Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Slokas 24 and 25 explain how we have to involve our mind in yoga. For performing yoga, we have to select a place and seat and relax the mind. By relinquishing mamakaram or possessiveness, the yoga flourishes. We are today[30th January 2008] at the sannidhi of Sri Ambujavalli sametha Sri Manikkunra Perumal. The vimanam is Manikkoodam. We do not require a very huge box or vehicle to carry a multi million dollar worth jewel. We can carry it easily in our pocket. God is like that , though He is very valuable, yet He is available for everybody, poor or rich. Such a simple God is available here as Sri Manikkunram Perumal. In the last lecture we interpreted the meaning of mani to indicate lamp and how it dispels darkness. Today we will see it to mean jewel. Like the jewel being invaluable and at the same time could be carried easily, the Lord is so great and yet He is reachable by everyone. In Panguni Uthram we can worship the Lord in theerthavari and as a bonus, we can also visit Srirangam, some 60 kms away and worship Lord Sri Ranganatha and Sri Thayar in serthi or together. Yogam is involvement of mind and by visiting temples we can divert our mind from ordinary things. Today we hear many telling that by doing yoga, mental stress is reduced, health improves, good sleep is obtained, etc. Why this is so? Because, yoga or Dyana or meditation, is thinking of atman, which is natural. All other thoughts are on unnatural aspects. These unnatural things are many in number and we require lots of efforts and time to think each of them. We regard life as a competition and so there is a race to acquire as many material as possible. This causes tension and depression. Contrast to this, thinking about atman is natural, it is singular and it is an embodiment of happiness. This has to be achieved slowly and this is explained in sloka 25:

sanaih sanair uparamed
buddhya dhrti-grhitaya
atma-samstham manah kritva
na kincid api cintayet

"Gradually, step by step, one should become situated in trance by means of intelligence sustained by full conviction, and thus the mind should be fixed on the self alone and should think of nothing else."

Na cintayet = not to think of, kincid api = even a small amount. We have to abandon all our thoughts on anything other than atman, not even a small amount. if this could be demonstrated it would be better, but that is not possible. So, let us see how this could be done starting from the previous slokas. Before coming to this sloka, we have to first choose a calm and quite place in our house, mostly it would be our pooja room. We have to schedule a definite time for it and not perform yoga as and when we get time. We have to give importance to this and allot a fixed time. Others also will know that a particular time is for yoga and they may not disturb. We can close the doors of the room, after ensuring proper ventilation. Avoid strong scents in the room and a subtle music might be permissible. Though Sri Krishna has advised to look at the tip of the nose and concentrate, it might be difficult for beginners and so we can have a picture of the Lord for concentrating. Sitting should be comfortable, though padmasan is preferred. As we enter this place for yoga, we should slowly discard all the thoughts on worldly matters. We should release our mind from all things which we think are ours. This is only for the short time we are in yoga and after that through out the rest of the day we are on our usual course only. We have to keep our mind detached from all others. Some people do savasana, when after great race or so the person will simply lie flat and slowly he will relax every part of the body starting from toe to head. When all these parts are released from our control, a sort of lightness and relaxation is felt. In a similar way also yoga could be practiced. Sanaih sanai= slowly and slowly, uparamed = retire from [thinking of all other materials and worldly affairs]. Budhya = intellect, dhrti grihitaya = established by courage. We have to muster courage to relinquish our possession or desire for all these worldly matters. We have to critically examine the numerous problems they created for us, etc. If this courage can grow, then we will realize the unimportance of all the worldly matters and we will conclude that we could live without them. Such a comprehension will slowly divert the mind to atman and its supremacy. Mana = mind, atma samstham = rooted in atman, kritva = done. We abandoned our thoughts on all other matters as we entered the yoga. We examined the disadvantages of those matters. Slowly we released our mind from them. We diverted the mind on atman and set it firmly rooted in atman.This is only for the period we practice yoga. We have to remember that thinking or concentrating our mind on atman is only till Chapter6. From Chapter 7 onwards He is going to tell that all our thoughts should be on God only. Atman chintanam is only the initial step. It may be difficult to think of atman as it is abstract. Whereas God means we can think of His stories like Ramayana, Bhagavatha, and by thinking of His acts, we can try to forget the worldly matters. This is not possible in meditating on atman. We can however, think atman as a body of the Lord and meditate.

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