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9 Benefits of Meditation

25 May

sahaj samadhi meditation

Sahaj Samadhi Meditation benefits the the practitioner in following ways;

  1. Reduces pain and enhances body immune system.
  2. Reduces feeling of depression, anxiety, anger and confusion.
  3. Increases blood flow and reduces heart rate.
  4. Provides sense of calm, peace and balance.
  5. Helps reverse heart disease.
  6. Helps control thoughts.
  7. Increases energy.
  8. Reduces stress.
  9. Keeps you happy.

Meditate and live a holistic healthy life.

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Story with a Knowledge

25 Apr

Kabira was raised in the family of a Muslim carpet weaver in Benares. Though the cultures were very different, Kabira had a deep affinity for Rama and wanted to learn the Rama mantra. He knew that only a guru can uplift you, the experience of the Self could come only with the grace of the Master.So he sought a guru. He went to the ashram of Sri RamanandJi. However he was sent away due to differences in his background and culture. When water comes from a shankha (conch) it is teertha ( holy water) – a sanctity is created. If you take someone as a devotee you are responsible for them here and hereafter. So they were very selective in the olden days about the qualification of the seekers. Ramanandji were very compassionate. So the disciples sent people away knowing this. Kabira left the ashram feeling very broken-hearted. He went to the ghats by the bank of Ganga in this state. It was nightfall soon and Kabira simply laid down on the steps of the ghat in tears. ‘Rama, I thought I was born only for you! But I haven’t even been able to receive diksha of your name!”In the ashram, when Ramanandji went to rest, in his dreams he saw Rama turning away from him at his doorstep. Lakshmana says, “everyday we come here. why are you not coming today? Rama says, ” I do not go to places where my devotees are ill treated.” Shaken by the dream experience Ramanandji immediately enquired from his students. They told him that there was no one of repute who had come by that day. “The only one was Kabira who wanted initiation from you. We sent him away because you would have initiated him and society would have never accepted it.”
RamanandJi left saying, “I am going out of the ashram now. I am going to find Kabira and initiate him in front of all in the morning. Let society say what it wants.” He then walked towards the Ganga. It was night time and with every step he took Rama’s name. Walking along the ghats at one point he stepped on Kabira who was sleeping on the ghat. Realizing that he stepped on somebody he exclaims”Siya Ram!!” Kabira jumps up in joy saying,” I am so fortunate! Not only did I get the mantra but also charan sparsh ( touched by the feet) of my guru!”

From that moment on Kabira has sung so many songs. When someone came to buy a carpet from him and asked him for the price, he sang saying this carpet is priceless because I have woven Rama’s name with every thread!

“When I ran behind Rama, he was running away from me. But when I stopped, he ran after me.” When the mind is running here and there, scattered, the divinity eludes you. When your mind is still, you are established in the Self, then you experience divinity in every particle of creation.
Every saint emphasizes on the importance of presence of the Master in our life. Only the Master can uplift you. ‘Guru bina gati nahin’

Guided Meditation for Relaxation by Gurudev

20 Mar

Guided meditation by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The sound to silence meditation helps in cleaning all the clutter accumulated in mind and takes you from all hustle bustle to pleasant joyful silence.

Check out more Guided Meditation by Sri Sri.

Why Do We Meditate on Shivrati Day

15 Feb

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar explains on why it is important to meditate on the day of Shivratri.

What is the contribution of Guru in our Lives

14 Feb

Meera was a princess. One day, When she was a young girl, she was looking out of the window, and she saw a wedding procession. The mother pointed out the bride and the groom to Meera. The child asked her who her groom will be and her mother playfully pointed to the beautiful idol of Krishna and said, ” He is the one for you!” Meera takes this to heart and Krishna becomes her best friend, soulmate and companion.

A few years later, an unexpected turn of events takes place. Meera’s sister’s hand is promised to two different kings by the brother and the father. To prevent the impending war between the three kingdoms Meera’s sister powders and swallows a diamond from a ring which her father gives her and sacrifices her life to stop the war. The Bhoja king, admiring the courage of the young princess asks for Meera’s hand in marriage for his younger brother in her sister’s place. The king obliges and Meera is married off in a daze. She tells her husband that you are my king but Krishna is my Lord.

In her innocent way, she brings major transformation in the kingdom. When they were about to sacrifice a goat as part of a custom to welcome the new bride, she very confidently proclaims that the divine does not accept such sacrifices and violence of any kind. She emphasizes that it is the duty of man to protect and preserve nature. She makes an offering of sweet kheer instead. While the rest of the family is shocked, the Bhoja raja admires her innocence, courage and compassion and changes the custom.

aisi-laagi-lagan-meera-ho-gai-magan-anup-jalota

She had carried the Krishna idol whom she always considered as her Lord with her. Even though married, in her mind she was married to Krishna. The King’s sister is unable to understand the depth of her devotion and thinks that she is neglecting her duties towards the King because of the ‘other man’ in her life. At her behest, the Krishna idol was thrown into a well and Meera feels it immediately in her heart. The sister-in-law tells her that now your husband is your God ( pathi hi parmeshwar hai) and Meera replies saying, “God is my husband!” ( Parameshwar hi mera pathi hai).

Though raised as a queen, she does not mind the physical hardship or discomfort as she leaves the kingdom and goes in search of the divine. She meets several saints in the process. She spent time in their company, learnt from them. The company of the wise is essential to nurture and nourish devotion. When she came to Sant Raidas, he asks, “who are you?” She says, ” I am Meera.” ” where am I if Meera is there? And where is Meera if only I am there?” Replies the Saint. In a flash she realized that there is no two, that there is no separation from her Lord. You can never find your Lord in duality.

A guru is necessary even to uplift our devotion and bring freedom. Meera’s devotion was focused outwards on an idol. Only with the grace of her guru, she recognized that the divinity, her Krishna, is within her. You keep searching for the divinity outside till you meet your guru who turns everything around and puts you on the inward journey where you are not separate from the divine. This is the biggest gift from the guru. Raidas was a cobbler turned into a Saint. The Guru can come to you in any form. That is why the guru is a tattva, a principle, and not just the physical form. The guru principle is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. When you are connected to the Master, then you can feel his presence always with you, wherever you are, whatever you do. This connection uplifts you and is the indication of the presence of the Master within you. Whenever Gurudev goes to anyone’s house and they tell him, “please don’t go”, he says, ” I only come, I never go.” Even if you have not met him physically for years, just thinking of him, you feel his presence even thousands of miles away.

With a devotion that had ripened and matured, wherever she went, Meera’s voice evoked the depth of love and longing in all who heard her songs. It is said that even King Akbar came to her in disguise to hear her bhajans. However, as he was considered an enemy of their kingdom, Mira was imprisoned, forced to drink poison, yet nothing touched her. When she was freed, she went straight to the sanctum of the Krishna temple where she merged in a flash of light. Only the tanpura and her dupatta(stole) remained. There was no trace of her body. This extraordinary life is not possible if you are caught in the mundane.

Often people think that aggression is strength. But Meera showed how you can move through the toughest situations without losing the softness. Meera’s devotion is exemplary. Faith is the essence of devotion. Her devotion made her soft. Her faith was her strength. She never doubted that she will be united with her Lord.

Shakti – By Bhanu Didi (Bhanumathi Narsimhan)

3 Jun

Bhanu didi on Shakti

Shakti means strength, power and energy. Shakti is the womb for all creation and is therefore expressed as the mother aspect of the Divine. Shakti is the seed for all dynamism, radiance, beauty, equanimity, peace and nourishment. Shakti is the life-force.

There are five aspects of creation.

Asti – Is-ness

Bhati – Knowledge and Expression

Preeti – Love

Nama – Name

Rupa – Form

Matter has two aspects, Name and Form.

Consciousness has three aspects, Asti – it is, Bhati – it knows and expresses and Preeti – it is loving. Maya – ignorance or delusion is not being aware of the three aspects of the consciousness and getting caught up in the name and form.

Different functional aspects of this divine energy, Shakti, have different names and forms. The “i” (ee) in Shakti is energy. Without the “i”, “Shiva” becomes “shava” which in Sanskrit means lifeless.

There are seven centers of energy or Shakti in the body called Chakras in Sanskrit. In the Saktha system of worship, there is focus on all the energy centers. The Sri Chakra is thought to represent the whole body with the Devi in different forms, residing in different Chakras.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, in his discourse, has spoken in detail about the Chakras. He says, “Different emotions are linked with each of these energy centers.”

The first Chakra, Muladhara, is located in the base of the spine. Here, the energy manifests as inertia or enthusiasm. The Devi residing in this chakra is five-faced representing the five sense organs. Musical instruments are also associated with these energy centres. The sounds vibrations produced by the bass drums are connected to this chakra.

The second Chakra, Swadhistana is the sex center just four inches above the base of the spine. Here energy manifests as pro-creativity or creativity. Here, the Divine mother has four faces representing the four Vedas.

The third Chakra, Manipura, is the navel center where energy manifests as four emotions: Generosity, joy, greed and jealousy (two positive emotions and two negative emotions). In the Manipura, She has three faces representing Sristi (creation), Sthiti (maintenance) and Laya (dissolution). Wind instruments like trumpets and clarinets are connected to this energy centre.

The fourth Chakra, Anahata, is located in the chest region. Here, the energy manifests as three emotions- love, fear and hatred. Here, she is represented with two faces, signifying inward and outward focus. This energy centre is influenced by the sound vibrations of string instruments like the violin and harp.

The fifth Chakra, Vishuddhi, is located in the throat region and is the center where energy manifests as two emotions – gratitude and grief. In the Vishuddhi Chakra, Her form has a single face. She is beyond all duality. The melody of the flute connects with this chakra.

The sixth Chakra, Ajna, is located between the eyebrows and is the center where energy manifests as anger and alertness. In this chakra, the Devi is six-faced, representing the five senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste) and the mind. Cymbals, chimes and bells connect with this energy centre.

The seventh Chakra, Sahasrara, is located on the top of the head and is the center where energy manifests as bliss. The Sahasrara is also called Brahmarandhra. In the Sahasrara, She is represented as a fully blossomed lotus of thousand petals. All the qualities in creation belong to her and are blossomed to their complete potential. The conch is the musical instrument connected with this energy centre.

When we lead a Sattvic (pure and disciplined) life, the Chakras are properly activated and the presence of the different qualities of the Devi is felt through their functioning For instance, creativity, sweet speech, being noble, joy, awareness, gratitude- these qualities are enlivened through proper focus on Sadhana (spiritual practises).

Divine intelligence is a combination of intelligence and intuition. Ojas is the intuitive power – the Sattvic field of energy which is present or developed only by Sadhana.

When the Kundalini Shakti is invoked, the Ojas travels through the Sushumnanadi (channel for energy flow) along the six chakras to the Brahmarandhra giving rise to Siddhi or a state of perfect equilibrium.

The upward and downward movement of energy through these Chakras gives rise to the play and display of consciousness as the various positive and negative emotions. Sadhana, self-effort or practice, and Satsang, the company of the wise, facilitates the upward movement of the energy through the various Chakras and enables us to maintain a pleasant state of mind.

 Read more talks by Sri Sri.

Bhanu Didi’s talk on Enlightenment

23 May

Bhanu didi on enlightenment Enlightenment is a state where one is totally at ease with oneself. It is a state of relaxed awareness; an inner state transcending limited identities of faith, nationality or gender and beyond outer behavior. All spiritual practices like yoga, meditation, Sudarshan kriya experiences facilitate the journey to enlightenment. Adi Shankara beautifully describes this in the verses of the atmashtakam: “I am not the body, breath, mind, intellect, ego or memory – I am the ever pure consciousness whose nature is bliss, I am that innocence and benevolence.” Friendliness, compassion, contentment, an attitude of sharing and caring – all these are the qualities of one who is in their nature, centered. When we think ‘women’, soft, gentle, emotional, caring and sharing are the qualities that usually come to our mind. The emotional tendency of women allows them to be naturally more sensitive, a quality that plays a great role in understanding oneself and others. For example, a mother is sensitive to the child’s needs. A newborn child has no communication skills. It is dependant on the mother’s sensitivity. She is capable of an understanding beyond words, a mastery of the language of the heart. Enlightenment is also a realm where words have no access, but sensitivity has. The innate sensitivity of women, when combined with sensibility and wisdom, facilitates moving into the space of the Self. Enlightenment is a state of being where we are balanced. Women, playing so many roles, are constantly engaged in this balancing act. However, what is the difference between a woman who is spiritual and one who has not experienced that silent space yet? In the balancing game, one gets stress while the other gets bliss. The choice is ours. A mother, from the time of pregnancy, to child- birth, undergoes considerable discomfort physically, yet is unmindful and full of care and unconditional love for the child. When this sense of belongingness extends to the universal family, that enlightened state of the seers becomes visible in her. There are many women who have attained this state. Like flowers in the forest that go unnoticed, these women blossom not for recognition, but because it is in their nature. They lead contented and happy lives and spread it too. There are also the seers who have come with a purpose to uplift humanity from the crisis of values faced from time to time. Gargi, Maitreyi, Akka Mahadevi, Meera, Andal are all such women seers who have created waves of transformation`. Through wisdom and devotion, they helped people to connect to their higher Self. Enlightenment is all about this connectedness. In meditation, we experience this connection, or enlightenment for a few moments. Enlightened masters are connected 24X7. Once you have tasted this bliss, through self-effort and the grace of the master, these few moments can be extended. This is where the guidance of the master is required. Once Uddhava, Krishna’s cousin and gyani, went to the gopis to offer guidance and teach them meditation. They did as he said because they thought that Krishna wanted them to do so. He asked them to close their eyes, take deep relaxing breaths, take their attention to their heart, imagine that their heart is like a fully blossomed lotus and in the centre of the lotus is the lotus feet of the master, Lord Krishna. The gopis, at this point, could follow him no more. Why should Krishna be only in their heart? Every cell of their being was only Krishna. There was no existence for them outside Krishna. This meditation was not for them. This was the love of the gopis for Krishna. It is said, that a devotee, immersed in divine love, does not even care for enlightenment. Buddha’s disciple, Sariputra, upon enlightenment was asked to travel and spread the knowledge. Instead, he was lost in tears. When Buddha asked him, He simply replied, “Who wants to be enlightened? I was so happy serving you! Do not send me away!” He valued love and service above enlightenment. Sri Sri says,” When you don’t even care for enlightenment, you attain Divine Love.” Attaining a spiritual level is simply recognizing that there is life everywhere. This whole world is a combination of spirit and matter. The finest aspect of matter is spirit and the grossest aspect of spirit is matter. So, spiritual practices are not any different from you being spirited, happy, contented, and compassionate and in love.  As women, these qualities are natural to us.  So we should just learn to be happy, smile from the heart, stop worrying, meditate, serve and celebrate life. – Bhanumathi Narsimhan ( Bhanu didi )

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