12 confusions of life

  1. What is this world?
    • Why is it so complex?
    • Why barely any peace anywhere?
    • Why is it a mixture of good & bad?
    • Why apparently more bad & less good?
  1. What is this life?
    • Why is it given to us?
    • Did we ever apply for it, like a job?
    • What are we truly doing, living?
    • What is our purpose of living?
  1. What am I? (What are we?)
    • Why we are born so small?
    • Why we grow big? Why we get old?
    • What this whole fuss is all about?
    • What is death?
  1. What is that which we can’t see?
    • Why we have this thing called imagination?
    • Is it merely there to let us dream… or procrastinate?
    • Can the unseen be experienced?
    • What is time? Why past, present & the future?
  1. Why we feel a surge of passion within from time-to-time?
    • Why some things are attractive to us?
    • Why some things repel us?
    • What do we truly want?
    • How eventually, we make our choice?
  1. Why shit happens so easily in life?
    • Why different people have different likings?
    • Why we are all so different?
    • What makes some people more fortunate than others?
    • Can we find our peace being whatever we are? How?
  1. What makes this world go in circles?
    • Why things like day & night; male & female; hot & cold?
    • Why is there pain in the world?
    • Why everything has to be so confusing?
    • Why are there idiots in the world?
  1. What is the source of energy of this cosmos?
    • Can we think of connecting into that pool?
    • How? Is that easy or difficult?
    • What capabilities are needed to be able to do that?
    • I am no superman / superwoman – does this still hold for me?
  1. What is the source of energy in our own body?
    • Why we feel the need to have food?
    • Is food the ultimate source of our happiness and everything?
    • Why we miss happiness?
    • Why we have ambitions?
  1. What is reverence in life?
    • Why it feels good in company of our favourite people?
    • Why we feel blessed being with select individuals?
    • Why some things are naturally peaceful?
    • Why we get cheated & betrayed?
  1. What is love?
    • Why is it sweet and painful – both at the same time?
    • Why we can’t live with it and also not without it?
    • Is there something truly as pure love?
    • Why we keep hunting for love endlessly?
  1. What is purity in life?
    • Why pure water, pure air, pure anything, tastes/feels good?
    • Why we detest impurities?
    • What can an individual do in an impure world?
    • What is the purest of all things for us to do?

 

The quest always begins with a truck-load of questions. In fact there will always be more questions than your little brain can handle. Yet, in the end it’s all about finding your own peace. Then all confusions cease to be. However, for that to happen, you must find your own truth, no matter what has been your life.

Further, here you have two options: you may either go for a random hunt or you could adopt a specified method. The random search is wandering in life; the time-tested methods are the various paths of yoga. Choice between the two is always purely yours.

If life is cool

Puneet writes on science of yoga, mixing its relevance with challenges of everyday life in the modern world. He can be contacted for Counselling Support & Educational Workshops on the subject. www.desiretofly.in , Mumbai, INDIA.

Now also: Slideshows in Hindi. Presenting here: BhaktiYoga & Modern Life.

Hot Yoga, Cold Yoga, This Yoga, That Yoga & now Kung-Fu Yoga!

How many Yoga? What is Yoga?

In recent times it has become common to see a rush of titles showcasing some new format of Yoga. Interestingly, now we have this movie as well with the ‘Yoga’ name itched in it. The question is: What is Yoga? And there are how many types of Yoga?

In this write-up we answer these questions.

First of all, it’s a big mistake to presume Yoga to be just another form of physical exercise. It must be understood very clearly that Yoga is a spiritual science, which lets us discover our own truth, our own divinity, our own peace, through our own efforts.

This self-discovery concludes in 4 systematic steps:

  • First, with the regular practice of Yoga our body is purified – this happens via control of senses, which in turn leads to enhanced physical strength and hence an overall improvement in both physical & mental health. Though Yoga doesn’t stop here.
  • With a deeper practice of Yoga, our mind starts purifying – meaning we experience an enhancement in our power of concentration. The result of this advancement is that we are able to leave our anxieties, stress & worries behind, though Yoga doesn’t end even here, either.
  • Then, when the practice of Yoga intensifies still further, it is our Intellect that starts getting purified – this stage entails dissolution of our ego & the end of all inherent fears within. Although, achieving this level for sure requires persistent work of at least a few years.
  • Finally, thereafter, through the blessings of a devout teacher and continued practice of the chosen discipline of Yoga, our Spiritual Truth is uncovered to us – meaning we are able to experience our own divinity. Our divinity is that unique quality of ours which makes us alive & living. This life-force then becomes known to us as a first-hand live experience. One of the Sanskrit terms to define this state of eternal bliss is ‘Samadhi’ (Transcendence). And there are several synonyms of this term in Science of Yoga to explain this amazing state of being which turns life into an unending song of joy.

Now any procedure that lets us accomplish all of these steps is a procedure of Yoga.

Further, as per the philosophy of Vedanta, there are 4 principal methods of Yoga, thus 4 types of Yoga. They can be called:

  1. Yoga of Devotion
  2. Yoga of Mind Control (incl. all Body Postures, Breathing Exercises, Meditation, etc.)
  3. Yoga of Works or Karma
  4. Yoga of Knowledge

4 Typesof Yoga

Interestingly, each of these methods has countless sub-methods within. That is because Yoga is a science of live-experiencing. Plus it is a science that has evolved over ages and eras. Finally, it is a science which has been formed out of the collective research, observation and experiences of those seekers who have gone ahead, experimented and known the Spiritual Truth.

As a result whenever a seeker is able to reach that distinguished status, they usually return to narrate their story and that then becomes a fresh stream in the ocean of Yoga. This was how things have been in the bygone days and this is how this science keeps evolving with time, staying ever fresh.

Now, having said that, one big point of caution essentially for the modern times: ‘Yoga’ must never be used as a business under any given circumstances! That is because ‘Yoga’ is a sacred science, which when practiced with deepest reverence, brings out the most illustrious results.

Further, there is only one way anyone can come on to the path of Yoga. And that way is the way of self-realization. No one can be brought to this path by force or advertisement. The motivation to adopt the path of yoga is a call that comes from within. It is a call always ignited through the existing experiences of life.

The ancient Indian scripture, Bhagwad Gita, makes a mention about 4 types of people who may get attracted to this science:

  1. Those in pain
  2. Those needy
  3. Those curious
  4. Those knowledgeable

Thus if you happen to be in some pain in life and seeing yourself inclining towards Yoga or feeling curious about this science, just don’t be surprised. Your inquisitiveness is only natural. Now having come here, start anywhere, practice regularly and you shall see things transform, gradually and permanently.

In the end every chosen path of Yoga leads to merely one destination. This one truth about Yoga, must always be remembered.

Why yoga, meditation, sound so boring, difficult & slow?

Can something speed them up?

Spiritual practices like Yoga, Meditation, etc. are neither slow nor difficult. Instead, in all cases, it is the practitioners who are jumbled in themselves. Thus the truth is that most people are not only unaware, but also grossly unready to embrace these disciplines in right fitment.

4 things in specific:

  1. Bodies are not healthy enough
  2. Minds are not calm to the extent needed
  3. Intellect not clear, meaning ‘Ego’ stays strong
  4. The idea of Spiritual Truth is lost

 

SLOW

Here you can question me back – Isn’t disciplines like yoga, meditation, etc., the means of achieving all of those things? (Ref: 4 Objectives of Yoga) Well, your question is 100% valid and that is what brings us to the most interesting point about this amazing science, because:

What you try to achieve as your objective via Yoga, Meditation, etc. is also the vehicle that gets you to it.

For example:

  • If you want courage; you have to show courage to have it.
  • Similarly, if you want peace; you have to be peaceful to know peace.
  • Likewise, if you want good health; you have to be healthy to get that.

This is the universal principal of the Science of Yoga. Whatever you wish to be; just be that and you shall see it will start happening.

Of course, at first it will happen slowly only and that’s because the start you will make will come up only slowly. Though you will want to be fast, yet it won’t happen as fast. And that in turn because your latent inertia is far more powerful that you can possibly imagine.

This latent inertia is accumulation of your inherent tendencies; the stuff that you won’t talk about to anyone; may even choose to completely disregard its existence to yourself as well; it is these negative forces that stop you from being fast.

At this point, the questions come – What can subdue these tendencies? What can speed up the progress in yoga, meditation, etc.?

Here, our teacher gives a very interesting formula. He says, ‘judicious use of eyes and ears.’

That’s it!

Yes, this is one more truth about this ancient science. Most of its formulas are very simple and insanely precise. Let’s learn more on that.

We all know we have 5 senses, namely:

  1. Our capability to see
  2. Our ability to hear (& talk)
  3. Our inquisitiveness to taste
  4. Our compulsion to smell &
  5. Our excitement to touch

Now, the simple truth is that people with better control over their senses will show greater strength to subdue their inherent & unwanted tendencies and thus shall be able to make faster progress in yoga, meditation, etc.

Proportionately, absolute control over these 5 elements is perfection in Yoga. Additionally, among these 5, the first two – namely the eyes and the ears are the ones most crucial to make a beginning.

By exercising a little discipline in use of your eyes & ears, you can very easily calm rest of the 3 senses. Together, they in turn will calm the mind. Then once the mind has been calmed, (relatively), everything including your health, intelligence and spiritual intent will begin shining up on their own.

 

Read more in this slideshow that contains a few Easy Exercises for training eyes and ears for yoga, meditation, etc.

Puneet has over 15 years of training in Yoga & Vedanta under guidance of a revered teacher. Since he is a writer by profession, his teacher asked him to develop content on these ancient sciences for the modern people. Thereafter Puneet has chosen to write on confusions, difficulties and problems common people face in practice of various disciplines of yoga.

 

Awaiting Publishing: ‘Are you failing in yoga?’ A Book. (Read Executive Summary)

What postures are the best postures in Yoga?

Here we talk about popular confusions & practical difficulties people face in Yoga, Meditation & Spirituality - Story #004.

At the outset there are 3 best body postures in Yoga:

  1. The ones you can do by yourself.
  2. The ones that make you stretch your limits, gradually & harmoniously.
  3. The ones that make you feel healthier & fitter.

Other than the above 3, all body postures must be instantly rejected.

The second important thing about the choice of body postures depends on the fact – what is your objective or motivation for coming into Yoga? That is: Why have you chosen Yoga?

Now, here there can be 4 alternatives:

 

  1. Yoga for physical fitness

If you see Yoga as another form of exercise then for you its practice is no different from any other form of exercise like Gymming, Swimming, Running, Sports, etc. Thus here your objective should be to have the healthiest body and hence you must:

  1. Find an excellent instructor.
  2. Make a progress plan.
  3. Practice daily, as per the plan.

 

  1. Yoga for mental calmness

If your objective of coming into Yoga is to find mental calmness, in that case, more than the body postures, your focus must be in finding what you are looking for. Thus you will have to explore, experiment and experience to know what gets you to that, which you want. Hence you must:

  1. Find an excellent school of yoga with an experienced teacher/s.
  2. Listen to their instructions very carefully.
  3. Follow them to the tee via everyday practice.

 

  1. Yoga for personal growth

A lot of people, essentially youths, take to Yoga for improving their concentration, intellectual capabilities, etc. Their objective is overall personal development. This is a wonderful objective and Yoga is very effective in this matter. If this is your area of interest, you will have to go still deeper. Thus you must:

  1. Read about the Science of Yoga from good books.
  2. Find a knowledgeable teacher in a reputed school.
  3. Listen to the teacher with utmost reverence and practice every day that what the teacher prescribes.

 

  1. Yoga for spiritual truth

This will be a mission which very few would undertake. Although, a lot of people may show initial interest in the subject, yet after knowing the challenges en-route this path, most chicken out or withdraw in time. However, if you happen to be the one who has decided to go all the way, then, know for sure that you must:

  1. Earn the gift of studentship of such a teacher, who has known the eternal truth
  2. Earn the blessings of that teacher, by proving your capability via self-reflection, service & sacrifice
  3. Practice your discipline in silence and quietude facing everything that may fall on you

Hereafter, whatever body postures are required shall all come to you by themselves. The ones that are of no use or the ones that have become redundant shall fall away on their own.

 

4 Objectives of Yoga

 

To summarize – 3 quick points for easy retention:

  1. Your best postures will come to you from your instructor/teacher via continued practice.
  2. Your postures are merely the channel of reaching the objective & not the objective in itself.
  3. Your objective can be reached in multiple ways, about which your teacher shall know the best.

Finally, next time if someone comes down to showing-off a grand Yoga posture, neither feel annoyed nor nervous. Instead simply applaud their effort and then get back to your practice, as taught to you by your instructor / teacher.

Always remember, Yoga is not an Olympic Sport, where you earn Gold Medal points by showing off the fancied body shapes that you can create; Yoga instead is a science that lets you find tranquility in middle of the turmoil of life.

Thus the purpose of Yoga always is finding tranquility – be it for the body, or the mind or the intellect or the stuff that stands beyond these three basic elements of human physiology. This one basic truth must never be forgotten by anyone and then there shall be no confusion, no difficulty, no problem, ever.

 

 

 

Puneet has over 15 years of training in Yoga & Vedanta under guidance of a revered teacher. Since he is a writer by profession, his teacher asked him to develop content on these ancient sciences for the modern people. Thereafter Puneet has chosen to write on confusions, difficulties and problems common people face in practice of various disciplines of yoga.

 

Awaiting Publishing: Are you failing in yoga?’ A Book. (Read Executive Summary)

Why there’s a queue even on Mt. Everest?

Is human ambition outstretching every logic?

Congestion on Hilary Step, Mt. Everest. Photo Source: National Geographics

Congestion on Hilary Step, Mt. Everest. Photo Source: National Geographic

It’s sure frustrating to be in the queue – stuck & waiting and not being able to move at your desired pace. Incidentally, queues are becoming the order of the day everywhere. No place seems to be without a queue. Where once went none or one went rarely, now we find long queues!

Possibly education, exposure and sense of enterprise have changed the ambition vectors on the globe. As a result no one stands an exception in wanting to do something significant in life.

When I was younger I too wished to do something truly big; something that could be held comparable to climbing Mt. Everest in my diverse areas of interest. For 28 years I kept trying. My problem was that nothing big shall ever happen. I would find myself always in the queue, waiting for my turn.

And when the turn shall come, I found people telling, ‘what’s the big deal!’ Now this was tremendously frustrating.

Then I met a teacher, a revered monk. This teacher asked me to do 3 simple things every day.

  1. Stay with good people
  2. Lead a Disciplined Life
  3. Meditate

The teacher called it SDM mechanism.

003_SDM

‘Do this every day and one day your life shall change.’ The teacher assured.

What may such little things do to change life? One part of the brain would question so; yet the other would say: keep doing what the teacher says.

Thus somehow in-between these contrasting perceptions, I kept peddling this cycle of 3 simple steps of SDM. I observed in this quest I walked through 3 distinct types of experiences.

  1. Confusion
  2. Purpose
  3. Peace

Confusion

Nevertheless, in this pursuit 15 years passed.

Simultaneously, in this period I saw 3 different phases of life. At first I was directionless. Next, I found success, though it fell short on fulfillment. Thereafter I spent time with people who were extremely successful.

Then I wondered, in all these years, what truly has changed? That was because at the outset it seemed nothing big had happened still. Yet, when I looked a little further and a bit deeper within my own self, I saw, several things had quietly changed.

Among them, 3 things for sure:

  1. The countless anxieties that once travelled with me, were all gone.
  2. The endless cravings that I would make always, were all gone.
  3. The innumerable fears that would pop-up anytime, were all gone.

Most amazingly, the anger which brought me so much ill-fame throughout my life, I saw, got diluted.

Also I discovered that I could now handle difficult situations of life with far greater ease. Plus, and most amazingly, I saw myself waiting for none & nothing and yet be in my own peace and with a smile.

Yes, sometimes though currents of life will run through me and give me a blunt shot of pain, yet I saw over the years that my capability to recover from those disasters improved several folds.

When I saw all this, I realized, life had truly changed and this change happened in silence; in quietude, as the teacher had said at the very beginning.

‘This is true yoga,’ now, when I asked, the teacher explained.

Like this I got to learn 2 important truths about the science of yoga:

  1. Yoga is a science that lets us experience tranquility in life amidst all its turmoil.
  2. Yoga is about doing a few small things every day, day after day, for big things to happen, in silence, one day.

Those who can believe this can adopt the science of yoga to change their life. While for the others, there will always be the big risk of spending life standing in some endless queues of the world.

Headlamps Trace Summit Path to Mt. Everest. Photo Source: National Geographics

Headlamps Trace Summit Path to Mt. Everest. Photo Source: National Geographic

002_food_photo

If Moms can work; why Dads can’t cook?

5 features of a Dad’s kitchen.

The most interesting aspect of the Dad’s cooking in the modern nuclear family set-up is that either its super exotic created out of some hyper cool recipe downloaded directly from the net; otherwise the food is simple clean routine that conveniently covers for a healthy meal. It’s rarely anything in-between.

002_A_Mom_vs_Dad_cooking

Thus there’s a clear demarcation-of-territory between Mom’s cooking and Dad’s cooking and this segregation in most homes persists lifelong.

Sure, many Moms nowadays don’t cook, yet Moms can’t escape the responsibility of organizing food, even if they don’t cook. So, Mom’s territory stands undisputed in either case, please note.

Next, the Quality of Dad’s food is always directly proportional to his success @ work while simultaneously inversely proportional to the pressure @ work. The day his stuff doesn’t taste as good know for sure, something’s bugging him up there!

002_B_Dad_Cooking_Quality

Besides, in truth, 60% of Dad’s cooking is leftovers management. Yet, it’s the Mom who gets the credit of keeping the fridge clean. :(

Anyways, the Pops who learn to cook must never mind this misappropriation of perception for their nullified contribution in the kitchen, since their work yields to a much bigger secret benefit that I am going to talk about next.

Now, though many Moms may not confess to this, still the larger truth remains that: Dads cooking in the kitchen improves the so-called ‘togetherness quotient’ @ home. Those who can’t believe this may give this idea a first-hand-try and then see. On my part, I assure you of this success with absolute guarantee. :)

Remember: In home chemistry, it’s rarely about what’s cooking; the catalyst is – who’s cooking!

A question may come at this point – what can get a Dad into cooking?

Well, now this is a tricky one and that’s because just like choosing the path of yoga, only self-realization can bring a Dad into this work. None can force him into it. Moreover, none must.

Otherwise, food is the basic building block of our growth, harmony and inspiration in life. If food is well cared for, a lot of things in life are well covered for, essentially for the growing kids if they happen to be around. Besides, without care for food, even things like yoga, meditation and spiritual disciplines fail miserably.

So, guys & gals, think cooking! And to learn more on that last bit on yoga & stuff, check here this simple slideshow: Food & Meditation.