The Bhagavad Gita shows how the warriors doing battle on the field of Kurukshetra represent the negative tendencies of the human ego pitted against the divine qualities of the soul, and how the science of Yoga can help us achieve the joy of material and spiritual victory on the battlefield of daily life. In this writing, Krishna is speaking to his disciple, Arjuna.
Summary of the Gita’s Message:
How God-reallization Is Attained
That individual gains uttermost perfection — the actionless state of realization through renunciation — who keeps his intellect ever detached from worldly ties and passions, who is victorious in regaining his soul, and who is without desires.
O Son of Kunti (Arjuna), hear from Me, in brief, how he who gains such perfection finds Brahman, the supreme culmination of wisdom.
Absorbed in a completely purified intellect, subjugating the body and the senses by resolute patience, forsaking (as much as possible) sound and all other sense entanglements, relinquishing attachment and repulsion;
Remaining in a sequestered place, eating lightly, controlling body, speech, and mind; ever absorbed in divine meditation and in soul-uniting yoga; possessing dispassion;
Peaceful, renouncing egotism, power, vanity, lust, anger, possessions, and the “me and mine” consciousness — he is qualified to become one with Brahman.
By becoming engrossed in Brahman — calm-souled, neither lamenting nor craving; beholding equality in all beings — he gains supreme devotion toward Me.
By the supreme devotion he realizes Me and My nature — what and who I am; after knowing these truths, he quickly makes his entry into Me.
Over and above performing faithfully all one’s duties, taking shelter in Me, it is by My pleasure a devotee obtains the eternal, unchangeable state.
Mentally dedicating all actions to Me, considering Me as the Supreme Goal, employing buddhi-yoga (union through discriminative wisdom), continously absorb thy heart in Me.
With heart absorbed in Me, and by My grace, thou shalt overcome all impediments; but if through egotism thou wilt not heed Me, thou shalt meet destruction.
If, clinging to the ego, thou sayest: “I will not battle,” fruitless is thy resolution! Prakriti, thine inborn nature, will force thee to fight.
O Offspring of Kunti (Arjuna), shackled by thine own karma, inborn in thy nature, what through delusion thou wouldst not do, thou wilt helplessly be compelled to do.
O Arjuna, the Lord is lodged in the hearts of creatures, and by His cosmic delusion (maya) compels all beings to rotate as if attached to a machine.
O Descendant of Bharata (Arjuna), take shelter in Him with all the eagerness of thy heart. By His grace thou shalt obtain the utmost peace and the Eternal Shelter.
Thus hath wisdom, most secret of all secrets, been given to thee by Me. After exhaustively reflecting about it, act as thou desirest.
Again listen to My supreme word, the most secret of all. Because thou art dearly loved by Me, I will relate what is beneficial to thee.
Absorb thy mind in Me; become My devotee; resign all things to Me; bow down to Me. Thou art dear to Me, so in truth do I promise thee; Thou shalt attain Me!
Forsaking all other dharmas (duties), remember Me alone; I will free thee from all sins (accruing from nonperformance of those lesser duties). Do not grieve!
Never voice these truths to one who is without self-control or devotion, nor to one who performs no service or does not care to hear, nor to one who speaks ill of Me.
Whosoever shall impart to My devotees the supreme secret knowledge, with utmost devotion to Me, shall without doubt come unto Me. Not any among men performs more priceless service to Me than he; in all the world there shall be none dearer to Me.
He who studies and knows (intuitively perceives) this sacred dialogue between us will be worshiping Me by the sacrifice (yajna) of wisdom. Such is My holy utterance.
Even that individual — full of devotion and devoid of scorn — who merely listens to and heeds this sacred dialogue, being freed from earthly karma, shall dwell in the blessed worlds of the virtuous.
You can have many teachers, but you have only one Master. When the time comes to the point of your wanting to realize Truth instead of talking and reading about it, you are directed to a Self-realized Master. When you have made the decision of whom to follow, you wholeheartedly devote yourself to that Path. It may be Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Muslim, Judaism, etc. There are many paths that lead to Truth and Truth is the ultimate goal. My teacher, Yogacharya Oliver Black, would often say that meditation is the bridge between religion and realization. Sri Paramahansa Yoganandaji is a self-realized Guru. He has the key, Kriya Yoga, to opening up your higher energy centers to allow your consciousness to expand into cosmic consciousness and/or self-realization.
I was initiated in Kriya Yoga forty-two years ago. Paramahansa Yogananda accepted me as his disciple. I remain loyal to him as he has seen me through these many years of challenges. During life’s darkest moments, I would feel uttermost joy in knowing that I was not alone in this world and I could feel his presence. I could take strength and courage to carry on. And my self-realization has grown in many ways. The undercurrent of joy beats in my heart. And it is my wish that you have this joy in your life, also.
Namaste, Sharon K.
Have you ever been in a place for the first time where you experience a feeling that you have been there before that moment? Why are some people born into affluence while others only know poverty and suffering? Or like me, a midwestern girl in Chicago who practices yoga disciplines since her childhood? Why do these various differences apply toward children in the same family? How does a four year old boy know everything about war planes without any exposure to war? Karma. Yes, karma. Many people know that one’s thoughts, words, and deeds move us through God’s creation in varying levels of existence. Paramahansa Yogananda said that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. With Kriya Yoga meditation, we can burn up bad karma and rise above the cause and effect of our previous actions and the resulting effects of those actions. As we practice spiritual exercises, we can climb to a higher level of existence. We can meditate, perform right actions, learn to love the God in others, include affirmations to redirect our thoughts, and the list goes on.
Edgar Cayce indicated that Jesus Christ had reincarnated as a mere mortal for thirty lifetimes before evolving into the Christ that we know of in the Bible. Paramahansa Yogananda confirmed this fact and also said that each of us have the potential to become a Christed one. And that this fact should give us encouragement on the path of self-realization. Patton thought that he had been a great leader in war prior to his service as an American General in WWII. Edgar Cayce also would regress people back into past lifetimes in his superconscious state of mind. And he did this for so many people.
When you perform Kriya Yoga meditation, you will see glimpses of past lifetimes as a vision in the center of your spiritual eye the point of concentration between your eyebrows). As you open up your receptivity of others, you will be able to spot people that you have been related to in a previous life. We are our own ancestors as Yogacharya Oliver would say.
For more information on karma and reincarnation, please go to yogananda.com
> Namaste, Sharon Kattke
The holy Indian scriptures known as the Upanishads have classified every stage of spiritual advancement. A siddha (“perfected being”) has progressed from the state of a jivanmukta (“freed while living”) to that of a paramukta (“supremely free” – full power over death). The latter is no longer bound by karmic law and delusion. The paramukta seldom returns to a physical body; but if he does return, he is an avatar.
Krishna, Rama, Buddha, Patanjali are among the ancient Indian avatars. Mahavatar Babaji’s mission in India has been to assist prophets in carrying out their special dispensations. He is therefore qualified for the classification of Mahavatar (Great Avatar). Babaji has been incarnate for thousands of years. He is ever in communion with Christ. Together they send out vibrations of redemption and have carefully planned the spiritual work of salvation for this age. The work of these two fully illumined Masters is to inspire nations to forsake wars, race hatreds, religious sectarianism, and the evils of materialism.
Christ and Krishna came to earth for a specific and spectacular purpose. They departed as soon as it was accomplished. Mahavatar Babaji works for mankind in hastening their slow evolutionary journey on earth which takes long periods of time and many incarnations in order to achieve enlightenment. He re-established the art of Kriya yoga and has furthered its teaching in both the East and West. Kriya Yoga is in the category of Raja Yoga (Meditation) the highest discipline of yoga. Kriya Yoga was lost to the common householder during the Dark Ages and was known only to reclusive monks that lived in remote areas of the secluded Himalayas.
Through Babaji’s mission, he reintroduced Kriya to the common man by way of teaching Sri Lahiri Mahasaya (a householder yogi) this art and science. Babaji authorized Sri Lahiri Mahasaya to initiate sincere devotees desiring to speed up their spiritual evolution. This process of initiation has been handed down through the line of the Self-Realization Ship Gurus. And today is available to sincere truth seekers. It should be learned only from authorized ministers and renunciants of the Self-Realization Fellowship monastic order as there are deep bonds established through the Guru/Disciple relationship that transcend one life-time of human evolution.
The line of gurus of Self-Realization Fellowship are Jesus the Christ, Bhagavan Krishna, Mahavatar Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, Swami Sri Yukteswar, and Gurudev Sri Paramahansa Yogananda.
For further information about Avatars and Kriya Yoga, please consider reading, ”Autobiography of a Yogi,” by Paramahansa Yogananda and consider studying the teachings of Self-Realization Fellowship at http://www.yogananda.com.
Namaste, Sharon Kattke
Meditation and 7 Open Chakras
Some people can get confused about meditation and religion. Yoga meditation is a science and not a religion. Self-realization Fellowship respects all true religions. Yogacharya Oliver said,”meditation is the bridge between religion and realization.” Paramahansa Yoganandaji’s sole purpose was to lead souls back to having a direct personal relationship with their Creator.
In the silence of our body and mind, we can speak to God, our Father, from the very depths of our souls. We can use this harnessed energy to broadcast our love and devotion to Him. Every worthwhile endeavor can be laid at His feet for His blessing.
We will be introducing the various yoga techniques that have been introduced by the Masters of this science,who have successfully made yoga available to most people around the world. It is imperative that people, who are success oriented, meditate. Meditation is concentration with the focus on realizing one’s true potential. It may start with concentrating on a candle flame, spiritual passage, or goal. The thing is that we have to slow down our racing thoughts, breathing, and other physical distractions.
To begin, lets sit in a crosslegged position on a mat or sit on a straight-backed chair. Keep your spine erect at all times. Place the palms of your hands, upturned, at the juncture of the spine and abdomen. Keep your chin parallel to the ground and relax your shoulders. If in a chair, your feet are flat on the ground. You may drape silk or a woolen blanket to insulate you from earth’s currents.
Begin to square your diaphragmatic breathing. That is breathe thru the nostrils to the count of 6, hold the breath for a count of 6, exhale through the mouth to a count of 6, hold the breath to a count of 6. And begin the cycle of squared breaths. Repeat 10 times. Finally exhale the breath through the mouth and relax. You should have a feeling of well-being.
Keep breathing in a relaxed manner. Continue your concentration. Feel yourself flowing with the breath. Keep your two physical eyes focused at the point between the eyebrows. This is the spiritual eye of man. Gently press your lids against the eyes to hold them in place and not allow them to wander.To quote Paramahansa Yogananda, “During meditative concentration at the point between the eyebrows, the spiritual eye can be seen: a brilliant white star in the center, encased within a sphere of sapphire-blue light, encircled by a radiant golden aura. The golden light is the epitome of the vibratory sphere of the Holy Ghost; the blue light is the omnipresent Intelligence of the Christ Consciousness; the star is the mystic door into the Cosmic Consciousness of God the Father.” You may see a light surrounding you or colors. Continue to meditate for at least five minutes. It is strongly suggested that your meditate morning and night and try to add five or ten minutes to your meditation timing.
First, we need to realize that we are fine tuning the physical, astral, and causal bodies when we meditate. We understand quite easily the healing of the body; however, we have a somewhat lesser understanding of the other two bodies involved. We begin to work with the energy centers in the physical and astral bodies when we perform our yoga postures and meditations. We should realize that we are sending energy to body parts and are doing spiritual work to obtain 7 open chakras (energy centers in the spine). The object of the yogi is to awaken the cerebrolspinal centers in the cerebrolspinal axis (spine).
Let me show you the location of the chakras. The seventh center, called the “thousand petal lotus,” in the brain is the seat of Infinite Consciousness and is located at the top of the head. The sixth center is called the Third Eye, the polar opposite of the Medulla Oblangata. The physical eyes of the yogi should be focused at the third eye during meditation. (The point between the eyebrows). The fifth chakra is by the throat, and represents self-expression. The fourth chakra is the heart center and the third energy center is the Solar Plexus representing fire and ego. This is a very large center of nerves and the core energy here is very strong. The second chakra is three fingers above the naval and the first chakra is the root center at the base of the spine representing self-preservation.
Now that we know the chakras ie. root, naval, solar plexus, heart, throat, third eye, thousand petal lotus, we can begin to do the Om Chakra Meditation.
Om represents the cosmic vibration that is within every created thing. (We will go into more detail about Om in a future discussion.) Right now, we will vocally say “OM” seven times on each chakra beginning at the root chakra and going up the spinal column. At the top of the head where the thousand petal lotus is located, we will say Om seven times and then descend the cerebrospinal column in reverse order of chakras, vocally saying Om seven times on each chakra center.
Please note, that you should not rush or uncomfortably slow down the saying of Om. Feel relaxed in a meditation posture and allow the Om to resonate throughout the room.
Some devotees find this meditation to be quite rewarding and have experienced a greater feeling of well-being in this practice.
For further Yoga instruction, please go to YouTube Yoga videos and tips.
If this is not enough to make you question these procedures, you may concentrate on the negative effects that meat has on your own health. Enzymes created to destroy cancer cells are instead utilized to digest the animal protein. Eating fruits, vegetables and dairy products does not poison your system and they give you a feeling of well-being. Reaping the fruits and vegetables does not make us kill the plants that bare them. This is seen as a more harmonious relationship with Nature. Also, our digestive tract and dental makeup is that of a vegetarian and not a meat-eating animal.
Animals are sentient beings that have a soul, personality, and intelligence. If we would remember this fact, would we enjoy eating meat?
Paramahansa Yogananda told his disciples that if they are sincere in their path towards self-realization, they would make a concerted effort to elliminate meat from their diet; because purifying the blood makes the heart work all that much harder. This effort by our body to purify itself takes away energy that should be directed to the higher centers in the spine and head (chakras) which contraindicates the results of our practicing Yoga.
If you feel that you must have animal protein in your diet, it is suggested by Paramahansaji that you also eat a large salad with it. He also indicated that fish or chicken should be substituted for beef and pork. It should be noted that pigs do not have sweat glands and are scavengers. The toxins are stored in the pig’s flesh and ultimately enters our body as agents of disease-born bacteria.
As you give thanks for the food that you eat, remember to be thankful for the life that was sacrificed for you.
Of course, when proceeding to incorporate a more vegetarian diet, you should first seek the advice of your physician. Becoming a vegetarian or vegan can be a gradual change towards eating healthier. But for those who are determined to change, you might want to just eat fruits, vegetables and milk for a month and see how you think and feel during this time.