Thursday, January 05, 2006

Moved to and

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

DEATH - An Introduction

I have been always fascinated by DEATH. I have decide to write about the most fascinating concept called DEATH. What is DEATH? What happens after DEATH? What is the astral world?What is reincarnation? I will be taking pointers from great spiritual teachers like Swami Sivananda, Swami Vivekananda and Sadhu Vasawani, who have written about "Life After Death".

Swami Sivananda states in his famous book "What Becomes Of The Soul After Death", that the concept of Paraloka-Vidya or the science about the departed souls and their planes of living is a subject of absorbing interest. It is a Mysterious Science which contains many secrets or hidden wonders. It has intimate connection with Panchagni-Vidya or the science of transmigration propounded in the Chandogya Upanishad. The doctrine of reincarnation or metempsychosis, transmigration of the soul and spiritualism come under the Paraloka-Vidya. Everybody is curious and anxious to know this science.

Great scientists, the inventors of many marvellous things, mighty Emperors who have done stupendous works, inspired poets, wonderful artists, many Brahmins, Rishis, Yogis have come and gone. You are all extremely anxious to know what has become to them. Do they still exist? What is there at the other side of death? Have they become non-existent or have they dwindled into an airy nothing? Such questions do arise spontaneously in the hearts of all. The same question arises today as it arose thousands of years ago. No one can stop it, because it is inseparably connected with our nature.

Death is a subject which is of the deepest interest to everyone. One day or other all must die. The terror of death overshadows the lives of all human beings. It brings considerably unnecessary sorrow, suffering and anxiety to the survivors who are anxious to know about the fate of the departed souls.

In the West also this question has aroused a great deal of interest and attention in certain scientific circles. Much investigation has been made. But the researches have, however, been confined more or less to find out whether or not the individuality survives and persists after the dissolution of the physical body. This has been proved in the affirmative by actual communication with the spirit world through science, mediumship etc.

A knowledge of this science will rob death of all its terror and sorrow and enable you to see it in the proper light and to understand its place in the scheme of your evolution. It will certainly goad you to find out suitable methods to conquer death and attain immortality. It will forcibly urge you to take to the study of Brahma-Vidya in right earnest and find out the true Master or illumined sage who can put you in the right path of Truth and explain to you the mysteries of Kaivalya or Brahma-Jnana.

You have suffered very much simply out of ignorance and superstition concerning this most important matter. If you go through this book carefully the veil of ignorance will be removed. You will be freed from the horrors of death.

The one aim of all Yoga Sadhanas is to face death fearlessly and joyfully. A Yogi or a Sage or even a real aspirant has no fear of death. Death is terribly afraid of those who do Japa, meditation and Kirtanam. He and his messengers dare not approach them. Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad-Gita, “Having come to Me, these Mahatmas come not again to birth, the place of pain and non-eternity; they have gone to the highest bliss” (Chapter VIII-15).

Death is painful to a worldly man. A desireless man never weeps when he dies. A full-blown Jnani never dies. His Prana never departs. Your highest duty is to prepare for a peaceful life hereafter. Conquer the fear of death. Conquest of fear of death, conquest of death is the highest utility of all Spiritual Sadhana. Pray to the Lord to enable you to worship Him in every birth of yours. End the cycle of birth if you want everlasting bliss. Live in the eternal Atman and be happy for ever.

Bhishma had death at his command (Iccha-Mrityu). Savitri brought back Satyavan, her husband, to life through her power of chastity. Markandeya conquered death through worship of Lord Siva. You also can conquer death through devotion, knowledge and power of Brahmacharya.

(To be contd...)

Monday, January 02, 2006

Sri Sa-Ra-Va-Na-Ba-Va-Chakram of Lord Murugan - An Explanation

I was introduced to the wonderful concept of the Sri Chakram of Lord Murugan by my best friend Sriram. I would like to share this concept with you all.

Basically, there are two things involved for reaching the state of Samadhi:

1. Ascent of Spirit
2. Descent of Grace

Spirit is our soul. We can try to reach God by its ascent. This can be done systematically by Ashtanga Yoga, Kriya Yoga (The Right hand path). Or by Tantric practices (Vama Marga - The Left hand path).

The ascent of spirit can be represented by an 'upward-facing' equilateral triangle. The process of making the soul move higher is called Sadhana.

Once the soul has done its part thorough and NOTHING MUCH can be done by it, only then the Grace descends. When we become helpless and we are desperate to go higher, then the Grace descends. This is not under our control. The three Graces are:

1. Grace of Scriptures - Knowledge from the scriptures.
2. Grace of the Guru - By following his instructions
3. Grace of the Self - Surprising this is the Grace obtained by self effort.

Needless to say the last one is probably the most important one and will naturally invite the other two.

This can be represented by an equilateral triangle that faces downwards. When both of them merge we get the Chakram of Lord Murgan. (Notice two triangles - one upward facing and another downward facing). In that merging point - there is a bindu or a dot (In the above picture - the bindu is represented as Lord Murugan). This bindu signifies the Silence into which the sound of Aum leads.

Once when Ramakrishna Paramahansa was standing in a river along with a disciple. The disciple told that he wanted to see God immediately. Ramakrishna then pushed the head of the disciple inside the river. The disciple could not hold it for long. But Ramakrishna did not relax his grip. But finally, the disciple gave a mighty push and emerged out of water. He asked why Ramakirshna did that to him. Ramakrishna then told that, if he had a desire to see God equal to that of him to emerge from water he had before, then God would immediately come before him. :)

So, when we give up EVERYTHING, and with all our hope and power pray to God, then the union (Yoga, Anubhuti etc) is possible. Yoga, Kriya, Bhakti etc are means and not the end. God alone is true and He alone is important. Everthing else is trivial.

Thanks Sriram for this wonderful explanation you gave me in ur car :)