Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Adi Shankaracharya was the first philosopher who consolidated Advaita Vedanta, one of the sub-schools of Vedanta. He believed in the greatness of the holy Vedas and was a major proponent of the same. Not only did he infuse a new life into the Vedas, but also advocated against the Vedic religious practices of ritualistic excesses. He founded four Shankaracharya Peethas in the four corners of India, which continue to promote his philosophy and teachings. Adi Sankaracharya biography reveals that he was also the founder of Dashanami monastic order and the Shanmata tradition of worship.
Childhood of Adi Shankaracharya
Adi Shankaracharya was born as Shankara in around 788 AD in a Brahmin family in Kaladi village of Kerala. He was born to Sivaguru and Aryamba a number of years after their marriage. It is said that Aryamba had a vision of Lord Shiva, in which he promised her that He would incarnate Himself in the form of her first-born child. The life history of Adi Shankracharya tells us that he showed great intelligence right from his childhood. He mastered all the Vedas and the Vedanta in gurukul itself and could recite the epics and Puranas by heart.
Adopting Sanyasa (Monastic Life)
Adi Shankaracharya was attracted towards sanyasa right from his childhood. One day, while bathing in the Purna River, Shankaracharya was attacked by a crocodile. Seeing his mother's incapability to rescue him, he asked her to give him the permission to renounce the world. Left with no other option, she agreed to it. Shankaracharya recited the mantras of renunciation and immediately, the crocodile left him. Thus started the life of Shankara as an ascetic. He left Kerala and moved towards South India in search of a Guru.
Meeting Govinda Bhagavatpada and Enlightenment
On the banks of Narmada River, Shankara met Govinda Bhagavatpada. Impressed by his knowledge of the Vedas and the Vedanta, he took Shankaracharya under his tutelage. Under the guidance of his Guru, Shankara mastered Hatha, Raja and Jnana Yoga. Thereafter he received initiation in the knowledge of Brahma. Thus was born Adi Shankaracharya, whose aim in life was to spread the Vedic teachings of the Brahma Sutras throughout the world.
Adi Sankaracharya Teachings
The philosophy and teachings of Adi Sankaracharya were based on the Advaita Vedanta. He preached 'Non-Dualism'. It means that each and every person has a divine existence, which can be identified with the Supreme God. The mere thought that human being is finite with a name and form subject to earthly changes, is to be discarded. The bodies are diverse, but the soul of all the separate bodies is the same, the Divine One.
The Four Adi Shankaracharya Peethas
• Vedanta Jnana Peetha, Sringeri (South India)
• Govardhana Peetha in Jagannath Puri (East India)
• Kalika Peetha, Dwaraka (West India)
• Jyotih Peetha, Badarikashrama (North India)

Excerpted From http://www.iloveindia.com/spirituality/gurus/adi-shankaracharya.html

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Ten Traits of the True Spiritual Warrior -- Guy Finley

1.The true spiritual warrior knows the only enemy she has is what she has yet to shed light upon in herself; therefore, she never postpones a battle that must be engaged.
2.The true spiritual warrior always remembers that his enemy never forgets his weaknesses.
3.The true spiritual warrior starts life over, over and over again.
4.The true spiritual warrior works every day, every moment,to sharpen her battle skills.
5.The true spiritual warrior leads by example, never fearing to make an example of himself -- no matter what the cost.
6.The true spiritual warrior makes it her aim to never burden another human being with what is her own pain.
7.The true spiritual warrior is never afraid to look at what he doesn't want to see.

8.The true spiritual warrior commits herself to her best choice and realizes that to live in conflict over what is or is not best is the refusal of responsibility.
9.The true spiritual warrior never fears feelings of helplessness, because she recognizes such states as the heralds of new powers to come, like storm clouds before spring flowers.
10.The true spiritual warrior knows that the path of spiritual liberation that he has chosen must lead him to one encounter after another with conditions that always seem greater than he is.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Know the Master - SRI AUROBINDO

Sri Aurobindo, Indian nationalist, poet, philosopher and Spiritual Guru was born in Calcutta on 15th August 1872.
Sri Aurobindo spent his formative years in England studying at St Paul’s and Trinity College where he excelled in the study of Literature and the Classics. In 1892 he returned to India where he became heavily involved in the Indian independence movement, he was a natural leader and one of the most radical nationalist politicians. Because of his radicalism, in 1908 Sri Aurobindo was arrested on suspicion of being involved in a bomb plot and was remanded in Alipore jail. It was here in jail that Sri Aurobindo had significant spiritual experiences, he became aware of a divine inner guidance and also realised the omnipresence of God even in a darkened prison cell.
Due to the commitment of Sri Aurobindo’s lawyer C.R.Das, Sri Aurobindo was released without charge. However this experience had changed Sri Aurobindo’s outlook. Henceforth he retired from politics and focused his energies on spirituality.
Sri Aurobindo travelled to Pondicherry, South India where he could practise yoga undisturbed. In 1914 he was later joined by a french women, Mira Richards who would later became known as the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Together they founded the Sri Aurobindo ashram, which began to attract disciples attracted to their dynamic reinterpretation of yoga.
As well as being a spiritual Guru to many disciples Sri Aurobindo was a noted poet, philosopher and writer. His main works were The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, Essays on the Gita and Savitri. Savitri was an epic work of poetry that he worked on for over 20 years.
Sri Aurobindo did not negate the world like Indian yogis of the past. Instead Sri Aurobindo affirmed that all life is Yoga; through a conscious aspiration it is possible for man to evolve into a higher consciousness – a consciousness of truth and inner harmony. Sri Aurobindo called this new consciousness the Supramental.

"Arise, transcend Thyself,
 Thou art man and the whole nature of man
  Is to become more than himself."            - Sri Aurobindo

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

“The Fire of Transformation - OSHO”

Imagine the body being consumed by flames, and discover that you still remain.Focus on fire rising through your form from the toes up, until the body burns to ashes, but not you.

Why is there so much fear of death? We are afraid of death not because of death – because we don’t know it. How can you be afraid of something you have never encountered? At least you must know it to be afraid of it. So you are really not afraid to death; the fear is something else. The fear comes because you are not living, so you are afraid.

The fear of death comes only to those who are not really alive. If you are alive, you will welcome death. Then there is no fear. You have known life; now you would like to know death also. If you want to enter this technique you must be aware of this deep fear. And this deep fear must be through away, purged, only then can you enter the technique.

This will help; pay more attention to exhalation. The body has its own wisdom; if you deeply exhale, the body will take a deep inhalation by itself. You need not interfere. Then a very deep relaxation will spread all over your consciousness. The whole day you will fell relaxed, and an inner silence will be created.

You can deepen this feeling more if you do another experiment. Sit in a chair or on the ground, exhale deeply, and while exhaling close the eyes. When the air goes out, you go in. And then allow the body to inhale, and when the air goes in , open the eyes and you go out. It is the opposite: when the air goes out, you go in; when the air goes in, you go out.

Lie down and with closed eyes conceive of yourself as dead; the body is just like a corpse. Now bring your attention to your toes and feel that the fire is rising from there upwards, everything is being burned. As the fire rises, your body is disappearing. Why start from the toes? It will be easier, because the toes are very far away from the ego which exists in the head. Feel that the toes are burned; only ashes remain, and then move slowly, burning everything that the fire comes across. Every part – the thighs – will disappear.

Go on upwards, and lastly the head disappears. Everything has fallen unto dust….until the body burns to ashes but not you. You will remain just a watcher on the hill. The body will be there – dead, burned, ashes – and you will be the watcher, you will be the witness. This witness has no ego.

This technique is very good to reach the egoless state because it appears simple; it is not so simple. The inner mechanism is very complex because your memories are part of the body. Memory is matter; that’s why it can be recorded in the brain cells. They are material, part of he boy. Your brain cells can be operated on , and if certain brain cells are removed, certain memories will disappear from you.

If really you go deep in the feeling that the body is dead, burning, and the fire has completely destroyed it, you will not have any memory in that moment. In that moment of watching, there will be no mind. Everything will have stopped – no movement of thought, just watching, just seeing what has happened.

And once you know this , you can remain in this state continuously. Once you have known that you can separate yourself from the body….. This techniques just a method to separate yourself from the body, just for a few moments to be out of the body. If you can do this, then you can remain in the body and you will not be in the body. You can go on living as you were living before, but you will not be the same again.

This technique will take at least three months. Go on doing it. It is not going to happen in one day, but if you go on doing it every day for one hour, within three months, some day suddenly your imagination will have helped and the gap will be created, and you will actually see the body gone to ashes. Then you can watch.

In that watching you will realize a deep phenomenon – that the ego is false entity. I was there because you were identified with the body, with the thoughts. With the mind. You are neither – neither the mind not the body. You are different from your periphery.

The technique seems simple, but it can bring you a deep mutation.

Material excerpted from the book “The Book of Secrets”
by Osho.. published by Osho International.. grateful acknowledgements .. edit-team


ADI SANKARACHARYA Adi Shankaracharya was the first philosopher who consolidated Advaita Vedanta, one of the sub-schools of Vedanta. He ...