Category Archives: Uncategorized

Honoring the Divine Human, by Swami Nirmalananda

Today is the full moon dedicated to the Guru, per India’s ancient tradition.  Guru Purnima is the day that the flow of grace is fullest, most easily accessible and most powerful.  Grace is the power of revelation, giving you the highest, the knowing of your own Divinity.

The world honors astronauts, celebrities, athletes, billionaires, and winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, yet most people focus on taking care of their family, taking care of their body, and living a long, happy healthy life.  All of these are great things, if they are what you want to do.  Whatever you do, when you breathe the last breaths in this life, hopefully you have your nearest and dearest around you.  If I were one of them, I’d ask you, “Did you do what you came here to do?”  What will you say?

Yoga says, if you don’t attain the highest in this lifetime, you get another chance.  You can come back and do this as many times as it takes you.  The fact that you are now alive means that you didn’t make it last time, so you had to repeat the grade.  Will you make it all the way this time?  Say, “Yes.”  Please say, “Yes.”  The world needs more enlightened beings!  Of course, if you decide to undertake this Divine Mission, you have some work to do.  It’s inner work, for your Divinity is hidden within you.

Who and what will you be when you become Self Realized?  Is it going to change your life?  The short answer is yes and no.  The change is an inner change, making you free from fear, free from self-doubt, free from enmity, full of joy and love, overflowing with compassion and the impulse to give to others.  But you can still live in the same place, do the same things and share your life with the same people.  They probably won’t notice a change in you, as you would have been changing all along.  You’ve been getting lighter, happier, more clear-headed, more practical as well as more creative and insightful.  Yoga’s practices guarantee this.

Plus, you cannot really tell anyone that you’re enlightened.  It’s a Catch 22.  If you announce that you’re enlightened, you take on the persona of being enlightened, which makes you trapped in a persona, thus not enlightened.  So, it’s a Divine Secret.  Only those who are appointed to uplift others are openly recognized and acknowledged as Self-Realized Beings.

I lived and studied with such a Master for almost seven years.  There’s nothing else like it!  Whatever you think enlightenment looks like, actually seeing it in person is a different thing.  For me, it was like comparing Cinderella at the ball to the reality of getting married.  It’s earthy.  It’s real.  Gurus are not phonies.  Seeing the Divine in action, being human, is going to shatter your concepts.  They need shattering.

Think of it this way:  when you become Self-Realized, will you still eat?  You will still have a body, so you’ll eat, drink, sweat, excrete, speak, walk, talk, sleep and maybe even snore.  You’ll still have to take care of your body, for as long as you have one.  That’s the point!  To be free while in the midst of life, to be consciousness-incarnate, embodied consciousness.

To bring the best of yourself into every action, every relationship, every breath of your life — you always wanted to be this way.  To shine with the inner light that you know is there, this is your future.  To blossom into the fullness of your innermost essence is the reason you took birth.  To be and to share the Divine in the mundane, what a way to live!  Can you see the possibility for yourself?  Is this something you can grow into?

But you deny the very same possibility to others by denying that someone other than you could have made it.  You debunk the whole idea of a Guru, when that’s really the only person who can help you get enlightened.  You cannot learn to play the flute from someone who’s never played, nor from a book.  Even if the book was written by a flautist, you cannot learn to play from a book.

If you want success in the business world, you get a mentor.  You want one who has been successful in their career, not one who hides in the back office.  If you want to attain enlightenment, you need to look for an enlightened being.  My Guru told us, “The way you become enlightened in this lifetime is to spend enough time with an enlightened being.”  What is “enough time?”  Probably it’s more than you have already spent, unless you are already enlightened and were keeping it a secret.

Every religion was founded by such a person, a Divine Human.  They were so inspiring, uplifting and transforming that people were attracted to them.  When Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha, he could not stay in one place for long; so many people came that the area ran out of food within a few days.  Some kings closed their borders to the Buddha because his travel through their kingdom would bankrupt it.

Yoga focuses on living Divinity, embodied consciousness.  While the Roman Catholic church doesn’t recognize saints until they’ve been dead for decades or centuries, there were people who knew them.  Their testimony is what makes the church able to determine that “that person had been a saint when they were alive.”  But the people who knew them got to spend time with these Divine Beings.  What about you, wouldn’t you like to know one?

Today is the day we honor the Guru.  Yoga wouldn’t be so popular in the USA if Gurus hadn’t brought it to us from India.  Even if you think it’s merely an exercise or healing system, it came from Gurus.  It’s time to honor the source.

I owe everything to my Baba.  I live in ever-growing gratitude and perpetual service to Him and to all whom He sends to me.

OM svaroopa svasvabhavah namo namah

Mantra Gives You Your Self

By Niranjan Matanich

Normally, where does your mind lead you? Does your mind lead you to identify with your inherent divinity? Most people find their mind keeps them spinning in the mundane world, sometimes giving pleasure and sometimes creating misery and pain.

When you focus your mind on mantra, you experience something else. What you experience isn’t fleeting and it doesn’t end in misery. You experience your Self, your own never-ending and unchanging essence. Your Self is the inner source from which joy, love and bliss arise. Mantra gives you that experience quickly.

I received a mantra from my Guru almost 20 years ago. I wasn’t really sure what a Guru is or what a mantra is, but I recognized the power of the mantra quickly because I couldn’t stop thinking of it. I was drawn to it.

The mantra given by a Shaktipat Guru is the direct route to experiencing your Self. Your real Self, not the self you normally identify with. Like thinking you are your body, or you are your thoughts, or you are your job and any of the other multitudes of selves that you identify yourself as being. Your real Self is beyond all of those roles you play in this world. The mantra that given by a Shaktipat Guru will give you an experience of your Self.

I forget about this from time to time. I am typically overly serious, tending towards dark moods. Sometimes I get so far into those moods that I forget about mantra. Recently I had not been focusing on mantra, and had begun to slip into my darker state of mind.  It was making me really depressed and withdrawn.

Then I remembered my mantra. I made a decision to repeat it out loud for 15 minutes and see what happens. Immediately I could feel a deeper sense of Self coming from a deeper dimension of my being. It was powerful and tangible, the difference I felt right away.  It was still powerful the next morning — I was present, I was cheerful and I was even smiling! It’s truly miraculous. The mantra is the super highway to the Self. But you have to repeat the mantra to find what is hidden in it.

This is explained in the yoga texts:

Cittam mantra.h — Shiva Sutras 2:1

By intensive awareness of one’s identity with the Highest Reality enshrined in a mantra and thus becoming identical with that Reality, the mind itself becomes mantra. — Jaidev Singh

The sutra spells it out.  The highest Reality (the Self, your Self) is enshrined in the mantra given by a Master.  After receiving the mantra, you find what’s enshrined by repeating it; it’s like unwrapping a gift to see what’s inside. Once you find what’s enshrined in the mantra, you know yourself as the Self.  Beyond that, the sutra promises your mind itself will become mantra, a major upgrade.

Swami Nirmalananda says, “To gain yoga’s promise, simply do what the sages tell you to do.  For your mind to become mantra, simply repeat mantra enough times that your mind vibrates at a higher frequency.  How many times is enough?  It is different for every person, but it exceeds the number of times you review your worries.  Which will serve you better, repeating your worries or repeating mantra?”

The average person thinks around 65,000 thoughts a day, with most of those thoughts creating your worldly identities. Yet you can repeat mantra silently for the classical 108 times in only 1 minute. How many repetitions before you become identified with the Self that is enshrined in the mantra? I don’t have the answer for you but I can guarantee you won’t regret finding it out for yourself.

Swami Nirmalananda Saraswati is a Shaktipat Guru, who can give you a mantra that reveals your Self to you.  It works because of the blessings of the Masters in her lineage, each of whom found the Self by using the mantra.  The experience of Self is enshrined in the mantra.  Because of that, you will also be able to find what’s inside you, deeper within, beyond your mind.  You are more than you think you are.

OM svaroopa svasvabhavah namo namah

To your Inherent Divinity again and again I bow.

To support the students of Svaroopa Vidya Ashram, please contribute to our scholarship fund.