Radiant Immortal Atman! Beloved and blessed children of the Divine! Never, never forget that you are radiant immortal Atman, you are the radiant, immortal, spiritual Light. You are a radiant spark of the Divine, a ray of the great Light of lights which is beyond all darkness.
Our physical personality, our body, mind, intellect, thoughts, emotions, desires, sentiments, memories, imaginations and the various processes going on within the psyche, the psychological self, may all be regarded as necessary in order to function upon this physical plane. They may even be valued in the light of the fact that they are necessary instruments, media and helpful factors in order to strive and awaken ourselves to our eternal, essential divine nature. So they have a value.
But except for this fact, that they are channels for sadhana, the instruments of Yoga for spiritual striving, for illumination and liberation, they are, by and large, only of nuisance value to be tolerated, because they are the prolific source of our bondage, our disharmony, our clash and conflict, within ourselves as well as with others. They are the prolific source of so many experiences that we do not wish to have. They constantly obstruct the awareness that “I am the radiant immortal Self, I am a spiritual entity beyond body and mind, name and form.” By that little action of veiling, they drag us down to the lower plane of physicality, body consciousness and mental consciousness. That itself makes them serious obstacles in the unfoldment and the manifestation of our spiritual consciousness. Therefore they are burdens to be tolerated, and constantly we have to see them only as a temporary covering and reject them.
In spite of their veiling power, you must assert the Spirit; you must affirm your eternal, radiant, immortal nature. Constantly you should do that. Never, never forget that you are radiant, immortal Atman. Never, never forget that you are children of the Divine, essentially also divine. You are a part, jivatma is a part of the paramatma. If you forget ten times, recollect yourself ten times. If you forget a hundred times, reject the wrong idea and again recollect yourself a hundred times. Keep up this sadhana. Live in divine awareness. Ever be centred in your true, eternal, immortal, divine identity, be centred in the Self.
If you wish to overcome the many factors within yourself that stand in the way of this radiant spiritual awareness, this constant positive state of light, power, joy, cheerfulness and inner peace, it is necessary to tap the power that is everywhere around you in nature and to be conscious of this power by sublating or setting aside the name and form that covers it.
Every object in this outer universe is a centre of spiritual force, because it is a manifestation of the primal cosmic power or energy. A tree, a stone, falling rain, the blowing wind, everything that you can see, hear, taste, smell or touch in this universe, whether immediate or remote, is infilled by the divine principle. This was the experience of the Upanishadic seers, and you have to try to be constantly aware of the hidden substratum of the apparent, ever-changing names and forms.
If you are rooted in this awareness, then you are conscious of being enveloped by a power, by a benign presence, a healing presence, a peaceful presence, a radiant, luminous presence. Thus it becomes much easier to relate yourself directly, either through prayer, or through invoking the Divine Name which represents this power, or through svadhyaya (study of scriptures) which raises your mind to sublime heights.
I wish to particularly call your attention to one aspect of this svadhyaya. Svadhyaya requires a book no matter how small it is. Suppose you are in a state, a condition or situation where, due to reasons beyond your control, you cannot take the book out to read, and yet at the same time you urgently need a little support from within. For such occasions you should have by heart a repertoire, a reserve of sublime, lofty, inspiring, power-infusing sayings from the sacred books. They should always be there. At any moment you must be able to recollect them and to repeat them mentally or even verbally.
Therefore during your spiritual study day by day, you must try to get by heart and make your own, certain essential parts, certain inspiring verses or lines from the Bhagavad Gita, from the Upanishads, from the New Testament, or some other scripture. So, if you have within yourself for immediate recollection, immediate affirmation, certain verses or lines by heart, then it becomes a valuable substitute for svadhyaya in situations where it is not possible to take out a book and read. When you repeat them, immediately you become inspired. Your inner atmosphere is transformed, because they are powerful. These great quotations are instant power.
For example, from the Bhagavad Gita have an inspiring line such as: ajo nityah sasvato’yam purano na hanyate hanyamane sarire (Unborn, eternal, changeless and ancient, the Self is not killed when the body is killed); or for Vedantic inspiration, some verses from the Avadhuta Gita like: ahameva’vyayo’nantah suddha-vijnanavigrahah; sukham duhkham na janami katham kasyapi vartate (I alone am imperishable, infinite, the form of pure Consciousness. I do not know pleasure or pain or how they affect anyone); or for peace, from the Guru Gita, such as: chaitanyam sasvatam santam vyomatitam niranjanam (...Who is pure Consciousness, eternal, peaceful, beyond ether and untainted). When you say “vyomatita” (beyond ether), you are already uplifted; you go beyond this world of name and form, being aware that you are part of the Being Who is spotless and pure, and Who far transcends space and everything that is gross and material. Thus you must always have some very few selected verses for instant inspiration, instant upliftment of the spirit, instant infusing of power into your consciousness, into the centre of your being. This is one important point.
Secondly, make your prayer creative and powerful. Prayer should be understood as asking the Lord to keep you constantly in a state of inner awareness, of inner spiritual relationship and communion with Him; not to ask for anything He has created, but to ask for Himself and a continuous, unbroken, living, inner spiritual relationship with Him, so that the channel of power and light between Him and you is never blocked, never closed, never switched off; it is always open; there is always a constant inflow of His divinity, and all that it implies, into your own consciousness. This is the thing to ask, so that prayer also is something that enhances this awareness and infuses you constantly with that greater power. Thus make your prayer creative, constructive and progressive.
This is the highest form of prayer—not for gaining anything in this world created by Him, but for gaining only the most coveted of all things, Yoga, a constant inner communion and link with Him. This is the true purpose of prayer. Then you shall lack nothing. You shall have light, power and wisdom. You shall have an abundance of God’s grace.
Sivananda Yoga (Yoga DVD)
Yoga, A Way of Life - Sri Swami Adhyatmananda
"Yoga and Health" - a complete book with Question & Answer section by Sri Swami Adhyatmananda
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