeating this cycle for as long as you can, to your own rhythm of comfort, without counting seconds for inhalation, holding, exhalation and holding., all the while with attention on Ajna.

This is the most powerful of all pranayama or Yoga breath control but rarely taught.  The first ten verses of Vigyana Bhairava Tantra,  instructions to Parvati about reaching Him teach this breathing process. Read Osho ‘The Book of Secrets’ or Bihar School of Yoga ‘Ascent’, to learn more about these verses and the most powerful dharana techniques ever taught.

If you have doubts on how to , mail me. Like the Ajna is the King of Chakras, this technique is the King of meditation techniques, combining asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana and dhyana.

It helps you to know That and be One with That.

 

 

Gita: Desire to Anger

Pleasures of the senses end in pain as they begin and end

The Wise does not enjoy them.                                                5.22

 One who while alive before liberation from the body

Controls desire and anger is the Yogi, a joyful person 5.23

 The Yogi who is joyful within, lives within and focuses within

Is joyful in the Brahman and becomes the Supreme Truth, Brahman    5.24

 The Wise having overcome all ignorance and doubts, controlling senses

Serving others, live in the bliss of the Supreme Truth, Brahman   5.25

 Those who are free from desire and anger, controlled in thoughts,

Self aware, are always in the bliss of the Supreme Truth, Brahman  5.26

I acknowledge this lovely depiction of Shiva from the Net.

Moving towards what we like and moving away from what we don’t is not merely based on instinct, but also ingrained in our DNA. Bruce Lipton in his Biology of Beliefs says that in his experiments as a Cellular microbiologist this behavior is clearly visible with cells. In a Petri dish, cells and parts of cells move towards nutrients and away from toxins.

What’s the big deal, you may ask, i knew this all along. The big deal is that Krishna says we need to move away from this DNA if we are to be Self Aware.

Desire is a product of our human physical sheath, the gross body. Each breath, the energy of prana, keeps us alive with the desire to be alive. When the energy within has no longer that desire to live, the prana that leaves does not return. Lief and death are that simple.

Fulfillment of desire creates more desire. It does not create permanent fulfillment or content. The happiness we experience upon fulfillment of  a desire is temporary.  This is why Buddha classifies desire as the cause of all suffering. In addition, fulfillment of desires creates pride and ego.

Non fulfillment of desires creates anger at being thwarted of our birth right. Greed, fear, pride, ego, anger and all such emotions overlap each other on the foundation of desire. The temporary pleasure of fulfillment invariably leads to pain  with the realization that this fulfillment does not continue. Human greed is limitless and is the source of all pain. Ramana Maharishi says: this universe is limitless and can provide for the needs of all, but even this universe cannot provide for the wants for the single person.

Needs are limited. Wants are unlimited. Wants arise from human greed. I do not know of any animal that suffers from greed. No animal hoards food, covering or shelter like humans do.

These verses are about the need to separate our wants from needs.

Why have i used Shiva to make  a point? Of all the deities in the Hindu pantheon, Shiva moves desire less. He is the ultimate yogi. His desires, fears, anger are all in the present moment, expressed and released. The word Shiva means auspiciousness and bliss. Shiva’s bliss is uncreated. It’s the  anahata ananada, sat chit ananda, which has no source, no destination and no path. It’s not even an experience. It just is.

I often meet people, especially in the corporate space, who are obsessed with making money. We need this to help our children and their children, they say. They are ready to make this planet uninhabitable for their grand children ecologically in order to create wealth for them. Do they realize that moments after they are gone, even a loving wife may not remember them. Shankara says hauntingly in his Bhaja Govindam, ‘ When the breath leaves the body, even your wife is disgusted with your body. What are you thinking, you moron!’

A senior finance executive lost his job and was escorted out of his office by corporate security a week after he confided in me that his short term goal was to make twenty million dollars. He was nearly jailed. A few months later, he was back in the game to make his millions.

When will they ever learn!

Long Live Anna Hazare! Down with Corruption!

The Jasmine revolution is in India! The new square for revolution is Jantar Mantar in New Delhi!

A couple on moths ago, and it seems so long now, when Mubarak was holding fast against his detractors, i had lunch with two guests from UK. One was an Egyptian Professor, who was campaigning against Mubarak. I asked him innocently what he had against Mubarak.

The elderly, experienced and respected Egyptian Professor, now living in UK, explained to me how Mubarak and his family had looted the wealth of his nation. He said they must have stolen at least $ 40 billion.

I laughed. I told him how one insignificant politician, who was for a while the Telecom Minister, is now being accused of looting much more than that. The aptly named ‘King’ Raja, had not then been arrested. I told him that Mubarak would be a pauper among the political princes of India who had spirited away the nation’s wealth into Swiss Banks. The British in their 300 years of rule came now here close to what our Congress and BJP leaders managed in a mere 60 years.

I asked him: In Egypt you can replace a dictatorship with democracy, and you hope it’ll work. What do we with the democracy we have? Where do we go from here? Where can we go from here?

I had no answer. The emotional Professor had no answer. He merely asked, ‘if what you say is true, we have no hope.

Corruption in India had the power to silence any right thinking mind!

But, now we have Anna Hazare. And, I have some hope. India has some hope.

For the first time after Gandhi, one man has ignited our consciousness again. By laying his life at the altar of the common man’s cause, Anna Hazare has rekindled hope in millions like me, who have become skeptical non-believers in democracy.For the time, many believe we can uproot corruption in India.

From what has been the refuge of the scoundrels and the corrupt, we can redeem democracy into the  supreme spiritual governance that Lincoln extolled as the government of the people, for the people, by the people, that shall not perish from the Earth.

Anna Hazare, I salute you humbly! Jai Ho, Anna Hazare!

How to be alive at death?

Turn off your mind, relax
and float down stream
It is not dying
It is not dying


Sang the Beatles, inspired by the Bardo Thodol or the The Tibetan Book of the Dead.

Every religion has it base in death and the question of death and rebirth. It’s man’s, or woman’s, anguish about the unknowability of death, and its mystery, its suddenness and of course, its inevitability, which raised questions about the greater mystery of death and rebirth.

After all, if you remove the issue of the death and rebirth from theology, what is left?

Religions that flourished in the plains of the Sindhu (Indus to the anglicized) and Ganga (Ganges to the anglicized), believed that what perished at death was merely the body mind system. They believed that an inner energy stayed behind, leaving the spirit or inner energy of the mind body spirit system to continue eternally.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says, ‘It (this inner energy) moves from body to body the same way you move from one garment to another. It is imperishable. Fire cannot burn it. Water cannot wet it. Wind cannot dry it. No weapon can destroy it.’

Buddha does not explicitly talk about this inner energy as the soul or spirit, but allows the possibility of rebirth, which is the subject of the The Tibetan Book of the Dead and the Beatles’ number in Revolver.

Judaism accepts the concept of rebirth. So does Jesus, though the Church seems equivocal on this issue.

Why is this belief relevant?

If we believe that life continues as inner energy after death we don’t live only once. We live again and gain. We may not remember always what happened before, but if we believe, then there is no pressure to compress so many things into this one life.

We can lead our lives without stress. After all, we can continue where we left off!

If this sounds silly, how silly is it to accumulate wealth that you cannot carry with you into the grave? Or name, fame, power or relationships? What use is it to strive so hard, sacrificing so much, for something that is so temporary? Does this make sense?

Those who think it makes sense, stand on one side. Those who don’t, relax on the other!

Or play the game
existence to the end
Of the beginning

Tomorrow Never Knows: The Beatles

Tao 9:Counter Intuition

Tao 9: Counter Intuition

If you fill your bowl to the brim, it will surely spill. If you keep sharpening you knife, it will become blunt. 9.1

A learned scholar from the West, a Professor, sought out a Zen Master from a remote province in Japan to advise him on inner energy. When the Professor arrived at the Zen Monastery, the Zen Master was in meditation. The Professor was led to a waiting room, where he paced impatiently.

As soon as the Zen Master arrived, the Professor introduced himself at length. He talked about all the work he had done and where he had published. The Zen Master listened politely. While listening he started pouring tea from the pot into the cup in front of the Professor.

As the Professor kept talking, the Zen Master continued to pour. Soon the cup overflowed. Professor was agitated. He shouted, ‘Can’t you see the cup is full and it can’t hold anymore?’

The Zen Master smiled, ‘So is your mind, Professor!’

Still your mind and empty it of thoughts. Only then it reveals your inner energy!

Pursuing wealth and safety hardens your mind and heart. Needing others attention makes you their prisoner. 9.2

Why do we gather wealth, name and fame? Do they add any value to our inner energy? we think that material possessions make us look good in front of others. We feel good if others feel good about us. Why?

Because we have no good feeling about ourselves. This in turn saps our inner energy.

If we have self-esteem, why would we seek someone else’s attention and respect? We need all that only when we have no esteem and respect for ourselves.

Forget about others. Do what makes you happy. Indulge in your passion. Enhance your inner energy.

what you have to do. Do what is right. Do not worry about outcome. Step back. Relax and let go. You’ll be in peace. 9.3

The process defines the outcome. Constantly worrying about how the dish will turn out, will not help you cook a better meal. Nor will it make you a better cook.

When you cook without thinking, yet following the process you know well, you need not worry about the result. It will be good.

The journey matters. If the journey is joyful, the result too will be.

Let life lead you. Follow your heart and be joyful. All will be right.

Chakras, who are they?

Chakras have been in fashion for a while now. Every energy healer of any denomination talks glibly about chakras and how to energize them. They wave their hands over you as you lie on a couch like magicians about to produce a rabbit out of your belly.

The trick is the same.

Some of what these guys talk about and do is quite dangerous. I followed the advice of a New Age Californian author a couple of decades to ago on chakra energizing. I ended almost losing an eye! I later learnt that people have lost their minds doing this stuff.

I am posting this piece to educate as well as warn.

Indian and Chinese spiritual schools, of Hinduism, Buddhism, Zen and Tao, as well as traditional medical systems that arose from these spiritual schools, believed that the human mind body spirit system is energy. This is why Hinduism and  Buddhism consider life as eternal. This inner energy within continues even after the physical mind body perishes at death. This in turn leads to concepts of karma, rebirth etc.

The inner energy within us, the inner energy that sustains us, is an integral part of the energy of the Universe, the Cosmic energy. Hindu philosophy of the Vedas believed that this inner energy lies dormant in our perineum. When dormant, it works on instinctive reactions related to survival and security needs.

This inner energy, called kundalini energy, can be awakened through techniques of yoga and tantra. The purpose is to make us self-aware. When this kundalini energy at the root or muladhara chakra center rises to the top of the head, the crown chakra center, we become fully Self-aware. We become aware that we are nothing but cosmic energy.

The path of the kundalini energy from the root energy center to the crown energy center is through  a virtual energy pathway along the spine, passing through 5 other inner energy centers. all called chakra. Chakra refers to an active inner energy center, circular and spinning like a wheel.

Most Western literature i have read on this subject are superficial and often dangerous. People have lost their health and even mind following New Age techniques purported to awaken the kundalini energy. After my bad experience following some of these techniques, i decided to learn from the scriptures directly.

Awakening the kundalini energy has practical benefits. We become intuitive. We become compassionate. We become coaches and healers. There are safe methods and unsafe shortcuts.

I shall outline some safe methods on this journey of mind body spirit in future posts.

Why should you blog?

Because…..

I have blogged for a month now. So, what?

My blog stats show that in about a month i have had about a 1000 viewers, with an average viewership now of close to fifty a day. is that good, bad or ugly? Does it matter?

I guess it does, as it should to anyone who wants to write a blog.  Why write if no one wants to read us? We are not quite Van Gogh.

I started blogging as part of a course requirement when i signed in for a coaching program with ICA. I had been thinking of blogging for a few years now, with nothing to show for it. So, i should thank ICA for kick starting me, or as they in coaching terms moving me from ‘trying’ to ‘commitment’. I opened an account with WordPress.

I am also a pretender writer. I ghost wrote 30 0dd books for a non profit. My first ‘real’ book with my name as an author will be published in about 3 months, once the Publisher gets the design and stuff done. I decided that after my graduation requirements of the blog would be complete, i would use the stuff for future books that the Publisher wanted me to write.

This was how  started. Even if no one read my blog, it wouldn’t matter. But, things changed. Even my first blog had about 10 viewers. Within a week i had over a hundred. The blog assumed a life of its own.

It was then  i attended a Lethia Owens teleseminar that ICA organized.  I learnt how to leverage my blog through social marketing channels like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and others. Soon, my Blog was in Twitter and my tweets were in my blog and both were in Facebook and Linked In. I found i liked seeing my name in print.

Whoever says she or he doesn’t like her or his name in print on or offline, is a liar or dead!

What now?

i have fulfilled my grad requirements. I am building material for books. I have some regular viewers and a few compliments. So far, no abuses or insults.

My dream once was to build a community where people could share problems that they face in their daily lives, with others offering whatever best they could to inspire self induced solutions. This would be coaching at its best. This is why i named my blog zentocoach.

I do hope that happens. i hope that what i write prompt others to write in . They can challenge what i say. They can agree with their own variations. Some can post their concerns and problems. Others can suggest ways as a coach would to inspire one’s own solutions.

I hope people will write in. I hope we all shall help one another. I am sure this will happen.

So, please write in. If you wish to, subscribe. Once you start , you will probably start blogging yourself.

that’s the idea of zentocoach.

I acknowledge the great clip i found on the Net.

Write and be ….what? Happy!

Stephen King didn’t perhaps need any training to start writing his short stories.

Stephen King was perhaps born with a pen in his hand. But, most of us do need some basic training to write for others.

It’s not that one needs any qualifications to write. Any one who can talk can also write, once they learn how to write the alphabets of a language. I am not a native English speaker. For the first fifteen years of my life, i had hardly spoken a few sentences in English. English became my medium of education only in college.

I loved to read from early childhood. Somewhere along the way i started reading in English, though i was not comfortable speaking the language. All that changed when i discovered the joy of writing, in English. It changed even more when i took a distance course in Creative Writing. I ghost wrote over 30 books. My first book, under my name, will be out this summer.I started this blog a month ago. In another post, i shall explain why.

It struck me this morning as i walked my neighborhood park that perhaps i can inspire others to write. If I can write, publish and blog, why not anyone else. Writing gives me a freedom and joy that many other activities do not. I do not need to write to live, but writing makes my life more value added.

I jotted down the  basics of what i had learnt from the time i started writing seriously. You may call them techniques and tools. They form 5 section, each with about 3 posts, 15 in all. I shall be happy to share them with you, one every 15 days, on this blog. Each post will carry with it an assignment that you can file in as a comment to that post. It is that simple.

I may not comment as an expert on each piece, but other readers of this blog can do that. Ultimately, your readers are your judges.

Pretty soon you can start your own blog. You may even start earning through your writing. You don’t have to spend a penny. Go with that dream of wealth and fame!

All you need to do is to subscribe to this blog. Somewhere in the top right corner of this blog is a widget that you can activate to subscribe. Once  i have 100 subscribers, which i guess is not much,  i shall start posting from the fifteenth day. It’s a deal.

Let’s start!

Tao 8: Like Water

 

I acknowledge this beautiful picture of River Ganga from the Net.

Tao says in verse 8:

1. The energy of Cosmos is that of water.

This energy nourishes without being asked.

It seeks  low places others avoid.

Its path is Tao.

Water flows seeking its own level. It does not try to climb mountains.

It nourishes all that it flows through. It does not favor one or another.

Water is life. It cleanses, rejuvenates, revives and sparkles.

 

2.  Be like water.

Live close to the ground, as low as possible.

Think and act simply and honestly.

When opposed, be fair and generous.

Do not control others.

Work with passion.

be mindful in all that you do.

If you are wise, build low and live low.  Higher you go, more risky it is. It is not Nature.

If you are wise, do not judge others. Think of others as you do yourself. Be fair. Be compassionate.

When someone resists, move away. Let them have their way.

Do not seek power.  let it come to you.

Do what you do without worrying about outcome. Do it if you love doing it. The journey determines the destination.

Be in the Present. Past is history. Future is illusion. NOW is real.

 

3.  However good you are

Be humble and give way

World will give way to you

That is the Way of Tao.

Strength lies in humility. Aggression destroys. It destroys  you and others. If you have convictions, so do others. Respect them and they will respect you.

 

Level 5 Leadership is about Leading by Tao. The Wise Leader does not care for himself. He cares for others.

 

Dare to Imagine!

If there is one piece of music, one piece of anything to read, listen to or watch if i am stranded forever in an island, this would be it.

John Lennon, in this song, is Buddha incarnate.

After what he has said, there remains nothing more to be said.

Imagine a world without hell or heaven, he says. Imagine a world without religions. Imagine a brotherhood of man. Imagine a world of peace. You may think it’s difficult, but you can.

You can, because that’s our nature. That’s the way we came into this world. We came without a religion telling us what to do and what not to, what is right is right and what’s wrong. It said if we do what it said was wrong we shall burn or fry in hell. If we do what it told us to do, we shall live happily ever after in heaven.

Some religions tell us it’s fine to eliminate the rest of the world if it doesn’t believe us. We can kill others if they are not reared in our religion. How fantastic is that? Others try to gloss over this giving intellectual interpretations that do nothing to dispute the original assertion.

Each religion contradicts the other. There is little meeting point. So, we wage wars. We bomb one another. We destroy buildings where people work. We kill people. We torture nature. Why don’t we instead destroy these religions?

The purpose of man, and woman, is to nurture, not to destroy. Religions as we understand them and practice them teach us the opposite. They teach us intolerance. They condition us into submission. They control our minds to destroy one another.

Each religion says, no, that’s not what we do. We believe in a supreme power. The problem is not with us but with others who do not believe in our supreme power. We have no quarrel once you do.

We confuse spirituality and humanity with religion. Religions are commercial institutions. Their purpose is to control people. It is possible that founders who propounded some of the truths based on which others built these religions did believe in humanity and spirituality. But, those who preach these religions today for money and power don’t.

Please do imagine a world without religion! Not as a dream, but reality!

Tao 7: Service

 

 

 

Let me acknowledge this sketch from Esquire on the Net.

Tao says in verse 7:

1.  Nature exists for you and I.

Heaven and Earth nurture us, not themselves.

They endure eternally in service of others.

Being of service to others, they become others and live in others.

 

The universe, nature, gives everything without even asking. There is no limit to what It gives. Nature is unselfish. It is selfless.

We may not understand all the laws of Nature. So, we ask and cry, why is Nature so cruel. Nature is not cruel. Nature stays detached. It does not differentiate between good and bad, rich and poor, right and wrong.  Nature does not judge.

There is no heaven or hell. We create heaven and hell in our image. We make our lives and others’ lives heaven and hell upon Earth.

 

2. The Wise One lives to serve others.

The Wise One lives for you and i, not for himself or herself.

In sacrificing everything, the Wise One gains everything.

That is the path of Tao.

The Wise One, The Sage, lives the path of Nature. He or She is Tao.

The Wise One stays detached from all things around him/er.  Is that so, is what she asks , when something happens around us and we rush to seek solace.

The Wise One needs nothing; no shelter, no clothing, no food and no relationships. The Wise One has all that Nature gives, which is bountiful.

 

How do we apply this in daily life?

The more we seek for ourselves, the more we desire. Greed has no end. Companies have to keep growing for them to survive. Do they have to?

When we seek to serve others first instead of ourselves, we receive all that we desire for others. This is the Law of Tao.

Following the Law of Tao, we gain wealth, name and fame.

Steering into the Skid

There will be an answer, let it be, sing the Beatles.

I adore the Beatles. I’ve always wondered how to fit in a Beatles clip in my blog. It’s now or never.

The Beatles were ahead of their times. The word ‘let’ is probably the most powerful word in our lexicon. We hate to use it. Using it means we are letting go off our control.

Not that i ever drove in snow, but the instruction i read that stuck to my mind forever is that when you are in a skid, steer into the skid. Don’t resist , but let go. That lesson, life saving as it is in driving, is life saving in daily life as well.

Everyday, we swing from one extreme to another. We love being in the roller coaster ride of joy and sorrow. When pain drives us mad, we jump into pleasure and when pleasure palls we seek pain.

How stupid, you may ask? Who in his or her right senses would seek pain? Who, indeed?

Why would anyone want t climb the Himalayas? Why would anyone want to swim the English Channel in freezing winter? Why would anyone want to sail alone across the oceans.  Hundreds, if not thousands, do. They say they do it, because it’s there. So what?

We have a low tolerance for peace. We are uncomfortable when things happen smoothly. We always look for the second shoe to fall. When things go right far too long, we wonder what mischief nature is up to? That’s not her style, we think.

The Tao says time and again to let go. Zen says to flow with life. Do not resist says Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita.

There is an intelligence that brought us into this world. This intelligence will take care of us if we let it.It will bring us wealth, name and fame, if we let go.

Do we have the patience and the wisdom?

Tao 6: The Void

1. Tao is the Void.

Yet, it is the void from which everything comes forth.

It’s the spirit of all creation,  You, I, the World and the Universe, and all that is material.

Respect that Mother, the Yin.


Buddha called it the Void, Sunya. Shankara, who came  1300 years later called it Completeness, Purna. Tao calls it Void.

Scientists say Big Bang created the Universe. What created the Big Bang? Who created the  Big Bang?

Buddha says: The Universe always existed. It exists Now. It will exist forever.

Scientists say that Black Holes devour matter. Every thing disappears into a Black Hole. Black Holes signify destruction.

In the Hindu Trinity, Brahma creates, Vishnu maintains and Shiva destroys. Shiva, they say, destroys to create. He is the Rejuvenator.

Scientists talk about worm holes.  They talk about a multiverse. One can disappear from one universe and reappear through a wormhole in another universe in the multiverse.

How Cool!

Shiva knew about earlier!

2. You too are the Mother.  The Yin is in You.

Be still and you will be aware.

The Void is no longer a Void, but the energy of all Being.

Be still said Ramana Maharishi, and look within. Examine who you are. Ask where you came from. Where do your thoughts come from? Where do you go when you are dead?

Enquire within, he said. You will be aware.

You are the energy. You are the energy of all beings. You are the energy of the Universe. You just don’t know.

When you know,  you will not feel the power. The energy humbles you.

One who knows does not speak.

Move into that inexhaustible Yin, the Mother of all energies. Universe will shower on you name , fame and wealth.

Please Forgive Me! I’m Sorry! Thank You!I Love You!

A discussion in an ICA class with Leon, as always, led me and several others to Ho’oponopono.

What, Ho what, you may as well ask?

A Hawaiian healing system, Ho’oponopono, pronounced Ho Opono Pono, rests on the belief of surrender to a super power. When we surrender to this super power, God, Allah, Shiva, or whatever name we wish to give that power, we link to that power. Automatically, we also link to each other.

Ho’oponopono believes that we are not waves separated from one another, but the ocean.

Once we believe in this fundamental principle, which is in fact the common thread in all Eastern religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism, and perhaps in other religions and cultures too, we take responsibility for every one else on this planet, for everything else in this universe.

So, what’s new?

What is new is the way Ho’oponopono applies this belief to our daily lives. Its modern-day practitioner Dr Hew Len healed an entire hospital full of criminally insane, cured them and closed the facility down. Joe Vitale, one of the participants in The Secret project, wrote Zero Limits along with Dr. Hew Len describing this amazing practice.

Dr. Hew, based on principles taught to him by a master practitioner of Ho’oponopono, gives a 5 step solution to all our problems.

1. Look into yourself for the cause of the problems you find in the outer world. One may see it as someone else’s problem or one’s own. Either way, take responsibility for all problems that come to you. Look in for memories connected to the problem.

2. Say to yourself, to your Divine Self,   ‘I Love You’.

3. Say ‘Please Forgive Me’

4. Say ‘I am Sorry’

5. Say ‘Thank You’.

Repeat as often as needed for closure.

The biggest issue most of us will have is in recognizing problems external to us as having been created by us. Our first response would be fear. How can we take the world on our shoulders?  What will happen to our shoulders? Nothing really. You’ll lose your painful memories of guilt, depression, anger, sorrow and such like.

You have nothing to lose but your negativity. Just try Ho’oponopono.

Please do listen to the music in the clip. It’s outstanding.

Tao 5: Who Cares!

Says the Tao:

1. Nature doesn’t care. Nature is carefree.

Nature does not try to be good or bad. What happens, happens.

The wise one does not support or oppose one or the other.

People often ask why nature is cruel. Thousands of people die in a tsunami or an earthquake. We can rave and rant, grieve and blame. Would that matter?

You are driving a big truck. You run over an anthill. Thousands of ants die. Would you even know?  If you did, would you care?

In the scheme of the universe, we are no more important than ants or even smaller creatures. Nature does not play favorites. We do. So, we suffer.

2. The Tao is infinite. It is eternal. It is inexhaustible.

The more one takes, the more it gives. It does not hoard or hold back.

The Tao does not speak. It acts.

The wise one who knows does not speak. One who speaks does not know.

The more we talk, the more we think of ourselves. In silence, we go within. We think of others. Silence is truth. Words are lies.

Do we need to talk to act? Can we do what we need to in silence? Would that make a difference?  Would that help in our doing more things right? Contemplate!

One of the oldest Veda scriptural saying is:

You are infinite. The universe is infinite. From infinity arose infinity. When infinity leaves infinity, infinity still remains.

Whatever one wants to call it, the law of potentiality, the law of attraction or whatever, the truth is that the universe gives without questioning why. You need not even ask. Just don’t refuse!

We are part of a hologram. We are a chip of the hologram of the universe. We are the same energy. What the universe can do, we too can.

Watch the Dalai Lama laughing. You may not understand a word of what he says. Does it matter?

When the universe smiles, do we need to question and analyze?

Become the Tao. Wealth and fame will follow you.

Tao 4: Without Beginning or End

Tao 4: Without Beginning or End

1.  Tao is neither full nor empty.

Being full makes us conceited. Being empty makes us ignorant.

What matters is not how much we know, but what we know.

Does any one really care about what we know? If what we know helps someone, that person cares.  If we promote ourselves for our own sake, who cares?

Marketing gurus talk about focusing on the client. But most promotions and advertisements talk about the product or service, and not the customer.  How does a product sell without the customer?

2. Tao is not about excelling. Tao is not about comparison. Tao is about harmony.

Avoid being one extreme or another. Avoid greed as well as fear.

Nothing needs to be hated or obsessed about.

Tao is not this or that. It is One.

Our entire life is about comparison. From childhood, from school, we are ranked. The first three get medals. The rest become invisible. Is there a better way to reduce self-esteem?

Do we really need all that we want? How much can we really eat? How many rooms can we sleep in?  How many dresses or shoes can a woman wear at one time?  Do we buy things for ourselves or to prove to others what we have?

3.  No one created Tao.  Nothing came before Tao. Tao was always present.

Tao is eternal. Tao is without beginning or end.

Tao is the way of life. Life has always been.

Life came before God. If not, how did God exist?

Who created God?  Before man did God exist?

If there are so many Gods, one for each religion and culture, who is the real God?

Will the true God please stand up?

Tao 3: Balance

Tao 3: Balance

1. Good men are valuable but if too esteemed cause envy, so beware

Possessions are essential, but if too valuable get stolen, so beware

2. By keeping the mind still, satisfied with what one needs

Comparison dissolves, envy retreats, wisdom dawns

3. Renouncing the results of action , acting without goals

Doing gets focused and restores harmony and peace

These verses can be interpreted in many ways and have been. One noted Western scholar says that Lao Tse advised the rulers to keep his citizens ignorant and their bellies full. Quite rational!

These verses resonate with those of the Bhagavad Gita.

Krishna says: Act, as you must. You cannot stay in action. But, do not focus on results. You have no control.

We have NO control. We only believe we do. When things go right, we are ready to take responsibility.  When things go wrong we apportion blame.

Is anyone so confident of even the next breath?

When one’s next breath is not in one’s control, when no one is sure how long one will live, where is the question of certainty of being sure of the result of what we do?

Yes, we can intend. We should intend well for all. We should act in line with our intent. Let no one be so arrogant to assume that all that one intends will happen.

To be content and to be without comparison with another, is to be happy.

That is Tao.

How to Awaken your Body Mind Spirit?

I tried getting a video clip to suit this piece. I gave up after a lengthy search.  Whatever i found on the net to fit this piece was not suitable.

In a recent ICA coaching teleclass, we talked about Energization.  Some said exercise gives them energy. Some felt tired after exercise. Some felt energized, or was it inspired, after reading some inspiration material or hearing some music or seeing someone do something spectacular.

What energizes the body may not always energize the mind or the spirit or the other way around. True energization happens when the mind, body and spirit get energized together. Our spirit raises, our mind excites and our body gets ready for action. Those in sports or any competitive field would recognize this mind body spirit coordination to be essential to flow with it, for being in the zone and to win.

Yoga and Tantra lay out a cafeteria of techniques to raise our energy. The concept of chakras, energy centers  in our body, a Tantra concept is an extraordinarily powerful one. Unfortunately, this concept and its associated techniques  have been misused with dangerous results. Despite having been grounded in the traditional methods, i foolishly attempted techniques described by a Californian New Age author to raise my ‘kundalini’ with disastrous results. I nearly lost my eyes. Later, i discovered others who had lost their minds!

Sir John Woodroffe‘s ‘The Serpent Power’ , published a hundred years ago, remains one of the authentic translations of the original Sanskrit texts, to understand the concept of the energy centers and energy meridians in one’s body. These meridians and centers are the connectors of mind, body and spirit. Chinese systems of ‘chi’ parallel this concept.

These energy centers control our emotional states as well. Meditating upon the energy centers unblock our negative emotional states and release the passage of energy. Yoga, through the physical postures called asanas and breath control techniques called pranayama, attempts the same.  Over several posts in future i shall describe some of these techniques, sanitized for safety and yet powerful enough for daily practice.

Let me describe a very simple, yet powerful, technique to start your day on the right note. This has Sufi origins.

When we are asleep, we move into a state called the causal body. When we are awake, we are in our gross body state. In between, when we drop off to sleep or when we are about to wake, we transition through our subtle body state. Our energy centers are most active at this state as they lie on this plane connecting all three body states.

As you are about to get up, but not still out of bed, go through these simple steps.You are in your subtle body state.

With your eyes closed, touch yourself from the top of your head to the soles of your feet, slowly, moving from head to soles and then reversing from soles to head. Congratulate yourself, admire yourself for having such a wonderful body, and mind and intellect and spirit, (irrespective of whether you believe you have or not). Offer gratitude to the universe for having given you such a magnificent gift.

Do this sincerely. Take your time. use either hand or both. Even if you no hair on your head, admire your bald pate. So with every other body part. Do not discount yourself on any score. You are the perfect 10.

God, or the Supreme Power, is not a lathe operator producing 7 billion mass products of humans. He is an artist who creates each one with care, love, compassion and pride. Who are we to judge what He created in His wisdom? Admire, congratulate and thank.

Do this over 20 minutes at least. Repeat till you are convinced of your unique value, daily and day after day. You can also do it just before you go to sleep.

Try this for 21 days and see for yourself the difference.

If you like, set yourself an intent, say weight loss or whatever, before you do this.

If you have any questions, do mail me.

Dare to Bare!

What is truth?

Is truth absolute or is it relative? is life black & white or is it a myriad shade of grays.

The Tao says in all black there is white, and in all white there is black. In all truth, there are lies and in all lies, lie some truths.

Buddha says that everything is relative, including truth. In his various teachings, he provides a few conditions:  1. Is it really true? 2. Is it kind to others? 3. Is it needed? 4. Is it for common good?

The Rotary has adopted this as its 4 Way Test with a few modifications.

The Hindu scriptures talk of a universal truth that is eternal and immutable. Everything else is maya or illusion, because everything material changes in time and space. Only energy is constant. Therefore, the ultimate and only truth is the intelligent energy of Cosmos.

What about the daily reality of problems, aches, pains and excitements? Aren’t they real, you may ask. What about my stomach pain? If i consider it an illusion, will it go away? Well, it may or it may not, but we don’t live in the truth of a stomach pain all the time. We do things that lead to the stomach pain. This leads to an entirely different discussion of karma, of cause and consequences.

Buddha spoke of impermanence or aniccha, as the way to look at life. Everything in this world, he said, is impermanent and that too shall change. What we call change management is a Buddhist doctrine. I remember enduring intense pain as i sat through a 10 day Vipassana course for the first few days and suddenly as if miraculously the pain vanished. Then, i realized the power of impermanence.

We call list honesty and integrity as our prime virtues. Sometimes, we swear to die for them. Whose honesty and whose integrity are we defending? If my honesty, my truth and my integrity differ from my neighbor, is it right for me to kill him or for him to kill me? Isn’t that what we see in many parts of the world everyday?

What gives us the right to impose our truths on someone else? One culture bans eating of pigs. Another reveres cows. Another demolishes everything that moves. So, what is right? What is true?

Nothing is.

Quantum Physics has stood classical Physics on its head on this issue. There is no certainty from the QP standpoint. Everything that happens in this universe, happens as a probability, not certainty. All laws of classical Physics have exceptions. When we say exception prove the rule, we recognize that there is no rule to start with.

We now know through QP that sub atomic particles behave totally in a random way. What amazes scientists is that sub atomic particles put on a show that is different to each observer. Over a thousand years ago, a Hindu philosopher Shankara said: The seer defines what he sees.

Truth lies in the eyes of the beholder. So does fraud. Nothing is inherently right or wrong. Once we accept this , most of our conflicts will cease.

Below is a clip from ‘What the bleep do we know?’, a documentary put together by Quantum Physicists. One can love it and one can hate it, bit no one can ignore its message.  There are a number of clips on Youtube or you can buy the video at your friendly neighborhood retailer.

Tao 2: Contrast

Says the Tao on Contrast:

1.  Why do we contrast? Why do we compare?  Why the negative and positive? Why the duality?

Beauty of the beautiful leads to ugliness of the not so beautiful.  Skill of the skillful leads to the incompetence of the not so skillful.

To the master, would this matter?

Nature is not dual. All is One. One is All. I am the Cosmos. The Cosmos is I.

2. When we see one exist, we see the other absent. Height denotes the absence of shortness. Difficulty denotes the absence of ease. Before means someone is behind. Musical notes show that harmony follows difference.

Would death lead to life?  Would being first lead to being last?  Would peace lead to war?

Differentiation leads to difference.

Conditioning leads to differentiation. Conditioning is human. Nature does not dictate.

3. The master does not differentiate. He does not compare. He does not tell you what to do.

To him, death and life are same. To him, success and failure are same. To him, praise and calumny are the same.

In everything good, there is something not so good. Nothing is ever bad all the time and all through. There is always good in bad. That is Tao.

The master speaks in silence. His silence is more powerful than anyone’s words.

4.  Nature creates without claiming ownership. What grows, grows on its own. What grows, dies. It grows again. The energy is unceasing and eternal.  Creator does not claim he creates.

The master does not dictate. He waits. He allows things to happen. He flows with what happens.

The wise coach flows with what happens.  He is mindful of his presence.  His presence guides the other.

Tao does not coach. Tao lets the path open. We travel as it opens. When the journey seems right, its destination is always right.

A frozen Blackberry and a fruit coach

Well, if this doesn’t cheer up your day nothing ever will, even if you are American and hate Brit humor.

The guy behind the counter is a fruit coach, specializing in digital fruits. I guess that is the best way to describe him. given the proliferating niches in coaching arena.

I had this dream last night.

I dreamed that i was coaching someone in my teleclass.  It was a woman who had coached me in a previous class and i guess i wasn’t particularly co-operative as a client. Now, it was her opportunity.

‘What seems to be the problem today, Julie?’ i ventured in the manner of bespoke coaches.

‘Nothing really. Nothing you can me help with anyway.’  she said, much in the way of my wife.

I couldn’t give up in front of twenty people glued to their headphones, listening in with vicarious enjoyment, hoping that i would soon trip. No way.

‘Let’s not give up so easily’ , i rushed on before she walked out on me, ‘let’s see, what was your first feeling as you woke up this morning?’

‘Don’t even remind me. I wanted to kill that damn dog.’ she growled.

‘What dog, why?  You seem like a dog lover.’ i ventured.

‘What do you know of me, anyway?’ she growled again, ‘It’s my neighbor’s dog. It’s been barking the whole night for the last few nights. I haven’t slept a wink.’

I thought of telling her about the dog that didn’t bark leading Sherlock Holmes to the killer in ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles‘, but thought better of it. Given her mood not the best time to talk about crimes and killers.

‘Is it a he dog or a she dog?’ i enquired tentatively.

‘Does it matter?’  she was shrill now, ‘I have been without sleep for days and you ask me this. How would that help?’

How would I know? I was told to listen and ask powerful questions, and that is what i was doing.

‘Ok, How about this?’, I asked, ‘How would killing the dog help? They may put you in jail and the guy may buy another dog.’

‘Yes, I agree’ she said for once, ‘guys actually, two guys living together. Earn a lot, bought this trophy dog and probably don’t have time to feed it.’

‘Ok, listen’  i offered inspired, ‘let us look at it this way. Are you looking for an external solution or an internal one?’

‘What do you mean internal solution?’ her voice rose again, ‘you think i am hallucinating?’

‘Oh,no, no, not at all’  i was highly re-conciliatory, ‘let us look at external ones then. What would you want to do other than killing the dog. Can’t you do something neighborly?’

‘Well’ she said, ‘i don’t dislike dogs. Perhaps i can feed it once a day. But, then it may not be hunger. May be they are feeding it too much. May be it’s lovesick. How would i know? I am not a dog whisperer!’ But she seemed to be thinking now, not all that hostile. This coaching thing is good, bro.

Nor was i to be honest. ‘I know, but once you get to know the dog you would get to know right?’ i was talking a chance, but what the heck, life is not worth living without taking risks, even it was in dream coaching.

‘Ok, you seem to be OK, you know’  Julie said, ‘never thought of befriending the dog. May give me something to do. You know i get so lonely.’

Well, coming from her that was high praise and i preened. I stopped just in time. Ye Gods, i don’t want to get into this I am lonely bit, i said to myself, be careful buddy.

‘Yeah’ i tried to sound bright, ‘ these guys, your neighbors, may be really cool guys. Getting to know the dog is getting to know the owner right. That would make you much less lonely.’

‘Didn’t you hear me?’ her voice rose again, ‘they are a couple. What will i do with them?  Perhaps getting to know a guy like you better may make me feel less lonely?’

I woke up instantly. When you are in serious danger in a dream, you instantly wake up. That’s why no one has been mauled by a lion in a dream.

I was perspiring. That was a near escape. I guess Julie had not read the ICF Ethics manual carefully, about relating to a Coach.The morning seemed so bright now!

Need to check with ICA whether this would count for my coaching hours.

Zen2Coaching from Tao 1.0: The Journey

My acknowledgment to Lao Tzu and the internet site for the logo. The interpretation and application to Coaching is mine. For whatever is incorrect, I am responsible.

Chapter 1 of Tao, The Journey,  says:

1.1 The Tao of Coaching is the journey without a destination. It is the first step of a thousand miles, endless and joyous. It is a process, not an end. It is being, not action.

Do not make a schedule and a timetable, nor a list of do and don’t.

Wherever the journey takes you, as long as you enjoy the journey, the destination will be right for you.

1.2  There is no start and no end. It is an ongoing creation. You are not the creator. You are a witness.

Be aware as it creates itself.  Being leads to doing. You merely watch.

Watch and listen. There is no need to act. Creation creates itself.

1.3  There is no outcome. Whatever happens is the result. If one approaches with a goal in mind, it will be a fruitless journey.

Obsession with destination takes the joy out of the journey. Just be, watch, listen and enjoy. Why bear the burden of your baggage when the train carries the load?

Unload your judgment.

1.4  As we travel, scenes change. Simple becomes complex and complexity resolves into simplicity. Such is the wonder of Tao.

In the beginning the mountain is the mountain, the river is the river. In the middle, the mountain is no longer the mountain nor the river the river. In the end, the mountain becomes the mountain and the river become the river.

Relax and be one with the path of Tao.

Coaching a dog!

 

Shangu is a mongrel who adopted us a few years ago.

We had lost our pets one after another and my wife did not want to keep any more pets and suffer their loss. Then Shangu turned up at our gate as a little pup. A year later, his step sister joined him. One day,  a car ran over her hind leg. My wife took her to the local vet, who put her on a splint. Neighbors found this pup with a splint endearing.  Soon, Shangu and his step sister, who my wife named Mangu, owned the street we live in.

Shangu and Mangu love their freedom. However many times we put a collar on them, they manage to remove them and bury them where we cannot find hem again. They come into our house and go out as they please. If we close the gates, they find a way to jump over the wall. On occasion, when we return late at night, we find them inside at the door step patiently waiting for us, and a late night snack.

They know their meal times.  Beyond that they decide what they do.

Coaching a dog is different from training a dog. By coaching a dog, one allows the dog to do what it wants, while gently guiding it through motivation. They do learn, but it requires patience. In contrast, training a dog can be brutal. We have seen trainers abusing dogs and found it abhorrent. Such trainers should be behind bars.

Coaching a dog is not that different from coaching a human being. The only difference is that a human being talks. I do not see it as a beneficial difference. Coaches who work with clients who have sensory disabilities may empathize with what i say.

In any coaching situation, the coach must observe client responses carefully. In telephonic coaching , one is limited to  vocal communication. If it through Skype or another VOIP, one may be able add limited visuals. Even in such limited sensory communication situations, we can learn more about the client response through tonal and pitch variations. We can also learn from silence and what the client does not say.

In the absence of a coach observing very keenly how a client responds and refining the coaching response to lead the client forward to the client’s stated intentions, the interaction stops at knowledge transfer. One says something and the other says some thing else. Whatever each says may be meaningful, but not additive. The conversation runs on parallel paths.

Observant and responsive coaching adds exponential value to the coach client interaction. The client can leap over blocks of limiting and undermining beliefs if they become aware of how debilitating they are.

People who love animals do not judge them. They accept their seemingly wayward behavior as natural. We know that we do not own Shangu and Mangu. Yes, we do feed them, but that does not give us a right to tell them what to do. Can we help them to be a little more sensitive to human needs? Can we guide them not to chase people on cycles? Perhaps. We try and over time we succeed.

Can we use this understanding with humans? perhaps!

Bhagavad Gita: Not cut, wet, burnt or dried

 

bhagavad gita

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weapons cut It not Fire burns It not 

Water wets it not 

Wind dries It not 

It cannot be cut, burnt, moistened or dried

It is everlasting, stable, firm

Eternal and universal 

 

Krishna mentioned in the earlier verse that the passage from life to death is akin to changing one’s clothes. The clothes in this case are the mind body and the entity that changes the clothes is the everlasting energy underlying the mind body. He implies that this transition from life to death should not evoke the fear it does in us, since very little actually changes; at least very little of anything that matters.

In this verse, Krishna goes further. He explains graphically how that energy within us, that energy which continues even after the mind body perishes, cannot be destroyed by any of the elements that make up the mind body system.

Earth, in this case a weapon of steel that comes out of the earth, water, fire and wind have no effect on the energy that is the source of these elements. That which has been created cannot affect the creator. It is significant that Krishna does not mention the fifth element akasa, which is commonly translated as ‘ether’ or space as one of the created elements that cannot affect the energy of the spirit.

Is the fifth element, therefore, the ultimate energy of the universe, which is indestructible, everlasting, stable and firm?

In the chakra energy system in which kundalini is the inner energy residing in the mind body system, the journey is for kundalini to emerge from its seat in the muladhara chakra and travel through five other chakras  to reach and merge with its ultimate destination of the universal energy in the sahasrara. In a sense, this is also a journey of our life as we evolve.

In Tantra, the muladhara chakra is considered to be of the earth element, swadishthana of water, manipuraka of fire, anahata of air and vishuddhi of ether. If one were to superimpose Krishna’s verse on the chakra system, the sahasrara chakra ought to represent akasa, the ultimate energy.

Are there several layers of energy corresponding to the three upper chakras?

While explaining samadhi, the ultimate state of mind body spirit congruence in Yoga, some of our scriptures talk about not one but several states of samadhi. In fact, some talk about infinite states of samadhi, as one gateway leading into another. To me this concept is in line with Quantum Physics and the concept of Singularity.

Singularity exists in theory, and has not been experienced; so too perhaps samadhi. No one who has experienced this state has emerged to tell us of their experience. Those who have claimed to have experienced this state and talked about it perhaps cannot be believed!

 

 

 

 

Bhagavad Gita: New Clothes for Old

 

 

little-girl-changing-clothes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I acknowledge this graphic from the Net

As one changes new clothes for old

Self casts off old bodies

Entering new 

 

Metaphor, simile or analogy, what a comparison! This is what the Bhagavad Gita memorable.

Krishna explains the process of death so simply and so eloquently. All that happens is that we cast of this body and assume another. Why is it so painful?

When he was nearing the end of his life with cancer, doctors kept asking Bhagvan Ramana to consume pain killers to cope with what they knew would the terrible pain he would be going through. Ramana simply said: This body itself is not mine. It does not affect me. How can any pain to this body that is not mine affect me?

There have been very few in living memory such as Ramana. Ramana’s detachment and disengagement is the ultimate Fourth State of Awareness, Turiya or Samadhi, that Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita terms as surrender or renunciation. When one has the ability to disengage from the finite and mortal form of mind and body, fully connected with the energy space within and without, this body is no more than a covering that comes off, perhaps to be replaced.

Is this realisation difficult?

I don’t think so. All of us do know that we have a finite life. Yet, we do not wish to go and let go. We surround ourselves with multiple desires and needs. We need children, and when we have children we need grandchildren. When we have grand children we seek their children.

One house or one car or one of anything is never enough. We need more. The greed never ends. Millionaires and billionaires live with the mindset of poverty living in insecurity, where as the truly homeless renunciate is free. What an irony?

In Bhaja Govindam, Shankara says:

Body limp and head hairless

Face weak and mouth toothless

Old man needing a stick to move

Still unquenched with desires 

I am yet to see someone saying he or she is ready to go. Even at deathbed there are desires and fears that makes one want to cling on to one’s breath as if it is in our control. This is what Yudhishtra talks about as the ultimate irony in one’s life in the Yaksha Prasna incident in Mahabharata, when questioned by the God of Death and Justice Yama: I see people seeing other people dying every day. Yet, they want to live on.

Buddha demonstrated this truth to Gotami when  she sought his help to bring her dead child back to life: Bring me just a spoonful of mustard seeds from a home that has never experienced death.

It is not about bravery or courage. It is about sheer awareness. Death is about changing clothes. Be happy you will soon wear new clothes!

Bhagavad Gita: Who destroys?

bhagavad gita

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I acknowledge this graphic from the Net.

He who is eternal, indestructible, uncreated, and limitless

Who does he cause to kill

Who can he kill?

In the commentary I have of Shankara on Gita, translated by Alladi Mahadeva Sastri first in 1897, over 6 pages are devoted to explanation of this seemingly simple verse.

Shankara in his comment on the previous verse refers to the Self as devoid any transformation, as one that stays as is, with no creation or destruction or growth or any modification. Self is the state of being. This means it is devoid of action.

In a sense, in my own interpretation, this is the concept of the inactive, potential energy filled Purusha in Sankhya Yoga theory. In my mind’s eye, this is how I view Shiva, the silent and potent energy. Purusha has the active principle of Prakriti inbuilt in it, and in Shiva the active half is of Shakti, as the duality. However, in Krishna’s singularity concept of Self as the ultimate Brahman, that duality becomes the singular inactive and yet all powerful That, one that is eternal and uncreated, and still That which creates and what eventually dies as well.

In the absence of any action how can that entity kill or cause to kill?

I can understand the statement that it cannot kill as it is inactive. However, if that entity causes other creations, which in turn die, why cannot they cause others to die?

This then raises the question of what death is.

Is death an end or is it a beginning? If as if our scriptures say existence is a continuum, which Krishna elaborates on later, death is not an end. It may not be a beginning, yet a gateway to another existence. What then would killing achieve?

Does destroying the mind body, which in any case will destruct on its own at some point, equal killing? Shankara says it is about the mental makeup, the intent. If that killing is with the understanding of the continuance of the energy despite the destruction of the mind body, there is no intent to destroy, therefore no intent to kill.

You may ask if this is specious logic. I don’t know. It is the response of the doer. If the doer has renounced all intent to destroy and yet carries out the act of destruction as a process, would it be different?

Look at nature. Thousands are killed in earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. Would there be a point to be proved in labelling nature as a murderer? If you drive over an anthill and kill a few thousand ants, would you be a murderer in the ant world? When countries battle and millions are killed, why is called war and not murder?

If individuals are killed, it is murder, punishable. If millions are killed it is war, and heroes are rewarded. Is that logic any better? Societal rules are formed looking at death as an end, something that can be prevented. Krishna advises us to look at it differently.

What kind of society will we become if we did? Would we become saints or monsters?

Later verses clarify this point.

Bhagavad Gita: Eternal Energy

polaris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I acknowledge this graphic of the pole star from the Net.

Never born never dying

Neither being nor ceasing to be

Unborn, forever, constant and primal

It is not killed when the body is 

 

This verse is about ‘That’ the Self, the Atman, a microcosm of the macrocosmic Brahman.

In simple terms this Self is changeless. It is forever.

The mind body goes through six modes of modifications, similar to Shakespeare’s seven stages in As you like It.

These are: birth, existence, growth, change, decay, perish, each denoting a stage of life called bhava vikara. One can understand

five of these six if one accepts an entity that is forever, not being born, and therefore not dying, not growing, not changing, and not decaying.

Not existing?

What is it that does not exist? What does Krishna mean?

Here, existence is related to a time space boundary. Something that exists here and now for a certain period in a certain space.

The Atman or the Brahman that never was and never will be, and yet is forever, does not fit this definition of existence.

These modifications or transformations are part of the Annamaya Kosha sheath, the gross physical body that is created,

nurtured, grows, decays, and perishes. Not so with the Self.

What Krishna once again points out to Arjuna is that when the mind body perishes, dies or killed, nothing much happens.

There is something that continues. That something is the energy of Atman merging with the Brahman.

This is now proven by science through the beautiful equation E=MC2. All that happens at death is that

physical matter is converted to indestructible energy.

I have used the terms Atman and Brahman interchangeably, and purists will be horrified. Yet, if asked to explain they

will find it difficult to explain. Yes, Atman is the energy that resides within the mind body, whereas Brahman is the

absolute energy field of the universe. Yes, there is a quantitative difference. Is there a qualitative difference? is there a

qualitative difference between a holographic whole and a holographic piece? If there wouldn’t the whole purpose of a

hologram be lost?

Energy is absolute, in whatever form it exists. In a sense it has no existence, since it is the fibre of all existence.

This entire verse is about energy, that we are all energy, we are immortal and we are of infinite potential.

What a difference it would make if each of us internalises this truth Krishna articulates.

Instead, scholars quibble about whether Krishna encourages evil doers and terrorists by declaring that nothing dies when it

is killed.

Krishna rises above social mores and rules when he talks about the law of conservation of energy 5000 thousand odd years ago.

Nothing that is matter can live beyond a certain time and space. Beyond that it becomes energy, which is forever.

We are forever.

 

Bhagavad Gita: Slayer or Slain

 

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I acknowledge this graphic from the Net.

Whoever views him as the killer

Who ever views him as the killed

Both are wrong, he neither slays nor is slain

 

Moving forward from the last verse, where he said that whereas the Self is eternal, its manifested mind body forms have an end in that form, urging Arjuna to fight, Krishna now provides more substance to remove Arjuna’s disinclination to kill.

Krishna’s injunction to Arjuna to fight is not an open invitation to all to indulge in wanton killing. It is an advice to one who is a warrior in the middle of the battle field having resolved to end injustice through fighting. Krishna’s advice needs to be viewed in the context of the responsibility of the person and intent. A soldier’s duty is to fight, and as needed to kill. There can be no pacifist soldier. There cannot be as well as soldier who kills selectively based on his choice. he obeys the system and its rules, the code of conduct, the dharma. So would the police and other similar professions act.

On the other hand, the code of conduct, dharma, of the medical profession and others associated with it is to heal. There can be no intent to kill in such a profession, under whatever provocation. In the case of a warrior, what drives him is the desire to end what is perceived as evil. In the case of a doctor the motivation is to save lives. These activities need to be viewed in the context what Krishna refers to later as the disengaged state of mind while performing actions. There should be no obsession with the outcome while performing these actions. One must act according to one’s dharma and intent based on that dharma. That is all. The rest is not the responsibility of the doer.

Having said that the mind body has an end, Krishna anticipates Arjuna’s query as to why he should be the cause of that end for some mind body. Even if that person has to die, why should i cause his death, Arjuna may ask.

In answer to that anticipated query, Krishna says: That which causes you to act, the eternal Self, of which you are a microcosm, neither kills nor is killed. Self, like nature, is neutral. It does not have an intent. When nature destroys thousands in an earthquake or tsunami, no purpose would be served in blaming nature. What happens, happens. Such is the nature of Self; it merely IS.

Krishna tells Arjuna that he surrender to the Self within him. It is not he who is acting, but the Self, when he is acting in dharma. The results of the action do not impact him. This verse has tremendous implications in terms of karma. Actions done without engagement and desire, in the line of dharma, do not face karmic consequences.

Reflect on this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bhagavad Gita: Energy

Bhagavad Gita

 

 

 

 

 

I acknowledge this graphic from the Net

Self is eternal, indestructible, unknowable

Its manifested bodies have an end

Fight therefore, Arjuna

 

Krishna makes a clear distinction between the real and unreal, manifest and unmanifest, and transient and permanent in this verse. This verse in a way encapsulates all that Krishna said before and says later.

Krishna distinguishes between Self and self. Self is real; self is transient. Self is the spirit and the energy that is forever, whereas self is the mind body that perishes with the last breath we take. Self, as Krishna says, is eternal. What does eternal mean? Nitya, the Sanskrit word used here is usually translated as eternal or always. When something is considered eternal, it does not have an end. Does it then have a beginning? When something cannot be destroyed, was it ever created? Anything that is created has an end point by the law of nature. All matter perishes.

When manifested bodies, the mind bodies that you and I occupy come to an end, what then happens?

Even science has an answer to it today! Matter converts to energy when it comes to an end. Energy has no end. Energy is eternal and indestructible. The opening verse of the Upanishads, the first verse of Isa Vasya Upanishad, says all that exists is energy. The mind body has an end as matter. When that end comes it converts into energy and becomes eternal. It may or may not return as matter, and even if it does the cycle back into energy will continue. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed.

Krishna says that this energy is unknowable. One may say that one feels energy or feels energetic, when the energy is manifested in the mind body, or any other matter in one form or another. The underlying energy itself is not perceived by the senses. As a result is is not interpreted by the mind. What the mind does not cognise is not knowable. In one sense, we never know what energy form the mind body will take when it comes to an end is unknown. All talks about reincarnation is hypothetical. When the energy itself is unknown, how can one predict the material form it may take again?

Finally, Krishna says to Arjuna to fight on.

This verse is the answer to Arjuna’s dilemma of whether he should fight and kill his kinsmen, thereby incurring sins, or fight regardless as his dharma as a kshatriya. Krishna here does not address either part of the dilemma. He does not talk about kshatriya code of conduct or about whether following that will attracts sin. He cuts the root of those arguments by questioning Arjuna about what he is destroying by killing his kinsmen. He says simply that when the manifested bodies come to perishable end, the matter converts into something eternal. So, nothing gets destroyed!

This is also one of the most controversial verses of the Gita from a societal perspective. What Krishna says is the natural law, which all animals obey and act upon. Human societal laws are artificial, designed to create an organised, civilised society.  Where do these two laws, the natural and the societal meet, if at all?

 

Bhagavad Gita: What is Real

film-a-beautiful-mind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I acknowledge this graphic from the Net.

The Real is imperishable 

Pervades all, and inexhaustible

That none can destroy

Krishna talked about the difference between Real and unreal in the last verse. He said the unreal does not exist, the real alone exists. Shankara and Vedanta call the unreal maya or roughly translated illusion. There is no real equivalence to the Sanskrit term and concept maya in any other language. Maya is about that which exists in the gross body state or sthula sareera state, sometimes even at higher levels of mind body states such as sukshma sareera and karana sareera, the subtle and causal states, but does not exist at highest level of nirvana sareera, the disengaged Fourth State of awareness. Perhaps at another time I can go into details of sareera and kosha states as related to mind body and how to move to the mind body less Fourth State.

In the movie ‘Beautiful Mind’, the scientist Nash gets hit by a stone thrown by his friend Charles, who is fed up with Nash’s talk about the real and unreal, and maya. Nash bleeds and Charles sneers, ‘This too is maya , eh?’

This is a brilliant example how confusing the concept of maya is. It is not the reality of the physicality of the event, but its permanence in time and space. A reader commented on my last blog about how difficult this concept of real and unreal is to master. Yes, it is, as long as it is a concept. Maya can only be understood as experiential reality through awareness practices such as yoga nidra. The unreal does not mean it does not exist, only that it is not permanent. What is permanent is unseen, as it is beyond time space, and therefore beyond mind to perceive. When we learn to disengage from the daily sensory experiences, what seems real in the Awake state of jagrat, the answer to Who Am I that Bhagvan Ramana spoke about can be realised. 

The movement out of the clutches of maya, which too is a creation of nature as Prakriti, is through the process of moving into higher states of awareness, step by step dropping the body first and the mind. It is possible and can be learnt, but not taught!

Another scene from “Beautiful Mind’:

Alicia : You want to know what’s real? This…

[putting her hand on Nash’s heart and his hand on her face]

Alicia: … this is real.

Feelings are more real than physical actions. We move from the physical gross body state of annamaya kosha to higher states of the emotional state of manonmaya kosha and the subtle thought state of vigyanamaya kosha. They too, unfortunately are temporary, as all of us discover in love and life.

Krishna says here that Real is imperishable, inexhaustible and indestructible. He returns to this theme several times. In Hindu Upanishads, the Real is called ‘That’, ‘Isa’, ‘Ekam’, ‘Purnam’, ‘Sat’, ‘Brahman’ and such other words. I prefer the simplicity of ‘That’, in Sanskrit simply ‘Tat’. It is unknowable, unseeable and unreachable. This is why it is called ‘infinite, the state that can never be reached. Those well versed in mathematics can understand this better as the asymptotic state, like in a hyperbolic parabola, where the two arms of the curve tend to but never meet the axes.

The Real is real, but never reachable!

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