Tag Archives: spiritual

Mental Purity & Three Fold Yoga

5 Layered Concept of Human Development

The Panckosi(five layered) concept of human development towards perfection, occupies an important place in the Upanisadic thought. This five layered structure of human  personality underlines the course of mental and spiritual development where one rises from pure body consciousness to the ultimate subtle states of self realization. This structure describes the steps in the path that leads one from animal mind to the state of human perfection where the person identifies oneself with the universal existence of one mind and oneness of whole creation. Having known the path to perfection, one obviously needs to know how to follow this path.

The threefold Yogic path is the practical solution towards achieving this goal. The knowledge and practice have to go together in order to succeed.

Three Fold Yogic Path

Movement of Mind from Body Centric to Activity Centric

The movement of mind from being body centric to activity centric is the first step (movement from Annamaya to Prananmaya). Here one tries to offer all his actions to the supreme power by dissociating from the fruit of his actions. He acts because actions are necessary in the material world for existence. Desiring the fruit of action increases his attachment to the individuality consciousness.

Renouncing the Fruit of Action

By renouncing the fruit of action, he moves from individual consciousness to universal consciousness which is a step in the right direction towards spiritual growth. It helps him to reduce his ego-involvement by thinking of others in preference to himself. Any movement in thought from self based desires to universal good is a step towards spiritual attainment. In spiritual terms, linking the Jivatma with Paramatma is the essence of spirituality. In layman’s terms, it means shedding individuality and linking the personal self with the universal self. Selfless action helps in achieving it through performance of actions in the material world. It amounts to saying that when you do the action, do not associate it with the ego of being the doer.  Think of yourself as part of the universal will that needs actions for sustenance of life.

Selfless Actions & Patanjali’s Eight Fold Yoga

When actions are done in selfless manner, the quality of action will automatically improve. This will improve one’s conduct both in personal as well as social context. This much desired improvement in conduct is a common theme in most religions; be it part of Sila or the Yama and Niyama aspects of Patanjali’s eightfold Yoga.

Purification of Emotional Content of Human Personality

The next step is the purification of the emotional content of human personality (movement from Pranamaya to Manomaya) through thought control. The level of mind, that includes desires and emotions, is purified through the process of concentration of thoughts to one point, a process in which wandering thoughts are ignored and full concentration is applied to the object of concentration. This means giving full attention to one thought to the exclusion of all others. Both Bhakti and meditation relate to this process that purifies the thought stream and develops the capability to provide full attention to whatever you think to do.  This is the preliminary stage of Samadhi where one can move inwards by shutting off external sense inputs and concentrate on one idea or image.

… to be continued in 2nd part titled “Yogic Mind in Spiritual Progress” … which will be published later in this blog…

This article Mental purity & Three Fold Yoga was written by Sh. V. V. Rampal which was published in Feb 2007 edition of “Kalyana Kalpataru” a monthly for the propagation of spiritual ideas and love for God.

Spirituality is The Basis for Happiness

When you do not need Anything, you have Everything.  – Lord Buddha

In the present times of gloom and doom, when values are declining and morals are reclining and the celebrated values like honesty, integrity, nobility, morals, ethics, virtues, justice and righteousness are proving hollow giving way to corruption that has impoverished the whole societal set up, solace lies in spirituality.

Spirituality brings out the divinity in every individual. Spirituality is a love affair with God. It focuses a person’s attention to the divine effulgence radiating from one’s own heart. God is not something external, he is inside us. The mind is the key instrument in a human being’s body, a proper regulation of which, with meditation and spiritual guidance, can help one evolve spiritually to the highest.

Only spirituality can initiate the process of inner expansion and eventual freedom from finite existence and supreme self realization. True spirituality could be achieved through selfless service to humanity and leading a life of righteousness.

The core message of the Vedas is for man to strive for liberation from the perpetual cycle of birth and death. This is achieved when the living being realises its true self, the soul and re-establishes its forgotten relationship with Super-soul or God.

Manifest Infinity with Spirituality

When we liberate ourselves from the limitations of phenomenal existence and obtain oneness with the absolute, we attain infinite freedom, power, peace, joy and perfection. Transformation of our entire inner nature, of our thoughts, emotions, energies is a wonderful way of acquiring tremendous spiritual powers.

Problems & Set-backs Are Lessons from Life

Spiritually, all our problems and set-backs are merely lessons for us from life, acted out through people, events and places and leading our self evolution. There are no full stops in life, only commas. And sooner we learn our lessons, the faster our life moves forward in a more harmonious manner. Treat life not as an imposition but as a gift from God to be loved and to be cherished.  Move on the pathway of life with faith and courage, and the confidence that He is with you. Accept life with all its trials and tribulations. Acceptance of whatever is, will solve half of your problems.

Love, mercy, forgiveness, peace, compassion etc., are the essence of the Sattavic path. It is important to use them to attain the ultimate goal -salvation.

The Four-fold principles of human existence are

  1. The body is for benevolent living,
  2. The mind for contemplating on God,
  3. Discriminative intellect for distinguishing between right and wrong and
  4. Life itself for acquisition of divine knowledge leading to self-realization.

Being spiritual minded is practical, as it helps a person develop a proper mental attitude towards the changing circumstances and problems of life. Through science deals with energy and matter, there is a spiritual science which deals with the ‘beyond mind’ state of a human being. While material science enhances ego, spiritual science annihilates it.

“Enjoy every moment of life and live it to the fullest. Live the ‘present moment’ with zest and not worry about the past or future.”

Peace of mind arises out of spiritual growth. It is true that spiritual growth is an inward process, that spiritual life is an inward life. But it is equally true that such inward growth is greatly aided by external support and greatly marred by external incompatibles. Hence, importance of Sattvic diet, Sattvic dress, Sattvic reading, Sattvic company, Sattvic habits and Sattvic environment.

We rise above darkness and sin to see the eternal light and realize the presence of the Most Enlightened one. Rise higher and see brighter light; a step still higher and realize omnipresent God who is the pristine source of Enlightenment.

As the new age dawns, materialism will automatically lag behind Spirituality and people will live the Vedanta in their daily lives.

“Faith in God, faith in religion and faith in one’s self make a man an enlightened being. Faith in holy scriptures helps a man rise above darkness and see the Light. Faith is a source of inspiration too. Many a time in life, one feels that one is down in the dumps. Morale sags. One sees and feels darkness all around. It is here that faith in God and the Vedas helps one see light at the end of the tunnel. Faith gives one a breather when it is needed most. Faith can even bring a man back from the fallows.”

Considering its importance, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in a striking contrast organized a Millennium All Faith Summit, which was attended by 1000 religious and spiritual leaders of the world to achieve the objective of coordinating the religious leadership for building tolerance, fostering peace and encouraging inter religious dialogue among all religions. This remarkable gathering was without precedent in its 50 years history of UNGA. Now, with nearly 83% of the world’s population adhering to some religious or spiritual belief system, religion and spirituality would be the dynamic force that the World Peace Summit wanted to seek to develop for peace, advocacy and resolution.

An individual or a nation must strive for material growth and scientific advances but material prosperity can lead to true happiness only if there is a base of spirituality. Secular spirituality helps one to progress in the worldly affairs and still helps one realize at the experiential level that material comforts, worldly pleasures, fame and power are fragile and ephemeral and they alone cannot give lasting happiness. Happiness is present in our life yet because we think that happiness comes from outside we constantly loose touch with it.

Social studies reveal that high spiritual and emotional quotient are normally associated with high degree of integrity, honesty, responsibility and care and concern for others and accounts for nearly 70% of over all rating.

Spirituality is the Basis for Happiness” is written by Dr. B. L. Tekriwal which was published in Kalyan Kalpataru in July 2009.

You can read similar views in Philosophy of eternal bliss-fullness and Role of Difficulties & Problems in Our Life.