Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

What You Might Do

by Swami Veda Bharati

[This is an excerpt from “The Spiritual Festival of 1992” by Usharbudh Arya (aka Swami Veda Bharati); we invite you to read the longer article at “The Spiritual Festival of 1992.”]

I am sharing these thoughts concerning what you might do during our annual Festival ending with the Full Moon of the Guru's Day, the Guru Purnima. What we have done together in the past years may be divided into two categories:

  1. The purification of lifestyle and thoughts and emotions, so that we may select beautiful sentiments for ourselves and cultivate them, thereby enriching those around us.
  2. And the practice the pure spirituality as with japa.

…As to the practice of japa, I would again recommend 125,000 repetitions of your own mantra. Those who want to do it a little more intensely may not limit themselves to the period of 40 days. They may complete the practice over a longer period by not counting the japa of the mantra, but rather 125,000 breaths. How many mantra recitations there are in each breath depends entirely upon each person's capacity.

  • Whenever you sit for the practice during this Festival, a few recitations of Gayatri at the beginning and at the end are always advisable - three, seven, nine, eleven or twenty-one. Those who learned to extend the Gayatri practice may use that extensive practice which ends with Om, Tat Sat Brahmarpanam Astu.
  • Now, this is the basics of the japa…and I would like to extend again the invitation to continue living in the vasudeva principle, the principle of the in-dweller, the single in-dwelling deity, the in-dwelling force…

As you know, that of the eight limbs or steps on the ladder of yoga, the first one is yama, the interior spiritual disciplines. And the very first one of the five yamas is ahimsa , or non-violence. And we want to introduce this principle into our lives. How do we introduce this principle into our lives? I'll share some thoughts with you. When we live by the in-dweller principle, we know that spirit in all beings is one. We must not be satisfied by merely paying lip-service to this principle.  We must live by it in our relationships with all beings.

… There are religious and spiritual traditions in the world among which, for the last twenty-five or twenty-six centuries and longer, any direct or indirect killing of any living being is forbidden. Why is that? Because we know we live by fear. We are shaken with fear at all times in our lives. The Yoga Sutras define fear as violence. It is not fear of violence committed by others towards us; it is the recognition of the violence within us: I know within me that I have hurt living beings. Living beings, I am saying, not human beings. I have hurt living beings. We are living in this fear at all times.

So for these 40 days extend your non-violence to all living beings, and refrain from partaking from anything as food that has been killed… It is not an act of compassion towards them. It is a recognition of the oneness of the in-dwelling spirit. Every act of murder is a suicide because that other is also I, the Universal Self. Please remember that: Every act of murder is a suicide. There is no distinction between the two.

The second step along with that is that all anger is anger at yourself. Frustration at one's own inadequacy in love is anger. I am not saying, forswear, all anger right now. Again, there are questions about just anger, anger against injustices, anger where I am indeed right and the other party is indeed wrong, and so forth. Let us start working on the periphery, and not solve all the moral dilemmas right now. Let us make an experiment in life for these forty days. Cultivate a sweet sentiment. Again it is not an act of compassion, nor is it a repression; it is an act of cultivating a beautiful sentiment. For if the in-dwelling spirit is one, at whom am I being angry? Ask yourself that question, and that would help you to overcome the strong urge towards violence. Violence of speech, for instance. Violence that exhibits itself in a loud voice, in a screaming and a stamping of feet

Just curbing it for a period in your life. If, however, you have a clinical depression and it is caused by suppression of anger, then I am not recommending this practice for you. Then I am simply recommending cultivating the thought of the one, in-dwelling spirit.

…Let this be an experiment in your life. You know what it will do you if you practice this non-violence? It will help you to conquer the fear of death; for fear of death, as I said, is nothing but the unconscious recognition of the fact of "how many times I have visited death upon others; may it not rebound to me."

Do not do these as a word of law. Get the spirit of it. Absorb and assimilate the spirit. Read once again the autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi. Try to find arguments in favor of your opponent's actions, for you are he; you are she - two waves of the same ocean, two rays of the same sun, two flames of the same fire. Contemplate, and let your contemplations become your sentiments, and let your spirit soar to realize the unity that is the uni-verse. I think of this world at times as one single poem, and that is how I think of the word uni-verse. Let your life be a poem. Let your world be a poem to you. I wish you a sense of fulfillment at the end of this period of forty days.

And one thing more, in my usual habit of tolerance I have said, "Well you decide the level of relationship you feel with the guru lineage." But let me tell you one thing: unless that relationship deepens, all these practices will lead you nowhere. Find ways of deepening the relationship.

Editor’s Note:

In 2018, the Annual 40-Day Spiritual Festival will begin on 18th June and will end on 27th July, which is Guru Purnima.



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