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The Curative Powers of the Holy Gita






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The Curative Powers of the Holy Gita

The Curative Powers of the Holy Gita


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Especificaciones
Código del Artículo: IDK436

por T.R. Seshadri

Paperback (Edición: 1997)

Full Circle, New Delhi
ISBN 8121606977

Tamaño: 8.3" X 5.4"
Páginas: 140
Weight of the Book: 185 gms

Precio: Euro 9.15

Descripción
Introduction

This book offers no advice about sitting in the lotus posture, breath-control, Yoga, meditation or, for that matter, even on the elements of spiritual pursuits. It is a quest for attaining integration – of the body, soul, mind and intellect – so as to achieve the knowledge of SELF for a defined purpose.

The communion of the five basic elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether (sky) – comprise the material reality of our cosmos and our physical SELF. Cognised by the five sense organs – nose (smell), tongue (taste), eye (sight), skin (touch) and ear (sound) – which are five wonderful gates in the body, one's mind is attuned to a large extent to knowing the Universe. Only when these elements and organs are in perfect equilibrium, there is harmony. It is in such situations that one comes across psychological therapies, implying the use of mind-power for the healing process.

Here let me caution the reader that this essay is not meant to preach any religion or spread any spiritual practice. I have taken BHAGAVAD-GITA, simply, the GITA (pronounced as 'Geeta'), as a medium to present my views.

As most of us realize, there is some Unseen Force governing all over activities. We may call it 'Divinity', 'God', 'Lord', 'Super-natural power' – or any other name we may like to address it by.

A lamp spreads light all around, a flower its fragrance. When we look at the several beautiful things in Nature, even the worst cynics among us will be convinced that there is a Superior Being who is responsible for the entire creation from the tiny ants creeping on the earth to the twinkling stars shining in the firmament.

Once the "Seen" and the "Seer" (Atman, Purusa by whatever name one may call) come together, the mystery is solved. However, the Unseen Force can be visualized only by the dispassionate and discriminating among us.

Rational thinking itself shows that "everything is a blessing in disguise" and "the more you identify yourself with the mortal coil, the greater the fear; the greater the detachment the lesser the fear."

In other words, when we realize that all the world is a stage and all the men and women merely players, when we discharge our duties with a sense of detachment, our fetters do not bind us at all.

Herein comes the "Yoga philosophy", so well enunciated in the Gita, which is a part of the great Indian epic, Mahabharata. This is one of India's unique contributions to world literature, which has the distinction of being the world longest epic. It mirrors the life and soul of the Indian ethos as nothing else does. Rightly acclaimed as the 'Book of Life', it has been affirmed time and again by the scholars that "What is not in it is nowhere else to be found".

The Gita enjoys the status of the 'Scripture Universal' applicable to all persons in all places, and at all times it does not make any distinction between the spiritual and the temporal, the sacred and the secular. It is not restricted to any caste, creed, community, religion, age, sex, society or status in life. Its teachings have gained appreciation not only in India, but far beyond its borders. Over 1500 editions of it have been published, in over 40 different languages including 10 foreign languages, over 20 million copies having been printed in India itself during the last 50 years.

Beyond the boundaries of India, the Gita has had votaries among philosophers, poets, scientists and statesmen such as Warren Hastings (the first Governor-General of British-India), Aldous Huxley, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edwin Arnold, Arnold Toynbee, Prof. Oppenheimer (the Atomic scientist), W.D.P. Hill, R.C. Zaehner, and Albiruni (the Moslem savant in the eleventh century). This is but natural. For truth is many-sided, transcending the limitations of normal human perceptions.

The Bhagavad-Gita shows the way to train the mind towards achieving perfection and excellence in action. It deals with the development of an individual as an integrated personality. It tells us "who we are," and how we can obtain lasting peace and happiness and gradually trains us to "know ourselves" and the "Unseen". Its perennial philosophy makes us unafraid of death, active in life, and cooperative in worldly and spiritual fields alike. It imparts qualities of leadership to us. In brief, it addresses itself squarely to the basic problems of human beings: Ignorance, Sorrow and Death.

What is Yoga? Time was when in the eyes of the Westerners in particular, Yoga had more or less the same ranking as the Indian rope-trick or snake-charming – part magic, part myth. As the search for rationalization advanced, it emerged that the particular state of the mind and body of an individual are the consequences of the interaction between several processes and if these processes are controlled in a defined pattern, the physical and mental states could be alerted – nay – 'commanded,' as required. Yoga describes and gives guidelines how this could be done.

In brief, 'Yoga' means the union of the embodied 'Vital Force' (Prana) with the 'Universal Energy' (Sakti). We may simply call this the "Union of the 'Soul' with the 'Unseen' and consequent attainment of liberation".

There are several schools of Yoga and each one has its own approach. Yet, in the end, the practice of all these types has one goal, namely to influence the physiological mechanism of the body.

On the other hand, Meditation, as a means of translating Yoga into action, lays down the step-by-step process of the practice proper.

In the Bhagavad-Gita, Krsna (pronounced Krishna) enjoins the following rules for successful meditation: "In a clean spot, on a firm seat, neither very high, nor very low, covered with a cloth, deer-skin and sacred grass".

"Keeping the body, head and neck straight and steady, remaining firm and gazing steadily at the tip of the nose, without closing in all directions"

"Sitting thus, concentrating the mind and controlling the mind and senses, one should practice self-purification/total surrender: 'To Thee, I declare complete knowledge and experience'

Yoga and Meditation, being cousins, are, in my view, symbiotic, synergic and symbolic in all respects. While Yoga is union with God, Meditation is one of the many means to attain it. At best, they are mutually complementary. Everyone who earnestly endeavours to follow the rules and practices behind Yoga and Meditation is bound to find the way to Blessedness' and 'Supreme Liberation', even if one has previously been "the greatest of the sinners."

These days life is full of stress and strain. Most of us suffer from irritability, sleeplessness, and many tension-causing illnesses, especially high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and even cancer; some of the less fortunate have to battle with AIDS in recent times.

Most of these diseases are psychosomatic – caused by the mind. Emotional disturbances like hatred, anger and fear destroy not only our peace of mind but our health as well. They are often caused by the over – or –under secretion of the endocrine glands which secrete chemical hormones into the blood-stream, which affects body-functions like growth, digestion, energy levels, etc. they also have a pronounced effect on the mind.

Yoga and Meditation are, to a large extent, the keys to relieve all kinds of tensions. Regular practice, is however, important if we want to remove tension and revitalize the nervous system. The whole body may then be reinvigorated in the shortest possible time. Many ailments may be cured and even completely removed.

Notwithstanding all that is advocated above, when some problems or troubles baffle a person, or there is some loss or pain or some kind of misfortune, he (or she) turns his (or her) attention towards the 'Unseen' (God or Lord or Supernatural power, divine personality, or by whatever name one might call).

One comes across several instances of an ailing person seeking divine help and resorting to vows and austerities after his/her doctors have given up hope of his/her recovery.

It is in this context that I make a humble effort by combining the Vedic Mantras with the philosophy of Yogal Meditation, specific Mantras for specific needs in conjunction with the relaxed mind. I advocate reciting/chanting (preferably, in silence, within oneself) the specific Mantras three times, once in the morning and once in the evening or before retiring to bed, and towards the close of Yogic practice, thereby integrating the efficacy of Yoga/Meditation with the potency of the related Mantras, latent in it.

What is a Vedic Mantra? Let us analyse the word 'Vedic first. It is derived from the noun form of Vedanta, a Sanskrit compound consisting of Veda and anta, which means end of he Veda, Veda meaning wisdom (jnana). The word 'Veda' is from the Sanskrit root-verb Vid-to know – from which the English word wisdom is derived. The word 'anta' means end. Therefore, Vedanta means the end of wisdom. It explains what that 'end' is and how it can be attained (As Jesus said "Ye shall know the truth and truth shall make you free. So Vedanta teaches the knowledge of truth which brings the freedom).

The Vedas are book of knowledge, compendia of wisdom they are referred to as the Heard (Sruthi), because the truths they proclaim were not 'fabricated', but 'heard' (from the 'Unseen') by the sages (rsis) of yore. They are 'authorless words' and are not subject to the limitations that human thinking is heir to.

In Sanskrit, 'manas' means 'mind', and 'tra' means 'to free'. So a mantra is a combination of transcendental sounds that free our minds from the anxieties of living in the material world. The mantras are holy hymns, poetic expressions of revealed truth. They are in the form of symbols or seed-words or combination of a few meaningful words, carrying with them certain sounds and vibrations – specific ones for specific needs. A single mantra may carry a volume of explanatory meaning. Each word of it may take us days and months to 'understand'. All the same, the sages and seers who possessed that knowledge over years of study and penance went on record that "even one mantra is sufficient for an evolved soul and to realize the truth; and that a mantra chanted with unfettered faith in it, knowing its broad meaning is as good as knowing it fully."

I have deliberately given the go by to the imperative need of a teacher or preceptor or Guru. Neither have I attached importance to voluminous explanations and deep meanings. I am conscious and aware that the teaching of Mantras and imparting the knowledge thereof call for rigorous and vigorous discipline as they have to be practiced for years together under the vigilant eye of a preceptor of the highest order.

Guru (Teacher) is said to be a must and it is the first and foremost necessity to have one. Krsna himself described the right type of teacher thus: "By reverence, by indepth questioning and by service, (locate the one) who (can) behold the truth, who is a man of knowledge (himself) and who (can) teach thee knowledge. But where are such teachers these days? (Even those who 'claim' to be true teachers are invariably ignorant degraded individuals whose sole aim, in most cases, is to earn their living). Who can afford that much time, with material needs increasing day in and day out" in this Jet-set age, I do not think we can afford the luxury of studying and practicing Vedic Mantras as a means to our living. Even if we did, how many would enlist themselves to become our disciples, just to safeguard and promote a particular tradition of hearing them and thereby learning them by heart to pass them on to the seekers of the coming generations?

Here, is take the help of the Yogic philosophy of Bhagavad-Gita, the one and the only practical philosophy based on one's innate action, without sacrificing one's own duty, to reap the consequences unasked for. The Gita has come from one Supreme person to people like you and me. There is no precondition that a teacher alone should teach the taught here. It is also stressed, again and again, during the discourse between Krsna and Arjuna – the two main characters – that the secret of success in following the teachings in the Gita have one and one prerequisite – faith, unflinched faith – 'Go ahead with full faith in the Unseen, and you shall be rewarded' this is the crux of the matter. If you know the meaning of each verse or stanza, it is well and good; even otherwise, if you are not a Doubting Thomas, you will come out clear and clean from your surrender.

Acarya (Acharya) Sankara, during the course of his teachings, advised even the scholars "…not to waste time on grammar but turn your mind towards the Lord in worship and adoration…

It is for this specific reason, most of the rituals, in Hindu and Christian religions, begin and end with an invocation to the Supreme. Thus it goes : "Forgive me O Lord! I am a sinner. I have committed sins. I am continuing to commit sins, knowingly or unknowingly. Forgive me. Forgive me also because I know not the correct method of prayer, I do not know humble surrender, taking upon Yourself to set me free from this ignorance…." And so on. Total surrender, humble in its approach, is the touchstone of the prayer.

For the present study, I have culled a few vital and potent Vedic mantra-slokas out of the 700 slokas of the 18 chapters of the Gita. These are believed to have a curative effect on many diseases and ailments. In my humble view, the transliteration and the enunciation of their meaning by me should enable laymen and scholars alike to cure themselves.

Very often, the philosophy of Yoga and Meditation is mistaken as spiritual practice or advocating religious belief, more so when combined with Gita and the Vedic mantras embodied in it. Enlightenment is advocated in various forms. Confusing religion with such of these psycho-therapies is but natural, particularly when the author/writer belongs to a particular religion, creed and caste, irrespective of his/her own beliefs. For a while let us accept this logic. Even them, 'link' with a particular religion or God makes no sense when we realize that "Just as all the waters that drop from the sky ultimately join the mighty ocean, so also the obeisance to various Gods (or Unseen Forces), by whatever name one may address Him, reaches only one – the Ultimate Reality – the Creator. The Rig-Veda summarises it thus: "Truth is one, the wise call it by many names.

Let our endeavour be, therefore, to attain pure consciousness unconnected with and unrelated to names and forms, and bridge the gap between good and evil, pain and pleasure, birth and death – both here and hereafter. Let us awake into that state of cosmic consciousness from our petty and individualistic micro-consciousness.

In this book, I have laid emphasis on faith and faith alone. To drive home the point, let me tell you a story, drawn from the experience of the enlightened souls. The story goes thus: Once upon a time, there was a hermit, a sage of great scholarship and years of penance, on the banks of a river, who had detached himself from the worldly pleasures. A milk-maid supplied his daily ration of milk from a neighbouring village, wading through knee-deep water of the stream, as a daily routine, out of devotion to the save. On a particular day, she did not turn up. The sage was furious when she appeared the next day with the explanation that the river waters had swelled so high due to torrential rains that half of her village was nearly submerged and she could not set her foot on the other shore. The scholarly and bearded old man rebuked her, extolling the virtues of the Almighty. He told her curtly that if only she had faith in the Almighty and crossed the river, rain or gale, she would have just walked her way as on any other day. The lowly maid took it seriously. After a few days, the rain and gale were so heavy that even the hermit's cottage was almost washed away. He stood on a high-level land, shivering. Lo and behold! The milk-maid appeared before him with the milk. Taken aback, he asked her how she could manage to cross the surging waters. She merely replied that, unlike on the earlier occasion, she merely replied that, unlike on the earlier occasion, she had kept her mind transfixed in God and walked through the flooded stream as advised by him! It was then that the dumb-founded and humbled sage realized the difference between knowledge and faith. Faith triumphs ultimately. This is the first lesion in spiritualism.

In the prophetic words of Jesus Christ, "…Verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain: 'Remove hence to yonder place'; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you…"

Contents


Introduction1
1Mahabharata15
2Gita17
3Bhagavad-Gita and the Holy Bible24
4Yoga28
5Meditation30
6Mantra35
7Gita, Meditation and Mantras37
8Guide to Pronunciation40
9Curative Powers44
10The Slokas

Step A The Invocation Mantra52

Step B Offering53

Step C Your Specific Mantra54

Step D Benediction114

Glossary115


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