|I am drawn beyond, into silence
It is easy for me to be soul conscious, be free from attachment and to maintain self-respect
I become incorporeal, egoless and viceless
The consciousness of “I and mine” melts away
I become a conqueror of the senses, the mind and the world, Maya and the elements
My karma changes
My sins are absolved
I become free from compulsion and become strong
I become free from the suffering of karma
My sanskars become elevated and my fortune bright
My account of charity increases
The lock on my intellect opens, I become free from bondage, a conqueror of Maya, flexible, an all-rounder
I become an easy effort-maker and a destroyer of attachment
I easily become one who is ignorant of the knowledge of desire
Success comes to me
I am able to maintain my original stage in adverse situations
My stage is unshakeable and immovable
I remain free from worry and a carefree emperor
I have no tension but pay full attention
A situation as big as a mountain becomes like a mustard seed and cotton wool
No obstacle attacks me, but salutes me
I am able to be liberated in life
Success is guaranteed in every task
I become an embodiment of total success
At every step …
I experience His company at every step
I experience the happiness of all relationships
I become an embodiment of authority, an image of all experiences, a combined form
I receive light and might and have a right
The intellect transforms
I develop a planning intellect and never confused
I am able to discern between wrong and right
I develop reality and royalty, touching power and catching power
My intellect is a refined, clean and swan intellect
I am an ignited light and an embodiment of power
I become trinetri, trilokinath and trikaldarshi
My life becomes simple and a sample and is filled with spiritual strength
I naturally have honesty and cleanliness
I am able to make everyone content
I become the most elevated by following the highest code of conduct
I become a guard of my virtues, lovely and lucky.
Relationships becomes rich
I am easily able to harmonise sanskars with others
I am able to become virtuous with a vision that only sees virtues
My heart becomes big and unlimited and I have regard for every soul
I become full of good wishes and pure feelings
It becomes easy to give and receive blessings
I become a master leader of one who has mercy for all
It becomes easy to uplift those who defame me
I am easily able to forgive every soul and recognise my own weaknesses
I become valuable for the world
I become a master remover of sorrow and bestower of happiness,
I become a donor, a bestower of blessings and a great donor
I become complete with 8 powers and all virtues, merciful and compassionate like the World Mother and World Father, a master of the self, a self-sovereign, a messenger of peace, loving and detached like a lotus flower, a spiritual rose, a stick for the blind, source of inspiration for others and a hero actor
I become an instrument
My life is protected and is useful for God
I am able to have the consciousness of being an instrument
I become an instrument to create an elevated world
My very breath, every second, every moment and every thoughts is used in a worthwhile way
I am the richest in the world
I become a true Meera of Murlidhar and praise-worthy, respect-worthy and worship-worthy
I become one who is constantly “wed”, a mahavir, an authority of true knowledge, a master almighty authority
I become one who is richest in the world
This article explores the relevance and importance of differentiation, intimacy and celibacy in our relationship with God
As we acclimatise ourselves to the new millennium, with world population tipping the scales over 6 billion and science able to fly men way out into the solar system, why is it so difficult for two people to live under the same roof in a relationship of peace and harmony?
Within all relationships, two counterbalancing life forces are always present—individuality and togetherness. Individuality propels a human being to follow her own directives, to be independent, and a distinct entity, whereas togetherness propels her to follow the directives of others, to be dependent, connected and an indistinct entity. The bringing of these two forces into balance therefore shapes the nature of our relationships. Differentiation is a term frequently employed to describe the process by which a person manages individuality and togetherness in a relationship. On a basic level this is revealed in an individual’s ability, across life, to keep thinking and emotions separate, and to choose between behaviour which is governed by emotional reactivity, or thinking; and to set a life course based on carefully thought out principles and goals. A high level of differentiation allows a person to be emotionally involved with others, without losing touch with his own sense of individuality—both of which can be done simultaneously, and with profound depth. No matter what intensity of emotional and external pressure may be applied to coerce such a person to operate in a non self-determined way, he will be able to retain his autonomy.
However people with low levels of differentiation lack beliefs and convictions of their own, and adapt quickly and uncritically to the prevailing ideology. Even if the beliefs conflict with the facts—conviction is so fused with feeling that it becomes a cause. An individual with unresolved issues of differentiation may pursue intimacy to achieve the feeling of being fused or merged with another. This of course, is not possible, and ultimately leads to frustration, disillusionment and alienation.
Closely related to the notion of differentiation are the concepts of true self and false self. In the usual kind of relationship between two people, there will mostly be an exchange between the false self of both. This kind of exchange is called games, manipulation, control, and patterns of interaction. We often refer to it as “the fit” between the two individuals in a couple. As people try to reshape each other and react to one another’s values, beliefs, etc, one may get the upper hand and become dominant in a certain part of the relationship, where other parts are either traded off or fought over. The false self is vulnerable to being moulded by others, and is most vulnerable in emotionally intense relationships. This is where most people have difficulty—allowing their partner to just be who he or she is. They complain of a lack of intimacy and sexual intensity, but intimacy is about the last thing they can tolerate.
Such an individual is expressing an almost non-existent awareness of essential self, and is functioning totally at the level of personality.
What is the difference between the soul and the personality?
The soul is the spiritual essence or being that is I. When we are born into this life, the soul is emerged and pure. Babies are natural, innocent, defenceless, pure and loving little creatures.
Children and adults alike find these qualities very attractive. As we grow, we begin to develop personality or ego defences, as a way of resisting the pain experienced from little hurts or rejections and, in many cases, to resist the pain of trauma, abuse and neglect. Personality forms around the soul, in a sense, and builds up as layers and layers of defence mechanisms. This construction of personality is completely false, since it is based solely on resistance to the environment. Our emotional reactivity comes from the personality, not from the soul. The more layered with defences we become, the more we are distanced from our essence, until the soul is completely forgotten. This state of spiritual lostness results in the conviction that I am my personality. The experience of the soul is anchored in the essential states of being: strength, love, will, value, bliss, power, peace, etc. These states are experienced with our spiritual senses, our mind, and our feelings. In other words, they come from our innate being, and are not based on a reaction to an external person, place or situation. It is in meditation that we bypass personality and connect directly with the soul, and experience these super-sensuous states of being. A realised self is central to our capacity for intimacy, for intense experiences of self are at the very core of intimate exchange. It is this self which is disclosed during intimacy, and it is this self which allows one’s partner, or ‘other’, to be whom he or she is. Relinquishing expectations of reciprocity and tolerating existential separateness determines an individual’s upper limit for intense intimacy.
It is also worth noting that intimacy is apparently experienced most rarely in marriage, and most commonly in friendship.
During the 16 years that I have been developing my ongoing practice of Raja Yoga, this relationship that I experience with God has been a crucible for my spiritual growth.
Within the spiritual context of Raja Yoga, we are called upon, ultimately, to experience all relationships with God, to relinquish all our falseness (personality) and relinquish attachment in physical relationships. Instead, we are incited to have spiritual relationships with our fellow souls. This doesn’t mean giving up relationships, but it does mean an exchange which takes place between real selves.
The aware soul is not one to coerce or control another, or be controlled. Games of the false personality have no place within the spiritual encounter. When the soul engages in yoga or union with God, the intensity of this connection will be governed by the intimacy tolerance of the person who is meditating. God, I believe, doesn’t have problems with intimacy or differentiation, we do. Thus, God comes completely into the union which occurs with us. Because the experience is subtle, if the false self is in the way, the experience of contact will be contaminated by waste thoughts and projections of the personality. We often speak about the fire of yoga, meaning intense yoga or connection, in which the impurity and falseness (of the personality) that the soul carries, is incinerated. There is no other explanation for the magic of what happens. This is the transforming alchemy. Intimacy with God means intense fire, melting down to one’s very essence. It is reassuring to realise, especially at times when old pieces of identity seem to have flown far away, that it is only possible to lose what is false. At first the true me is not obvious either, but emerges as a rather quiet, flowing and gentle beingness, relative to the louder experience of ego identity. For all of these reasons, committing to a partnership with God involves the practice of Brahmacharya, meaning physical and mental purity. Brahmacharya is not a path of celibacy through repression, since the mind will not be free, even though the sexual urge may be rigidly (albeit temporarily) restrained. Sexual relationships won’t support the task of differentiating in the way that brings us into the company and intimacy of God either, even in a spiritually oriented relationship. Truly spiritual relationships with other human beings are, by their very nature, loving, non-attached, giving and pure. Part of the differentiation process is understanding, in a deep way, that I cannot have my cake and eat it too. Sacrifice is part and parcel of any mature relationship, and the integrity, which develops as a result, carries high dividends. Thus the paths of spirituality and sexuality must, of necessity, diverge, for it is not possible to attain the Parnassus Heights while pulled, even subtly, by body image and attachment. Yet this is a choice we must make for ourselves. God cannot make the choice for us, let alone any organisation or religion. Such a decision remains with the self, alone. Hence the decision must be self-validated, not other-validated or organisation-validated. This is what differentiation is all about, self-validation and self-reference. The decision to practice Brahmacharya is not likely, in the west at least, to be valued and respected by society. It means not conforming, and stepping outside accepted practice. Nor is celibacy a spiritual refuge for undealt with sexual and emotional problems. Sooner or later they will fester, obstructing growth and demanding to be dealt with. This is the nature of the spiritual path. Whatever remains dark and unfinished within me will be exposed. Maintaining the game of repression in the guise of elevated attainment is spiritual suicide. I realise it is almost inconceivable for many to entertain the idea of such a relationship with the Supreme Soul. Sixteen years ago, it was inconceivable to the atheist in me, too. Finding myself in a profound spiritual attraction was, first of all, way beyond the boundaries of my life experience. Later on, the hook, if you like, was that celibacy seemed such a radical thing, it actually appealed to me as much as atheism. I saw it as a brilliant act of rebellion against the beliefs and practices of a society which quite frankly, had let me down.
Three months after I decided to give celibacy a go, to my great surprise a new perspective awakened in me. Overnight, it seemed, I was liberated from the entrenched beliefs, projections and covert web of games between men and women. I was free, realising a new level of respect for the opposite sex, for my own gender, and of course for myself. I realised that the messages, values and double standards of my society had caused me intolerable confusion and pain. Remarkably, at the age of thirty-six, my programming was disabled, the blinkers were off, and I was flying. My worldview was changing fast, as I found myself released into a very different consciousness. When I bravely shared this with one of my friends (who happened to be a sex therapist), she was utterly shocked. Pulling herself up to her full height, “I would never recommend celibacy to any of my clients”, she retorted, reeling with horror. Perhaps it is only through direct encounter with God that this practice of purity is possible. I don’t know, but I suspect it is. In conclusion, I would like to say just one thing. If God taps you on the shoulder and invites you for the next dance, I wish you the best of luck in refusing.
What supports the practice of meditation but does not require leaving home, career and family?
A Spiritual Lifestyle
when the songs of remembrance begin,
the child of the Father is lost in the Ocean of Love.
Holding the hand of the Guide,
through the path of confusion inside,
tears become pearls in the silence and passing of time.
The song of remembrance is sung in unlimited rhyme,
the song of remembrance is sung in unlimited rhyme,
Dance away, to the beautiful music you wanted to play,
dance away, in your heart, in your heart.
What is a Spiritual Lifestyle?
Regular daily meditation is the way to build and strengthen your spiritual awareness, experience the natural positive qualities of the soul and achieve freedom from fear. This process is greatly enhanced when your outer lifestyle complements and assists in your spiritual growth. Regular observance of four spiritual pillars, a vegetarian diet, and a balanced routine that incorporates physical and mental relaxation are the elements that comprise a spiritual lifestyle.
Four Spiritual Pillars
A spiritually fulfilling life is based on a foundation of four pillars:
• daily practice of meditation/yoga
• regular spiritual study
• spiritual relationships and fulfilling responsibilities
• the service of humanity
Daily Meditation Practice
Daily meditation/yoga provides the means to explore, discover and reconnect with one’s self and with God.
Regular Spiritual Study
Regular, daily spiritual study provides the right quality food for mind and intellect, the two key faculties of the soul.
Spiritual Relationships & Responsibilities
Through the experience of soul-consciousness others are recognized as spiritual beings and a feeling of brotherhood grows. By transcending the divisions of colour, sex and religion, relationships become more smooth and rewarding. The exchange of respect and spiritual love becomes the basis of interaction. The decision to deal with others’ good qualities means there is no longer the give and take of sorrow, rather an emphasis on acceptance and tolerance.
Spirituality is not an escape from life’s responsibilities. You have a responsibility to your immediate relationships—family, colleagues and friends—and it is in those relationships that your ability to apply what you are learning spiritually will also be tested and strengthened.
Finding an appropriate way to use your growing spiritual power and understanding for the benefit of others in the wider community is also a method of sustaining your personal growth. Spiritual service occurs on many levels, including spreading peaceful vibrations into the atmosphere and helping others develop awareness of their own spiritual qualities through good wishes and pure feelings.
In respecting and caring for our bodies, diet needs deep consideration. A vegetarian diet is especially beneficial in developing the clarity, concentration and subtle focus which spiritual development requires.
With an understanding of the power and quality of thoughts and vibrations, we also give attention to the quality of our consciousness as we prepare and eat our food.
Physical & Mental Relaxation
Providing rest and relaxation for the body is as important as it is for the mind. The body will not relax if the mind is not relaxed; however even when the body is injured or ill, it is still possible for the mind to relax. Meditation is an important self-healing component when one is recovering from physical illness.
The timing and extent of physical relaxation activities depends on your personal metabolism as well as your professional and family responsibilities. However it has long been recognised that the most effective time in the daily cycle for meditation and spiritual development is in the early morning, before the routine activities of the day begin. Taking time each morning to meditate, study and understand spiritual principles and values provides both mental and spiritual nourishment for the day to come.
What has a trunk that can’t be seen, branches that are no longer green, uncountable leaves of different hues and a lineage that self-renews?
The Tree of Life
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
–Ilan Shamir, Advice From a Tree
The Human Family Tree
The lifecycle of a tree in nature – its origin, growth in size, decline and rejuvenation – offers a good analogy for the lifecycle of the Human Family Tree. All parts of a tree are interconnected. Something that happens to one part of a tree affects the whole tree. To look at the almost fully – grown tree of humanity’s life on earth today is to observe and understand its journey through time.
Seed of Humanity
The seed of humanity, of the human family, is God, the Supreme Being, the essence from which the whole tree of humanity grows. The trunk of the tree symbolises the era of paradise which emerges from that perfect Seed – that golden era before recorded history when there is unity of belief, culture, language and governance; that period of perfected civilization when there is no difference between the theory and practice of righteous living. People in such a time lack nothing, are totally fulfilled, and share a harmonious way of life. The closeness of the trunk to the seed symbolizes how souls at that time embody God’s qualities, living lives based on the principles of truth. Such souls are memorialized in stories and legends as ‘gods’ and ‘goddesses’, but few any longer understand that such divine beings actually once walked upon our earth.
The Tree of Life Grows
As a tree grows, its trunk naturally expands in size. Similarly, the human population expands. More ‘leaves’ (individual human souls) appear on the tree. Just as leaves naturally leave their bud-like state and begin to unfold, so the deities open themselves to greater involvement with the physical world and concern with the physical body – the temple of the soul. Completely unaware that they are losing awareness of their true identity – the soul itself – in the process, they also lose touch with their original nature of purity, peace and truth.
This shift in consciousness brings a marked decline in power, purity and the ability to discern right from wrong. Divinity departs. Paradise is lost. Suddenly there is the experience of something other than peace and happiness. Suddenly there are feelings that are strange and uncomfortable. Suddenly there is unpleasantness, unrighteousness, unrest, and untruth. These ‘insects’ gnaw at many of the leaves and human actions become motivated by ever – growing demands for possessions, prosperity, position, and power. No longer the masters of self, souls become slaves to their desires.
As the unity of the trunk loses its integrity, minds begin to search for truth and hearts to long for comfort. The memory of God, the Seed, resurfaces from the depths of the human psyche. This intensifies the search for truth. In response, great prophet souls one by one make their entrances – Abraham, Buddha, Christ and Mohammed – respectively bringing messages of a return to righteousness, of hope and forgiveness, of mindfulness and of single – mindedness. Each prophet soul establishes the mighty branch of a great religion on the Human Family Tree. The ideals of love, law, enlightenment, and surrender now manifest as major differences in approach.
Chaos and Confusion
Many new leaves emerge on the branches as the human family drastically increases in size. Chaos and confusion ensue as the search for self-realization and truth gives rise to divergent beliefs and ways of thinking. Each main branch diversifies into smaller limbs and twigs. Cults, sects and ‘– isms’ emerge. Meanwhile, within the central trunk of humanity, the worship of nature and of human beings as gurus takes hold. The human family is now divided by colour, race, religion and ideology, its increasing dysfunction mirrored by a corresponding increase in natural calamities, mental and physical disease, poverty and untimely death.
The Tree Reaches its Limits of Growth
In this ever increasing peacelessness more and more people turn toward God; but without knowing who He really is or what He does, doubt in His very existence also arises. The search for truth comes to focus exclusively on physical evidence, giving rise to wondrous advances in science and technology. Quickly faith in the veracity and power of science proliferates while religion and philosophy become materialistic and politicized. Meanwhile among the branches, faith becomes fundamentalism as those who tenaciously cling to traditional beliefs feel compelled to violently defend their views. Religion, language, culture have strayed very far indeed from their roots in divinity.
The tree reaches its limits of growth. Its roots are in a state of decay, its trunk barely visible amidst its jumbled tangle of sagging branches. Each soul hangs on helplessly, like a forlorn leaf on a twig of a wintry tree.
God the Seed Regenerates the Tree
But before old life dies, new life is given by the Seed, the Creator of the tree. God, the Seed of the Human Family Tree, reveals how that which was can be again. Awakened by the advent of this Seed, and deriving strength and sustenance by forming a renewed relationship with this One, individual human souls become foundational roots from which a new young sapling can emerge. The regeneration of the Human Family begins.
Meditate deeply, visualizing yourself as a root soul sitting close to God, the Seed of our Human Family. Draw from that Seed the eternal essence of all that can be attained in life. Remain beneath the canopy of the knowledge of our Human Family Tree and all of your pure desires will be fulfilled.
What has a cast of billions, unlimited scenes and contains all the infinite possibilities of human expression and experience?
The Eternal World Drama
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return, we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game
–Joni Mitchell, The Circle Game
Eternity: Time as a Cycle
It is difficult for the mind to comprehend eternity – no beginning, no end. Reasons ‘why’ are moot and mute when there’s no starting place. If I look at a circle, at a wheel, it is impossible to find the beginning or the end. Can such an image help me understand eternity?
As I look at the natural world around me, I see never – ending cycles everywhere – in the waxing and waning of the moon; in the gradual changing of the seasons; in the measure of time on the face of a clock. Nothing in nature is a straight line. Why should human nature be an exception?
The World Drama Cycle
The World Drama is a story of human souls, their rise and fall, victory and defeat, happiness and suffering, wisdom and ignorance, freedom and bondage. It is the story of the play of good and evil forces, and of the different stages through which human souls pass in five different epochs (acts). It is the story of humanity on its dramatic journey through the cycle of eternity. It is the greatest story ever told… And we all love a good story!
The Five Acts of the World Drama
Act 1 The Golden Age
Act One begins with the early morning scene of a golden age. Each individual manifests the divinity of purity, peace, happiness, love, and truth with complete inner harmony. Their loving actions and interactions are the threads of the fabric of society. These are divine beings whose respect for nature is such that they are served with abundance from the earth. Family life is fulfilling because relationships are based on mutual honesty and trust. The behaviour and attitude of all is selfless and sharing. The integrity of the soul is expressed in its natural wisdom and spiritual accomplishment. It is paradise.
Act II The Silver Age
Act Two continues with an afternoon scene in which a very gradual decline is taking place, unnoticed by the actors, who have significantly increased in number. Even though they are still radiant with love and peace, even though nature is still resplendent with colour and beauty, the original freshness that characterized the morning has gone. The actors are paying greater attention to external form and function and less to inner realities; the experiences of the senses are leaving impressions on the soul. Integrity begins to give way to influence. Material resources are spread a little more thinly to accommodate the growing demand. Although there is no negativity or sorrow, and all remain masters of the arts of life, the quality of everything is slightly less.
Act III The Copper Age
The change from Act Two to Act Three as evening begins is a dramatic one. It is marked by a massive shift in consciousness from self–awareness to self–forgetfulness. This forgetfulness of the true spiritual self creates duality within the minds of the actors. The first traces of conflict within and of external strife appear within the play. This fall from the grace of soul–consciousness into the illusion of body–consciousness brings with it the loss of mastery. Human beings become compelled by a search for power and possessions to compensate for a growing inner void. Even while searching for lost truth and enlightenment they are deceived into believing that accumulating material possessions will bring them security and peace of mind.
Act IV The Iron Age
Act Four finds the stage of the world in total darkness, illusion and despair. There has been an extreme decline in moral, ethical and spiritual values. Human beings are chained to the pillars of immoral practices and habits. Widespread sorrow and unrest have become the norm of human experience. The world is divided into many groups, many of which are pitted against each other in games of power conditioned by self–interest and expediency. The human family is at a breaking point. As the night wears on, the population explodes exponentially until the planet’s resources reach their limits.
Act V The Diamond Age
Act Five consists of only one scene in which the Director of the Drama becomes the primary Actor. He appears quietly in one corner of the stage and begins to unveil the truths inherent in the story of human life: the truth of the immortality of the soul, its true, eternal relationship with God and the true path to upliftment and fulfilment. These words of truth stir, in the actors, deep memories of their long distant past; there is an awakening. Standing at the dawn they can again observe the carousel of life in its entirety – from divinity to duality, from gold to iron – each soul melding with the eternal rhythm within every moment until it comes full circle. With love for God in their hearts and truth once again permeating their being, the actors dance their way gradually off the stage, united in their vision of the approaching golden morning. The darkness of the night slowly lightens into the dawn of the new day. As the curtain comes down on Act Five, it rises again to mark the beginning of Act One. Humanity has come full circle: the old journey of life has ended; a new world begins.
Has the script of this drama rung any bells? Have you ever experienced Dיja vu – the feeling that you’ve been here before? What if the story is true – that you really have come to this place in time once again?
What gives exactly as much as it takes? Goes and comes around? What shows an effect but hides its cause?
The first thing we do is take a breath.
Then we must give it back.
This is the rhythm of life.
This is a natural law of reciprocity
Where everything and everybody is affected.
You start by taking what you end up giving.
This is the law of cause and effect.
This unwritten law encompasses every action we perform.
This is the law of perfect justice.
We always get the return of everything we give.
What is Karma?
Karma is a natural spiritual law or principle which governs all our interactions. It starts with the seed of thought which develops and grows over time through our feelings, attitude, words, actions, and relations. It finally settles into our souls as personality traits, only to emerge again in the form of another thought.
The Law of Karma can be understood as the spiritual equivalent of Newton’s Third Law of Motion, which states that for every action [on the physical plane] there is an equal and opposite reaction. In physics, the understanding of the absoluteness of Newton’s law shed so much light on a world that had previously been shrouded in mystery, that today it lies at the foundation of many advances in science and technology.
The Law of Karma
The Law of Karma is equally unequivocal in the spiritual dimension. It states that ‘for every action on the spiritual plane there is an equal and opposite reaction’. This means that if happiness is given, happiness will be experienced in return and if sorrow is given, sorrow will be experienced in equal measure. In other words, whatever emotion I cause another to experience must ultimately become my own experience.
Consequences of the Law of Karma
Understanding the Law of Karma makes me aware that each action (or karma) causes a return, a consequence; equally, events (and their effects) can only occur when there has been a corresponding cause. This means that whatever circumstances I’m in at the moment – whoever or whatever is compelling me or repelling me and whatever I am experiencing – is the consequence of my own prior thoughts, decisions and actions. Understanding the Law of Karma gives deep significance to concepts such as responsibility and justice.
Sometimes the Law of Karma is only half understood. Someone may think helplessly, “If whatever is happening to me now is because of my past actions, then there’s nothing I can do about it”. But if the past created the present, the present also creates the future. Instead of being a slave to one’s past, understanding the Law of Karma inspires us to actively participate in creating our own destiny.
Law of Karma: Absolute Justice
Thought is a seed; action is its fruit. The quality of fruit is determined by the quality of its seed. Good thoughts lead to good actions which benefit others as well as one’s self. The Law of Karma begins to work to my advantage when I stop habitual actions that are harmful, take responsibility to positively address the consequences of any such actions performed in the past, and pay attention to performing positive actions from this moment forward. The Law of Karma is a law of absolute justice whose long arm reaches easily from one life to the next, enabling the soul to reap the fruit of whatever seeds it has sown and to create the destiny it wants.
Meditation enables me to understand my karmic circumstances, empowers me to settle my ‘karmic accounts’ in the best possible ways and shows me how to accumulate ‘karmic credit’ for the future.
Who has been remembered as the Ocean of Love, the Intellect of the Wise, the Almighty Authority, the Comforter of Hearts, the Truth, The Living Being and the Blissful One?
I show you the path of love.
My love remains unbroken and constant.
I cannot forget even one of you.
I have so much love for you,
and My love is unconditional and unlimited.
I am the Beloved.
You have been calling out to Me for a long time.
Who Is God?
We are used to knowing things by seeing them, hearing them, tasting them, touching or smelling them. Most of us have grown up in a ‘seeing–is–believing’ and ‘hands on’ culture and we are used to perceiving things in that way. Because we can’t see, hear, taste, touch or smell God, the question arises – is God for real?
One can reach out to God with pure thoughts and be connected to Him. The soul experiences the response of pure feelings and spiritual strength. God is truth itself and thus can be recognized with the eye of truth.
God: The Supreme Soul
Like us, God is also a soul. Unlike us, He is referred to as the Supreme Soul – the only soul who never takes a body (gross or subtle, human or angelic) of His own. He is beyond the effects of actions and is never subject to the dualities of birth and death, pleasure and pain, success and failure. Being beyond the limits of time of this physical world, He retains absolute knowledge of the universe and all its dimensions.
Where is God?
God lives, not everywhere but somewhere. A thought of God almost always takes the eyes upwards, as though one is perhaps expecting a face to miraculously appear from behind the clouds or to beam down from the moon. Thoughts are powerful. They link one soul to another. If they are properly channelled, thoughts can even go where only the soul can travel – beyond the moon and stars to a dimension of golden red light, the original home of all souls. Immersed in the experience of the warmth of this light, the soul feels as though it is truly at home at last, and with God.
God – The Spiritual Sun
Like the physical sun, which gives light and life indiscriminately to all beings, God is the Spiritual Sun, giving light to all, whomever and wherever they may be. He serves altruistically, without any selfish motives, reminding each one of their innate qualities of love, peace and happiness. This is why He has been remembered in some countries and cultures by the name Shiva, The Benevolent One.
God’s Wisdom, Love and Power
People may wonder why, if God exists, He doesn’t wave a magic wand and fix things, making or at least influencing everyone so that they do exactly what they ‘should’ do. But God never takes away anyone’s freedom of choice. God’s wisdom is to recognize and respect each soul’s individual identity, freedom and inherent goodness. God shares knowledge – a profound understanding of the dualities and dilemmas of love and hatred, happiness and sorrow, victory and defeat, etc. – but He does not make our choices for us. The soul is free to choose ‘to be or not to be’, ‘to love or not to love’. God’s love strengthens the soul’s will to free itself from the distresses caused by vices such as selfish desire, anger, fear, ego and attachment. God’s power helps the soul to recognize its highest potential and to aim for perfection by practising the art of simple living and high thinking. Such practice by a significant number of souls eventually brings about positive change in the whole of humanity.
When you learn to tune your mind in meditation to the mind of God, then whatever the situation, you always have a source of help and strength to draw upon – an infinite reservoir of power and virtues that is only a thought away.
Where have I come from? And whence shall I return?
The Soul World
There is a land called Paramdham.
It is a world of peace,
A world of light,
A world all souls once knew as Home.
We journeyed here to play our parts
We soon forgot
Where we had started from.
Weary souls now long for Home once more.
Where have I Come From?
When I begin to consider myself to be a soul, the question often arises, “Where do souls come from?” In meditation I can explore dimensions of consciousness beyond the physical senses. Experiencing these dimensions increases my awareness of subtle realities of thought and feeling and ultimately takes me to a place of utter peace, purity and silence in which I feel as if I’ve returned to my original ‘home’. Together, the physical, subtle and soul ‘worlds’ comprise the three main levels of human consciousness.
The Physical World
The world in which we are now living is known as the physical or corporeal world, because all living beings here have a gross, corporeal or manifest form. The physical earth can be thought of as a vast stage where we ‘play our parts’ in the drama of life, in different bodily ‘costumes’. It can also be thought of as a field, where seeds of action are sown and fruits are reaped as experiences of happiness and sorrow. Here ‘time’, ‘space’, ‘history’ and ‘geography’ are important parameters of existence; here the laws of science apply. It is a world of expression and experience.
The Subtle World
Beyond the limits of the vast expanse of our solar system and distant galaxies there are regions of non-material light, unreachable by physical means and inaccessible to the physical senses. These realms can only be experienced through deep meditation and divine insight. The subtle world is an intermediate dimension of pure, positive luminous energy in which there is the experience of one’s subtle body of light and communication with other souls through pure spiritual thoughts and vibrations.
The Soul World
Beyond the physical realm of action and the subtle realm of pure thought lies an infinite, timeless dimension of complete stillness, silence and peace. Suffused with golden-red luminosity, this is the realm of God, the Supreme Being, Parent of all souls. It is the original home of all souls, where we once dwelt in a dormant, seminal state of total belongingness and bliss. Experiencing this ‘supreme region’ (Paramdham) of highest consciousness in meditation renews and recharges the soul, empowering it with the strength to play its part in the physical world with peace, equanimity and enlightened clarity.
In Raja Yoga meditation, not only do I journey inward to experience my essential self; I also journey upward into higher consciousness, going beyond the awareness of the physical body and the physical world. With practice I am able to perceive and experience the dimension of pure soul consciousness, beyond sound, activity and thought. In this place or state of awareness I experience complete freedom, peace, rest and comfort, as if I’ve come home to a place where I truly belong and where I can simply be.
What exchanges old for new, offers no special deals or closeouts, and keeps us coming back for more?
Know this while you are.
Reincarnation is the natural
process of recycling human energy through
birth, growth, decay and death.
Each rebirth is a link in one’s eternal chain
of latent impressions, thoughts, desires and actions.
The soul in its new body is given the opportunity
to learn from the past, to live the present and to prepare for the future.
Reincarnation: Why Believe?
Once I have begun to base my sense of ‘who I am’ on perceiving myself as a soul rather than on perceiving only my temporary costume, the body, I deeply realize that, as a being of spiritual energy giving life to the body, I am immortal. I begin to understand that I change bodily costumes just as a snake sheds its skin, but I – the eternal soul – can never die.
Death and Rebirth
At the moment of physical death, the soul withdraws its energy from the organs of the body and vacates its seat in the middle of the forehead. It takes with it the impressions accumulated in that life and enters into the body of an unborn baby, while that new body is still being formed in its mother’s womb. This normally happens between the fourth and fifth month of pregnancy. A human soul only enters a human body. The type of body the soul enters and the conditions of birth are determined by the past actions of the soul in its previous life or lives, and the cumulative account of give and take that it has built up with other souls. Without proper understanding of this process, the leaving of one body and the taking of another is often an experience of great fear and anguish; but the details of the old life are soon obliterated by new experiences so that the soul is not overwhelmed and confused by past memories.
Reincarnation: What You Take With You
By the time the baby’s body and brain are developed, the soul has all but forgotten the past and become accustomed to its new conditions and to the parents of its new body. However, although the soul cannot usually remember details of its past life or lives, it carries with it—in the form of attitudes, tendencies and personality—the cumulative effect of all that it has experienced and learned. All that is genetically brought to the new life is the physical make-up of the body, the racial type, the colour of eyes, shape of nose and so on. And although the environment in which a child is raised – as well as the personalities of those around the child – definitely exert an influence on the child’s development, its tendencies and reactions to people and events are not biologically generated but are inherent in the soul from previous existences. Those predominant impressions recorded in the past life soon begin to manifest themselves and are expressed in the new surroundings.
Relationship in Other Lifetimes
Human life is based on inter–relationships between souls, which in turn are based on the different impressions present in each. These impressions determine the course of life, the nature of the soul’s activities and its physical placement in a particular environment. Thus there is typically a link or an ‘account’ between two souls who have formed a relationship in one lifetime; that link will bring them together again in other lifetimes. This explains why many people have the sense of having met or known a person before, even though they are apparently meeting for the first time. Or they experience meeting someone with the feeling of either attraction or repulsion even though they don’t know them well enough in the current life to have developed those feelings. What is taking place is that the soul is recognizing the other soul – even though they have different bodies – from the last time they met.
Reincarnation: Process of Rebirth
Reincarnation is a process of rebirth. With each death comes a new birth and the opening of a new chapter in the never ending story of life. With each new birth the soul carries on with its journey through eternity where it left off in terms of its ‘accounts’ in the previous birth. The soul is not the victim of an angry or vengeful God condemning it to a lifetime of deprivation or suffering for no apparent reason. The soul inherits a past created by its own self. The fact that the precise past causes for the circumstances of the new life are not apparent or visible does not mean that they don’t exist. In other words, a soul born in fortunate circumstances is not the recipient of God’s grace or blessings; rather it is reaping the reward of its own generous and beneficial actions done in the previous birth(s). Each soul is constantly experiencing the effect of some past action and also planting seeds to be reaped as some future fruit.
The understanding of reincarnation reinforces, in meditation, the experience of my own immortality, my eternal existence as a soul. This is excellent medicine for many types of fear, anxiety and limited thinking.
What is it that a razor can’t cut, fire can’t burn, water can’t wet, nor can the wind dry?
This is you
Imagine a tiny point located where thoughts come from.
That point thinks, remembers and decides.
This point is you.
The point where every emotion is born…
This is you.
A spiritual being interacting through the body…
This is you.
The eternal source of life and life’s experiences, the seat of self–esteem and self–respect.
This is you.
Who Am I?
Has your sense of identity been changing lately? Are you experiencing a move, a change of career, or your children leaving the nest? Do you have the vague feeling that you could be doing something that has greater heart and meaning for you? Are you re–evaluating your life’s purpose?
Change loosens the tight hold that my sense of bodily identity generally has on me. Because the familiar labels that have defined how I think of myself are changing, I feel uncertain as to who I really am and unclear as to how to find out. It is fortunate when such uncertainty causes me to search for my true identity with fresh openness, for then I am naturally led towards a state of higher awareness.
I am a soul
The spiritual knowledge of the Brahma Kumaris encourages each of us to visualize ourselves as a spiritual being, an infinitesimally tiny star, a minute point of invisible luminous non–physical energy, that is, as a soul. Is this really who I am? For so long, I have thought of myself as woman, or man; as a physical being rather than a spiritual being…
Allow yourself to experiment. For a few moments think of yourself as a tiny star of pure living light – the light of the energy of consciousness. Think of yourself as a soul, the ‘being’ located in the centre of your forehead, behind the ‘windows’ of your eyes. When you are in this awareness, you are soul conscious. This is your spiritual identity.
Throughout time, philosophers have affirmed that by stepping beyond the limitations of the egocentric self, an individual can experience ‘self realization’. With this realization comes a deep understanding of the worth of a human being. When I am soul conscious, my sense of identity is derived from the inherent worth of the soul, rather than from the limited impermanent image of the body.
After self–realisation comes self–remembering. To remember who I am is to develop the ability to maintain soul consciousness as I think, move and interact – to mindfully use my mind and body with wisdom, care for them with accuracy and discipline, and communicate respect and love through my attitude, thoughts, vibrations and expressions.
Soul: Mind, Intellect and Personality
Every soul has three separate faculties which are inherent in all human beings irrespective of place of birth. Just as electrical energy produces warmth, sound or light depending on the device through which it passes, similarly, the energy of consciousness functions through three different but closely connected faculties, referred to respectively by the terms mind, intellect, and personality.
With the power of the mind, one imagines, thinks and forms ideas. Thoughts are created in the mind. The thought process is the basis of all emotions, desires and sensations. It is through the minds that, in an instant, thoughts reach anywhere, a memory can be relived and the feeling of happiness or sadness is experienced. The metaphysical mind should not be confused with the heart, the physical organ that maintains blood circulation.
Thoughts are processed and interpreted by the intellect. This is the faculty which understands. The capacity to understand is perhaps the single most crucial ability of the soul. Clear understanding of anything is possible when the intellect becomes broad, deep and farsighted through the regular study of spiritual knowledge and the disciplined practice of meditation. The intellect also reasons, memorizes, discriminates and makes decisions. The non–physical intellect should not be confused with the physical brain, which is the physical focus of the nervous system. The brain is the soul’s control panel; it provides the facilities for the soul’s expression.
Any action once performed leaves an impression on the soul. Habits, temperaments and tendencies are all embedded in the soul (as images, feelings, sounds, trains of thought, etc.) as a result of every action performed. The most fundamental feature of every soul, its personality, is determined by such stored impressions. These impressions, formed in the past, are the reservoir which we draw upon, often sub–consciously, as our source of thoughts and actions in the present.