Articles by Sri Rajen Vakil
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|Article 73 - Power of Thought|
Swami Ramdulare Bapu was the epitome of conscious love. He had the power of potentising thoughts. A very profound and vibrant person, he also possessed the art of cooking delicious food.
I remember he used to cut vegetables into varied shapes while cooking. One day, I had an allergic reaction to some allopathic medicine and the insides of my throat were dotted with ulcers. I could not swallow a thing. He put me on a diet of raw spinach for 2 days and my ulcers disappeared. It turned out he had cut the spinach in the shape of vocal chords.
For years since, I have wondered whether cutting a vegetable in the shape of the affected organ in the proper manner can make the process of eating a healing one.
Thought is a seed and emotion is the water it needs to flower. Emotion determines the intensity we give to a thought. When an architect holds a form of a house in his mind, it is a thought. But for the thought to take shape in reality, it takes a few years. Whether or not the thought will materialize depends on the interest and intensity of the emotion involved.
A great South African lady, Swami Narayani developed a form of homeopathic medicine called organotherapy. She would take fresh, healthy animal tissue and radionically give it thought potency through a radionic potency machine. This fresh tissue, infused with radionic thought, would be given to the patient to ingest. Suppose a vertebral disc had degenerated, she would give fresh vertebral animal tissue with the radionic potency to heal. This form of medicine has existed for the past few years and I have seen it heal many people.
My guru Shri Tavariaji taught me a special method to potentise thought to increase its power and potency so that the thought can easily materialize. He gave me the anatomy of the Anahat chakra which is a dual chakra that rotates clockwise on the right-hand side and anti-clockwise on the left. We can also call this our heart centre. Here is something we can all do - hold the thought we want materialized in our heart, visualize the Anahat chakra and potentise that thought by rotating the left side clockwise. In this way, the thought will become very powerful and hopefully it should materialize.
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|Article 72 - The Pranas|
Yoga talks about pranas and vayus. Just the way we have motor and reflex nerves in our body-brain system, these pranas are motor and reflex impulses. There are basically five pranas - Prana, Apana, Samana, Vyana and Udana. Today we will talk about the first three. In reality, prana is one but each function it performs is given a name.
Yoga says Prana, Apana and Samana are responsible for the digestion of food. When food is swallowed, science says digestive juices act upon it. Yoga says it is the prana called Samana which brings about digestion of the food we eat. Once the food is digested, Prana transmits nourishment to every cell of the body, just the way blood is circulated. Once the food is broken down in the cells, waste matter is produced and that is eliminated from the body by the prana called Apana.
My teacher Tavariaji always insisted that students of yoga eat one meal a day. The science behind his saying so was the working of these pranas. Each prana has an 8-hour cycle. Samana is dominant from noon, when the sun is at mid-heaven, to 8pm. This is when we should eat our food. From 8pm onwards, once the food is digested, Prana carries the nourishment to every cell of the body. This lasts till four in the morning at which time, the cycle of Apana takes over which expels waste matter from the body till 12 noon.
Each of these cycles should work independently; otherwise, disease enters the body. So, if Apana is active in the morning to eliminate waste, we should not be loading up on breakfast, and the same goes for a heavy dinner too.
Tavariaji would say that food remains in the stomach for three to four hours and the action of Samana goes on for 4 hours after eating. Deducting 4 hours from 8pm, he would say we should eat one meal between noon and 4pm to remain healthy.
Modern dieticians say you can have very light meals during the other periods also, but I am sure my teacher would never agree to this.
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|Article 71 - Conscious Love|
Love is a quest for perfection. It is a ladder that can be climbed through conscious effort. On the lowest rung are physical attraction, desire, lust. The topmost rung of the ladder is prayer, surrender and union. Between the two is a long journey. If two people can together climb this ladder towards higher levels of perfection, their lives will be full of joy, ecstasy and freedom. On the other hand, if we are stuck on the lower end, our lives are full of pain, suffering, conflict, anger and possibly animalism. Yes, love can transport us to either heaven or hell - it can be the highest yoga or the basest of illusions.
The raw material for love is ‘affection’, which in a couple is reciprocal. This affection passes through three major stages. The first is the imaginary. When two people are attracted to each other, they come with a bagful of romantic imagination and illusions about each other. He may imagine ‘she is mine and mine only’, but one day he sees her laughing and having fun with someone else and this brings jealousy, possessiveness and a feeling of expectations being broken. It is these negativities which pull us down the ladder. Now the key word here is sacrifice. Every time a negative thought comes, we sacrifice it in the fire of pain we feel inside. On continuous practice, one day our affection will be free of these self-emotions.
The second stage of perfection is psychological. Within this, two partners practice making their differences and oppositions complementary. Whenever they disagree, one of them makes a conscious sacrifice. This leads to an understanding of the other’s state. Don’t say ‘I disagree with you’ but ‘I understand where you are coming from’. Reach a state where you are living where the other is coming from; then there is only understanding, never disagreement. It is very difficult to understand the idea being expressed here. Each one now experiences the other’s difficulties exactly as he or she is experiencing them.
The final stage in this journey is divine. Now it is not just ‘I understand him’ but ‘each moment, I live him’. This is a rising above the opposites. The dual nature of life has been transcended and the oneness of each other will grow into the oneness of all.
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|Article 70 - Ahimsa|
In his yoga sutra, sage Patanjali says, ‘ahimsa pratishthayam vair tyaag’. When ahimsa or non-violence is established, there is tyaag - the forsaking of or an abstaining from the desire to take revenge or ‘vair’.
Revenge is so gratifying. Yes, we love to put the other in his place or be one up on him. It tastes sweet and fulfilling, like the taste of a wonderful chocolate. Yes, when someone insults us, we thirst for revenge. To work against revenge is bitter; it requires tremendous will and conscious effort.
My teacher would remind me to practice ‘vair tyaag’, not only every day but every moment. The small events of life give us ample opportunity to keep practicing this small but beautiful sutra. If a shopkeeper has cheated us, there is an immediate rush of aggressive thoughts to put him in his place. Pause, relax the muscles of the body, bring rhythm to the breath and forsake these thoughts of getting back at him. This is what I mean by the need for tremendous will. It is very easy to get carried away and enslaved by thoughts of revenge. It requires great courage to drop them.
Once we get the taste of vair tyaag, we will find several situations in a day to practice it. Someone very close may have broken our trust; we are hurt and filled with rage. Again pause and keep practising the dropping of the need for revenge. Waves of thoughts will keep attacking the mind, but keep renouncing them. With practice over a period of time, we will achieve a certain mastery. We will be shocked to see that violent and negative thoughts do pop up but we are free not to act on them, dropping them in the process. We have acquired a new will and new power. This is transformation; we are a new person who has broken free from the habits and conditionings of his old self.
A day is full of events and every event is an opportunity to practice. One day, even the thoughts will stop coming to us and we would be established or ‘prathishthit’ in ahimsa. In such a person violent thoughts never arise. See how a simple practice can lead to the highest spiritual state.
Attend a 3 Step Rhythmic Breathing (3SRB) session from 9.30am to 11.30am at Haveli temple, opp. Prateeksha bungalow, JVPD Scheme, Vile Parle (West). Entry is free and requires no registration.