Mohanji has given the practical prayers to be in harmony with ourselves and others and pointed out the depth of the benefits of surrender. He explains possible misunderstanding of the word ‘surrender’, too.
Surrender, is one of the words in human languages that is most misunderstood in usage. Surrendering to someone is a big hit on one’s ego. It diminishes one’s self-esteem. Having to surrender is considered as a weakness or a deficiency, in terrestrial terms, where ego decides actions.
While, in spiritual terms, this is a good thing. Man minus ego = God. So, surrender nullifies our ego and then the Godhood within us starts to shine. This is why we prostrate in temples and monasteries. When our head and heart come in one line, horizontally, ego is under control. When we bow down in reverence, we nullify our ego, at least temporarily. Bhakti or Devotion has a lot of value because it brings ego under control. Ignorance expands our ego while surrender brings it under control.
Traditionally, our ancestors used to practise some simple methods to maintain health and keep ego under control. Here are a few chants and their explanations.
When we wake up in the morning, after lying horizontally the whole night, our energy pattern in the body would have changed. Its frequency would have altered. While sleeping, the energies of our body has attained a tranquil, passive state. It is more latent energy. When, we wake up, we must give time for energies to start moving, preparing the body for action. In order to provide this time, they suggest lying down and look at the palm instead of jumping out of the bed and being vertical all of a sudden, which can affect the rhythm of the heart and adversely affect the meridians of our system. There is a mantra to ease our getting up. Look into the palm of your hands and chant ” Karagre vasate Lakshmi, Kara moole Sarastwati. Kara Madhya Sthitha Gowri, Prabhate Kara darsanam” This means, At the tip of our hands or fingers stays Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth. Lakshmi never stays constant at any place. Money changes hands. Fortunes change too. So, it always stays at the tip of our fingers. Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge stays at the opposite side, that is, the root of our palm near the wrist. Acquired knowledge stays with us till we die. It is more stable in terrestrial terms. In the middle stays Goddess Parvati, the kindness incarnate, the mother. She balances the knowledge and action. She enhances wisdom. With this knowledge, if you see your hands and remember the pattern of our existence, it will give sufficient time for the latent energy to move in an even fashion within as well as give us a balanced outlook. It also enhances our commitment to selfless work. It activates kindness and reverence within us. This also is a reminder that it is the god energy in us that makes things happen in our life. This is also meant to nullify our ego and surrender to the supreme.
Then we sit up in our bed. Our body has become vertical from horizontal. Energy has started moving differently. Then, we need to earth it off as we were lying horizontal before. In order to achieve that, we chant “Samudra Vasane – Paadasparsam Kshamaswame” and we bend down and touch the ground with our right palm, which is the opposite side of where our heart is. This earths the excess energy which we accumulated or conglomerated during our sleep and saves our heart as well. This is why we earth the energy through the right hand. Then we are ready for the day.
There is also one version of the same hymn where it says that Lord Krishna stays in the middle of the palm (Kara Madhye tu Govinda:). Well, He is the Guru of the Universe. If He stays in the middle of the palm, we can only function with total equanimity and detachment. He has blessed us with the Great Bhagawad Gita and if we follow His teachings and function with detachment, we attain liberation.
Then we sit up for a few seconds in our bed before we stand on our feet. This is good as it helps the body rhythm and the flow of prana through our meridians. When the feet touches the ground, we pray “Samudra Vasane Devi, Parvata Sthana mandale, Vishnu Patni Namastubhyam, Padasparsam Kshamaswame”. This prayer is to the Goddess which we call Earth, even though we address it to the wife of Lord Vishnu, Goddess Lakshmi. “One who pervades the water and mountains, or One whose body is the oceans and mountains, I prostrate to the Goddess and please forgive me, as I step on you or tread on you.” This is reverence to the mother Earth. If we have such reverence to the mother Earth, we will never be insensitive towards her and destroy her. So, we thus seek her permission to walk on her for our purpose. We remain in gratitude. This time also gives our body an easy pace between horizontal to semi vertical and totally vertical. It helps to keep our energies even and well circulated. It maintains our meridians.We are mentioning earth and water, the basic two elements in our body. Samudra (ocean) represents the water element in us which is regulated by our hara chakra. And Parvata (mountain) represents the earth element as well as potential for the highest elevation in us – the kundalini energy. Hence this is also invocation for both the elements, mother kundalini and also the other elements in us, with the prayer to assist us as we move through the day. If kundalini energy inspires us, wisdom will flow. It also says be conscious right when you wake up until you sleep. And always live on prayers and surrender.
Then we stand up, looking towards the rising sun in the east, remembering Lord Vishnu or His Avatar, Lord Krishna, the maintainer of the universe, and chant – “Kaayena Vaacha, Manasendriyaiva, Buddhyatmanaavat, Prakrite Swabhavaat, Karomi Yadyat, Sakalam Parasmai, Sri Naarayanaayeti Samarpayaami”. This means, Whatever I perform today, with my body, mind, intellect, senses, speech, my nature and character, I surrender everything at the Lotus feet of the Lord Narayana.” Narayana means the destination of man or the Supreme Father. Everything came out of Him and will merge back into Him. So, this prayer is to the Supreme Lord. When we start our day with this chant, and this understanding as well as surrender, we will accept all that happens that day with equanimity and poise and our desires or expectations will be totally under control. Even if things do not happen as we expected, we will not be perturbed and will start to accept it as the Will of Lord Narayana.
Then, we conclude our day with the surrender mantra, requesting complete forgiveness for all our actions, thoughts,and words. “Kara charana Kritam Va, Kayacham Karmacham Va, Shravana Nayanacham Va, Manasam Vaaparadham, Vihitam Avihitam va, Sarvametat Kshamaswa, Jaya Jaya Karunabdhe, Sri Mahadeva Shambho, Sri Sai Natha Sambho.” This is the final prayer before we go to bed. It says, Whatever I performed today, with my organs of action such as hands and legs, organs of perception including senses, mind and intellect, all that I performed as per your wishes or against it, due to my ignorance and non-understanding, Oh Lord, please forgive everything, please forgive me, my supreme Lord Shiva, My Lord, Sai Baba. (They are one)
As we surrender all that happened that day at the feet of the Supreme Lord, from where everything originated and perpetually dissolves, we become free from all bondage. We become detached from all our thoughts, words and action. Thus, Surrender purifies us completely. Also, we are surrendering all our activities of the day at the feet of Lord Vishnu who maintains and supports existence. He is the one who maintains creation. Preservation is His job. 🙂 And at the night, we are laying ourselves at the feet of Lord Shiva, the dissolver. He dissolves existence. He merges us with our creator. Each night, we are re-born, as we dissolve our identities during deep sleep and regain it as we wake up. So, we are requesting the lord of dissolution to forgive everything and help us dissolve smoothly into emptiness and provide us a blissful sleep. So, readers may kindly note that in the morning, we are requesting for continuity in thoughts, words and action so that all that we perform on that day bear positive results and in the night, we are requesting forgiveness which helps smooth dissolution into the lap of the Almighty without terrestrial entanglements. Those who carry hatreds and heaviness of hearts, may kindly be aware of this. One prayer goes to Lord Vishnu and the other to Lord Shiva. Both are essentially one. Both are expressions of one Parabrahma.
Surrender in spiritual sense is a great thing. It helps liberation from the birth-death cycle. The same method can be followed by people who follow any faith of their choice. The main thing is the attitude of surrender, to your chosen deity or Master or Prophet and leave all ownerships at His feet. He does everything. The whole existence belongs to Him. (He does not mean a male. Gender has no value here. It can be the Supreme Energy which is formless, genderless.)
Mohanji has answered a lot of questions about food so far.Yet, this time he dedicated the whole blog to it. Always fresh and new, deepening our understanding to the ultimate liberation. Let us all resonate with these truths, digest them well and above all, live them.
Once again, some more food for thought. I was answering some queries of our Madhuban Restaurant (Satwic Vegetarian Restaurant in Gurgaon, India) team on food. I thought I should share with you the gist of discussion, which may provoke some thoughts in you, too.
Food that we consume each day is mainly of three kinds. Food for the body, food for the mind and food for the intellect. All our intakes are bound to have some effect on us. So, what we consume have a lot of say on what we are today!
Tangible food is helpful to sustain the body. It is meant for that. But, when food becomes recreation, or, if we eat because we are bored, restless or insecure, or just because we have nothing better to do, obesity happens. Since everything that goes into our system can be considered as food of some order, it happens on all three levels – such as body, mind and intellect. I shall explain this further.
We do consume food every day. We should – to keep the body alive. Body is the temple of our soul. So, we must take care of our body. And as we know very well that food is mainly of three kinds. Food for the body, food for the mind and food for the intellect. If we eat more than the body needs, it could cause imbalance in our system. It could result in indigestion and if we over-eat continuously, accumulation will happen in the body and the visible sign of that accumulation will be obesity.
If we feed our mind on too much data, emotions, feelings and information, clutter will happen and either constipation (gloom, depressive moods, etc.) or loose motion (outbursts of every kind) will happen. The staple diet for the mind is emotions. So, if emotions are not happening on its own in your life, mind will find ways to create it, for the mind to survive! We can see spontaneous quarrels over paltry, insignificant matters all around us. We can see people picking up arguments for nothing. We can also see people using intoxicants to “open up” a quarrel or to “make a point”, which leads to continuous emotional outbursts over a period of time.
The same happens with intellect. If we overload the intellect with knowledge, it becomes inactive. They often become theoreticians or they become impractical in the regular world. Sometimes, the more degrees you accumulate, the less practical you become. The bigger the clutter, the lesser the flexibility. An obese mind and an obese intellect are much more harmful to the person than an obese body.
Body has intelligence. It obeys its own order and it has nothing to do with the conscious mind. Bodily functions are auto-run by the sub-conscious mind. Thank God! Conscious mind usually only creates problems for the body, by indiscriminate inputs. It either becomes over-cautious and starves the body or eats emotionally and abuses the body. Body has its system of detoxing. It segregates, digests, uses the essentials and discards the waste. It runs this machinery without any fault, if only the mind does not interfere. Every anxiety and every fear the mind experiences affect our digestive system, too. This is beyond the faculty of our sub-conscious mind to prevent. These are sporadic and unplanned changes affecting the system. How can the poor, programmed sub-conscious mind beat it?
Mind also has its own way of cooling its system. Sleep is one. Total shut down is another. Some people just collapse and shut themselves down when they are overloaded with emotions. Mind also diverts its attention to something not-so-important – just to escape. Mind loves escapism. It hates facing bitter realities. This is why people usually do things that they “LIKE TO DO” rather than what they “HAVE TO DO”. It is a challenge that all those who want to liberate themselves must consciously observe. Are you doing things that you like to do, due to whatever reason or what you HAVE TO DO? If everyone does only what they have to do, life would be simpler, world would be better. When we only do what we have to do, we will also allow others to do what they have to do. A live and let live situation! Beautiful! But – Alas! We love to do what others do and also do only what we like to do, even if it is escapism from our immediate reality. And, when things go wrong due to our escapism, we blame others and try to escape further. How can we run this way? What can we run away from? Obesity is increasing in mind, and soon we will fall.
Forgetfulness or memory loss is one of the ways that the intellect detoxes. It even takes a step further, it deletes the memory completely or continuity completely or leaves insufficient fragments which never provide the effect or intensity of the subject matter. We may even completely forget the emotion or feeling related to the event, the person or the knowledge. Even if we consider the mind and intellect as two sides of the same coin, forgetfulness and memory lapses can be seen spreading beyond boundaries or walls of these. It is difficult to draw a clean line between these two.
Obesity makes us inflexible. It makes us heavy. It limits our mobility. Physical mobility, mental mobility and intellectual mobility. In these three levels we should be flexible and mobile. If you consider this well, physical obesity is probably not so bad as the other two. Mental obesity and intellectual obesity are really troublesome for a healthy living. An intellectually or mentally inflexible person will fall many times in life. Whatever toxins that make these two obese have to be carefully removed. Physical obesity is the only one immediately tangible and visible to senses. But, mental and intellectual obesity reflects all through in our character as well as daily life. When ego is high, we are heavy. Ego makes us heavier.
Sometimes we also see people carrying themselves with borrowed feathers. Just like a crow that stuck peacock feathers over its own and pretended to be a peacock, and fell flat when the real test happened, many people pretend to be what they actually are not and try to get away with it. This is a clear expression of insecurity or emotional obesity. Falsehood is definitely obesity of the mind. Anything unnatural in the character adds to obesity. It means this person is definitely prone to disease or a total shut-down. There are many people who are not-so-rich, but pretend to be and move in the rich circle. And when they fail to live up to their image, they borrow to continue their pretension and their whole family suffers various calamities in the bargain. Selfishness is also obesity of the mind. Anger, fear, jealousy, selfishness, treachery, deceit, recklessness, etc, etc. are all expressions of obesity. So, as I said, an obese body is much better compared to a crippled or obese mind or intellect. Physical obesity could be reduced through physical training and medicines. Mental and intellectual obesity are even more difficult because, you cannot see it in front of your eyes. You can only feel it in the character. And by default, we either glorify it or tend to ignore it as insignificant.
Overdose of knowledge makes people obese in their intellect. Ego is the result. Ego alienates. It makes them more and more rigid and inflexible. Discriminatory facility of the brain is a blessing if used wisely. It tells you that touching fire is not a good idea as it burns. It tells you not to tease a snake or a tiger. Such guidance keeps us in good shape and health. But, when discriminatory faculty is used for comparisons between two people, or to get upper-hand over another, or to cheat or kill another, it is a sign of disease. This is invisible obesity. It kills. It violates. It kills and violates character and destiny. It makes a mess of our life. This is why most of the soap operas and movies which portray cunning, violent, and treacherous people as its characters serve as poison to our mind and take the viewers away from purity in thoughts, words and action. It destroys our inherent innocence and goodness.
I think this is sufficient food for thought for the time. We can explain this for hours. But, the bottom line is, Beware of Obesity. Especially the obesity of the mind and intellect. This is very harmful for your existence. The “lean state” of mind and intellect is being simple, straight, pure and unaffected. Most of the physically obese are very good at heart. Those who are physically obese could be physically inflexible, but are not so disease prone as much as the mentally and intellectually obese are. We should be careful about our inputs, in all three levels – body, mind and intellect. This means, we should operate from the present, in the present at all times, during our waking state. We should gather sufficient strength to discard trash food in all three levels and embrace healthy food. Reduce compulsive input and stay healthy.