Day: June 25, 2007
Discipline Opens Up A Whole New World
22 Jun, 2007 l 0029 hrs ISTlDiscourse: Gurumayi Chidvilasananda
How can the mind learn to perceive its own source, the light of Consciousness or Chitprakasa? By learning to keep its energies centred. This is possible with discipline.
Krishna describes the necessity of discipline when he says to Arjuna: “The yogi should constantly discipline himself,/ remaining in solitude, alone,/ with mind and body well restrained,/ having no desires, and without avarice”.
In yoga, the word discipline has nothing to do with the rigours of boarding school or military life; it means to purify thought, speech and action.
Baba Muktananda placed great importance on spending time alone: “One should abandon all thoughts and practise watching what is happening within”.
This is not just a matter of distancing yourself from people, buildings and professional obligations. You must make space in the region of the mind. The mind consists of four psychic instruments: the intellect, subconscious mind, ego, and conscious mind. When you make space beyond all your mental activity, you discover the company of a deeper silence within.
Krishna began with discipline; then he asked Arjuna to remain in solitude. He added the word ‘alone’. Being alone means separating yourself from the things that keep you from being with God. In this aloneness, kaivalya, there is no loneliness.
‘Having no desires’ is the next teaching in this verse — becoming free from the clutches of sense objects, from the desires of the senses. When desires are not under your control, they drive you into a ditch. A yogi, therefore, must develop the power to say ‘no’ to unwanted desires. A yogi is free from avarice. When you look at history, it is clear that greed is the cause of downfall of empires. Avarice is like a disease invading the body. For the fulfilment of yoga, to become free from desires, one-pointedness is vital, ekagra manas. A stable mind is a tranquil mind. A scattered mind can never gather enough momentum to progress on the path of discipline. When you focus the mind on something, whatever it may be, you absorb its qualities. In a very real way, you take it into yourself.
At the same time, you infuse it with your own bhav. Devotion to God is much more than a feeling. Through your devotion, God comes alive for you. Through your devotion, you also invite the one you worship into your body and mind, into your life. The formless takes on a form that you can relate to.
Krishna says: “Whenever the unsteady mind,/ moving to and from, wanders away,/ the yogi should restrain it/ and control it in the Self/ with niyama, regularity.” In the Yogasutras, Patanjali lists the niyamas as cleanliness, contentment, austerity, regular recitation of scriptural texts, and the surrender of one’s limited will to God.
Contentment, austerity, chanting mantras, and samarpana or surrender to God, help liberate the mind and receive God’s grace. Constantly remember how much grace there is in your sadhana. It’s like going for a walk and having the wind at your back. When that happens, it’s as though when you are walking, the wind is behind you, supporting you.
When You Create Music, Become The Instrument – How to overcome fear when performing before an audience?
When You Create Music, Become The Instrument
21 Jun, 2007 l 0000 hrs ISTlSatsang: Sri Chinmoy
How to overcome fear when performing before an audience?
Whenever you perform, feel that… there is only one person listening to you, and imagine that that person is a child only two years old. This is the human way.
The divine way is to see immediately the Supreme before you. If you see the Supreme and feel that you also are the Supreme, then how can one Supreme be afraid of the other Supreme? There is only one Supreme. If you bow to the Supreme inside each individual in the audience, then immediately you become one with each indivi-dual. Then you will not be afraid. Because you do not feel your oneness, you are afraid. But if you are one, then you do not feel afraid. This is the divine way…
What makes music full of supreme beauty?
Remembering constantly that your music is only an extension of your inner consciousness and that it is also an expression of the divine within that is crying for manifestation. If you can be aware of the divine within you, then you can bring to your music, supreme beauty. But always feel that the divine within you has accepted music as an expression of its reality for your own perfection in life. When you play music… feel that you are the instrument and the Supreme is playing in and through you. You are His instrument and He is playing you. He is the musician and, at the same time, He Himself is the listener. You have to feel that He is the player, He is the listener, and He is the instrument itself. If you have that kind of feeling, automatically divine perfection dawns in your music… How to keep ego out of art?
Think that you are one individual and your ego is another… From experience you know that this ego is really your enemy. The ego will stand in your way when you try to run towards your goal. By feeding someone who has a different goal from you, you are only delaying your own progress and weakening your own strength.
The Supreme is waiting for you… to reach Him. Yet you are giving half your strength to somebody who is really your enemy. The Supreme gives you the opportunity and capacity to run the fastest, but you are sharing half your capacity with somebody who is running to another goal, of des-truction. If you see the ego in this way, then you can easily separate your creative capacity from your ego…
How to infuse music with spirituality?
Each seeker-musician has a golden opportunity to please the Supreme with his music. Whenever you play music, you have to know whether or not that music is going to please the Supreme. If it pleases you and you feel it will please God, then play it. If you feel it will not please God, then never play it. …A sincere seeker needs to play only spiritual music that elevates his and others’ consciousness. Play music that inspires you, that comes from the very depth of your heart and illumines your consciousness. When you play this kind of music, you will see that in each note God Himself is blossoming like a lotus, petal by petal. When you play divine music, please feel that God is unveiling His own inner Music and fulfilling Himself in and through you…
Watch out for eye flu outbreak
25 Jun, 2007 l 0307 hrs ISTlKamayani Singh/TIMES NEWS NETWORK
NEW DELHI: The early shower in city might be a pleasant sight, but watch your eyes. The rain not only spells relief, but is an invitation to number of infections like conjunctivitis.
Doctors claim they have already started getting cases of conjunctivitis. With monsoon round the corner, such infections are likely to rise in the coming days. ‘‘Delhi is getting rain for the past few days. Many cases of haemorrhagic conjunctivitis have started pouring in, where bleeding starts in the conjunctiva and can affect the eyesight. A rise in the humidity levels will certainly lead to an increase in the number of cases of infectious conjunctivitis,’’ said Dr Ritu Aurora, consultant eye surgeon, Max Healthcare.
While infectious conjunctivitis, which is caused by pathogens (viral or bacterial), has just started manifesting in the city, cases of allergic conjunctivitis are an all time this year.
‘‘Allergic conjunctivitis, which is an allergy or reaction in the eye due to a foreign particle, has been extremely high this year. I would say that there is an increase of almost 20%-30% in the cases of allergic conjunctivitis this year. The high number of dust storms in the city has been responsible for the surge in the cases,’’ said Dr Mahesh Chandra, professor of Ophthalmology AIIMS.
Doctors suggest wearing dark glasses, avoid touching the eye and frequently washing face to prevent allergy. Infectious conjunctivitis is contagious and one has to be careful to not share eye drops, tissues, eye-makeup, towels, clothes and bedsheets.
People wearing contact lenses should take extra care as the allergens in the air, like pollen and dust, can create problems for them. ‘‘With lenses one needs to be more hygienic, avoid using them for long and preferably wear disposable contact lenses,’’ added Dr Aurora.
The symptoms of conjunctivitis start with an irritation and redness in the eye and inner eyelid. In infectious conjunctivitis, there might also be discharge from the eye. Antibiotic drops, ointments and artificial tears are prescribed as medicine. Use of steroids — which are often prescribed for allergic conjunctivitis — should be avoided.
Eat potatoes for strong immunity
25 Jun, 2007 l 1107 hrs ISTlIANS
LONDON: Eating potatoes could have a beneficial effect on the immune system, says a study conducted by Spanish researchers.
The vegetable is considered to be rich in vitamin C, B-complex vitamins and has good doses of minerals like iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. It has long been known that potatoes are good for bowel health.
It is believed to be good for the immune system, particularly if eaten cold or in a salad, the researchers write in Chemistry & Industry, a magazine of the Society of Chemical Industry.
The scientists carried out a study where they fed growing pigs large quantities of raw potato starch (RPS) for over 14 weeks and found that they had healthier bowels.
They also found that these pigs had decreased levels of white blood cells – such as leucocytes and lymphocytes in their blood. White blood cells are produced due to inflammation or when a person is ill to fight the disease, reports the science portal EurekAlert.
The general decrease in leucocytes observed by the researchers suggests an overall beneficial effect, according to immunology expert Lena Ohman at the Department of Internal Medicine, Göteborg University, Sweden.
Said José Francisco Pérez, the lead researcher from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona: “The use of raw potato starch in this experiment is designed to simulate the effects of a diet high in resistant starch.”
Humans do not eat raw potatoes, but they do eat a lot of foods that contain resistant starch, such as cold boiled potatoes, legumes, grains, green bananas, pasta and cereals.
About 10 per cent of the starch eaten by humans is resistant starch – starch that is not digested in the small intestine and so is shunted into the large intestine where it ferments.
Starch consumption is thought to reduce the risk of large bowel cancer and may also have an effect on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
The decrease in white blood cells observed is therefore interesting, and a diet of resistant starch may be worth trying in IBS patients, an expert said.
Indians crack mental illness
26 Jun, 2007 l 0043 hrs ISTlMadhavi Rajadhyaksha/TIMES NEWS NETWORK
SMS NEWS to 8888 for latest updates
MUMBAI: For the millions living with mental retardation, this breakthrough holds out a ray of hope. An international group of researchers, including two Bangalore neuroscientists, has identified an enzyme that causes the syndrome called Fragile X and successfully reverses its symptoms in mice.
Fragile X Syndrome is a genetic condition caused by a defect in the X chromosome. It’s the chief cause of mental retardation, and in some cases, a known cause of autism. It can cause varying degrees of impairment, from minor learning problems to cognitive disability. Until now, there’s been no known treatment for Fragile X.
Bangalore, was published in the ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’ on Monday. Scientists say we can expect similar results in human beings in five years.
“We found that a specific enzyme in the brain called P21-Activated Kinase (PAK), when inhibited, reversed the debilitating symptoms of Fragile X in mice,” said Sumantra Chatterji of the National Centre for Biological Sciences.
The second researcher, Shankaranarayana Rao of NIMHANS, explained that in the brain, connections between neurons are formed by protrusions called ‘spines’. The Indian contribution to the research involved monitoring how these spines were altered in the mentally challenged.
Contributed by Mr. Ankit.
Imagine this …
You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night, it’s raining
heavily, when suddenly you pass by a bus stop, and you
see three people waiting for a bus:
1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die.
2. An old friend who once saved your life.
3. The perfect partner you have been dreaming about.
Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing very well that
there could only be one passenger in your car?
Think before you continue reading…
This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually used as part of
a job application.
* You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus
you should save her first;
* or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and
this would be the perfect chance to pay him back.
* However, you may never be able to find your perfect mate again.
The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble
coming up with his answer. Guess what was his answer?
He simply answered: “I would give the car keys to my Old friend and let
him take the lady to the hospital. I would stay behind and
wait for the bus with the partner of my dreams.”
Sometimes, we gain more if we are able to give up our
stubborn thought limitations. Never forget to “Think Outside of the