Guru is a Sanskrit term for "teacher" or "master", especially in Indian religions.
Wikipedia: The word guru means the imparter of knowledge (jñāna). The guru is seen as the one who brings his disciples from the darkness of unwisdom into the light of God (to enlightenment). In the Gita, Krishna speaks to Arjuna of the importance of finding a guru: "Acquire the transcendental knowledge from a Self-realized master by humble reverence, by sincere inquiry, and by service." Often a guru lives in an ashram or in a gurukula (the guru's household), together with his disciples. It is believed that the guru could awaken dormant spiritual knowledge within the pupil. The act of doing this is known as shaktipat. In Hinduism, the guru is considered a respected person with saintly qualities who enlightens the mind of his or her disciple, an educator from whom one receives the initiatory mantra, and one who instructs in rituals and religious ceremonies. In Indian culture, a person without a guru or a teacher (acharya) was once looked down on as an orphan or unfortunate one.
Enlightenment and Prayer
God is a mystery that can be described personal and impersonal. According to Amritanandamayi (Amma) there are fully enlightened souls in the afterworld. They are through their cosmic consciousness one with the cosmos (with God) and also one with each other. We can therefore pray to God or to the enlightened souls in the afterlife. According to Amma, a prayer is always heard and reacted to or upon by one of these higher beings. It doesn’t matter what name humans use in the process. The only point of importance is that the person praying would like help from a higher force in the cosmos. God is often described as a cloud in Christianity. This image goes well with the idea of the aforementioned great enlightened souls. We could consider these souls as an energy cloud of highly developed consciousness. They are capable of affecting every dimension of the cosmos with beams of light. This often transpires via symbols such as books, images, and statues which appear in certain locations. More spiritually developed humans are able to sense these beams of energy which emanate symbolically through the statues and images. People can focus and turn this energy into inner power, peace, or positive thoughts.
- Yogi Nils (the author): A big question on the spiritual path is wether praying is helpful. I believe that God is connected with our inner voice of wisdom. For me, the personal God is a collective term for all enlightened Masters. They live in God and are one with God. They are one with everything and also with us. They are especially one with us in our inside. They got through their purified consciousness special abilities. With these abilities they can help us. If we want it. In my experience, it is sufficient to connect with God or the enlightened Masters through a prayer, and then follow ones own inner wisdom. A prayer has two areas of impact. First, it is an appeal for help, and secondly it works as a mantra. A mantra is a spiritual technique that cleans ourselves internally and fills us with happiness energy. A mantra can be thought as often as you like. It brings us forward on the spiritual path. It builds up inside us positive energy.
- Rafa: It is said of God, he would answer prayers, but when you pray, it's pure chance whether something happens.
- Yogi Nils: Those who pray for selfish goals, only exceptionally gets a wish-fulfillment. But who prays for his enlightenment and for help on his way of all-embracing love, always gets help. But not always the way he wanted. Not in a way that he feels great, rather in a way that his ego dissolves. God lives in a dimension above our material cosmos. He is able to act that it seems to be happend by chance but it wasn´t.
Enlightenment and God
Enlightenment is the core of all religions. Religions will lead to enlightenment. All founders of religions have made an enlightenment experience. In this experience, they saw a higher reality which they have referred as God. This higher reality is difficult to describe. Therefore, there are many expressions and many pictures. In Buddhism, Nirwana is described as a higher dimension of consciousness associated with the feelings of emptiness (egolessness) and abundance (unity, happiness, love). In Hinduism, it is called a state of being (Sat-Chid-Ananda). No word describes God perfectly. All terms will ultimately lead us to God, to enlightenment (holiness) and to a life in God. Moses was enlightened, as he saw a shining (burning) bush after many years of a secluded life in the desert. He saw the light of God in the bush. He got this through living in rest for a long time and through Kundalini Yoga, learned from the egyptian priests. In the Bible it is described by the words, "So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake!" The snake is the Kundalini snake and the staff his spinal column. He made spine practices of visualization and thus the Kundalini snake (energy) awoke. Jesus became enlightened, after John the Baptist gave him the Enlightenment energy (Kundalini energy). After this Jesus meditated 40 days in the desert. Then the devil (his ego) left him and the angels ministered to him (he was able to help with the enlightenment energy his fellow people). Buddha got enlightenment after six years as a yogi under the Bodhi tree. Mara (the devil) disappeared and Buddha rested in happiness.
- Yogi Nils: "I have six arguments: 1. The statements of the enlightened. They see God as light in the world in the form of love, peace, and happiness. God is a term for the perception of the enlightened. Every real religion establishes itself around an enlightened master. Every real religion has a word for God, (Tao, Nirwana, Brahman, Allah, Yahwe). 2. The near death research refers to the independence of the soul from the body and the continued existence of the soul after death. The most important witness is Pam Reynolds. She has seen the light of God in the afterlife, and learned that there is a paradise area. She has also demonstrated that her otherworldly experience was real. She heard the doctors during her out-of-body experience and could reproduce exactly the conversation later on. The gauges showed during her out-of-body experience that her brain could not think. There were no brain waves. And yet she has heard the conversation. Pam Reynolds could have heard the conversation of the doctors only with her soul. Her ears were stoppered while the operation. 3. Physics refers to the existence of a higher cosmic information field (Amit Goswami, God as higher consciousness). The string theory supports this point of view. 4. Parapsychology researches spiritual abilities such as thought transfer and to perceive and sense over large distances. 5. Scientific happiness research has proven the context between enlightenment, peace, happiness, and love. They have recognized the principles which lead to a happy life. They have researched Matthieu Ricard as an enlightened person. 6. I live as a hermit. I have been in various states of enlightenment. I have seen God as light in the world, and felt as happiness, love, peace, and truth in myself. I maintain that enlightenment and God exist. I maintain that it is better and happier to be enlightened than unenlightened. I maintain that it is good to live in God."
- Wikipedia: Mysticism is the knowledge of, and especially the personal experience of, states of consciousness, or levels of being, or aspects of reality, beyond normal human perception, including experience of and even communion with a supreme being. (...) Many if not all of the world's great religions have arisen around the teachings of mystics (including Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tze, and Krishna); and most religious traditions describe fundamental mystical experience.
Swami Sivananda (also written Shivananda) lived from 1897 to 1963 in India. He was one of the greatest Indian saints of modern times. By profession he was a doctor. He taught the yoga of the trinity (Trimurti Yoga), the combination of Hatha Yoga (spiritual exercises), Karma Yoga (work for a happy world) and Master Yoga (daily connection with an enlightened master). He pushed for the cooperation of the religions. All yogis should cooperate too. In 1958 he organized a conference in Venkatagiri with Sathya Sai Baba, another great indian saint. According to Swami Sivananda, enlightenment occurs via relaxation, practice, and love. When a Yogi or Yogini lives in an area of peace, he or she is already halfway there. The second half is tackled with spiritual practice. In order to pass through the gate to a life in light, all-encompassing love must be at the heart of the seeker of enlightenment. When a Yogi lives for the happiness of others, then the ego can be dissolved. When the ego disappears, the person is in light. Swami Sivananda loved the humor. He wrote the song of the eighteen properties that a Yogi should have. Humor is the top priority. Other properties are regularity, truthfulness, integrity, purity, endurance, flexibility, strength, calmness, equanimity, simplicity, humility, kindness and generosity.
Quote from Swami Sivananda: Enlightenment is not an accident or fortune. It is achievable through a thorny path with many steps. I climbed the arduous journey, step by step, but on each lap the enlightened Masters helped me. And I was easily lifted to the next level. As a teenager, I loved gymnastics and sports. With a teacher I learned fencing. He was a Harijan (outcaste). I was informed that it is not befitting for a Brahmin like me to be a disciple of an untouchable. I thought carefully about it. I felt that God dwells in the heart of this untouchable. I went with flowers, sweets and clothes to him, crowned him, laid a flower at his feet and prostrated myself before him. So God came into my life, to lift the veil of caste differences. I took the medical profession to serve all. Any type of healing and relieve human suffering gave me great pleasure. If there was a good recipe for malaria, I had the feeling that the whole world must know it immediately. I wanted to know everything about disease prevention, health promotion and treatment of diseases. Later, when I worked as a doctor in Malaysia, God came in the form of sick and suffering to me. For some, life was a lingering death. When God created this world not only as hell, there must be something beyond this. At this crucial point in my life I met a wandering monk. He gave me the first lesson in the philosophy of enlightenment. It pulled me out of Malaysia to the Himalayas, to a life of a yogi. Every day I did consistently my spiritual exercises and after some years I reached the goal of enlightenment.
Ananda means happiness. Anandamayi Ma is the mother of happiness. She lived from 1896 to 1982 as a yogini in India. By her nature, she was friendly, calm and serene. She was a beautiful woman. She could tell wonderful stories. She loved to dance. She taught her followers to laugh, “Whenever you have the opportunity to laugh, laugh as much as you can.” We can see Anandamayi Ma as the incarnation of the Goddess Lakshmi. As Lakshmi she was happy in herself and gave consistently light to her fellow men. She gave us the way of the complete Hatha Yoga. The complete Hatha Yoga consists of physical exercises, mental exercises, meditation and the path of embracing love (Karma Yoga). As a young woman Anandamayi Ma practiced several years the physical exercises of Yoga, visualized herself as a Goddess and lived three years in a great rest. She practiced the body postures (asanas) from her inner feeling. She practiced creative and intuitive Hatha Yoga. She visualized the Goddesses she needed. One after another the various Goddesses flowed through her mind. She visualized their forms, identified herself with them, said their names as a mantra and thus activated the Kundalini energy in herself. After Anandamayi Ma has charged her body and her mind with spiritual energy, she spent three years in the great silence. She hardly spoke, acted a little and mostly just sat there. She needed no more exercises. The awakened Kundalini energy cleansed from its own her body, her spirit and her soul. She needed just a lot of rest. She had to prevent that the Kundalini energy went out in external activities. She had to live so calm, that her energy turned inwardly and dissolved by itself all the tensions. Then the inner happiness awoke in her. The people felt the light and wanted her blessing. Anandamayi Ma from now on lived as a Karma Yogi, and traveled through India. She gave everyone her darshan and inspired the people to lead a spiritual and happy life.
Mother Meera is an enlightened master who lives in Germany. She was born on 26/12/1960 in India. 1982 she married a German. She now lives in Thalheim near Frankfurt. On weekends, she gives satsang (meeting) in the castle Balduinstein. Everyone can visit her and receive her free blessings (darshan). She gives darshan also in the USA and Canada. A darshan is an important purification step on the spiritual path. Often enlightenment energy is transfered, which one day develops in a great grace.
Mother Meera receives thousands of visitors for darshan which she conducts in total silence. Her darshan consists of a ritual, where she will touch a person's head, and then look into his eyes. During this process, she reportedly 'unties knots' in the person's subtle system and permeates them with light. She teaches the unity of all religions. Everyone can go his own way. It is only important to be connected with the light (the personal spiritual role model) by praying, reading or meditating.
Mother Meera has lived some time in the ashram of Sri Aurobindo. Sri Aurobindo was one of the great Indian saint of modern times. He taught the Integral Yoga, the combination of meditation and Karma Yoga (doing good). Mother Meera has said that she works together on a spiritual level with the Dalai Lama for the good of the world.
Statements of Mother Meera: "Each religion has its basic books. It is helpful to read these major works of religions. You may enjoy material life, but centering yourself in spirituality. (Live the joy as part of the spiritual path.) (...) Whoever comes to me for darshan, receives always what he needs. I look at everything within you to see where I can help, heal and give strength. I take anyone who comes sincere to me. The grace works automatically when the quest is sincere. Prayer always helps."
Amritanandamayi (Amma) was born in 1953 in India. Her full spiritual name is “Mata Amritanandamayi”, which means “mother of bliss-energy”. She began her spiritual journey at the age of five, praying to Krishna everyday. While working, she repeated Mantras silently and found enlightenment at the age of 17. At first her enlightenment was unstable, but with the age of 22, the light flowed into her being. Her inner voice told her to help everyone on earth to follow the spiritual path to self-realization, to become a sort of mother of all beings. She taught the way of all-encompassing love and meditation. Amma built up an extensive humanitarian organization in India. She financed schools, universities, and hospitals. She also set up an organization for single mothers which gave enough money for them to live, which is quite extraordinary in India. Amma also engaged herself in the efforts towards equality for men and women. She renewed the Brahma cult. Brahma is the Indian god of wisdom. Equal to his side is Brahmani, the priestess of the comprehensive love. Amma is a living proof of the ability women possess to achieve enlightenment, equal to that of men. In the year of 2002 Amma was awarded the Gandhi-King prize from the UNO. At the World Parliament of Religions in 2004 in Barcelona she explained, “love is our true self. Love and empathy are the essence of all religions”. She said that in today’s world people suffer from two kinds of inadequacy. The first is a lack of nourishment, and the second is a lack of love. We need to overcome both types of poverty. In order to fight wars, people spend billions. If only a small portion of that could be invested in peace and harmony, all the hunger and poverty in the world could be overcome. More than a billion people on earth suffer from hunger and poverty. That is actually the biggest enemy of mankind. When we develop love in ourselves, then we can really defeat the enemy that is suffering and misery. Amma travels every year around the world, and has been doing this since 1987. She gives everyone her Darshan, her blessing. Her particular spiritual method consists of hugging people. She shows everyone that they are loved. She makes love tangible. “Let’s concentrate on what we can give, and not what we can get from others, then we can experience happiness and fulfillment in life”.
ShantiMayi (mother of inner peace) is an American from the hippie era. She demonstrated to the slogan "Make love not war" and wore flowers in her hair. After the end of the 80 she married. She had three children, and now has four grandchildren. Her marriage failed and she became a forest guardian in a national park. There she had much time to think about the meaning of life. She learned yoga and meditation. One day in her the desire arose to travel to India. She sat down on the plane and the next day she was in Rishikesh. Rishikesh is a small town in the Himalayan mountains. In this place live many sadhus (religious ascetic/holy man), yogis and swamis (monks). In summer, the yogis meditate in the mountains and in winter they move into an apartment in Rishikesh. Through Rishikesh is flowing the river Ganges. On both sides of the place rise the majestic peaks of the Himalayas. In Rishikesh, there are many famous ashram (spiritual centers). ShantiMayi was strolling through the small town, looking at the many strange people and also visited a nice little ashram. She spontaniously liked the Master of the Ashram. He looked so serene, peaceful and happy. She spoke to him the significant words: "I would be like you." The Master knew her future and said, "You will." She became his successor. ShantiMayi stayed many years in his ashram. The Master showed her the secrets of Kundalini meditation and transferred her shortly before his death his spiritual power. ShantiMayi had to promise him that she once a year travels to the West. In May 1999 she moved to Germany. In a protestant church in Hamburg, a large space was decorated solemnly. Many people came and sang songs with her. The little Yogi Nils went also to her satsang. ShantiMayi lived in a cloud of enlightenment energy that filled the room. Nils has been hit by this energy, she turned him, and at the end of the satsang he beamed even as Shanti Mayi. First in him resolved much grief and then he became happy inside. ShantiMayi winked at him. What this meant, we do not know. But he likes ShantiMayi because she is just as undogmatic as he.
Ramana Maharshi (December 30, 1879 – April 14, 1950) was a Hindu spiritual master ("jnani"). He was born to a Tamil-speaking Brahmin family in Tiruchuzhi, Tamil Nadu. After experiencing at age 16 what he later described as liberation (moksha), he left home for Arunachala, a mountain considered sacred by Hindus. He lived at the mountain for the rest of his life. Although born a Brahmin, he declared himself an "Atiasrami", a Sastraic state of non-attachment to anything in life and beyond all caste restrictions. The ashram that grew around him is situated at the foothill of Arunchala, to the west to the pilgrimage town of Tiruvannamalai. Sri Ramana Maharshi maintained that the purest form of his teachings was the powerful silence which radiated from his presence and quieted the minds of those attuned to it. He gave verbal teachings only for the benefit of those who could not understand his silence. His verbal teachings were said to flow from his direct experience of Atman as the only existing reality. When asked for advice, he recommended self-enquiry as the fastest path to moksha. Though his primary teaching is associated with Non-dualism, Advaita Vedanta (only the light exists for him), and Jnana Yoga (wisdom), he recommended Bhakti Yoga (love) to those he saw were fit for it, and gave his approval to a variety of paths and practices.
At age 16, Ramana Maharshi had a life-changing experience. He spontaneously initiated a process of self-enquiry that culminated, within a few minutes, in his own permanent awakening. In one of his rare written comments on this process he wrote: 'Enquiring within Who is the seer? I saw the seer disappear leaving That alone which stands forever. No thought arose to say I saw. How then could the thought arise to say I did not see.'. As Sri Ramana reportedly described it later: "I was sitting alone in a room on the first floor of my uncle's house. I seldom had any sickness and on that day there was nothing wrong with my health, but a sudden violent fear of death overtook me. I just felt I was going to die and began thinking what to do about it. It did not occur to me to consult a doctor or any elders or friends. I felt I had to solve the problem myself then and there. The shock of the fear of death drove my mind inwards and I said to myself mentally, without actually framing the words: 'Now death has come; what does it mean? What is it that is dying? This body dies.' And at once I dramatised the occurrence of death. I lay with my limbs stretched out still as though rigor mortis has set in, and imitated a corpse so as to give greater reality to the enquiry. I held my breath and kept my lips tightly closed so that no sound could escape, and that neither the word 'I' nor any word could be uttered. 'Well then,' I said to myself, 'this body is dead. It will be carried stiff to the burning ground and there burn and reduced to ashes. But with the death of the body, am I dead? Is the body I? It is silent and inert, but I feel the full force of my personality and even the voice of I within me, apart from it. So I am the Spirit transcending the body. The body dies but the spirit transcending it cannot be touched by death. That means I am the deathless Spirit.' All the conscious activity connected with the body was centered on that I. From that moment onwards, the "I" or Self focused attention on itself by a powerful fascination. Fear of death vanished once and for all. The ego was lost in the flood of Self-awareness. Absorption in the Self continued unbroken from that time. Other thought might come and go like the various notes of music, but the I continued like the fundamental sruti note." After this event, he lost interest in school-studies, friends, and relations. Avoiding company, he preferred to sit alone, absorbed in concentration on the Self, and went daily to the Meenakshi Temple, ecstatically devoted to the images of the Gods, tears flowing profusely from his eyes. He decided to leave his home and go to Arunachala. Knowing his family would not permit this, he slipped away, telling his brother he needed to attend a special class at school. After walking about 11 miles (18 km), he reached the temple of Arayaninallur, outside of which he sat down to rest. When the priest opened the temple for puja, Ramana Maharshi entered and sat in the pillared hall where he had a vision of brilliant light enveloping the entire place.
Ramakrishna (18 February 1836 – 16 August 1886), was a famous mystic of 19th-century India. His religious school of thought led to the formation of the Ramakrishna Mission by his chief disciple Swami Vivekananda – both were influential figures in the Hindu renaissance during the 19th and 20th centuries. Ramakrishna was born in a poor Brahmin Vaishnava family in rural Bengal. He became a priest of the Dakshineswar Kali Temple, dedicated to the goddess Kali. Ramakrishna attended a village school with some regularity for 12 years, he later rejected the traditional schooling saying that he was not interested in a "bread-winning education". Kamarpukur, being a transit-point in well-established pilgrimage routes to Puri, brought him into contact with renunciates and holy men. He became well-versed in the Puranas, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the Bhagavata Purana, hearing them from wandering monks and the Kathaks—a class of men in ancient India who preached and sang the Purāṇas. He describes his first spiritual ecstasy at the age of six: while walking along the paddy fields, a flock of white cranes flying against a backdrop of dark thunder clouds caught his vision. He reportedly became so absorbed by this scene that he lost outward consciousness and experienced indescribable joy in that state. Ramakrishna reportedly had experiences of similar nature a few other times in his childhood — while portraying God Shiva in a drama during Shivaratri festival, and worshipping the Goddess Vishalakshi (the mother of the universe). As the divine eye can perceive the entire universe, the Goddess is called Vishalakshi, the vast-eyed.
From his tenth or eleventh year on, the trances became common, and by the final years of his life, Ramakrishna's samādhi periods occurred almost daily. Rumors spread that Ramakrishna had become unstable as a result of his spiritual exercises. His mother and his elder brother Rameswar decided to get Ramakrishna married, thinking that marriage would be a good steadying influence upon him—by forcing him to accept responsibility and to keep his attention on normal affairs rather than his spiritual practices and visions. The bride Saradamani Mukhopadhyaya (later known as Sarada Devi) was found and the marriage was duly solemnised in 1859. Sarada Devi became a strong follower of his teachings. After the marriage, Sarada stayed at Jayrambati and joined Ramakrishna in Dakshineswar at the age of 18. By the time his bride joined him, Ramakrishna had already embraced the monastic life of a sannyasi; as a result, the marriage was never consummated. He regarded Sarada as the Divine Mother in person, addressing her as the Holy Mother, and it was by this name that she was known to Ramakrishna's disciples. Sarada Devi outlived Ramakrishna by 34 years and played an important role in the nascent religious movement.
The most widely known amongst his first spiritual teachers was an ascetic woman, called Bhairavi Brahmani skilled in Tantra and Vaishnava bhakti. Tantrism focuses on the worship of shakti and the object of Tantric training is to transcend the barriers between the holy and unholy as a means of achieving liberation and to see all aspects of the natural world as manifestations of the divine shakti. Under the guidance of Bhairavi Brahmani, Ramakrishna began with mantra rituals such as japa to purify the mind and establish self-control. He later proceeded towards tantric sadhanas, which generally include a set of heterodox practices called vamachara (left-hand path), activities like eating of fish and meat along with drinking of wine and sexual intercourse. Ramakrishna did not directly participate in the last of those activities, all that he needed was a suggestion to produce the desired result. Under the tutelage of the Bhairavi, Ramakrishna also learnt Kundalini Yoga. Later an Advaita Vedantin ascetic taught him non-dual meditation, and according to Ramakrishna, he experienced nirvikalpa samadhi under his guidance.
Ramakrishna also experimented with other religions, notably Islam and Christianity, and said that they all lead to the same God. In 1866, Govinda Roy, a Hindu guru who practiced Sufism, initiated Ramakrishna into Islam. Ramakrishna said that he "devoutly repeated the name of Allah, wore a cloth like the Arab Moslems, and said their prayer five times daily." At the end of 1873 he started the practice of Christianity, when his devotee Shambu Charan Mallik read the Bible to him. Ramakrishna said that for several days he was filled with Christian thoughts. Ramakrishna describes of a vision in which the picture of Madonna and Child Jesus became alive and had a vision in which Jesus merged with his body. In his own room amongst other divine pictures was one of Christ, and he burnt incense before it morning and evening. There was also a picture showing Jesus Christ saving St Peter from drowning in the water.
Neem Karoli Baba
Neem Karoli Baba was a Hindu guru and devotee of the Hindu deity Hanuman. He is known outside India for being the guru of a number of Americans who travelled to India in the 1960s and 1970s, the most well-known being the spiritual teachers Ram Dass and Bhagavan Das, and the musicians Krishna Das and Jai Uttal. His ashrams are in Kainchi, Vrindavan, Rishikesh, Shimla, Bhumiadhar, Hanuman Gadi, Lucknow, Delhi in India and in Taos, New Mexico, USA. He was born in an affluent Brahmin family and his father's name was Pundit Durga Prasad 'Vedacharya'. He was married to Rambeti (daughter of Pundit Rewati Ram) and had three children. But he left his married life to become an independent yogi. He wandered throughout northern India as a sadhu. Neem Karoli was a lifelong adept of bhakti yoga, and encouraged service to others (seva) as the highest form of unconditional devotion to God. He worshiped all the gods and all religions. From 1967 to 1973, many young people came from the West to Neem Karoli Baba. He showed them different spiritual practices. Some he gave the path of Hatha Yoga and others the path of Karma Yoga. For the majority of his followers, he taught the way of the Master Yoga (Bhakti Yoga). The Way of the Master Yoga is to connect oneself every day with an enlightened Master. Neem Karoli Baba taught the individual spiritual path. His exercises were tailored individual to each student. On his festivals, there were lots of candy. One of his favorite sayings was, "Eat sweets, drink tea." In the book Miracle of Love, compiled by Ram Dass, a devotee named Anjani shares the following account: There can be no biography of him. Facts are few, stories many. He seems to have been known by different names in many parts of India, appearing and disappearing through the years. He said, that he was ‘nobody.’ Simple stories were his teachings. Usually he sat or lay on a wooden bench wrapped in a plaid blanket while a few devotees sat around him. Visitors came and went; they were given food, a few words, a nod, a slap on the head or back, and they were sent away. There was gossip and laughter for he loved to joke. Orders for running the ashram were given, usually in a piercing yell across the compound. Sometimes he sat in silence, absorbed in another world to which we could not follow, but bliss and peace poured down on us.
- Love everyone, Serve everyone, Remember God and Speak the truth.
- Whenever you'll think about me, I will come to you.
- Musicvideo, Homepage
Gautama Buddha was prince from Nepal who lived 560-480 BC. He came from the family of the Shakya and is therefore called Shakyamuni Buddha in Tibetan Buddhism. Gautama Buddha was married. At age 29 he left his wife and son and became a yogi. He saw the worldly life as meaningless and superficial. He meditated for six years in the solitude and then got enlightenment. After his enlightenment, he felt compassion for the suffering people in the world. The remaining 45 years of his life, he lived as a spiritual teacher in India and gave people the wisdom of inner happiness. The teachings of Buddha are called Dharma. Basis of the Dharma are the Four Noble Truths: 1. Living in the cycle of existence involves suffering. 2nd The cause of suffering is attachment to worldly pleasures, denial of unpleasant situations and ignorance of the deeper meaning of life (inner happiness). 3th If the causes are dissolved, the suffering disappears. 4th The way to overcome suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path to enlightenment consists of the right wisdom (living in inner happiness), the right decision (for spiritual practice), the right speech (do not lie), the right action (do not steal, not kill), the right livelihood (do good), the right struts (after enlightenment), the right mindfulness (mental work) and the right concentration (meditation). There are three ways to develop enlightenment. There is the path of spiritual practice (yoga, meditation, reading, walking). There is the way of all-embracing love (do good, the bodhisattva path). And there is the path of rest (inner peace). The main path to inner happiness is to live in the rest. The essence of a Buddha is the inner seclusion from the world. A Buddha enshrined his soul in the transcendence (in a higher dimension of consciousness, in the Nirvana, in pure being, in the void / unit, in inner peace and happiness). The Buddhism is a philosophy that has its origins in India. We can summarize the essence of Buddhism in mental work (inner peace, wisdom and love) and meditation. The meditation consists of lying, sitting, standing and walking. The main meditation Buddhas are the four stages of contemplation: thinking about life, inner peace, happiness, dissolving the ego / enlightenment. The fourth stage of meditation is difficult to achieve for an untrained person. It comes by grace (by itself). The more a man is walking the spiritual path, the sooner he can reach a life in the light (Nirwana, God).
Gangaji (born Texas, 1942) is an American born spiritual teacher and author. She lives in Ashland, Oregon with her husband, fellow spiritual teacher Eli Jaxon-Bear. Gangaji was born Merle Antoinette Roberson in Texas on June 11, 1942, and grew up in Mississippi. After graduating from the University of Mississippi in 1964, she married and had a daughter. In 1972, she and her family moved to San Francisco. There, she was soon divorced and pursued many paths to change her life including relationship, motherhood, political activism, career, and spiritual practice. She took Bodhisattva vows, practiced Zen and Vipassana meditation, helped run a Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Center, and had a career as an acupuncturist in the San Francisco Bay area. Feeling unfulfilled by her seemingly successful life, she and her new partner, Eli Jaxon-Bear, sold their house and moved to Hawaii in 1989, where they were married. At this time she met Andrew Cohen, a spiritual teacher and student of Sri H.W.L. Poonja, also known as Papaji. Impressed by Cohen’s "enormous confidence", she returned to California to sit with him for two months. In the meantime, her husband, Eli, traveled to India and located Papaji. Struck by the letters she received from Eli, in the spring of 1990, Gangaji herself traveled to Papaji. In the biography of her life, Just Like You, she said, “The extraordinary event in this life was that I met Papaji. Until then I looked everywhere for the transcendental or the extraordinary, but after meeting Papaji I began to find the extraordinary in every moment.”
Papaji, a student of Ramana Maharshi, gave her the name Gangaji, and asked her to share what she had directly realized with others. Today, Gangaji travels the world as a teacher and author. Her teachings find wide acceptance among spiritual seekers interested in self-realization. She teaches that the truth of who you are is already free and at peace, and that it can be discovered. In her satsangs Gangaji often asks a person to the stage. She then performs a meditative conversation, during which many people get short or long term to enlightenment. Gangaji focuses on the enlightenment potential of her counterpart and releases emotional blocks through targeted questions. “I invite people to just stop and be still. And in that you discover who you are. I use inquiry as a way of getting the mind to turn inward to the silence. It could be the question, “Who am I?” Or it could be “What am I avoiding in this moment?” Or, “Where is silence?” “What is needed in this moment, right in this very moment, what is needed for true peace?” In facing strong emotions such as fear and anger, or in dealing with traumas which keep people locked in personal misery and unable to experience freedom, Gangaji teaches “direct experience.” Although Gangaji states that her realization and meetings are not part of any particular religion or philosophy, her teaching has sometimes been described as consistent with Advaita Vedanta.
Sri Durgamayi Ma
In August 2005 the first great Yoga Festival took place in Berlin. Six thousand people flocked to the many offered Yoga sessions, meditations, lectures and musical events. The highlight was the darshan of Sri Durgamayi Ma. Durgamayi Ma is one of the enlightened Yoga Masters in Germany. Her Master is Neem Karoli Baba, the laughing guru of the hippie era. Durgamayi Ma was born in Germany. She worked as a teacher. In 1972, she saw a picture of Neem Karoli Baba and immediately set off for India. When she met her Master, she could not help crying for three days. All her heartbreak in her life dissolved. Neem Karoli Baba gave her the love she had always longed for. Durgamayi was aware that her heart was broken for a long time and now could be healed. She later told her students: "The most important on the spiritual path is to be aware of ones broken heart. Most people in the West suffer from a broken heart. They are blocked in their love and in their happiness. Enlightenment heals the brokenhearted. Enlightenment is the only way of permanent cure. Enlightenment means opening all the chakras, especially the heart chakra. Who is aware of this fact, walks the path of enlightenment up to the end." (Morning darshan, 2001). After the death of Neem Karoli Baba in 1973 she went to Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati in America. After seven intensive years on the path of Bhakti Yoga her ego was burnt in the fire of love for her spiritual teacher; Sri Durgamayi Ma recognised the divine in her Ma, in herself and in all human beings. Back in Germany, Mataji’s first students soon found their way to her. She says: "Peace in our society can only be attained if we find it in ourselves. Achieving this peace is the aspiration of all religions. That is why it is important not to focus on what separates them but to concentrate on what unites them, not to emphasize their differences but to recognise and live that which they have in common."
Mahaprabhuji was a great enlightened master, who lived from 1828 to 1963 in Northern India (Rajasthan). He taught the unity of all religions and the way of universal love. He was a great poet and could sing beautifully. From all over India, people came to visit him. The follower of Mahaprabhuji was Swami Madhavananda, who in 1972 sent his chief disciple Maheshwarananda to Austria to inaugurate the people there in the yoga path. He wrote the famous book "Yoga and everyday life" and founded a spiritual center. In 1990 Maheshwarananda came to Hamburg and met Yogi Nils (the author). Some times later Mahaprabhuji appeared in a dream of Yogi Nils and blessed him. Working as a yoga teacher (spiritual adviser, spiritual master) is a way to sacrifice the ego, to live in the all-embracing love and to attain enlightenment. Many spiritual people have lost themselves on the way of helping. If a not enlightened man wants to work as a spiritual teacher, he must be aware of the ego traps and able to control his negative qualities. After any contact with his unenlightened fellow men he must spiritually cleanse his mind. Who is not fully enlightened and works as a spiritual teacher has to be aware of his actions. He should focus on his own practicing, connect every day with the enlightened Masters and check himself on pride, greed, attachment, careerism, and sexual lack of clarity.
- Mahaprabuji is also a Name of Preceptor Shri Vallabhacharyaji [1535 - 1587] the Father of the Pushti Path of Devotion. His lineage continues till date one of whom H.H.Vrajrajkumarji's details are on http://vallabhyouth.org/
Sai Baba of Shirdi
Sai Baba of Shirdi, also known as Shirdi Sai Baba, was an Indian guru, yogi, and fakir who is regarded by his Hindu and Muslim devotees as a saint. He had no love for perishable things and his sole concern was self-realization. He taught a moral code of love, forgiveness, helping others, charity, contentment, inner peace, and devotion to God and guru. Sai Baba of Shirdi lived from 1838 to 1918 in India. The Master (Guru) of Shirdi Sai was Venkusa. He went to him as a young man and learned from him Hatha Yoga (physical exercises and meditation). His main technique was to meditate on his Master. He visualized himself as one with his Master and said his name as a mantra. At the age of twenty, he came to Shirdi. Shirdi was then a small village. He moved into a dilapidated mosque and lived there for the rest of his life. Every day he went through the village and begged for some food. He often wandered into the surrounding forest and meditated many hours. He planted a small flower garden and watered the flowers every day. After three years, the flowers were grown and contributed many beautiful flowers. Shirdi-Sai cut the flowers and gave them to the temples in Shirdi. He had been raised by Muslim parents. His master Venkusa was a Hindu. Sai Baba of Shirdi felt therefore that he belongs to both religions. In his mosque, he practiced the customs of both religions. An important ritual in Hinduism is the kindling of light. In his mosque burned all night several oil lamps. The oil he got from the oil traders in the village. One day the oil traders had no more desire to give him free oil every day. They refused to share the daily donation. It is said that Shirdi Sai filled water in the oil lamps, blessed the water and light the wicks. The oil lamps were lit by itself all night. When the villagers realized that Shirdi Sai can do wonders, they began to worship him. An older woman supplied Shirdi Sai daily with food. One day he cried, "Oh Lakshmibai, I'm very hungry!" The woman ran immediately and made him a nice meal. She handed it to her Master and he gave it to a dog. Shirdi Sai said, "To satisfy the hunger of the dog is the same as to satisfy my hunger." Shirdi-Sai's love was especially for the poor, the small and the weak. He taught, "God loves the poor and the rich, but especially he loves the poor. I came to help the small and the weak." The main teaching of Shirdi Sai was the daily Master Yoga (Guru Yoga), "Who every day connects himself with an enlightened Master and sees God in all creation, will be saved." Sai Baba of Shirdi accomplished during his lifetime many miracles. He healed the sick, blessed women with the birth of a child and raised the dead to life. We can see the wonders of Shirdi Sai as spiritual tales. People in India love fairy tales. Maybe the miracle are really happened. We do not know. It's been a long time. The biggest miracle of life is the possibility of enlightenment.
Sathya Sai Baba
Sathya Sai Baba (23 November 1926 – 24 April 2011) was an Indian guru, mystic and philanthropist. Sai Baba had ashrams in 126 countries and also ran a network of hospitals, clinics and schools that were often free. Sai Baba said that his followers do not need to give up their original religion, saying "My objective is the establishment of sanatana dharma, which believes in one God as propitiated by the founders of all religions. So none has to give up his religion or deity." The Sai organization promotes and advocates five human values: Sathya (truth), Dharma (right conduct), Ahimsa (non-violence), Prema (love for God and all his creatures) and Shanti (peace). The materializations of vibhuti (holy ash) and other small objects such as rings, necklaces and watches by Sathya Sai Baba were a source of both fame and controversy; devotees considered them signs of divinity, while skeptics viewed them as simple conjuring tricks.
Wikipedia: A 1995 TV documentary accused Sathya Sai Baba of faking his materializations. However, the scientist Haraldsson stated that, on investigating the DD video, researchers did not find evidence of fake materialisation. According to Haraldsson, the video was taken to a company which investigates corporate fraud. In spite of improving the graininess of the low quality video with enhanced filters and running it through advanced image processing systems, Haraldsson stated the DD video did not provide firm evidence of sleight of hand. The guru and his followers consistently denied the charges of misconduct, which were never proved.
- I have a "Task": To foster all mankind and ensure for all of them lives full of ananda (bliss). I have a "Vow": To lead all who stray away from the straight path again into goodness and save them. This means that I will never give up those who attach themselves to me.
- I have come to restore Love among mankind. The Golden Age will come.
- Help ever, Hurt never. Love all, Serve all.
Master Yoga (Guru Yoga)
A big help on the spiritual path is the daily Master Yoga (Bhakti Yoga). Yogi Nils begs his enlightened Masters every day for guidance and help. The Masters lead him through his inner voice (the feeling of rightness) through the day. Nils prays at least twice a day, and especially in any dangerous situation. Nils owes the daily Master Yoga from the founder of Tibetan Buddhism Padmasambhava. He taught: “Whenever you doubt or hesitate on your way, pray to the enlightened Masters. Then follow the voice of your inner wisdom. Feel within yourself, think for yourself and find your way of wisdom. The voice of your inner wisdom is the voice of the enlightened Masters. If you proceed in this way, you will be victorious along the spiritual path.”
Wikipedia: In the Tibetan tradition, the guru is seen as the Buddha, the very root of spiritual realization and the basis of the path. Without the teacher, it is asserted, there can be no experience or insight. The Dalai Lama, speaking of the importance of the guru, said: "Rely on the teachings to evaluate a guru: Do not have blind faith, but also no blind criticism."
Guru Yoga (or teacher practice) is a tantric devotional process whereby the practitioners unite their mindstream with the mindstream of the guru. The process of guru yoga might entail visualization of an entire lineage of masters (refuge tree). It usually involves visualization of the guru above or in front of the practitioner. Guru yoga may entail a liturgy or mantra. The Guru or spiritual teacher is essential as a guide during tantric practice, as without their example, blessings and grace, genuine progress is held to be impossible.
Iṣṭa-devatā: Within Hinduism, an Ishta-deva or Ishta devata is a term denoting a worshipper's favourite deity. Typically a practitioner worships his Ishta-deva through the form of a murti. This worship may involve offering items to their chosen divinity such as incense or flowers, reciting mantras, singing their names and offering prayers. Within a number of Hindu traditions living people have claimed (or are claimed by followers) to be Avatars of a divine or Supreme being. In these cases followers have then in some instances worshipped these individuals as Ishta-devas. Although these tend to be minority groups within Hindism, it has been a growing tendency in modern times (Sai Baba, Amritanandamayi, Mother Meera for example). This often attracts criticism from other Hindu traditions who do not share the same belief. Swami Sivananda has said that a guru can be likened to God if he himself has attained realization and is a link between the individual and the Absolute. Such a guru, according to his definition and interpretation, should have actually attained union with God, inspire devotion in others, and have a presence that purifies all.