Where is Ananda hidden?

 

 

By now we are familiar with the notion that Ananda or the Joy of  Spirit is an integral part of our being. Naturally we all wish to be in that state of perfect happiness where there is no tinge of sadness or insufficiency. It is possible for us to achieve that state of perfection and we must strive to achieve and experience that quintessential state of higher being. 

At this juncture, I know Mandira, that an obvious question has sprung up in your mind and you must be wanting to ask me, “Mother, I agree that Ananda is our true nature and I wish to live in that state. But where do I find such Divine Bliss and how do I attain that state of being?” 

Yes, I understand that this is a serious thought and subject and it requires a thorough understanding and also patient practice of spiritual efforts. For practical application, a definite method and a whole process of transformation is to be undertaken by the aspirant. This path and destination is not commonly sought, but nonetheless we are going to travel on it because the journey is worth taking and the destination worth visiting. The expected requirements and tools are your lifelong commitment, sustained interest and focus, untiring effort and unflinching sincerity towards your goal.

My dear, all the efforts are worthwhile as the fruit of  earnest labour are wonderously enriching, enormously rewarding and benignly enlightening!

 So let’s begin our journey to reach our desired destination and find the source of Joy within us.

Mandira, let’s step back for a while and do some introspection by going back in time. Let’s attempt  to recall and recreate those moments when we were just born!  For us life began then and for our dear ones it was a day to rejoice. 

Now try to focus on the moment when we took our first breath, yes- the first breath. It was a critical moment because that particular moment heralded a new beginning for us as we embarked on an incredible journey called ‘life’.

Can you recall that specific time? The expected answer from you would be how can I recall that? It is so far away back in time, I was not even aware of that action. Alright, let it be. Instead let us just imagine and visualize for a short while the crucial moment when we first inhaled the air and took the first breath in. Stop here and think!

You must be wondering what is my mother upto? Why is she asking me something that no one thinks about? Why is it important to remember the moment when I took my first breath?

My dear, I took you way back in the past so that we realize the importance of one breath!! In one breath we began our life and our whole life is made up of multitude breaths! And to day I am going to reveal to you a few important hidden facts about something as vital as breathing and other related topics to which we have never given a careful consideration. One might wonder what is the connection between breathing and Ananda? And what is the significance of it in the area of my life?

To begin with, let us know that Ananda is sublime Joy. Ananda is different from sensual pleasures and it is perceived and experienced in a state when the senses and the mind are in a stationary and complete calm state. The subtle vibrations of Spiritual Joy are received from the upper regions of the astral world. The mind and body should be prepared and attuned beforehand to be ready to receive those soft and subtle rays of enchanting  light! Such is the magic of those beatific rays of divine joy! And joy when prolonged for a longer period is Bliss!!

So you see who would not like to make an attempt to explore the world of untapped Joy and Bliss! 

Mandira, do you remember that as a child you have first learnt words so that in future you would make sentences?  In the same way, the key to the hidden treasure of Joy of the Spirit is the meditation technique in which the ‘prana’ or the vital force which resides in the breath is disciplined and the latent  power of the mind awakened. To make things interesting and simpler let us do a simple exercise.

Take a few deep breaths. Focus on the point between the eyebrows and concentrate there for a while. Do not care about the noise from outside or sound of the thoughts in the background. Sit calmly and allow the mind to become motionless and enjoy the peace. Once the peace settles over you, bring your attention gently  over the incoming and outgoing breath. Watch the continous flow like an observer and do not apply any force or will. 

Let this go on for some time and you will notice that as you are doing this, the mind has become calm and still and the breath is becoming shorter and slower. Now with a quiet mind, notice that there is a ‘gap’, a ‘void’ after we exhale and before we take the air in. Focus on that empty gap and become conscious of its presence. When we concentrate on these ‘gaps’ or ‘nothingness’ by keeping our  attention on them, the body starts becoming  motionless and  the mind arrives at a point of Absolute Stillness like a still lake devoid of any ripples!

 Enjoy the calmness that has now enveloped you! 

Gradually, with continued practice, when you focus on the ‘empty gaps’, you will experience a state of ‘breathlessness’ when the heart and lungs stop functioning temporarily. This is the stage when the mind is completely absorbed in Absolute Bliss. The body consciousness is abandoned and the Spirit soars and takes a flight in the Infinite sky to experience vastness. It is state of great joy because the cord of the small self is cut and the soul becomes free to float in Infinity and from within a divine song flows-“Ananda, Ananda, Nit Naveen Ananda.”   “Joy, Joy, Ever new Joy.” 

This reminds me that it was in Nov’03 that I visited Ranchi for Sharad Sangam and took Kriya Deeksha at YSS. There I was initiated into a breathing technique after which I experienced some outstanding spiritual experiences. That’s when I understood  many scientific explanations of the ancient science of Yoga as explained by many yogis and maharishis like Patanjali,  and also Sri Paramhansa Yogananda in his ‘Autobiography of a Yogi.”

During those days, I used to meditate very frequently and was trying to learn the art of concentration and meditation by regular practice and discipline of  the body and mind. I was practicing the ‘Hon Sau” technique of breath control, which is a type of ‘Pranayam,’ with dedication and strict adherence  to the steps prescribed by Guruji. 

The day I returned from Ranchi, I felt like meditating before sleeping. I was filled with the spiritual vibrations of my week long stay in the Ranchi Ashram. I closed my eyes naturally and began observing my breath. My mind and body became extremely still effortlessly and I slipped into deep calmness and solitude. It was then, with some passing moments I realized that I was not breathing at all and my body was motionless. I did not have the need to draw in air  and I entered a state of very deep and intense  calmness. The murmur of the heartbeat was not audible to me anymore and I underwent into a state of Absolute Silence. The body was seen as a separate entity, say like a cage and I was like a bird in it, a soul, the silent onlooker, who could see the cage as a separate object. There were two separate entities as I could see then clearly. 

Imagine here I was in a breathless state at home while so many yogis and other spiritual aspirants strive to achieve this in the caves and other places in tough terrains of the far off Himalaya Mountains! How fortunate I am, just think over it.  It was such a rare experience for which I shall forever be grateful to Guruji, Sri Paramhansa Yogananda and to our Revd. Mahavatar  Babaji. 

I sometimes wonder how could I, out of innumerable people in the world get so lucky to have been chosen by the divine to experience such exalted spiritual state. The most convincing answer that comes to my mind is that God chose me to show the other seekers that it is possible by one and all to reach the higher states of spiritual advancement with their sincerity, devotion and ardent efforts. Who so ever follows the Spiritual Preceptor’s advice obediently will be showered by His Grace and Compassion. 

So my dear child, the initial  steps that you have taken on the journey are the stepping stones of the regal palace that will be made in future by you. Take each step with enthusiasm and cheerfulness and enjoy every stage of the magnificent path ahead.

(Ref-Food and breath control to read more on Pranayam)

 {To know more about the life and spiritual work and legacy of Sri Paramhansa Yogananda, read his autobiography ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’}

 

                                                    

19 Responses to Where is Ananda hidden?

  1. Atul says:

    Sarika,

    Mahavtar Babaji and Guruji’s Grace and the steps to Ananad have been beautifuly and simply described by you.

    I feel enlivened ,joyous and encouraged.

    May God Bless you.

    Atul

  2. Manpreet says:

    Beautiful.
    Can I also reach that stage, of leaving my breath out, not needing it for a few seconds. I need to learn meditation.
    Guess what, your blog actually inspired me to start the anulom-vilom right here, right now.
    🙂
    I was doing it, till i thought of starting to type out a response.
    Thank you.

  3. spiritinlife says:

    With the supreme grace of God and his given Guru, everything is possible.

  4. Kishore Gadewar says:

    I would like to simply say “Thank You” for sharing the divine experiences and path, I have no words to express how greatful I am.

    Thank You

  5. spiritinlife says:

    I am thankful to the Divine and all the readers who are reading this blog. Every word that has come here is only out of inspiration of God; during and after meditation hence one finds true peace and bliss. One who reads these passages with reverence and faith will also find solution to their daily and spiritual problems. Thank you all once again. Please feel free to discuss whatever pertains to your personal growth and transformation. Rgds.

  6. Shahid says:

    Sarikaji, wonderful to find your blog and have just started reading it.

    I had entered this state of pure, inner joy many years back after doing the SoHam , Sudharshana kriya breathing of Art Of Living but it lasted only for a minute.

    Then another time I heard heavenly music out of thin air while I was lying in bed and the TV/ CD Player everything was Off. My mind couldn’t understand where the music came from, who started it and who stopped it. Amazing !!!

    2 days after reading Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now Book, I was travelling in a bus back from college when suddenly my mind stopped. I felt a shift to the heart, I just was. Such a great experience to be free of the mind but again this was only for a minute.

    These are just to share my experiences and not to show off 🙂

    Happy New Year 2013 to you and everyone else who visits this blessed blog.

    • spiritinlife says:

      Dear Shahid, nice to hear from you and more glad to know about your interface with the inner levels of mind. Must have done somethng nice to achieve this sometime in the past! My suggestion-read more and let me know.

  7. Shahid says:

    Dear Mom, it was very uplifiting to read this post again tonight 🙂

    Happy Navratri to all the readers of this Sacred blog and to all the
    higher, divine beings who are connected to this blog.

    • Asim says:

      Happy Navratri to you too Shahid B…
      May Divine Shakti destroy the dark forces paving way to Shiva Concsiousness for all the ones…
      🙂

  8. manju says:

    Jai Guru dear Shahid,

    thank you for your good wishes for the festival of navaratri. May the divine remove all darkness of maya and bless her with prosperity and ever new joy. happy navartri to dear sarikaji and the very holy babaji and to all his chelas .

    jai guru,

    manju

  9. manju says:

    Jai guru dear Shahid,
    may the divine mother remove all darkness of maya and bless all her children with prosperity.and ever new joy. these few words went missing in the previous post. happy navaratri to you and all of babajis chelas. and the readers of the blog.

    jai guru,

    manju

    .

  10. Shahid says:

    THANK YOU so much dear Asim bro and Manju ji 🙂

    May Darkness be removed from the lives of all those who
    visit this sacred blog and may the Divine Mother bless,
    guide, protect and prosper all those who visit this sacred blog.

    GRATITUDE to Sarika mom for giving birth to this GEM
    of a blog which continues to help us all every day.

  11. Shahid says:

    Read this post again today mom and it would be soooo good to experience this nothingness within every day:

    ” Take a few deep breaths. Focus on the point between the eyebrows and concentrate there for a while. Do not care about the noise from outside or sound of the thoughts in the background. Sit calmly and allow the mind to become motionless and enjoy the peace. Once the peace settles over you, bring your attention gently over the incoming and outgoing breath. Watch the continuous flow like an observer and do not apply any force or will.

    Let this go on for some time and you will notice that as you are doing this, the mind has become calm and still and the breath is becoming shorter and slower. Now with a quiet mind, notice that there is a ‘gap’, a ‘void’ after we exhale and before we take the air in. Focus on that empty gap and become conscious of its presence. When we concentrate on these ‘gaps’ or ‘nothingness’ by keeping our attention on them, the body starts becoming motionless and the mind arrives at a point of Absolute Stillness like a still lake devoid of any ripples!

    Enjoy the calmness that has now enveloped you!

    Gradually, with continued practice, when you focus on the ‘empty gaps’, you will experience a state of ‘breathlessness’ when the heart and lungs stop functioning temporarily. This is the stage when the mind is completely absorbed in Absolute Bliss. The body consciousness is abandoned and the Spirit soars and takes a flight in the Infinite sky to experience vastness. “

    • spiritinlife says:

      My dear Shahid,it is a yogi’s ultimate wish to be able to disconnect the tie of the body with the Spirit. If he or she is able to do so, ananda or bliss is experienced. Hence it is encouraged that one should attempt enough to come to a stage where bliss, inherent in God, is experienced. By experiencing bliss, one understands and recognizes the presence of God in oneself.
      So practice meditation regularly.
      Yours Mom

  12. midhunpk210 says:

    “Focus on that empty gap and become conscious of its presence. When we concentrate on these ‘gaps’ or ‘nothingness’ by keeping our attention on them, the body starts becoming motionless and the mind arrives at a point of Absolute Stillness like a still lake devoid of any ripples!”

    .Pranam to ma & Guruji.

    • spiritinlife says:

      This paragraph has caught the attention of many devotees including you Midhun. Take it as a grace of God and gurus. Become a quiet, peaceful lake yourself.

  13. Surbhi says:

    I tried the technique highlighted for the first time and felt instant calmness though I could not concentrate on empty gaps. Its wonderful experience!

  14. Shahid says:

    ” The expected requirements and tools are your lifelong commitment, sustained interest and focus, untiring effort and unflinching sincerity towards your goal.”

    Thank you dear mom. shall remember this and shall continue seeking God and never give up.

  15. Farha says:

    “One who reads these passages with reverence and faith will also find solution to their daily and spiritual problems.” Thank you for the blessings, Ma!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: