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The different Yogic Centres.
There are seven centres in
connection with the spiritual progress of the
individual. The first and the lowest is at the
level of the organ of evacuation. The second
is at the sexual organ. The third centre is
at the navel. The mind of worldly persons is
usually on one of these centres. They think
only of eating, sleeping and sexual satisfaction.
The fourth centre is at the heart. As the spiritual
aspirant rises to this level and his mind approaches
this plane, he feels there is a lotus at the
level of the heart, the petals of which are
directed downwards. When this centre is reached,
the bud of the lotus opens and the petals get
directed upwards--the lotus blooms. But suddenly
the mind falls to the lower centres again. The
task in spiritual life is to make the petals
of the lotus direct upwards and keep it full
blown. At this stage one is able to meditate
well--the mind is tranquil; breathing is rhythmic.
The fifth centre is at the throat;
the sixth is at a place between the two eye-brows.
When this centre opens one may have a vision
of the Ishta-Devata. The seventh centre is in
the head. This is the highest centre. Reaching
here, one goes into samadhi. Here one sees the
lotus which is in full bloom and the shining
form of the Ishta-Devata seated on the lotus
with a smiling face.
me of an incident about the heart. There were
two doctors, one German and the other American.
The German doctor said that the heart is on
the right side, but the American doctor said
that the physiologists say that the heart is
on the left. They were thus quarrelling, when
a wise man came and he asked, 'What is the matter?
Why are you fighting?'
doctor said that the heart is on the right side
but the American doctor said that it is on the
man said, 'What does it matter? Whether it is
on the right or left side, let it be in the
not go deep into psychology. In western countries
there was a psychologist. He used to say, 'Girls
who are hysterical should get married and then
they will be all right.' One day someone asked
him, 'How many of your patients are hysterical?'
The psychologist replied, 'Half of my patients
who are hysterical are unmarried and the other
half has become hysterical after marriage!'
not practise sadhana, breathing exercises, postures
etc. without the guidance of one's Guru. The
Guru is none other than Brahman Himself. He
comes from time to time to teach people.
used to forbid spiritual seekers from using
occult powers. People then know how to know
the mind of others, but they do not know how
to read their own minds...
Harmony in our personality
Body, mind, senses and ego,
all combine to form our personality.
Body: Body must be kept fit
and efficient. It is necessary for us to have
a new attitude towards the body. It is neither
an instrument for sense gratification nor a
mass of filth to be hated and neglected. The
body is primarily a temple of the Divine Spirit
and must be nourished with pure food which brings
energy, strength, health and cheerfulness.
must be good to do spiritual practices. If we
have headache or the stomach is not all right
or the liver is not functioning well, can we
meditate? No! Someone told me, 'Swamiji, I want
to forget the body and meditate.' I told him,
'What! Even if you forget the body, the body
will not forget you!'
seeker can afford to neglect the body or bodily
health. What can one do with a weak or a diseased
body? Have a different outlook towards the body.
It is not a means for sense-enjoyment nor a
house of filth. It is a temple of God in which
resides the Atman--deha devalaya--Develop this
attitude towards the body.
has three faculties or functions:
our thoughts, feelings and actions work in entirely
different directions or one of them becomes
too strong. We may become over-intellectual
without tender feelings and without any practical
actions; or we may become a whirlpool of impulses
and emotions; or we may become restlessly active
without caring for reason and without higher
aspirations to lead a proper spiritual life.
Let all these three develop fully and work together
in harmony for our spiritual evolution.
are always eager to run after sense-objects.
With the help of discrimination, control the
senses. We should break away from the hold of
impulses. The very moment the impulses rise
in us, we should try to expand our consciousness,
for, then, these impulses at once disappear,
just as the waves disappear in the ocean.
ego becomes perverse. It thinks too much of
itself, forgetting everything else. We become
extremely selfish and mean. To give an illustration,
a bubble on the surface of the sea thinks too
much of itself. It forgets the other bubbles.
It forgets even the ocean and wants to grow.
What happens? The bubble bursts. This actually
happens with many human beings.
In a properly
integrated or harmonised personality, the ego
or the individual will is brought into harmony
with universal consciousness. How? Through japa,
meditation, prayer and worship. Then let this
ripe ego direct and guide the mind, the senses
and the body.
One of the
greatest lessons I learned sitting at the feet
of my Master, Swami Brahmanandaji and other
direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, was the
ideal of harmonised growth--physical, intellectual,
moral and spiritual.
has tremendous power of reviving us physically
and spiritually, bringing a new strength and
confidence. Such is a power of the divine name
that, along with meditation, it produces harmony
in the body and the mind and also quickens the
Three Types of Reasoning
three types of reasoning. One is child-like
reasoning. The other is logical reasoning and
third, materialistic reasoning.
Supposing two buckets, one of
water and the other of beer are kept in front
of an ass. The ass drinks water but not the
beer, because animals do not take things which
harm them. This is logical reasoning. But materialistic
reasoning says that the ass does not drink beer
because it is an ass!
one should intellectually understand the spiritual
path, but too much reasoning is not good. We
are drunk with the wine of ignorance, so do
not see our True Self. By leading a spiritual
life we realize what we actually are.
In a place
there was a king. One day he found out that
many people were dying in his city. So he went
to Yama and said, 'Yama, why do so many people
die in my city? What will happen? What are you
'King, I take only a fixed number of people.'
Then the king returned. After some time he found
out that more people were dying than before
in his city. So worried, he thought, 'What!
Even Yama--Dharmaraj--does not keep his word?'
So he came back to Yama and said, 'What is the
matter? More people are dying!' Yama said, 'What
can I do? I take my fixed number, but people
die out of fear!'
There are three types of mental
blankness: one is tamasic that is, non-activity.
One experiences this just before sleep. The
other is rajasic. Swamiji gives an example of
two monkeys, jumping from one branch of a tree
to another. At last they get tired and remain
silent for a while only to start their mischief
again. The third and highest type is sattvik
blankness--spiritual blankness. In this state
the spiritual aspirant feels pure and at a high
I do not understand why so many
feel mental blankness. That shows that the spiritual
ideal has not yet been fully fixed; otherwise
all the blank moments should be filled by the
Lord's name and thoughts. So be careful. Take
all the necessary food for the mind and body.
Remember, empty stomach gives stomachache and
empty head gives headache.
One day a
small boy played the whole day without taking
any food. In the evening, he got pain in the
stomach. The doctor was called. He examined
the child and said that there was nothing wrong
with the child except that his stomach needed
some food. After eating something, the child
became all right.
Now it so
happened that in the same evening, the child's
father got severe headache. The child said,
'Oh! I know the reason. When my stomach was
empty I got stomachache. Father's head is empty.
That is why he has headache. If he puts something
in the head, he will be all right.'
cause of restlessness is that the soul is not
getting enough food.
a strong habit of study everyday that you will
feel uncomfortable if you have not read something
during the day. The mind cannot always remain
on the spiritual plane.
of the ideas that expand and elevate the mind.
When the mind is expanded and elevated, all
the petty and dirty ideas in the mind are swept
away.When the mind is expanded and elevated,
it is easier to control the lower thoughts and
to have the mind at a higher level for a long
time. The mind should be in tune with the Cosmic
Spirit. Then one feels expanded. A contracted
mind blocks the inflow of Divine Grace.
never be any haziness in the Vedantic aspirant.
We must have definite and right thoughts, definite
and right emotions and feelings, definite and
right actions; then alone can we proceed to
the divine goal and realize it.
When I was
in Holland, I saw a man who used to attend our
lectures, and had read all the scriptures, etc.
But he never spoke to anybody and always remained
absorbed in himself. One day I asked him to
come and see me. He agreed. I asked him, 'What
is the matter with you? Why are you so distracted?'
He had a wife, children, money and all worldly
comforts. He replied, 'Swamiji, it pains me
every morning and I feel, "Am I to begin
the day as before?" ' Of course I gave
him some spiritual instructions and this was
the turning point in his spiritual life. It
is really a great fortune for one to turn to
. . . to be concluded
. . .