The Power of Solitude

meditation

Dear All,

OM !

One of the most essential qualities one must cultivate to be established in Self (Truth) is solitude. Because Truth reveals in all its glory in Silence and one gains the alertness and clarity to pierce through the layers of erroneous thinking and be established in the Self. . It is quintessential for a Seeker.

I have heard many people telling that “one need not leave home or renounce anything, one should be like a lotus leaf in a water pond and untouched by it”. That may be so. Yet, all the saints and sages who inspire me from all religions have renounced, became house-less wandering seekers and have spent some time in solitude before they have attained the establishment in the Truth – Buddha, Swami Sivananda, Ramana Maharshi, Guru Nanak, Sadasiva Brahmendra, the Russian Christian Pilgrim (The Pilgrim book) etc. To be untouched by water and to be like a lotus leaf seemed to be the goal, where as during the “Seeking” stage one sees oneself being touched and influenced by the external situations, people, places, events. There is a gap that needs to be reconciled. Swami Sivananda has explained very well in “The Kingly Science and Secret” that sometimes simply saying “One should be like Janaka, untouched even though involved in the worldly activities” does not always do justice to the seeking. One MUST learn to be in solitude, to gain strength and clarity and conviction in the Self-Knowledge. Because of this, one gains detachment, thereby wisdom to re-enter the world.

lotusleaf

Today, I was reading through some articles by Swami Krishnanada ji and I came across the article called “The Importance of Being Alone” which is very valuable and helpful for Sadhana. I am greatly inspired by Swamiji, though I never met him. His writings carry a firm and deep conviction and clarity. Hari had the privilige to meet him in Rishikesh in 1995 or so, when Swamiji, upon knowing  that Hari was an engineering student, advised him “Make Self-engineering your subject !” What an insightful advice !

I am just posting an excerpt from the article here:

One of the essential conditions the seeker of yoga is called upon to bear in mind is ekantavasa, or sequestration, solitude. These days, wrong notions are driven into people’s minds by inexperienced teachers who say that we can be in the midst of a city and yet practise sadhana. Though this goes on very well and sounds fine as a theory and a doctrine, it is a total impossibility when we actually try to practise it. The ancient masters who said that solitude is necessary were not fools. Though in the end, in the consummation, it may be possible for us to find a solitary forest in the thick of New York City, consummation should not be identified with the beginning. That would be like putting the cart before the horse.

In this connection, I am reminded of a very homely analogy of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. Fire consumes ghee. Any amount of ghee that we pour on fire will be burnt by the fire. Yes, this is a great truth, a fact known to everyone. But suppose we pour a mound of ghee over a spark of fire; will it burn the ghee? The fire itself will be extinguished. The fire should first become a huge conflagration. Then we can pour the entire fuel of the world into it, and it shall burn it to ashes. Our fire of aspiration will then be capable—only then, and not before—to burn all the dirt and dust of this world even if it is thrown upon it in huge heaps. But when we are only a struggling spark who has not been able to take even the first step in yoga, if the whole weight of the world is to sit upon us, what will happen? We cannot face it. We will be crushed to dust.

Just being aloof, not having any friends, spending time in reading novels, watching movies etc is not “aloneness” or “solitude”, though it may appear that way sometimes, but being in a state of “alert lone-ness” where the mind is engaged in contemplation on the Self and thorough examination of the world to grasp the substratum behind it – that is the solitude we are speaking of for a seeker.

I strongly encourage all of us to read the full article titled “The Importance of Being Alone – by Swami Krishnanandaji” and be highly benefitted.

With Prem and Om,

Aparna Hari

Happy Sivaratri !

Dear Readers,

Namaste. We wish you all a very joyous and spiritually uplifting Sivaratri. May Lord Siva bless us with Knowledge and Wisdom of the Self.

There is SriSaila Linga Satakan written by Srimati Bellamkonda Kanakamma garu in Telugu in praise of Srisaila Mallikarjuna in Srisailam.
Please click below img for reading SriSaila Linga Stotram:

<a href="” target=”_blank”>SriSailaLingaSatakam

Yours,
In Service of the Lord,
Aparna & Hari

Likhita Japa (Writing the Divine Name)

Dear Friends,

Hari Om.

Swami Sivananda ji Maharaj had emphasized a lot on engaging oneself in chanting and writing the Divine Names. I derive great inspiration from him.
Around five years back, I acame across a nice booklet consisting of articles signifying writing Rama Mantra by an Organization called SHRI DADU LEELA ” RAMA NAMA PARIKRAMA” SHODH SANSTHAN,. This booklet also carries personal experiences and spiritual sadhana of devotees and practitioners who set aside a time every day and wrote the Rama Nama.
This organization encourages people to take up a committment of completing a given number of Rama Nama matra writing and sending it to them for storing it in the temple.

Please click the below image to download the booklet.

You can download the Rama Koti book prepared by Saranaagathi Team by clicking below image:

Yours,
In Service of the Lord,
Aparna Hari

Divine Ambrosia E-Magazine – 2012 Spring Issue

Dear All,

Hari Om.

We are pleased to publish the Spring issue of the spiritual E-Magazine “Divine Ambrosia”. You will find interesting and insightful articles in this issue in addition to a light-hearted fun corner.

This issue of Divine Ambrosia E-Magazine can be read online by clicking the below :

You can also download the PDF version by clicking here.

Please feel free to leave a comment with your feedback about this magazine.

Happy Reading !

Yours,
In Service of the Lord,
Aparna & Hari.

A Song of Little Things…

Hari Om !

Today Priya reminded me of the song “Eat A Little, Drink A Little” by Swami Sivananda and mentioned she liked the song.

This little song is actually “Song of Yoga Synthesis” and it is a simple song focusing on simplicity and harmonizing different aspects in daily living and is actually instruction for spiritual practice:

Here are the lyrics of the little song of the Yoga of Synthesis, for your daily practice:

Eat a little, drink a little
Talk a little, sleep a little
Mix a little, move a little
Serve a little, rest a little
Work a little, relax a little
Study a little, worship a little
Do Asana a little, Pranayama a little
Reflect a little, meditate a little
Do Japa a little, do Kirtan a little
Write Mantra a little, have Satsang a little
Do all these, little, little. You will have time for all.

You can read “A Little of All” written by Swami Venkatesananda explaining the significance of these instructions.

Yours,
In Service of the Lord & Gurudev,
Aparna & Hari

Maha Sivaratri Wishes

Dear All,

Hari Om !
Jai Kailasavasa Sankara Bhagavan ki !

We convey to all our readers Mahasivaratri wishes. May Lord Siva bless us all with wisdom, spiritual strength and Self-knowledge.


(Image is courtesy of Hinduim Today Magazine)

The Divine Supreme in the form of Siva is easily pleased like a father pleased with even the smallest act of his child, and hence he is called Bhole Baba ! In all the temples in India and abroad, chanting of Rudram – Namakam & Chamakam is performed throughout day and night on the auspicious Maha Sivaratri day, and the devotees generally fast and do vigil in the night spending their time in worship, prayer and meditation.

Sivaratri is an auspicious occasion to please Lord Siva. He will be very pleased with Japa, Dhyana and Abhisheka today. Generally Upavas (fast) and Jaagaran (Night Vigil) are carried on today by devotees. Japa of Panchakshari mantra (Om Namah Sivaya) will benefit immensely. The worship of Lord Siva will remove all impurities and make our mind and hearts pure and clean.

The following can be done today according to the feasibility of the devotee:
1. Fast
2. Abhishekam (holy bath of Siva Linga) of Siva, with pure water, milk, honey, Ghee, Banana – Panchamruta Snanam
3. Decorate with flowers, Sandal paste and if available Bael leaves (Bilva or Maredu)
4. Offer Naivedyam and Arati
5. Recite Ligashtakam, Rudram, Purushasuktam, Rudrashtakam, Maha Mrutyunjaya Mantram
6. Engage in Kirtan of Lord Siva
7. Do Japa of Panchakshari or Mrutyunjaya Mantra
8. Perform Japa throughout night and do Japa with Dhyana of Lord Siva
9. Try praying only for Spiritual Upliftment, and not any material gains.
10. Offer all your worship and prayers unto Lord Siva.

We are presenting here a book by Swami Sivananda ji on ” Lord Siva and His Worship.” It is a wonderful source for understanding Siva Tattwa and for sadhana unto Lord Siva.

Also, please find the following links for a beautiful rendition of Rudrashtakam by Swami Tejomayananda ji.

Download Rudrashtakam Audio here !
(In the Voice of Param Pujya Swami Tejomayananda, President of Chinmaya Mission).
Dowload Rudrashtakam Text here !
(Author: Goswami Tulasidas in RamacharitManas)

Yours,
In Service of the Lord & Gurudev,
Aparna & Hari.