Part-1. Third Eye of Shiva is within you. Swa-vishava samprayoge Chittasya swaroopanukara,
eve indriyanam pratyaharahe.
Sadhana Pada. Verse 54.
“Understanding one’s Self, within dimensions of Universal Space/Place -Time (Chitta-Shakti) and developing control over the senses is Pratyahara”.
The student now reaches the 5th step of Yoga ladder. In this step "Mind is with drawn from sense objects and the senses are withdrawn from their subjects". He learns the art of understanding inner natural desires or instincts (Vrutties) like hunger and thirst, passions or sex urges (Kama, Vasnas) and actions (Karma) done to satisfy these desires by self. This brings complete mastery over the 5 senses - namely Ears, Skin, Eyes, Tongue as taste organ and Nose; and their 5 subjects - namely Hearing, Touching, Seeing, Tasting and Smelling (Shabda, Sparsha, Roop, Ras and Gandha).
Yoga Meditation is study of Self or “Who am I?”
With this step starts the analysis of one’s own likes and dislikes at material and senses level, desires, hopes, wants, ambitions, achievements of goals and failures etc.,. All past events that have occurred in own life, thoughts of sensual happinees (Sukkha), unhappiness (Dukkha), family expectations, separations and meetings etc, all pleasures and joys (Ananad) occurring are meditated upon.
Who am I"? Self meditation starts with this question. The Sanskrit word for "I" (Aham) has two meanings. 'Aham' means Ego. It also means Self or “I”- the first person singular pronoun.
When any one speaks 'I', mostly he/she means gross physical body. But in sub-conscious mind he/she is aware of the name, sex, nationality, education (knowledge), wealth, bank balance, status or position in life and many relations, beliefs and false notions. Thus each person understands a number of vague things for himself or herself. By tricks shown during Yoga meditation student has to reach and find inner pure divine Self, called SPIRIT or SOUL (Brahman).
The Sanskrit term for soul or spirit in the Vedas is BRAHAMAN and the word for 'self' is 'Atma'. By self meditation one understands that I am Brahaman. 'Atman is Brahaman'. "Ayam atma Brahamaha" is a great short sentence or Vedic Maha Vakya. Most Indian Gurus and priests understand, speak and translate the word ‘ATMA’ in the sense of spirit or soul only. This is not correct understanding or translation. Many misunderstandings would get clarified if the word ATMA is strictly translated as Self and 'Brahaman' is translated as soul or spirit.
Grammatically speaking "I" is 'first person singular pronoun'. It is the consciousness of one's own physical body or self. This is only the first level of self consciousness. Removal of a variety of false Egos in a short time is very difficult. One gradually learns to reduce false egos. Meditation teaches how to discriminate between true and false egos. This is not possible without help of a trust worthy teacher and regular meditation practices. As one climbs higher steps all false beliefs and egos get slowly reduced. "Nothing belongs to me, I don't possess any thing, I don't know so many things. Whatever money, knowledge and power I have is limited and it is for a limited time only".
Mahatma Gandhi has shown an easy way to develop such a mind. "I am just a trustee, a care taker of whatever I have and possess". When false egos are conquered, true self (Nij-Swaroop) unfolds. When true self unfolds, self-confidence and firm convictions (Atma-shraddha) develops. Then real self control over all senses and organs of actionsdevelop.
Many false religious and political beliefs come to an end. True beliefs and correct goals indicated by scriptures, and knowledge based upon memories of one's own experiences remain clear in awakened and ever conscious mind.
One learns this important psychological fact. Any conscious mind is able to possess only one thought at one time. When one thought gets erased, then only a second thought can enter and occupy the conscious mind. This is true for any human being, how great a scholar he/she may be.
Meditation brings to memory and consciousness many past experiences like a recall on calculators and computers. When Kundalini and Agna Chakra (the highest intellect and universal mind) awakes one is able to switch from remote pasts to near future, much faster than any computer in the world. A super-human genious and a saintly personality is born, who transcendents into divine spiritual zone of universal or God consciousness.
Asana and Pranayama prepare the student to create a peaceful and thoughtless state of mind. In this step the student must clearly understand two important Yoga words.
(1) Swadhyaya (Refer this word in the 2nd. Step of Niyama).
(2) Atma-Sanyama (Self-control over senses and sensual joys).
(1). Swadhyaya in simple words means Self examination, Self analysis. Thoughts and dreams constantly arise in conscious mind during waking or sleeping hours. Mostly they are related to money, family problems, behavior of relatives and neighbors, or events occurring in a city or country, the world and so on. These events are perceived with Ears and Eyes mainly. Worries and tensions arise due to likes, dislikes and many false fears.
Swadhyaya (self-analysis) means thinking about one’s own past life starting from childhood till today. You can write a short autobiography. This is easier than thinking or meditating in mind. In Swadhyaya one brings to memory of one’s own past, remembers all important events of life like deaths in family, sicknesses, graduation, marriage, birth of children, buying a house, a new car, etc, in past life. The student analyzes his likes and dislikes of past and present time events, his/her behavior at such occasions and the joys and pains produced by such events.
Third Eye of Shiva is within you.
The intellect (or Kundalini) is located in the front part of human brain. Anatomically it is the frontal lobe area of human brain just behind the forehead. Many Indian people make Tilaks or various colorful religious decorations in forehead. It symbolizes “Lord Shiva’s third eye” located at this point. But most people do not know the meaning of Tilak and tricks of meditation of activating Kundalini or making proper use of intellect or Buddhi.
Until recent times the exact function of the frontal lobes was not known to medical science. This area was known as silent area of brain. A blind operation of Pre-frontal Lobotomy was performed in severe cases of schizophrenia. Alcohol and hallucinating drugs like Cannabis Indica (Bhang), cocaine, opium etc., produce their first doping effects upon the nerve cells located in this area. Then the ability of correct thinking, judging right and wrong, desires and actions is dulled or lost. Control over all Karma Indriyas is lost and people behave like lunatics and devils under the influence of such intoxicating drinks and drugs.
Thinking is done by anatomical, physiological and psychological parts of brain, called mind (lower or animal mind), chitta and intellect (Buddhi). One cannot think well when lower mind is in grip of feelings like, “likes and dislikes (Raga and Dwesha), and emotions like angers, and selfish desires (Krodha and Kama)”.
Part-2. Knowledge is the real wealth of any individual. OM is a holy Symbol of Knowledge or Vedas. It is called Pranav, meaning human voice or ‘spoken sound’ in all Eastern religions. Spoken words of any language are only sound variations of OM. OM is at the root of all spoken human languages.
Thinking in all human minds occur with words and all ideas are mainly communicated by Speech. Thinking usually occurs in mother tongue at all places. I cannot think in French, German or Spanish. Similarly a French man cannot think in any Indian language if he has not learnt it.
Knowledge is the real wealth of any individual.
I learned the following Sanskrit verse in the 5th grade of my school days. It has always inspired me to learn new ideas and skills every day. I am still a student.
Na chor choryam na cha raj haryam;
Na bhratru bhajyam na cha bharakari;
Vyaye krute vardhat avam nityam
Vidya dhanam sarva dhanam pradhanam. "Among all kinds of wealth, knowledge is the top most wealth. Because a thief cannot steal it, a king cannot confiscate it, it cannot be divided among brothers like other material property; and it is not heavy during traveling. But the topmost quality of knowledge is this. It increases by spending whereas other material wealth like money, jewelry, etc, decrease by spending (!)". Knowledge is power. Knowledge is God. Knowledge is wealth. We hear such sentences. This is worldly knowledge. It is called Ved or Vidya, any Logy (like geology, cardiology, etc,.). This is material knowledge of the world explored by different sciences and seers of the past. It is gained by the use of ears and eyes in home and schools. Any useful knowledge is the greatest wealth of a person. But without Self knowledge (Adhiatma-Vidya) and Self realization any person having great knowledge remains in darkness, and behaves sometimes like a lost path soul.
Without genuine interest (Jignasa) one cannot learn and no teacher can teach Self Knowledge. The same principle applies in Self-knowledge also. In studies like Yoga, the real quest of knowing one’s spiritual self arises only in a few people- one in a thousand or one in a million. Remain a curious student, revise your worldly knowledge and religious beliefs, always keep eyes and ears open, and learn new things every day. This visible universe is an ever changing world of perishable objects, so do not get too much attached to them.
Knowledge and Intellect are different human abilities.
Meditate upon this point. “95 % of any human being’s knowledge is Audio-knowledge gained by hearing words from parents, teachers and unknown people (Atithi), as any young child grows in any part of the world. Yoga Meditation is a mental exercise of “knowing and understanding one's own self” (Atma-Gyana). Indian Religions lay great stress upon gaining worldly knowledge (Veda), and also upon spiritual knowledge in which one understands correctly body, mind, intellect, false egos and soul as different parts of Self (Atma), which make the total personality of any individual.
The Sanskrit word Veda means knowledge. Veda is stored in the Chitta part of brain, mainly as memory (OM or listened words), as Audio-knowledge or shruti-gyan”. Human brain has wonderful capacity of acquiring and storing, volumes of knowledge in sub-conscious memory compartment or ‘Chitta’.
The Vedas contain the knowledge and prayers of mother nature’s visible material objects like the sun, land, water, rain, fire, air, etc.,. The knowledge of worldly material objects is gained by the five senses, but mainly by ‘seeing with eyes (Smruti = memory) and (Shruti) hearing words with ears’. Thus Vedic knowledge is like audio-visual recording on mind's blank VCR memory tape. This recorded or 95 % blank tape exists as Chitta-Shakti or sub-conscious mind in all human brains.
Vedic knowledge means knowledge of material objects of the world, perceived mainly as ‘Hearing by Ears’ and other four senses. Medicine (Aur-ved), music and fine arts (Gandharva-Ved), martial arts (Dhanur-Ved), economics (Arth-ved) were the branches of different Vedas or material knowledges. All material knowledge changes with passage of time, newer ideas and inventions. The Vedic knowledge and beliefs need to be revised and updated with passage of time and fresh inventions of science.
There is a second meaning of the word Pratyahara. It is food of a Yogi. 'Prati' means 'daily or towards', and 'Aahara' means food. Food of a true Yogi is nectar of all knowledge. He has spiritual quest and is always trying for self realization. 'Gyan-amrutam Bhojanam'.
Intellect (Buddhi) works like a computer with the data (memory or data) stored in different parts of brain and memories of past events as audio-visual impressions. It is stored as words of the spoken language listened by the child, and events observed with eyes, wherever he/she was born, raised, moved, lived and educated until TODAY. (2). Atma-Sanyama. Means:- (A) Self-Control by Intellect over mind and 5 senses -the Gyana Indriyas, namely, ears, eyes, tongue as taste organ, nose and skin and (B) Control over 5 organs of actions - Karma Indriyas, namely, tongue as organ of speech, hands, legs, excretory organs and sex organs.
The conscious mind, called the 6th sense organ in the Gita is generally attached to the five senses. Desires for gratification of senses constantly arise in mind for getting contact of material objects of the world. Thoughts are mostly about past experiences of gaining happiness from material objects.
Yoga student takes some vows of abstinence from such sense joys and strictly observes them. These help him to develop control of mind over objects of material world and lead him to higher steps of self-study and better use of intellect. Guru indicates penances for students according to level of his mind. Abstinence from smoking, alcohol, non-vegetarian foods, celibacy, “Maunam”- not speaking for a day, half or full day fasts etc., are some simple vows. But these must be observed and practiced for higher goals (indicated in next - 6th step of Yoga).
To reach the highest steps of Dhyana and Samadhi (7th and 8th steps) more penances are needed. Nirvana or Moksha (Mukti) is reached when mind gets totally liberated from all worldly desires and attachments. This is very difficult for a family man during early years of life.
Sanyama or Self control is gained by renunciation of wrong beliefs (Avidya), ego centric desires, passions, greed and superstitions. Desires arise in mind due to likes (Ragas), dislikes (hates), greed (lobha), jealousy (dwesha) etc, called feelings and emotions. The mind is always in the grip of such emotions when it is attached to senses, sense objects and past experiences of pains or pleasures stored in mind as memories. By use of intellect and Sanyama one learns how to control the agitated mind.
In Gita Ch-3-V-41, Lord Krishna indicates a way of controlling one's wandering mind.
"Lord Says; Oh the mightiest (like a bull) in mankind, develop control over thy sense organs, and slain all ego centric (selfish) desires and angers, because they drag you to do wrong deeds (sins). They destroy your knowledge and intellect (discriminative ability -judgment, talent, scientific skills etc,).
Pratyahara means victory over temporary sensual joys and control of 5 organs of actions, in which controls of speech and sex desire are most important penances. Learn to develop control of tastes, smell and sight of foods.
Self control brings a long healthy life, with good name, fame and immortality. Real Sanyama, (Self control) comes at a later age period after self realization.
Active involvement in deeds of selfless humanitarian services makes any person a living Angel, Manifest God or Goddess.
Samadhi state and “Total Surrender to God’s will” requires years of Yoga and living a truly religious life.
Golden Rule: Do not try Samadhi Step before age of 75 and over. In Samadhi Step one meditates like this.
For days, months and sometimes years a Yoga student searches answers to following questions step by step.
“How small I am in the universal dimensions of TIME and SPACE in this ever changing endless universe?"
How and when I came to this life?
What factors maintain my daily life?
How long would I like to live?
How many people know me in this city, country and on Globe Earth?
What will happen to my property, family and city and the world when I die?
How big would be my funeral?
In what manner I would like to die, if I am given a choice of a disease before my death?
“Awareness of Time, Place and clear Goals (purpose of life) in subconscious mind (Chitta) is Dharana”.
Awareness of Dharm, Artha, Kama and Moksha, four Goals of Life, is Dharna.. Some Yoga books and Yoga teachers explain Dharana like this:-
1.“Concentration of mind in spiritual consciousness within the body”.
2.“Fixing attention on some deity forms like sun, moon or a statue of deity God, or Guru within mind and in universal show”.
3. Some Gurus teach Hath Yoga practices in Dharna step like ‘Tratak’, Naity, etc,. In future articles and next step of Dhyan, we will learn more about ‘Tratak’.
4. I present a new angle of studying the 6th step- Dharna. Dharna means intensions, will, goals, aim and purpose of life.
Awareness of four Life Goals is Dharna.
Hinduism preaches four age-quarters related Goals. We will learn about purpose of human life and four goals (Ashrama-Dharma) called, Dharm, Artha, Kama and Moksha.
Conscious and subconscious mind of all human beings are ever filled with endless wants, hopes, wishes (Asha), and desires (Kama). Most desires get satisfied according to Karma done by every individual (Atma) to achieve them.
But desires go on growing as one grows in age. The endless ‘Chain of Desires’, never comes to a final full point in mind, called ‘Satisfaction’ in life journey. (Look at 1st word Santosh - in the 2nd step of Niyama).
Noble desires are always worth keeping in mind as good goals and dreams of life. Subconscious goals (Dharna) give a definite direction to daily activities (Karma). Instincts (Vrutties), dreams and desires (Kama) are at the root of all human activities (Pravrutti). They drag a person to do Karma and deeds (Karya). This is called Mother Nature’s (Prakruti) Law of cause and effects, or Karya Karana Sidhanta.
The Sanskrit word Dharm is usually translated as religion by most Indian Gurus but it has many meanings.
Visit www.gandhigitadharm.com. To learn 8 different meanings of word Dharm.
The subconscious mind is filled with many desires. Self-Knowledge (Atma-Gyan) and correct actions (Karma Yoga) bring fulfillment of most desires, wishes and all possible dreams in life. Achievement of a goal is called success (Siddhi) or victory (Vijaya). Successes bring mental happiness and joys. This creates Self confidence and Self-esteem (Gaurav). A Karma-Yogi is clear in mind about his/her past actions, present needs and what actions he needs to do for achieving all future noble goals.
What do you want?
The Desires (Kama) are divided into two major groups.
Natural Instincts (Vrutties, Kama) like, eating food for hunger, drinking water for thirst, breathing air for survival and sex activities for propagation of race. These are common in all living beings, human beings, animals and plants.
Material wants. There are many material wants in human society, like houses, clothes, money, jewelry, transport vehicles, etc, These are common desires of only human beings, at all places.
Ahara, Nidra, Bhaya, maithunam cha
Samanyam etat pashunam naranam,
Dharmo hi eko adhiko visheshaha
Dharmana hina pashubhi samana.
To Eat (Hunger), Drink (Thirst), Sleep, Live in many fears and Passions and Sex Desires are common in animals and human beings. But Religion (=Dharm meaning ‘Sense of Duty’ and Self-control) is unique quality of human beings. People without Self-control and Dharma behave like animals.
When any human mind gets attached to money and material pleasures gained by material things with money, he/she forgets natural instincts and runs after material things. People try to get more and more money, political power, etc,. Only a few are conscious about- what are natural wants and what are unnatural desires; what are correct age related goals of life and what are wrong desires at young or old age periods.
A child of five years wants toys and candies. The same toy or candy does not give him same joy when he grows to 10 or 15. At teenage there is natural drag of sex desires (kama) and other material things. The desires again change in middle age period. New desires of touring the world, buying new cars, ornaments, fancy dresses, homes etc, arise in mind. This chain of desires goes on and on until old age starts and diseases and fears of death arise in Mind. Even at moments of death some desires always remain unfulfilled, but one has to die.
The ancient Indian King Manu (2500, BC) had divided the population of his kingdom into four job-oriented Classes- or Varna. The Classes were based upon different jobs done by the people. The word Dharm was used in meaning of ‘duty’ in times of Manu.
1. Brahmins were men of Knowledge. They (teachers, Gurus) made the highest or top class. They knew laws of biology (Bhrama-Vidya) and herbal medicine. They guided all lower three classes in matters of morality or obligatory duties and gave judgments and punishments.
2. Kshatriya were men of strength. They knew use of weapons. They were kings, rulers and warriors. Their duty was protection of people and punishing wrong or evil ones.
3. Vaishya were men doing agriculture, sale and transport of goods. Morals like no cheating, no greed, honesty, etc., were prescribed as their Dharm. They knew economics and business skills.
4. Shudra, the fourth major class was made up of all remaining people. They included carpenters, weavers, blacksmiths, masons and all others who did some manual labor. Their Dharma was to serve upper 3 classes as employees, servants, slaves or laborers.
All four classes were expected to do their assigned jobs with a sense of Dharm (duty). Today this word is usually translated as ‘Religion’ into English. But it means “Duty or Responsibility of a person in a particular class” in Hinduism. The classes were Job Oriented and not Birth-rights imparting classes to start with.
There were no untouchables in earlier times. But with passage of time these classes turned into hierocratic (VIP) privileges imparting and preaching classes.
Brahmins (men of knowledge) guided other three classes in all moral codes, laws, sociology, economics and political matters. Knowledge was passed over and preserved by creation of short sentences, Mantra, proverbs and musical hymns and verses. (Sam Veda Hymns).
A woman was property of her husband. A man could marry more than one woman, but a widow could not remarry. Wives were burnt alive upon the death of husbands (Sati system).
Inter-class marriages were forbidden. But a Brahmin male could marry any girl from lower three classes, a Kshatriya could marry a girl from lower two classes. A Vaishya could marry a Shudra girl, but not from higher two classes. The stories of Ramayan and Mahabharat indicate such practices.
Birth as Female, or as a Vaishya or Shudra was believed to be due to sins committed in previous lives.
The majority class of Shudra had no right to speak Sanskrit Veda-Mantra, learn weapons or do any trade. They were supposed to remain lifelong servants or employees of the upper three classes. Such verses were added in Manu Smruti by the Brahmins of the later ages so that their sons might enjoy all privileges and rights of the higher class created in name of religion.
The Bhagavat Gita (in the 5th Cent BC) redefines these class privileges and declares that ‘all human beings (men and women) are equal in eye and laws of God. They have right (Adhikara) of doing Karma and worship God’.
Hinduism was a Veda (Knowledge) oriented culture and a male privileged socio-political Culture or Religion.
There was no idol worship before the 15th Cent AD and start of Vaishnavism by Shri Vallabha-acharya. Only Shiva temples were present in ancient cities like Benaras, Somnath in Gujarat, etc.
The Shudras were not untouchables to start with. It is the greatest black spot in Hinduiam Today. All great saints of past and recent times have preached that all human beings- men and women- are equal creations of God.
Hinduism is called Varn-Ashram-Dharm. After my study of world religions for last 22 years, a few observations about the condition of Hinduism at the present times are listed above. This is worth revising condition for all Indian intellectual people. Four-class system or Varna-Dharma giving special privileges to only a few, has down graded Hinduism during the course of last 800 years.
Ashram-Dharma teach four life goals. This is a very useful section in Hinduism, applicable at all places in any land, and worth studying by all Yoga students. We will now study the Ashrama-Dharma part.