Breaking free of our karma

“Why have you followed the spiritual path for your whole life ?”  There are many answers to this question, but a big one is, “It brings me freedom”.  Freedom to change negative patterns that have kept me in their clutches, freedom to respond with calmness and kindness even when others are angry or challenging, freedom to enjoy whatever life brings.

Swami Kriyananda says, ” When you see a fault within yourself, don’t despair, but rejoice.  It has been there all along, but now that you have seen it, you can start working to change it.”  What are some spiritual tools that help us to break free of our Karmic patterns ?  Karma is simply energy generated by past thoughts or actions that we have steered in a certain direction.


Karma chakra


With conscious awareness and determination, replace a negative pattern with a positive one.  Use affirmations repeatedly with deep concentration to change chronic patterns of thinking.  Be patient.  The deeper the Karma, the longer the time required to change it.  Don’t constantly dig up the spiritual seeds you are sowing to see if they have taken root.  Let them grow in their own time to become mighty plants.

Bring the problem to God in meditation and prayer.  Our sincere efforts and desire to be free draw the grace that brings release.  We have to do our little part, and then God steps in and unties the knots of Karma that have kept us bound.

—————– Nayaswami Devi.  

Devavani

The Sanskrit language is called DEVAVANI (Divine Language).  The Upanishads are written in Sanskrit.  The very word “Sanskrit” means transformed, adorned, crowned, decorated, refined,  —— but remember the word “transformed”.  The language itself was transformed because so many people attained to the ultimate, and because they were using the language, something of their joy penetrated into it, something of their poetry entered into the very cells, the very fibre of the language.  Even the language became transformed, illuminated.  It was bound to happen.  Languages in the West are becoming more and more scientific, accurate, mathematical and precise.  Science is giving languages colour, shape and form.
Sanskrit hymnThe same happened with Sanskrit 5,000 years ago.  So many people became enlightened and they were all speaking Sanskrit, their enlightenment entered into it with all its music, poetry, with all its celebration.  Sanskrit became luminous; it is the most poetic and musical language.
A “poetic language” is just the opposite of a “scientific language”.  In “scientific language” every word has to be very precise in meaning; it has to have only one meaning.  — In “poetic language” the word has to be liquid, flowing, dynamic, not static, allowing many meanings, many possibilities.  The word has to be not precise at all; the more imprecise it is better, because then it will be able to express all kinds of nuances.
There are 800 roots in Sanskrit and out of those thousands of words have been derived just as out of one root a tree grows and many branches and thousands of leaves and hundreds of flowers.  Each single root becomes a vast tree with great foliage.
oshoFor example, the root RAM can mean first ‘to be calm’, second ‘to rest’, third ‘to delight in’, fourth ’cause delight to’, fifth ‘to make love’, sixth ‘to join’, seventh ‘to make happy’, eighth ‘to be blissful’, ninth ‘to play’, tenth ‘to be peaceful’, eleventh ‘ to stand still’, twelfth ‘to stop’ and thirteenth ‘God, divine, the absolute’.  Sometimes the meanings are related to each other, sometimes they are contradictory to each other.  Hence the language has a multi-dimensional quality to it.  You can play with those words and through that play you can express the inexpressible; the inexpressible can be hinted.
The script in which Sanskrit is written is called DEVANAGRI (dwelling-place of the Gods), and so it certainly is.  Each word has become divine, just because it has been used by people who had known God or godliness.
(Abridged from I AM THAT, Osho Times International, http://www.osho.com)   ——– Talk : Osho 

Where is the soul?

The “treasures of our soul” remain hidden under the layers of mind, matter and illusion.  Our attention is focused on the outer world instead of the inner one.  We keep adding more coverings through our mind’s desires, which lead us to anger, violence, lust, greed, attachment, deceit and ego.
Where is the soul in the body ?  What is its size and shape ?  Where do we look to find it when we talk about the soul and speak of its characteristics ?  But is there any way to describe our soul ?
Our soul transcends physical description because it is not made of matter.  Matter has weight and takes up space.  But the soul is spirit,  and as spirit, it is invisible.
When doctors dissect a body they find only matter.  They cannot find the soul, as the soul belongs to a dimension in which there is only light and sound, but not the one we know of in this world.  They are of a purer form of which the light and sound in the physical universe are but a reflection.


The soul


We, as soul, are a light brighter than 16 outer suns, yet it is not a scorching, burning light.  It is a light that is soothing and loving.  We vibrate with a celestial harmony that cannot be heard with our physical ears.

The soul is connected to the physical body through a silver cord that is invisible to the eyes.  Saints and Mystics have referred to this cord.  It is a luminous thread that allows the soul to transcend the body and travel into spiritual realms.
At the time of death, the silver cord severs from the body so that the soul does not return to the body.  When the soul leaves the body in meditation however, the silver cord remains intact so that the soul can return to the body.  The outer expression of our soul is attention.  Attention is spread throughout our body.  It is the soul that gives life to our body.  A body devoid of a soul or in which the silver cord has been cut is not alive.  The seat of the soul lies at a point between and behind the two eyebrows, in a place known as the “third eye”.
It is also referred to as the 10th door, sixth chakra, ajna chakra, daswan dwar, tisra til and mount of transfiguration.  By concentration on this point in meditation, we can gain access to the soul.This point is a doorway through which the soul can enter into the spiritual realms within.
————- Sant Rajinder Singhji. (Head of Sawan Kirpal Ruhani Mission)   

Silent dialogue

Prayer is an experience of resurrection, a rebirth, the birth of a new vision, new dimension, new way of looking at things and a new way of being.  Prayer is not something that you do : PRAYER IS SOMETHING THAT YOU BECOME.  It is a state of being.  It has nothing to do with words that you utter in the temples, mosques and churches.  It is a SILENT DIALOGUE WITH EXISTENCE.  It is to be in tune with the total, with the whole.
And prayer is such a vast experience that it contains contradiction.  So, one can say : PRAYER IS SILENCE —— and he is absolutely right.  And another can say : PRAYER IS DIALOGUE —— and he is right too, because PRAYER IS A DIALOGUE IN SILENCE.  Now DIALOGUE and SILENCE seem to be contradictory.  In DIALOGUE you SPEAK, in SILENCE you HEAR.  In DIALOGUE you COMMUNICATE, in SILENCE you ARE SIMPLY THERE —— there is nothing to say.


Osho


What can be said to “existence” ?  He knows all that you can say in the first place.  you can bow down, celebrate.  But still your bowing down, celebration, festivity, thankfulness, gratitude —— they are still ways of speaking.  You are trying to say something without words, because words are very small and the heart really wants to say something.

So, it is “dialogue”, although “silent”.  It is a communication in a sense, because you are there and the whole existence becomes your beloved, the whole existence becomes a “thou”.  And yet there is no “I” and there is no “thou”  ———– BOTH DISAPPEAR.  Both meet and merge into one unity, one organic whole.  Just as the dewdrop disappears in the ocean, you disappear.  There is no separation between you and existence, so how can there be a dialogue ?
Science gives definitions, Religion cannot.  You ask, “What is water ?” and it says “H2O”  Prayer is subjective.  It is not an object that can be analysed.  You cannot show your prayer to anybody.  When prayer exists, it is not that prayer exists in you ———- on the contrary, YOU EXIST IN PRAYER.  You vibrate in that enormous dimension; that plenitude.
Prayer is a feeling of immense gratitude and thankfulness.  You are in this beautiful world, with these trees and rivers, mountains and stars, and you are pulsating, you are alive.  You have not earned this opportunity—– IT IS A GIFT.  Prayer is thank fullness for this gift of life.  Just to breathe is such a joy, just to open your eyes and see the greenery.  Just to listen to the chirping of birds, or the sound of running water or the silence of the night, or the dawn and sun rising ………. We have not earned all this.  They have been given to us, and we are not even thankful.
Prayer is a way of living, it is not something that you do early in the morning like a ritual.  If it is a ritual, it is meaningless.  A man of prayer remains in prayer 24 HOURS A DAY.  Prayer is deep down at the core of one’s being.
Man has lost many capacities, and one of the most important has been the capacity to pray ——- because it is only through prayer that we make a bridge between our tine self and the Infinite and the Absolute.
—- Abridged from THE PERFECT MASTER, courtesy : Osho International Foundation, http://www.osho.com.  (Speaking Tree).

The enemy within

introspection


There is a very meaningful Sufi story : A man was very worried because every night someone would enter his garden and destroy all his plants.  He did everything that could be done to protect it.  He posted guards along the boundary, bur never was anybody seen entering the garden at night.  Yet, every morning, the garden would be trashed.  He then went to a Sufi Master, in the hope that the Master would be able to see things he and the guards could not.  The Master closed his eyes and said, “Do one thing, fix the alarm on your clock for two o’clock in the night.”  “How is this going to help ?  My guards are continuously watching and patrolling around the house.”  The Master said, “There is no need to argue.  Just do what I say.  Fix the alarm for two o’clock.  Then come the next day and tell me what happened.”

He was not convinced but he tried.  At two o’clock, when the alarm went off, he woke up.  He was standing in his own garden, wrecking havoc on his plants.  He was a “somnambulist”  ——- a sleepwalker.
 If we look deep within ourselves, we will see that in some way or the other, we are all sleepwalkers.  We sow the seeds of our misdeeds in the deep sleep of unconsciousness, and then wonder why our lives are so miserable.  When we love another person, we often end up taking things for granted in the name of love.  
Osho suggests : Remain a “watcher”, remain a “witness”.  Remind yourself continuously.  Sadness has come.  It has happened to you ——- it is not you.  The moment you remember this, suddenly you will see a distance arising between you and the sadness.  It does not affect you any longer.  When you lose awareness, there is a distance.  The more your awareness rises, the more the distance increases.  A moment comes when you see so far away from your sadness, that it is as if it is not there at all.  The same has to be done with happiness too.  It will be difficult, because one wants to cling to happiness.  But, by clinging to happiness, you are sowing the seeds of your sorrow.  That is how this parable is of tremendous importance.
The master himself —- in his sleep, in his unawareness —- came to the field, the wheat field and sowed the seeds of weeds.  In deep sleep, he was a sleepwalker.  In the morning, he started asking, “Who has done this ?”  You are responsible for the wrongs in your life.  You have brought them upon yourself.  But, in the morning, when you wake up, you ask, “Who has done this ?” and start searching for the wrongdoer.  THE ENEMY IS WITHIN.  The enemy is hidden deep within your consciousness.
————– Swami Chaitanya Keerti. 

Contentment

CONTENTMENT is a mental or emotional state of satisfaction drawn from being at ease in one’s situation, body and mind.  It is a state of having accepted one’s situation and is a for of happiness.  Contentment and the pursuit of contentment are a central thread through many philosophical or religious schools across diverse cultures, times and geographies.
Quotes :
(1) Ten poor men sleep in peace on one straw bed, as SAADI sings, but the biggest Empire is too narrow for two Kings. —– William R Alger.
(2) Health is the greatest gift.  Contentment is the greatest wealth.  A trusted friend is the best relative, NIBBANA is the greatest bliss.  —— Gautama Buddha.
Contentment(3) A joyful heart makes a cheerful face.  A sad heart makes a despondent mood.  All the days of a poor person are wretched, but contentment is a feast without end. ——- Rabbi Meir Leibush.
(4) Where wealth and freedom reign, contentment fails.  And honour sinks where commerce long prevails.  ——- Oliver Goldsmith.
(5) Contentment furnishes constant joy.  Much covetousness —– constant grief.  To the contended even poverty is joy; to the discontented even wealth is a vexation.  ——- Fan Li-pen.
(6)  Who seeks more than he needs, hinders himself from enjoying what he has.   Seek what you need and give up what you need not.  For in giving up what you don’t need, you’ll learn what you really do need. —– Mivhar Hapeninim.
(7)  The noblest mind, the best contentment has. —- Edmund Spencer.
(8) Those who want much are always much in need.  Happy the man whom God gives with a sparing hand what is sufficient for his wants.  ——-Horace.
Laughing Buddha(9)  True Contentment depends upon what we have ; a tub was large enough for Diogenes, but a world was too little for Alexander.  ——– Charles Caleb Colton.
Siddharta said, “Peace comes from within.  Do not seek it without.”  Hebrews 13:5 reads, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have.”  Chinese Philosopher, Zhuang Zhou wrote in the 3rd century BCE, ” A gentleman who profoundly penetrates all things and is in harmony with their transformations will be contented with whatever time may bring.  He follows the course of nature in whatever situation he may be.”  Socrates said, “He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.”  There is therefore a belief that one can achieve contentment by living in the moment.

Design your life

CAN YOU REALLY DESIGN YOUR LIFE ?  IS IT THAT EASY TO CREATE A NEW BLUEPRINT FOR A LIFE THAT YOU ARE SO USED TO ?
Just start by believing that the obstacle in the path to your life goals can be overcome.  Designing life is about acquiring  a certain skill set that motivates you towards your life goals.  As the late Steve Jobs, had famously said, “Design is a funny word.  Some people think design means how it “looks”.  But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it “works”.  Essentially, it means there’s a lot that you can design about your life.  Whether you are in your 20s, 40s, 60s or 80s —— you can empower yourself to make life changes.
design your lifeIn fact, these days, there’s an entire industry to help you design your life.  You could hire a life coach, join a ‘design your life’ boot-camp or enrol in MIT or Stanford’s ‘Designing Your Life’ course for “bold immediate action”.  ‘Designing Your Life’ teach that passion isn’t an inherent trait, it can be developed.  They believe that instead of thinking you’ll start something when you get to so-and-so point, you can start right now.  And most importantly, no problem can be solved if you think there isn’t any problem.  Be truthful, accept and challenge your fears head on.  It is in this crucial area that most people falter.
Professor David Mindell asks his MIT students to pick an area of life they have difficulty in designing, and start working on it.  “If your desire is to ‘run’ —— go running every week at least three times.  Once you have mastered one challenge, set another”, he says.  Sarod player Amaan Ali Khan says, ” The formula is simple.  Learn to take up challenges, develop personal integrity by keeping the promise and don’t fall into the ‘excuses trap’.  That can be fatal.”
Corporate guru Azim Jamal says,” Your vision is derived from your life purpose.  It is essential to apply a sense of balance in life.  The big stumbling blocks to your life plan can be inconsistency, lack of self-discipline and bad habits.”
For designer Puja Nayyar, designing clothes and designing life require the same skill set.  Be focussed, don’t be confused and you may actually get more than what you desire.  A formatted life can lead to more happiness.
So, how do you make big and small changes in your life plan ?  “We need to ‘doubt our doubts’, live our life with trust and faith.  Don’t be a victim to your self-developed belief system.  Break out of it.  That’s how you can be the designer of your life”, says life coach Warren Stagg.
Without your soul and heart, making a life blueprint will be just another project —– to make it really work, make a diary of your progress.  Says Mana, soul coach,” Life is something new each day.  Allow yourself to receive.  We receive when we hold expansive beliefs, such as, ‘I am improving every day in every way’.  Heart without action is a daydream ; Action without heart is a nightmare”.
———- nona.walia@timesgroup.com.