Category Archives: write-up

SUDARSHAN KRIYA

AMRITHDHAARA

 

 

 sudarshan-kriya

Many of us have the UPS at home. It is always on and connected to the Mains. When the power supply from the Mains turns off, it supplies power , and then gets re-charged when the Mains turn on. It’s very simple; we just need to buy the UPS and connect it to the Mains.

Similarly , in this human birth, all of us have our own Main Connection to keep life going…whether it be by visiting temples, churches or dargahs, or, be it chanting prayers or mantras and counting the rosary, we have all experience the Life-Force current sustaining us in every situation in life.

Yet, sometimes ,nay, many a time, in life, and especially, due to the stress levels going up-day-to-day in today’s environment, we become victims of stress and don’t realize it till such time as it takes its toll on the mental, physical…

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Stress, Its Repercussions & Remedy

AMRITHDHAARA

stress

Bad experiences, failures , disappointments and disillusionment in life lead to stress and ultimately to poor physical and mental health.
Why do they lead to stress? They do so because we don’t know how to control our mind, how to control our emotions so as to be able to have a say on our thoughts, words and actions. We don’t have the skill to filter what we hear , what thoughts we let pass by, what thoughts we entertain and absorb to become words and actions.
We are human beings exposed to different environments, starting with the immediate environment of family, then school, kith and kin, peers, colleagues and so on.
These environments have been instrumental in making us what we are today….each of us…but they are only instruments not the root-cause., which is the identity crises – a projection of the human ego leading to a ‘self-image’.
It’s easily…

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Animal Rights

monkey

When I was in Delhi in India, once, on my way to my place of work, I saw a big monkey tied below a cart full of goods. The monkey was roped to the cart in such a way that the entire weight of the goods was on the poor monkey. I couldn’t forget the horrible sight for a long time and it kept disturbing me.
In the early days of evolution on this planet, when man was struggling for mere survival, the horse, the donkey , the elephant , the cow, and the sheep were considered godsends by him,but not any longer. For, if he continued to do so, he would not be meting out such harsh injustice to them. The horse would carry him uphill on its back; the donkey would carry his load of clothes to the riverside and back; the elephant would carry timber for him to build his hut and his fence to protect him; the cow would give him milk , and, the sheep would give him fur to keep him warm. That was fine for man co-existed with them in peace and harmony , may be, with a live-and-let live attitude, but most likely to be so because he had no choice!
But, nowadays animals are exploited by man for his selfish interests. When will man realize that animals also have an equal right to live peacefully on this planet and without uncalled-for interference from him?
Dogs, cars, cows and goats are generally comfortable to be domesticated but they can be used only to the extent that they are comfortable and happy in their surroundings, and , provided we just modify Nature’s laws to suit the times and don’t go totally against these, to own these animals . We need to look into ourselves to understand if we are doing the right thing by taking animals away from their natural habitats for our entertainment alone , be it a circus, or, be it a snake-park. If the animals we use for this purpose are happy and peaceful ,and, are looked after like one looks after one’s children, it’s fine. I don’t think there ‘s any harm in it. But, if the animal seems unhappy and agitated and out-of-place, we need to keep its happiness as our priority and do the needful!

Keeping pets and training them doesn’t mean you starve them and tie them up day in and day out in a kennel and sometimes even beat them up when they get agitated and tend to be violent due to being tied up all the time and due to feeling neglected and orphaned, may be. To just give them food for their stomach , to give them a kennel and a bed to sleep on is not enough.
elephant

Animals ,,when taken as pets need to be taken care of as infants need to be. Let’s take dogs, for example. They are part of the home and are so unconditional in their love that they wag their tail and come to you and lick you all over and comfort you when you are in one of those pits of depression or when you have had a hectic day and you are tired. Sometimes, even when your spouse and your children , or, you siblings and your parents, can’t stand your foul mood, they will be there for you, always ready to give, give and give love.
Those of us who constantly interact with animals or have pets at home need to make sure that the pet is happy with us and is well-treated and is nourished with not only food and shelter, but also lots and lots of love and fond care.

AS ARE THE APPETITES, SO ARE THE FOODS, BE IT FOR THE STOMACH, OR, BE IT FOR THE SOUL

polytheism--1      monotheism

I remember an incident in my younger days when I used to be skeptic and question some beliefs and their practices done by the elders in the family.
One such was when we were moving to our newly-rented house and each had to give a hand in setting up the house. I was giving my mother a hand in doing up the prayer room. She gave me about twelve photographs of different Gods and told me to hang them on the wall. My immediate response to it was a question I put up to her. “ Mom, why do you have God in so many forms? Don’t you get confused?” She just looked at me, may be, a little perplexed at this reaction of mine, but, then, smiled at me and told me that she would tell me about it before retiring to bed. She kept her promise and called me to her room before bedtime.
She asked me, “ Well, before I answer your question, I would like to say something. It’s dad’s birthday next weekend. We have planned to go out for dinner . We are going to the new restaurant nearby that serves only North Indian cuisine.” I said, “ No, Mom, I like Italian; Tony likes Chinese, and you and dad like North Indian, Whey don’t we go to a multi-cuisine restaurant? We will have a variety to choose from. “ My mom said, “Great idea. Now let me come to your question about polytheism( worship of more than many forms of God). When we are so particular about our choice of food and are sure of what we would like to have, why would we become confused when it comes to choosing our form of God ?
As are the appetites, so are the foods…be it for the stomach, or, be it for the soul. All the forms of God are actually either symbolic of some traits such as courage, Mercy and compassion, or, are symbolic of virtue winning over vice, good overcoming evil , etc. When we see those pictures everyday, the quality or qualities they represent surface in our consciousness and it absorbs these , and, hope, positivity, faith, bliss and peace dawn in us, or, are reawakened in us . The rituals of worship using sandal, turmeric, vermilion, sandalwood , fire, water, flowers, camphor etc. are all such that they purify and sanctify the atmosphere by the effect they have on our state of mind….as they lift the consciousness and result in pure thoughts and a clutter-free relaxed ,blissful and peaceful mind . And, as for choice of the form or forms of God, there are no restrictions…it is not a your choice by your senses or the intellect or shallow emotions and feelings….but a choice by a dictation from within….you may like to pray to all the Gods and still not get confused, or, you may like to pray to just one of the forms( monotheism). Doesn’t matter whether you believe in one Form or more, or , if your believe only in the Formless or just symbols, the forms , the rituals and the symbols are just means to an end and not ends in themselves…they all to one truth, which is within you,and, they just trigger that spark in you so that you can recognize what you have been seeking for, within yourself. It’s not where outside you; it’s all within, but that doesn’t mean you ridicule and condemn all types of worship with forms of God. How does it matter what means you adopt as long as you don’t disrespect and condemn other forms of our Faith or others; as long as you don’t burn places of worship and thereby hurt deeply-embedded sentiments, and, as long as you don’t take others’ lives, in the name of religion and God!
Let’s take the example of your friends, Only Gita is like us ; Tony doesn’t believe in any image or worship and not even prayers and visit to holy places, George goes to Church; Ali’s family are very regular in going to the mosque and doing their Namaaz, without fail, and, Harjeet goes to the Gurdwara for prayer and service. Aren’t they are wonderful ? One needs to remain open-minded.. Have I answered your question?
I could not answer her for I was just deeply touched by her expanded awareness and her all-embracing nature. I thanked her and planting a kiss on her cheek, left the room.

Addiction & De-Addiction

I. Addiction: What does one get addicted to, generally?
Additions may be many but let’s look into those addictions which can create problems in life:-
1.

alcohol 2             alcohol 1

This addiction may be for the love for alcohol itself as it appears to give temporary pleasure and a false sense of well-being and the fastest way of escape from problems in life. Any one of these factors can be a cause for addiction and this leads to one drinking day in and day out and losing all control over one’s senses, emotions, feelings ,rational outlook due to a dulled intellect . All these may overpower him and make him their slave. In such a situation, he not only loses his self-control, but also his health and it mostly leads to problems of the lever, etc.2.

2.

smoking

This may have become an addiction may be due to taking to it at an early age, or, may be, due to some external factor being instrumental in leading to it. Addiction to this can again lead to cancer,, etc.

3.
drugs

Mostly this becomes an addiction for those who , I think, have been victims of some sort of abuse in the teens or in youth , and, have not realized the power within that gives them the strength to survive under all circumstances in life, and thus victimized themselves.. have lost faith in themselves, in the Power above, and, who doubt the power Supreme and succumb to the life-situations that have caused them agony and heartache. They slowly but surely remain lost in an unreal world of escape from misery and end up as psychological wrecks.
4) Food: The gluttons who live to eat instead of eating to live are addicted to it and hence can’t resist food. They not only become obese but develop all problems of health related to it.

5) Wealth, Power and fame : Many get addicted to these due to their desire to get fast money, name and fame and they can go to any extent …even to the extent of corruption and crime to get what they want. Wealth can also lead to one’s addiction to comforts and luxuries that one becomes a slave of and hence can be happy only in their own world. Where they don’t get the comforts and luxuries they are used to,because of a change of circumstances or a turn of destiny, they become unhappy and find life it too difficult to cope up with and this may result in drastic reaction.

6) Sex : This addiction may be a result of some abnormal experiences in early childhood or adolescence leading to a hormonal imbalance, can be a consequence of addiction to alcohol, smoking or drugs. Addiction to sex means that you are never satisfied in sex nor do you ever find fulfillment in it, forget about satiety in it. Hence, you may have a marital relationship but still run from pillar to post to gratify your lust, it may even lead to even committing rape.
7) Work,Television, music, shopping, partying: Such pursuits can also become addictions if one crosses the limit. A workaholic may possibly neglect his spouse and children and not give them his time though he may give them all material comforts of life. A TV addict will become so lethargic; a killing inertia may set it, be it addiction for Bollywood/Hollywood movies, be it for cricket matches , or, be it for religious or spiritual programs, after a certain time, his reflexes slow down, he or she will become very temperamental if not earlier so, he may lose his precious time to pursue some outdoor hobby, to spend time with his family, and so on.
Those who get addicted to shopping and partying may not be able to restrain themselves from overindulgence which can lead to the inability to save for a rainy day . And in such a situation, when one is faced with some unprecedented problem like an illness calling for a huge financial investment, one is at a loss! Some people like to live for today; and don’t believe in saving for tomorrow; fine,as long as all goes well. But then this life is so unpredictable , who knows when you need money to save your relative’s life, to cure someone of a chronic illness – who knows?

8) Spirituality:- Spirituality, if understood and practiced in life in the right way, can never be an addiction in itself. But, if it is misunderstood as separate from day-to-day life and as contradictory to it, then, it can be an addiction. Spirituality and practical life are so integrated into one another that they complement and supplement each other. True spirituality is the life of one who ‘walks the talk’ and integrates it into his own life. In fact, spirituality is not a means in itself; it’s a means to an end…to live this life in love, peace , bliss and contentment , in harmony with one and all….at home, in the society, in the world . Many in this world also use spirituality as an end in itself, which will only create havoc in their and others’ lives. Many others practice it as the means to an end, which is of course right…..but the end is mostly our vested interests….of personal growth in terms of wealth, fame, power , etc. What a pity!
If practical life of a well-balanced individual is the wheel, spirituality is the axle.
Even if one gets addicted to spirituality for one’s own peace of mind it is not the ideal situation for man is not an island in himself. Married or unmarried, he has a family and has responsibilities and addiction to God, Faith , Form, Religion , may not be the love of Shabari or Meera, it may most probably be an escape from the reality of this world and inability to accept the world as it is. Such people attach themselves only to the spiritual organization they believe in. They may be working for a living , but, they detach themselves from all family members even parents. This is not dispassion…it is detaching oneself from something and attaching oneself to something else. The mind is still attached..it’s one and the same thing…doesn’t make any difference whether it is to alcohol or to a spiritual organization, Religion , etc. The only difference is that the one addicted to spirituality ( as he perceives it to be, for, anything that takes you away from this practical world is not spirituality) enjoys good physical health. He may be happy, himself, but others around him may not be, due to a wide gap of interests between the others and him. Insensitivity to the other on both sides can keep a family together, only in the literal sense.
9) Physical beauty: This weakness not only led to the battle of Troy but also has led to blindness to the beauty within, the beauty of the soul, which God has equally gifted all with .This addiction to beauty can lead to desire to possess another’s wife, sister, daughter or niece and can lead to crime of the gravest kind. Weakness for physical beauty can drive a parent or an elder in the family to compare one of his own children or family members with the others and thereby cause a lot of emotional hurt to affect the child’s self-esteem, and consequently, personality when he or she grows up.

All these habits or pursuits are okay if it is within the limits. But one never knows when one will cross the line between a hobby and an addiction and bring uncalled-for problems to oneself and one’s loves ones.
Those of us who are fortunate to have families who love us and care for us need to think of our duty towards them. And, especially, those who are parents and have children still growing up and need careful and fond handling need to put their welfare and happiness and optimum growth in a conducive environment , need to be aware of the consequences of every word and action of theirs on the children and the entire family.
Even given the fact that one is single and one doesn’t have any family or relatives, one still is not alone in this world, one goes to work , one has a social circle, one has to make a difference to this society and this world at large, in a small way, at least, as much as one can. And, addiction is certainly not going to help one in life, in will only take one away from the right path.

I am not dreaming ( at least, for the time being) of a Utopia where everyone leads a normal healthy life without any addiction….I am not dreaming of a time when all those who manufacture hard drinks , cigarettes etc .would be out of their business. But I can dream of a total ban on manufacture of killer drugs can be the first step to rehabilitate the victims of this addiction. The others can follow in course of time.

II. De-Addiction: Of course there are De-addiction centers only for alcohol, smoking and drugs,
But, whether you have a remedy or not, the most important and lasting solution is the realization of this fact that it is an addiction and will only lead to unhappiness for oneself and others around.
And, then, when this realization dawns, a deep longing to be rid of it and not to be a slave anymore to it, sets in. This will pave the way to some introspection and along with spiritual practices, and a strong will, one can overcome any addiction over a period of time…how soon depends partly on oneself and partly on how much one has drowned oneself in the’ mire’.
All these addictions result in illnesses of the body and mind, and the hormonal imbalances set in and even the nervous system collapses.
Regular spiritual practices can bring one’s hormones back into the right balance and give clarity of mind and a sharp intellect to handle one’s addiction and get over it..be it sex, be it drugs. In fact, one’s intellect can’t find a solution to it. With spiritual practices the Power within takes over and brings the individual back to normalcy. Yoga and meditation, and , especially Sudarshan Kriya done on a regular basis, can go a long way in helping the individual to be free of his or her addiction. I strongly believe that every De-addiction program should have Yoga, meditation and Sudarshan kriya integrated into its framework. This can bring faster and lasting results to bring the person back to leading a normal life, for, whether an addict to anything has been harmed or not, definitely, his nearest kith and kin bear the brunt of his addiction.
It is not fair to have a temporary experience of pleasure, escape from mental agony or whatever one experiences by the object one is addicted to, at the cost of one’s loved ones. It’s gross injustice.
We need to be sensitive towards those who love us and care for us and those who are financially, morally dependent on us and we need to shift our focus from our need of the hour to their needs.
Also, most of those who are victims of some addiction or other, are helpless and don’t intentionally want to hurt their loved ones .
From my own experience with such addicts who were very near and dear to me is that they are usually highly sensitive people with the capacity to love and hence, hate also may be with more passion that others and are emotionally too susceptible to take bad experiences lightly. They take it deep in and store it in some dark corner within them which they don’t want anyone to see, and, a time comes , when they can’t take it any more and something explodes within and their addiction goes from bad to worse till it ruins their lives! What a pity!
But, a lot of emotional and intellectual maturity is required of a person or persons, their loved ones, who need to stand side by side with the doctors and the healers to bring them back to normalcy. A sense of guilt induced by a wrong understanding of the situation by people around can create a grave crises. Hence, they need to be given a lot of love, and need to be handled with a lot of patience , compassion and understanding . Medication, the counseling sessions for both the addict and his close relatives and of course spiritual healing and practices can go a long way in bringing about the recovery to normalcy.

All the loud thinking I have done above is known to all, but , then, what we know needs to be reinforced again and again to keep us aware. It’s never too late! Let’s wake up and save ourselves from addiction/addictions and save others by an awareness campaign!

FEAR

fear

Fear is synonymous with death and to be free from fear is synonymous with life.
It’s rightly said , “ A brave man dies only once; but a coward dies umpteen times before his death.

”How does one get over fear?
What or who is it that one fears?
There may be many types of fears…fear of a problem, anger, criticism, ridicule, insult ,failure,slander and the people who are the instruments for such fears, or, some phobia of heights, snakes, or, fear or the unknown like ghosts, darkness etc. There is no end to what man fears
How can one overcome fear? There is only one way – to confront the person or thing you fear.
What happens then?
Whatever the end result, it is a double-victory. For, the fear you had of the problem ,and ,fear of those who targeted you, is no longer there. And, consequently, the problem , whether solved or unsolved,and the people who targeted you, no longer wield any power whatsoever over you.

Again,phobias can be overcome only be going through the experience and overcoming it..for example, if one has water phobia, one has to learn swimming and master it.

There is no one and nothing on this planet and beyond that man needs to fear . Anyway fear is going to make things worse. So, one needs to become aware of this, sit up and say, SO WHAT? Nothing can be worse than fear, so why not face it all and see what happens?

And, fear of God or the unknown? You need to meditate, go deep into yourself, introspect and a new dimension in you that has the power to overrule all fears, phobias, inhibitions…the POWER IS WITHIN YOU.

fear 1

Befriending Your Mind & Sudarshan Kriya

22930850-think-positive-concept

Silence is not that where the tongue doesn’t ‘wag ‘ but the mind does!
It is a natural phenomenon where the mind becomes totally still ; hence, no thoughts and no words ensue other than what is absolutely necessary in day-to-day life.
If at all thoughts come up, they arise from the Pure Consciousness and in such a state of mind, creativity bursts forth like a fountain . Positivity manifests in every thought , word and deed to spreads to all around .
Such a person becomes an instrument of the Divine to make a marked difference to as many lives as possible.
It’s also possible that a person cannot be in this state of mind always; there may be times when he experiences this state of mind, But , there may also be other times when his mind is agitated and says ‘blah-blah’ all the time. In such a state of mind, whatever one speaks and does, even if done with the best intention, will turn turtle and affect one and all those around in a negative manner.
All these opposite experiences in life happen because of the undulations in the mind.

meditation
Then what is the answer? What is the solution? Isn’t it to keep the mind-monkey at bay so that one can keep it under control? And that can be done only by calming the mind . A restless mind is as heavy as lea;, hence, it is necessary to lighten it and that can be done by lifting it to the highest realms of consciousness…i.e. the Big Mind.
It can’t be done by human effort. The Divine has to reach out to lift the human mind to its realms. How can this happen? This can happen only by aligning the body and the mind through certain rhythms of the breath. And these rhythms are those orchestrated by the Sudarshan Kriya, the wonder of wonders!
Regular practice of Sudarshan Kriya for a certain period of time depending on one’s evolution in this lifetime results in the well-balanced individual…..with an empty head ( doesn’t mean ‘no brain’ …it means empty of thoughts that disturb it),full heart and busy hands….the ideal combination required for today’s scenario of rising stress levels in day-to-day life in all walks of life.