Apr 8, 2014

Characters in Bhagwat Gita, Part 2 of 3 (Literal Meaning)

   As I mentioned in my previous post, the conversation between the "Spiritual Guide" (Krishna) and "Spiritual Seeker" (Arjun) takes places in the middle of the battlefield (Kurukhestra). Now, let us understand which sides are facing each another in this battle. This post will be dedicated towards literal meaning, that is to understand the character in this epic battle. Bhagwat Gita is part (division) of a bigger volume epic book Mahabharat.

This battle is between two faction of the same family and they are fighting for the right to rule the kingdom. In one side we have family of "Pandu" and in other we have family of "Dhritarastra". Pandu and Dhritarastra were half brothers and Dhritarastra was elder and born blind. Even though Pandu was younger he became king as Dhritarastra was blind. Unfortunately, Pandu died young, so Dhitarastra was supposed to be caretaker king, until the son's of Pandu became older. Later, Dhitarastra and his sons refuse to give the kingdom back to son's of Pandu. So they ultimately decided to settle the score in the battlefield.

Military-Line-Up as mentioned in the Gita

A. Pandav's side (Family and Friends of Pandu's Sons)

Krishna: Charioteer of Arjun, The spiritual guide(also cousin of Pandavs)

1. Five son's of Pandu and Kunti
a. Yudhistir: King of Pandav's Army, also the eldest Pandav
b. Bheem: Commander-in-Chief of Pandav's side.
c. Arjun: The main warrior, also the main character (Spiritual Seeker) conversing with Krishna (Spiritual Guide)
d. Nakul.
e. Sahadev.
2. Five son's of Dropadi : Dropadi was married to all the five Pandavs (Collective wife), hence One son each from each Pandav's.)

3. Abhimanyu: Son of Arjun and Subhadra.
4. Other Warriors
a. Dhristradhum
b. Birat
c. Dhistraketu
d. Chekitan
e. Kashi-Raj
f. Purujit
g. Kuntibhoj
h. Yudhamanyu
i. Utammauja
j. Shrikhandi
  

B. Kaurav's Side (Son's of Dhirtarastra)
1.Bheesm: Great Grand-Father of Pandavs and Kauravs, also the Commander-in-Chief of Kaurav's army.
2.Dhronacharya: Martial Teacher of both Pandavs and Kauravs.
3.Kripacharya: Teacher of both Pandavs and Kauravs
4.Karn: Friend of Duryodhan, also Son of Kunti (mother of Pandavs) before wedlock with Pandu.
5.Duryodhan: Eldest son of Dhitrarastra.
6. Remainder of 99 sons of Dhitrarastra and Gandhari 

I hope you understood the basic character line up of this battle, I hope to continue more with "SUBTLE MEANING" of these characters and the story in the next blog post.

Namaste and see you soon.



Apr 4, 2014

Learning Compassion

    A "Teacher" once told me, one of the benchmark that you are following(or growing in) the path of Dhamma/Dharma (Spirituality) is that you'll see the growth of Compassion, Love and wanting everyone to join the path and to enjoy the happiness of the path.

Couple of weeks back, I went to attend "Acro-Yoga" class. I always wanted to go to this class because, I knew this will make me learn, to let go of my ego, controlling attitude, and other vices that might hinder my progress in this spiritual path, (unconditionally) trust the partner, communicate without words and share the unconditional love. I believe this will be the practice that I'll do with my partner (in future) to grow our unconditional and harmonious love, to trust each other and build the strong communication foundation and meditate till bliss. [ I know, I talk a lot about Ideals :) ]

I started the day with a fruitful meeting with a psychic (totally unplanned and coincidental), she told me few things, which the universe had been telling me for sometime, about the peoples who had just entered in my life coincidentally and few other details about my path(which were accurate to my surprise). It was kind of reassurance to me about the path I'm following. After which I had a weekly session with my Sifu on QiGong healing techniques, hence that day I was already little extra receptive towards the energy of the universe.

So in the evening, I go-to this workshop on Acro-Yoga and was having a good time. We were partnering up and doing all sorts of acrobatic moves. We practiced many positions and I really enjoyed letting go and trusting my partners, I was flying meaning I was the one who was hanging upside down in the air while my partner would hold me from below, couple of time I was acting like a base too. Once, I had "Miss C" as a partner and she lifted me in her legs like a piece of paper (well she taught me how to let go of myself first), I was hanging with head down and legs up and only supported by her legs. I closed my eyes and I immediately went into the meditative state. We must have stood like that for good 4 to 5 minutes and I could feel the spiritual connection between her and me.

So in the end, while we were doing the finishing prayers, the instructor says, "All the donation for the tonight class , will go towards a good cause of funeral rite." (I was thinking umm what is that). Then Miss C, mentioned how the funeral costs are expensive and it was her Dad which had passed away. I immediately said "What was his Name?" (It was as if someone was speaking for me). Then suddenly I said, lets mediate few minute for him. (Again, I knew I was speaking but it was someone who made me do this, there was not even a fraction of second of mind work in my head, it came out as a instinctive reaction, it was very instantaneous for me). I also said after the mediation, that he might be within us too. (again totally instinctively), she said she can feel him too.

So, we all were ready to go, I went and held both her hands and pulled her towards me saying, I need 5 minute with you. Honestly, that is not me, and there was fraction of second of hesitation in her. Then she said "give me few min so I can say goodbye to my friend." After that, I told her just close your eyes and relax, you can even think about your dad if you like. Then I just prayed to Universe and asked to bless her. (My Guru had taught me how to perform this ritual, there is few steps and techniques to follow). So I'm holding her head at this time, and in few second I could feel the energy flowing via me to her, it was very intense my whole body was shaking. This was my first in-person blessing session, I had done this techniques to friends and family remotely. After the session, she told me few personal things about that moment and what her dad told her. We hugged for few minutes and I felt really good about the whole session.

I also, told her I was just acting as a medium and "Universe" is doing whatever it pleases, and I had nothing to do with it. I contributed the donation and hugged (few folks), waved goodbye and left. I had already informed everybody that that might be my first and last workshop with them, as I was moving away from Las Vegas in few weeks. 

Whatever I did was instinctively, I shed a tears too. I could feel her pain and I had this feeling deep inside me to make her feel good. It was unconditional, I was not looking for anything in return. Then drive back home, I was feeling good from inside too, the feeling that I can't express in words, if I try I'll say I was in bliss state.

I realized my purpose of going to that class, as you know nothing is coincidence in this world. Somehow I had to be there to meet her and may be universe wanted her to meet me too (for whatever reason). The connection I felt with her, there was definitely something that pulled me to go-to that class, may be I was receptive then, may be I could give her what she was missing, who knows. The power of synchronicity always amazes me, and I'm glad that I am learning to connect the dots too.

Next day morning, as I woke up. Something inside told me to look for the Acro-Yoga classes in the place where I was moving and found a workshop the month I'm moving there :). I listened to the inner-voice and signed up immediately. Let see what this universe have in plan for me this time. Washington DC (well near MD suburb though) here I come to be in your arms.

Om, Namaste and have a wonderful time in the journey.

Mar 31, 2014

What is Bhagwat Gita ? Part 1 of 3 (An Overview)

     It's a book, a spiritual "how-to-guide" book which was written many thousands years back (at-least 3 millennium back). It has been interpreted and reinterpreted by many with different result. Now, lets not waste this blog on going over these technical issues. Let me give you some perspective on what I understood, and how it's changing and guiding my life.

To understand "Gita" (Bhagwat Geeta/Gita) we need to understand what is Ved(Vedas) first. Ved was written many years(thousands?) before Gita was written. It's a collections of writings on "Wisdoms" from many enlightened souls who traveled this earth. It teaches us the path to liberation, the path of divine realization(enlightenment). Gita is nothing but the compressed version of the Ved, the writer just kept the needed ideas and techniques requires for realization. In one line if I have to say, it teaches us how to do "Meditation."

Gita, it belongs to everybody. This is not a property of any religious sect, person of certain status, gender or race. "The Universal Truth" is TRUE for everybody, just like the laws of nature is true for everyone, likewise the "Art of Liberation" is true for everyone too. This will not be Universal Truth, if it's not TRUE for everyone.

Gita is a conversation between "Spiritual Guide" and a "Spiritual Seeker". For a dramatic effect the conversation takes place in the battlefield. Yes, this is a WAR story but the War within not the outside war like what we see these days. The writer writes in  (Chapter 13/Verse 1) "Edam Sariram Kaunteyea Kshtrya Mitya Bhidiyeatey"  This BODY is the Field(battle), who understands it well is the enlightened one. 

The brief philosophical message of Gita:

Whatever happened, it happened for good, Whatever is happening, is happening good, whatever will happen, it will happen for good.
What have you parted with that makes you cry? 
What did you bring with you that you have lost?
What did you create which is now destroyed?
What you have taken, you have taken only from here.
What was given was given only from here.
What is yours today, was someone else's yesterday, will be someone else's tomorrow.
Change is the LAW OF THE UNIVERSE

Understanding, that "whatever happened,is happening and will happen for good" has been my "Sacred Mantra" for very long time. This has made me think positive and has made me rise up after I fall. After all to learn how to rise, we need to learn how to fall first.

If there is only one thing that is permanent in life, that will be CHANGE itself, everything changes except CHANGE.

I hope to see you in PART 2 and 3, where I'll go through the characters mentioned in Gita. First, literal and then subtle meaning.

ओम् तत् सत् OM TAT SAT (Supreme Absolute Truth)

Mar 27, 2014

Growing in Spirituality


     “Religion is belief in someone else's experience. Spirituality is having your own experience. Atheism is no experience only measurement.”
                            ---Deepak Chopra

 I haven't read much books on spirituality. Hence, I just can't relate, how others must have felt in this path. All I have is my own experience and my only "How-to-Books" [Bhagwat Gita is one of them and most important (will write more about this in my future blog post)]. This book is meant for every human being(no matter race, gender, country of origin, or other barriers that might divides us), on how to grow spirituality. For me this book has been manual on spirituality.

For me growing spiritually and getting deeper into consciousness means the same. I've felt the more I get deeper into my consciousness, I'm growing spiritually. As we meditate into deeper realm of our mind and doing so, opens up new faculties, with which opens up new realization. This new realization is the new truth and this will be our new base level of understanding and the journey continues to go deeper and deeper. These are the things should be felt by experience, understanding intellectually will not deepens our consciousness. Hence, to have personal experience, we need to mediate. There is no short-cuts, we need selfless-mediation. [Meditating without desire for anything(refer: Karma Yog]

What is miracle? The action that happens beyond your understanding. Once you attain certain level in consciousness, where you get different realization and your truth has changed then, yesterday's miracle is today's reality and today's miracle will be tomorrow's reality too. The only task that we can(and have to) do is, try to get deeper and deeper into our consciousness and expand our horizon of consciousness and realizations.

How to meditate: Just close your eyes and observe the sensation of your body (start with observing your breath first) and DON'T react to the sensations. That is, you might feel itchy, some pain or some nice sensations, maintain equanimity with the sensations and move your concentration from Head to Toe and then back Toe to Head.(More about this technique)

Four Stages in Spirituality (According to Bhagwat Gita):

First Stage: This is the stage, where you are new to spirituality path, you are gathering knowledge, trying different paths, teachers and teachings. You are treading the water but not yet committed on the path. [You just entered college, the Freshman year.]

Second Stage: In this stage, you have found your teacher, you are following the path. You've started to see the benefits of the path and are gathering detailed knowledge. You are learning to use different tools in spirituality, understanding the righteous things(moral and virtuous) that will elevate you spiritually and the vices that'll bring you down. You also realize that God-like quality (Devotion, determination, compassion, confidence, perseverance, Love...) and Devil-like quality (Anger, Lust, Attachment, Desire,Greed...)  resides within yourself. [Now you are in Graduate School.]

Third Stage: In this stage, you know that battle is with your senses and within you. So you fight to defeat the Devil-Like nature in yourself. So that you can realize the Divine within yourself. We fight to control our senses, we fight to still our mind and go beyond the normal senses.
P.S: You can't understand "Soul" with senses,  to comprehend we need to be beyond thought."
(You are PHD Candidate)

Fourth Stage: This is the self-realization phase, where your mind is still and you've total control of your senses and you are moving towards self-realization. [You, just finished your PHD Thesis/Dissertation]

When you pass level Four, you become immortal (i.e you achieve Enlightenment)

Namaste, may the light within you guide you in the path!!


Mar 21, 2014

Overcoming my desires

   "The common mind destroys itself through its own desires. Yoga says, stop the desires; fight against desires and become part of that 'you' who is beyond desires. Tantra says to be aware of your desires. Don't fight them. Move through the desire maintaining a profound consciousness. Thus you will transcend it. You are part of it and yet you are not. You go through it yet you stay on the outside.
---- Rajneesh(Osho)

One reason why I feel in love with Tantra (and also Vipassana) is that they compliment my attitude perfectly. They accept things as it's and so is my attitude, to overcome the desires for me it was better to overcome them naturally (effortlessly) than suppress them in one side of the mind. This suppression creates the mental tension, rather than overcoming them naturally, which is effortless. In Yogic term, over-coming one's desire is like resonating above the frequency of "the desire", hence I feel this is very natural process than suppression.

TV: I don't own a TV, I don't enjoy watching TV. Hence, this was not even my desire. Some people freak out when I tell them I don't watch TV. Of the perk that I get from my work is FREE Satellite TV, but I don't have one. It was hard for me to explain my colleagues that I don't watch football games or some so called famous TV shows. I just like watching News (alternative sources) and Movies (mostly with Sub-titles on), but I do that on my computer.

Video Games: Same like watching TV, was never interested, while growing up may be I played for month or two. Once, one of my friend gave me his old XBOX console with games, and I returned to him after a year without ever turning on the system.

Following Sports/Team: I tried to fit in couple of times, but felt so unnatural. I rather play the sports than follow the tribe :).
  
These first three are some desires, for which I was already resonating above without any effort or thought.

Drinking: I liked drinking good beer socially, but never liked other liquors. Hence, for me trying Belgian Beer in Belgium and visiting Oktoberfest was a dream. Once I accomplished that, which was my pinnacle,the only next step was to come down. So it just happened that my desire just stopped. (I wasn't even doing Yoga or Tantra then). It complimented following the Moral Codes of Dhamma too.

Being Vegetarian: This one was surprise to me too, because I love foods (from all around the world). This happened during my Vipassana Camp, my inner voice and I was having a conversation, and one things lead to other, then I made my decision. Yep going vegetarian :). Plus I was eating 60% Raw for sometime anyway, so this transition was smooth too. It was very effortless, it has been few months since I turned vegetarian and there is no temptation in me not to be one going forward.
 
Lust: This is work in progress and I can already see the changes in me, but I'll not comment yet. As I'm looking for more concrete proofs(will do in future posts). I'm learning to convert the Lower Sexual Energy to Higher Spiritual Level. (That is what Tantra teaches us)!!

"He who looks at a woman only with the eyes of vulgar lust has not yet surpassed the stage of rudeness. Only he, who sees the mother in her, has raised himself from the animal and human state to the divine plane"
---Yesudian

Thank you for giving me a company......

Namaste and peace be with you!!