Passages from Upanishads

Know the self and be free

The Self is not to be known through study of the scriptures, nor through subtely of the intellect, nor through much learning. But by him who longs for hims he known. Verily unto him does the self reveal his true being.

The self is not be known by he weak, nor by the thoughtless, nor by those who do not rightly meditate. But by the rightly meditative, the thoughtful, and the strong, he is fully known.

Having the known the self, the sages are filled with joy. Blessed are they, tranquil of mind, free from passion. Realizing everywhere the all-pervading Brahman, deeply absorbed in contemplation of his being, they enter into him, the self of all.

Having fully ascertained and ralized the truth of vedenta, having established themselves in purity of conduct by following the yoga of renunciation, these great ones attain to immortality in this very life; and when their bodies fall away from them at death, they attain to lberation.

Eternal Truth

The infinite is the source of joy. There is no joy in the finite. Only in the Infinite is there joy. Ask to know of the infinite.

´Sir, I wish to know of it.´

´Where one sees nothing but the one, hears nothing but the One, knows nothing but the One-there is the Infinite. Where one sees another, hears another, knows another- there is the finite. The Infinite is immortal, the finite is mortal.´

´In what does the Infinite rest?´

´In its own glory-nay, not even in that. In that world it is said that cows and horses, elephants and gold slaves, wives, fields, and houses are man's glory - but these are poor and finite things. How shall the Infinite rest anywhere but in itself?´

The Infinite is below, above, behind, before, to the right, to the left. I am all this. This infinite is the self. The self is below, above, behind, before, to the right; to the left. I am al this. One who knows, meditates upon, and realizes the truth of the. Self - such an one delights in the self, revels in the self, rejoices in the self. He becomes master to himself, and master of all the worlds. Slaves are they who know not this truth.

The City of Brahman

As one not knowing that a golden treasure lies buried beneath his feet, may walk over it again, yet never find it, so all beings live every moment in the city of Brahman, yet never find him, because of the veil of illusion by which he is concealed.

The self resides within the lotus of the heart. Knowing this, consecrated to the self, the sage enters daily that holy sanctuary.

Absorbed in the self, the sage is freed from identity wih the body and lives in blissful consciousness. The self is the immortal,the fearless; the self is Brahman. This Brahman is eternal truth.

The self within the heart is like a boundary which divides the world fom THAT. Day and night cross not that boundary, nor old are, nor death; neither grief nor pleasure, neither good nor evil deeds. All evils shuns THAT. For THAT is free from impurity: bu impurity can it never be touched.

Wherefome he who has crossed that boundary, and has realized the self, if he is blind, ceases to be blind; if he is wounded, ceases to be wounded; if he is afflicted, ceases t obe afflicted. When that boundary is crossed, night becomesday; for the world of brahman is light itself.

Satyakama Tells the Truth

One day the boy Satyakama came to his mother and said;: 'Mother I want to be a religious student. What is my family name?'

'My son,' replied this mother, 'I do not know, In my youth I was a servant and worked in many places. I do not know who was your father. I am Jabala, and you are Satyakama. Call yourself Satyakama Jabala.

Thereupon the boy went to Gautama and asked to be accepted asa student. Of what family are you, my lad?' inquired the sage.

Satyakama replied: ' I asked my mother what my family name was, and she answered: "I do not know, In my youth I was a servant and worked in many places. I do not know who was your father. I am Jabala, and you are Satyakama. Call yourself Satyakama Jabala." I am therefore Satyakama Jabala, sir.

The said the sage; 'None but a true brahmin would have spoken thus. Go and fetch fuel, for I will teach you. You have not swerved from the truth.'



For the Sake of the Self

Yajnavalkya(addressing his wife): 'Maitreyi, I am resolved to renounce the world and begin the life of renunciation. I wish therefore to divide my property between you and my other wife, Katyayani.'

Maitreyi : 'My lord, if this whole earth belonged to me, with all its wealth, should I through its possession attain immortality?'

Yajnavalkya: 'No. Your life would be like that of the rich. None can possibly hope to attain immortality thought wealth.'

Maitreyi : 'Then what need have I of wealth? Please, my lord, tell me what you know about the way to immortality.'

Yajnavalkya: 'Dear to me have you always been, Maitreyi, and now you ask to learn of that truth which is nearest my heart. Come, sit by me. I will explain it to you. Meditate on what I say'

'It is not for the sake of the husband, my beloved, that the husband is dear, but for the sake of the self.

'It is not for the sake of the wife, my beloved, that the wife is dear, but for the sake of the self.'

'It is not for the sake of the children, my beloved, that the children is dear, but for the sake of the self.'

'It is not for the sake of the wealth, my beloved, that the wealth is dear, but for the sake of the self.'

The Light for Man

Once when Yajnavalkya came to the court of King Janaka, the king welcomed him with a question.

Janaka : 'Yajnavalkya, what serves as the light for man?'

Yajnavalkya : 'The light of the sun, Your Majesty; for by the light of the sun man sits, goes out, does his work, and returns home.'

Janaka : 'True indeed, Yajnavalkya. But when the sun has set, what serves then as hislight?'

Yajnavalkya : 'The moon is then his light.'

Janaka : 'When the sun has set O Yajnavalkya, and the moon has set, and the fire has gone out, what serves then as his light?'

Yajnavalkya : 'Sound is then his light; for with sound alone as his light, man sits, goes out, does his work, and returns home. Even though he cannot see his own hand, yet when he hears a sound he moves towards it.'

Janaka : 'True indeed, O Yajnavalkya. When the sun has set, and the moon has set, and the fire has gove out, and no sound is heard what serves then as his light?'

Yajnavalkya : 'The self indeed is his light; for by the light of the Self man sits, moves about, does his work, and when his work is done, rests.'

Janaka : 'Who is the Self?'

Yajnavalkya: 'The Self-luminous being who dwells within the lotus of the heart, surrounded by the senses and sense organs, and who is the light of the intellect, is that Self.'

To None Else

As fire, though one, takes the shape of every object which it consumes, so the Self, though one, takes the shape of every object in which it dwells.

As air, though one, takes the shpae of every object which it enters, so the self,though one, takes the shape of every object in which it dwells.

As the sun, revealer of all objects to the seer, is not harmed by the sinful eye, nor by the impurities of the objects it gazes on, so the one Self, dwelling in all, is not touched, by the evils of the world. For he transcends all.

He is one, the lord and innermost Self of all; of one form, he makes of himself many forms. To him who sees the Self revealed in his own heart belongs eternal bliss -- to none else, to none else.



The Blessed Sages

Having known the self, the sages are filled with joy. Blessed are they, tranquil of mind, free from passion. Realizing everywhere the all-pervading Brahman, deeply absorbed in contemplation of his being, they enter into him, the self of all.

Having fully ascertained and realized the truth of Vedanta, having established themselves in purity of conduct by following the yoga of renunciation, these great onces attain to immortality in this very life; and when their bodies fall away from them at death, they attain to liberation.

The Knower of Brahman

He who knows Brahman becomes Brahman. No one ignorant of Brahman is ever born in his family. He passes beoynd all sorrow. He overcomes evil. Freed from the fetters of ignorance, he becomes immortal.



Eight limbs of Yoga

Iyama

The Various forms of abstention from harming others, from falsehood, from theft, fron incontinence and from greed.

There forms of abstention are basic rules of conduct. They must be practiced without any reservations as to time, place, purpose or cast rules. It will be noticed that yama, this understood, embraces the ethical principles universally thaught in all the great religions.

Niyama

The Niyama's are purity, contentment, mortification, study and devotion of God.

Purity is Cleanliness, both physical and mental. Just as a regular habit of bathing is formed for physical cleanliness, in the same way a regular habit is to be formed of bathing our inner organ, the mind, by feeling within it the living presence of God. From the practive of clienliness, physical and mental, 'one achieves purification of the heart, cheerfulness of mind, the power of concentration, control of hte passions, and fitness for the vision of the purusa.'

Asana

Asana, posture is the third. A series of exercises, for the most part mental, is to be followed each day until certain of the higher states of consciousness are reached. It is necessary that we should learn to be seated in a firm position. Patanjali advising that the easiest and most natural one should be chosen.

Posture becomes firm and relaxed through control of the narutal tendencies of the body, and through meditation onf the Infinite.

Pranayama

The fourth Limb of yoga is Pranayama. This word means control of Vital Energy, or of the life-principle. Just what the life-principle really is, no one can tell, but we do recognize its expressions. It is the energy that enables us to act, to think, to breathe.

The principle may stated thus: The mind and the body are closely realted, and act and react upon each other; emoticions cause characteristic changes in the body, and changes in the body evoke corresponding emotions in the mind.

pratyahara

The fifth in order of the limbs of yoga is pratyahara, the practice undertaken to gain detachment of the mind from objects of sense by not permitting the mind to join itself to the centrest of perception or the organs of sense. It the words of Gita:

The tortoise can draw in its legs:
The seer can draw in his senses.
I call him illumined.

dharana

It a "collection or concentration of the mind (joined with the retention of breath)", or "the act of holding, bearing, wearing, supporting, maintaining, retaining, keeping back (in remembrance), a good memory", or "firmness, steadfastness, certainty". This term is related to the verbal root dhri to hold, carry, maintain, resolve.

dhyana

In Dhyana, the meditator is not conscious of the act of meditation (i.e. is not aware that he/she is meditating) but is only aware that he/she exists (consciousness of being), and aware of the object of meditation. Dhyana is distinct from Dharana in that the meditator becomes one with the object of meditation. This means that the meditator although aware of the object through meditation detaches him/herself from its existence in the physical world. Just as meditation emphasizes the breath, Dhyana is rooted in the concentration of not being concentrated

samadhi

Samadhi is oneness with the object of meditation. There is no distinction between act of meditation and the object of meditation. Samadhi is of two kinds, with and without support of an object of meditation

Basic Rules of Asana

  • Yoga should be practiced empty stomach. If you had food, wait for at least 3 hours before practicing.
  • Relax for 10 seconds at least after each yoga exercise.
  • Avoid excessive intake of tea or coffee when you are practicing yoga
  • Wear comfortable clothes for practicing yoga.
  • First begin with easy poses and thereafter you can advance to the tough ones.
  • Do not practice yoga on naked ground. Always use thin yoga mat or thick bed sheet for Yoga.
  • Before you start Yoga, you must clear your bowels and bladder. Clean your nostrils and throat of all mucus.
  • Woman should not practice yoga during menstruation.
  • Food can be taken after an hour of practicing yoga.
  • Morning is the best time to prepare for yoga and it is always better to practice yoga where there is abundant clean air.
Don't do yoga twenty minutes before and after taking a shower as blood circulation could speed up after take a shower. It is better to take cold shower after practice it.

you keep in healthy state of mind and body. It influence all system and organs of the body and prevents from many other ailments which are result of stressful lifestyle of modern time.

If you are suffering from high blood pressure and back pain back pain and respiratory problems you can get many benefits. If you practice yoga continuously you can easily control your breath. In brief, yoga is conducive to people's health.

Suriya Namaskar and its postures

Surya Namaskar is best done early morning on an empty stomach. Let's begin with these simple yet effective Sun Salutation steps on our way to good health.

Each Sun Salutation round consists of two sets. These 12 yoga poses complete one set of Surya Namaskar. To complete the second half, you need to repeat the same sequence of postures, only moving the left leg instead of the right (in steps 4 and 9 given below). You might find several versions of doing Sun Salutation. However, it is best to stick to one particular sequence and practice it regularly for best results.

  • Pranamasana (Prayer pose)
  • Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms pose)
  • Padha Hastaasana (Hand to Foot pose)
  • Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
  • Thuvi Padha Ashwa Sanchalaana Asana (stick pose)
  • Ashtanga Namaskara (Salute With Eight Parts Or Points)
  • Bhujangasana (Cobra pose)
  • Adha muktha saavasana
  • Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian pose)
  • Padha Hastaasana (Hand to Foot pose)
  • Hastauttanasana (Raised Arms pose)
  • Pranamasana (Prayer pose)

Yoga Mudras

Here are some basic yoga mudras you can safely try to experience their effect. It is based on our fingers. Each fingers has their respective properties.

  1. Thumb - fire
  2. index finger - Air
  3. middle finger - ice
  4. The ring finger - the land
  5. Small finger - Water
    Some types of Mudra's are
  • Chin Mudra : Hold the thumb and index finger together lightly while extending the remaining three fingers. The thumb and index finger need only touch together, without exerting any pressure. Keep the three extended fingers as straight as possible. The hands can then be placed on the thighs, facing upwards. Now, observe the flow of breath and its effect. Benefits of Chin Mudra : Better retention and concentration power, Improves sleep pattern, Increases energy in the body, Alleviates lower backache

  • Vayu Mudra : Press the tip of each index finger onto the mound of your thumb. Fold your thumb so that it presses down lightly on the bent index finger. The other fingers should be held straight. Perform this Mudra for as long as the problem that you are trying to alleviate persists. It can also be practiced for 15 minutes every day to prevent problems relating to the imbalance of the air element inside the body from cropping up. Benefits of Vayu Mudra : The Vayu Mudra helps to balance the air inside the body. Thus, the benefits of the Vayu Mudra extend to problems such as flatulence and joint pain related to rheumatism, sciatica, arthritis, or gout. This Mudra is also said to help with the uncontrollable tremors experienced by those suffering from Parkinson's disease. If you feel uneasy after a meal, you should practice the Vayu Mudra while seated in the Vajra Asana (Diamond Pose). It can also be used for pain management for the victims of polio.

  • Sunya Mudra : Sunya mudra is mainly a yoga mudra for hearing defects. Middle finger which represent space element play a major role in this. Benefits are As mentioned sunya yoga mudra helps in curing ear problems like secretion and discharge from the ear, pain in the ear, hearing impairment or even frank deafness, unless any serious organic cause is not present. This benefits can be witnessed on parcticing this sunya yoga mudra daily for one hour for a long period of time.It is also beneficial in curing some heart disease and weakness in bone. It strengthens gums and keep the tooth intact in elderly. Sunya yoga mudra is also helpful in thraot diseases and thyroid abnormalities.

  • Prithvi Mudra : It helps to equalize the element of Prithvi or earth within the body. This Mudra is also said to activate the Root Chakra. Benefits are It helps to balance the different elements inside of the body. It helps to strengthen the body and alleviates fatigue. It also helps to open the mind and frees it from irrational prejudices and beliefs. Practicing this Mudra also helps to foster self-confidence and belief in the self. One of the prime benefits of the Prithvi Mudra is that it helps those who are seeking spirituality.

  • Suriya Mudra : It increases the element of fire in the body. Benefits are It helps to heat the body and raises the metabolism. Thus, it is an excellent posture for those who want to lose weight. It can also be used to treat common colds.

  • Varuna Mudra : This is the best yogic mudra for your outer beauty. It has a positive effect on your skin and keeps it away off all problems. A very effective yoga asana for your overall health let us learn to do this mudra with perfection. Benefits are It balances the water content in our body. It activates fluid circulation within the body keeping it moisturized always. It cures all skin issues like dryness, skin diseases and skin infections. Moreover it also prevents the appearance of pimples for a longer time. It adds a natural glow and luster to your face. Varuna Mudra also relieves and prevents any muscle pains that you may suffer from.

  • Prana Mudra : should be accompanied along with padmasana. Bend your ring finger and little finger and touch the tip of both these fingers with the tip of your thumb. Benefits are : This mudra improves your immune system. It also increases your eye power and also cures any sort if eye diseases. It reduces fatigue and tiredness.

  • Apaana Mudra : The process of Apan Mudra involves both hands. It requires placing the tip of thumb, middle finger, and ring finger together of each hand and extending the other two fingers straight upward. When needed, it can be done for five to forty five minutes or use three times a day for fifteen minutes as a course of treatment. Benefits are : Most effective aspects of practicing Apan Mudra are cleaning and strengthening parts of the body. It improves and regularises the flow of urine and perspiration, in case it is irregular or any sort of disorder exists. Practicing Apan Mudra along with Akash Mudra, improves healthy teeth. It also purifies and filters the whole body of the individual and eradicates Toxemia from the body. It is also known to cure vomiting. Apan Mudra also cures problems related menstruation, as well as burning sensation of hand, heart, leg and urine. Use of Apan Mudra, along with the use of Pran Mudra, heals various problems related to ears, nose, mouth and eyes, and improves their respective function. It also helps in strengthening thighs and knees, if any ailment persists. It also helps in problems related to constipation. Moreover, Apan Mudra generates self confidence and positive energy in a individual

  • Linga Mudra : The Linga Mudra is so called because it increases body heat by focusing on the element of fire inside the body. Benefits are The Linga Mudra generates immense heat within the body and is very useful for combating colds. It also helps to boost the immune system and makes the body more resistant to colds and similar infections. The benefits of the Linga Mudra also extend to the respiratory system and it can help to loosen accumulated phlegm from the throat. This Mudra also helps with weight loss.

  • Adhi Mudra: The upper regions of the lungs are especially utilized when we breathe in the adhyam pranayama with the adhi mudra. Close all the four fingers in a fist over the thumb. Place the mudra facing downwards on the thighs and breathe deeply.

  • Kechari Mudra : It is believed to be a yogic gesture that helps the performer achieves a heightened state of knowledge. It is one of the most uncommon yoga practices, perhaps because it feels a bit too strange even for those who practice yoga regularly. Benefits are : If practiced regularly, it is believed to give ones voice a pleasant tone. It is said to give the face a pleasant glow, and reduces the accumulation of fat on the abdomen. It is said to free the mind of anger, ego, attachment, desire, aversion and hatred. It Increases energy and vitality.

  • Ashwini Mudra : is done by contracting the anal sphincter muscles in a rhythmic manner. It is observed that horses are adept in doing this. Ashwini Mudra comes from the Sanskrit word 'Ashwa' which means a horse and mudra means gesture or sign. Benefits are : Doing this mudra conserves the prana that moves down and escapes the body. With Ashwini mudra, the prana is turned upwards for spiritual purposes.