Integral Yoga® Magazine, Issue No.129 "The Purpose of the World"
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The Purpose of the World

A cage is a cage, whether it is iron or gold. In the same way, attachment is attachment. Every attachment should be dropped at a certain point. The purpose of the outer Guru and of the world is to point you to the Guru within.

“God bless you. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.”  —Sri Swami Satchidananda

(photo: Swami Satchidananda at the Grand Canyon, 1967.)

Faith and the Crystal Clear Mind
By Sri Swami Satchidananda

In children, the mind is pure. It is the world that goes in and contaminates our mind, otherwise, the mind is always plain and pure, like a crystal. No mind is bad, no mind is dirty; it’s always crystal clear. But it is the proximity of the mind to other things that colors the mind. If you bring a rose close to a crystal, it will appear rosy. If you bring a blue flower close, the crystal will appear to be blue. The mind is really not bad at all, but if you accumulate ugly things around the mind, the mind will appear to be ugly. The associations are so important. Originally you are all pure, you’re always crystal clear. That’s why we are asked to take care of all our associations. Take care of the “mines” around you. It is the “mines” that color the mind. If you are free from all those things, if you don’t allow those things to contaminate or color your mind, you are liberated. That’s what we see in meditation, also. In meditation we go deep. We see a lot of unpleasant things, a lot of colors in and around the mind. Then, we slowly push them away. That is a form of meditation. Once we learn meditation, we can apply that to anything and everything. That’s why I say that if you are a good meditator, you can meditate on your business; you can meditate on your household problems, teaching problems, learning problems.  MORE

Many of us may think of renunciation as a practice for monks that involves austerities and a withdrawal from worldly involvement. But the true spirit of renunciation is something every spiritual seeker must come to terms with. Letting go of worldly pursuits is not for everyone, but letting go of attachment to them is an inevitable part of the spiritual path. We decided to practice this for the month of March. Sri Swami Satchidananda clarified renunciation by explaining that there is nothing wrong with having a nice home and all the things necessary to live comfortably and earn a livelihood. There is nothing wrong with pursuing our goals and achieving success. The problems begin when we think that all we acquire and or achieve is the source of our happiness. But we dwell in a culture that bombards us with that very thinking and leads to a relentless effort to make happiness happen, bringing unending cycles of excitement, frustration, anger and anxiety. Practicing renunciation can be for us a conscious step toward freeing ourselves from this prison of dependence on outer conditions for peace of mind.  MORE

Marie Kondo, the Japanese author and celebrity declutterer, has a new Netflix special called Tidying Up. The reception has been huge. By all accounts, millions of people around the world have watched the show, read Kondo’s books, and made over their homes using Kondo’s trademarked “KonMari Method”. But this movement needn’t be limited to tidier homes; I think it could be a jumping off point to cleaner lives. A clean life is what we get when we live by the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path. Right action, right livelihood, right understanding—these are ways to take the discord and clutter out of our lives and ourselves. When we see it as more than a hobby, tidying serves as an entry point to a cleaner life—what is known in Japan and in Zen as a “Way”. The word “Way” is one translation of the Japanese Do (Tao in Chinese). “Do” is appended to the names of many martial and fine arts disciplines that have a spiritual, rather than competitive or esthetic, aim. There is Shodo, for instance, “the way of the brush. One trains in Shodo so that the brush, the ink, and the person act as one with the universe. Then there’s Kendo, the martial art, in which the same occurs with the person, the sword, and the opponent.  MORE

A documentary film that takes us on a scientific and spiritual journey where we discover that by changing one's perceptions, the human body can heal itself. The latest science reveals that we are not victims of unchangeable genes, nor should we buy into a scary prognosis. The fact is we have more control over our health and life than we have been taught to believe. This film will empower you with a new understanding of the miraculous nature of the human body and the extraordinary healer within us all. HEAL not only taps into the brilliant mind's of leading scientists and spiritual teachers, but follows three people on actual high stakes healing journeys. Featuring Dr. Deepak Chopra, Anita Moorjani, Marianne Williamson, Dr. Michael Beckwith, Dr. Bruce Lipton, Dr. Joe Dispenza, Anthony William ' Medical Medium', Dr. Bernie Siegel, Gregg Braden, Dr. Joan Borysenko, Dr. David Hamilton, Dr. Kelly Brogan, Rob Wergin, Dr. Kelly Turner, Peter Chrone, Dr Darren Weissman, and Dr Jeffrey Thompson.

Among the ethical teachings of Raja Yoga, only saucha (purity) warrants two sutras. Saucha is not one of the more popular teachings of Raja Yoga since, in sutra 40, it is associated with disgust for the physical body. However a good look at the benefits listed above is certainly enough to awaken our enthusiasm, plus it is straightforward and uncomplicated. The entry-level practice of saucha consists of keeping up with our personal hygiene and maintaining order and cleanliness in our surroundings. It is one of those practices that Swami Satchidananda would describe as “elementary but elephantary.” When he first came to America, Swami Satchidananda was surrounded by throngs of eager students, most of us in full revolt against the values of our parents. Cleanliness was not one of our priorities. He saw our devotion and saw our lifestyle, and he must have glimpsed the big job he had ahead. “Your parents should have trained you in these things,” he commented and then added, “This must be my karma.” Then he set to work. “It’s not that cleanliness is next to godliness,” he admonished us, “cleanliness is godliness!” At one point we begged him to attend our meditations and infuse his spirit into us. He would not. He said “I’m always with you, whether or not I’m there in my physical body, and I know how you meditate by how you work.”  MORE

Mahasivratri (Monday, March 4th) is a significant spiritual festival observed by millions across India. This time is dedicated to Lord Siva, who destroys everything that is limited. Mahasivratri holds the blessings of the unlimited, the Spirit. Lord Siva (Shiva in North India) is known as the Yogi as he is the perpetually infinite in unions with the finite. Thus Mahasivratri is called the “Great Night of the Yogi, Lord Siva.” Mahasivratri is the auspicious time for each of us to do the ultimate inner pilgrimage we are called to in order to wake up and rebirth as the Yogi... Attaining turiya is the ultimate objective of Yoga. Many of the heroes we admire, people such as Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Rumi, and Nelson Mandela, are masters who woke up to the supermind or super-consciousness of turiya. It is from this realm that they were able to shine as masters. My Guru, Siddha Ayya, sat for 18 years without moving while in his cave on the peak of Arunachala. He drank only one cup of milk a day. He had gone beyond sleep. Siddha Ayya was in experiencing turiya, a state described as the “sleepless sleep.” In turiya, our mental potential is more than completely utilized. We awaken our siddhis, our own inner genius, the phenomena sometimes described as extrasensory perceptions.  MORE

"Cabin Talk": Nalanie Chellaram on Meditation, Karma & Truthfulness

Born and raised in Germany, author, activist, writer, animal lover and earth advocate Claudia Stauber now lives in a log cabin in Vermont. She hosts "Cabin Talk"—a program on a wide range of subjects—from her cabin. In this video, Claudia interviews Integral Yoga teacher and center head, Nalanie Chellaram on a variety of topics.

Patanjali's Words: OM
By Reverend Jaganath Carrera

Rev. Jaganath, Integral Yoga Minister and Raja Yoga master teacher, has spent a lifetime delving into the deepest layers of meaning in Patanjali’s words within the Yoga Sutras. Our series continues with the 27th and 28th sutras of Chapter 1 in which Patanjali now talks about Ishvara as the “mystic sound OM.” In these two sutras, Patanjali reveals an important practice that will lead the yogi toward samadhi: Japa Yoga.
    OM is a word of solemn affirmation and respectful agreement, sometimes translated as yes, verily, or so be it. In this sense, it can be compared with Amen. It is placed at the beginning of most Hindu works. Traditionally, it may be quietly repeated at the beginning and end of a reading of the Vedas or to begin any prayer. OM is also used as part of an auspicious salutation (Hail!). In the Upanishads, OM appears as a powerful mantra that is the object of profound meditation. OM represents the entire Veda and since the Veda is considered one with Brahman, OM is regarded as the equivalent of Brahman. Japa, then, is the interiorization of ritual sacrifice, a significant development toward the mystical or contemplative practices found in many faith traditions. Tradition teaches that silent japa is one thousand times more powerful than outward sacrifice.Svadhaya (study) and japa (repetition) are closely related. This emphasizes that study is more than collecting information. It is about the transformation of the individual. Old habits have to be transcended and new ones created, hence, the importance of repetition.  MORE

By Laura Begley Bloom
Every year on March 8, International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the globe, and this year's theme is #BalanceForBetter. In honor of this important day, the travel industry is increasingly developing female-focused trips that can have a life-changing impact not only on you, but on other women around the world. Besides that, it's a good excuse to take a solo trip, a girlfriend's getaway or a trip with other inspiring women. With 2019's International Women's Day just around the corner, not to mention Women's History Month in March, here are a handful of trips to put on your radar, from far-flung expeditions to cool experiences that are close to home.  MORE  [Editor's note: And, as we know—a tried and true way of "balancing for better" is to take a Yoga class, meditation workshop, or create your own personal Yoga retreat day in your home!].
Inside Yogaville

Climate change has certainly led to unpredictable weather patterns in the USA and around the globe and this was in vivid display several weeks ago when snow and ice fell one day and the next temperatures reached a balmy 65 degrees! Ram Wiener, vice-president of the Integral Yoga Academy and Businesses, posed for a photo on his way to noon meditation after the storm. (photo courtesy of: Jeff Ananda Kamen)

Inspiring Meme of the Week
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