I didn’t know how much Vedic lifestyle had changed my life till I spent 8 days in Japan last week on a family vacation.
Before living a Vedic lifestyle, I used to love many things Japanese – the delicate food, colourful art & crafts, the plethora of consumer products and technologies. After a lapse of more than 12 years since I last had a vacation in Japan, this time I could no longer relate with many things Japanese which I once enjoyed. First, the Japanese food is either non-vegetarian or highly processed which is not unhealthy for my yogic body. Second, the modern entertainment which occupies the psyche of the Japanese culture is something I couldn’t relate with. For example, we tried a ride called “Space Fantasy” at the Universal Studio theme park upon my spouse’s suggestion; it was similar to a roller coaster ride except that we went into a dark tunnel filled with special effects of electronic light source to simulate the wonders of the Universe. The abrupt tossing and turning during the ride only stressed my nervous system and churned my stomach. I found that the so-called excitement from the man-made entertainment tried so hard to over-stimulate our 5 senses and making them tired and dull at the end of day. The Universe I saw in my meditative state is far more exhilarating than the poor substitute of the man-made creation!
This trip in Japan made me appreciate the beauty of Vedic lifestyle. I noticed that many religions start with dos and don’ts which become popular because many politicians and religious leaders use these rules as the moral code to control and manipulate the masses. Unfortunately, do’s and don’ts only create intense guilt and suffering in one’s inner space which keeps one in a slavery mentality.
The Vedic lifestyle is different in that it comes from Vedas (source of true knowledge or wisdom). The Vedic lifestyle was later labelled as Hinduism by the British when India was colonised by Britain. Hinduism is not exactly a religion; it is a lifestyle that uses spiritual knowledge to explore the inner science. In Vedic lifestyle, it is not about do’s and don’ts, the essence is about exploring the mystic and conscious realms, which is centred on Cosmic understanding with enlightenment as the undercurrent. What I really like is – with the right spiritual knowledge, the more you understand, the greater you are empowered and liberated.
I was born with a different religion but I discovered Hinduism and the Vedic lifestyle out of my conscious choice. I found it to be the most user-friendly religion because it accepts you as you are, it is inclusive and there is no need for conversion. Above all, it advocates non-violence towards both self and others, and it has an unbroken lineage of producing the most number of enlightened beings since time immemorial, this means – the strength of spiritual knowledge and science of enlightenment can truly lead us to the ultimate freedom.
The Vedic lifestyle is about living consciously. Here are the Vedic understandings which I currently imbibe in my life:-
- I am the Source. Individual Soul (Jeevan Atma) is the reflection of the Cosmic Soul (Paramatma). I am the reflection of the Cosmic Soul, and every Individual Soul is actually inbuilt with the quality of expansion so that it can become the Cosmic Soul. This is the spiritual journey of every individual soul on planet earth. We are all spiritual beings having a human experience, not human beings having a spiritual experience. From Upanishad (the secret teachings of Vedas), it is the Cosmic Soul that exists in all lives. When we can see the same Spirit in others, we drop the fear because we understand that we are all one. We are the source, a part of the Universal Spirit or Supreme Consciousness. From this understanding, I take the responsibility to live my life consciously through righteous means.
- Science of using the Least from Nature. When I realised that I am a part of the whole, I stop exploiting Mother Nature and its other life forms and learn the art of using the least from nature. For example, the Vedic tradition advocates Sattvic vegetarian food because this diet uses the least from nature and it does not cause destruction or imbalance in nature and the living creatures. In addition, vegetarian diet has a stabilizing effect on our consciousness and it is easy on the digestive system. Ancient masters, sages and rishis found that man gets energy directly when he feeds on vegetables and fruits. What we consume influences our behaviour and thinking, the vital energy from non-vegetarian food is of second-hand since one consumes “dead second-hand food”. Hence, food that is either Rajasic (stimulating) or Tamasic (impure) should be avoided. The fascinating truth is Vedic science even gives us the choice of living without food. This can be achieved through a yogic process called Nirahara Samyama by which we learn to awaken our bio memory to produce energy from prana, water and sunlight, just like plants or trees. I am a Nirahari – one who is free from the bondage of food. This powerful process not only breaks many of my food related patterns; it also gives me a powerful technique to experience a higher consciousness. Now I am living the science of taking the least from nature.
- Spiritual practice is life. This body is the temple of the Cosmic Soul; it is through the body that we are able to experience the Cosmic Soul. That is the reason that in the Vedic tradition, spiritual practices (Sadhana) is so important because it is through regular practice that we are constantly reminded of our original state of pure consciousness and we are able to connect with the Source. Many people seek the spiritual knowledge but they don’t practice in their life. This is equivalent to wasting life because it is through practice that transformation happens. Everything in my life is nothing but spiritual practice. I start my day with kriya to cleanse the body and then Hatha yoga practice to build a healthy yogic body which is able to tune to the Cosmic Soul. Our breath is the bridge between the body and mind; it is also the bridge between self and Existence. I was taught the science of breath by using Pranayama techniques to stop the wavering mind which puts me straight into the thoughtless space where life energy (prana) enters the body without breathing. The different spiritual practice of Kriya, Hatha Yoga and Pranayama, Samyamas prepare our body-mind to sit with ourselves in meditative state so that we can align the body-mind to connect with Cosmic Consciousness. This practice helps to start the day in a state of awareness!
- The Love for Guru. In Vedic lifestyle, “Guru, God and Self are ONE”. The word ‘guru’ means ‘one who dispels darkness’! A guru or a master represents a new possibility in our life. He is a new consciousness in our being. He gives us the thirst for truth. He never fails to give inspiration and he opens the doors of possibility whenever we are stuck in life. Some people say they don’t need a master. My experience is you need a guru only when you want to achieve something extraordinary! As of now, our inner light is unlit, by coming close to a master, he lights our inner flame and spurs us to become alive! Once the inner light happens, it starts radiating until it merges with the flame that surrounds it, then there are no longer 2 entities, there is only ONENESS. That is why devotion to Guru (Bhakti Yoga) is the fastest route to Self Realisation as a Satguru is one who leads you to liberation. I found my Satguru, Paramahama Nithyananda in 2006 and my life has just been waves after waves of intense transformation. With him, he shows me how to love myself which is the very basis of yoga. From self love, I am able to love others and ultimately to love God.
- Melting in Worship. What really appealed to me about Vedic lifestyle is this is a tradition which believes in all gods or many gods because everything is an expression of the Cosmic Soul, the Universal Spirit. You can even customise your own version of God that is unique to you – such is the freedom of Vedic lifestyle! Every day becomes a celebration of life. Through the rituals of pujas, chanting and deities worship, the science of worship opens up a new devotional dimension in us which goes beyond the logic. Through puja, the intense devotion connects us to the Being centre. Every day after my morning practice, I offer my gratitude to my Guru who is the door to connect me to the space of consciousness and I melt in the presence of the Divine.
- Continuous Learning from Satsang & Sangha. In Vedic lifestyle, life is a continuous expansion. Every day every moment life is teaching us something about its grandeur. The way a master continues to inspire us is through satsang which is the company of highest truths with guru. The daily satsang by Paramahamsa Nithyananda is like conscious bombs to my ignorance and unconscious mind, giving me deeper truths about life and understanding about self. The clicks I receive are bliss doses for the Being which put me to the space of higher reality. Whenever I can, I try not to miss the satsang. In addition to my blood-related family, I have another ideological family called Sangha which is a community of like-minded people who are working towards the self realisation. They are the people who I can really relate in the spiritual plane and it s the space where we put our knowledge into practice. Constantly, I get inspired by my fellow Nithyananda family members simply by their spiritual strengths and extraordinary lives.
- Art of Fulfilling Relationships. Since we are the source, anything we see is an extension of self. Anything and anybody we experience is an extension of self. All relationships are an extension of self and any suffering from relationship is a sign of incomplete part of one self. In Vedic tradition, everyone is moving towards ultimate space of consciousness. When we enrich them, part of us is also enriched. When they feel completion, part of us will feel complete. All relationships are meant to bring completion in us and lead us to fulfilment. This is one of the greatest truths I ever receive from Vedic spiritual knowledge. It completely changes my relationships with my loved ones and people!
- Work becomes creativity. Man’s contribution to Cosmic Soul is his expression of creativity. Existence is so compassionate that it gives us the freedom to use our creativity to play with life. The way I have chosen my work with Your Presence Heals is to create a compassionate healing space for people to receive the spiritual knowledge and guide them to self healing. I decided to be a living teacher, a spiritual healer and a natural inspiration for conscious living. This entire expression is my conscious manifestation in the way I choose to engage with society, the way I enrich the world and the way I earn a living through righteous means and the opportunity to bring expansion and fulfilment to me. The exciting thing is I have no idea where this is going to lead me to, I just know that I am just an instrument of the Divine.
- Conscious Death or Deathlessness. In Vedic tradition, the science of death is very mystical zone. Death can be used as a jumping board to the enlightenment if you know how to prepare your body-mind while in the body. This science gives us the choice of having a conscious death while exiting the body gracefully or deathlessness. All these sciences are available to humanity if we are interested to explore with the right master. For me, I simply know that the science of deathlessness is possible when my time comes. There will be no more cycle of birth and death!
The above is merely a small drop of the vast science of Vedic lifestyle which I experience in my life so far. The richness of Vedic lifestyle covers from end to end i.e. from birth to death, it caters to all different mind sets and it accepts you where you are without judgment. It is a lifestyle that puts you back in your presence. Vedic lifestyle is created for the people who want to live a conscious life because they know that life is for liberation. Namaste.