Yoga is union with our true nature.
“Yoga is not twisting the body but straightening the mind!” This, our spiritual teachers (Acharya) have taught us.
What is one basic difference between Amma and us, her children? Amma’s very nature is to love all beings without any expectation of being loved in return. We, on the other hand, think, “I want everyone to love me”. With this thought in mind, if I ask Amma “Amma, I want everyone to love me, please bless me!” Amma will reply “My son, there is only one way, you start loving others”.
And we know that, loving others is one thing which all of us find difficult. That is because there is some block inside; none of us know how to access our innate resources.
Traditionally in India we worship the supreme truth in the Gurus form. One of the rituals we perform is to wash the Gurus feet; this is called padapuja. When we do Padapuja to our Guru Amma, we wash Her feet with milk, curd, ghee, honey and rose water while chanting vedic mantras. When we are pouring the honey during the ritual we chant the following mantras:
Madhu vaatha rithaayathe
Madhu ksharanthi sindhavaha
Madhveernah santhu oshadheehi
Madhumath paarthivagun rajaha
Madhu dhuowrasthinah pithah
Madhumaagum asthu suryaha
Maadhveer gaavo bhavanthunaha
“May the wind be kind to me, may the oceans be kind to me, may all the food and medicine creating plants be kind to me. May the nights be peaceful, so that I can rest well. May all the dust on this earth be kind to me. May the space and my departed forefathers be kind to me. May the sun be kind to me. May the cows be kind to me.”
The most common Shanthi mantra we chant is:
Om Shanno Mitrah Sham Varunah etc, also has the same meaning, i.e, May the Sun, Varunah, Indra, Brihaspathi, Vishnu, Vayu be peaceful to me.
I depend upon all these Powers and Beings around me for my existence and growth. That is why I pray that they be sweet and kind to me. But whether I like it or not, it is the law of nature that I get back from the world only what I give it. I cannot sow a mango seed and expect an apple tree to grow from the soil.
Amma’s Unconditional Love
Amma is loved by the entire world because she has given unconditional love to it. We know that Amma gives continuous Darshan for hours together and remains fresh and smiling. Many devotees have asked Amma how she is able to do that.
Amma gave two answers on two different occasions,
Amma said “Where there is Love and Compassion, tiredness and boredom has no place.”
Amma said “When we operate a video camera with a battery, we can operate it only as long as the battery charge lasts. But if the same camera is connected with a cord to a plug point, we can operate it for any length of time.” And with a smile, Amma said “I am connected to the main power!” Amma was indicating that even though she seems to be in a human body, Amma is directly connected to the total universe, to the total Cosmic power! She is the Cosmic Power, the Adi Parashakthi.
This is real yoga. At the end of the Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavan Krishna is called “Yogeswara Krishna”, which means; he who can give us yoga, i.e. he who can connect us with the Supreme Being.
The International Day of Yoga (IDY)
On the 21st June is International Yoga Day. Amma has advised all Her Ashrams and Institutions to conduct yoga classes and lectures on yoga on that day.
The word ‘Yoga’ comes from the root ‘Yuj’ which means ‘to join’ or ‘be in union’. Thus yoga is a series of exercises and meditations which unites man with his real nature of infinite peace and joy. Suppose there are ten television sets. In nine of them the video and audio are very clear, but in one we are not able to view the video. This can only mean that the television set has some technical problem and needs to be repaired. The human mind is the most sophisticated and complicated computer in the world.
The two world wars of the past were fought by very intelligent and educated but perverted minds. The human mind needs to be constantly repaired and tuned. Here Yoga comes to our rescue. Yoga begins with physical exercises and controlled deep breathing exercises. They purify, strengthen and make the body and mind healthy and fit for our day to day activities and spiritual practices. Control of the body is the beginning. Only one who has a good control over his body and its movements can go to the higher level of controlling his mind and its movements.
A True Yogi
A true yogi is one who has detached his mind from the outside world and fixed it effortlessly on God or Atma, his own inner self.
Generally, a person who is good at demonstrating difficult yogic asanas (exercises) is called a great yogi. But in reality, only when one learns to control his mind fully through physical exercises, pranayama, yogic diet and true worship of God can he be called a true yogi. That is why our spiritual teachers instruct us, “Yoga is not twisting of the body, but straightening of the mind”. Sage Pathanjali begins his Yoga Sutras with;
(Yoga is quietening the thoughts of the mind)
Krishna’s flute is hollow with seven holes. That is why it is able to produce the most divine and enchanting music. The flute represents our body, which also has seven holes – two eyes, two ears, two nostrils and a mouth.
Yoga makes our body and mind hollow – free of all egoistic thoughts and feelings, free of all negative tendencies and false values.
The Bhagavad Gita is considered most sacred because it came directly from Bhagavan Krishna.
If I want to learn to ride a bicycle anybody can teach me. To learn to drive a motor cycle or a car I must to go a more experienced person. If I want to learn how to fly an aircraft I have to go to a very experienced instructor pilot. The more complicated the vehicle the more experienced the teacher should be.
Yoga and the Importance of a True Guru
We have already said that the human mind is the most sophisticated and complicated space craft and it needs the most experienced teacher – our Guru, Amma who is the very Creator of these two vehicles the human body and mind. – Amma who is directly connected with the creator of these two vehicles, the human body and the mind.
IAM Technique and Amrita Yoga are directly from Amma’s divine intention. These two techniques use the power of Yoga to transform man into a new person, purifying, nourishing and revitalizing all his organs and mind, making him a fit instrument in Amma’s divine hands to serve society, and the whole world.
When my mind becomes pure, I am able to see all beings in this universe as different forms of the Supreme Being and I learn to love all of them. They in turn start loving me. This is the only way I can receive love from others. Yoga connects me to the Supreme Being, it connects all living beings and creates a heaven on earth.
As Amma’s children, let us first learn these two yoga and meditation techniques, practice them sincerely and regularly, benefit from them and then teach them to others. Then and then alone can we call ourselves children of Amma.
Om Amriteswaryai Namah
Swami Amritageetananda Puri
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