The first chakra is at the base of the spine, at beginning of the anus and is called Muladhara. Just above that is the next chakra called Svadhishthana. The third chakra is just above the navel called Manipura. Above that is the Anahata chakra which is in the center of the chest. Then is the throat chakra called Visuddhia. Above that is the chakra in-between the eyebrows calledAjna. The last chakra is on top of the head called Sahasrara.
The drums affect the Mooladhara (the base chakra or the first chakra). The big and small drums, their effect is from the Mooladhara to Swadishtana(second chakra). The big wind instruments like trumpets affect the second to third chakra (Swadhisthana to the Manipura). Metallic sounds affect the Manipura to Anahata(the fourth chakra). When you hear a metallic screech, something happens in your belly. How many people have noticed this? The string instrument has its affects from the naval to the heart. Veena and Sitar – stringed instruments affects the Anahata (the heart chakra).
Flute music, wind instruments and sometimes the piano sounds affect the Anahata toVishudhi (the throat chakra). Bells, sounds of water, bird songs, very soft and subtle sounds have its effects from throat to the Agna Chakra (in between the eyebrows). Then finally the Sahasrara the (top of the head) is affected by meditation and all other instruments put together at once.
If you watch any Indian rituals, you will understand that they knew this. In the temples, they placed the drums on the periphery, then there are the big wind instruments, and on the very inside of the sanctum sanctorum are bells and conch. So, sound vibes are balanced from the drums to the wind instruments, then stringed instruments, then again wind instruments and then bells and finally, it all ends in silence. The purpose of sound is silence. Did you all know this? Sound originates from silence and its goal is silence. Silence simply means total harmony. When there is total harmony deep within you, then even sound seems like an object, it seems heavy. But the way is through sound, through music. Music is that which connects the individual to the universal. The limited mind expands through music and realizes it is already part of the big consciousness or the big mind.
Though the moon only reflects the light of the sun, its energy affects the water, and the mind. This is scientifically proven, which is why when someone goes crazy, they are called lunatics. (The word lunatic is derived from the word ‘lunar’ because the mind is connected to the moon.)
Ancient people did an in-depth study about how the moon affects the mind, how the moon is moving around in different constellations; how different degrees of the moon has a definite impact on the mind. That’s what they use the words ‘Tara-bal’ and‘Chandra-bal’. The moon is in one constellation for two and a half days, then it moves to the other constellation. So in two and half days there are changes in the mood of the mind.
The moon has an effect on water and our body contains a lot of water. Hence on the day of Purnima or Full Moon it is beneficial to do meditation.
Let us see how the moon effects our body: Indian ancient scriptures such as Vishnu Purana talk about the origin of the moon. According to this purana, the moon has emerged from the Milky ocean with his soft and snowy beams.
Food that we consume is converted into 2 parts – mind energy and prana. The mind energy is centered in the pineal gland area from which vital hormones get secreted.
The moon enters this gland to take control of all our activities from night till the time we wake up. The rays of the moon affect human beings, animals, plants, water and so on. Our body consists of 60% water. So, the full moon meditation helps the seekers in going inward, transcend the mind, and feel the divinity within.
Prayer is not something that you impose on yourself or anyone else. Prayer is a natural call for help, or a natural expression of gratefulness. Prayer can happen only on two occasions: 1. When you are desperately in need of something then you pray. When you realize that you are weak and you cannot handle something, that is when you ask for help and that is a prayer. 2. When you realize that you have received more than what you really deserve, and it has all come to you as a blessing and as a gift, then the gratefulness that you express becomes a prayer. And if you extend this a little further, another occasion when prayer rises from within you is when you are in deep love with the maker of the universe or the divinity,in whatever form or formless way you perceive it to be. That is devotion.
So prayer is something which happens spontaneously. And it's good to have a few rituals associated with prayer as it adds some colors to life. When you pray in a particular manner by lighting a candle or something that brings up to the surface those emotions that are sleeping in you. The benefits of prayer are: 1. It invokes those emotions that are sleeping within you. 2. It takes away the worry and burden in your head. 3. It builds confidence in you and you feel the connection from your side. You are already connected to the divine, but from your side you start realizing your connection to the higher power. 4. It puts you into a routine. Suppose you make it a habit of praying every day, maybe the first four days go without any experience, but on the fifth day, you experience something. It's almost like any other sadhana. So make prayer a practice in your life so that you know you have something to do that is ethereal.
Prayer is the way to connect to the something that is not so tangible but is existing. So, prayer could be one such link to the unknown and unseen. Falling in love with the unknown is faith.
The seed becomes a tree and then the tree becomes a seed. So the fulfillment of the seed is in becoming a seed again. Unless the seed becomes a tree, and tree bears fruit, the seed is not complete and the cycle is not complete. From a seed to a seed is the whole journey. It starts with one and becomes many seeds. In the same way, the human life finds its fulfillment when it realizes the vast nature of its being; when it realizes that 'I am not just the body, I am more than the body. I am not just an individual, I am much more than that'. This alone can bring fulfillment. Till this awareness comes, there is restless inside.
The way to get this fulfillment is through three things: 1. Awareness (Bodh) 2. Unity (Yog) 3. Love (Prem) These are the three ways for the seed to realize its total potential. Awareness means being aware that everything is a dream. Wake up and see the dream nature of everything. 'I am nothing', 'I don't need anything', 'I belong to everyone', 'I am everybody' - that is Bodh. Union (Yog) is that which cannot be expressed in words. It is only realized in the experience. Realizing that everything is one and I am That is Yog. Love again cannot be tied to words. It is our true form. It is not a feeling. We often think that love is a feeling, this is wrong. This is why people always get entangled in it.
Look back in your own life, do you have an experience of your own birth? Do you remember? No! At the age of two or three you suddenly started realizing some things in this world, I won't say everything. Then by the age of four years, you start realizing your identity. But if you are asked, "Were you really born?" You don't know! We were there, that we all know. It's a really abstract thing but it's really very concrete. Let me give you an example. You make a pot out of a ball of mud. When you make the pot, the space inside the pot is born. But can you say that the space was born? Can you say that space inside the pot was created? What was created? The boundary of the pot was created, but was the space created? No! Now what has value? The mud has value or the space inside the pot has the value? Nobody buys space and neither does anyone buy a ball of mud ball. What you buy is the space within the mud. That has some value.
Now, the same is with human life. It has ability to expresses the infinity. The infinity is anyways there, but it has no value. Life is also there on earth but it has not same as human life. It is human life which expresses infinity that brings total satisfaction.
How to do you express infinity which is anyways there? Through Awareness, unconditional love and union. When the small mind realizes I am united with infinity, that is called Yoga. Not just doing exercises. When the small mind realizes that 'I am no longer the small mind, I am part of the big mind '. You know in uniting also it appears that there are two things that you are trying to unite. This is a recognition that I am part of the something big. This is a step towards Aham Brahmasmi.One step before that is 'I am part of it'.
Contentment, perfection and siddhī dawns in that person who is happy and contented with whatever has come; who does not hanker for something more. It is so strange, and yet very true! Be contented with what you have and you will see perfection or siddhī dawning in you. If you hanker for siddhī, you will not attain it. You may think you will be fulfilled and satisfied when you have siddhī. But it’s the other way around. When you are satisfied, you will get siddhī. You may think that achievements follow siddhī(perfection), i.e. when you get fulfilled then you will achieve. Or when you achieve something, then you will be fulfilled. But Ashtāvakra says, ‘Be satisfied now’. Achievements will dawn in you. Siddhī(perfection) will dawn in you. He was revealing a big secret to Janaka. Be satisfied and perfection will dawn. You will become a siddha. You cannot ever achieve siddhī by your hankering, your restlessness. Be happy with what you have. Your hankering is always for what you don’t have. And there will always be something you will not have. So your hankering has a continuum and, thus, there is a postponement of your perfection. Ashtāvakra says that by dropping the hankering and being fulfilled and satisfied, perfection will come rushing to you!
Krishna said the same, that when you are fulfilled then all the desires and their fulfillment, and their achievements will flow towards you, just as all the rivers flow into the ocean. And this is our practical experience! Just look at your life. Take one step back and look at your life. Has this not happened?
See, the Native Americans of North America had this system. The king was also the judge, but there was also a shaman in every community who would give them the judgment. In India also, there was and still is the Panchayat system, where five people who are administrators of the village resolve disputes. Why five people? If you take a society, there are 5 type of people there,
1. Those who are fun-loving and full of enthusiasm. They don’t mind any obstacles. They dare obstacles and they get things done. This is the first type.
2. People who just maintain things. They’re not go getters, they’re not innovators, they’re not risk takers, but they just maintain the thing as they are. They take measured steps and move very carefully. They are usually conventional and traditional.
3. People who want to bring transformation, who are drastic, rebellious and want to completely change things. They’re good at demolishing things.
4. People who are very brilliant. They are sharp, they have brilliant ideas and they are very creative.
5. People who brings everyone together. They have a lot of compassion. Wherever there is problem they go and cement the gaps, solve the problems and bring people together creating a sense of belongingness. They are sort of peacemakers.
These are the five different types of people are there in the world in every society. The last type, the ones who would bring everyone together are usually women; who are compassionate and who have deeper understanding. Whenever something erupts she goes and calms them down and brings them together. Working towards prosperity and education in a woman’s role.
Among the Devas also, these are the five devas called panchayatam. Panchayat is what we have in the villages and panchayatam refers to the five different forms of Gods. There is only one God, but in that one God, it refers to the five different forms (or attributes).
1. Ganesha (first deva or attribute) - fun loving, remover of obstacles and full of enthusiasm. So there are people who have these attributes. Everywhere in every society you’ll find at least one such person.
2. Vishnu (second deva or attribute) - just maintaining things, not very creative.
3. Shiva (third deva or attribute) - one who just like a bull in a China shop, they just charge in and do drastic things. Bringing transformation is their job. Whatever state of affairs are there, demolish that and leave space for new things.
4. Surya (forth deva or attribute) - very sharp, intelligent, creative type off people.
5. Devi (fifth deva or attribute)- the feminine energy. Women create, they come up and solve things and bring everyone together.
In an individual's life also, you can see these five different tendencies come at different times of life. Usually when you’re young you’re very enthusiastic, and then as you grow a little older you have rebellious tendencies. You want to change things and all that. When you get older, you just want to lie down and rest. You come into the Vishnu mode. So these three modes people anyways have.
The ancient people knew this, so they put the village administration as panchayats. They chose 5 people, together all of them should be impartial. All of them have to hear any case of injustice or any grievances, and give the judgment.
A Master (Guru) has all these five qualities at once, that’s why we say, "Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo Maheshwara..."
If your emotions are shaken, let it be shaken as much as it can be. You know, there is nothing called compassion here. In higher knowledge, compassion is stupidity. Why? You can be compassionate only to somebody else, who is not you. Suppose your hand got hurt , you don’t say, I am so compassionate towards my hand. Do you ever say that? When you say that everyone is part of you, where is compassion there? Okay, you got hurt, it’s because of your own foolishness you got hurt. Put some ointment and forget about it.
When you get hurt, it’s your karma. You must have hurt somebody sometime and so you got it back now. Nothing happens without a reason. This is the highest knowledge.
So, some Masters will always say that if you are suffering, it’s not because of somebody, it’s because of you only. You better suffer and get rid of it.
Instead of that, if you say, “That person is responsible for my suffering”, then you are making more karma and carrying it on to the next lifetime. But if you say, “My suffering is because of me, and I take ownership of the karma”, then you become free.
Saying, “My suffering is due to that person”, will continue the karma because that impression will be there in your mind. Why are you not looking inside? Why are you not moving on? Why are you holding onto an event of the past and blaming the other person for your karma? If you do this then you will continue to be miserable.
Lord Buddha had a devotee who was also his cousin. He was a brilliant man, and very devoted. In the beginning, Buddha’s sangha or communion was quite small, but in time it became bigger. So, the devotees close to Buddha became more possessive, and his cousin felt that he owned Buddha, but Buddha can’t be owned by anybody. You cannot say you own the ocean. So, because of this there were some misunderstandings and this cousin turned against Buddha.
When some people have their own opinions or some negativity, there are a few more people who will join them. This cousin of Buddha and a few people become a group, and one day when Buddha was giving a sermon, he went up the hill pushed a boulder from there towards Buddha. The boulder stopped just few centimeters away from Buddha, otherwise it would have killed him.
The other loyal disciples got so angry and upset. They said, “We have to punish him and teach him a lesson”, but Buddha stopped them and just smiled. He said, “It is karma. You don’t do anything. We will not react”.
Once, in the 90’s, I was in Washington D.C. I was giving a talk and there were 300 hundred people there. Suddenly, one tall hefty man came from the back to attack me. He said, “This is Satan and devilish”.
Everyone froze to their seats because nobody knew what to do. He could have lifted me in one hand, he was so big! I just looked into his eyes and said, “Wait!” It is not yet time for me to go. I have come here to do some work, let me complete my work. I didn’t tell him this, I just said, “Wait”, but in my mind I said, “I am not ready to go”. And then that guy looked at me and sat down in front of me and started crying. He came with so much anger and anguish, but then he just sat down and tears flowed from his eyes. To make the story short, he then joined a course and everything changed for him.
Why I am saying this is, every phenomenon that happens in and around us happens due to some karma. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that if something is fatalistic, you simply accept that everything is karma and you can’t do anything about it. No, that is a wrong understanding of karma. Karma is a phenomenon, and you have the power to change it in the future because life is a combination of freewill and destiny.
Your height is your destiny but your weight is your freewill. If you weigh 100 kilos, you can’t say, “Well this is my fate”. No, get onto the treadmill and do some exercise. When a phenomenon happens and you react, then the cycle keeps going on. Don’t react but act.
When someone pushed the boulder at Buddha, what the people did was they reacted, but Buddha asked them not to react and then he smiled, that is an action. When someone is against you, if you show love and compassion and if you turn the other cheek when they hit you on one cheek then they cannot hit you back. That is a bigger weapon! The principle of non-violence is also an action, a more intelligent and wise action, and not just a reaction.
Life is a combination of simplicity and complexity. On one side life is very simple, on the other side, it's very complex. While complexity makes life interesting and aids for the growth, simplicity gives it breathing space. And it is both at the same time. How? You eat some food and you feel the food is digested, correct? But if you look into the process of digestion, it is a very complex thing. First the carbohydrates gets converted in the saliva, then it goes to the stomach and mixes with the gastric juices, then it takes some time there and gets digested. Then it goes through the duodenum and then it gets absorbed in the intestine and then some goes out, some goes up. The essence of it goes in the blood. So, in life also, darkness goes and light comes; wisdom dawns and ignorance fades away - this is a simultaneous process. You are washing a cloth, you are putting soap on it, the dirt is going away and the brightness is coming up simultaneously.
In life, when knowledge is to come up and ignorance is to go, you need a Guru; you need the Guru principle. So knowledge and then movement in life (meaning progress). It's not just enough to have wisdom; wisdom also has to come into action. It has to be useful.
If a great scientist says, "I have all the knowledge", what is the use of having all that knowledge? Did you use it in practical life? Someone knows all about organic farming, but if they have not done any farming, what is the use? You can have the knowledge and you can die with your knowledge. Have you made use of the knowledge? Did it get utilized in the society, in the world? It's one thing to get knowledge, another thing to be able to transmit it to others and utilize it.
Movement of knowledge is an important aspect as well. Okay, you use your knowledge, but what is the use if there is no result? What is the end product? How much benefit has it produced? You had the knowledge of organic farming and you did so much work, but later on, nothing came out of it.
I want to share one incident with you. Long time ago in the late 80's in the Bangalore Ashram, a gentlemen came from England. He said, "I want to do horticulture, plant lots of trees", and I said, "Okay". With all enthusiasm he bought pots and we got him the seeds. Whatever he wanted we gave him everything. So he brought the seeds and he put the seeds but his education was not for tropical climate, his education was for the arctic climate. So in the pots he put all the seeds, he put all the nutrition it needed, everything. Seeds were sown, water was being given every day, and finally we found there was not one sprout. Not one of those 100 odd pots became a sapling. So the achievement was zero. A villager who was around that place, we just gave him a quarter of the resource which were given to the educated person, and he sowed some seeds and grew many tomatoes and many other things as well. So often we think that people have knowledge and they use their knowledge, but achievement happens with something else. Usually we brand it as luck and leave it.
Two gentlemen open shops next to each other. One shop is flourishing and the other shop goes down. In such a situation what do we usually say? It is luck. They are both doing the same business. Hasn't this been the experience? How many of you agree with me? Especially in Toronto. You will see that there are people opening similar types of restaurants, and one's is flourishing and another's is going down. You don't understand why this happens. This is where your eyes open to something beyond logic because we are programmed to think only in a logical way. Logic means what, connecting to what you already know. Linking the known to what is not known, but it need not be. The truth need not bend to that logic. If you say you will come by road to Canada all the way from India, you will never make it. Somewhere you will have to take a ship or a plane. If you say I want to go by road to Australia, forget about it. Can you go to Australia by road if you don't take a ship? Isn't it an Island? Yes, confirmed. So logic is like saying, "I will go only by road. I won't take ship because it's one planet earth". Come on wake up, some places you have to go on a ferry. You have to use the ferry. Ferry is the faith that one has to use beyond logic, beyond the shores -- that which takes you across the shores is a ferry.
Achievement is possible with that unseen law, with that unseen force that is called Sattva. So it is said, "Kriyasiddhi satve bhavati mahatam nopakarane". Any action finds fructification not just by means, but by Sattva. You may have many means to achieve something, but it doesn't happen. Why? Sattva was lacking, and Sattva means wisdom, harmony and a sharp intellect.
Guru represents that exalted intellect. An intellect from the other side. Do you see what I am saying? An intellect which is beyond logic. What we know as intellect is that which is within logic, but is there an intellect which is a step beyond logic? Is there an intelligence beyond logic? Yes, that is the Guru principle. So achievement and success happens by that energy called Sattva, which means the Guru principle. In the words of devotees, you will say grace, or 'Guru's grace'. If you are scientific you say, some unseen force, some other power makes things work. That's why a very advanced scientist always is in wonderment. He admits that he know less -- and what he does not know is only growing more and more.
The more you know, what you don't know grows more. So spiritual science, spiritual knowledge belongs to that realm of the unknown and unseen. And for that you definitely need a guide from that realm. Yes!
It was a full moon night and there was a poet sitting in a boathouse. He had a small lamp in front of him, a candle and he was writing poetry. And it so happened there was a wind and the candle got blown out. When the candlelight was put off by the wind, at that moment the moon rays were reflecting in the home. He suddenly said, “See, this small candle was obstructing my view of the moon.”
That moment there was an ecstasy, a joy. The moonlight was so beautiful, “Ah!” He suddenly realized what he was missing. How come he couldn’t see this moonlight before? It was there all the time, but he couldn’t experience the joy of the moon, the fullness of the moon. A tiny candle was obstructing the view. See, you are looking at the sun or the space, and a small particle of dust is sufficient enough to cover your eyes, overshadow the whole view. A small particle of dust can take away your vision of the Infinity. One single thought in the mind can restrict the awareness, the totality of your awareness. How big is your mind? How vast is your life? There are so many things in life. One small, little insignificant thought, insignificant thing, can clog and cloud your whole awareness. It can limit your mind. And any limitation means a distance from that pure love.