Sadhguru looks at the significance of the being we call Shiva, and how his contribution to humanity is truly unique.
Question: Sadhguru, you place great importance on Shiva. Why do you not talk so much about other Masters, like Masters of Zen for example?
Sadhguru: Because there is no one crazy enough for me. We are not talking about Shiva versus someone else. That which you refer to as Shiva includes everything. There have been many wonderful human beings who have done great service to humanity. But in terms of perception, there has not been another being like him.
So you are talking about Zen. What greater master of Zen than Shiva himself? Have you heard of the Zen Master Gutei? Whenever Gutei was talking about Zen, he would always raise his finger, trying to show, “Everything is one.” In these Zen monasteries, little boys became monks at four, five years of age. A little boy like this who was growing up in the monastery saw Gutei and also began to raise his index finger whenever anyone said anything. Gutei watched this but waited for the boy to become sixteen years of age. Then one day, Gutei called the boy and raised his finger. The boy instinctively also did the same thing. Gutei took out a knife and chopped off the boy’s finger, and they say the boy attained. He suddenly saw the point that it is not about one, it is about nothing.
Shiva went further, a long time ago. One day, after a long absence, he came back home. He had not seen his son who was now ten, eleven years of age. When he came, this boy, who carried a little trident, tried to stop him. Shiva took off his head, not his trident. Parvati was hugely upset about this. So to fix this, Shiva put a gana’s head on the boy’s body, who then became very brilliant. Even today in India, before people start education or anything else, they will first worship this boy. Now people have kind of modified it and the gana head has become a gaja [elephant] head, but he became the very embodiment of intelligence and brilliance. They said there was nothing that he did not know.
That was the first act of Zen. Nothing in this world is left out of Shiva’s life. He is so complex and so complete. And he did not have a teaching, he only had methods, and these methods are one hundred percent scientific in nature. He gave 112 ways in which a human being can attain because there are 114 chakrasin the human system, but two of them are outside the physical body, so he said, “That realm is only for those who are beyond. For human beings, there are only 112 ways.” And he showed clear methods as to how you can exploit these 112 dimensions of how this life is made. Through each one of them, you can realize.
What Shiva was talking is the mechanics of life, no philosophy, no teaching, no social relevance – simply science. From this science, individual masters make technology. He gave the science of it. Behind the technologies that you are enjoying today, either in the form of a smartphone or a computer or some other gadget, there is a science. That science is not relevant to you. You are only using the technology. But if someone had not grasped the science, you would not have the technology.
So what Shiva said is simply pure science. He left it to the Saptarishis to make the technology as it would suit the people who would sit in front of them on that day. Technology can be made up. Depending upon what we need, we produce a particular gadget, but the fundamental science is the same. Gadgets that are relevant today may be irrelevant tomorrow. So many gadgets that we once thought were very valuable are no more valuable because new gadgets have come – but the science is the same.
So with the Adiyogi, we are looking at the fundamental science. At a time like this, when for various reasons, humanity is in the kind of state that it is in, it is important that the essential science is strengthened.
Source: Isha Blog
I read this amazing article by “Sadhguru” on his blog and found it amazing, felt like sharing this with you. Please give it a read.
Who is Shiva? Many stories and legends surround this most prominent figure of Indian spiritual traditions. Is he a god? Or a myth constructed from Hindu culture’s collective imagination? Or is there a deeper meaning to Shiva, revealed only to those who seek?
Sadhguru: When we say “Shiva,” there are two fundamental aspects that we are referring to. The word “Shiva” means literally, “that which is not.” Today, modern science is proving to us that everything comes from nothing and goes back to nothing. The basis of existence and the fundamental quality of the cosmos is vast nothingness. The galaxies are just a small happening – a sprinkling. The rest is all vast empty space, which is referred to as Shiva. That is the womb from which everything is born, and that is the oblivion into which everything is sucked back. Everything comes from Shiva and goes back to Shiva.
So Shiva is described as a non-being, not as a being. Shiva is not described as light, but as darkness. Humanity has gone about eulogizing light only because of the nature of the visual apparatus that they carry. Otherwise, the only thing that is always, is darkness. Light is a limited happening in the sense that any source of light – whether a light bulb or the sun – will eventually lose its ability to give out light. Light is not eternal. It is always a limited possibility because it happens and it ends. Darkness is a much bigger possibility than light. Nothing needs to burn, it is always – it is eternal. Darkness is everywhere. It is the only thing that is all pervading.
But if I say “divine darkness,” people think I am a devil worshiper or something. In fact, in some places in the West it is being propagated that Shiva is a demon! But if you look at it as a concept, there isn’t a more intelligent concept on the planet about the whole process of creation and how it has happened. I have been talking about this in scientific terms without using the word “Shiva” to scientists around the world, and they are amazed, “Is this so? This was known? When?” We have known this for thousands of years. Almost every peasant in India knows about it unconsciously. He talks about it without even knowing the science behind it.
The First Yogi
On another level, when we say “Shiva,” we are referring to a certain yogi, the Adiyogi or the first yogi, and also the Adi Guru, the first Guru, who is the basis of what we know as the yogic science today. Yoga does not mean standing on your head or holding your breath. Yoga is the science and technology to know the essential nature of how this life is created and how it can be taken to its ultimate possibility.
This first transmission of yogic sciences happened on the banks of Kanti Sarovar, a glacial lake a few miles beyond Kedarnath in the Himalayas, where Adiyogi began a systematic exposition of this inner technology to his first seven disciples, celebrated today as the Sapta Rishis. This predates all religion. Before people devised divisive ways of fracturing humanity to a point where it seems almost impossible to fix, the most powerful tools necessary to raise human consciousness were realized and propagated.
One and the Same
So “Shiva” refers to both “that which is not,” and Adiyogi, because in many ways, they are synonymous. This being, who is a yogi, and that non-being, which is the basis of the existence, are the same, because to call someone a yogi means he has experienced the existence as himself. If you have to contain the existence within you even for a moment as an experience, you have to be that nothingness. Only nothingness can hold everything. Something can never hold everything. A vessel cannot hold an ocean. This planet can hold an ocean, but it cannot hold the solar system. The solar system can hold these few planets and the sun, but it cannot hold the rest of the galaxy. If you go progressively like this, ultimately you will see it is only nothingness that can hold everything. The word “yoga” means “union.” A yogi is one who has experienced the union. That means, at least for one moment, he has been absolute nothingness.
When we talk about Shiva as “that which is not,” and Shiva as a yogi, in a way they are synonymous, yet they are two different aspects. Because India is a dialectical culture, we shift from this to that and that to this effortlessly. One moment we talk about Shiva as the ultimate, the next moment we talk about Shiva as the man who gave us this whole process of yoga.
Who Shiva is Not!
Unfortunately, most people today have been introduced to Shiva only through Indian calendar art. They have made him a chubby-cheeked, blue-colored man because the calendar artist has only one face. If you ask for Krishna, he will put a flute in his hand. If you ask for Rama, he will put a bow in his hand. If you ask for Shiva, he will put a moon on his head, and that’s it!
Every time I see these calendars, I always decide to never ever sit in front of a painter. Photographs are all right – they capture you whichever way you are. If you look like a devil, you look like a devil. Why would a yogi like Shiva look chubby-cheeked? If you showed him skinny it would be okay, but a chubby-cheek Shiva – how is that?
In the yogic culture, Shiva is not seen as a God. He was a being whowalked this land and lived in the Himalayan region. As the very source of the yogic traditions, his contribution in the making of human consciousness is too phenomenal to be ignored. Every possible way in which you could approach and transform the human mechanism into an ultimate possibility was explored thousands years ago. The sophistication of it is unbelievable. The question of whether people were so sophisticated at that time is irrelevant because this did not come from a certain civilization or thought process. This came from an inner realization. This had nothing to do with what was happening around him. It was just an outpouring of himself. In great detail, he gave a meaning and a possibility of what you could do with every point in the human mechanism. You cannot change a single thing even today because he said everything that could be said in such beautiful and intelligent ways. You can only spend your lifetime trying to decipher it.
Shiva & Shakti shrines from 8-12 century AD
In this country, in ancient times, temples were built mostly for Shiva, no one else. It was only in the last 1000 or so years that other temples came up. The word “Shiva” literally means “that which is not.” So the temple was built for “that which is not.” “That which is” is physical manifestation; “that which is not” is that which is beyond the physical. A temple is a hole through which you enter into a space which is not. There are thousands of Shiva temples in the country, and most of them don’t have any form as such. They just have a representative form and generally it is a linga.
Source: Isha Blog
Forget counting sheep. Ease your way into dreamland with this five-move yoga routine from Edward Vilga, creator of the DVD Yoga in Bed: 20 Asanas to Do in Pajamas. The moves will relax your body and mind, but the best part is that you can do them all in bed!
- Sit facing a wall (or your headboard) with your butt about 6 inches away from it.
- Lie back and extend your legs up the wall.
- If this is too intense a stretch for your hamstrings, slide your butt farther away from the wall.
- If it’s not enough, scoot closer.
- Let your arms rest by your sides, palms facing up, and breathe gently, feeling the stretch in the backs of your legs.
Winding Down Twist
- Sit cross-legged on the bed and exhale as you place your right hand on your left knee and left hand on the bed behind your tailbone.
- Gently twist your torso to the left.
- Allow your gaze to follow, looking over your left shoulder. Breathe deeply, then return to center and repeat on opposite side.
Nighttime Goddess Stretch
- Lie on your back with knees bent.
- Place the soles of your feet together, then let your knees fall open, forming a diamond shape with your legs.
- Rest your arms on the bed.
- If you feel any strain, elevate your legs by placing a pillow underneath each knee.
- Sit up comfortably on your heels.
- Roll your torso forward, bringing your forehead to rest on the bed in front of you.
- Lower your chest as close to your knees as you comfortably can, extending your arms in front of you.
- Hold the pose and breathe.
- Lying on your back, hug knees in to chest.
- Cross your ankles and wrap both arms around your shins with clasped hands.
- Inhale and rock your body up to sit; exhale as you roll back.
- Continue for 1 minute, then roll back, extend arms and legs, and drift off to sleep.
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Author: Jennifer Matarazzo
Photos by Nick Cardillicchio
The human being is composed of three “bodies” emanating from Soul(The Higher Self) by “ignorance” or “False knowledge or awareness”. They are often equated with the five sheaths( Soul is wrapped inside five layers), which cover the Soul. The soul, which is different from the body, resides in the three bodies of the Human Beings and utilizes as a medium for the various experiences in this physical world.The moment we understand that the soul is different from these three bodies, we are awake and on the path of liberation.
They three bodies are,
Subtle Body or Astral Body
The Gross body is the physical body that is made up of the 5 fundamental elements i.e., space, air, fire, water and earth and is subject to a sixfold change( birth, subsistence, growth, maturity, decay, and death). This is the dense physical body. The Gross body is simply the vehicle of all the other Principles (bodies) during physical incarnation. Physical manifestation resides in the Gross (physical) body. The Gross body needs gross food, drink and air which it gets from Vital air sheath. At death the physical body perishes and its five constituent elements are dissolved.
Subtle Body or Astral Body
The Subtle or astral body is where lives mind and intellect. The mental body or the mind is the seat of our feelings, emotions and desires. It carries in it countless impressions from this life and previous lives. It is made up of three parts, The conscious, Subconscious and Unconscious mind. The conscious mind is that part of our thoughts and feelings that we are aware of. The subconscious mind contains all the impressions required to complete our destiny in our current lifetime. The unconscious mind is that we are completely unaware of. This contains all the impressions that are associated with our past Karma. The subtle body surrounds the Gross Body ( physical body) as an aura of energy. The energy channels exist in this subtle medium through a fine merger into the physical medium. This is the “vital body” and the prototype and reflection of the physical body. It comes into existence before the physical body as the latter is built and formed upon and around it and it only fully fades out and dies when the very last remaining particle of the deceased physical body disappears and disintegrates. In the internal astral body, there are counterparts of organs outside. They are called astral senses. A yogi hears through astral ears and sees through astral eyes. Thus he can hear sounds from distant lands, he can see objects in distant localities. This is called clairaudience(the power to hear sounds said to exist beyond the reach of ordinary experience or capacity, as the voices of the dead.). After the death of a being, the soul cannot quit the gross body without a vehicle of some kind. This vehicle is the subtle body.
There are two Mind types of Astral Bodies,
Astral Body’s Lower Mind: This sheath is the also energy of action. This mental sheath is composed of two qualities, mind and intellect. Mind is the rational, linear, sequential, thoughtful mind. Intellect is the quality of discrimination which comes after knowledge, after the removal or the absence of ignorance.
Astral Body’s Higher Mind: The Intellect Sheath is the sheath of the intellect and intuitive knowledge/wisdom which gives us the discriminative capability that helps to differentiate between virtues & vice, good & bad, right and wrong, truth & untruth. It controls the mind, the senses, the fructifying all activities of the body. The ego-driven intellect can lead to actions which result in pain and suffering. Its knowledge is affected by the moods of the mind and other factors. Through the practices of meditation, regular self-study & enrichment of knowledge through libraries & discourses could lead towards devotion. Our mind becomes purified and the intellect can then begin to depend more and more on the pure intuitive wisdom rather than be influenced by the ego. As you begin to experience this aspect of existence, you discover that this sheath is merely an illusion covering over the eternal self.
We live most of our life through three states of consciousness: waking, dreaming and sleeping.
In the waking state of consciousness, we experience the world through the five senses. We seek elevation and joy from these senses. If any one of the senses is missing, the entire dimension of that sense is lost. One who cannot hear is bereft of the whole arena of sound. Similarly, he who cannot see is deprived of all the beautiful sights and colors. So, the sense is more important and much bigger than the object of the sense.
The mind is higher than the senses. The mind is infinite, its desires are many, but the capacity of the senses to enjoy is limited. Greed is wanting more and more of sensory objects. Even though one can only enjoy a limited amount during a lifetime, one wants all the wealth in the world.
Giving too much importance to sensory objects leads to greed; giving too much importance to the senses leads to lust; and giving too much importance to the mind and its desires leads to delusion.
We hold on to the concepts of the mind and want things to happen in a certain way. Thus, the concepts in our mind impede us from perceiving the infinite consciousness that is a part of us. This is not to say that the senses or the mind are bad. But we must learn to discriminate between things and be aware of what is happening at all times; that is when clarity dawns on us. This is the first step toward the higher state of consciousness.
In the waking state, one is constantly engaged in looking, eating, working, etc. The other extreme is the sleeping state where one is completely cut off and dull. The dullness and heaviness linger even after waking. The more one sleeps, the duller one feels since a lot of energy is expended in sleep. Then there is the dreaming state where one is neither asleep nor awake. Here, you neither feel at rest nor are aware of your surroundings.
The higher state of consciousness is somewhere in between the waking, sleeping and dreaming states. Here, we know we “are” but we don’t know “where” we are. This knowledge that I “am,” but I don’t know “where” I am or “what” I am, is called Shiva. This state gives the deepest possible rest that one can experience. And one can achieve this through meditation.
Meditation helps in two ways — it prevents stress from entering the system and simultaneously releases accumulated stress. With the assimilation of meditation into daily life, a higher state of consciousness called cosmic consciousness dawns within us. Cosmic consciousness perceives the whole universe as part of oneself. When we perceive the world as a part of us, love flows strongly between the world and us. This love empowers us to overcome the opposing forces and the disturbances in life. Anger and disappointments become fleeting emotions that occur momentarily and then vanish.
A higher state of consciousness will not simply happen one fine morning. The sapling of consciousness is within you — it needs to be nurtured through spiritual practices like meditation. Some coconut trees yield in three years, and some in 10 years. And those that are not nurtured never yield, they simply exist.
Attaining higher states of consciousness does not require any complicated strategy; one just needs to learn the art of letting go. The confluence of knowledge, understanding and practice makes life complete. When you grow into higher states of consciousness, you find that you are no longer thrown off-balance by different situations and disturbances. You become strong yet soft — a delicate and beautiful individual capable of accommodating different values in life without any conditions. As your consciousness opens and the whole system gets physically, mentally and spiritually elevated, your life truly becomes worth living.
Author. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Myth #1: All of us are gifted with only one passion.
While it’s true that there are people on the planet who are born with one passion that lasts an entire lifetime, this doesn’t hold true for everyone. In fact, there are many who start out with one passion, only to discover that they are passionate about something else later on in life.
Myth #2: You Cannot Get Your Passion Wrong.
When we think that there is only one purpose for our lives, this can cause anxiety from fear of “getting it wrong.” But, life can be a thrilling rollercoaster ride full of twists, turns, and loop-di-loops. Some people will indeed find that one passion that takes all of their focus but, there are others that will find that they have a passion for several different things. Simply trust in what you love and you will be divinely guided to your passion. But take note; sometimes the way that your passion manifests may be different from what you have envisioned. In other words, the road that we think is easiest isn’t always the one that we end up taking.
Myth #3: Saying Negative Things Will Attract Negativity into Your Life.
While positive psychology does have its benefits; however, the above concept is misleading. We are on this planet to experience our humanity, and all of the emotions that come with it, fully and honestly. If we tell ourselves that it’s wrong to feel negative emotion, we are preventing ourselves from reveling in the present moment. In fact, when we resist the truth of our emotions, they tend to stick around longer and get buried in the miasma of our other hidden emotions.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be positive and attracting good things into our lives. But there’s no need to censor our true emotions. When we allow the truth of our emotions to manifest, it allows the emotion to be released fully and gives us the freedom to move forward in life.
Myth #4: You Must Detach From the Material World In Order to Be Spiritual.
There are benefits in letting go; after all, surrender is a sacred journey. However, detachment can also be seen as a form of “Spiritual Bypassing;” in other words, we hiding our honest emotions in order to maintain a false sense of spiritual serenity. In our desire to be loving and pure, we are actually creating a barrier that prevents us from accepting the present moment.
When we bypass the truth of our emotions and bury them under the banner of spiritually, it doesn’t make reality any less true. Instead, the emotions that we are attempting to suppress begin to fester until they manifest in unbecoming ways. Needless to say, this isn’t a healthy coping strategy.When we accept the truth of the moment and make peace with every aspect of our humanity, it is then that we are living in spiritual authenticity.
Myth #5: Spiritual people don’t eat meat, cuss, or drink.
It is time that we release our judgments concerning what is “spiritual” or “righteous.” You are spirit; you are just wearing a human body. The word spiritual simply means that you want to create a connection between these two halves. Just because you eat steak, drink wine, or cuss, doesn’t mean that you have lost your connection to spirit.
By Deepak Chopra, MD
“Enlightenment” is a word that has gotten so entangled with vague confusion that many people have given up on it. I don’t mean the classic seeker who hungers for God, Nirvana, or higher states of consciousness. There isn’t an accepted definition of enlightenment that allows for a general discussion where everyone knows what the topic is. Behind this apparent fuzziness, however, the concept of enlightenment has evolved tremendously over the past few decades, and in that time the possibility of being enlightened has come closer and closer to everyday experience.
Forty years ago enlightenment was inevitably associated with “Eastern mysticism,” a phrase that appears in the subtitle of Fritjof Capra’s famous book, The Tao of Physics. Meditation was associated with religions like Buddhism and Hinduism. Enlightenment was a spiritual attainment for Indian gurus or monks sitting in Himalayan caves. The fact that meditation is now a common practice in the West, with many research studies proving its benefits in terms of mind and body, shows how much the landscape has changed.
The next major change, which could bring a seismic shift in our worldview, would bring enlightenment into daily life the way that meditation is comfortably established in daily life. I’ll devote the next few posts to exploring how enlightenment affects everyone, not just a select few living under exotic circumstances. We can begin with the most obvious question you can ask yourself. Are you enlightened already?” This may seem at first like an almost absurd question. If there are ancient traditions for reaching enlightenment, a project that can take a lifetime’s effort and discipline, it must be impossible that a normal person going about his everyday life could already be enlightened.
But there’s a reason why the question isn’t absurd. Enlightenment is a state of consciousness–everyone seems to agree upon that, at least. Each of us already experiences three distinct states of consciousness every day: waking, sleeping, and dreaming. These states come naturally. We didn’t seek them out or do anything special to be in them. So why would so-called higher states of consciousness be set apart as privileged or difficult or far distant from daily experience? In fact, all the ingredients of enlightenment are already in place. These consist of:
Knowing that you exist.
Experiencing the world through your mind.
Experiencing that thoughts come and go in the mind.
Maintaining a self even as thoughts come and go.
At first glance none of these ingredients seems exotic, because they aren’t. Yet a list of ingredients isn’t the same as a recipe. You could line up eggs, milk, flour, and cocoa powder on your kitchen counter and still be far away from knowing how to bake a chocolate soufflé. So the entire tradition of enlightenment consists of finding the recipe for it–and this need for a process, practice, teaching, or discipline created many problems. It became unfortunate but true that every spiritual and religious tradition argued that its recipe was the right one–sometimes the only right one–and no one could settle the matter.
Unlike chocolate soufflé, which you can test by eating, the recipe for enlightenment was handed down second-hand as a kind of map or description understood by the enlightened few. Even though every person naturally experiences all the ingredients of enlightenment, taking the leap into the actual state of enlightenment proved to be very tricky. The world’s wisdom traditions have never wavered about the reality of higher consciousness, and yet daily life has remained unaffected by it.
If we take the list of ingredients, each exists on a spectrum or sliding scale. At one end are people who have no interest or knowledge about higher states; they use their minds in everyday “normal” ways. At the other end are people who approach the mind in an enlightened way. Let’s look at the difference, leaving aside all other questions, such as how to define enlightenment. We’ll label the two extremes on the spectrum in neutral terms: the starting point and the goal.
Here’s how the ingredients of enlightenment look now:
Starting point: Being conscious is a given, and you pay no attention to it, the way a fish wouldn’t pay attention to water.
Goal: Being conscious is the ground state of reality, the very womb of creation. All things exist in consciousness alone. There is no reality outside consciousness.
Knowing that you exist.
Starting point: Existence is taken for granted. To be is simply to be.
Goal: Existence is the same as consciousness. Being contains every possible outcome or every possible event. As consciousness changes from one state to another, so does a person’s existence.
Experiencing the world through your mind.
Starting point: If asked about it, you will agree that experience depends upon mind and brain. This fact seems obvious, but nothing important or earthshaking is implied.
Goal: Experiencing the world through the mind, far from being passive and unremarkable, is the key to reality. The only things we know about reality are shaped, conditioned, and dependent upon consciousness. Therefore, the key to the entire cosmos is found “in here,” where consciousness serves as the maker of reality.
Starting point: Being self-aware comes and goes. Sometimes a person sees clearly just what he’s doing, while at other times an experience takes the mind away from self-awareness. We become absorbed in the world “out there.”
Experiencing that thoughts come and go in the mind.
Starting point: It’s obvious that thoughts come and go. This fact, like so many others about the mind, is taken as a given.
Goal: A person realizes that thoughts may come and go, but the place they come from and to which they return is permanent and unchanging. Therefore, the so-called “higher self” identifies with the unchanging part of the mind, not the stream of thoughts, feelings, sensations, and images that flow through it.
Maintaining a self even as thoughts come and go.
Starting point: There is no issue about having a self — it’s a given, even though the origins of this self are murky and hidden.
Goal: The self has switched its allegiance to pure self-awareness, away from the ego-based “I.” The limited, insecure, shifting ego loses its dominance as the driver of daily experiences.
I’ve given only a brief sketch of these differences; we must keep in mind that they range across a spectrum. The essential point is that all the ingredients for being enlightened here and now are present in everyone’s life. There is no magic recipe that is known only to the few who are wise, holy, or blessed beyond the ordinary. Enlightenment is paradoxical, because in one sense you are already enlightened–the word “goal” is a bit misleading, because you don’t actually travel or go anywhere to find out what you have always been. On the other hand, there are many distractions that keep all of us from knowing who we really are.
‘Coda’ is a fitting title for a video about how we meet our end.
This article first appeared on higherperspectives.com/
A scientist names Jeremy England has come out with a theory which potentially proves that life can exist without god and that god did not create us. Jeremy England’s theory has been developed on Charles Darwin’s idea of evolution. He says that the idea not only applies to things which are alive but to the creation as well. Meaning that evolution not only takes place while we are alive but at our creation as well.
The scientist says that it is thermodynamics that plays the major part in our creation and not a ‘creator’ who is at work. The theory of thermodynamics says if you start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be surprising that you get a plant. If these atoms are exposed to an energy source (i.e. the sun), these are bound to grow and restructure themselves which eventually leads to life.
The theory was posted on Richard Dawkins website, a famous Athiest scientist, and is titled ‘God is on the ropes: The brilliant new science that has creationists and the Christian right terrified’. The blog post was written by Paul Rosenberg, and it looks as though this theory has got the scientific community quite excited.
Charles Darwin’s theory focused more on life progression but the blog post by Paul Rosenberg has got everyone excited about the Jeremy England’s development on Darwin’s idea.
The theory by Jeremy England has been developed on mathematical facts which questions the existence of god and forces us to think about it in a deeper sense.
Author: Aksheev Puri
Surya Namaskar: Making the body a stepping-stone
Surya Namaskar means to bow down to the sun in the morning. The sun is the life source for this planet. In everything that you eat, drink and breathe, there is an element of the sun. Only if you learn how to better “digest” the sun, internalize it, and make it a part of your system, do you truly benefit from this process.
The physical body is a fantastic stepping-stone for higher possibilities, but for most people it functions like a road block. The compulsions of the body do not allow them to go forward. Being in sync with the solar cycle is an important part of balance and receptivity, a means of taking the body to the point where it is no longer a hurdle.
Surya Namaskar: Syncing with the solar cycle
It is quite a complete workout for the physical system – a comprehensive exercise form without any need for equipment
Surya Namaskar, which is known as “Sun Salutation” in English, is essentially about building a dimension within you where your physical cycles are in sync with the sun’s cycles, which run at about twelve-and-a-quarter years. It is not by accident but by intent that it has been structured with twelve postures or twelve asanas in it. If your system is in a certain level of vibrancy and readiness, and in a good state of receptivity, then naturally your cycle will be in sync with the solar cycle.
Young women have an advantage in that they are also in sync with the lunar cycles. It is a fantastic possibility that your body is both connected to the solar cycle and to the lunar cycle. Nature has granted this advantage to a woman because she has been entrusted with the extra responsibility of propagating the human race. So she has been given some extra privileges. But many people don’t know how to handle the extra energy that is generated by that relationship and so they treat it as a curse and even a kind of madness, as evidenced by the word “lunar” turning into “loony.”
Using cycles to go beyond the cyclical
Between the lunar cycle, which is the shortest cycle (a 28-day cycle) and the cycle of the sun, which is over twelve years, there are many other kinds of cycles. The word “cyclical” denotes repetition. Repetition means that in some way it is compulsive. Compulsiveness means it is not conducive for consciousness. If you are very compulsive, you will see that situations, experiences, thoughts and emotions will be cyclical. They keep coming back to you once in six months or eighteen months, three years or six years. If you just look back and see, you will notice this. If they come once in over twelve years, that means your system is in a good state of receptivity and balance. Surya Namaskar is an important process to enable that to happen. The sadhana is always to break the cycle so that there is no more compulsiveness, and you have the right kind of foundation for consciousness.
The physical body is a fantastic stepping-stone for higher possibilities, but for most people it functions like a road block.
The repetitive nature of cyclical movements or systems, which we traditionally refer to as samsara, is the necessary stability for the making of life. If it was all at random, it would not be possible to house a steady life-making machine. So, for the solar system and for the individual person, being rooted in cyclic nature is the firmness and steadiness of life. But once life has reached the level of evolution that human beings have reached, it is natural to aspire not just for stability, but for transcendence. Now, it is left to individual human beings either to remain trapped in the cyclical, which is the basis of stable physical existence, or to use these cycles for physical well being and ride them and go beyond the cyclical.
Maximizing the Benefits of Surya Namaskar
Hatha yoga is about creating a body that will not be a hurdle in your life but a stepping stone towards blossoming into your ultimate possibility. There are a few simple things you can do to prepare your body and get the most out of your practice.
Bathe in cool water to charge the cellular structure
Before starting your practice, take a shower or a bath using water that is a little cooler than room temperature. If a certain volume of water flows over your body, or your body is immersed in water that is cooler than room temperature, the epithelial cells will contract and the intercellular spaces will expand. If you use warm or hot water, the pores of the cells will open up and absorb water – that is not what we want. For the practice of yoga, it is important that the cells contract and the intercellular spaces open up, because we want the cellular structure of the body to be charged with a different dimension of energy. If the cells contract and allow space in between, practicing yoga will charge the cellular structure.
Why some people seem to be far more alive than others is essentially because their cellular structure is more charged. When it is charged with energy, it will remain youthful for a very long time. Hatha yoga is a way to do that. In South India, tap water is generally just a little cooler than room temperature. If you are in a temperate climate, the regular tap water may be too cold. Three to five degrees centigrade below room temperature would be ideal. A maximum of ten degrees centigrade below room temperature would be acceptable – the water should not be colder than that.
Rub sweat into the skin to retain energy
Whether you practice asanas, Surya Namaskar or Surya Kriya – if you start sweating, do not wipe off the sweat with a towel – always rub it back, at least into the exposed parts of your skin. If you wipe off the sweat, you drain the energy that you have generated with the practice. Water has the capability to carry memory and energy. That is why you should not wipe off sweat with a towel, drink water, or go to the bathroom during practice time, unless there is a special situation that makes it absolutely necessary.
And, after practicing yoga, wait a minimum of 1.5 hours before taking a shower – three hours would be even better. Sweating and not showering for two to three hours could be a bit of an olfactory challenge – so just stay away from others!
Learn to consume the right amount of water
After practicing yoga, wait a minimum of 1.5 hours before taking a shower
Learn to just drink as much as the body needs. Unless you are in a desert or you have habits that dehydrate you – such as excessive consumption of caffeine and nicotine – there is no need to constantly sip water. About 70% of the body is water. The body knows how to manage itself. If you drink according to your thirst plus an additional 10%, it will be enough. To give an example – if your thirst is gone after two sips of water, drink 10% more. That will take care of your body’s need for water. Only if you are out in the sun or trekking in the mountains, sweating heavily and losing water rapidly, you need to drink more – not when you are doing yoga under a roof.
As I already said, rub back the sweat as much as possible, but you need not do that all the time. It can drip a bit – just don’t use a towel. Push it back because we don’t want to drain energy – we want to build it up.
From Surya Namaskar to Surya Kriya
Through the practice of Surya Namaskar, if one attains a certain level of stability and mastery over the system, one could then be introduced to a more powerful and spiritually significant process called Surya Kriya. Surya Kriya is the fundamental process. Surya Namaskar is a “country cousin” of Surya Kriya, and there is another process called Surya Shakti, which is a far-off relative. If you want to just use the process as a physical culture to build muscle and become physically strong, you do Surya Shakti. If you want to be physically fit but also want some spiritual element in it, you do Surya Namaskar. But if you want a strong spiritual process, you do Surya Kriya.