Willem Meijer, 1952 – 2014

 

 

 

“So these two souls somewhere in their journey though time, through many
incarnations have silently said to each other our paths must cross for such a
deep relationship and we shall keep this rendezvous in time. We shall meet
at a place that is appropriate for the fulfillment of our karma. At a time
which is appropriate for us to pick up from where we have left off and invite
another soul or two to join us”
– Swami Veda Bharati

Willem Christiaan Meijer
Utrecht, 6 september 1952                                                           Nieuwegein, 7 september 2014

Kitty
Jasper
Mariko en Jerry
Bobby

 

Lichtegaarde 32
3436 ZV Nieuwegein

Willem is thuis. U bent welkom om persoonlijk afscheid van hem te
nemen op woensdag 10 september van 19.00 tot 20.00 uur.
De herinneringsbijeenkomst vindt plaats op vrijdag 12 september
om 12.30 uur in de aula van begraafplaats Noorderveld, Structuurbaan 1
in Nieuwegein. Aansluitend begeleiden wij Willem samen naar zijn
laatste rustplaats op de naastgelegen begraafplaats.
Na afloop ontmoeten wij elkaar in de koffiekamer van begraafplaats
Noorderveld.

William is at home. You are welcome to personally say goodbye to him on Wednesday, September 10th from 19:00 to 20:00. The remembrance ceremony will be held on Friday, September 12th at 12.30 in the auditorium of cemetery Noorderveld, Structuurbaan 1 in Nieuwegein. Afterwards we accompany Willem together to his final resting place at the adjacent cemetery. Afterwards we meet in the coffee room of cemetery Noorderveld.


Hans and Louella Gerritsen have shared the news that Willem Meijer has passed away.

Willem Meijer has been instrumental in sharing the Himalayan tradition in Holland and Europe and also served in the first AHYMSIN Executive Committee. He was center leader in Holland: Himalayan Yoga Meditation Institute Netherlands http://www.himalaya-yoga.nl/  and also started the Yoga in Europe website http://www.yogaineurope.eu/ Also Randall Krause has commented that Willem “did wonderful work putting hours of SVB’s and others talks into electronic form so they could be available.”

 

 

 

 

Guru Vandana, Guru Prayer

 

The Guru Vandana, Guru Prayer, is from the Guru Gītā in the Skanda-Purāṇa. The Guru Vandana, Guru Prayer is in the Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama Handbook if you have a copy.

ॐ गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णुर्गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः।
गुरुः साक्षात्परं ब्रह्म तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः॥१॥

gurur brahmā gurur viṣṇur gurur devo maheśvaraḥ,
guruḥ sākṣāt paraṁ brahma tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ.

Guru who is Brahmā [the Creator], Viṣṇu [the Maintainer] and Śiva [the Great Lord through whom all things return to their origin]. To that Guru who is the direct experience of Brahman, salutations.

 

To hear Swami Rama sing the Guru Vandana, please use this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8UcrJ19VCU

What is Brahman?

Swami Rama wrote: “The word Brahman is derived from the Sanskrit verb root bṛha or bṛhi meaning expansion, knowledge, or all-pervasiveness. This word is always of a neuter gender; it represents Absolute Reality beyond the concept of male or female and all other dualities. Brahman is omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent; it is the very nature of one’s true Self. That Absolute Reality, that Supreme Consciousness, which is never affected by the ever-changing nature of the world, is Brahman. That which alone exists and allows the entire universe to appear within itself is called Brahman. That Brahman is no different from oneself; all of humanity is Brahman. From this point of view, all people are essentially one and the same. Placing duality and diversity within humanity is the greatest loss, and realizing the oneness within and without is the highest gain.”

 

 

Maintenance and Repair Work at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama

Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG) will begin much needed maintenance and repair work on the entire campus in mid-May 2014. We thank you for your past contributions to SRSG, which serves to fulfill the mission undertaken by Swami Veda Bharati and as a retreat center for sadhakas such as yourself.

Sharing with you the estimates:

Description                   Estimates
Plumbing                      2,106,606
Aluminum Windows       1,040,314
Aluminum Doors              376,150
Electrical                      2,490,000
Wooden Doors                 208,375

TOTAL in INR                INR 6,221,445
TOTAL in Euros             €74,595
TOTAL in USD              $103,836

We hope you find this information helpful.

Because of your interest in Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama and the mission it serves, we are appealing to you now for an offering to help cover the cost of repairs and maintenance that are needed.

Donations can be made at http://dhyanamandiramtrust.org/ Under “Remarks/Comments” please write that that donation is for SRSG maintenance and repair. [Note: Indians citizens residing in India can donate in rupees, but for others the donation should be made in dollars, euros, or pounds.]

 

Sadhakas in the United States may also make a tax deductible donation through The Meditation Center via Mayanne Krech. For more information about this option, please write to ahymsin@ahymsin.org

We will try to answer any questions you may have and thank you for your interest and any contribution you can make.

In service,
Dr. Krishan Upreti
Bhola Shankar Dabral
Sadhana Mishra
Carolyn Hume
On behalf of the Sangha

 

About the Meditation Research Institute [M.R.I]

The Meditation Research Institute at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama was created in 2005 to bring together the ancient wisdom of the Himalayan tradition and contemporary science. It aims to present the former in a way that is appealing and comprehensible to all people today.

Presently M.R.I. is progressing under the guidance and leadership of H.H. Swami Veda and Dr. Mohan Swami’s valuable advice and support.

Our Team:

H.H. Swami Veda Bharati
Dr. Dixit, Dr. Prabhu, Mr. Pravin [Research Scholar]
Valuable Advisors: Dr. Shirley Telles, Dr. Arnaud and other eminent doctors and scholars from our AHYMSIN family.
We also get the inputs from various other eminent scholars working in the same field internationally.

Until 2012 our main focus was on:

Community Services like:

  1. Biofeedback Testing and Training
  2. Research
  3. Educations

But now we concentrate on research.

What are Bio-Feedback and Our Research Area:

Biofeedback amplifies the tiny signals produced by the body and brain. By analysing these signals with help of the techniques of modern science, it is possible to correlate the meditation or yoga practice with associated neurophysiologic changes in a body.

Science is a systematic and logical approach to discovering how things in the universe work. Science aims for measurable results through testing and analysis. Science is based on fact, not on opinion or preferences. The process of science is designed to challenge ideas through research. It is not meant to prove theories, but rule out alternative explanations until a likely conclusion is reached.

Yoga is a science that deals with body, breath, mind, soul, ultimately the universe itself. It is both practical and theoretical. Yoga science does not tell us what to do and what not to do, but teaches us how to be. Yoga science is a science of life that helps us to know the known and unknown parts of life. It helps us to explore the tremendous potential with us and how to use it positively.

We have at present Seven Research projects:

  1. Testing and analysing H.H. Swami Veda for every three months: Since from 10th March 2013
    We have already written an article on it in the July Newsletter. Also on the 3rd of December in ‘Kalyana Mitra’ we had a presentation on it. Preparation for a research paper on it is in process.
  2. 10th March 2013 Sangha Gathering data analysis of EEG is completed, O2/CO2 analysis still requires refining as the machine itself had some hardware and software interfacing error at that time. Heart Rate Variability data is with Patanjali Yoga Peeth and as per present understanding between M.R.I and Patañjali Yoga Peeth H.R.V. data will be published by Patañjali Yoga Peeth.
  3. Cultivating Meditative Voice: During ‘Kalyana Mitra ‘ meeting it has been decided that it can be technically analysed for quality and signal parameters only when the recordings will be with M.R.I. Meeting was attended by the group members associated with this project along with Dr. Prabhu and Pravin from M.R.I.
  4. Regular Data Recording on Bio-semi 64 channel, only for those subject recommended by Swami Veda, Swami Ma Radha, Swami Prashant is going on along with analysis. Mostly it is related to 10, 30, 40 days silence meditation.
  5. Bibliographic analysis for current research is also underway.
  6. Comparative study of various meditation techniques is also underway, but it depends on availability of Subject / volunteer from other traditions.
  7. Effects of Meditation using Himalayan Tradition on Neurophysiologic changes are also being researched.

Available Instrumentation and Testing:

  1. Bio-Semi 256 Channel EEG recording and analysing system supported by EEGLAB and MATLAB software. Presently, we use on 64 + 8 Channels only.
  2. 8 Channel simultaneous data recorder for Bio-Feedback with built in software.
  3. iWorks -TA multichannel system for major non-invasion type neurophysiologic measurements.
  4. Neuro-trac instrument for E.M.G.
  5. Blood pressure, Blood Sugar detector, Hand held E.C.G. Recorder.
  6. Myo-Trac – for E.M.G.

Our Achievements:

  1. Four papers have been published in international journals.
  2. One Ph.D. from France.
  3. Recently, Mr. Pravin got the registration for Ph.D and is working on Silence and its Neurophysiologic changes.
  4. M.R.I is actively involved in imparting residence teacher training and guests.

Other observations:

Silence meditation does show positive remarkable changes in brain wave, heart rate variability, skin conductance, breathing, blood pressure, body temperature. Recent researches at Harvard School of Medicine shows meditation also have significant changes in gene expressions.

Future Plan:

  1. Concentrating on speeding up the projects listed in the seven projects.
  2. To publish the papers based on our analysis in international journals and in seminars/conferences.
  3. Establishing co-operation with like-minded organizations for mutual benefit.
  4. Designing our own protocols and experiments with our instruments.
  5. Special test on Swami Veda as per his direction.
  6. Encouraging more volunteers to take part in ongoing silence meditation project.
  7. Correlating the cellular level changes with our findings of non invasion type.

Conclusion:

Body without breath has no value, and if we have a body and breath but if there is no thinking, then that human being is also of no use. And if there is a human being who thinks, who breathes and whose body functions, that is also meaningless if he/she does not direct all his energies, mind, action and speech according to the purpose of life. Your breath is like a barometer that registers both your mental conditions and physical conditions.

“Whether yoga is studied as a method for preventing or treating disease, as a way of coping with difficult-to-treat or chronic illnesses, or as a way of altering the energy state of the body, it’s important to remember that yoga is a way of living and not an isolated technique.” – from How Yoga Come to Rescue by Elaine Lipson with contributions by Alison Ashton

“While many doctors and patients demand proof that yoga really can help certain medical conditions, they risk overlooking yoga’s far-reaching benefits. Yoga is a way to get to the source of ourselves. The challenge is not to see yoga as a treatment for disease, but as an opportunity to see something deeper in the self.” – Dr. Elliott S. Dacher

M.R.I. Team

 

 

Celebrations at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama

Dear Sadhaka,

Here are some of the forthcoming celebrations to be held at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama. Please invite other sadhakas also.
31st March to 8th April, Navaratra, Devi-Puja with akhanda recitation of Lalita-sahasra-nama (Thousand Names of Divine Mother).
4th July to 12th July (Guru-purnima celebrations) with akhanda recitation of Guru-Gita at both Ashrams.

These events are charged with special spiritual energy and a very special time to renew your silence and sadhana. Do make your booking early to come with family and friends.

Whatever kind donations you can send to AHYMSIN to cover the sizable expenses of these celebrations will add to your punya-karma. With our most sincere appreciation.

In service of Gurudeva

Swami Veda Bharati


प्रियवर साधक-साधिका,

स्वामी राम साधक ग्राम में निम्न लिखित पर्व मनाये जायेगे :

३१ मार्च से ८ एप्रिल , नवरात्र, देवी-पूजा तथा ललिता-सहस्र-नाम का अखण्ड पाठ

४ जुलाई से १२ जुलाई गुरु-पूर्णिमा के अवसर पर गुरु-गीता का अखण्ड पाठ दोनों आश्रमों में ।

ऐसे पर्वों तथा अखण्ड जाप के अवसर आध्यात्मिक शक्ति से भरे होते है । यह आप के मौन और साधना को पुनर्जीवित करने का विशेष अवसर है ।

इन समारोहों में विशेष व्यय करना पडता है । आप सहायता स्वरूप जो भी दान ahymsin के नाम भेजेंगे, आप को पुण्यलाभ होगा तथा हमारी कृतार्थता स्वीकार करें ।

कृपया अपने परिवार तथा अन्य साधक-साधिकाओं को भी सूचित करे. तथा अपने कमरे अभी से सुरक्षित करा लें ।

श्री-गुरुदेव-सेवायां

स्वामी वेद भारती

 

AHYMSIN Family “Sahaj Sewa”

March 21st, 2013

Priya Sarv Shri (Dear All),

As Swami Veda was moving towards his vow of silence, he asked everyone to use Sadhana in Applied Spirituality as a basis for spiritual practice in the next five years and continuing years afterwards.

During the Sangha gathering at SRSG, Swamiji also requested all the family members to participate in a workshop and come up with a proposal on how best we could serve one another, serve Swamiji and the Guru lineage, and strengthen the Sangha.

Accordingly, a workshop was held on 5th March wherein a brief presentation was made outlining the key areas Swamiji would like all of us to focus on. These key areas became the basis of creating groups. At the end of the workshop each group came up with a set of action items that would help fulfill the mission of the Sangha.

Please find the presentation “AHYMSIN Family – ‘Sahaj Sewa’” that captures the guidelines for the next five years, a summary of activities as an outcome of the workshop and the members of newly elected AHYMSIN Executive Committee 2013 at this link:https://ahymsin.org/docs2/Reports/AHYMSIN_Family_Sahaj_Sewa.pdf

Please feel free to reach out to any member of the newly elected Executive Committee. We solicit your active participation in the AHYMSIN sangha.

In service,
Sadhana Mishra
AHYMSIN General Secretary

 

 

Jaina festival of Paryushana and Forgiveness (Kshamavani)

 

It is that time of the year when Jainas celebrate Paryushana. This is the most holy celebration in the Jain calendar. It is the time when Jain laity take on vows of study and fasting with spiritual intensity similar to temporary monasticism.

I belong to the Shvetaambar (meaning white-clad, so nuns and monks dress in white) sect of Jainas and we will celebrate this occasion from 2nd September to 9th September this year, and Ksamavani will be celebrated on 9th. Other sects (Digambar – sky clad monks do not wear clothes and Sthanakvasi – who do not worship idols) may celebrate on different dates in the same month. For more information on Jainism you may wish to check this link http://www.india-religion.net/jainism.html

Swamiji wrote about the festival last year, and I have included this below:

 

Of the many religions indigenous to India, three stand out as the most ancient:

 

Vedic-Hindu,
Buddhism and
Jaina.

Of these the Jaina religion is the epitome of ahimsa, non-violence at all levels. It is the most pious and most ascetic. Its monks are still today masters of ascetic life.

The Jaina religion was established by a succession of twenty-four founding Masters, tirthankaras (fjord-makers) dating back to lost periods of antiquity.

The monks of all three of the above religions wander and then take a period of sojourn at one place during the four months of the monsoons; it is called chaaturmaasya (simply, ‘four months’). This is a time for contemplation, meditation, deep study and other observances. This is also the time when they take new initiates.

For Jaina religion, the start of this period is celebrated with great devotion by the laity. It is called paryusana (lit., fasting). It is eight days of fasting, sacred readings, select recitations, listening to the monks and so forth.

Ninth day is the day of seeking forgiveness. Kshamaapana or kshamaavani (other variations in various state languages of India). It occurs on 4th day of waxing moon in bhadrapada month, approximately August-September.

On this day, everyone (a) grants forgiveness and (b) asks for forgiveness. This includes renunciation of condemnation, judgment of others, irritation, anger.

The word kshamaa is derived from Sanskrit verb root ksham. The verb root means to have capacity, to be capacious. This requires the ability to absorb and dissolve all assaults. The word kshamaa is also one of twenty-one names of earth in the Vedas. It means for one to be as forgiving, as all-absorbing, as the earth that withstands and forgives all our trampling and digging into.

Here I may present an oft-quoted Sanskrit proverb:

kShamaa veerasya bhooShanam
forgiveness is the adornment of the brave.

This concept is re-enforced in other human experiences such as

• in India, holi festival celebrated as the day of forgiving the year’s aggressions and transgressions;
• in Thailand’s culture, every child is taught that anger is bad manners and the adults follow that in daily practical life and interpersonal relations;
• in Africa, in the training and initiation of spiritual guides in traditional African religions it is essential for the guide to conquer anger – as per my personal investigations.
• there are many such examples in world cultures that we all need to emulate.

In the Jaina day of forgiveness, the kshamaapana-sutra is recited in the ancient Prakrit (sister of Sanskrit) language:

khAmemi savve jIvA savve jIvA khamantu me.

mittI me savvabhUesu veraM majjhaM Na keNa vi

I forgive all living beings, may all of them forgive me.
I have friendship with all, enmity with none.

evamahaM AloiyaM nindiyaM grahiyaM duguNchhiyaM sammam
tiviheNaM padikkanto vandAmi jiNaM chauvvIsam ..

Thus, I truly reflect, reproach, censure and abhor (my wrong doings)
I atone threefold (for my acts of mind, speech and body) and pay obeisance to the 24 Jinas (Founding Masters of Jaina Tradition).

This festival should become part of the worldwide human community without restriction of nations and religions.

As a young child I would just do what I was asked and thought it was quite funny to say those unfamiliar words. As an adolescent I would do this shyly, not quite knowing why I was feeling shy to say these words and gesture by bringing the palms together. As a teenager I became sceptical about the whole thing of asking for forgiveness because I felt that even if I did ask for forgiveness it did not stop me from not liking someone, and I still found that people did gossip, and judge, etc. As I grew up it seemed a pointless thing to do because I felt I did not mean it.

I remember how my mother used to be so enthusiastic and go to this festival every year without fail, wearing her best saris and she would come back home in the evening beaming with happiness and on the last day I would go to the celebrations with my sisters and we would say Michchhami Dukkadam to our mum and she would so enthusiastically and lovingly greet us back. At that time I wished I had the same enthusiasm and love and wondered why it was absent in me.

Now, under the influence of Swamiji and his teachings, I have come to understand the power of forgiveness, the need to do this regularly. I have also come to appreciate the festival of Paryushan and the significance of the last day of Kshamaapana. Of course there is a long way to go but it is a good start. Swamiji always asks us to recite 7 Gayatris as pryaschit (atonement) for having hurt someone by thought, word or deed. Also, as I am sure is the case in a lot of other cultures, we would ask for forgiveness from a very ill or dying person if we happen to be there and similarly the person would also reciprocate the sentiment if they can.

To forgive is to forget the harm or misdeed, or hurt that one has suffered and not to have any a grudge or ill will against the perpetrator. When one asks for forgiveness, one also has to have the attitude of not repeating the act for which one has asked for forgiveness and asking is done with humility and sincerity. This is not easy and requires courage, faith and humility. Forgiving and asking for forgiveness can also be done in the form of a silent prayer.

I also feel that meditation is a form of forgiving and asking for forgiveness because one is not accumulating any karma during that time, good or bad.

The Jain community is now spread all over the world and with modern technology, communication and coordination of celebrating festivals has become easier.

In the UK, the community is widespread so different areas have different venues. Some hire halls; in some places, like London and other big cities, they have their own community halls and temples (Jain temples are called Deraasar or Apaasro).

In the mornings for two hours either there is a lecture, or the Kalpa-Sutra (sacred book) is read. It consists of biography of Tirthankar Mahavir, and other Tirthankaras. Mostly the biography of Tirthankar Mahavir is read.

The other sacred book called Tattvartha Sutras written by Archarya Ummaswati is also read if there is someone present who can teach the text.

In the evenings (from 6 to 8 pm) people sit to do Pratikraman (means turning back. It is a form of meditation where one reflects on his spiritual journey and renews his faith) for two hours, except on the last day when it lasts for four hours. Here is a link for more information on this https://sites.google.com/a/dfwjains.org/education/paryushan. Now the Pratikraman is also conducted in English for the benefit of the younger generation who do not understand Gujarati.

After Pratikraman, there is Aarti, Mangal Divo (means auspicious lamp), and on some days folk dancing. Most of the younger generation come to this later event after returning from their jobs.

On the 5th day, there is a special celebration in the evening when normally there is a play celebrating the birth of Tirthankar Mahavir and the 14 auspicious dreams of Mother Trishla before he was born. Most of the ladies will wear Red or Green coloured saris on that day.

People wear their best clothes and gold jewellery to come to these occasions. There is a sense of happiness and goodwill amongst everyone.

On the 7th day, all the tapasvis (people who have been fasting for the whole period on water only) will be honoured and given a gift(s) by community members. A lot of people fast to their capacity, some 1 day, some 3 days, some six days; some may eat only one meal a day during that period, some may give up certain foods. Generally people would refrain from using onions and garlic in their cooking.

On the 8th and last day, there is a 108 diva Aarti. Every day people pledge money to have the honour of holding the Aarti and especially so on the last day. A lot of money is collected which is then used to pay for hiring the halls and other expenses like inviting guests like Aarcharyas from India to give discourses and read sacred texts.

Then everyone will greet each other with this phrase “Michchhami Dukkadam” which is in Prakrit language and means – may all the evil that has been done be fruitless. People do this with palms joined together and head slightly bowed.

 

People will call their elders and loved ones by phone, email, or letter if not present during this festival.

Samvatsari is celebrated in following few days as convenient, mostly over weekends when the whole community eats a meal together. This is either donated by one family, or a few families share the honour, or if no donations are received it would be given by the community. It is considered meritorious to donate in these occasions.

During this festival lots of people volunteer to offer their services.

In ending this article, I join my palms and say michchhammi dukkadam to all.

 

THE SPIRITUAL FESTIVAL — 2013

 

The Spiritual Festival

(June 13th – July 22th)

 

The 40-day Spiritual Festival is a time period when students in the Himalayan Yoga Tradition undertake special spiritual practices to refine their meditation and lifestyles in preparation for Guru Purnima (July 22nd ).

 

Along with Swami Rama and Swami Veda’s audio and video recordings, books and booklets, these recent articles provide a helpful list of things one might undertake during this period to make positive lifestyle changes:

 

SADHANA IN APPLIED SPIRITUALITY

https://ahymsin.org/main/swami-veda-bharati/sadhana-in-applied-spirituality.html

SHIVA SANKALPA SUKTA

https://ahymsin.org/main/practice/practice-for-the-next-five-years-and-the-rest-of-your-life.html
https://ahymsin.org/main/swami-veda-bharati/shiva-sankalpa-sukta.html
https://ahymsin.org/main/swami-veda-bharati/shiva-sankalpa-sukta.html

*****************************************************************************

GUIDELINES & SUGGESTIONS FOR THE SPIRITUAL FESTIVAL

In reviewing the guidelines and making your own commitments, please keep in mind your own capacity. Success with a series of smaller goals will lead to greater purification and capacity for next year. Assess your own capacity and do not try to push to complete “on time.” Accommodate for your family responsibilities.

 

Self-Examination

• Maintain mindfulness and an attitude of self-examination throughout the day. Observe your thoughts and emotions, asking yourself: “What mistakes did I make today?”
• “Where there was fearful or aggressive thoughts/words/actions ask, “What was it in me that evoked that response and reaction?” and replace such negativity with kindness and compassion.
• What right thing that should have been done have I omitted doing? (Refer to Swami Veda’s Yoga Sutra summary of I:33 on Chitta prasadhana.)
• For any thought critical of anyone, do 11 recitations of Gayatri.

Sadhana Practice
• Recite the Morning & Evening Prayers
• Do Nadi Shodhanam (channel purification) 3 times a day
• Do one to three malas (or more) of your personal mantra daily
• At juncture points in your day (or about every 2 hours), sit for 2 minutes, observing the flow of breath in the nostrils and repeating your personal mantra.
• Make your last formal thought at night the Gurur Brahma prayer and entry into meditative mode as you fall asleep. Your sleep will become a meditation.
• Awaken with a Yoga Nidra practice or simply breath awareness in bed before rising.

Meditation & Mantra Japa
• Resolve to enter into non-self-centered meditation
• Surrender samskaras & random thoughts to the inner Guru
Om Tat Sat Brahmarpanam Astu – dedicate prayers to the enlightenment and happiness of others.
• If you have been irregular with your meditations, become regular now.
• Increase your meditation time even by five minutes.
• Be punctual in getting to your meditation seat.
• Participate in the World-group Full Moon Meditations. See the dates for 2013 and beyond: https://ahymsin.org/main/practice/full-moon-meditation.html

Hatha Yoga
• Practice of hatha yoga to purify the body, breath and mind.
• Consider undertaking a practice of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) during these 40 days. (Please refer to Chapter Two in Swami Veda’s Philosophy of Hatha Yoga about asana as worship.)

Meals
• If possible do not eat alone. Take a small portion and give it to a companion or co-worker. If it is embarrassing and not socially acceptable, then surrender the first portion to the Great Prana of the Universe.
• Recite Grace.
• Eat 5 mouthfuls less than enough to fill the stomach at each meal.
• Try to not eat solid food after 9:00 p.m. A glass of liquid may be taken at night. Special health and medical situations are exempt. Total fasting is not suggested.
• Try to avoid eating meat or fish during the month although you may serve it to your family.

To further deepen your practice
• On Guru Purnima day you may decide to undertake further observances of self-purification for next year.
• Vow to give special love to your family and reach out to others, beyond your blocks and fears
• Keep a personal journal on ahimsa in your personal life, e.g. an unjustified sharp tone of speech, or in using objects obtained by violence and disregard for the rights of other living beings.
• Be patient, understanding and compassionate with difficult people in your life.
• Conquer anger, laziness and selfish thoughts.
• Consider taking a vow of one month’s celibacy, but only with the happy consent of your spouse.
• Look for ways to reduce your possessions, acquisitions and energy consumption at least percent.
• Dedicate 10 percent of your month’s income plus one dollar to a charity of your choice, in addition to your usual commitments.
• Experiment with a practice of silence or increased japa. See Swami Veda’s writings on silence in Night Birds or in The Song of Silence for more details. This could be through observing your speech in daily life to see if you are using more words than necessary, speaking louder than necessary and if your tone and voice evokes a positive response in the listener. You could undertake to practice a half day of silence or a longer period.
• Undertake a weekly, biweekly or monthly practice of a half day of silence or a longer period.
• Take a personal retreat – at SRSG if possible!
• Ask guidance to undertake a purash-charana – an expanded japa practice with a Special Mantra. Please read Swami Veda’s writings on SPECIAL MANTRAS: http://www.ahymsin.org/main/index.php/Swami-Veda-Bharati/special-mantra.html

 

During the Day
• Be mindful of your breath throughout the day.
• Keep your forehead relaxed at all times.
• Be mindful of keeping your spine straight.
• Use the tongue lock with japa and maybe the root lock. (Note if there is any difference in your meditation.)
• Get up and go to bed at regular times and get adequate sleep. (Note the effects this has the the way you feel during the next day.
• Resolve to get out into nature and walk with your mantra on a regular basis.

Read
• Swami Rama’s Art of Joyful Living. Assess your progress on the paths shown in the book.
Weak Mind/Strong Mind: http://www.ahymsin.org/main/index.php/Swami-Veda-Bharati/mind-field.html
Marks of Spiritual Progress: http://www.ahymsin.org/main/index.php/Swami¬-Veda-Bharati/marks-of-spiritual-progress.html Make your own list of the “marks of progress.”
Create an ongoing spiritual journal, and enter the signs of your personal progress.
Questions for Self-Examination: http://www.ahymsin.org/main/index.php/Ityukta-2010/questions-fo-self-examination.html
Yoga Sutras: Chapter I, Verse 33. (Definition of Chitta Prasadhana) Also Chapter 17, Verses 14 to16.
Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2, Verses 54 to 72. (Definition of Sthita-prajna)
Bhagavad Gita: Chapters 14, 17 and 18. (Definitions of the three gunas: sattva, rajas, tamas)
Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 13, Verses 1 to 12 (Basic principles of Sankhya philosophy)

 

On Guru Purnima day you may decide to undertake further observances of self-purification for next year.

 

****************************************************************************

SWAMI VEDA’S COUNSEL
ON THE
SPIRITUAL FESTIVAL
FROM
PREVIOUS YEARS

Dear Pilgrim in Yoga,

We are all here for a purpose; it is an on-going spiritual process. We are all here for spiritual liberation and serving that mission. For that purpose we are purifying ourselves of our pride and ego.

For these reasons we train ourselves in constant self-observation: to see oneself, to hear oneself to develop this internal dialogue. I have used one criterion for all my thoughts, my words, and my actions: “Is this conducive to spiritual liberation.”

You are still learning to walk on this path and have not yet fully learned to observe the effects of your attitudes and actions on others. For this reason, please allow me to offer you some of the ways I have used in my own life to guide my attitudes and responses. They have been my experiments in life and pass them on for you to experiment with.

For over twenty years we have celebrated a festival of spiritual purification. Its core is in the forty days of intense sadhana specific to a given year. But actually it is the theme for the whole year.

 

The theme for this year (2006) is:
Prayash-chitta and Chitta-prasadana:
through Self-Examination & Meditation

 

• Keep some time for silence and for introspection
• Carry a state of mindfulness & talk to yourself with internal dialogue. (See my writings on internal dialogue).
• I encourage you to again listen to the “Marks of Spiritual Progress,” the lectures given in Rishikesh 2002 and make your own chart or list of where you are in relation to this particular mark of spiritual progress, and if you do not fit there then ask, “What should I do to improve myself?”
• Use my points in applying prayash-chitta (self-examination, confession and atonement.)
• Study Swami Rama’s (1) Art of Joyful Living and (2) Conscious Living: A Guidebook for Spiritual Transformation, available from your own Center.

May you not encounter boulders, only little pebbles, on your pilgrim path.

You are still learning to walk on this path and have not yet fully learned to observe the effects of your attitudes and actions on others. For this reason, please allow me to offer you some of the ways I have used in my own life to guide my attitudes and responses. They have been my experiments in life and pass them on for you to experiment with.

1. Say the unpleasant in a pleasant way

2. Make excuses for the other party

3. Reduce negatives by one half before forming negative reactions

4. Reconcile the opposites

5. Learn to get along with those one was previously unable to trust

6. Make no decisions without wide consultation

7. Reflect and recognize one’s own needs, conflicts, insecurities, failings, without projecting them on others; and learning to resolve them through:

a. internal dialogue
b. internal confession
c. outward confession
d. apology

8. If there is suspicion that I might have been wrong or right presume to be wrong and acknowledge that to others, letting them make the choice, and then accepting their decision with out denying or justifying from your personal interests. Trust in their sense of forgiveness.

9. Willingness to surrender one-half of one’s ground, thereby finding that middle ground between one’s view and someone else’s view.

10. If you have a problem of conflict with someone, solve the problem s/he has with you.

11. Promote a spirit of prayash-chitta, the spirit of apology. It is a self-purification as confession, atonement and apology. It is related to the Pali word pratimoka, release, related to moksha.

12. Remember, you are not becoming angry because of “THIS incident or situation.” You were angry because of your past mental habit, and the habit has deepened to the point of wanting to release it and get it out. So now, knowing this, find other ways to ease the mind by such ways as:

a. learning to apologize for the other person
b. what might be the limitation in the capacity of the other person that I was not sensitive to and overlooked and chose not to make an adjustment in my expectations.
c. what pains has the other person suffered, not as judgment, but by way of compassion
d. figure out what excuses you can provide for that person’s behavior

13. Carry authority without carrying “authority.” Lead without seeming to be leading. Bring others along, including them, informing them, sharing with them. Ask for their ideas and opinions and thereby reaching a consensus – a collective decision. In letting people listen and accept you and your ideas, you will develop the art of bringing people along with you, and that is leadership.

14. We all have ability, and we all have the urge to serve, but when we feel the need to take on areas of responsibility that are not “ours,” ask yourself whether you first spoke with that person or persons, and how did you communicate that failing? Remember, you must first learn to hold back the urge to blame. Then it will be said pleasantly.

15. REMEMBER: Chitta-prasadana – Pleasant-Mindedness (YS I:33) – at all times.

16. Over the next 40 days see if you can make a 10% reduction in:

a) hostility,
b) fear,
c) anger toward others
d) your consumption of goods and energies

Practice this anger sublimation and humility, for it affects the entire mission. Take courage to face your angers reflected in that harsh tone, insulting comment or confronting body language that evoke a negative response in the other person.

17. Ask yourself what caused the person to react in that way. What are the pains of that person over the last 5 or 10 years that has caused such an accumulation of suffering that one reacts in such a manner when “triggered.”

18. Then as a kalyana mitra (noble friend), speak openly and listen back to oneself.

19. Remember: no instant reaction without full contemplation on the points given above.

If you love “me” then love my “family.” When you want to get angry, think of giving that anger to me first.

Be an “insider” for that is our work; that is what we are here for. Our internal work on the points above are the teaching, and that is the path we are on as pilgrims in yoga. This is the true festival of spiritual peace.

Swami Veda Bharati

 

**************************************************************************

 

Dear Spiritual Seekers,

 

My job is to help people grow, and I will help them grow in whatever way I can.

Everyone should consider himself or herself in spiritual training. Spiritual training requires inner examination of oneself at all times. This is the spiritual part of daily life, and I would like people to do some self-examination on that issue. The second part is communication which has nothing to do with communication skills. It has to do with spiritual growth – contemplation and confession.

Spiritual training requires inner examination of oneself at all times. That’s why I gave the series of lectures, Marks of Spiritual Progress, and I’ve asked people to listen to those and develop those in the following ways:

1. Make charts and check: “Where I am in relation to this particular mark of spiritual progress?” “And if I don’t fit there, then what should I do to improve myself?” “Why is it that somebody is not listening to me?” “Why is it I am not getting somebody’s cooperation?” “Why is it that somebody is insulting to me?” “Why is it somebody is harsh to me?”

2. As a morning and evening sandhya prayer and contemplation, one would ask oneself two things: “What transgression did I commit?” and “What right thing, that I should have done, have I omitted?”

3. The morning and evening prayers and meditations should be times when we do self-examination – at night when we go to sleep and in the morning as part of a morning contemplation. “Who was it who was rude to me today?” “What in me evoked that rudeness?” Not “Who was rude to me?” That is only a cue. It is only a cue for you to get to the next point: “What was it in me that evoked that rudeness?” “Okay, let me cut that out.”

4. The angers that you have against each other here, these angers are those that you have brought with you. They are not about the persons with whom you are today angry because one year ago when you were not here, you were angry with someone else. Whatever your life’s experiences are that have made you angry or that have made you reserved or that have made you self-defensive or that have made you shy so that you cannot express yourself and then you burn inside – then you resent and then you blow up – that you have brought from outside, you are here for purification of that.

You are here for purification. Purification happens only by constant purging, self-examination. Acceptance that, “Yes, I have not quite, I have not been quite up to the ideal of self-surrender and love and forgiveness. Okay then, I need to do this to change myself.” Acceptance that, “Yes, there is a flaw in me. Yes, I am carrying that past anger, that I am carrying that past frustration, that I am carrying that past insecurity” or whatever it is, “and I need to find a way to come out of it and have the courage and the strength to expand my love and to bend down and to say, ‘Yes, I am sorry.’” Not ‘I’m sorry if I hurt you.’ That is not acceptable. ‘I am sorry I did hurt you.’ And sometimes it is necessary to assuage somebody’s hurt if you are sincere within you.

Prayas-chitta, mental purification. That is atonement in Christianity, making up for ones failures on a spiritual level.

Self-purification as confession and apology.

There are two kinds of cultures in the world: “apology cultures” and “non-apology cultures.” I even found in some cultures, in some countries that if somebody apologizes, the other person thinks that now he is the winner. So nobody wants to apologize because apologizing makes him feel small. That is not the tradition in the East. Everybody apologizes. Until I see that, I will not think that you have purified.

The other part is confession. I am not seeing that here. I am not seeing the spirit of prayas-chitta. I am not seeing the spirit of apology. I am not seeing the spirit of pratimoka, confession, private or public. The Pali word for confession is pratimoka (“release”), related to moksha. Pratimoksha is a specific release. Unlike the Christian confession, Buddhist confession is public confession. In the monastery the monk stands up on a particular day, on the Upasada day and says – everybody confesses – to the sangha, to the community. And if the community, a particular sangha, has collectively transgressed they find another sangha to which they go to make a public confession.

 

That was the Gandhian way when the nation would not listen to him. He said, “I obviously am not pure enough that you would listen to me. I will fast, and I’ll purify myself.”

 

I’m speaking very candidly, very frankly, because you are my children and my friends, and I know that you have love for me but you don’t have love for each other. I have composed a prayer. I’ll recite it, we’ll recite it. I’ll read it to you first in English, and then I’ll have you recite it in Sanskrit. You can do it in English. You can do it in Sanskrit.

 

Mother Gayatri! O Gurudeva!
Grant me purity of buddhi.
May my mind become immaculate, quiet, peaceful, clear and pleasant.
May all my emotions be purified.
Grant me the spiritual strength to ask for forgiveness with a sentiment of amity.
Aum! That alone is real.
May all this endeavor be accepted as my surrender and offering to Brahman.

 

Doing Gayatri japa means “God grant me the purification of buddhi.”

Grant that my buddhi – Dhiyo yo nah prachodayāt – be impelled, inspired, awakened and enlightened
Because it is the buddhi dosha that is causing the problems.

1. Keep some time for silence, and for introspection.
2. Talk to yourself using internal dialogue.
3. Listen to my lectures Marks of Spiritual Progress
4. If advised to do so by a mantra initiator in our tradition, use the Gayatri japa during the 40 days.

Until you feel that the change has occurred after each mala of Gayatri, get yourself a book and write this prayer down three times; then go to the next mala so you know the purpose of that japa. “Grant me the spiritual strength to ask for forgiveness.” Not spiritual strength to forgive – spiritual strength to ask for forgiveness. Understand that.

Everybody is innocent. Nobody intentionally does any harm to others, but they are helpless by the samskaras, by the imprints, by the angers, by the self-deficiencies, insecurities that they bring.

And this is not a psychiatrist’s office. What we are doing is not written in any book on conflict resolution, okay, because this is resolution of inner conflicts not interpersonal conflicts. It is the resolution of inner conflicts not of interpersonal conflicts.

Everybody please unscrupulously dig out and face your own transgressions, and after each mala of Gayatri ask for strength, spiritual strength to ask for forgiveness.

I’ll release you from that when I see that a real internal change has happened. This is the true festival of spiritual peace.

Love and Blessings in the service of the Guru,

Swami Veda Bharati

 

*****************************************************************************

 

SPIRITUAL FESTIVAL 2009
STABILIZING THE SPIRITUAL MINDFIELD

 

Here is a short list of endeavours which may take a considerable amount of time, it would seem. But actually, these are simple services one can perform easily with a little dedication, a little feeling of giving importance to them.

You do so much for yourself — now increase what you do for others. This is your action plan, a business plan for living a full life.

 

***********************

ONE

 

Let your selfless service increase, whether by one percent or five percent or whatever. Increase the time and energy you spend in SELFLESS service of others. That is the first concrete action you can begin with.

 

***********************

TWO

 

Refine your personal practices and include:

a) Concentrating more on exhalations. This will help you achieve 2:1 ratio of breathing without physical effort. Send to SVB brief feedback on having achieved this feat through just this concentration and how long it took.

b) Repeat the homework that was given for the period July 2005 to February 2007, that is, (1) Symptoms of weak and strong mind and how to develop a strong mind, and (2) “Marks of Spiritual Progress” homework, until perfected.

c) Keep your regular meditation time. In addition to that, you may sit at other times in the day.

Do not forget to take 2 minutes, 3 minute breaks, for breath-awareness many, many times in the day.

 

***********************

THREE

 

Prepare a study and practice plan for yourself. This month I will read this, next month I will read that, the following month, I will read that. Plan for the last breath of your life, what will be the state of your mind at that moment, and thereby what you wish to be in your next life, what kind of life would you like to have next time. Plan for that elevation of yourself and thus, preparing a study plan and spiritual plans.

 

***********************

FOUR

 

Popularize the full moon meditations so that many more people can benefit from them. Let them know of the benefit and availability.

 

***********************

FIVE

 

Plan for a silence retreat of 3 days, 7 days, 10 days. If you are courageous, 40 days, and if you are really, really more courageous, 90 days. Come to SRSG to refresh your heart, mind, and soul. Build it into your year’s plan.

 

Do small retreats in your regions. We have established a system of regional AHYMSINs. You do not have to have lectures all the time. Five, six, seven or any number of you can join together and go to some place of silence; you can even do it in a home if you have room for five or seven to lie down in your basement. Set a day’s program modelled on the ashram: hatha at such time; breakfast at such time; a period of silence and meditation; and listening to the practices on mp3 or CDs.

 

Plan from now when you will come next for a teachers’ training retreat.

 

***********************

SIX

 

If you are a teacher, prepare your students to become linked to the Guru lineage by way of initiation.

 

Prepare your students—when they take a hatha class, what is the next step?

o Give them the book Philosophy of Hatha Yoga;
o Give them our booklets on meditation and mantra.
o Have a study plan for them.

 

The number of traveling teachers is going to increase now. Do facilitate their coming to your area.

 

You can also help many people spiritually, and this ashram in extending its teaching as well as financially, by forming groups to come to the ashram on a regular basis.

Swami Veda Bharati

 

Shiva-Sankalpa-Sūktam

OM yaj jāgrato dūram udaiti, daivaṁ 

tadu suptasya tathaivaiti,
dūraṅgamaṃ jyotiṣāṁ jyotir ekaṁ,
tan me manaḥ shiva-saṅkalpam astu.

yena karmāṇyapaso manīṣiṇo,
yajñe kṛṇvanti vidatheṣu dhīrāḥ,
yad apūrvaṃ yakṣaṁ antaḥ prajānāṁ,
tan me manaḥ shiva-saṅkalpam astu.

yat prajñānam uta ceto dhṛtiś ca
yaj jyotir antar amṛtaṁ prajāsu,
yasmān na ṛte kiñcana karma kriyate
tan me manaḥ shiva-saṅkalpam astu.

yenedaṁ bhūtaṃ bhuvanaṁ bhaviṣyat
pari-gṛhītam amṛtena sarvam,
yena yajñas tāyate sapta hotā
tan me manaḥ shiva-saṅkalpam astu.

yasminn ṛcaḥ sāma yajūṁṣi yasmin
pratiṣṭhitā ratha-nābhāvivārāḥ,
yasmiṁś cittaṁ sarvam otaṁ prajānāṁ
tan me manaḥ shiva-saṅkalpam astu.

suṣārathir aśvān iva yan manuṣyān,
nenīyate ‘bhīśubhir vājina iva,
hṛt-pratiṣṭhaṁ yad ajiraṁ javiṣṭhaṁ
tan me manaḥ shiva-saṅkalpam astu.

OM shāntiḥ shāntiḥ shāntiḥ.

Shiva-Sankalpa-Sūktam (from Ashram handbook)

(Yajur Veda)

ॐ यज्जाग्रतो दूरमुदैति दैवं तदु सुप्तस्य तथैवैति।
दूरङ्गमं ज्योतिषां ज्योतिरेकं तन्मे मनः शिवसङ्कल्पमस्तु॥१॥

Om yaj jāgrato dῡram udaiti daivaṁ
tadu suptasya tathaivaiti,
dῡraṅgamaṁ jyotiṣāṁ jyotir ekaṁ
tan me manaḥ shiva-saṅkalpam astu. (1)

Om. That divine shining force which travels far as one is awake and also travels far and wide, the same way, when one is asleep, this far going, far travelling, one light of many lights, may that my mind be filled with beautiful and benevolent thoughts.


येन कर्माण्यपसो मनीषिणो यज्ञे कृण्वन्ति विदथेषु धीराः।
यदपूर्वं यक्षमन्तः प्रजानां तन्मे मनः शिवसङ्कल्पमस्तु॥२॥

yena karmāṇyapaso manīṣiṇo
yajñe kṛṇvanti vidatheṣu dhīrāḥ,
yad apῡrvaṁ yakṣaṁ antaḥ prajānāṁ
tan me manaḥ shiva-saṅkalpam astu. (2)

That wherewith all the wise ones, intuitive ones, perform their acts, all the patient spiritually practicing ones perform all duties in the battles of life, that which is the mysterious personality inside all beings, may that my mind be filled with beautiful and benevolent thoughts.


यत्प्रज्ञानमुत चेतो धृतिश्च यज्ज्योतिरन्तरमृतं प्रजासु।
यस्मान्न ऋते किञ्चन कर्म क्रियते तन्मे मनः शिवसङ्कल्पमस्तु॥३॥

yat prajñānam uta ceto dhṛtiś ca
yaj jyotir antar amṛtaṁ prajāsu,
yasmān na ṛte kiñcana karma kriyate
tan me manaḥ shiva-saṅkalpam astu. (3)

That which is awareness, that which is the mind field, that which is the holding, sustaining power, that which is the immortal light hidden in the interior of all beings, that without which no action is ever performed, may that my mind be filled with beautiful and benevolent thoughts.


येनेदं भूतं भुवनं भविष्यत् परिगृहीतममृतेन सर्वम्।
येन यज्ञस्तायते सप्त होता तन्मे मनः शिवसङ्कल्पमस्तु॥४॥

yenedaṁ bhῡtaṁ bhuvanaṁ bhaviṣyat
pari-gṛhītam amṛtena sarvam,
yena yajñas tāyate sapta hotā
tan me manaḥ shiva-saṅkalpam astu. (4)

That by which all that is the past, that immortal force by which is held in his grip all that is past, all that is present, all that is future, that by which the sacrament of seven priests is performed, may that my mind be filled with beautiful and benevolent thoughts.


यस्मिन्नृचः साम यजूंषि यस्मिन् प्रतिष्ठिता रथनाभाविवाराः।
यस्मिंश्चित्तँ सर्वमोतं प्रजानां तन्मे मनः शिवसङ्कल्पमस्तु॥५॥

yasminn ṛcaḥ sāma yajῡṁṣi yasmin
pratiṣṭhitā ratha-nābhāvivārāḥ,
yasmiṁś cittaṁ sarvam otaṁ prajānāṁ
tan me manaḥ shiva-saṅkalpam astu. (5)

That in which the hymns of praise, as in the Rig Veda, the hymns that can be sung, as in the Sama Veda, they hymns that are recited in all sacraments, as in the Yajur Veda, all this knowledge is established as the arrays of spokes in the central navel of the chariot’s wheel. That in which the mind field of all living beings is woven and interwoven, may that my mind be filled with beautiful and benevolent thoughts.


सुषारथिरश्वानिव यन्मनुष्यान् नेनीयतेऽभीशुभिर्वाजिन इव।
हृत्प्रतिष्ठं यदजिरं जविष्ठं तन्मे मनः शिवसङ्कल्पमस्तु॥६॥

suṣārathir aśvān iva yan manuṣyān
nenīyate ‘bhīśubhir vājina iva,
hṛt-pratiṣṭhaṁ yad ajiraṁ javiṣṭhaṁ
tan me manaḥ siva-saṅkalpam astu. (6)

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

Om shāntiḥ shāntiḥ shāntiḥ.

As a good charioteer controls and leads the horses with the reins held fast, in the same way, that which leads all the human beings with the reins of senses in its grip, that heart dwelling, most agile, speediest force in the universe, may that my mind be filled with beautiful and benevolent thoughts.

Om, Peace, Peace, Peace.


(Note: From the Handbook of Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama)