Thursday, February 14, 2013

The BabaTimes: The Eleven Assurances of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba

The BabaTimes: The Eleven Assurances of Shri Shirdi Sai Baba:   Whosoever comes to Shirdi, his sufferings would come to an end immediately. The wretched and miserable would see plenty of joy a...

SishyaArt - Sale of exquisite paintings and artwork

SishyaArt has a 20% off sale this week on some of the exquisite and one of a kind paintings and artwork.  Visit website for more details

You can contact the artist through her blog page at

And through her facebook page at: 

Note from the artist:

"Shishya," which comes from Sanskrit, means "student" in the simplest of terms. To me, the word symbolizes the wealth of knowledge and skills one can gain through a formal education. ShishyaArt is dedicated to serving the underprivileged by helping them obtain an education through the funds from each painting sold at our store; to help people who can't get an education due to a myriad of circumstances achieve their goals. Thank you for supporting the cause!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mantra, Tantra, Yantra and the Power of Thought

 Our scriptures have given us the ways and means of integrating our body, mind and soul with two major purpose:
   1.   Spiritual progress

2.   Material progress

For achieving this effortlessly, the scriptures have also given us the four pillars known as Purushartha:

1.   Dharma (righteousness)

2.   Artha (wealth, means)

3.   Kama (desire within the prescribed dharma and according to stage in one’s life.

4.   Moksha (liberation)
According to our scriptures, our worship includes mantra, tantra and yantra, in one or a combination of ways. In a way, they represent the three paths as given in Gita:

Mantra – the Jnana marga (path of knowledge),

Tantra - the Bhakti marga (path of devotion) 

Yantra - the Karma marga (path of detached action).

Mantra is usually chanted to awaken the desired energy through vibrations.

Tantra helps us use the body and mind as tools for self-realization. Ex. Yoga sutra, by Patanjali gives in detail the knowledge required for this.

Again we can even branch out into, how our actions are caused by desires, due to the play of the three gunas - Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.
I am amazed at how our ancestors incorporated simple tantra practices in our daily lives.  Ex. Padmasana, Surya namaskara, pranayama, fasting etc. We have simple vedic rituals and very powerful ones too.

Yantra is the use of objects (idols), symbols and movement in our worship.  Ex.Prayers offered in temples, built according to agama shastra, lighting of lamps, pradashina(circumbulation).
The power of thought
We also know that spoken words and thoughts produce vibrations around us.  Once created  these vibrations exist  and also have to ability to reproduce whenever there is a chance. Through the manomaya kosha (mental body) our body receives  these exactly the same way it was originally intended or sent. The higher the clarity and intensity, the higher is the impact too.  Altenative healing techniques like Reiki, helps heal people with channelizing the energy.

Because of the mantra, tantra & yantra siddhi, the words uttered by a Srividya(srichakra, meru etc) upasaka carries such power that they have to come true, because the person says it with such conviction. In a way, only a person who has control over his mind, ego and gunas should even be given the mantras.

Anybody and everybody chants  all these powerful bheej mantras because they have a lineage.  (Following in the footsteps of our parents or getting initated in a mass convention conducted by modern Swamijis, whether we have it in us or not is very dangerous).   It’s like prescribing antibiotics for an ant bite. So what we see around us is negative energy created in abundance by such unrestrained thoughts and utterances by individuals without a care in the world, for selfish gains. We see families and lives destroyed by their own thoughts, more than their doing.  When we are faced with the effects, we blame it all on God, whom we have created for this sole reason.

Powerful energy created  and remaining stagnant has to be released in a proper way to bring in inner peace of mind (Atma Shanti).  Do not will harm knowingly or unknowingly. We are the same consciousness operating in different names and forms.  Knowing this is freedom from ignorance. Knowing this truth is bliss.
Om Tat Sat.

Svadyaya - "Purushartha, The Self-Effort" - Swami Chidananda

Purushartha, The Self-Effort
Svadyaya page for February 16,2013
Purushartha - The Self Effort
Purushartha is a word that is used in two senses in Indian Philosophy. In one sense, it means certain values and goals to be striven for as our aims in life. In another sense, it means the dynamic effort and endeavour that enable one to achieve worthwhile goals, as well as the supreme values that are to be kept before our vision.
The word Purushartha ultimately brings home one truth: ‘Ends are obtained by endeavour.’ Worthwhile attainments and goals are the fruits – note that I am not using the work ‘result’ – of endeavour. They are the fruits of efforts, Gurudev said; “Do real sadhana.” Doing sadhana means action, dynamism. It means well-directed intelligence, purposeful rajas that does not direct you, but is directed by you.
All the eighteen Puranans contain stories of sustained effort. The whole narrative is filled with action, action, action, every type of efforts and repeated efforts, which ultimately grant the desired fruit, victory. No matter how much knowledge you may have, unless it is backed up by effort, it will only be a liability, not an asset. It will make your problem more complex, rather than simplifying it or bringing a solution. To know is perhaps better than not to know. But to know is not at all sufficient unless it is applied and actively translated into dynamic, sustained and systematic effort in order to reach the great Goal. Then only the journey is completed, the destination is reached.
Isavasya Upanishad says, “That one who follows avidya (lack of learning) goes into darkness and bondage. Then immediately it says that one who follows vidya (knowledge) goes into greater darkness and bondage.” [Isa. Up. 9] At first sight, it seems to be paradoxical and confusing. Here, vidya means knowledge of the scriptures and all that is studied, learned and stored. If it is not followed by the requisite effort, it becomes only a burden, a liability, sterile. Perhaps it complicates the issue by making one more egoistic. It can enmesh you more than you were enmeshed before. Shabari had no schooling. Kabir was not a university man. Janabai was a maidservant. But all of them did great effort. Therefore, Purushartha is the key to Realisation. You may know only a little but put it into practice. More important than tons of knowledge is an ounce of practice, action, Purushartha. Being and doing have precedence over knowing. Be engaged in right endeavour.
God Bless You!
Swami Chidananda

Spiritual Discussion forum and Free online meditation

Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, India
With the blessings of Gurudev Shri Sivananda Maharaj, Swami Chidanandaji and Swami Krishnanandaji,  free online Satsang with ‘Guided Meditation Sessions’ and ‘Discussions on spiritual Topics based on Hindu Scriptures like Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita’ is held every Saturday at 2.00 PM EST from NewYork through Skype.

The Free online Meditation session and spiritual discussions are held under the guidance of Swami Shri Padmanabhanandaji, of Divine Life Society, Rishikesh, India.

The satsang starts with invocation prayers, followed by the meditation session (pre-recorded) by Pujyasri Swami Chidananda Maharaj, Sivananda Ashram. Then the Svadyaya page for the day is taken up for discussion.

This week's svadyaya for discussion is "Purushartha - The Self Effort" by Swamiji Chidananda Maharaj. Subscribe to receive this week’s svadyaya page by email.

For more information and to subscribe to the event, spiritual seekers please email your interest to

NEW: You can also participate in the discussions through our forum at

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Ordinary Fakir? Shirdi Sai Baba's Net worth.

Ordinary Fakir?

The Sai Trust was formed in 1922, Feb 13 with Rs. 3500 which was a huge amount in those times. The Trust will complete 91 years this Feb 13th.

Sai Baba of Shirdi, who was just an ordinary Fakir is worth more than 765 crore in Indian Rupees. The trust released the information that Shirdi Sai Trust, on behalf of Sai Baba now holds:

765 crore (Rs) in cash deposits

300 Kg gold Ornaments, crowns (studded with diamonds and precious stones)

4000 Kg Silver ornaments and other items

Investments in colleges and other institutions along with real estate properties worth crores of Indian rupees.

The question arises in our mind, how did Baba’s Trust get so much money? Over the years, every devotee has contributed according to their means, small and huge sums, as offering of thanks to their beloved Sai.

In the year 2010, the Sai Trust received about

322 crores (Rs) in cash offering

31 kg gold

5.43 lakhs forex currency

In the year 2011, the Sai Trust received about

401 crores (Rs) in cash offering

36 kg gold

6.28 lakhs forex currency

In January of this year, a devotee who wants to remain anonymous has donated a kalash made with pure gold, weighing about 1 kg and valued at 30.93 lakh Indian rupees. The devotee’s only request is that Mangala Abhishek (sacred bath) for Baba is to be performed with this.

This year, another devotee has donated to Sai a gold chain with a pendent holding 2 brilliant diamonds worth about 1 crore and 19 lakhs Indian rupee.

Every day and especially every Thursday, big offerings pour in from devotees who shun all publicity.

You can view all this on youtube

This is in Kannada but you can view the video from TV9.  It is beautiful.

Shirdi Sai Baba lived a very simple and selfless life.  He lived the life of a Fakir and served others without any expectation. From the life of Baba we understand that Baba lived for others giving as much as possible for people in need. But now things appear so different than what Baba taught us through his life. All the money is stashed in the form of assets which can be used to help the downtrodden people have healthy living conditions, proper nourishment and good education.

We can do much more. Let each of us decide to follow in the foot steps of Baba and bring about a change in the lives of devotees who have immense faith and belief in Him with Shraddha and Saburi. We will be blessed.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Key to Happiness - Svadyaya for Feb 9, 2013

The Key to Happiness - Svadyaya for DLS meditation and satsung Feb 9, 2013
Almighty Lord! Prompt these sadhakas to ever walk the path that leads to their own highest blessedness! Radiant Divinities! We receive from others what we make them do. Sometimes we invite temptations; sometimes we invite aggravated situations by working for them. We play with life in such a way that things do not merely happen to us, but we make them happen to us. If you have keen introspection, then after a situation has occurred you find, “Yes, indeed, it is I who worked for it.”
It is said; “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” Mystics have prayed to God: “O Lord, save me from myself.” Many a time, from inside we harbour thoughts and motives that attract certain situations towards us, and then we blame God! You think that you are doing all these things and no one knows. But God does know. There is someone within you and He is nothing but Consciousness, Awareness. Prajnana. He is jnana-svarupa (knowledge-incarnation). Nothing misses Him. Therefore, it is necessary that seekers and sadhakas be wise, not go in self-deception.
Life is a mirror. You see in it what you show it. If you make a pleasant face, a pleasant face looks back at you. If you make an unpleasant face, an unpleasant face looks back at you. Happiness and misery, favourable and unfavourable environments depend to a very large extent on our state of mind. Happiness is not contained in things, situation or environment outside. It is in how we look at it through our mind. It is the situations within.
If that inner state is adjusted and corrected, then nothing has power to give us any experience except that which we give to it. A shepherd was asked whether he liked the weather on that day. He answered: “Knowing that I have no control over weather, knowing that I cannot change it, long ago I decided that whatever weather comes I will like it. And therefore, now I am at peace. Instead of always trying to get only that thing that I like, I decided that it is wiser to like whatever things I get.” This is the key to happiness. The key is inside. It is the state of mind we create within us that ultimately has the effect of creating happiness or misery for us. A picture does not paint itself. It is the artist with his brush who paints it. Let us apply this truth: “I make my day. I make my happiness and misery. I make my darkness and light. I create it from within.” Apply this truth and then see what happens.
God Bless You!
Swami Chidananda

Tri-gunas (Rajas, Tamas and Sattva) and their influence on mind

“Those whose understanding (vision) is fully unveiled as soon as illusion ceases and the Self is realized, they (the wise) shine free from misery”.

The Self, which is the Essential Nature of the seeker, is not realized by him only because of his ego and its illusion in him.  As an ego, he is pre-occupied with his own miseries and his understanding is clouded by Tamas and shattered by Rajas.  When these two moods-of-the mind are sublimated, contemplative-ness increases in the mind, and the contemplative mind, during moments of its meditation, cannot avoid discovering its own illusions and the Eternal Reality behind them all.  Such perfect students shine in inner glory of their directly experienced Spiritual Essence. (AG 18.6)

In the liberated one, his mind is completely dissolved.  Not even Sattva expresses through it; Rajas that creates delusion and dreams has departed; Tamas that veils the intellect from the perception of Reality has been pulled down.

The inertia (Tamas) veils the intellect and then the mind becomes agitated (Rajas) with its projections and imaginations.  Pure “Non-apprehension” of the Reality is created by Tamas and the “Mis-apprehension” are produced by the Rajas.  When these two factors are controlled through Sadhana, the Sattva predominates in the mind and makes it more and more contemplative.

In the zenith of meditation, when even the last traces of Rajas and Tamas are ended, there the pure Sattvic-mind transcends itself and merges with the Infinite Consciousness.  Maya is crossed here.  Avidya is ended. In pure wisdom revels the Wise-man. (A.G18.20)
About this, Swami Krishnananda (Sivananda Ashram) says that even though we regard Sattva guna as a very desirable one, “Sattva too is a subtle medium of obstruction”.  Because “It acts in a double form – as complacency or satisfaction with what has been achieved and an ignorance of what is beyond”.

He explains this through an example:

“We always praise Sattva and regard it as a very desirable thing. But it is like a transparent glass that is placed between us and the Truth. You can see through it, but you cannot go beyond it because though the glass is transparent, it can obstruct your movement. It is not like a brick wall, completely preventing your vision, as Tamas does; it is not like a blowing wind which simply tosses you here and there, as Rajas does; it is a plain glass, through which you can have vision of Reality, but you cannot contact Reality nevertheless”.

Swamiji also explains that these two aspects of Sattva have to be “dispelled by the power of higher wisdom”.

“Action, contemplation and knowledge are the three stages through which we have to pierce through the veil of Prakriti, or the three Gunas.” 

All this is a total movement and there is an internal interconnection of beings, like every thread in a cloth being connected with every other thread. That is why salvation is universal, it is not individual. When you attain to the Supreme Being, you become the Universal Being.

The spiritual practice of a Sadhaka is, therefore, to attain God-Realization, by confronting the three forces of Tamas, Rajas and Sattva, gradually, stage by stage, in their cosmic significance, always keeping in mind that we are not ‘islands’ and are connected with everything”.


Note: When we proceed further and the senses are brought under control, all the three gunas are dissolved and a meditative mind rises above to a thoughtless state (Savikalpa Samadhi).


Additional reading

Astavakra Gita -Commentary by Swami Chinmayananda