Mantras

An article by Bhanu Didi in the Speaking Tree.
Mantras – Sound vibrations that permeate every cell of your being and allow your mind to dissolve and repose. But what are they? What do they mean? Where did they come from? There are so many questions surrounding these ancient syllables. Speaking about Mantras is the revelation of ancient secrets that have been kept sacred from several ages, secrets that continue to benefit humanity irrespective of its circumstances.

Mantras are impulses or rhythms of the consciousness. They create vibrations in the spirit. Their effects, influence, method and mode of working are all a mystery.

In Sanskrit, it is said, Manana trayate iti mantra. Mantra is that which saves you from repetitiveness. A repetitive thought is a worry. Mantras help to free you from your worries. Often we wonder why we chant some sounds without understanding their meanings? Can something beyond our understanding help us?

mystical1-225x300The meaning of every mantra is infinity. It is a sound vibration beyond the cognition of the mind. When the mind is unable to cognize, it simply dissolves and moves into a meditative space.

The mantra is like a seed. Every seed has the potential to become a tree. Similarly, these sound vibrations contain all the possibilities of creation. Some mantras are in the seed form, called the bija mantras. Others are fully expressed, i.e, the fruit of the mantra is also expressed, like the Gayatri mantra.

Mantras are a secret. That which is kept a secret alerts the sub-conscious mind. The mantras work at the level of the consciousness. When we want a seed to sprout, it needs to be sown into the soil, hidden, a secret. If it is simply thrown around, birds may eat them up. We can read and learn about mantras and their uses from books and the internet but that will only satisfy the intellect and not translate into experience.

When we chant the mantras, or listen to them, we get purity of mind and word. This prepares us for meditation. As a result of the sound vibrations, different patterns of the mind re-arrange themselves to become tranquil. Agitation is reduced, helping us to turn inward. For instance, when we laugh, our happiness increases. When we cry, the heaviness of our sorrow is released. Just the sounds of laughter and crying have helped. Mantras act in a similar manner. Repetition of the Mantras creates a psychological or mental response that is very deep and beyond the realm of words or expression. It can only be experienced. Speech falls short as it cannot go beyond the expression level into the experiential level.

When the mind is calm and centered, it can turn inward. Only a mind turned inward can experience the vastness and beauty of the Divine consciousness. When our focus is outward on the objects of the senses, our mind is scattered and racing behind one craving or another. Physical senses seek to know all about the external universe. Meditation is the tool for inner exploration. Antarmukhi Sada Sukhi – one whose mind is turned inward is ever in bliss. Mantras are the tools which allow the mind to dissolve and repose in the Self.

Why should we repose in the Self? How is this going to help in our day-today life?

When the river is calm, the reflection is clearer. When the mind is calm, there is greater clarity in the field of expression. Our sense of observation, perception and expression improve. As a result we are able to communicate effectively and clearly.

Most of our problems or misunderstandings arise because of a lack of proper communication. When our mind is free from agitation, the way we interact and communicate is so much more pleasant and effective. Our efforts are not hindered by rifts caused due to communication gaps. This leads to a lot of positivity in our outlook and progress in life.

Mantras are as subtle as the air which creates ripples in the water as it gently moves over it. Air is all-pervading and at the same time affects specific regions. The field of the mantras is also such. It is all –pervading and also creates an impact on the one who is practicing.

Cooking and teaching

Dear Blog friends,

Here are some of my latest cooking pics, food which I have been cooking and eating here in Russia.For recipes, please wait for some more time with patience :)

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Her way Only…

Recently Sonia Gandhi went to a school to interact with the children there.

After a brief talk she asked if anyone had any questions. One boy raised his

hand.

Sonia: “What’s your name”?

Boy : “RAHIM”

Sonia: “What are your questions”?

Rahim: “I’ve 3 questions…

1.Why did you attack & kidnap Baba Ramdev without approval of Court?

2.Why there is no punishment to KASAB as yet?

3.Why does Manmohan singh & the Congress party not support Baba against

corruption?

Sonia: “You are an intelligent student Rahim.”

Just then the recess bell rang.

Sonia: “Oh students, we wil continue after the recess is over”.

After the recess…

Sonia: “Ok children where were we? So, anybody wants to ask a question”?

RAM raises his hand.

Sonia: “What’s your name”?

Ram: “I’m Ram and I’ve 5 questions…

1. Why did you attack Baba without approval of the court?

2. Why no punishment to Kasab as yet?

3. Why does Manmohan Singh not support the fight against corruption?

4. Why did the recess bell ring 20 mins before the time?

5. Where is Rahim ?;)

It’s NOT ok

While browsing through old mail, I re-read this knowledge sheet and the simplicity with which Guruji projects such complicated causal effects left me in complete awe, yet again.

So am sharing this Knowledge sheet with all of you. I suggest to do the homework of seeing how many times, the thoughts of ‘It is Not ok’ pound our mind and how many times we chew on them.

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THE CAUSE OF RETURN
thumbs_down-4-300x300Most of us come into this world with the seed in us, “It’s not OK”. And all our life we try to correct events, people and situations. How much can you correct? It’s like trying to rearrange the clouds in the sky. This seed does not allow you to be happy, to smile from your heart, to be loving and loveable. It’s there all the time like a thorn – irritating, irritating.
This seed, “It’s not OK,” brings you back into this world again and again. How do you burn this seed?
First recognize that it is there. This can happen in deep introspection and meditation.
Sometimes you feel your body, mind, intellect, memory and ego are also not OK. You justify them or find fault with them. These are also part of the world.Acknowledge what you see as an imperfection and offer it to the Divine.
Have faith in the infinite organizing power of the Supreme Intelligence and have the sincere feeling, “Let thy will be done.” Then the seed, “It’s not OK,” gets burned. “Thy will be done” is a state of total contentment, a state of just love.
We need not even make it a statement about the future. “Thy will alone is happening now.”
Question:So everything happening is God’s will?
Guruji:Yes, including the thought, “This shouldn’t be happening.”

The Perfect Lemonny Biscuits

The craving for lemonny lemonny things increases during these days of summer and what better than indulging in some lemon biscuits. I found this recipe on a blog and dressed it in my style to present it to all of you. Initially i thought it is too much indulgence looking at the sugar content but when made, i realised everyone can eat only one at a time, since it satisfies you completely. It puts a fullstop  very soon to my types who say “Kuch meetha chahiye” (Something sweet to end with) .

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  • 1 can Sweetened, Condensed Milk
  • ½ cups Lemon Juice
  • 1-½ cup Flour
  • 1 cup Oatmeal
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2/3rd cups Butter, Melted
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 pinch Salt

And Here we start off :-

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Combine milkmaid and lemon juice. Mix well and set aside for a moment.

Mix remaining ingredients until crumbly.

Press half of the streusel (dry) mixture into a lightly greased baking dish. Pour the lemon mixture over top. Finish by sprinkling remaining streusel over the top of the lemon filling. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely then store in the refrigerator. These can last you for many many days, but you and I know this is an imagination :)

Tabauli, my way

Bulgar-Pesto-Salad-AKA-Pesto-Tabouli-300x209With the summer supremely setting in, the stomach was asking for something cooler and lighter while I was relaxing at home in Mumbai. When in Korea we used to have the Tabauli very frequently from a guy from Middle east and I used to love it. The time was right to venture into it. I decided to give it an Indian touch without compromising on taste. Decided to give my 100% to it and made fresh basil pesto. Fresh basil is available in any supermarkets now in India, I got it from food bazaar for Rs 10 a packet which will make me four servings of fresh presto.

For the pesto :-
8-9 fresh basil leaves
2 full walnuts
1 tbsp curd
Juice of half lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic
Salt to taste
Grind all of this together to make it a coarse paste. (If you like dark green pesto, then do away with the curd and put some fresh ground pepper to give it that darkish shade)

1 cup fine bulgur (cracked wheat/dalia/lapsi)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water (I took 1 cup water and put one Maggie Magic Cube in it, the vegetable broth is ready. You may make it fresh also.)
salt, to taste
1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced

Bring the vegetable broth to a boil and add the bulgur. Remove from the heat and cover. Let it stand about 20 minutes until wheat is tender and water is absorbed.

Combine the bulgur with the pesto, tomatoes, and cucumber, and toss well. Season to taste with the remaining lemon juice and olive oil (if desired). Serve at room temperature or chilled, garnished with additional basil.

Believe me it is very easy to make, highly nutritional and gets licked away in no time :) My mom, dad and niece started by making faces and once it landed on their tongues they were the ones not ready to share it with anyone.  This can very easily be made into a main dish salad by adding chickpeas to the bulgar.

Joke The nutty Old lady

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An old lady would get into the bus and always offer nuts to the conductor. The conductor would relish them and have them.
One day after this continued for many days the conductor decided to ask the lady :
Conductor :- Why don’t you eat them
Old Lady :- I don’t have any teeth to eat them
Conductor:- Why do you buy them then
Old Lady:- Ohhh! I just like the chocolate around them :)

A win for Bhopal!

Bhopal has been one big city which i have been travelling for the past 2 years and been organizing and conducting the marvellous yes+ courses. Somehow the courses had started big in the start and then the numbers had been denominated to digits un-mentionable here. With four teachers here I was searching a methodology to get bhoapl back to normal, minus the tragedy of dwindling numbers in the courses. i was looking for the perfect recipe.

Prabha, the queen of bhopal had suggested we take a plunge into organizing a 500 people course. Ramya, Divya in thier most optimistic style nodded and the targets were set. We knew what we wanted to create. The questions now were only ‘How’.

The approach most of us in organizing yes+ courses has always been from bottom to top. Which means get the students and someday, yes someday they will convince thier directors and trustees that they want the course as part of the curriculum. We decided to  go the top to bottom approach. We decided to convince the directors why the courses were like breath and water, a necessity for every living entity in their college.

We armourmed ourselves with some testimonials, colleges statistics and the best smiling faces and walked into the spacious rooms of the chairmans. To my utter shock, I realised my way to approach a director had changed. I was more positive in my approach, and was in a discussion rather than justification or explanations to how the course can benefit his bacchhas. Leave aside one of them, the rest agreed.

An AC seminar hall was made ready by a college, another one giving us prime time in his institutes for talks, some others explaining us why Guruji should visit their institutes, some plying their buses in routes to help majority of students and some nominating their students for the course.

The course started yesterday with 300 students from 9 different intitutions and it was an effortless effort. While India play Pak today in the semis, a win for bhopal has already been secured, with 300 students doing the kriya, breathing and re-connecting, establishing that age old matra withing themselves – So Hum.

Shivratri: Celebrate the wakefulness of the universal consciousness

siva9Sri Sri Ravishankar speaks on Shivratri :-

The word ratri in Sanskrit means that which relieves you from three types of agony -  ethereal, mental and material. This brings rest to the three instruments: the body, mind and speech.

‘Shivratri’ literally means that night which infuses the Shiva tatva, or the transcendental principle, into the three instruments. Samadhi is often referred to as Shiva Sayujya, the presence of Shiva, a concept that’s difficult to explain. Kabir Das calls it koti kalpa vishram – a billion years of rest consolidated in a moment. It is a state of deepest rest with alertness which brings freedom from all identities.

Shiva tatva is omnipresent. Realisation is to be conscious of it in its depth, yet to be awake to its non-dual glory in one’s awareness, in the depth of Samadhi. It is as if a wave is being skillfully conscious of the vastness of the ocean. The jagran in Shivratri is not just forcing oneself to be awake or singing bhajans aloud. It is about keeping awake and being inward and being consciously aware of the inner rest that sleep anyway brings everyday. When you surpass a certain layer of sleep, the rest of samadhi or Shiva sayujya happens.

Jagran means turning your mind inwards and keeping it awake. The moment you turn the mind inwards, it is habituated to go into sleep, unconsciously. Many a time, when people go into meditation, they do not know whether they slept or meditated. When they come out of it, they experience a certain pleasantness and reduced entropy, which brings an unusual freshness to the mind and senses.

There is a story related to Shivratri, about the union of Shiva and Shakti. The primordial and dynamic energy is wedded to the transcendental. Shiva is the silent witness, the chidakasha and Shakti is chitti or chidvilasa, the energy that plays and displays in the infinite space. Shiva is the formless Being; Shakti is the manifestation in the field. This is the recognition of the dual aspect of matter and energy, prakriti and purusha, the dravya and guna - substance and its qualities. Recognising the underlying non-dual nature of Brahman is Shivratri.

It is only wakefulness that brings out this knowledge in the consciousness and Shivratri is the night to celebrate the wakefulness of one universal consciousness without falling into the unconscious sleep state. Breaking the pattern of unconscious sleep gives you a glimpse that you are not a mechanical apparatus but a legend in the creation. To recognise the Shiva tatva, you have to be awake.

Meditation and Prayer

Guruji was asked whats the difference between Meditation and Prayer ?
He replied, Prayer is asking God for something, Meditation is Listening to God. Before Prayer, meditate. After Prayer, also meditate. Prayer should be sandwiched between Meditation.

Goodbye to the Old!

Finally I got rid of the design which we had for three long years and Santa( read Shubham) updated it into a new one. Tell me what you think about these earthly colors and the additional sections of most popular posts and recent comments are to entice you into digging into the older posts. With hundreds of posts, thousands of visitors and thousands of comments, i want to thank all of you for visiting the blog and as every blogger remarks in the end, I too will be more regular in writing them :)

Love,

JaiGurudev,

Rajesh

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