Hello! How are you?...

Dear Sadhaka,

How are you? Hope you are pursuing your sadhana regularly. Mind always wants new, new sensations. At one point of time, taking up sadhana was a new sensation, and therefore you took lot of interest in understanding what sadhana is and how one can establish himself/herself in it. As you started doing it, slowly your mind began losing interest in it and went to sleep while doing meditation.

You must make all efforts so that you do your sadhana regularly. While doing sadhana, you must be very alert and wide awake. As you do sadhana, your whole personality should be into it. If you want to do mediation alone, without skillfully performing your duties, you would not enjoy much. Only when you take it up as a mission of your life, to do all things with involvement, without creating a division between mind and body, it would really help. Meditation would then become an adventure, an exploration into the deeper layers of your being.

Most of the sadhakas say that they don't see any change in them. If you are doing it regularly, even for a short time in a day, there would be a change; have no doubts about it. You should not worry when the Parampara is with you. It all depends on you alone: how committed you are or how honest you are to yourself.

Kindly deal with the external environment and internal personality with a relaxed mind. This relaxed (but not lazy) attitude will open up a new vista in your dealings. In relationship too, you would see a positive change; but be patient.

In service of Guru Parampara,
Sri Pattabhiram

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In the path of Sadhana

While following the path of dharma and truth, one can temporarily become confused and commit a mistake, but the quest for dharma and truth will in itself lead him back to right understanding. He will once more perform his duties according to his dharma. Following his dharma helps one to be one-pointed in this thoughts and actions, whereas dissipated and endless are the thoughts and actions of the irresolute. Furthermore the conscious effort one makes to follow his dharma has an enduring effect. It is motivation that is important here. Having a pure motive, one will perform his duty well.

In the path of Sadhana no effort is in vain; all sincere efforts bear their fruits in the unconscious mind according to the inevitable law of karma. Impressions live in the unconscious, in the storehouse of one's memory. Even a little sadhana practiced with sincere effort leaves deep imprints in the unconscious mind. Those impressions help and guide the Sadhaka whenever he goes off the path. The conscious part of the mind is but a small part of the whole. It is helpful in communicating with the external world but has very little use on the inward journey. If the conscious part of the mind is trained not to create further barriers, then sadhana is useful.

Yoga sadhana alone has explored all the unknown levels of life and is thus useful for knowing the levels of the unconscious and for training the totality of mind. Although modern psychology has come a long way in the last one hundred years in its recognition and exploration of a few of the layers of the unconscious mind, there is no training program in any of the educational and therapeutic systems of the worlds that can help one know the unconscious to the extent that yoga science can. If one does not know himself on all dimensions, how can he understand his relationships in the external world? Sadhana alone is the way of knowing, understanding, and analyzing the internal states and one's relationship to the external world.

While treading the path of the inner world, the sadhaka comes in touch with those potentialities that guide him unconsciously, or sometimes through dreams, and at other times consciously. Fearlessness thus increases, and self-reliance is strengthened. He is fully protected by the finer forces that exist, although he is not aware of them because of his extroverted nature. No danger can ever befall the sincere sadhaka in his exploration of the inner realms. The sadhaka is completely protected if he is fully dedicated to the goal of Self-realization.

Swami Rama

(Excerpts from Perennial Psychology of Bhagavad Gita)

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Devotee: I fear that Self-realisation is no easy thing to attain.

Master: Why impede yourself by anticipating failure? Push on. Self-realisation will come to an earnest seeker in a trice.

To illustrate this, Sri Bhagavan told the following story:

King Janaka was listening to a philosophical treatise read by the state pandit, wherein a passage occurred to the effect that a rider who had placed one foot in the stirrup, contemplating upon realisation could realise the Self before he lifted the other foot to place it in the other stirrup. That is, the passage taught, that when realisation comes, it comes in an instant. The king stopped the pandit from proceeding further, and ordered him to prove the statement.

The pandit admitted that he was only a book-worm and was unable to impart practical wisdom. Janaka suggested that the text was either false or exaggerated, but the pandit would not agree to this. Though he himself was unable to impart practical wisdom, he maintained that the text could not be false or exaggerated, since it contained the words of wise sages of the past. Janaka was annoyed with the pandit and in a fit of rage condemned him to prison. He then inflicted the same punishment on every pandit who passed for a wise man but was unable to prove this scriptural text.

For fear of being imprisoned, some of the pandits fled the country in voluntary exile. While two or three of them were running through a thick forest, a sage called Ashtavakra,* who though young in age was wise in learning, happened to cross their path. Having learnt their plight, Ashtavakra offered to prove the text true to the king and thereby have the imprisoned pandits released. Impressed by his bold assurance, they took him in a palanquin to the king. At the sight of the sage, the king stood up and saluted him with great reverence.

Ashtavakra then ordered the king to release all the pandits. Janaka thought that such an order could come only from one who had the capacity to set his doubts at rest, and hence he released all the pandits and asked the sage whether he could summon the horse.

The sage advised him not to be in a hurry and suggested that they should go to a solitary spot. Thereupon the king on his horse and the sage in a palanquin went out of the city towards the forest. When they reached the forest the sage asked the king to send back the retinue. The king did as he was asked, and then placing one of his feet in the stirrup, he requested the sage to prove the scriptural text. But the sage replied by asking whether the position in which they stood indicated a proper master-disciple relationship. The king then understood that he should show due reverence towards Ashtavakra, and prayed to him for grace.

The sage then addressed him as 'Janaka', since he was no longer a king and told him that before being taught Brahma jnana, a true disciple should surrender himself and all his possessions to his Master. “So be it”, said the king. “So be it” replied the sage and disappeared into the forest. From that moment Janaka stood transfixed with one foot in the stirrup and the other dangling in the air, as if he were a statue. (Saying this, Sri Bhagavan imitated the posture of King Janaka).

Time passed by, and the citizens, finding no sign of their king returning, grew anxious and began to search for him. They came to the place where Janaka was standing transfixed and were dismayed to find him unaware of their presence and indifferent to their earnest enquiries. They therefore began searching for Ashtavakra who, they thought, must be a charlatan that had cast a spell upon their king, and vowed vengeance upon him. At the same time, being concerned with the king's condition and wanting to minister to him, they brought him back to the city on a palanquin. The king, however, continued to remain in the same condition.

At last, having found Ashtavakra, the ministers entreated him to remove the alleged spell and bring the king back to his normal condition. At the same time they charged him with the responsibility for having cast the spell. Ashtavakra treated their ignorant remarks with contempt and called the name of Janaka, who immediately saluted him, and responded to his call. The ministers were surprised. Ashtavakra told the king that he was being maliciously accused by the people of having brought him to some sad plight and asked him to tell the truth.

On hearing this, the king angrily asked, 'Who said so'? The ministers were taken by surprise and pleaded for mercy. Thereupon, the sage advised the king to resume his normal functions, adding that Brahma jnana could be taught only to competent persons and that since the king had successfully passed the test, he would now impart it to him. Then the sage remained alone with the king during the night and taught him the ultimate Truth, saying “Brahman is not anything new or apart from oneself and no particular time or place is needed to realise It.” He finally concluded by saying, “That Thou Art” (tat tvam asi). That is the Self, eternal and infinite.

The next morning the ministers found that the king called the assembly and performed his functions as usual. In the assembled court Ashtavakra asked the king whether his former doubt about whether Brahma jnana could be attained as suddenly and as quickly as mentioned in the scriptures was cleared, and if so to bring the horse and demonstrate the truth of it.

The king was all humility now and said, “Lord! Because of my immaturity, I doubted the correctness of the scriptural text. I now realise every letter of it is true.” The ministers thanked the sage.

Ramana Maharshi

(Excerpts from Spiritual Stories as told by Ramana)

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Guruji Trip to West

In 2008, Guruji Pattabhiram traveled to USA, Canada and UK during the period August 08 to November 10. Here is a summary of his travels and details of various programs conducted as a humble offering at the feet of the masters.

There has been overwhelming response from all organizers spread around USA, UK and Canada to invite Guruji and host programs. This is the first time Guruji has visited UK. It was a joyous task to work together as a team in order to serve the guru parampara. Everyone showed exemplified zeal to selflessly serve rising above their individual limitations and being an instrument in the hands of the masters to serve humanity. All organizers had put-in untiring enthusiasm and efforts to explore opportunities to host programs, to negotiate schedule and place for the programs, to advertise the programs, to spread the message around the communities and to host the programs itself. In most of the places we had wonderful response from the people and audience were moved by Guruji‟s simple approach in presenting the most difficult ideas.

There were varieties of programs conducted. There were programs conducted in temples mostly on Gayatri Mantra, Mrityunjaya Mantra, Antar Darshana and Stress management. In all temple programs, Guruji emphasized people to cultivate devotion in a spiritual dimension of exploring one's own self and not to get stuck with mere emotional bakthi. He then presented the topics in this context and helped them systematically to learn the practices as well.

More programs were conducted in large community halls or auditoriums of various organizations such as Arya samaj or yoga studios. These programs were mostly on Patanjali yoga sutras and Chakra prana mantra aspects. Some of these programs such as the one at Royal Albert Hall, New Jersey and Arya Samaj Toronto attracted large number of people. These programs were aimed to reach people who are regularly practicing yoga. The key objective here had been to change the prevalent perspective in the west that yoga is merely an activity for the physical being. Guruji was blunt and relentless in condemning this attitude among people that has reduced yoga to mere physical exercises. He mesmerized his audience by presenting the profound wisdom of Patanjali yoga sutras in the simplest manner possible. Guruji was passionate for declaring to the whole world that yoga sutras present the human integral science and the foremost understanding on human psychology.

The public programs were complemented by the sought after programs of Guruji in the west. Those were the programs held at residences of sadhakas and many were on Dhyana Yoga. Unlike the public programs, these residence programs had an informal vibration and Guruji was full of compassion for families and their well being. He never missed an opportunity to gather and interact with all the family members helping them with any problems and emphasizing the need to lead a purpose-oriented life filled with selfless love, harmony and spiritual practices.

For families, hosting Guruji for a week was in itself a wonderful learning experience. Most of them were surprised by his humble, simple and down to earth personality and the ease with which he merges into the rhythm of any family and their living style. Many families felt that while they changed nothing external in their home to accommodate Guruji, but when he had left, they had a transforming change within. Guruji's love for sadhakas knew no limits and it manifested in every single casual interactions such as going for a walk with him, chatting with an evening tea, sharing a light moment with kids and youth or having fun learning to cook in the kitchen. He uses every single opportunity to make the family members live the teachings of the parampara.

Guruji's travel started from Minneapolis. After spending a week, he went to St.Louis and Chicago each for a week. He was in Canada for a month visiting cities like Calgary, Toronto, Cambridge and London. Then he began his second phase of USA visit from Pittsburgh. Subsequently he was in New Jersey for couple of weeks and visited Richmond for a weekend. He concluded his North American visit with Jacksonville. From there he went to UK for the first time and spent a week conducting programs at London, Manchester and Birmingham. He was given a very warm and cordial welcome during his first visit to UK. Having thus traveled tirelessly following a hectic schedule, Guruji returned to India. All our organizers in these places are continuing their sadhana while waiting to be with Guruji next year to experience the bliss of being with the GRACE.

- A Sadhaka

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