Subtle Matters – Sustaining the Light

Mohan decided to give himself more time to recover from his failures in his attempts towards devotion. His attempts towards controlling his mind were going in vain repeatedly. Meanwhile, he continued to do well in his studies and compliments and praises continued to come his way from his teachers and relatives. His parents continued to be proud of their kids, whom they thought to be a marvellous kid.

After pondering for few days, Mohan came to the conclusion that perhaps his mind was still not ready to be dedicated in the devotion of the mother and Shiva. He must dedicate his devotion to some others deity, meditating on whom would not lead his mind to ever think about gender or any sexual ideas. After some thinking, he decided Lord Hanuman, the monkey God, to be the one whom he should worship. Lord Hanuman represents the energy of devotion and service towards thes Master through all physical, mental and emotional prowess.

Having failed in the devotion of the mother and Shiva twice, Mohan did not want to take any chances this time. He decided to first read extensively about Lord Hanuman so that he is aware of His stature and his achievements. He wanted to be aware of what Lord Hanuman stands for. This will help him be dedicated in the devotion. With this thinking, he started reading religious scriptures dedicated to Lord Hanuman and Lord Rama (the master of Lord Hanuman).
He read how the Lord helped His devotees in their hardships, as per the mythology. When Sugreeva, the monkey king, was hiding in the hills from his older brother, Bali, Hanuman helped him befriend Rama. Rama killed Bali to save Sugreeva and have the kingdom to Sugreeva. In return, Sugreeva was to help Rama in search for Sita, Rama’s wife. However, Sugreeva, after finding his long lost kingdom, forgot about his service to Rama. Then Hanuman again reminded him of his services and thus saved him from Rama’s ire. This was Mohan found that Lord Hanuman ensures bringing back his devotees to the rightful path.

Mohan then read about the story that Lord Hanuman, in search for Sita, jumped across the ocean to Lanka and executed intelligence to find the whereabouts of Sita inside the kingdom of Ravana. The whole episode tought Mohan about the Lord’s message about the service attitude towards ones Master and a single minded focus to the task at hand.

Mohan also read about the Lord’s significant contribution in the battle between Rama and Ravana, and how he demolished the opponents by the sheer force of his power. All this reading made him understand how complete the being Lord Hanuman is.
Filled with the feeling of devotion towards the Lord, Mohan started offering prayers to the monkey God regularly. He was still reverent towards the mother Goddess and Shiva, but, by now, he had understood that the path for him was to worship and meditate on Lord Hanuman. Unlike his attempts to meditate on the mother’s statue, this time Mohan was able to easily meditate on the statue of Lord Hanuman. He was gradually developing various emotions towards the deity: that of Guru (the teacher), that of a friend, that of Guardian, that of companion and do on. As the time past, Moham realized that he was progressing on his devotion towards the Lord spontaneously and naturally.

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Subtle Matters – Resistance in the path of light

For next few weeks, Mohan decided to not attempt to meditate on the statue of the Goddess, add he tried that day. He just continued offering regular prayers by chanting hymns and litanies.During this time, he felt that had he known more about the powers and stature of the mother Goddess, his mind has never entertained such thoughts about the mother. With this idea, he started reading a page of Hindu scriptures like Shiva Purana and Durga Chalisa in his daily prayers.
When the parents took note of this, they went further ga-ga about Mohan. For the time being, Mohan decided to just focus on his prayers and scripture reading rather than focusing on what all praises he is getting from his parents, because deep down he was still disturbed by this utter indiscipline of his mind. How could his mind entertain such sacrilegious thoughts?
It has been about an year since Mohan started reading scriptures in his daily prayers. By now he had read extensively about the mother Goddess and her status as the creative power behind the entire creation. He had also learnt about the role of Shiva, as the primordial masculine energy, who in conjunction with the Goddess creates, sustains and destroys the universe. After reading about all this, he started feeling that his devotion was increasing, not only towards the Goddess, but also towards Shiva. He was reasonably sure that with all this knowledge in his consciousness about the stature of Shiva and the mother, now his mind will not entertain such unwanted thoughts about the Goddess. He decided to give a fresh attempt to the meditation on the mother’s statue.
He sat in the prayer room cross-legged, fixing his gaze lovingly at the statue of the mother. He glanced at the entire statue with focus and consciousness and felt a unique kind of connection with the image of the statue. He continued starting at it for a while and instinctively started thinking about some of the great endeavors achieved by this form of the Goddess. He thought about the mother’s battle with the demon Mahishasura, whom she destroyed in a fierce battle. He then started visualizing the fierce form of the mother Kali, to control whom, Shiva himself had to lie down. His current of thoughts then shifted towards the creation of the universe by Shiva and the mother. Next she started visualising the union between the divine couple. Forcibly, he pulled his mind out of this and again reprimanded himself with instinctive slaps (a series of 4-5 this time). He felt sad and helpless. He wanted to dedicate himself in the devotion but helplessly, his mind was creating resistance by conjuring such sacrilegeous thoughts. He was utterly confused and was clueless what he could do next.

Subtle Matters – … But inseparable “Light” and “Dark”

It was 10 AM on a Friday and Deepika was hurriedly getting ready to leave for Mohan’s school to attend the parents-teacher meet. Missing her designated timeslot was a lesser reason for her worry than the chance of offending her husband, Nihar, who was waiting for her to get ready. Mohan, her eight years old kid, was already in the school. In another 10 minutes, she declared to Nihar that she was all set to leave.

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Regain Eyesight through Gazing (Tratak) meditation

Tratak is a highly effective meditation practice for regaining eyesight. It has been observed that a regular practice of Tratak can help the practitioner to get rid of eyeglasses in three to twelve months, depending on the power of the glasses.

 

How to Practice

The term ‘Tratak’ means gazing. Tratak practice, in simple terms, means gazing at a fixed point for long duration without blinking the eyes. The object of gazing can be candle light, rising Sun, evening moon, or any other point where a person can fix his gaze comfortably. Ideally, the object of gazing should be at the height of eye level for the practitioner. For the same reason, Tratak is practiced either at the rising Sun or evening moon as at both these times the practitioner can gaze at it without having to look upwards. Moreover, gazing for long at the Sun after sunrise would not be comfortable for the practitioner.

Tratak practice should be done by sitting cross-legged at the floor on a mat. Sitting cross-legged or in any other yoga posture allows energy flow through the body of the practitioner. Once seated, the practitioner should keep his spine straight and head over his/ her shoulders and follow the below steps:

  • Close the eyes and take a few deep breaths
  • Relax your entire body; let go of tension in all the muscles of the body; let your body loose
  • Now start breathing normally and mentally chant “So” while inhaling and “Aham” while exhaling (chant mentally)
  • Gradually, open your eyes and fix your gaze on a single point on the candle flame/ or on the rising Sun/ evening moon (for the beginners, practicing on the candle light is recommended)
  • For practicing Tratak on candle light, the practitioner should sit at a distance of 2.5 – 3 feet from the candle.
  • Keep your body still, your gaze still (fixated on the point) and your mind still (do not think about anything)
  • Bring your focus on your breathing, inhale with a mental chant “So”, exhale with a mental chant “Aham”. Focusing on breathing will help you avoid thinking about anything else.
  • Continue this for as long as you can or as long as you start shedding water from the eyes
  • Once you decide to come out of Tratak, close your eyes and see the flame mentally with eyes closed. Sit like this for a few minutes before opening your eyes.

Practice daily and gradually try to increase the duration of your practice over the weeks.

Tratak

 

Finer details of Tratak practice

In the beginning you may not be able to avoid blinking your eyes. Don’t worry, keep trying again and again while continuously keeping your body still and mind still. After a certain amount of practice, you will naturally start to see the duration between blinks increasing. Persistence is the key here.

In case you are unable to avoid blinking your eyes frequently, that can be caused by the wrong posture. Try to adjust your posture and you may find yourself successful in avoiding blinking.

In case you unintentionally continued to hold any of your body muscle tight, it can also cause you to blink frequently. Release the tension in that body part and you may feel better in control of your blinking.

Best Practices

It is advisable to keep the candle flame at eye level height, else the practitioner may experience neck pain. The candle should be at a distance of 2.5 to 3 feet from your eyes.

After practicing Tratak, the practitioner should wash his/ her eyes with fresh water.

Benefits

After practicing for 2-3 months regularly, the person may start feeling some kind of uneasiness in the eyes in using the current eyeglasses. Invariably, you would start feeling better if you remove your eyeglasses. At this time, one should get his eyesight tested. It is quite likely that the power of your eyeglasses might have reduced.

Get the glasses changed and continue with your daily practice, till you start feeling that pain again.

Most Effective Meditation for Crown Chakra

Crown Chakra and its Function

Crown Chakra is located at the top of the head. Adequate energy flow at this Chakra strengthens the person’s connection to the spiritual realm. The person develops psychic abilities and gains several higher experiences. Please note that the meditation on Crown Chakra should only be done after the person has practiced meditation on lower chakras for significant time period.

The chakra is signified by the violet lotus with thousand petals at the top of the head. The chant for meditating on this Chakra is “Ang” (“an” while inhaling and “g” while exhaling). The mudra (finger posture) for meditating on the Crown Chakra is as shown below.

Meditation on the Crown Chakra

Meditation at this Chakra is done after meditation at the Root Chakra, Sacral Chakra, Solar Plexus Chakra, Heart Chakra, Throat Chakra and Crown Chakra (in that order).

To meditate on the Crown Chakra, first the person needs to be seated on a mat on the floor, cross-legged (or on a chair normally), spine straight, head over shoulders. Be relaxed, gently close eyes, bring your focus on your breath and try to let go tension in the muscles of various body parts.

Once you feel that you are in a relaxed state and have settled your focus on your breath, witness your breath rate gradually slowing down – don’t force it, just let it happen. In this state, now gradually shift your attention to the Crown Chakra. Visualize the violet colored thousand-petal lotus and mentally chant “An” while inhaling, and chant “g” while exhaling. With each inhalation, visualize the lotus booming and with each exhalation, visualize it shrinking a bit.

If you are shifting your meditation from the Third Eye Chakra to the Crown Chakra, just gently shift the position of your mudra from the earlier one to the mudra for this Chakra and shift the mental chant from aum to ang.

Subtle Changes you can experience as a result of this meditation

After few months of regular practice, you will start feeling some tingling sensation at the Crown Chakra (top of your head). This nagging sensation may at times make you pleasantly uncomfortable. You might experience your increasing ability to see oneness in various things around the world. These all are indications that your practice is going in the right direction.