Follow Your Heart

Do you follow your mind or your heart?

Before I turned 40, I was mostly following my mind as this was the way I was trained in school and by society. By the time I reached my late 20’s, I hit a snag in my life. Materially, I had everything I could possibly ask for in the outer world but in the inner world, I was in total shambles. I was lost in life lacking the source of inspirations and purpose. My body was aching so badly that I carried a constant irritation and non-fulfilment. The depression of success became my guest in my inner space!

It was only when I started the path of yoga which taught me how to listen to my heart again. It was my heart that led me to seek my true Self. I discovered that the heart never lies, but the untamed mind is the cunning one. Through authentic listening to my heart, my seeking led me to meet my Guru, Paramahamsa Nithyananda (fondly known as Swamiji). He created a big cognitive shift in me and gave me the courage and inspiration to follow my heart. He made me realise that fulfilment was the only thing I was truly seeking in my life.

In April 2009, I decided to leave my marketing profession at the peak of my career because I had to honour what my heart was yearning – not for material existence but to get back to my original state of Ananda (bliss). For the last seven years, I discovered my passion which is to enrich with world about the science of living enlightenment and the science of Yoga and healing. Without a binding corporate job, I was able to explore and experiment so many new things in life like starting up my own business, volunteering for children programs and discovering the space of a child, writing a blog site sharing my experiences with yoga and healing in laymen terms, conducting healing workshops for various modern ailments like insomnia and anxiety, enjoying more quality time with my son, most of all – doing what I like which is deepening my spiritual knowledge and practice. All these wouldn’t be possible when I was having a marketing career. Honeslty, at this current life stage, because of my courage to follow my heart, I am able to experience so much fulfilment, freedom and joy. There is no tension nor irritation but only pure inspirations and an inexhaustible energy to manifest a new reality as I want.

How did I make the shift?

One fundamental question everyone needs to ask themselves is – ‘At the end of my life, is my mind going to judge whether I am a success or failure, or is my heart going to judge whether I am a success or failure?’

The truth is only your heart is going to judge, your mind loses its power on you at your deathbed. When you are doing the final calculation of your life, your heart is going to be the judge, not your mind. If your mind is the judge, all the rich fellows should have a complete and satisfying death, because as far as the mind is concerned, the material things such as money, status, enjoyment, beauty and everything – it was a great life. All the people who are rich, who asked for all these material things: good husband, amazing kids, wonderful house, and good friends and family, should be having a very fulfilling death, a very satisfying end. But that is not happening because fulfilment is what that matters.

Swamiji says:“Fundamentally it is your heart which is going to be the judge of whether your life is satisfied, complete, or if you have wasted your life. The heart is the one which is going to tell whether you are fulfilled or not. The mind is just a prostitute as it will just play any side it wants. One small reason is enough for the mind to completely tumble you, make you lose the very basis of your life.”

Why do you think people commit suicide?

Swamiji explained that this is because when the mind tumbles you, it makes you imbalanced, you do some things impulsively which you can never repair after that. Suicide is always the decision of the mind, never of the heart. People say ‘Oh, his heart is broken, so he committed suicide’. No. His mind is broken, hence he committed suicide. It is never the heart. Whenever you have a dilemma between the mind and the heart, always choose the heart, because even if you are a failure as per the mind’s cognition, the heart is the one who is going to make the judgment at the end of your life.

In essence, follow your heart because it is the heart which is going to lead you to the ultimate fulfilment of your life. Namaste. 😀

Kumbh Mela: Nectar of Immortality

In another 10 days, I shall be on the plane to my very first pilgrimage in India called Kumbh Mela in Ujjain city of Madhya Pradesh state. The Sanskrit word ‘Kumbh‘ can be translated as ‘Pot’, which emerged from ‘Samudra Manthan’ from the Vedic Purana of ‘Churning of the Milky Ocean’ between Gods and Demons. The term ‘Mela’ means ‘Fair’.

Legend has it that churning of the milky ocean by Devas (Gods) and Danavas (Demons) yielded a pot (Kumbh) full of Amrit (nectar). However, the Gods did not wish to share it with the demons. At the instance of Lord Indra, the King of Gods, his son, Jayanta tried to run away with the pot but he was followed by some of the demons.

During the struggle for its possession, a few drops of the nectar dropped at four places corresponding with Haridwar, Prayag, Ujjain and Nasik on the planet earth. The drops of nectar of immortality were well received by the holy rivers at these places. Hence, these are the 4 places where the experience of immortality is eternally available to all beings. It is the place to find solutions from the very life struggles of human beings. Kumbh Melas have been happening on the planet for thousands of years. The stone inscriptions of different akhadas (sects) refer to more than 1,000 Kumbh Melas. Times and technologies have changed, yet one thing about the Kumbh Melas remains: they are the epicenters of cosmic energy.

Kumbh is held at each of the three places namely Haridwar, Allahabad, Nasik and only Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv is held at Ujjain once every 12 years. Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv is celebrated as the largest spiritual gathering on the planet earth. The main highlight of this gathering is taking holy dip called Shahi Snaan where millions of devotees all over the world come to take a bath in the holy Rivers purifies the soul and overcomes all the sins. The Hindus believe this pilgrimage to be an opportunity to get ‘moksha’ (liberation) and put an end to the never-ending cycle of birth-death-rebirth (samsara). Hence, Kumbh Melas are spiritual congregations which unite mankind under one banner of austerity, faith and devotion.

The Kumbh Melas are based on the celestial line-up of planets and the signs of the Zodiac which occurs in every 12 years. It is known to be a time when spiritual energy travels all around the place during this holy event. It is a social harmony where you get to see many saints and sadhakas gathering at one place. This event even gives you the chance of seeking the blessings of these pious saints.

Do you know that it is the position of the Sun, Moon and Jupiter in different zodiac signs that determines the location of the Kumbh in each of these places?

For example, Kumbh in Haridwar happens when the Sun is in the zodiac sign Aries and Jupiter is in Aquarius it is held in Haridwar. Kumbh in Prayag happens when the Sun is in Capricorn and Jupiter is in Taurus, it is held in Allahabad (Prayag). Kumbh in Nasik happens when Jupiter enters the zodiac sign Leo it is held in Nasik. It is also held in Nasik, when Jupiter, Sun and Moon enter the zodiac sign Cancer on Amavasya. Finally, Kumbh in Ujjain is one of the most sacred places in India, is located on the banks of the sacred river Kshipra in the western region of Madhya Pradesh. Kumbh in Ujjain is held when a rare configuration of planets takes place which happens once in 12 years. When the Sun is in the zodiac sign Aries and Jupiter in the zodiac Leo, it is held in Ujjain. Considering its relevance to the zodiac ‘Leo’ meaning ‘Simha’ in Sanskrit, the Kumbh is also referred to as ‘Simhasth Kumbh’. Traditionally, Simhasth Kumbh Mahaparv is celebrated by various Akharas, where ‘Peshwai’ (Procession) begins in its full glory. The heads of Akharas join the procession on silver throne (Simhasanam) on elephants. It looks magnificent with the presence of armed Sadhus on horses and camels followed by Sadhus, hermits and devotees. Peshwai completes at the Ram Ghat area on the banks of river Kshipra.

Followers of Hinduism of all paths, paramparas (traditions), sects and castes unite under one banner of devotion in the Kumbh Melas. The Kumbh Mela is attended by all sadhus and gurus, of all paths. All the major belief sects, sampradayas of Hinduism: Ganapathya – Ganapathi worshippers, Kumara – Skanda worshippers, Shakta – Devi worshippers, Shaiva – Shiva worshippers, Saura – Surya worshippers, Vaisnava – Vishnu worshippers, and Guru – the worshippers of the Guru. The gods of all the traditions are brought here. Also, all the other traditions, Ramakrishna Mission, Chinmaya Mission and many other missions representing their gods and gurus also take part in the Kumbh Mela.

Every enlightened being that has happened on the planet, or is happening on the planet, attends the Kumbh Mela. It is said that one enlightened being is equivalent in energy to nine million people. The Kumbh Mela is the time, place and space where all the enlightened masters’ energies are centred to bless and heal the entire planet.

What is the significance of taking the holy dip (snaan)?

If you had read about the experiments by Dr Masaru Emoto, our thoughts and emotions have a distinct effect on our environment. Dr Emoto exposed many samples of the same water to people carrying different emotions and thoughts – anger, violence, pain and love, gratitude, joy. The effect of the thoughts on the water has been proven that thoughts affect water, and hence anything that is fluid. If one person’s thoughts can affect one glass of water, then you can’t imagine the effect of millions of sadhus, devotees and enlightened beings on the sacred rivers. The water, sanctified by these positive energies, becomes amrit or nectar. ‘Kumbh’ is the place where the nectar happens. Kumbh Mela is the place where amrit is distributed. The best possibilities of a human being become available in the Kumbh Melas by partaking of this amrit. As a tradition, deities energised by enlightened masters who have left the body are immersed in water throughout the snaan period of the Kumbh Mela. The healing power of this water is immense. Not only the water, the entire space or kshetra becomes vibrant with their energy.

Since 2012, I had missed 2 Kumbh Melas in Allahabad and Nasik due to fear of the crowd and the attachment to the comfortable modern living. But this year, a big shift happened in me. As a living Hindu, especially if you are also a disciple of a living incarnation, Paramahamsa Nithyananda (fondly known as Swamiji), who is the Maha Mandaleshwar of Mahanirvani Peeth (the oldest apex body of Hinduism), I just have to kidnap myself there by myself. The process I went through to finally drop everything in my regular life to attend Simhasth Kumbh Mela itself was such a beautiful completion process of letting go of the thought patterns I was still holding on to. It is with deep gratitude that I feel blessed to be given the right context of Kumbh Mela and also the process of a fundamental cognitive shift.

Another great excitement for attending this Kumbh Mela with Swamiji is that in the auspiciousness where the Guru energy is at its peak, he will be initiating the participants into the Suddhadvaitam process of awakening 70 yogic powers in us based on Agamas given by Lord Shiva, the first Guru. This is going to be wild!

In essence, the Kumbh Mela is a grand spiritual festival in Hinduism, the perfect time when human beings can experience their highest possibilities of achieving the Ultimate – bliss and liberation. A Kumbh Mela is a microcosm which one experiences all the dimensions of Hinduism, as a seeker I simply can’t afford to miss it again this time. Kumbh Chalo! Namaste 😀

How to handle memory?

Do you know that memory is the source of all good things and bad things?

In the 11th verse of Patanjali Yoga Sutra, he said that recalling of mental impressions of past events from the subconscious mind is memory. Memory is responsible for what you are, how you behave, and the way you live. The difference between you and another person, a doctor and a lawyer, a yogi and a man, is only memory. Memory is also responsible for both your remembrance and forgetfulness.

There are people who have a large quantity of memory but they can’t retrieve it with a sharp quality. There are people who have a sharp quality of retrieving memory, but they don’t have access to a large quantity of memory. Only those who are able to access a large storehouse of memory and retrieve precisely what they need, they become a leader. A leader is a person who can handle a large quantity of memory with a very sharp quality of remembrance.

In the outer world, when you handle more and more memories, intelligence and power will start happening in you. All scientific research can happen only based on memory, we need a memory to process all the analysis and achieve the result, then continue to do further R&D based on the results. This applies in all the fields such as medicine, construction, aviation, administration and execution, memory is the base material. However, in the inner world, the more you are relaxed from memories, the more energy of spontaneity will start happening in you.

If memory is used properly, retrieved properly, lived properly, memory brings so much joy and comfort. If it is not used properly, it can become a source of the greatest suffering for you. All your diseases and disturbances have sources in memory, this includes your physical problems because most of your physical disorders are from psychosomatic problems. Even these happen because you are unable to handle the memory. When it comes to outer world, you need to know how to handle more and more memory, whereas when it comes to the inner world, you need to know how to unclutch more and more from memory.

Not knowing how to handle memory not only creates problem at the young age, it creates very complicated problem in the old age like the old folks who can’t stop talking about their past or they just develop mental disorder like Alzheimer. You need to know that Alzheimer is very closely connected with a strong subconscious decision to forget certain memories due to pain and suffering.

So learning to handle memory in the correct way is the formula for a successful inner-world and outer-world life. Only the grace of an enlightened master can shower us with such sacred knowledge.

Paramahamsa Nithyananda, a living incarnation (fondly known as Swamiji) gave a powerful truth and technique. He said that only a person who feels completely secure can unclutch from his memory. Only a person who can unclutch from his memory can feel completely secure. He said that whenever you unclutch from memory, wherever you go, whatever you do, a tremendous feeling of security happening inside you and radiating around you. You radiate Mahima (grace) when you have unclutched from memory.

When you are not able to unclutch from memory, you will be constantly preparing your speech – what you should say, how you should say in response etc. You would have prepared at least 30 statements in your mind with the so-called ‘right response’ but the moment you meet the person, she just changes her third statement, and you are at a loss! Being too dependent on memory makes you dead, boring, lifeless. The truth is our schools and society teach us how to gather more and more memory, but they don’t teach us how to unclutch from them when we don’t need it and how to handle it correctly when you really need it. That knowledge was not taught to humanity, so much of memory is put inside our system such that it becomes a slow poison. We don’t know how to retrieve the information when we want it and sometimes we are overcrowded by it when we don’t want it.

One more important truth – when you learn the technique of unclutching, the quantity of memory available to you and the capacity to retrieve them – both just explode a few hundred times, without disturbing you. When you are clutched to certain memory with emotions, it is like having high-resolution pictures which take too much of your inner space. Unclutching is like converting the high-resolution files to word document so that retrieving the information becomes fast and easy. In addition, you will have more inner space for more information. Speaking from my own experience – I notice that the more I unclutch from the memory, the more capacity I have to handle more memory.

In essence, the secret to handle memory is to keep on unclutching from the memory so that you stop converting memory into high resolution files which crowd your inner space. Relaxing from memory brings you tremendous joy and peace. Namaste 😀

Source: 108 truth of Yoga of Enlightenment by Paramahamsa Nithyananda