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Guruji's Column

Dear Friends

Let me share something simple and realistic with you in this editorial. You can directly apply the message that I am going to share in your daily life. Now-a-days, everything comes in handy, like the mini visa card. It’s something similar to that.

We are all engaged in some activity or the other, almost for the major part of the day (say, 12 to 14 hours). While doing so, we unconsciously attach ourselves in successfully accomplishing the task at hand, be it a financial crisis in the family, or problem at work place, strain in the relationship etc. This attachment causes anxiety and as a result we do revolve. That means, despite our best efforts, the problem remains and requires our attention again. But friends, let me tell you, if we start revolving around anything, we will never evolve. Revolution causes “chakkar”. Because of this, we get into all kinds of unethical, unlawful and illegal activities and we slip off the path.

The very purpose of our life is to evolve and not revolve. However, we just do the opposite. That’s why teachers like me are kept constantly engaged and busy. As a first step, if you just stop revolving, leave alone making efforts to evolve, you can see a qualitative improvement in the way you handle things. Your fear disappears and your confidence sees new heights.

To put it simple, you can’t escape action. So, do it. But don’t involve yourself while doing any thing, for involvement causes anxiety and in the anxiety, we lose our wisdom. Tell me: Are we all active just to lose wisdom? Are we all active to further complicate the existing problems? If not, do all our work with this understanding. Let me also tell you the secret of success. If you want to succeed in all the three – kaaya, vaacha and manasaa—they have to be aligned and brought out as a single force. This can happen only when you understand the concept of evolution.

I believe my message might have reached you in its essence. Hope to see a brightly lit face with a wonderful smile when I meet you all in person next. Till then, take care.

In the service of Parampara,
Sri Pattabhiram.

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Pain & Pleasure

Pain & Pleasure are two opposites that we experience in daily life, but they are relative terms. When one sees the horizon through the window, it appears very limited, but when one goes to the roof, he finds a vast horizon around him. In the same way, when one learns to expand his vision, the meaning of pain and pleasure also changes. Pain and pleasure are two concepts created by our mind and senses when they contact the objects of the world. But when the sense of discrimination is applied, they vanish because one’s values change. Pain and pleasure change their values when one attains a higher dimension of life. One feels pain and pleasure according to his inner strength, endurance, tolerance and purpose of life. One’s experience of pain and pleasure is dependent on what is important to him. For example, a mother experiences pain when she gives birth to a baby, but she goes through that pain because she wants to accomplish something higher.

Pain and pleasure have the same source. In the absence of one, the other appears. For example, if one loses his pen he feels emotional pain, but finding it gives a pleasant feeling. That which creates pain today can be a source of joy in the future.

In Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna explains to Arjuna that he should transcend both pleasure and pain and attain a state of equilibrium. He urges Arjuna to let go of the pain he is experiencing because of his narrow mindedness. Pleasure and pain, victory and defeat, gain and loss should be regarded with detachment and equanimity. Sri Krishna tells Arjuna to stand and fight with an inner peace based on that understanding.

In the modern world people become confused about what is right, and they are uncertain about which duties should be given the highest priority. The important is always important; therefore it should be attended to first even though it may seem to be painful. In performing one’s duty one should learn to go beyond his identification with pleasure and pain, loss and gain, and all the pairs of opposites.

Swami Rama

(Excerpts from the teachings of Swami Rama)

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Guruji Visit to Mumbai

A Sadhaka Reports:

The Mumbai chapter of Sadhana Sangama organized two programs in Chembur. One for the general public of Chembur and the second for the residents of the Staff Colony of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).

The First Program was on Dhyana Yoga at Saraswati Vidyalaya, Chembur. This program has now become an annual feature and the School Management is very helpful for holding such programs. We take this opportunity to thank the Board of Trustees of the School Management for giving this facility absolutely free to Sadhana Sangama Trust for conduct of the program for 5 days.

We had the morning Satsang with Guruji at Mr. Raghuram Kamath’s Residence and Guruji spent this time with the core group to evaluate the progress made by sadhakas in the spiritual arena and give his guidance for the future conduct of activities. Mr. Niranjan Hemmady also took a lot of interest and expended several hours of dedicated time to ensure success of the programs in Chembur.

Mr. Kannan, Sri Vidya Teacher, arranged for Gayatri Mahamantra Program for three days at his residence at Mulund.

We had arranged a retreat at Karla 1.5 km from Lonavala with Guruji. This provided the core group members an opportunity to spend time with Guruji informally and clear their doubts encountered while practicing the concepts of Meditation and Yoga.

Dr. B.K.Das, a Research Scientist with BARC arranged for a 5 day Program at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, a Government of India Organisation at the residential colony Anushakti Nagar. We are very thankful to the entire management of BARC and the Committee Members of the Yoga Club for creating such a conducive environment for the conduct of the programme.

There were 10 yoga teachers attending the program and about 150 other participants. All the yoga teachers were from the Scientific Fraternity who attended the programme with their families. The vibrations of the program were so positive that Guruji commented at the end of the program that he was delighted to get such a positive vibration from the intellectual participants. Dr. G.A. Rama Rao, the Convener, on the last day said that they were ready to host such a program as an annual event, which was very encouraging and heartening.

In all these programmes Guruji insisted on the importance of being in ‘ATHA’ i.e. NOW. He said past is gone and buried, present is the time we have to live in and future is yet to come. Nobody knows what is in store for us in the Future.


He said think if a child is trained to become an Electronics Engineer, but his calling is Yoga and he took yoga. Think what will be the state of the parents. He then pointing to himself said that he is giving his own example.

Then Asked the Question – Now You Tell me what all the planning did. Did it Help?

He said, do not plan for your children what you could not achieve in your life, we all try to plan for our children our unfulfilled desires. If we cannot do something in life we try to fulfill through our children. He suggested please do not do that. Let the child decide for himself what he wants and guide him in that direction with best suggestions and facilities he can be given. He said if you do not throw the child in water how will he learn to swim. He said look at your child as a gift from God and that he has been sent here with a mission -- let him find his way – everything has meaning and the expression, everything is for our good.

There are incidents that strike us only when Guruji highlights to us. He kept repeating ‘Atha’ in his Lecture for full 5 days and we were interpreting it as normal phenomena but he stirred us with his comment – I do not plan for the next day. THIS SENT OUR MINDS RACING TO THE CONCLUSION HE WANTED US TO REALISE.

There is another instance of Guruji’s insight into Sadhakas mind – He said there is an area in all of us, which we need to free from negative vibrations and link us to the divinity. Meditation is the process where we free our conditioned mind from the negative vibrations.

That means no success can be achieved without MEDITATION and every inventor must be meditating on the concepts to make an invention and that is why all Scientists do RESEARCH – They Search for the solution by searching again and again, only when they empty their minds do they get the results which are already present in the universe but it is not realized by any of them till that time.

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(Patanjali Yoga Sutra)

The meaning of this Sutra is: "Then one sees his own true nature". This is with reference to the previous Sutra: Yogah chitta vritti nirodhah. When one controls the modifications of the mind, then he really sees what his true nature is; he sees who he is.

If it is really difficult to understand this way, let us try to understand it from an example. You might have seen a pond; presently most of the ponds have become sites of waste dump or have been used for residential purposes or as playgrounds. Many ponds have been filled with lot of waste things. The moment you reach a pond to see how clean or clear the water is, you feel like running away from it. Because, it contains that much filth. In the same way, one’s chitta is filled with lot of unwanted filth.

The constituents of mind (manas, the questioning faculty; ahamkara, the sense of I, chitta, the store house of memories, samskara, vasana, etc; and buddhi, the discriminating faculty of the mind) are called antahkarana. When this antahkarana is sensitive, transparent, then the inner bliss, the inner source, the truth abode, the true personality, shines forth. The inner Lord is able to shine forth only when the outer sheaths that cover the Lord are made transparent.

To see it more clearly, take the above example of pond. When the constituent of the pond, i.e., water is clear, then whatever the water contains is visible. Its visibility is again dependent upon the disturbance at the surface; i.e., its waves caused by wind, etc. Since we relate this pond with our chitta, the chitta doesn’t have any waves as we see in the external world. But this chitta is disturbed by our own acts, by our own association to the things external / internal, by our own whims and fancies, by our own likes and dislikes. It is like throwing stones in a pond. The moment a stone is thrown, it disturbs the water’s posture. When you see yourself in the troubled water, your reflection also is distorted.

You might have seen your distorted facial reflection in so many mirrors. In some mirrors, you look handsome, but in some, you don’t look that handsome. Some mirrors are concave and some are convex mirrors. The reflection is really adjusted according to one’s requirement. In that conditioned mind, in that conditioned chitta, the reflection of the True Personality is not possible. If at all it can reflect, it reflects only the distorted picture of the True Personality.

If this is the case in all of us, what is the role of a sadhaka now? The role is, first of all, to stop throwing the stones. In other words, reduce the disturbing tendency. You must watch your trikarana a bit carefully. Speech, thought and action are called Trikarana. Observe your talk. Is it creating harmony? Or, is it creating disturbance in you. It definitely disturbs others too, if it disturbs you. Leave aside the disturbance that you do to others in the first instance. At least, look at how it is disturbing you. You can do continuous experiments with your talk. Observe how the words are spoken – does it contain the grace of love? How is it received by others? If your talking is curt, becomes aware of that curt tone. The mere awareness will set the things right. Become aware of the tone of the talk. The moment you become aware, you move on to the next higher plane: the thought process. Observe what the intention of your thoughts is. Is it to defame others? Is it to boast of yourself? What is the pattern of your thought process?

If you do these two observations with love; naturally, your actions would become graceful. If you are in the habit of walking hurriedly, talking hurriedly, as your awareness increases, your actions would definitely slow down and the pace of actions, would come down to a manageable level. Presently, if you are a person of hurry, definitely, there is arrogance, whether you like it or not. If you want to reduce this arrogance, reduce the speed. In order to reduce the speed, you need to become aware of yourself in total. If it is not possible to be in the wakeful state always, atleast try it every now and then; one day, I am sure, you too will become Buddha, a fully awakened being.

In this process, every now and then, you will see a spark of your true nature. That is why it is said: then, you will see your own true nature. To say it in other words: Then, you will establish in your True Self. There is no problem with the True Self. But the ‘mere self’ is creating all the problems for you.

What is this ‘mere self’? it is that which is carved out of the experiences of the external world. Its intention is getting ‘quick bucks’ and ‘instant relief’ without caring for what would be the repercussions, whether it imbalances its own nature or the nature of the external world. It doesn’t worry. It needs comforts quick. That ‘mere’ personality is the ‘mere self’. When you stop throwing stones in a pond, the disturbing waves at the surface would slowly subside. Then alone would you see what your chitta contains. After you see the constituents of your chitta, then comes the next step: how to clear it of the dirt? That is why, Patanjali says, “You must make efforts of staying there and that is practice.” What is ‘There’? After seeing the ‘mere self’ you start experiencing the True Self; but you must try to be there with your efforts of cleansing yourself of your impurities. That practice is called abhyaasa. So, the emphasis is not merely to do bujanga-asana or shalabha-asana or some rounds of nadi-shodhana pranayama. The practice of staying ‘There’ is the goal. See the deceitful ways of this ‘mere self’, how it runsaway from seeing itself. It feels shy of itself. So, be courageous; stay in the art of ‘seeing’; go on practicing so that you establish yourself in your own True Self.

May your practice guide you and all.
Sri Pattabhiram

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