Sunday, January 27, 2008

Nithya Yoga Series 6 - Body Gratitude

Demand for Plastic Surgery continues to grow in the UK
Seoul to tout Cosmetic Surgery tourism
Cosmetic Surgery sure to increase in 2008
Plastic Surgery patients want Angelina's lips ...

All the above are newspaper articles that figured in the last few weeks. The last of the articles I found the most interesting:

"Eyes like Katie Holmes, the sultry pout of Angelina Jolie and a body like Jessica Biel make the perfect woman -- at least in the opinion of plastic surgery patients in Beverly Hills.

The most requested look-alike female nose was that of "Grey's Anatomy" star Katherine Heigl, while British actress Keira Knightley was tops in the cheek department, and Paris Hilton haD the most sought-after skin. The features most desired by men were Leonardo DiCaprio's nose, soccer player David Beckham's body and the blue eyes of the latest James Bond actor, Daniel Craig. George Clooney's cheeks and Matt Damon's lips also got top billing."

Interesting, isn't it? All of us, I am sure at some point in our lives would have looked at the mirror wishing to be somebody else. After reading this, I was reminded of what Swamiji talks about the deep gap that exists between our fantasies and reality. This is so true, isn't it? Nobody seems to be happy with what they have. That is why the mad running happens in the world today, people trying to be like someone else, look like someone else, dress like someone else.

This dates back to how we were brought up. Teenagers pick up ideas from media about their role models. These ideas are fueled with ads in TVs, hoardings etc about the perfect body, perfect figure and what not. Society not only plants ideas into people, it even knows where to cash on, that is why we see the boom of slimming centers, plastic surgeries and beauty salons. The funny thing is even the so called celebrities whom people wish to be also carry this same feeling of wanting to be someone else.

The more fantasies we collect about ourselves, we have moved away from the reality. We move away from what we have and put our energies into what we want to have. Let us understand that this body itself is a gift from existence to us. And let us remember to thank the universe for it.

Can we imagine doing anything at all without this body? Starting from breathing, to eating, to walking, to talking..! The very fact that we are born in this Universe, isn't that enough proof that existence cares for us? We forget that, take everything for granted and carry a deep unhappiness and vengeance for not being born as somebody else. We have only learnt to compare and abuse this body.

When we start to develop a loving relationship with our body, the body responds in the most beautiful way! In Nithya Yoga, we do a body gratitude meditation that puts us in a state of love and gratitude for this body. We remember every part of our body for all that it does to us, offer our deepest gratitude. By and by, we start to really respect our body instead of abusing it.

Swamiji says "Try this. When you are not well, just make your body sit on a soft bed/sofa, treat it nicely and just request it to become alright. You will be shocked to see it respond! All our so called bodily illnesses simply run away"

Most of our skin diseases arise because of a deep resistance to our body. Here is a small meditation technique that Swamiji gives that can put you in tune with your body. Not only has this technique shown to cure many skin ailments, it also restores a deep love and respect for our body. Every day, when you wake up in the morning, just when you are opening your eyes, touch every part of your body lovingly, starting from head to toe and offer gratitude to it. A beautiful way to start the day!

Here is a short discourse where Swamiji gives some insights into the human body being more than just a biomechanism, it is pure intelligence that can respond to us... Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Thank you is not enough

Yesterday, one of our friend came back from India after attending a four day meditation program with Paramahamsa Nithyananda. He was narrating to us in great detail what happened during those four days in the ashram, the way how our Master was talking, His antics, His jokes, His narrations, His mannerisms etc. We talked and talked until mid night and I am sure we could have continued even more ...

During this entire period, we didn't even know how time went by. Not just this once, every time our friends come back from ashram after meeting the Master, we await here for their encounters with the Master.

Forget people coming from India, when we read about the Master's graceful acts in emails, like how He was dancing with people on the banks of Ganga, how He was playfully throwing pebbles at people like a kid, how He was riding an golf-cart like electric car and trying to hit everyone around, even then by reading those emails we get mesmerised; we get completely drawn into Him; we feel happy for no reason at all; we experience bliss...

We have invariably seen whoever has met the Master comes back dancing, in ecstasy. They will go on and on and on... There is no end. When we listen to them, a common chord strikes, that of bliss, that of being a part of the same Existential Energy. Though we were not present at the place and time when it happened, when the narration happens, we are literally transported to a parallel universe where all those events are replayed..

If somebody wants to know the meaning of bliss, I can say the moments when we hear and talk about the beautiful divine acts of the Master, what we experience and express is bliss :)

Just some emotions pouring out ...

A glimpse from His beautiful eyes, we wait;
A motherly hug from Him, we wait;
A beating with His Zen stick, we wait;
A scolding from His energy, we wait.

When He laughs, the whole Universe laughs with Him
When He talks, the whole Universe listens to Him.
When He sings, all the planets play for Him.
When He walks, the entire cosmos moves with Him.

Like a baby, He sleeps;
Like a baby, He complains;
Like a baby, He plays;
Like a baby, He dances...

What beauty! just indescribable...
What grace! just unimaginable...
What innocence! too much to handle..
Before Him, everything seems feeble.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

1000 years more???

Whenever we talk about how we should not miss living enlightened masters, how we should strive for enlightenment in this life etc., some of us question, 'Let us flow with the Universe, the Existence. When It thinks the time is right, It will lead me to the right source. If Existence is all-compassionate, It will only help me...'

If we are still stuck with these thoughts, let me put down what one of the disciples of Paramahamsa Nithyananda says, 'He (Paramahamsa Nithyananda) is on fire. Catch Him and hold onto Him. If you miss Him, you will miss Him for eternity; you will take another hundred births or thousand years to meet another living Master...' And now the bomb shell ...
'Afterall, what is 1000 years in eternity...'
A thousand years is nothing for Eternity, for the Existence. The Solar system has been existing in this Universe for billions of years. The Milky Way Galaxy itself, we don't even know how long it has been existing. It takes thousands of years for a star to be born, another thousands of years for a star to exist and another thousands of years for it to die...

But in our time scale, thousand years is lot of time. In Eternity's time scale, the same thousand years is equivalent to a second or a minute. For the Universe it might be minuscule but for us it is too much. For Eternity, thousand years might be equivalent to someone blinking an eye (as Krishna says in Bhagvat Gita), but for us a thousand years is too long a time to wait.

And what else do we want the Universe to show us than to bring us in direct contact with living enlightened master. This reminds me of a story that Paramahamsa Nithyananda quotes from Sri Ramakrishna's teachings:

There was a fisherman who went out for fishing. He was a devoted man and prayed to God all the time to take care of him. He was in the middle of the ocean and his boat was hit by a storm. He started praying to God, 'God! please help me. You have to come and help me. Please God, please.' After sometime, a bigger vessel passed by that area and found this guy stuck in the storm in this little boat which could collapse any moment. They called him out to get on board their vessel. This guy said, 'No, no, no.. I am waiting for my God to help me..' They persuaded but he didn't listen and they left. After sometime a helicopter came. They too couldn't convince him. He was left stranded in the middle of the ocean and the storm was getting stronger. He prayed and prayed and finally God called out to him and said, 'You fool! You are asking me to help you; when I really came and helped you, you never accepted my help. How else do you think I can help?' Saying that God left and the fisherman was washed away by the ocean.

Even after coming in contact with a living enlightened master, if we think time is not right and Existence will make things conducive for us to tread the path, then we are no less stupid than the fisherman in the story. Paramahamsa Nithyananda says, 'when the urge becomes urgent, when the question becomes a quest, true seeking happens.' If we are waiting for a good time and Nature's blessings for the question to become a quest, for the urge to become urgent, then we are simply wasting one more life of ours... we are simply paving the path for our own cycle of birth and death for another thousand years which by the way is very insignificant amount of time for Eternity... but is it for us?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

India ... the spiritual incubator

Last week, we were in Paramahamsa Nithyananda's ashram in India for His birthday celebrations. Though indescribable, we have tried our best to give a gist of what it was like to be in the energy field of a living enlightened master for just a few days. Everyone in the ashram was blissed out totally, dancing, singing, jumping in ecstasy, completely immersed in the energy.

Anyways, after the birthday celebrations, we left the ashram to my parents' place by train. Its an overnight journey. I found myself allocated to the middle berth and on the lower berth, I found a long haired, bermuda-t-shirt clad westerner lost in his own world. As soon as he saw me, he turned his head, his attention on the book I was reading- Sri Sharada Devi - The Holy Mother. He smiled and immediately said, 'that's a nice book.'

Why am I quoting this incident? This incident brought back one of my very old questions. Why is it that any person from any part of the world comes to India in search for deeper truths? Why do seekers of the Ultimate Truth think India is the place where there is an answer? This guy is not just touring India. He is certainly come to India for something more because he knows and read about masters like Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Sharada Devi.

Paramahamsa Nithyananda declares, "India is the spiritual incubator of the world." There is no doubt about it. Several enlightened masters and beings happened in India, Krishna, Buddha, Mahavira, Patanjali, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Vivekananda, Sharada Devi, Ramana Maharshi, Annamalai Swami, Sai Baba, Osho, Ajja, Paramahamsa Nithyananda ... the list goes on and on. There are thousands of enlightened masters and beings sitting in remote corners of India who are not even known to common people.

India is a culmination of the energy of these enlightened masters and it is this energy that strikes a chord with the seekers from the rest of the world. Osho puts it beautifully, "India is not just a geography or history. It is not only a nation, a country, a mere piece of land. It is something more: it is a metaphor, poetry, something invisible but very tangible. It is vibrating with certain energy fields that no other country can claim."

That is India. In terms of materialistic possessions, India may be termed as developing but in spiritual possessions, India is the only developed country. The people of so-called developed countries turn to India when everything external fails to fulfill the deepest inner craving for the Ultimate Truth.

India is a metaphor for the Ultimate Truth; India is a beautiful poetry penned down by the energies of the enlightened masters; India is a colorful painting with strokes of energy made by these masters and India is a culmination of the faith, hope and trust of a billion people on this Ultimate Truth in one way or the other.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Where words fail...

Last week, this blog saw no posts for two reasons. One is that we were at Bidadi ashram for Swamiji's birthday celebrations, away from internet and secondly, we were in the space of no-words! Truly, words fail to describe the silence and the depth of it that one experiences in the energy field of Swami Nithyananda at Bidadi. Anyway, here is an attempt to share my experiences there.

The ashram at Bidadi has many layers of significance, in the physical and the metaphysical planes. My favorite spot in the ashram is the banyan tree. The 600 year old banyan tree built on an ageless cave, the samadhi on an enlightened master takes you to eternity. It is amazing to see so many creatures live in harmony there - squirrels, owls, mynas, snakes, bugs, beetles, ants, rats... As Swamiji puts it, just being at the banyan tree is meditation, one has to experience it. If you get a chance, don't miss it.

The cave at the banyan tree had a swayambhu (self formed) shiva linga, which has now been consecrated at the Anandeshwara temple. This temple whose deities have been infused with life energy by the master Himself resonates with a high frequency. The unique thing about Swami's temples is that everyone is allowed to touch and interact with the deities.

The most ironic thing was that although there were so many people who had come down for the celebrations, amidst the noise there was silence, amidst the chaos there was a strange order, amidst the diversity there was a common bond.

We all got to do 'firewalking' as part of the celebrations. It is an amazing cleansing activity and an opportunity to see how much ours fears are a projection of our minds. All of us walked on burning coal so effortlessly just because of the assurance that the master is sitting in front of us blessing us. It's amazing! no blisters, no burns, no nothing! When we offer our fears and negativities at the feet of the master, it is so liberating! Nothing can burn us then :)

There is so much that happened in that short span of a few days at ashram. A deep alchemy! It is said that there are 5 moods that one can relate with God with - that of a mother to God, a child to God, a servant to God, a friend to God and a beloved to God. It is also said that the relationship with the master is deeper than all these 5 put together! Indeed it's true - for those of us who are fortunate to taste even a bit of this deep relationship can attest to this. The master-disciple relationship is so sweet, so deep, words always fail to describe it.

In deepest gratitude to Swamiji...