Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rebirth Continued

As mentioned earlier, after death of the physical body, the astral and causal bodies reside in a plane of the astral realm commensurate with one’s karmas. Those who have been really evil on earth get to reside in the very low realms where their experience is horrible and they are aware of the reason why they are there. If they do not realize or become aware of their mistakes or sins committed they continue to suffer in that realm for ages or centuries. Some of these souls, however, may have a desire to improve. If the desire to improve spiritually is genuine they may get a chance of another birth on earth but they will be born as animals, like beasts of burden with their memories of the lower realm intact ( it is believed)to enable them to bear the hardships of the rebirth. It is also believed that spiritual evolution is much faster when born on earth. This cycle may go on.
It is very unlikely that anyone from a very low astral realm will be born as a human since one has to be in a certain realm (something like a middle level or higher one) to get a chance of being reborn as human.
Those in the middle or higher realms, who genuinely want to evolve spiritually, based on their free will and karmas, wish to take a rebirth as a human being, need to first choose their mother. It is said that at the time of the union of the sperm and ovum, a flash of light appears which attracts a soul based on karmic characteristics of the parents. If the karmas of the soul trying to incarnate and the parents is harmonious, the soul takes birth as the baby of the parents so selected. The soul chooses the parents based on the type of experience it wishes to have and needs to evolve spiritually. This, therefore, means that we actually choose our time and place of birth. It is important to remember that the bottom line is spiritual progression in every birth. One wonders, then, why is it that a baby is born with certain birth defects and dies soon after birth. It is believed that the baby does so for certain reasons.It often does so to instill a sense of love, affection, and compassion in the parents. One has seen so very often that often when this happens the parents, having become so attached to the baby who has left them, start helping other children, open organizations for them, donate for orphanages etc. This way the little child has helped in the spiritual progress of the parents!
It is believed that small children upto the age of two to three years remember their previous births. It is also said that while in the mother’s womb, the soul can still decide whether to carry on with its birth or not (their subconscious mind is quite active). If for some reason, the soul in the womb decides that perhaps the mother is not quite right, it may decide to go back to the astral world, and the baby may then be still born!
Sometimes, the soul purposely decides to be born to a mother who is not a good person or of loose character, but still decides to be born to her, the reason is that the soul wants to bring about an improvement in the mother, to take her up spiritually.
It is, therefore, quite clear that one is not born randomly but there is always a specific purpose for one being born in a particular family. Most of the time, the reborn progresses spiritually, gaining from parents and other souls being born at the same time around( I had earlier mentioned that very often people are born in clusters, ie those one has known in earlier births are born again around the same time and come in contact, without one’s knowledge). All this is based on karmas of the concerned souls.

I would also like to point out that sometimes, the reborn, does not actually follow the chosen path, due to bad company, negative influences and negative people who somehow manage to get the worst out of them. This happens when they allow themselves to be ruled by their conscious minds and do not follow the guidance of their subconscious minds.(The subconscious is both a guard as well as a guide to us) When they die, they go back to much lower realms this time and their possibility of being reborn as humans becomes remote!
At this point I need to digress a little. All of us have chakras or energy centres in our heads and spines, which are actually energy transformers. They are acted upon by the electromagnetic energy of the various stars, and based on our karmic characteristics, our life unfolds. This means that it is not the stars which decide how our lives are going to be but actually our karmas. The stars alone do not have the power to do anything! Our karmas, therefore, decide everything.
Births can be compared to a step ladder of progress, the human birth is the topmost step, the next step can take us towards divine union. This will, however, happen only if we have evolved spiritually to a level which merits this union. Human birth, is, therefore essential for this to happen. All other births cannot take us to ‘Yoga” or union. Those who get repeated chances of being born as humans are being given multiple opportunities by God Almighty to go back to their Creator by the proper methods of spiritual progress based on the teachings of their God Realized Guru!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Rebirth Revisited

This is a response to Mr Anirudh Kumar Rastogi's comment which is sincerely appreciated. It is interesting to note that it is the gravitational force which leads to rebirth(Mr Rastogi). We are all aware of the three forces, namely, electromagnetic force, nuclear force, weak and strong and the gravitational which are present all over and responsible for everything that happens in this Universe, including the human body. It is believed that the electromagnetic force is the strongest. It is true that our body also comprises of energy since matter and energy are both interchangeable and interconvertible based on Einstein’s famous equation.

Yogis have always known that the human body consists of three parts, a Sthula Sharir, comprising of the physical body made of matter , a Sukshma Sharir, also known as the Astral Body, comprising of Energy or Pranshakti as well as the mind or manas. The third part is the Karan Sharir, also called the Ideational or Causal body which consists of the Intelligence or Buddhi and the Soul or spirit.The Individual Superconsciousness is the same as the human soul or spirit and is the gateway to the Universal Superconsciousness or God. The soul represents the Divine in us since we have been created in the image of God. Our entire body, therefore, comprises of energy.

We have all come into this world for three reasons. One is to evolve spiritually, secondly to serve others selflessly and thirdly, which, I think is the most important, to use our innate talent or ability for the good of others. Each of us is actually unique and have a trait or a gift which has been called an ‘archtype”by Carl Jung. This could be the ability to heal, (doctor, nurse), a unique talent of writing, singing, making people happy etc. Since all of us have been bestowed with this gift, we need to rediscover it. Once we do that, we should use it for the good of mankind, whereby, we wash off our karmas and improve spiritually.

At the time of physical death, the physical body comprising of matter gets destroyed and becomes part of the elements. The two other parts ie the astral (sukshma sharir) and karan sharir comprising of the soul(spirit), intelligence and pranashakti remain and go the Astral realm.This realm has many levels. One goes to the lower or higher realm depending on one’s karmas on earth.(We understand that karma is the law of cause and effect).The lower realms are inhabited by those who have done a lot of evil on earth. Here the soul sleeps for most of the time and will be born again. Those who have been good on earth in their physical bodies go to higher realms which are very beautiful. Both kinds of souls remain here till their earthly desires remain. They take rebirth in order to fulfill those desires and at the same time to gain experience and to further evolve spiritually. They choose the time, place, and family of their birth depending on where the soul feels it can evolve and gain experience.
Those souls who reside in the lower realms may also get a chance to take rebirth in order to evolve spiritually and to improve themselves. It is believed that spiritual evolution is fastest in the human form and slow but steady in the astral realms. If the soul, therefore, wishes to evolve faster it will need to take another human birth.
Those highly evolved souls who reside in the higher astral realms stay there for a long time till all their earthly karmas as well as karmas of the astral realms, which are enjoyments based on vibration, have been fulfilled. Once that happens they go higher to the causal realms. They stay there till all their causal desires are fulfilled, which are based on perception. Once this has happened the soul merges with the Creator….the drop becomes the ocean.(Kindly refer to the book “Autobiography of a Yogi” beautifully written by Sri Yoganand Paramhans for a detailed description)

So, to cut a long story short, a soul reincarnates, ie a soul takes a body form, complete with all the experiences gained by the senses and intelligence earlier. Therefore, the subconscious mind is completely aware of all the past births, and the experiences gained. This memory, however, is inaccessible to most people since there is a barrier between all the levels of our minds(the conscious, subconscious, individual superconscious and universal superconscious minds)but can be accessed either by meditation or by Hypnotic Regression, whereby past lives can actually be seen or experienced.

I feel it is God’s gift to us that He has made us forget about our past lives. I think, till such time one is spiritually mature, memories can be a cause of tremendous stress and everyone may not be able to handle it. When one progresses spiritually, one gradually develops enough wisdom to understand all these things and not get affected by them. I also feel very strongly that if one is on the spiritual path(which Deepak Chopra calls the “pathless path)one realizes that knowing and discussing about one’s own previous births becomes superfluous, since it is part and parcel of one’s spiritual evolution and ceases to have any meaning as one’s spiritual aim is to reach Him. One also realizes that in any case death is “just a beginning” and one will meet all near and dear ones on shedding the physical body on reaching the higher astral realms.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Aum is one of the commonest religious words uttered by almost every Hindu as it is considered very auspicious and sacred but it is doubtful whether one really understands what it denotes. Have we ever wondered as to what it signifies?
In order to comprehend the deep and the divine meaning of Aum it is important to first understand the process of creation of this Universe since it so intimately connected with it. Sri Yoganand Paramhans has described it so beautifully. It is said that when God wanted to bring about creation He issued a principle in the form of a vibration which resulted in light and sound which, in turn, led to creation. This vibration has been referred to by many names… “Aum ”,” Shabd’”Naam” by the Hindus,”the “Word”,”Holy Ghost’,( Christians)”Hum”, ( Tibetans)”Amin” (Moslems) and “Amen”(Egyptians,Greeks,Romans,Jews and Christians).God’s consciousness is an integral part of this vibration. We can, therefore, safely infer that it has figured in almost all major religions of the world. To quote The Christian Bible “In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the Word was God”. It is also mentioned “God said, let there be light: and there was light….”(Genesis 1:3-4).The Lord vibrated His cosmic consciousness into subtle light. The light of intelligent life energy, the Word, is the first manifestation of cosmic consciousness in creation(Yoganand Paramhans).
Aum (Om), is therefore, spoken as the symbol of Ishvara or God, or “Sat”(God the Father or the Creator).According to Patanjali, it is the Cosmic Sound continuously flowing in the ether, which cannot be uttered by any human voice. It vibrates independently of the etheric medium, which translates into the fact that it is not produced by striking any surface. It is ,therefore, called the unstruck sound or “Anahata Nada’ and is a spiritual vibration, hence cannot be heard physically but felt spiritually by someone who has advanced towards yoga (union with god) with the help and blessing of a God Realized guru.
When God created the Universe, He first produced an Ideational or Causal world of very fine vibrations of His thoughts or ideas which are the cause of all forms and forces, followed by an Astral world of light and force cloaking the original ideational concepts followed by the material world of gross atomic vibrations of matter. These three universes are subject to the three phases of Nature, namely, creation, preservation and dissolution. Man, too has a similar structure, and subject to the same three phases of Nature.The first covering is of the soul, composed of God’s thoughts or ideas and is called the causal body (Karan Sharir). These causal ideas emit a magnetic force of light and intelligent energy and forms the Astral body (Sukshma Sharir) of man. The final covering (which we see)is the physical body.
The cosmic Aum sound is the combined vibration of the three phases of Nature as mentioned above. A stands for akara or creation, u for ukara or preservation and m for makara which is the vibrating power of dissolution. Aum, therefore, creates all things, preserves them in many forms and ultimately dissolves them. This is the reason why the vocal chanting of Aum is first intoned in a high pitch, representing creation, then in a lower pitch, representing preservation and finally in a still lower tone that gradually fades away representing dissolution. It is generally taught that Aum should first be chanted loudly, repeatedly, followed by its repetition in whispers and finally listening to it mentally. It is very important to understand that mere vocalizing the Aum sound serves very little pirpose since the real or superconscious chanting consists of actually hearing the Holy Sound or the Shabd as it vibrates in the ether. By deep concentration the spiritually advanced devotee can hear Aum at any time or any place. It has been pointed out in our Hindu scriptures that one who is identified with his body cannot possibly perceive the true Aum sound. This means that anyone who is not tuned to the self but attached only to sense pleasures can not hear this wonderful sound of the Universe.
It is “prana shakti” which helped us to take form and shape inside the womb and brought “life’ to us. It, however, becomes dormant at birth as it has finished its job till that point. This has also been called Kundalini shakti and dwells at the base of our spinal column or muladhar chakra from where it controls the entire physiological system through a network of 72,000 nerves. At the external level this prana shakti operates through the senses. The Creative force differentiates itself into subtle vibratory centres called ‘chakras” which sustain our bodies. They are located in the spine and head and interact with our mind, body and spirit.
Pranava, the creative Aum vibration emanates from the astral centres of the spine and the medulla(the various chakras).The sound is the mingling of the various sounds of these centres. The spiritual hearing (feeling)of ‘Aum’or “Anhad Shabd” is the only available route to God Realisation and can be learned through the blessings of a god realised guru. Once contact has been established with the Aum sound, various subtle sounds become audible, associated a deep sense of peace and happiness, depending on the progress of the devotee during meditation. One is normally attuned to one’s sense perceptions of sight, touch, hearing, smelling and tasting but during the process of meditation the devotee’s attention slowly starts getting concentrated inwards towards the self through the various chakras. Pranayam and Meditation help us to withdraw our mind from the senses and facilitate the flow of the life energy from the spinal centres to the brain, traversing the Muladhar , Svadisthan, Manipura, Anahata, Vishudhi, Agya and Sahasrara Chakras, thereby helping in connecting with our true spirit, the essence of the soul which is one of the reasons why one should meditate with a straight spine, for proper flow of prana shakti upwards to the brain.
Once the devotee starts hearing or feeling the Aum sound, a lot of wonderful changes start taking place in him and he finds himself to be a different person from what he had been before. His heart becomes serene, overflowing with joy, he loses all fear and is not subject to likes and dislikes. He suddenly realizes the presence of the Almighty in all beings which makes him compassionate, kind, forgiving, helping and develops a sense of empathy for all. His world truly becomes blissful. As the devotee continues to meditate and progresses up through the spinal centres helped by the Aum sound, along with visualization of the beautiful divine white light (prakash),his consciousness reaches the point between the eyebrows(which is the ajna chakra or Christ Consciouness or Tat )and through this it is lifted to the highest cerebral centre of Cosmic Consciousness (Sat).This is the same as the Aum, Tat, Sat of the Hindu Scriptures. This, therefore, means that in order to reach God, the Father, beyond creation, one needs to ascend to the Christ Consciousness first (the ajna chakra or the Son) after tuning in to the Aum sound. Aum, Tat, Sat is the same as the Biblical “God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost”. Without hearing the Shabd or the Aum sound it is not possible to experience God. One needs to be initiated (Naam Dan)by a guru who has traversed the path to God Realisation for Yoga to take place, taking one to that exalted state known as Turia Avastha, a state of complete bliss, with freedom from the wheel of life, never to take birth again in this world! It is the state in which the drop merges with the ocean.
Aum, is , therefore our passport to understanding ourselves and the gateway to Enlightenment or God Realisation………Aum,Tat,Sat.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Diseases,prevention and cure,the spiritual perspective

The world is facing an explosion of so called “life style diseases” like Heart attacks, Diabetes Mellitus, Obesity, Gastritis, Auto Immune Diseases, Psychosomatic problems and stress with its myriad manifestations…the list goes on and on.”Hurry,worry and curry’ seems to be the order of the day!Everyone seems to be running away from themselves.

Before I go any further to talk to you about this abstract topic, I wish to remind you that we human beings are aware only of the life we are born into and know nothing about what happens to us before we are born into this world and nothing of what happens to us after we are gone. The fact of the matter is that our life is a continuum…and both situations are very relevent and shape our destinies in the present world.
Death only means death of the physical body only but our soul lives on!

The Bhagwat Gita states:
• “There has never been a time when you and I have not existed, nor would there be a time when we will cease to exist. As the same person inhabits the body through childhood, youth and old age, so too, at the time of death he attains another body. The wise are not deluded by these changes”..Bhagwad Gita 2.12-13

There is a lot of truth in the saying that ‘we are not human beings having a spiritual experience but spiritual beings having a physical experience” de Chardin

We also need to understand what good health actually means?

This a very pertinent question….we normally assume that since we are not suffering from any ailment,we must be healthy but this is not true! As defined by the WHO” Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”
What is spirituality after all?

Spirituality has been defined differently by different people. It is often confused with Religion hence important to understand.

Swami Vivekananda mentioned that “every soul is potentially divine”.He propounded his now famous theory of ‘neo-vedanta”which means belief in oneself.In practical terms it means to see god in everything and as everything. Jesus Christ,too had said” Know Thyself”. Janaki Santoke defines spirituality as the desire for self realization, the desire to merge in the self. Dr Larry Dossey, however, feels that “it is the sense of connectedness with an absolute, immanent, or transcendental power, however named ”.It basically means that we need to connect with our “real self.”

To comprehend this better we need to understand the process of creation of this Universe. It is said that when God wanted to bring about creation He issued a principle in the form of a vibration which resulted in light and sound which, in turn, led to creation. This has been referred to by many names…,” Shabd Aum ”, ’Naam”,”Ameen” or the ‘Word”/Holy Ghost.
“God said, let there be light: and there was light….”(Genesis 1:3-4).The Lord vibrated His cosmic consciousness into subtle light. The light of intelligent life energy, the Word, is the first manifestation of cosmic consciousness in creation(Yoganand Paramhans)

As is clear spirituality figures in almost all major religions of the world.
The Lord surrounded man’s soul first with an idea body, then encased it with a very fine or subtle light(the astral body)and finally an illusionary fleshy form. The physical body is made of blood and flesh; the astral body is composed of life force and mind; and the causal or ideational body is woven together with wisdom and ever new bliss. The dense physical body is the result of solidified vibrations, the astral body of energy and mind vibrations,and the causal body of nearly pure vibrations of Cosmic Consciousness.

(When we are intent on tasting, smelling, touching, listening, or seeing, we are working principally through our physical body. Visualising or willing, we work mainly through our astral body. When thinking or diving deep in introspection or meditation, we are relating to our causal body, Yoganand Paramhans).He goes on further to say that when we dream we remain in our astral bodies while when our sleep is deep and dreamless, we transfer our consciousness to the causal body.
Thus this entire Universe was created from a vibration!
At the time of death our physical body dies but our astral and causal bodies remain.

In effect, our body consists of matter(physical body, which in turn is made up of a combination earth, water, fire, air and ether),energy, mind (manas), Intellect (Budhi) and the soul or spirit. For us to remain healthy a balance needs to occur between all five.

Balance is, therefore, the key! Balance of body, energy, mind, intellect and soul.
It is said that when the mind is not at rest it is diseased !According to Dr Rick Levy, every disease in the body begins with dis-ease in the mind and that there is a mental root for every physical problem.

According to Dr Rossi there are three levels of mind-body communication between mind and brain, between brain and body and between cell and gene. These have been called “messenger molecules” and comprise of neurotransmitters of the autonomic system, the hormones of the endocrine system, the cytokines of the immune system and the neuropeptides of the neuropeptide system.
Dr Levy further goes on to say that diseases occur because we fail to learn what life is trying to teach us, or by misunderstanding or suppressing our experience or by living a life which is inauthentic to our highest desires. These are the root causes of diseases.

We see this in everyday life….getting stuck in jobs we do not enjoy doing or getting stuck in jobs we are not suited for. All of us have an innate wish or desire to “do something” in life but often do not understand what it is since we do not have the time or the inclination to listen to our inner voice, which keeps whispering to us about our true self and what miracles we are capable of performing. We do not heed it since there is so much of clutter and noise in our minds! The net result is stress and disease.

To quote Dr Levy again ….if we suffer from a physical illness or injury only 40% of the solutions will come from medicine, surgery, physical therapy or diet change etc but the remaining 60% from our mind….this is a very profound statement about which we all need to take serious notice.

According to Dr Selvamurthy diseases occur because of five factors, namely lack of exercise(God has given us parts to our physical body meant for action),dichotomy between mind and body, for example, whatever we do we should do with full concentration…if we are eating we should refrain from reading, talking, watching the TV etc since the process of eating also comprises of the production of enzymes, salivary and gastric, which are produced by the sight and smell of the food and aid in proper digestion and assimilation. If we are otherwise engaged in multitasking the production of these enzymes may not take place and our digestion would suffer leading to disease. There are many such examples. Stress is yet another cause for disease along with pollution and infection. Our depressed immunity has got a lot to do with infection.

This is the picture of the human brain and as you can see it is so complicated!
It is so very difficult to control our minds. Sages have said that controlling the mind is like controlling a drunk monkey!

Let us peep into our mind and see what this mysterious structure consists of.We have a “Conscious” mind which is responsible for our everyday perceptions and is the place where most of us “reside”, so to speak. It communicates to us in our native tongue or the language we understand best. There is a “subconscious” mind which is twice the size of the conscious, stores memories, deep feelings, desires, and guides our body functions like heartbeat, circulation and immune functioning and communicates to us with symbols, images and metaphors. Will power does not work at this level since it is a tool of the conscious mind. The third component is the ‘superconscious” mind, which is infinite in size.Our thoughts can affect our electromagnetic energy. This is the “Individual” superconsciousness and is the gateway to “Universal Superconsciousness” which communicates to us through “Intuition” which has been given so many names,” instinct”, ”gut feeling ”,’hunch” etc. the superconsciousness is always guiding us, specially in times of crises. To give you an example, you are driving down an empty road but suddenly, without realizing it, you brake hard and stop, only to find someone in front of you whom you would have run over had you not stopped. It was your instinct which directed you to stop. There are so many examples we see everyday. Our consciousness is always looking for pleasure which it must have at all costs but it is the subconscious and superconscious minds which actually keep us sane.

Normally there is a porous “barrier” between these three levels of our minds which is not normally possible to transgress,(actually a blessing otherwise every memory, event, happening, song would be cropping up twenty four seven)!We can, however, transgress it when our mental faculties evolve further, a development made possible through Meditation, which enables us to delve into our subconscious or superconscious states. This is the basis for Transcendental Meditation as well as formal hypnosis by a trained psychotherapist. This is the basis for “Regression Therapy” whereby the psychotherapist/psychiatrist can tap the patient’s subconscious mind and take him/her back in time to unearth the psychological basis of his problem.

It is here that Spirituality steps in…since we cannot control our conscious thoughts hypnosis and need to develop the subconscious and the superconscious minds to stay well. Dr Jeff Levin, in his book” God, Faith and Health” mentions “The weight of published evidence overwhelmingly confirms that our spiritual life influences our health. This can no longer be ignored”

How did we actually come into being? We have done so through what is called “Pranashakti’ (life force) which has been given different names in different religions eg The Holy Spirit, Christ Consciousness, chi(Chinese)ki (Japanese),wakan etc.

It is “prana shakti” which helped us to take form and shape inside the womb and brought “life’ to us. It, however, becomes dormant at birth as it has finished its job till that point. This has also been called Kundalini shakti and dwells at the base of our sushumna or spinal column or muladhar chakra from where it controls the entire physiological system through a network of 72,000 nerves. At the external level this prana shakti operates through the senses.

Our physical body is sustained by a body of energy and contains a series of “energy centres’ located in the spine and head. These are actually five subtle vibratory forces into which the Creative force differentiates itself.

The Movement of energy is normally from the brain down to the spine, through the peripheral nervous system and then from the extremities back to the spine and brain through a series of nerve centres. In a healthy person the flow of energy is unimpeded and positive throughout but if it is sluggish, blocked, damped or negative in one or more energy centres then the health is likely to be poor
The first energy centre is located at the very bottom of the spine, is called the Coccygeal or muladhar chakra,represents the earth element and stores basic biological energy. Anyone who lacks sufficient energy here or holds negative energy here will feel weakened and drained and is prone to infectious diseases, such as colds or flu.

The second energy centre, the sacral or svadisthan chakra, representing the water element exists in the area of the genitals and fuels our procreative functions. Anyone who lacks sufficient energy here or chronically stores a lot of energy here is likely to suffer from impotence or infertility or disorders of the reproductive system like dysmenorrhea, endometriosis, prostate dysfunction or cancer, fibroid tumours or even cancer of the vagina, cervix or uterus.

The third energy centre, known as the Lumbar by virtue of its location, called the Manipur chakra represents the fire element and encompasses the digestive system, pancreas and liver. We store emotion here and hold our sense of personal power. People having problems in this energy centre often manifest with eating disorders, intestinal disorders or diseases of the pancreas or liver.
The fourth energy centre, the dorsal or anahata chakra which
represents the air element surrounds the heart and is the one where we store energies and emotions relating to love, family relationships and long term friendships. The heart is also a centre for human virtue(honesty, loyalty, trustworthiness, courage etc.)Any problem in this energy centre manifests as heart disease or lung problems.

The fifth energy centre, cervical or vishudha chakra is in the throat and represents ether(space).This centre is where we hold energies, thoughts and feelings associated with deep levels of personal expression. Good communicators usually have very strong energy in the throat centre. Those with negative energy in this centre tend to suffer from disorders like chronic laryngitis.

The sixth energy centre is in the head and this is where we store our understanding of meaning and purpose of life. This has two poles, the point between the eyebrows also known as the “Third Eye’ or Agya chakra and the medullar centre or Sahasrar chakra. This lies adjacent to the medulla oblongata or brainstem. This is a portal through which energy from the superconscious mind flows into the body. It is very sensitive and can be blocked easily by stress, physical trauma and negative emotional energies. Energy from this centre flows in two directions, down to the spine to help power the body and through the brain to the forehead or third eye. It energetically fuels the body and our higher awareness. This is why the intuitive insight is sharp at the point between the eyebrows. People who chronically hold negative energy in this centre are prone to migraines, stroke, cancer or disorders of the central nervous system and may suffer from chronic sinus, ear and eye problems.

The seventh energy centre is at the very top of the head and is involved with overall spiritual evolution, intuitive awareness and connection with a higher being of a person.

John speaks of the “mystery of the seven stars” and the “seven churches”(Revelation I:20),which refers to the seven astral centres of light in the spine. This is evidence that Jesus Christ taught his disciples the technique of uniting soul with spirit. He said ‘The light of of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single your whole body shall be full of light”. Here Jesus is referring to the “Third Eye”situated between our eyebrows.

Speaking about the chakras ,Prof Goswami(a renowned physicist)mentions in his book “God is not Dead”
“This subject then becomes evidence for the existence of God, because without the God hypothesis and down ward causation, we cannot incorporate the morphogenetic fields in science without implicit dualism”…

Why do we behave the way we do? We do so because of our habits (samskars) ,either of a previous birth or developed in this one based on our ‘gunas’.(these gunas are the three interwined strands of the binding cord of nature. Through this medium Prakriti (Nature)holds in bondage all embodied beings)Swami Yoganand Paramhans

The three gunas of Prakriti are Sattva which is concerned with purity, virtue, goodness, wisdom and happiness. The consciousness is centered in the ‘Spiritual eye”. Rajas is concerned with passion, wordly activites, struggle for more wealth, possessions, power. In this instance the consciousness is centered at the Anahata or Heart Chakra. The third guna, Tamas, leads to inertia, pride, arrogance, indolence and evil and the consciousness is centered at the lower chakras like the coccygeal, sacral and the lumbar chakras.

The energies are drawn outward influenced by the senses….Rajasic leades to emotional likes and dislikes, attachments and aversion due to the heart centre while the Tamasic stimulates sexual activities, base instincts and evil propensities..sadism illicit sex relations, dishonesty. These bad habits are the cause of misery which further lead to stress and disease.

God has created us in His image in the form of spirit which is actually our soul
In effect our so-called “body” consists essentially of a soul or spirit, a physical body and a mind. A balance is essential between the three for our wellness and wholeness.

The soul or atma being part of God has godly qualities of universal love, compassion etc and teaches us to be good and constantly tries to take us back to Him but our conscious mind is always looking for sense pleasures and a tug—o-war ensues…the soul whispering to us about goodness and the mind shouting for pleasure..the net result is stress and disease.

What is stress after all?
It occurs when there is an “unacceptable disparity between expectations and your actual experiences”
“Stress causes 50% of what kills us and 50% of what chronically disables us”(Dr Levy)

Effects of Stress on us.

When we face any stress(we experience a lot of it at the present time) ,our brain responds by secreting a hormone called ‘corticotropin release hormone’ from the hypothalamus. This causes the pituitary gland in the brain to release Adrenocorticotropic hormone. Our suprarenal gland gets affected by this and produces corticosteroids from its cortex and adrenaline/noradrenaline from the medulla. At the same time blood flow to the large muscles is increased. The body needs this power as it ‘thinks” that it has to run away from or fight something. This is known as the “fight or flight” response. As a result blood flows more to the heart and large muscles and less to the digestive system and other vital organs. The immediate effects of this are a dry mouth, sweating, palpitations, increase in blood pressure, mental anxiety, enlarged pupils and sleeplessness. On the one hand these two affect the thyroid and parathyroid and on the other kidneys, liver, stomach, pancreas, bone marrow. The pituitary also produces endorphins which reduce pain. All of these result in an increase in heart beat, increased flow of blood and blood pressure, rapid respiration, more production of glucose from glycogen as a result of which more energy is available, non essential actions like appetite, sleep, sex activity etc get reduced.
The net result of
all this chronic stress is the development of Hypertension, heart disease, diabetes mellitus, obesity, peptic ulcer, poor digestion, autoimmune problems, glandular disease, poor healing, decrease in sexual drive, headaches, palpitations, loss of appetite, constipation etc. which in turn cause other complications.
Stress, can, therefore, affect almost every system of our body.
We are all so very familiar with the causes of stress which we face, namely heavy responsibilities, difficult relationships, mishaps, traffic jams, loud noise, long queues, unfulfilled expectations, advanced age, chronic illness, chronic or acute pain, lack of sleep, too little exercise, phobias etc.

Negative emotions like anger, jealousy, hatred, envy, worry, anxiety, depression, are harbingers of disease and have a lot to do with stress:”Negative emotions, persisting over a long period of time, can impair the immune system, thus lowering the body’s defenses against disease”-Norman Cousins, a former teacher at UCLA. ”Peace of mind sends the body a “live’ message, while depression, fear and unresolved conflict give it a “die” message (Bernard Seigel MD).He goes on to add that “the immune system simply can’t stand chronic gloom”.
”Peace of mind sends the body a “live’ message, while depression, fear and unresolved conflict give it a “die” message (Bernard Seigel MD).He goes on to add that “the immune system simply can’t stand chronic gloom”.

Anger and Hostility is “Significantly associated not only with increased CHD events in initially healthy populations but also poor prognosis in the patients with existing CHD”….Chida et al, JACC March 17,2009,volume 53,No 11 Pg 943

Depression ‘coronary Heart Disease is quite common in patients with major depression” and “Depressed individuals are more than 1.6 times as likely to develop CHD compared with individuals without depression” Ziegelstein et al, JACC September 1 2009 Vol 54,no 10 Pg 886

Gautam Budha has said “We are what we think, all that we are arises with our thoughts.With our thoughts we make the world”. According to Swami Sivananda ‘Thought decides action and action decides destiny’

Man, is ,therefore, a Creator of both good and bad. God has given the gift of ‘free will’ which we need to exercise for good use.

This is where spirituality comes in
As I mentioned earlier our body consistes of a matter(physical body),energy (pran), mind (manas),intellect(budhi),and a soul or atma.
Our physical body has been called the ‘anamaya kosha”or the” food sheath”,the ‘Energetic body’ is called the ‘Pranamaya kosha”,the third sheath is the “mental body “or the “Manomaya kosha”(mental sheath).The fourth sheath is the Intellectual body or the “vijnanmaya kosha” while the fifth is the Bliss body or “anandmaya kosha’.A Balance needs to exist between all five sheaths. If one is ,therefore, spiritually healthy all the sheaths will remain healthy. Bliss is the key!

It would be prudent to mention at this juncture about “Auras" which are coloured outlines surrounding the body and radiate from the soul. By studying the intensity of these auras one can deduce a person’s health, integrity and general state of evolution. Around the head is a halo which is also part of the same force. At death the light fades as the soul leaves the body. According to Dr Lobsang Rampa, an advanced spiritual teacher from Tibet)These have been called Bio-electromagnetic energy as described by present day Psychologists, who have proved it scientifically(Dr Rick Levy).This way one can “see” physical disease in the body, along with important diagnostic information related to its mental and spiritual root causes. This is also the basis for Energy Healing, as practiced by some. Different colours indicate different conditions. Gold means peace and spirituality, while a white colour indicates purity, a purple colour is seen in people who like to serve and the colour red means intensity of emotion and so on.

Balance between all the components of our body is best maintained by Yoga which has eight principals labeled as the “eight petals” by BKS Iyengar in his”Light on life”. These are
1 External Ethical disciplines (Yama).It involves self restraint, moral conduct, non injury to others, truthfulness and non stealing.
2 Internal Ethical observences (Niyama) means self discipline, purity of body and mind, contentment, devotion to god or guru.
3 Poses(Asana) which are concerned with right postures and physical exercises which keep our bodies healthy.
4 Breath Control (Pranayam)means” Prana” or life force control giving us peace of mind.
5 Sensory Control and withdrawal (Pratayahar).It is involved with the withdrawal of the mind from sense objects.
6 Concentration (Dharana)
7 Meditation (Dhyana) which develops our intuition and promotes union with the Almighty.
8 Samadhi is Oneness with the cosmic spirit.

Yoga essentially means “union with god” and good health is an important side advantage. Yoga essentially is of four types,’Gyan” Yoga,”Bhakti”,”Karma” Yoga and Raj Yoga.Here we are discussing “Hatha yoga” which is basically a combination of Asanas and Pranayam.Yoga helps develop solidity, shape, firmness and strength to our bodies. We need sound bodies so we can develop sound minds.

According to BKS Iyengar “Our mind affects our body, yoga can help access mind through the body through asanas which help in relaxing the mind since during asanas our consciousness spreads throughout the body, diffusing every cell and creating complete awareness. This leads to the brain becoming more receptive and concentration becomes natural as the brain becomes calm and the nerves smooth”
He also says “yoga keeps healthy people healthy, inhibits the development of diseases and aides recovery from ill health.

In short, our body is the ‘bow’, asanas the ‘arrow” and our soul is the “target”!
Every asana brings firmness to the body, steadiness of intelligence and benevolence of spirit.

Yoga promotes thermoregulation which is how advanced yogis need very little clothing even in the worst of winters!

Dr Jeff Levin has stated very categorically that “The ability of yogis to influence their own immediate physiology by altering their state of consciousness is no longer in question”

Yoga is now known to retard progression and bring about regression of lesions in blocked coronary arteries as well. Dr SC Manchanda et al have documented that “yogic lifestyle intervention retards progression and increases regression of coronary atherosclerosis in patients with severe coronary artery disease” in The Journal of Association of India July 2000,( 48;687-94)
Similarly Dr Selvamurthy also has demonstrated by coronary angiography, the same based on his study on patients of coronary artery disease (personal communication). Dr Selvamurthy is a senior scientist and director of the Research and Development Organisation of India, primarily involved with the Armed Forces of our country.

Dr Selvamurthy goes on to say that yoga is promotive, prophylactic and curative since it acts at all the five basic causes of diseases, namely lack of exercise, dichotomy between mind and body, Stress, pollution and infection.
Pranayam.."Prana" means life and "ayama" is control. Prana broadly means force or energy. Swami Yoganand Paramhans has said that “the human breath knots the soul to the body.”

Universal prana underlies all combinations in creation and is the basis of unity. Individual prana enters the body with the soul at the time of conception. It pervades the whole body and has different functions in different parts.
1 Prana the crystallizing power brings all other functions into manifestation.
2 Apana or the power of excretion, the scavenger energy of the body.
3 Vyana,the power of circulation
4 Samana, or assimilation, digestion etc
5 Udana, the power by which cells are differentiated in their functions(some growing hair, or skin, or muscle and so on)
These five, though separate, act in harmony and primarily work in the Sympathetic or Involuntary system but voluntary activities are also possible.
There are two main currents in the body, one, the apana current flows from the point between the eyebrows to the coccyx and distributes itself through the coccyx centre to the sensory and motor nerves and is restless by nature. The other main current is that of prana, which flows from the coccyx to the point between the eyebrows and is calm by nature. There is, therefore, an opposite pull between these two currents from which inhalations and exhalations of breath are born.when the prana current goes upward it pulls the vital breath laden with oxygen into the lungs. The refined energy is sent to all bodily cells. Bodily activity produces decay and consequent waste product of Carbon dioxide which is excreted from the cells by the apana current. Then the downwardly flowing apana current causes exhalation and pushes out the impurities. The intricate system is empowered by the prana and apana currents working through the vital branches of astral life currents that correspond to the physical sympathetic nervous system, the main branches of which are called the ida and pingala. So long as the prana current pulls the inhaling breath into the lungs, man lives but whenever the apana current becomes more powerful, man dies. The apana current then pulls the astral body out of the physical body. When the final breath leaves the body through the action of the outgoing current, apana, the astral body follows to an astral world. It is thus said that the human breath knots the soul to the body.

The life energy which flows outwardly in the nerves to our five senses(touch, taste, sight, hearing and seeing)makes sensory experiences attractive to us. Pranayam helps us to reverse that fow of life energy and to withdraw our mind from the senses. it facilitates the flow of the life energy from the spinal centres to the brain, thereby helping in connecting with our true spirit, the essence of the soul which is one of the reasons why one should meditate with a straight spine, for proper flow of prana shakti upwards to the brain.

Pranayam comprises of a phase on Inhalation(or purak) of the breath in which energy from the atmosphere percolates the entire lung and rejuvenates life, retention of the breath called Antaric Kumbhak during which the energy is absorbed and distributed to all systems through circulation. Through the phase of Exhalation(rechak)the accumulated toxins are carried out. The last phase breath retention after exhalation(Bahya Kumbhak) all the stresses are purged and drained away.

It has been proved scientifically that Pranayam reduces Heart Rate and systolic blood pressure. It also makes us feel more alert and relaxed at the same time which is the ideal state of being.

According to Dr Rick Levy, “Meditation may well be the single most effective you have available to affect your health and happiness”

Meditation is the process of pulling back the veil that separates us from the Lord. It helps us get absorbed into the inner light and music of God makes us rise from physical consciousness into realms of spiritual consciousness.(Sant Rajinder Singh).It actually converts duality to oneness.

Meditation has many medical benefits. It lowers and normalizes blood pressure and heart rate, reduces the level of stress hormones in the blood and brain excitability. It also reduces the overcompetetive Type A behavior leading to reduction in heart attacks.(Dr Seigal…Yoganand Paramhans). Along with all this it improves recovery from many diseases like bronchial asthma, arthritis, fibromyalgia, heart disease, hypertension, ulcers and improves circulation, vitality, stamina and resistance to disease and chronic pain. It leads to an overall positive impact on physical health.

Meditation reduces pain threshold and decreases biological age, reduces wear and tear of body and mind and helps one live longer and better.

It also has many mental benefits as it substantially reduces fear, anxiety, depression etc which precede or accompany chronic health problems and is perfect for combating stress. It is perfect for combating stress, which causes 50% of what kills us and 50% of what chronically disables us(quoted Dr Levy earlier)

It helps transcend the barrier between our conscious, subconscious and superconscious minds, thereby giving us “insight” to navigate through the choppy waters of our lives and to bring about the union of Atma with Paratma. This is also the basis of Transcendental Meditation.

EEG studies have demonstrated that silent repetition of OM(Aum) causes brain waves to become very relaxed and smooth out while increasing mental clarity.(Dr Levy)
It helps develop positive emotions as it activates the part of the brain responsible for positive emotions. It thus increases optimism, mental clarity and intuitive insights.

Meditation helps develop a sense of harmony with nature and other beings and leads to: Peace, happiness, love,compassion, kindness and release of “happy hormones”, transforming one to become cool, composed, calm, collected, confident and wise. …

The most important effect of meditation is spiritual as it finally brings one closer to the Divine and to ultimately merge with Him.

Dr Levy finally concludes that ‘Clearly, Meditation is a gift from the gods for people with health problems”

To Conclude, one needs to live in the present. Rumi,the famous Sufi Saint has put it beautifully “Stay here, quivering with each moment, like a drop of mercury” .
One should avoid negativity, should be positive, happy and compassionate and learn believe in the dictum :”giving is receiving. What this translates into is that one should inculcate a habit of giving something to whoever one come across,(without expecting something in return),whether it is kindness, a smile, some help, encouragement, gift, community service or a material thing. The happiness one gets out of these acts leads to a feeling of well being and good health. Dr Bernie Segal has said ‘Unconditional love is the most powerful stimulant of the immune system: Love heals”

One needs to learn to forgive, Herbert Benson says that “when you do not forgive, it will chew you up”!How true! Jesus Christ set such an excellent example by saying ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” at the time of his crucifixion.

Neel Krause quotes a study “In a survey of 1500 people results showed that people who forgave easily tend to enjoy great psychological well being and have less depression than those who hold grudges”
Every cell in your body has a tremendous capacity to heal…allow it to do so!

One needs to find one’s own unique path and travel along it. There is something which only you can do best, better than anyone else in this world! Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison and many others found their unique paths and the rest is history.
Osho has said “That everyone comes into this world with a specific destiny. He has something to fulfil, some message to be delivered, some work to be completed. You are not here accidentally, you are here meaningfully. There is a purpose behind you. The whole intends to do something through you.”

Finally, I would like to stress that all the above mentioned are best achievable by being spiritual and connecting to the supreme being with the help of a god realized guru and by practicing Yoga and Meditation leading to a state of perfect health, happiness and Bliss

Thank you and Namaste…I honour the divinity in you!
I honour the place in you where the Universe resides,
I honour the place in you of love, of light, of truth, of peace.
I honour the place within you where,
If you are in that place,
And I am in that place in me,
There is only one of us.