Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Towards God Realization

 Satyakaam!                                                                 Sankalp!!                                                                                                          

Towards God Realization

[Dr. Rajeshwar Prasad]
God - His Form
About one-third-world population does not believe in the existence of God. Those who do believe, imagine God in differing forms. They imagine God’s abode in a place called heaven. From heaven He is supposed to watch our deeds and award punishment or reward for our bad or good deeds on the judgment day. The individual soul is thus condemned to eternal misery in hell or enjoys eternal happiness in heaven with all the imaginable comforts of the world. Most religions do not believe in rebirth. Hence the action of the present life only is held responsible for the soul’s eternal existence in hell or heaven. As all religions believe in the existence of soul, it is the soul who has to reside in hell or heaven according to the actions performed by the body in the present life.

God does not have a form that can be seen by our eyes or perceived by other sense organs. To know an entity we have to have one or more of the following evidences. Either we have to perceive it by our sense organs or have an idea of its presence by its actions. We can have an idea of an object by comparison with a similar looking object just as we explain the shape of the earth by an example of the orange. Lastly we believe the evidence of a person who has seen or perceived the particular object. Our sense organs or intellect can only grasp inert objects, as the sense organs are themselves inert. God is a conscious entity and can be known only by another conscious entity like the soul. God is ever active as can be evidenced by the constant regulation of the all the moving stars and planets. Every stars and planet is in constant motion around different axes and in the absence of an intelligent regulator regulation of their movements is possible only by a very powerful, omnipresent conscious force.

Just as we infer the presence of clouds when we see lightning; just as we infer the presence of fire when we see smoke, so also we infer the presence of a very powerful, intelligent entity when we see the movement of stars and planets in a planned manner.

God cannot be compared to inert object. The nearest approach is the knowledge of electromagnetic force. We can regulate the movement of satellites sent by us in space millions of kilometers away by this force. Cannot we think of a similar force regulating the ever-moving universe? Furthermore, the smallest particle that we know of contains tremendous energy that can be manifested in the splitting or fusion of atoms. Where does this energy come from? It is obviously present in the atom itself that shows the presence of God even in the smallest particle. Our ancestors, the sages have perceived this omnipresent omnipotent force and have described it in the following lines of the Svetashwater Upanishad and Yajurveda -
Vedahmetam purus mahantmadity varn tmsh prstat |
Twmev viditvati mrityumeti nanyha pantha vidhytenynaya ||
I know this greatest of the great soul who is luminous like the sun and beyond all darkness. Having known Him, man can transcend death. There is no other way to liberation. Where to find this supreme sole and what are His attributes is expressed in the following couplet of the Upanishad -

Eako devah sarvabhutesu gunh srvvyaoee srvbhutantratma |

Krmadhychh srvbhutadhivash sachhee cheta kevlo nirgunsrv ||

This one Lord is hidden in the hearts of all beings. He is all pervading and exists in all living beings. He is the observer of all actions and judgments. He is ever conscious untouched by the inert qualities of nature.
Why do we seek god? God is sahcchidananda, the existence absolute, the knowledge absolute and the bliss absolute. He is the fountainhead of all happiness that every one of us desires. All worldly pleasures are followed by pain. They are two sides of the same coin; the quantum of pain always exceeds the amount of pleasure. If we look around we find that the countries that possess all the amenities of life is inhabited by people who have no mental peace, which is essential for happiness. They are the people who move from place to place in search of peace and happiness. They visit the so-called saints and god-men and, in spite of their company, do not get peace. The lasting happiness is where the fountain of bliss exists. That fountain is in God and the nearer we are to this fountain our happiness multiplies. The path to this fountainhead is known only to a Sadguru who has traversed this path and capable of leading other human beings to this goal. God does not reside in places of pilgrimage, in places of worship or any idols or deities and hence the search proves futile in spite of long devotion. In the words Sadguru Kabir -

Vastu kahee khoje kahee, kyokar aave haath |

Sajjan sohi sarahiye, jo parakh rakhe saath ||

How can we find an object by looking for it at place where it does not exist? Those wise men are praiseworthy who keep the knowledgeable person in their company. There are many amongst us who practice Vihangam Yoga but do not give up worshipping other gods and goddesses. They should remember the following words of Kabir Sahab -
Eak sadhe sab sadhe, sab sadhe ek jaye |
Jaise seeche mool ko , phule phale aghaye ||
By worshipping different gods, the one God is lost and by worshipping one God, we get all. It is just like watering only the root of a tree that grows, flowers and fruits get watered adequately.

When we get a knowledgeable Sadguru, he takes us along the path that has been prescribed by the Vedic Sages. This path is indicated in the following verse -
Prishthat prithivya ahmntarihchmaruhamnatarikchadivamaruham |
Divo naksya prishthat, svaha jyotirgamham ||
Rising above the world, I reach space; rising above space, I reach the sphere of light. Thence, I move through the narrow area to Light Itself. Similar is the declaration by Sadguru Sadafaldeo ji Maharaj, in the following verse -
Prakriti aadhar tohi chhodvau, nija svaroop thaharaunga |
Surti ulati ke gagan chadhau, dori makar dharaaunga ||
Mahaprabhu anant dayamaya unse tohi milaaunga |
Kahain Sadafal paramanandaa, aavagaman mitaunga ||
“ I shall take you beyond the world to the sphere of yourself. I shall reverse the force of your consciousness to take you beyond space through the cord of consciousness that connects the self to the supreme self. The great Lord is very merciful and all pervading and Sadafaldeo says that he will take you to Him and release you from the bondage of rebirth.” Our revered Sadguru Swami Sadafaldeo ji Maharaj pledges to take us along the same path that Vedic sages have indicated. He asks us only to practice the Yogic path as prescribed by him. Along his path that has five steps, as one move higher and higher, one gradually goes beyond the worldly desires and the mind that binds us to the desires of worldly pleasures, loosens its hold on the soul. In the fourth step, the mind becomes clam having reached its origin. The soul is then free to move God-wards under the guidance of the Sadguru. At the fifth step, the soul has reached the region of the un-manifest Sadguru, who is Word and Light in one. Having reached this stage, the soul stays as the servant of God and has no desire to come back to earth. He, thence, lives forever in eternal bliss. This region has been described in Srimad Bhagwat Gita in the following verse -

Na tadbhasyate suryo na shashanko na pavaka |

Yadgtva na nivartante tadham parama mam ||
The light of the sun moon or fire is absent in that region. Having gone there, my supreme abode, one does not come back to earth. That region glows in its own cool light.

According to kena Upanishad -

Na tatra chachhurgchchhti na vaggachchhti no mano |

Neither sight nor speech nor mind can reach that region. In the words of Kabir
Sahib -
Shabda shabda sab koi kahai ,wah to shabda videha |
Jihva par aave nahee, nirakh kar leha ||
Rekh rup jehi hai nahee, adhar dharo nahee deha |
Gagan mandal ke madhya me, dekhahu purus videha ||
Dharin dhyana gagan ko, lain vajra kivara |
Dekho pratima aapnee, tino bhaye nihala ||
Baranahu kaon rup aur rekha | dusar kaun aahi jo dekha |

Au aokar aadi hahi veda | takar kahu kaun kuchh bheda ||

God is described as the word, but a word spoken does not indicate what He is. He is without any bodily form. Meditating on a particular point in space can experience him. No body can describe His form but those who have experienced give similar description. Omkara is the name given to Him but even this name does not describe Him. There are a number of names by which he is addressed but in fact He is nameless.

He can only be experienced by a practitioner of Vihangam yoga under the able guidance of a Sadguru. This is a time-proven method described by many sages of the Vedic period, revived by Kabir Sahab six hundred years back and again by Sadguru Sadafaldeo Ji Maharaj in recent year.

Preparation for Vihangam Yoga

Brahma Vidya, Madhu Vidya or Para Vidya is that science which enables one to know God. The practical aspect of this Science is known as Vihangam yoga or Sahaj yoga. Only Sadguru can teach this yoga or a person authorized by the Sadguru. Sadguru Sadafaldeo Ji Maharaj has simplified this difficult yoga process. In Kathopanishada, the student has been advised as follows -
Uttishtha jagrata praapya varannibodhat |
Chhurasya dhara nishita duratyaya durg pathstatkvyo vadanti ||
O human beings! Wake up, be alert and go to the Sadguru and get the knowledge of God. This knowledge is esoteric and wise men describe the path as hazardous like walking on the edge of a Sword.

An average human being’s life achieves nothing more than an animal. He is born, educates himself just to earn a living. He strives hard to get as many amenities for comfort as possible. He gets satisfaction in carrying out some rituals in the name of worship or prayer which caries him no further then giving him momentary respite from worldly botherations. He produces children and remains entangled throughout life in looking after his or her family. The sunm total is a life of a few moments of pleasure and lots of unhappiness. Birds and animals, without the faculty of discrimination and forethought do exactly the same. Human beings are the highest in creation not because of their standard of living but because they have been endowed with the faculty of discrimination between good and evil. They are the only creatures who are capable of reaching the fountainhead of all happiness namely God. Saint Tulsidasa in his Ram Charit Manas says -
Bade bhagya manus tan pava |

Sur durlabh sadgranthan gava ||

We have earned this human body by good luck, which is difficult to get even by the deities so say the scriptures.
We have to choose between two paths. One is the downward path of a life like that of animal and birds and the second is the upward climb towards Godhood. Are we going to create the deities of our choice, infuse life unto them as done before worshipping the deities or pursue a path indicated by our sacred scriptures, the Vedas? Worshipping different idols may give us some solace and comfort for the time being, but this does not enable us to obtain lasting peace and happiness. The upward path of Vihangam yoga prescribed by the Vedas can be shown by the Sadguru only. We have to search for the Sadguru and avoid the trap of impostors. Having found the Sadguru we have to win his favor by sincere service and take his help to tread the true upward path of liberation and self-realization. In the Vedic period the disciple used to go to the ashram of the Guru and serve him, sometimes for years together, to know His Science of Brahma
Vidya or Vihangam Yoga. Today this path has been made easy by our Sadguru Sadafaldeo Ji Maharaj. We have to prove our worthiness to reach the highest run of the Ladder for God realization.

In the process of meditation, our food habit plays a vital role. A heavy or rich meal prevents the mind from remaining one-pointed. A simple meal is easily digested and is quite tasty if we have good appetite. If we are not hungry, there is no harm in foregoing a meal. We crave for a savory food only if we are not hungry. Food should be taken only to appease hunger and not to bumper our taste buds. Test is only to choose between healthy and unhealthy food and not to look for savory but unhealthy dishes. Foregoing a meal or an occasional fast keep our taste healthy and helps in meditation. Long rigorous fast are not helpful at all. There is no place for any intoxicant or stimulant in the life of a yogi. Tobacco in different forms is becoming a fashion in backward countries that the developed countries are gradually giving it up. An addict of tobacco craves for it more then he craves for food. Tea and coffee is another habit that has become universal. They contain a stimulant, caffeine, which is harmful for those who practice meditation. Similarly, bottle drinks like coca cola, Pepsi cola, seven up, thumps up and similar product all contain small amounts of stimulants and should be avoided. It is better not to keep these drinks in the house, as children get addicted to them. The stronger narcotics, every one agrees, should not be touched at all.

In yoga one has to take adequate care of physical and mental health. Some physical exercise is essential for all age groups. Exercise should be a regular routine just like meals but the same exercise does not suit all age groups. Yogic exercises are the best form of exercise and different yoga Asana should be adopted for different age groups. An occasional practice of six-limbed yoga of Neti, Dhouti, Nauli, Vasti , Kapal Bhati and Tratak are helpful. Tratak can be omitted as it is a part of Vihangam Yoga itself.

The practice of Patanjal Ashtang yoga makes a good basis for Vihangam yoga.  Patanjal yoga or Raj yoga consists of Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Darana, Dhyana and Samadhi. Yama and Niyama should be practiced by every citizen of a country. Yama involves, non-violence, truth, nonstealing, regulation of sense enjoyment and no hoarding. They are essential qualities of a good social being. Niyama includes purity of body and mind, contentment, forbearance, study of scriptures and surrender to the Almighty. These are essential personal qualities that make the person fit for the practice of Vihangam yoga.

Most of us are so much attached to blind belief and superstitions that it is difficult to alienate them from these ideas. The idol worshippers may be right in the initial stage of worship but that is just the preliminary stage. It has to be given up if we want to progress on the spiritual path. Some of us, having studied the various scriptures, wish to attain this highest goal by shear arguments and intellectual gymnastics. They forget that God is not attainable by the intellect.
According to Kathopanishad -
Naymatma prawchnen labhyo, n meghya n bahuna sruten |

Yamevaes vrnute ten labhystsyaes aatma vivrnute tannusvam ||

Delivering or listening to lecture or by intellectual exercise cannot obtain God. Those whom He accepts can obtain him and for them only He manifests himself in true form.

The greatest obstacle in the attainment of God is our worldly mental and intellectual attachment. By the Practice of Raja Yoga of Patanjali, we can transcend this attachment. But to reach God one has to go to the Sadguru who will initiate him to Vihangam Yoga or Sahaj Yoga. There is only one Sadguru at one period of time.

The Practice of Vihangam Yoga or Sahaj Yoga

In modern age, there are a number of Yogas that are being practiced. There are three main types of yoga - Hath Yoga, Raja Yoga and Sahaj Yoga or Vihangam Yoga. The other Yogas have taken paths of them and given it a different name. Hath Yoga is based on the body and breath control. The aim of this yoga is awakening of the Kundalini. Awakening of the Kundalini power gives certain material attainments. In this yoga one practices Asanas, Pranayamas, Mudras, Bundhas and six Kriyas like Nati, Dhauti , Nauli, Vasti, Tratak and Kapalbhati. These practices keep the body healthy and mind is partially controlled because of the close association of the mind with Prana. By long continued practice of Kumbhaka Pranayama (Breath holding)the eight charkas , (Nerve Centers) Muladhar, Swadhisthan, Manipurak, Anahat, Vishudhi, Agyan, Brahma Randhrakhya and Sahasrara are pierced and Kundalini awaking takes place. Hath yogis spend their lifetime in this practice and then only some of them attain this goal. Maharshi Patanjali’s Raj yoga aims at ‘Chittvrtti Nirodh’ or steadying of the restless mind. The ultimate result is ‘tda drastuh svrupenvsthanm’ - the yogi realizes his own self. Meharshi Patanjali yoga sutra describes the method of control of the first two limbs Yama and Niyama are the basis of dharma. Yama includes Non-violence, Truth, non-stealing reputed behavior of sense organs and non-hoarding. Niyama includes outer and inner cleanliness, contentment, forbearance, study of scriptures and surrender to God. These ten instructions of Yama and Niyama are almost the as the ten features of Dharma according to Manusmrti. These are -
Ghrtih chhma dmosteym shaochminrdiy nigrh |
Dheervidha stymcrodho dshkn dharmlchhnm ||
Patience, forgiveness, control of mind, non-stealing, cleanliness of body and mind, control of sense organs, righteousness, learning, truth and control of anger are the ten features of Dharma. In Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga, besides Yama and Niyama the practitioner is taught Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. Asanas and Pranayama are taught in Hath Yoga also. Pratyahara means withdrawal of the mind from sensual enjoinment. The mind has the habit of running from one sensual object to another and spends all the energy obtained from the soul force in their enjoyment, with the result that Atman (soul) is prevented from realizing its own potential. Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (trance) are the internal means. The ultimate in Raj yoga are Sampragyat and Asampragyat Samdhi.

According to Maharshi Yagyavalkaya Yoga is the union of the atman (soul) to Paramatma (supreme soul or god). This is the definition of yoga according to the Vedas and this was being practiced by the sages of yore. Even an average citizen of that time used to practice it at least twice a day. Hath yoga is practiced by the body and breath, Raj yoga by the mind, but Vihangam yoga is practiced at the level of the soul. After the Mahabharata age, this knowledge of Vihangam yoga was lost.

In the Srimad Bhagvat Gita Lord Krishna initiated Arjuna, his disciple, in this yoga. The first lesson was as follows:
Shucho deshe prathishthaya sthiramanasamatmanah|
Natyuchhitam natineecham chailajin kushottaram||
Tatrigagram manah krutwa yattachitendriyakriyah|

Upavishyashine yunjya dhyogamatmavishudhaye||

Samam kayashirogrivam dharayannachalan sthirah:|
Samprexanasikagram swam dishashchanavalokayan||
Choose a clean place that is neither high nor too low and spread straw, deerskin and cloth over it. Sit firmly over it and practice yoga for purification of your soul. Keep the head, neck and body straight and steady and gaze one pointedly at the tip of your nose.

This is the first lesson of Vihangam or Sahaj yoga. This is the best way of steadying the wavering mind. Since the worrying mind dissipates the energy of the soul in the objects of the world, the soul force remains weak. When one is awake the mind goes wherever the eye moves, so the sight has to be fixed at a point in order to steady the mind and the tip of the nose is the nearest point of the body which can be seen by the eyes.

Vihangam yoga or Sahaj yoga has 5 stages of concentration and meditation. The first stage has been described in detail in the Gita as noted above. The second and third stages have just been pointed out as follows:
Prayan kale manasachalen bhaktya yukto yogabalen chaiva|
Bhruvormadhye pranamaveshya samyak satam param purushmupaiti divyam||
One who, at the time of death, steadies his breath and mind with devotion at a point between the two eyebrows goes to the supreme soul. This is somewhat a pointer to the second lesson of Vihangam yoga. The third lesson is indicated in Geeta as follows:
Sarvadwaranni saiyamya mano hrudi nirudhya ch|
Murdhnyadhayatmnah pranamasthitho yogadharanam||
Omityeksharam brahma baharanmamnusmarna|
Yah prajati tyajandeham sa yati parmam gatim||
“Having locked all the doors of the sense organs and having fixed the mind in the region of the heart, the yogi who concentrates at the top of the head, utters the word OM and remembers me at the time of death goes to the supreme soul.” The Sadguru Bhagwan Krishna gave these instructions to the disciple Arjuna. This science should be practiced under the guidance of the Sadguru only. The books should not be taken as a guide as this is the practical esoteric science.

The fourth and the fifth lessons are just indicated in the Swarveda written by Sadguru Sadafaldeoji Maharaj or in the Vedic verses. They are method of meditation beyond the mundane world and are done by the soul that has become independent of the worldly mind. The soul force is directed to the supreme soul. The help of a capable Sadguru is a must during these two stages of yoga. Sahaj yoga or Vihangam yoga is a science which has been taught by the eternal Sadguru since creation to the deserving disciples who are desirous of reaching the highest goal of human beings, the union with the supreme soul. It is the only human soul that can reach this goal and Vihangam yoga or Sahaj yoga is the only path leading to this ultimate goal. There are numerous ways of prayers and worships but they are all done at the level of the body, mind or the breath force. God can be reached only by the soul, which is the only conscious force in us. If the soul under the guidance of the Sadguru, fails to reach the ultimate goal in the life, he is sure to resume his forward journey in the life to come because the soul is attached to the soul of Sadguru who will never leave him even after the soul leaves the present body.

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