Our Body

“Body is that temple,in which mind is the devotee to the soul, lifeor God residing within”

Our bodies reflect the story of our lives. Life is a ground of intelligence and energy in the form of matter and awareness. Our present structure in our personality, clearly reveals how we have been treating our body, and also the effect of mind on us. Our body and mind interact closely and influence each other to such an extent that one becomes the expression of the other. They cannot function separately, and as elaborated below, unless we respect both equally, we can never be wholly integrated individuals.

In our journey of seeking awareness for the purpose of self development or balance, I feel the start should always be from the body. Body is the temple in which God resides. As per the age old saying, ‘Healthy, wealthy and wise’, first comes health, then wealth, and after that wisdom automatically follows.
Every single cell of our body has its own intelligence, to carry out its functions and coordinate with related cells. DNA, carrier of our genetic code in these cells, has all the data and characteristics connected to our heredity, and acquired through memories and emotions. As is our DNA, so also our perception. From this perception, the mind handles the data and reveals its intention, which eventually comes out as action from the body.
Today, most alternative therapies acknowledge the body-mind-spirit relationship for effective healing. Yoga and meditation are shining examples of how this fusion between the three is required to obtain a wholesome life. More than living forever, or even longer, we would all prefer to live well. Body intelligence is the subject which takes us onto this path of healthy and preventive living, rather than an abusive and curative one. We all know that most of the money spent on research today is more for curing than preventing diseases, mainly because profits are higher and easier, when there is imbalance and ill health.
Our body has intelligence built over millions of years in mankind’s evolution. The autonomous nervous system controls some of our body functions without any conscious inputs from us, like breathing, digesting, and sleeping; it also maintains a body balance with its own intrinsic healing abilities. The miracle of our body intelligence is that it survives in spite of our abusing and bloating it.
Further, in mind-body relationship, research shows that bacteria, especially in the gut, can alter the brain and behavior, meaning emotional states change with micro biome in the body. Also, in relation to health, newer studies are revealing that exposure to diseases in the body may have a huge effect on the IQ or brain power. The reason is that we devote a great deal of energy running our brains, and when diseases crop up, they start diverting this energy from the brain to elsewhere in the body.
Our bodies degenerate with time and age, in spite of all our health supplements, antioxidants, mental or physical exercises, miracle herbs like French pine bark or super anti- age related telomeres. Telomeres are segments of DNA found at the end of chromosomes and every time a cell divides, its telomere gets shorter, making the cell gradually die. Even with all this research on replenishing the body with telomeres, it does degenerate with wear and tear, abuse, time, and individual genetic design. Due to heredity, certain diseases are already earmarked, and also the effect on our body of the pleasures and pain we go through in life, clearly certifies that if there is anything certain in life, it is death.
Today, all we need to do is to send our blood sample to a DNA profiling lab. What we receive is a report on our genomic analysis, a list of diseases you might be at risk of getting, and a personalized dietary recommendation. Then what about day to day damage being done by pollution, wrongly acquired habits and various environmental factors? The only answer I have is, technology may increase our life span, but our bodies are bound to degenerate with time. So why not live well with the right perception, intention and action, that there be health, wealth and wisdom.
The way to this awareness, consciousness or enlightenment starts only through the body, because lack of all the above are reasons for imbalance and ill health. Make peace with your body, listen to it, and become sensitive to its needs because, besides your innate intelligence and intrinsic healing abilities, it requires your love, care and appreciation. Only then will you be able to go beyond to start the journey into a state of nirvana, and reach somewhere in the limitless zone of self transcendence.
Tags : Soul, Temple
Source : Gian Kumar www.booksonspirituality.com

What I Aspire in Life – Know thyself

For years I have been striving to learn spiritualism and mind control. Despite having a life full of emotional and materialistic satisfaction, enjoying comforts that wealth bestows on us, I have managed to control my needs, desires and cravings, through the practice of moderation. While trying to seek peace and balance in the course of my worldly pursuits, I have now reached a state of mind when I ask myself, what I aspire for, beyond this. What will be my focus and direction from here on? Should I now renounce or liberate myself from worldly pleasures, from the life I have built for myself over the years, or follow a new path of religion, or some other doctrine unexplored by me so far.

Moreover, this self-obsession, our ego, makes us suspicious of all around us. We misplace our energies trying to protect ourselves from imaginary enemies, who, we feel, are out to get us, leading to feelings of insecurity. Or else we fail to see beyond a life of comforts – fine dining, branded items, and movies – all trying to prove to others how smart and worldly-wise we are. This vicious cycle of pleasure and pain takes us away from reality. We are now in danger of falling into a deep chasm of self-pity and depression, which can further lead to self-destruction. This may happen in spite of being tech-savvy, healthy, wealthy and wise. So I ask myself, is this all I am aspiring for in life, will it take me towards happiness and fulfillment, or am I seeking something else, higher than the Self?

Firstly, I would like my life to continue in harmony and moderation, amidst comforts and materialistic pleasures, without doubts and fears and compulsive thoughts. I need not look for support, appreciation or approval from others. I aspire for stability in joy or sorrow, when faced with praise or criticism, without grudges or resentments against anyone. Inspired by my own courage, conviction and self-respect, having a steady, proactive mind, I would not allow it to be disillusioned or distracted by impulsive actions. To follow and triumph over the instinctive reflexes of my senses, I would be able to focus on my perpetual desire to go on seeking my never-ending goal of SHAKTI (power), SHIKSHA (knowledge), and SHANTI (peace). This could take me to a further goal, how to excel in life.

Secondly, I am aware that this victory over myself may be for perfection, but will not provide me with my search for inner peace. What vision and capacity must I seek, where my mental capabilities, beyond my individual aspirations, are expanded into an energy field which provides bliss far above human expectations? In Hindu philosophy, Yoga, i.e. fusion of body, mind and soul, provides us the answer to this. It is called Bhakti yoga, the ultimate process of leaving self-obsession and entering the world of bhakti (devotion), dedicating ourselves to serving others.


Source : Know thyself by Gian kumar, http://www.booksonspirituality.com/


Life…..Slowing Down

In today’s world, our time is finite and precious, meaning therefore, we must make use of it resourcefully.

This is how we have been able to reach the jet age, internet and digital world, where speed is of prime importance. The purpose for all this was to provide us with better quality time to do other things. The paradox is however, it has left us with less time. This has resulted in competition, greed, fear of insecurities, etc. The rule we follow is, time is money. Essentially we are always in a hurry, and speed is required in everything we do, whether it is eating, praying, or fulfilling earthy desires.

Where is this leading us? Today young people over the age of 30, are getting diseases which are related to stress, like hypertension to cardiac arrests, anxiety to depression, etc. When life becomes too fast, complex or cluttered, we have to stop, whether under compulsion or through common sense, and ask, is this really worth it? What is it that we want from life and what is our purpose here? The answer lies in our ability to connect with every aspect of our lives.

When we are young, we are mainly connecting to everything possible in the outside world. We have high expectations and ambitions, through complex thought processes of our mind, driven by the ego presence in all of us. Only then do we reach somewhere in the rat race of our chaotic manmade world. Gradually, realization starts creeping in, where we start a slow journey of obtaining awareness of the divine presence, away from whining of me and mine, into the flow of nature, where oneness exists. This is what we refer to as connecting with our inner Self. Here our mind functions as close to nature as possible, where there is no technology or digitization. We have to learn how to relax, be observant in the present moment, breathe slowly, meditate and calm ourselves, away from the daily stress and anxieties.

Gandhiji once said, there is more to life than increasing its speed. Slow your speech, your thoughts, and the mad speed in which you are moving every day, and see the difference.

Further, spend more time in listening, rather than being in a hurry to interrupt and force others to accept your point of view. Enjoy the beauty of nature, the sky, the stars, mountains, the landscape etc. Relax in a busy street café or a bustling mall, and see how everyone is in a hurry. Read this article slowly, and you will discover that you absorb more than you otherwise would have.

Now many of us may be seeking a change. In most countries, resorts have opened up with different physical environments, to epitomize a slow, fulfilling holiday with spas and spiritual centers. There they offer either a peaceful farm-life, or the sea-side, or they are situated in the hills, amidst beautiful natural surroundings, to take you away from all the honking and chaos of the cities.

The answer, of course, is the right balance. There is no denying that there are many moments where speed is required. We also have to understand, that in order to live a better life, our journey should not necessarily be controlled within a time frame, or the achievement of strict goals. Life should always be treated as a journey, to flow with a natural presence, rather than goals, as these have limitations and are egocentric. It should be more towards a better quality of life, where both body and mind are under your control, where you are not governed by the clock, and have enough time for yourself, your family and relationships.

Tags : Life, Balance
Source : Gian Kumar www.booksonspirituality.com


Have you ever wondered who invented the number zero? Can you imagine mathematics or, say, science without using or encountering zero? The number or word zero makes our lives so smooth and easy—in fact, we simply cannot function without it.

According to Wikipedia, Babylonians were the first people to use this symbol, but not as a true zero because it was not used independently or as the end of a number. The concept of zero as a number and not merely a symbol is attributed to India, where most of the numerical system first originated and practical calculations were carried out using zero. Indian scholars used the Sanskrit word “shunya” to refer to zero, which means void, empty, or nothing. What is mystifying about shunya is that when a number is raised to the power of zero, the result is one. Similarly, if we are raised to the power of shunya or nothingness, we become one—a unity or oneness. Let us delve into this mystery and learn how powerful our zero is, especially with the metaphysical realm around it; by itself, it may be nothing but when attached, it is everything.

Today, zero serves as a placeholder, taking its place between or after numbers in our counting system. Zero comes in after nine to “roll over” and is a definite number, so we cannot say that it is nothing. We may say it is neutral as it quantifies any numeral, positive or negative. For example, if we combine zero to -1, the number goes up to -10; similarly, +1 becomes +10 and so on. In metaphysics, too, we cannot define zero as nothing because the absence of something is still a thing, for instance, air in space or in the sky. Therefore, we can say that zero is a link or connectivity, which on its own may mean nothing but does correspond to something when connected.

Zero may mean emptiness; however, at the same time, it is a perfect balance between positive and negative, forming equilibrium. Alternatively, it is infinite, as it has no beginning or end. It is neutral. It quantifies an integer when attached to it, whether positive or negative. The number zero is as alive as any other number because without it there would be no mathematics, algebra, or even science.

Zero is mysterious. As I mentioned, even the absence of something constitutes something. In eastern philosophy, this something, nothingness, or emptiness of shunya is considered a cosmic void, where all existence emerges from shunya, coming out of nothing and dissolving back into nothing. In other words, it is the pure presence of everything, like the sky. The sky itself may be empty but it is the pure space where everything comes and goes—yet, the sky remains the same. The state of shunya in Hindu philosophy, aside from its numerical meaning, is also understood as a state of all-pervasive Brahmn, the ultimate reality that is always present in the universe, which becomes alive or comes into existence only when it merges with the mind and body consciousness.

As per the Vedas, the sacred texts of the Hindus, within this shunya or zero lay the philosophy of existence. What we call zero or nothing is in reality the source of everything. From this very shunya, referred to as absolute zero, manifests the whole universe—it is called Brahman, where all-pervasive Brahmn (awareness), the supreme energy, prevails. Both Brahmn and shunya are similar, as both emerge from emptiness and are nothing, until they merge and manifest. One reveals its presence by joining with matter and becoming the mind, and the other manifests itself by quantifying other numerals.

Both Brahmn and shunya are un-manifested energy, lying in the emptiness of nothing. A stand-alone zero is nothing; it manifests the moment it combines with other numerals. In the same way, Brahmn, awareness, or cosmic intelligence remains neutral on its own and manifests by flowing out of the cosmic emptiness, joining matter by entering the mind. Thus, it becomes quantified and later becomes qualitative depending on its usage by any individual, positive or negative. Therefore, the state of shunya and the state of awareness (Brahmn) are the same—both are nothing on their own but are also the sources of everything.

The quality of the mind or its intellect is dependent on awareness manifesting with it. Only then, the mind is said to be conscious, just as zero is dependent until it combines with other integers. This is how we become different from other solid objects. It is the reason why God—who is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent—is a synonym of awareness, present in every single cell of ours, allowing us to presume that we are God ourselves. What is projected from the mind is nothing more or less than what is projected by the Lord himself. Both come from the same awareness, meaning from the same origin or source. Therefore, I as a body/mind/matter am zero and my ego is zero, being limited. However, when I merge with all-pervasive awareness, I rise in divinity and come nearer to its origin, finally to reach to the level of the Lord himself.

Science today has realized that everything is energy. The entire universe is like a web, tied together by a common invisible energy in the form of different vibrations, frequencies, and wavelengths into a single interconnectedness. We are all manifestations of the same energy. This energy or awareness is eternal and forever changing, relative when we are in ego consciousness and absolute in purity. Virtual atomic particles appear out of empty space or shunya and exist before dissolving back into empty space.

In every aspect, our physical reality is just a manifestation. We may see it in different forms, but it is a single universal energy that encompasses everything and being that we can imagine all that exists—not in isolation but in one continuum. This energy comprises electrons, protons, and neutrons. Just as a fish exists in an ocean, we exist in this big ball of energy, space or shunya. What appears solid is only because our senses are capable of perceiving the frequency of its wavelength. We do not see or feel what our minds cannot perceive in this continuum. We can only see disjointed parts of the energy of different objects as solid forms through our limited perceptions. Therefore, the sense of individuality is merely a perception of our limited mind. This is the theory Einstein explained—matter and energy are interchangeable; they are essentially one. When matter is broken down to its miniscule form, it is the same as energy.

Centuries ago, philosophers postulated that all physical existence was composed of five basic elements: earth, fire, water, air, and space. Science today reframes this same concept: matter with energy, space with time, and intelligence or awareness with consciousness. Science views consciousness as the second level of awareness in experience, vaguely referring to the same as an epiphenomenon of electromechanical reactions forever flowing through the topology of space.

Whether this intelligence-cum-consciousness forms a common link with matter and energy has still not been confirmed. Neither have we been able to prove that human beings are connected to one supreme self, God, or a greater creative force. As of now, this remains a matter of belief. Eastern philosophy proclaims that matter (energy) has the quality of existence (“sat”) and when one achieves the highest levels of consciousness (”chit”) by merging oneself with the absolute awareness or reality, either with yoga or some other discipline, then one attains bliss (‘anand’). This is equal to becoming the supreme self or creative force, for example, Jesus Christ, Lord Buddha, Lord Krishna, or Prophet Muhammad. To provide further clarification, I have given below a detailed explanation of what I have gathered in my quest to solve this mystery.

We are aware that our body, thoughts, knowledge, and sensory organs all exist with their own limitations. We hear the frequencies that our ears can process—but we also know that a dog can hear much higher frequencies. Similarly, the eyes of a bat or viper function differently from and better than human beings’ eyes. Therefore, we have our body and mind limitations, with different levels of consciousness within us. I, as a body-mind, may have limited power and knowledge but the power of shunya, as described below, goes beyond the mind into limitless energy.

Sages from ancient India measured time through the concept of one’s individual time called ‘kshana.’ This is not chronological or psychological time. Kshana is the time between two thoughts, differing from person to person. This empty time between two thoughts, this space of nothingness or emptiness, was also referred to as shunya. During this time, you are in a “no-mind zone”—being away from the thought processes of the mind, you are in union with the absolute energy continuum or the cosmic void. Kshana is that moment of presence in which you are face-to-face with the cosmic intelligence, void, or shunya. Therefore, again, shunya can be presumed to be that idle awareness eternally flowing in the cosmos; when it merges with matter, it brings existence or life into force or reality, in the form and content called consciousness.

In our world of dualities and dichotomies, an average person’s thoughts churn with no logical sequence. Thoughts are always dancing in our minds, from the past to the future and back again. At one time we may be thinking of great ideas and concepts, then we may jump over to fantasies or may flash upon what we could have done or recall what someone else did to us, and so on and so forth. If we pen these thoughts down even for a short while, the result will seem like a crazy person’s diary! It is impossible to suppress thoughts—trying to do so only leads to more thoughts.

Try watching your thoughts as an observer, without getting involved, and see the difference. They will resemble clouds moving in the sky, having no involvement with us. Your mind will gradually slow down and your heart rate will fall, allowing you to enter the gate of a no-mind zone. This stilling of our mind is called meditation; through this divine pleasure, you touch base with the ultimate awareness in a no-mind zone, far beyond your active mind.

Kshana is the space between your thoughts where you are truly aware of your real self. In the case of an active, average, dual-minded person who is constantly involved in the vicious cycle of pleasure and pain, with the mind being agitated or excited, the space or time between two thoughts is very little. In the case of an enlightened or aware person, however, thoughts are no longer a bothersome impediment. The person remains longer in a no-mind zone and becomes a master of observing his or her own thoughts rather than getting involved—then, kshana is longer and more blissful.

Meditation takes you toward a longer Kshana, into that emptiness where you become calm and peaceful inward as well as outward, showing positive changes in your mind and body. Scientists are now discovering this mental state and acknowledging that meditation is the elixir of life. In this state, the body and mind do not decide the quality of who you are. You touch base with your source, the basis of all creation referred to as God. This is what meditation is: to become a part of shunya, to know life beyond limitations and the sphere of what is physical, to experience the source rather than the mere outer surface of life.

This cosmic void is the origin and source of creativity; it is said that not a single thought emanating from the mind can be from this void. Thought is merely an expression of the mind explaining what it has already acquired, whereas creativity is a reflection of the supernatural, a spontaneous flash of intelligence originating from the no-mind zone to merge with the mind. Therefore, the mind or “I” in its thoughtful condition can neither create nor meditate, probably because the mind is meant to plan, analyze and calculate the end results. This is why many important events take place in our lives unexpectedly. It is the empty mind, the pure experience of the cosmic void that is most creative—not the result-oriented, thoughtful mind.

Deep meditation, as explained by yoga, is a combination of contemplation, meditation, and samadhi(merging with your source); it is the highest stage in meditation, in which a person experiences oneness with the universe. This is the stage or bliss that sages in India practice to achieve complete self-mastery. Scientific studies have shown the direct effects of intense meditation on DNA and gene expression. The positive effect of meditation at the cellular level in the human body helps delay the process of aging by increasing telomerase activity. Telomerase is an enzyme that repairs DNA. Every time a cell divides, its telomeres becomes shorter and once a cell runs out of telomeres, it cannot reproduce anymore and dies. Telomerase is an enzyme that reverses this process and enhances the longevity of life. A research team at the UC Davis Center of Mind and Body concluded “… purpose in life is influenced by meditative practice and directly affects both perceived control and negative emotionality, affecting telomerase activity directly as well as indirectly.”

Research on dreams and sleep has shown deep sleep is necessary for our well-being; it helps rejuvenate the body and mind by producing 4-7 Hz theta waves. These electromagnetic waves maintain the body’s health by producing and replicating good DNA. In deep meditation, too, the same alpha and theta waves are produced, acting in the same manner.

All this tells us how important it is to possess control over our senses, limit our desires and attachments, and contemplate our thought processes to attain that silence within, traveling beyond the mind into the emptiness of this pure energy.

Most scientists and doctors have some belief in a higher power or some creative force that transcends science; however, they do not yet have a way to ascertain the physical reality of this concept. Alternatively, as we mature, we realize that life is like a large prison where we are prisoners of our own thoughts, actions, and deeds. The higher the level of goodness within us, the more we become selfless, accept all that comes our way, and realize that this world is an illusion where we are to transcend further. Whenever I have completed a good deed, the reward has eventually reached me (even though it may not come from the same source), making me realize that you reap what you have sown. One also realizes that positivism, giving, love, faith, truth, detachment, and fearlessness are all akin to godliness. You need to become aware of the depth of the saying “God helps those who help themselves,” which further signifies that God is within you.

When we peer into the atomic world, the whole universe is like a web, tied together invisibly, with rhythm, harmony, and symphony. There is beauty and infinite space, where all of the planets, stars, solar systems, and galaxies dance in a unique order, despite moving at great speeds. Quantum physicists claim that the whole cosmos is one inseparable inter-connectedness and the ancient Hindu Upanishads (philosophical texts) consider this divine or Brahman, a Sanskrit word signifying the supreme ultimate reality that does not change with space and time. The statement that Brahman rises above everything implies that the soul is the innermost core or energy and consciousness is the highest truth of awareness (Brahmn), and the self or soul is nothing but the same as God, when we transcend from our relative, illusory, or dual life into the absolute in awareness. This means Brahman is not created from something, but is ever flowing and is created from the reality of its own being, by combining as matter, when in slow vibration. In Aristotelian terms, Brahman is both the material cause as well as the efficient cause of creation.

Carl Sagan, a great astronomer and cosmologist who played a leading role in the American space program at NASA, wrote extensively on this ancient Hindu cosmology, using his now-famous phrase—“the great cosmic lotus dream.” He also referred to the bronze statues cast in the eleventh century in the Chola temple in India: “The most elegant and sublime of these bronzes is a representation of the creation of the universe at the beginning of each cosmic cycle—a motif known as the cosmic dance of Shiva.”

To sum up, let us travel into the zone of cosmic void called shunya through meditation and experience the taste of this bliss. This will deeply change our mindset, bringing in calmness, balance, and serenity. Aside from chronological and psychological time, we have individual time, which is the space and time between two thoughts; we should try to understand this to realize the ultimate truth and reality of our existence. Shunya or emptiness will provide us a glimpse of our origin, beyond our questioning minds, and make us aware of where we come from and what we will finally disintegrate into—the supreme concept described earlier in detail as absolute awareness, a void called shunya-zero.

Source : Gian Kumar www.booksonspirituality.com

Where Have I Come From?

Recently I read about Dr. Stephen Hawking’s views on the subject of the origins of the Universe. He explains, “Because there is a law of gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. …” Science and spirituality may not apparently have a link, but to me both are based on logic and definition. The similarities between matter or form, and energy, have been established by Quantum Mechanics Theory. According to this theory, everything that has form is energy, including our mind and body, which connote gross energy, originating from and returning to, the universe. Our soul/atman or prana is referred to as subtle energy, passing on from one life force to any source in the cosmic zone. As science delves more deeply into origins of our existence, we find truth in what our sages have been saying all along, that we came from nothingness and will finally vanish into nothingness, a cosmic void.

Sri Sri Ravi Shanker tells us, very conclusively, “The space around us is not dead space; it is filled with energy and intelligence”

In an earlier article, I had given my views to explain who I am. Aside from this, what has also always intrigued me is my origins—Where have I come from? and What is the purpose of my life? This article dwells on the link between science and spirituality, how scientific research is now delving into origins of our existence and whether we differ from other forms of matter. I have given my views, with whatever little knowledge I may have gleaned through my readings and observations. This will be followed by another article wherein I will elaborate on my personal views about the purpose of my life, being born and composed in the form of a human being.

Science and spirituality may not have any apparent link, but to me, both are logical and well defined. Quantum Mechanics Theory, which differs from classical physics, tells us that no longer is matter or form different from energy. In fact, the two are identical. When seen through a powerful microscope, delving into the sub-atomic level of our cells, which are divided into protons, neutrons and electrons, we find movement and vibrations in different frequencies. This explains the present mode of our form (e.g., the vibrational makeup of a table is also energy, but slow, hence it appears solid to our eyes). Alternatively, sound and light are faster, with tiny particles churning at high speeds, to provide different tones and colors that appeal to our sensory organs.

This unit of energy, referred to as quantum energy, concludes that everything is energy. This field of energy, where all things originate and return, explains that we are like any other form in the universe, only that our energy levels are different. Our body and mind connote gross energy, which project us as who we are according to knowledge or information we feed into our thought processes. The soul/atman or prana is referred to as subtle energy, which passes on from one life force into any source in the cosmic zone.

Thoughts are also part of the same energy system and are seen to behave in different manners in their frequency and vibrations, when measured by various machines. Depending on whether these are positive or negative thoughts, they lead to various changes in our gross body energy, which in turn, may lead to good health or ailments during our lifespan. Positive energies of love have a very high, fast vibration, which assist in creating harmony between us and the subtle energy of the source. Ageing in life occurs when the cells in our bodies begin breaking down, thereby depleting our energies and leading to free radicals through the process of oxidation. Hence, doctors advise us to ingest antioxidants, to renew our cell growth and rejuvenate us.

These theories, since the 1900s, along with scientific research and discoveries being made now about the origins of our existence, finally confirm what our sages have been saying all along—that we have come from nothing, a cosmic void, where only cosmic energy exists. This is what we call ‘shunya’ meaning zero, which even if multiplied or divided, will always remain zero, the sum of nothing.


To conclude, as Sri Sri Ravi Shanker explained in one of his articles in The Times of India, “God is the space in which everything exists, from which everything has come into existence, and into which everything dissolves. The space around us is not dead space; it is filled with energy and intelligence. That energy is everywhere, inside you as well as outside you.”