AHYMSIN

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Spiritual Festival Guidelines for 2010

Namaste Everyone,

With "The Spiritual Festival Guidelines for 2010," there's a lot there, and it could be intimidating to new initiates.

The Spiritual Festival has been going on for about 20 years, so for older initiates the general procedure is familiar.  

Basically two things are done:
(1) increased japa practice, and
(2) making spiritual lifestyle changes.

Each year Swami Veda emphasizes certain specific things, and so those are implemented for sure.


Then, individually, one looks over the entire scope of the Spiritual Festivals (past and present) and selects certain things to do during the 40 days to help cultivate a more sattvic personality.

It would be good for the senior teachers at the centers to have a satsang sometime before June 17th to discuss some of the possible things that people could incorporate into their sadhanas.  

When I think of Swami Veda, I think of him repeating the phrase:
"Cultivate sattva!   Cultivate sattva!  Cultivate sattva!"

That's the bottom line.  

Wishing everyone a joyous 40-days,

Michael


AHYMSIN'S

THE NEW SPIRITUAL PRACTICES (2010-2013)

and

THE SPIRITUAL FESTIVAL (2010)

(June 17th - July 26th)


In February of 2010, Swami Veda gave a new set of spiritual practices for the Ahymsin community of sadhakas.  Below is the information that is needed to undertake these New Spiritual Practices (2010-2013) and also information on the 40-day Spiritual Festival which will begin on June 17th and continue until July 26th (Guru Purnima).

The 40-day Spiritual Festival in the Himalayan Yoga Tradition is a time period when sadhakas undertake special spiritual practices, such as more intense japa and increased implementing of the Yamas and Niyamas etc.  There are many suggestions given in the articles cited below as to how to cultivate a more sattvic personality. 


THE NEW MANTRA


1. NEW AHYMSIN 2010 PRACTICES:

This link contains an Introductory Talk given to those were at SRSG in February 23, 2010, in which Swami Veda explained the significance of the previous Ityukta mantra practice (2007-2010) and then introduced the New Mantra (Akhanda Mandala + Expanded Gayatri) which will be used by the sangha for the next three years (2010-2013):   https://www.ahymsin.org/main/index.php/Swami-Veda-Bharati/new-ahymsin-2010-practices.html


2. 2010-2013 PRACTICE:
This link contains the most information on the New Spiritual Practices (2010-2013).  It has Swami Veda's Ten Recommendations for refining one's sadhana in the next three years.  It also contains the New Mantra Practice with the Devanagari Script, its English transliterations, and a phonetic version (below).  It also tells where to get Audio Files (CDs or Downloads) of the pronunciation of the New Mantra, a link to Swami Veda's Introduction to the New Practices on YouTube, possible Sankalpa (commitments) that a person can make in working with the New Mantra, and a list of elders in the Tradition that can be consulted for Spiritual Guidance.
https://www.ahymsin.org/main/index.php/Initiates/2010-2013-practice.html



The New Mantra Practice Assigned in Feb 2010 by Swami Veda
(Go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjcQaEuRpughttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjcQaEuRpug)


Make a sankalpa (resolve) of how many repetitions you will do daily. Minimum: 3 or 7; better 11; middling 33, 51, 71, 91 or maximum 108.

At the beginning of each sitting, you may do a few repetitions of other mantras you are practicing to keep the link for that practice (this includes Ityukta).

The combined mantras [Akhanda Mandala & Expanded Gayatri] below are considered ONE repetition:

akhanda-mandalaakaaram
vyaaptam yena charaacharam
tatpadam darshitam yena
tasmaai shree gurave namaha

Om bhooh   Om bhuvah   Om svah
Om mahah   Om janah   Om tapah   Om satyam.

Om tat savitur varenyam
bhargo devasya dheemahi
dhiyo yo nah pra-chodayaat.

Om aapo jyotee raso amrtam brahma bhoor bhuvah svar Om.


3. 2010-2013 PRACTICE TRANSCRIPT:

This link has the transliteration of the New Mantra along with an explanation of the last part of the Expanded Gayatri: OM āpo jyotī raso amrtam  brahma bhūr bhuvah svar OM.  It also contains instructions on how to do an Advanced Practice of the New Mantra using the breath, the sankalpa to use when doing it, and the mantra to use at the end of spiritual practices. https://www.ahymsin.org/main/index.php/Worldwide/2010-2013-practicetranscript.html (If this  page  does not come up, type in "2010-2013 Practice Transcript" in the Ahymsin SEARCH engine.  The same can be done with any of the articles listed.) There is also a request from Swami Veda's to read his  "Special Mantras," https://www.ahymsin.org/main/index.php/Swami-Veda-Bharati/special-mantra.html

4. THE AKHANDA-MANDALA MANTRA:

This link contains Swami Veda's translation of the Akhanda-Mandala Mantra, which is used along with Expanded Gayatri Mantra as part of the New Mantra Practice. https://www.ahymsin.org/main/index.php/Swami-Veda-Bharati/akhanda-mandalkram-mantra.htmll

5. FURTHER ADVICE ON NEW PRACTICES (2010-2013):

This link contains Swami Veda's explanation of the seven vyāhrtis – "divine utterances" used in the Expanded Gayatri mantra practice:  https://www.ahymsin.org/main/index.php/Swami-Veda-Bharati/further-advice-on-new-practices-2010-2013.html

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OTHER WAYS TO REFINE ONE'S SADHANA


Along with using the New Mantra, there are many other suggestions that Swami Veda has given over the years to grow spiritually.  Along with Swami Veda's audio recordings, books and booklets, these links are particularly recommended:

6. QUESTIONS FOR SELF-EXAMINATION:

This link contains several suggestions from Swami Veda about helping others, refining one's sadhana and expanding the Himalayan teaching.   https://www.ahymsin.org/main/index.php/Ityukta-2010/questions-fo-self-examination.html

7. MINDFIELD: THE PLAYGROUND OF THE GODS:
In this article Swami Veda defines the characteristics of person with a Strong Mind vs. one with a Weak Mind. (See below.) https://www.ahymsin.org/main/index.php/Swami-Veda-Bharati/mind-field.html

8. MARKS OF SPIRITUAL PROGRESS:

At SRSG ashram in 2002, Swami Veda gave a series of talks on distinguishing characteristics of those who are progressing spiritually.   What he said at that time, along with the previous two articles ("Questions for Self-examination" and "Mindfield: The Playground of the Gods") forms a wonderful basis on which to construct lifestyle changes.  See also "Additional Guidelines) below.  https://www.ahymsin.org/main/index.php/Swami-Veda-Bharati/marks-of-spiritual-progress.html

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ADDITIONAL GUIDELINES

Prayash-chitta and Chitta Prasadana: through Self-Examination & Meditation

(Taken from Guidelines for the Festival in Previous Years)

Self-Examination, Sadhana Practice, Meditation & Mantra Japa

•    Maintain mindfulness and an attitude of self-examination throughout the day. Observe thoughts and emotions asking oneself, “What transgressions did I commit?”
•    Where there was fearful or aggressive thoughts/words/actions ask,  “What was it in me that evoked that response and reaction?" 
•    What right thing that should have done have I omitted, replacing such negativity with kindness and compassion. (Refer to Swami Veda’s Yoga Sutra summary of I:33 on Chitta prasadhana.)
•    Nadi Shodhana (channel purification) 3 times a day
•    One to three malas of personal mantra japa daily
•    For any thought critical of anyone, do 11 recitations of Gayatri.
•    Make a sankalpa (resolve) of how many repetitions of the New Mantra you will do daily.  Minimum would be 3 or 7; better would be 11.  Middling: 33, 51, 71, 91.  Maximum would be one mala (108).  
•    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.
•    Recite the Gurur Brahma Prayer and the morning & evening prayers
•    Surrender samskaras & random thoughts to the inner Guru
•    Resolve to enter into non-self-centered meditation
•    Om Tat Sat Brahmarpanam Astu - dedicate prayers to the enlightenment and happiness of others.
•    Your last formal thought at night should be 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.
•    Participate in World-group Meditations.  See dates for 2010: June 26, July 25, Aug. 24, Sept. 23, Oct. 23, Nov. 21, Dec. 21.  See  https://www.globalmeditationsite.org/index.htmlhttps://www.globalmeditationsite.org/index.html

Hatha Yoga

•    A practice of hatha yoga to purify the body, breath and mind. Consider undertaking a practice of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) during this 40 days. Please refer to the section in Swami Veda’s Philosophy of Hatha Yoga where he talks about asana as worship.  Use whatever asana practice you undertake as a way to strengthen your link with the lineage through whom all blessings flow.

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.
•    No 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.
•    You may ask The Meditation Center (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for guidance regarding balanced diet.

To further deepen your practice

•    Read and contemplate themes from past Festivals such as: vasu-deva principle, ahimsa, inner cycles & transitions, silencing past habits, contemplation & stillness, refinement of pleasures, surrender to the Guru within.  Transcripts of these are available from The Meditation Center.
•    Consider taking a vow of one month's celibacy, but only with the happy consent of your spouse.
•    Keep a personal journal on subtle violence in 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.
•    Dedicate 10 percent of your month's income plus one dollar to a charity of your choice, in addition to your usual commitments.  Through this ancient Western and Eastern tradition of tithing, one learns the way of giving sacrifice joyfully.
•    Look for ways to reduce your possessions, acquisitions and energy consumption at least 10%.
•    Conquer anger, laziness and selfish thoughts.  
•    Vow to give special love to your family and reach out to others, beyond your blocks and fears.
•    Experiment with a practice of silence (see Swami Veda's "Silence" for more details https://www.ahymsin.org/main/index.php/Swami-Veda-Bharati/silence.html). 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.
•    Take a one or two-day, or longer, personal retreat.  Contact your Center or any of the Spiritual Committee members for arrangements or suggestions.  
•    On Guru Purnima day you may decide to undertake further observances of self-purification for next year. Ask for the Year of Sanctity Guidelines.

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.

EXCERPTS FROM A SERIES OF ARTICLES

BY SWAMI VEDA BHARATI IN THE

LIFE POSITIVE MAGAZINE OF NEW DELHI, INDIA

 

Used by Swamiji for guiding spiritual aspirants during the Spiritual Festival of 2009 and Year of Sanctity culminating with the 2010 Events in Rishikesh, these continue to provide guidance for the ongoing practice.

SEGMENT 1

In these articles we wish to learn to develop a sattvic, strong, mind-field, and apply the same as guide to our daily indulgences, desires, practical life, relationships and emotions.

We cannot learn to use our minds in sattvic patterns, as described in the previous sections of this article, without first learning how our minds are formed, and from what sources is the mind derived.

(i)    The true field of our individual mind is a wave of the universal mind. It is the purest crystal, the most beautiful place in the universe; nothing can be more beauteous, more glorious, more illuminated and calmer than this wave-field. It is closer to atman than any other entity in the universe.

(ii)    At the moment of being conceived into the current body, we bring from the past lives all our samskaras, imprints of past actions and experiences, whether they be sattvic, rajasic or tamasic.

(iii)    The mother-mind and the father-mind are infused into this wave of the universal mind which is patterned also by previous samskaras, subtly altering the pre-existent pattern, imprinting on it the mother-father-samskaras to a certain extent.

(iv)    From the moment of conception, whatever is happening in and to the mother’s mind is being passed on to the foetus’s mind. The foetus is not merely taking physical nutrition through the mother’s body; its mind is being constantly re-shaped.

(v)    The kind of sattvic, rajasic or tamasic food the mother is eating renders that kind of prana field whose further essence is imparted as a constituent of the foetus-mind. So, for example, the food: (a) obtained by causing pain to creatures and eaten by the mother, will create a painful mind in turn prone to hurting living beings; and (b) cooked with anger, it will contribute to creating an angry mind.

(vi)    From the moment of conception the mind is constantly in a state of flux and change. It is never the same from moment to moment. A moment, kshana, is defined by the Yoga Sutras (YS) as the time it takes an atomic particle to traverse to an immediately contiguous next point in space. In that moment, each moment, the mind is re-constituted and it has changed from its preceding state. While the mother is poring physical nutrition and a subtle trickle of her mind into the foetus, the direction this foetus’s mind will take is being set. This is a person’s primary education.

(vii)    The processes that go into the making of a foetus’s mind continue after the child emerges from the womb. At first the parents, immediate family and others determine the composition of our minds; but later, throughout life we ourselves are choosing the constituents of our mind from moment to moment. Our attitudes, temperaments, inclinations, habit patterns, addictions, mental engagements, etc., are all being set in this way; some being weakened by making certain choices, some being strengthened by others.


Whatever we fill our minds with that is what we become. Yo yach-chhraddhah sa eva sah. These determine our pleasantness or unpleasantness; our social skills or clumsy communications; violent habit or a docile one; our success in marriage and in our profession or dismal failure - all depends on how we constantly constitute and re-constitute our minds, not daily but moment to moment – by the above definition of ‘moment’. Our happiness or suffering, success or failure, is not created by ‘them others’ whom we blame. They are of our own doings.


SEGMENT 2


In the first part of the series we spoke of mind as an energy field. An energy field may be weak or strong; so a particular mind-field may be weak or strong.

A weak energy field may be made stronger through the application of appropriate technology. A weakened mind may be made stronger through the application of certain methods of:

 

  • self-experimentation in mental, vocal and physical behaviour;
  • self-observation;
  • concentration;
  • and meditation.


A weakness is a weakening of some strength. Darkness cannot be removed by sweeping it out with a broom; it is only a relative weakening of light. Appropriate strengthening, brightening of light removes the darkness. One seeks to find the strength of which a particular weakness is weakening. Increase that strength and the weakness vanishes (this applies to individuals, societies, religions, nations or any other groupings as well).

A part by part strengthening, replacing individual weaknesses with particular strengths will not be holistic, complete or permanent - atyantika in the words of Ishvara-krshna, the author of Sankhya-karika. Any re-strengthening of a particular weakened area of the mind must be accomplished within the context of the strengthening of the total mind field of an individual. This totality of re-strengthening is obtained through meditation.

These are some of the basic principles of ‘therapy’; or rather, personal re-construction, applied by the spiritual guides to help elevate their beloved students and disciples. The same may be used by parents, teachers and counsellors (or leaders of groups and nations).

What are the signs and symptoms by which we know a (a person who has a) weak or a strong mind. Here are some of the indices.

A weak mind is hard; it lacks resilience, fluidity and compassion.
A strong mind is resilient, fluid and compassionate.

A weak mind is egotistical; a strong mind is humble.

A weak mind makes statements that contradict each other; a strong mind is consistent and harmonious.

A weak mind looks at oppositions; a strong mind seeks to see complements and helps with ‘resolution’ (samadhana).

A weak mind starts its sentences (in speech and writing) with “I” and frequently repeats the various forms of this pronoun.
A strong mind avoids the first personal pronoun and its variants.

A weak mind is addicted to the words like - No, Not, Refuse, Deny, Challenge, ‘my stand’, ‘my view’, and such other expressions.
When a strong mind ‘refuses’, it does not hurt like a refusal.

A weak mind feels that others are resisting him/her, refusing him/her.
A strong mind has faith in others’ positive and good reaction(s).  

A weak mind remembers what hurts and what harm others have caused to him/her; a strong mind forgets these.

A weak mind forgets what hurt and harm s/he has caused to others; a strong mind remembers these.

A weak mind remembers the good and kind acts s/he has done for others; a strong mind forgets these.

A weak mind forgets the good and kind acts others have done to him/her; a strong mind remembers these.

People do not say ‘No’ to a weak mind out of fear.
People do not say ‘No’ to a strong mind out of love.  

A weak mind defends his/her own position.
A strong mind defends his/her opponent’s position; finds excuses for the situation of one who has given him a refusal.

A weak mind forgets things for lack of interest in others, and because of     emotional befogging.
A strong mind remembers what interests others; the emotional fog does not obscure his/her ‘recall’ mechanisms.

A weak mind justifies his/her acts; a strong mind apologises.

A weak mind does not forgive; a strong mind forgives and also forgets the incident.

A weak mind criticises others, speaks ill of them.
A strong mind does not criticise in his/her mind but rather seeks the reasons for another person’s weaknesses and grants strength.

A weak mind gets tense and stressed; the same stimuli that cause tension in a weak mind immediately trigger a relaxed state in a strong mind.

A weak mind resists others and blames them for resisting him/her.
A strong mind meets no resistance and his/her paths are made easy by others.

A weak mind is hurt by the anger of others.
A strong mind sympathetically seeks to find the history of the pain and suffering that is causing anger and seeks to remedy the same.

A weak mind sees others’ faults; a strong mind sees its own faults.

A person with a weak mind is easily fatigued; one with a strong mind regenerates quickly.

One with a weak mind makes the body’s illness into a mind condition.
A strong mind introduces mind’s healing into the body.

A weak mind seeks others to be responsible for him/her, and then resents them.
A strong mind takes responsibility for others without feeling burdened.

A weak mind follows set patterns; a strong mind invents.

A weak mind is lethargic and complacent; a strong mind takes initiative.

A weak mind is suspicious; a strong mind trusts.

A weak mind struggles to accomplish any objective.
A strong mind does without doing and accomplishes by his/her mere presence.

A weak mind finds small irritants to be too large to suffer.
A strong mind has an oceanic capacity to absorb and not feel that there had been any irritation.  

A weak mind cannot taste the fullness of any experience and therefore his/her craving is never satiated.
A strong mind, being well centred, tastes and experiences everything in fullness, enjoys ‘more of less’ and is contented.

A weak mind is self-centred, seeking its own pleasure and often being thwarted by those in whom s/he generates resistance.
A strong mind constantly seeks the fulfilment of others, thereby ceases to evoke resistance; it is others who then find pleasure in giving her/him fulfilment.


A weak mind reacts to small things, small events that have the duration of an instant only and are of temporary worth.
A strong mind ignores such matters and holds a larger picture in a more expansive time frame (dirgha-darshin, dura-darshin and sukshma-darshin); therefore is not disturbed by small events, little words or temporary situations.

A weak mind has a small horizon; a strong mind has a large horizon in all subjects and matters.   

A weak mind sees only parts.
A strong mind carries the vision of a complete whole in which all atoms and galaxies, all ideas and sciences are a single, interconnected whole.

A weak mind finds it difficult to learn new things; all sciences are easily opened to a strong mind.

A weak mind lives in fear (of loss, repeat of natural disasters, ghosts and possessions, attacks, illness, poverty, death).
A strong mind grants reassurance to all beings by his/her very presence.

A weak mind, suffering from inferiority, keeps reasserting her/his (individual, religious, national, tribal, political) superiority.
A strong mind withholds such assertions because of an interior self-assurance which embraces all opponents and opposite views.

A weak mind is full of inner conflicts and a thousand questions about the smallest step, seeking answers to each question and each answer raising a crop of a million more questions.
A strong mind flows in harmony; even though his/her questions may not have been answered, they have been resolved.

A weak mind demands; a strong mind gives.

A weak mind feels insulted; a strong mind gives honour.

A weak mind rejects everything; a strong mind assimilates what may seem most unacceptable in appearance.

A weak mind seeks its own pleasure and gratification.
A strong mind discovers a subtler, more refined, more intense and more lasting pleasure; that of knowing that someone has been pleased by his/her acts.

A weak mind speaks loudly; a strong mind speaks only from within a depth of interior silence.


A weak mind struggles to choose one of many options.
A strong mind incorporates the most contradictory options into a single scheme.


A weak mind overindulges, overeats, over-possesses, overstates, overdresses - because it tries to fill its emptiness with exterior objects.
A strong mind has an inner fullness; is therefore mild, restrained, without feeling restricted or deprived. A strong mind under-indulges, under-possesses, understates.

A weak mind lives in fear of others, constantly overprotecting oneself and thereby inviting attack.
A strong mind lives in love and that love alone is his/her protection.

A weak mind’s endeavors and relationships are unstable; in the presence of a strong mind all is stabilized.

A weak mind cannot concentrate on any effort; it wanders around.
A strong mind is a concentrated one and thereby, well centred in life and in meditation.

A strong mind, finally, is a saintly mind that grants to others freedom and liberates them from their own self-enslavement.

This is an incomplete list. It is only an indication for assessing whether we are of weak mind or of strong mind, that is, whether our mind field is fully energized, or only partly or feebly so.


SEGMENT 3



The path of peace, purification and spirituality is comprised of recognizing and giving way to our natural urges. Some of these urges are:

•    To love,

•    To give,

•    To share,

•    To perform selfless acts without seeking a return,

•    To sacrifice oneself for others,

•    To generate peace in one’s surroundings,

•    To seek solitude,

•    To recognise the spiritual resource within oneself,

•    To aspire to purify oneself to add to the sattvic content of one’s personality,

•    To create a bonding with others,

•    To energise oneself when feeling low,

•    To postpone death by will,

•    To heal oneself by the power of will,

•    To exercise control over one’s senses and desires,

•    To seek knowledge,

•    To seek self-knowledge – to know ‘What am I’,

•    To forgive,

•    To respond to hate with love,

•    To wish to reduce our aversions,

•    To seek to make oneself small before others, cultivating humility,

•    To reduce one’s wants and material possessions,

•    To practice cleanliness,

•    To be loyal,

•    To reduce the level of one’s anger,

•    To learn to live by wisdom,

•    To be patient,

•    To withstand the forces of opposites like heat and cold,

•    To conquer sloth and sleep,

•    To be creative and inventive,

•    To appreciate virtues of others,

•    To be grateful to other living beings for what they render to us,

•    To honour beauty and nature,

•    To create arts as an expression of seeking beauty even in the most mundane objects,

•    To refine language to be poetic, expressive of love and beauty,

•    To protect knowledge,

•    To venerate and worship,

•    To harmonise the opposites,

•    To reduce conflict,

•    To see and seek mother, sister, daughter, father, brother, son in the persons of the opposite gender,

•    To remain calm in the face of provocation,

•    To speak truth,

•    To avoid defending oneself,

•    To teach, for the sake of sharing knowledge,

•    To increase knowledge,

•    To increase the availability of knowledge,

•    To protect the sources of knowledge,

•    To search within for intuitive knowledge,

•    To cultivate the strengths of mind as partially listed in Segment 2 of these excerpts,

•    To encourage and help others to develop all of the above.  


We see proof of these natural urges within ourselves in our daily desires, actions and interactions.


SEGMENT 4


Enlightenment is not a one time dramatic event. It is progression to an awakening, an expansion towards infinity, to becoming boundless. At present we are asleep to our boundless nature, to our limitless consciousness. We are confined to limitations of times, spaces and directions. As we progress towards enlightenment, the boundaries gradually decline and like the abandoned snakeskin are finally left behind.

We are told that as a bird flying leaves no feather print in the sky nor the fish leave fin prints in the sea, so a saint ascending the ladder to these heights, diving to these depths (heights = depths, all the same, problem of paradox for the language-bound), leaves no marks.

But the observant disciple does observe some characteristics, changes. Let us take the question of what is enlightenment in two stages.

•    The visible changes that progressively occur in an aspirant; and
•    the changes in consciousness that are not visible to an observer but are experienced internally.

The two go hand in hand together. It cannot be stated as to which one is a prerequisite of the other. Let us take the first of the two. The vast world literature depicting these changes cannot be summarized in a short article. We can only give a few glimpses. Christian, Mazdayasnian, Buddhist, Hindu, Yoga literature is replete with the description of these changes that occur.  Some of these are:

•    Absolute compassion
•    Non-violence
•    Inability to become angry
•    Ability to observe the causes of someone’s anger and the power of quietude to pacify it
•    Sensitivity to what is causing someone to become frustrated – and helping him/her to the utmost of one’s spiritual ability
•    Total abandonment of ego, utmost humility, defining success as the ability to become very small
•    Absolute selflessness – only the ‘other’ counts
•    After a while the concept of ‘an other’ ceases
•    Never becoming agitated
•    Using a willfully generated display of emotions – like anger – to help, guide and purify others
•    A peaceful (saumya) presence so that even the most agitated person coming on to such presence goes away pacified
•    Forgetting instantly whatever benevolence one has conferred
•    Remembering what benevolence one has failed to confer
•    Total concentration and absorption so that no exterior noises and such factors distract one
•    Equanimity – total peacefulness when obvious causes for agitation, frustration, anger or other such arousal are intensely present
•    Finding excuses in favor of someone whom others would view as an opponent; having no concept of ‘adversary’ or ‘opponent’ or outsider as against an insider
•    Seeking no return for one’s selfless acts
•    Feeling no need to defend oneself
•    Having no fears – not because of bravery but because of the confidence in one’s lovingness; therefore being no danger to any living being (having no fear because one generates no fear)
•    Mildness, even when displaying a pretended intensity to help and guide or purify others
•    Making absolutely no differentiation between one life form or another
•    Awareness of the totality of consciousness in the entire universe simultaneously
•    Easy access to knowledge – all vidyas present themselves to him/her upon internal evocation
•    Mastery over the three states of consciousness – wakefulness, dream and sleep  
•    Mastery over desires. One may accept a sense experience and may switch it off at will
•    Sense experiences being viewed as doorways to inward perception – all sensations on the body surface becoming pathways to enter the inward consciousness
•    Not accumulating karma – by performing all acts only altruistically
•    Ability to remain on both shores simultaneously – a married yogi(ni) may be in the arms of one’s spouse giving full attention to lovingness and at the same time be fully merged in the divine consciousness  - without the spouse suspecting (reference to story of Chudala)
•    Speaking only when in silence; sleeping only when awake; eating only when fasting
•    Ability to guide one or a million persons, close by or in intercontinental distances, into a state of meditation – as one transcends the boundaries of space and time
•    Mastery over the forces of time
•    Choosing the time of one’s apparent so-called death, and leaving the body consciously
•    Total awareness of beauty in the universe, science becoming a poem, all acts being aesthetic and refined – such a person’s walk is a dance and the normal gesticulation is a divine mudra that attracts all
•    Not identifying with body states; not being mentally affected by the presence of disease which is understood as a mere chemical reaction in the body’s test tube
•    Carefully concealing one’s spiritual attainments
•    Having a mastery over the means to liberate others from their fears, angers, limitations, ‘opponent’ concepts, and from all that binds and delimits our consciousness
•    Ability to know the minds of others but not exhibiting that ability – only using it to help others
•    Ability to evoke peaceful, benevolent ‘mood’ in others by one’s presence, demeanour and speech
•    When powers over nature present themselves, ignoring them, renouncing them. Thereby they follow him/her, using them only to help others very unobtrusively and denying that one did confer any benefit.

These are just some of the symptoms of gradual enlightenment, not an exhaustive list but a demonstrative one, as stated in the texts like Bodhi-charyavatara and dasha-bhumika-sutra. The paths to these are shown by the sages like Patanjali and numerous others  . These have been stated over the ages with an impressive unanimity among the sages of all countries and spiritual climes.

As to full enlightenment, perfect awakening, what is it? Think of any limits and finitudes there are in your being. Drop them and try to imagine what that delimitation into the Infinite Consciousness might be – and you will know what enlightenment is.

 

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

For Further Study

Part One
Yoga Sutras:  Chapter I, Verse 33.
(Definition of Chitta Prasadhana)
Bhagavad Gita:  Chapter 17, Verses 14,15,16.


Part Two
Bhagavad Gita:   Chapter 2, Verses 54 to 72.
(Definition of Sthita-prajna)
Bhagavad Gita:  Chapters 14, 17 and18.
(Definitions of the three gunas: sattva, rajas, tamas)


Part Three
Bhagavad Gita:  Chapter 13, Verses 1 to 12
(Basic principles of Sankhya philosophy)


Articles from a Series of Articles by Swami Veda in Life Positive Magazine of New Dehli.
1.    Mind as the Playground of the Gods
- Sources of the Mind. What is Mind?
- Definition of Mind as an Energy Field
- Definition of Strong Mind and Weak Mind
2.    Signs of Enlightenment

 

The Meditation Center's Online Bookstore offers a CD "Marks of Spiritual Progress."  The online bookstore ships nationally and internationally. https://www.themeditationcenter.org/jnana/index.php?https://www.themeditationcenter.org/jnana/index.php?

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