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Improving Sadhana X

Date: Mon 22 Dec 2008 23:18:48 -0000 To: AM-GLOBAL Subject: Improving Sadhana X From: "Ishvara" Baba "Aungane mor na'hi ele yadi, maner mukure bha'sio..." (PS 3019) Purport: Baba, since You have not come in my courtyard-- my home, then please be gracious and blossom in my mental mirror. Baba, since You have not come within the scope of my perception, then please come in my ideation. Baba, please come in the depths of my sadhana. O' my dearmost You are ever-gracious; You have come. For me You are everything; whatever You want to do is blissful for me. Baba, if You do not want to say anything, then just remain here with me smiling sweetly. Your sweet smile satiates my heart. O' my dearmost You are so gracious. Baba, in search of You by Your grace I spent so much time doing so many practices-- shravan, manan, and nidhidhyasana-- but alas I could not get You. O' Baba, so many ages passed doing tapasya-- trying to get You. Finally, by Your sweet touch the long, dark amavasya night has finished. Gone are the days when sadhana was just an ongoing struggle and it was difficult to move ahead. Now by Your grace I am advancing on the path of divinity-- the long, dark night of amavasya has finished. Baba, today in this effulgent crimson morning, please grace me by removing that final layer of cimmerian darkness from my mind. Baba, please remove the shadows of avidya maya from my inner abode and shower me in Your divine effulgence and make me Yours. Baba, now all that is left is this one final request that You shower Your grace me so I can attain that eternal stance of divine enlightenment. Baba, I have a deep desire to have You. By Your grace, You have made me understand that by singing and chanting Your name, and by ideating on You I can get You. Because You have told me that sadhana, kiirtan, japa, dhyana, and ideating on You is not futile. As one thinks, so one becomes. By thinking about You I will get You. That is why I go on doing all these devotional practices-- in order to get You and quench my eternal thirst. Baba, please shower Your causeless grace and sweet flow of Your divine compassion, and keep me eternally under Your loving shelter. Since eternity I have yearned for that divine love; please fulfill my eternal longing. Baba, with my own merits and qualities I cannot get You. Please shower Your grace by keeping me always at Your lotus feet...
Namaskar, On this grand planet, most people never get any proper teachings in their life. Baba says, "Even after getting human life, only a few get the opportunity to listen to dharmika discourses." (AV-3) So being Ananda Margiis we have been blessed with the special grace of Baba as He has bestowed upon us all the teachings of dharma and encapsulated them in His wonderful gift of Sixteen Points.
Here following then is one of His dharmic guidelines of the 16 Points:
Baba says, "Bathe according to the prescribed system." (Point #6 of Sixteen Points)
So, as we all know, bathing is an important aspect of our spiritual life. In particular, proper bath rejuvenates and revitalises our entire existence. And it does this primarily by both cleaning and cooling the body. Here are some other specifics about our practice of bathing.
Baba says, "When taking a bath, all parts of the body, in particular the arm-pits and groin, should be cleaned properly. Soap, oil, and comb should be used every day. The body hair should never be cut, especially in the armpit and pubic region." In our daily routine, invariably we move our arms and legs to perform various tasks. And by this movement, frictional heat gets generated-- especially at the joints. Yet the human body cannot remain healthy when excess heat is generated in those areas. To combat this, nature has provided a very good system: During puberty hair grows in those joint areas and that helps to dissipate the frictional heat, thus allowing the body to naturally cool itself. And this is especially beneficial for the glands. The question may then arise that if joint hair is so important then why is it that babies and children do not have hair on their joints also-after all they generally born with hair on their head. And the reason is that children's bodies are not fully developed, and that includes their glandular system as well. So for them when their joint areas invariably become heated from their various activities then it does not have a negative effect on their glands-- as those glands have yet to be developed. Thus children have no real need for hair in their joint areas. But for teenagers and adults it is extremely important.
The thing is nature does everything in its own special way-- according to the proper timing. For example when babies are born they do not have teeth. And that is best. Because in those early years all their nutrition comes by sucking the mother's breast. And if infants had teeth it would infringe upon and negatively affect that natural process. But later on when time comes for those same young children to start eating solid food then according to nature's way those children develop teeth. So nature arranges everything in the proper time. In the same way joint hair grows on the human body exactly when it is needed-- not too early and not too late, just at the perfect time.
So for teenagers and adults joint hair satisfies a particular and special function within the body system; because that hair is needed for the all-around balance and health of the body. But some people-- in their ignorance-- cut the hair of the joints thereby inviting various diseases which result due to the improper functioning of the glands. And in addition when the glands get overheated the sex vritti also becomes active-- if not dominant. For all these reasons Baba has included within our bathing system the point to keep the joint hair clean by oiling and combing it on a regular-- daily-- basis. By this way the glands will function properly and the body will maintain optimal health. So part and parcel of our bathing and cleaning process is paying proper attention to the joint hair. Here again is Baba's pointed guideline. Baba says, "When taking a bath, all parts of the body, in particular the arm-pits and groin, should be cleaned properly. Soap, oil, and comb should be used every day. The body hair should never be cut, especially in the armpit and pubic region." Namaskar, Ishvara
As everyone is aware, here following is Baba's basic guideline for bathing. Baba says, "First pour water on the navel. Then wet the region below the navel by splashing water from the front. Then pour water from behind. Thereafter pour water on the crown of the head in such a way that it trickles down over the backbone. Then bathe all over." (CC-3, p.1) Then of course Baba has also given other points such as (a) Using a proper cleansing agent, (b) Using a scrubber, (c) Using cool or cold water, (d) Bathing in a seated position, (e) Not using hot water, (f) Not using artificially scented soaps etc. Plus, of course, afterwards we are to recite our "Pitr Purus'ebhyo namah" mantra along with the proper mudra(s).
****************************************** Why Sadhana is Difficult
Baba says, "When we engage our minds in crude thoughts, our minds lose their capacity for subtle thinking. When our minds constantly entertain animal-like thoughts, that is a sort of crude thinking. Conversely, when we think subtle ideas, our minds distance themselves from mean or petty thoughts. A person can keep his mind engrossed in a crude thought up to a certain limit, which limit depends upon his mental constitution. If a person is told to think of his pet dog for twenty-four hours, that person will surely be able to think of the dog for some time, but after that period, he will feel bored and start contemplating something else. It is a psychological fact that that person's human mind will not be able to keep itself engrossed in the crude thought of a dog for a long time. Likewise, if an ordinary person is asked to contemplate subtle ideas for a long time, his mind will feel repulsed after some time, because his mind is not used to adjusting itself to subtle vibrations for a long time. Thus the human mind functions within a limited scope of actions of certain specific types and durations. Here also the mind has to function within certain limitations, certain bondages..." "Human beings represent a mixed state of animality and divinity. We can say human beings are like a stage between water and land, that is, on the one side there is land, on the other side there is water. The path of human life extends along the subtle midline between the two. Standing on this delicate precarious line, most human beings lean towards animality: because human beings carry over the full experience of past animal life, but they do not have the experience of divine life...but once they do gather courage to move forward, they realize the greatness of that path of eternal bliss." (SS-21, p.29) Note: In His above teaching Baba is revealing the reason why doing sadhana is difficult for some people. Here the whole point is that people like activities according to their psychic standard. People like to do what their mind is habituated to thinking about. That is why very crude people like the company of drunkards and drug addicts; and that is why strong sadhakas like to spend hours and hours in meditation. Because the mind moves according to its accustomed pabulum. So if one is in an inbetween stage then they will not like the company of drunkards nor will it be easy for them to do sadhana. Because their mind is neither very crude nor habituated to that subtle practice of meditation. And if one does not practice sadhana then they will just continue to involve in their regular activities-- not progressing at all on the spiritual path. So it is important to note the mind is dynamic; it can change. Through ardent practice one can train the mind by doing sadhana and then it will become more and more accustomed to being in that sublte state. Evenutally it will become fully habituated to doing sadhana. This is the natural law. Because as the mind gets more accustomed to subtle things then it will naturally move towards sadhana.

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