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The Purusha, the indwelling self,

of the size of a thumb,

is ever seated in the hearts of men.

One should unerringly separate him from one’s body

like a stalk from the munja grass.

One should know him as pure and immortal.

Him one should know as pure and immortal.

~

Katha Upanishad 2.3.17

~

A very important sutra from the Katha Upanishad describing the Self within. To know the Self is the ultimate goal of all, and we should use discernment and discrimination if order to know It apart from the human body.

~

P,J,Mazumdar is the author of “The Circle of Fire”, a book on Advaita Vedanta and Yoga.

To read further on Advaita Vedanta philosophy, please go here for an overview of the basic principles and logic of Advaita:

–> Advaita Philosophy

To read more articles on various aspects of Hinduism, Enlightenment, Upanishads, etc. from the website thecircleoffire.com, please click here:

–> Advaita Vedanta Yoga

You can look up the book on Amazon here: The Circle of Fire.

~

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This self of mine within the heart,

is smaller than a paddy or barley or mustard

or a syamaka seed .

This self of mine within the heart,

is greater than this earth, greater than

the intermediate space, greater than heaven,

greater than all these worlds.

~

Chandogya Upanishad 3.14.3

~

A beautiful evocative sutra from the Chandogya Upanishad extolling the greatness of the Self, which is all pervading. The Self cannot be defined by size, and is to be found within the smallest of particles, and at the same time pervading the entire Universe.

~

P,J,Mazumdar is the author of “The Circle of Fire”, a book on Advaita Vedanta and Yoga. To learn more on the philosophy of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy, please click here for an article on Advaita Yoga :

Advaita Philosophy

To read more articles on various aspects of Hinduism, Enlightenment, Upanishads, etc. from the website thecircleoffire.com, please click here: Advaita Vedanta Yoga

You can look up the book on Amazon here: The Circle of Fire.

~

This self is the ruler of all beings,

and the king of all beings.

Just as all the spokes are fixed on the nave

and the felloe of a chariot wheel,

so are all the beings, all gods, all worlds,

all organs and all these individual selves

fixed in this self.

~

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 2.4.14

~

One of the most important Sutras from the Upanishads. In this Sutra, Brahman is described as the root of the whole world, both the material non-living world and our conscious selves. We all arise from Brahman and depend on it for our reality, just as the spokes of a wheel depend on the center. We are all like different spokes on this wheel.

~

To read more on Advaita Vedanta, please click here for an overview: Advaita Philosophy

To read more articles on various aspects of Hinduism, Enlightenment, Upanishads, etc. from the website thecircleoffire.com, please click here: Advaita Vedanta Yoga

You can look up the book on Amazon here: The Circle of Fire.

~

The search for the Higg’s boson might seem like searching for an elfin creature escaped from the pages of ‘Harry Potter’ or  ‘Lord of the Rings’. The Higg’s Boson is no elf, but it is in fact more mysterious than anything dreamed up in literature.

In their search for this elusive entity, scientists have built up a humongous machine, the Large Hadron Collider. It is so big and complicated that many nations around the world have collaborated in setting it up. It is build underground, along the border of France and Switzerland, and consists of a circular tunnel 27 kms in length. It also cost more than 5 billion dollars, and the costs are still escalating.

Inside this tunnel are the pipes that will carry particles that are to be accelerated at speeds very close to light. Huge and very powerful magnets will do this job; these magnets are so sensitive that they have to kept at very very cold temperatures, at the temperature of liquid helium. The magnets keep two beams of particles circling in the tunnel opposite to each other, and crossing at four points. The beams are compressed, initially to around the size of a drinking straw, and then when the scientists want collisions, further into a size smaller than that of a hair.

Large Hadron Collider

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There is no other witness but Him,

No other thinker but Him,

No other knower but him.

He is the internal ruler,

your own immortal self.

Everything else but him is mortal

~

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 3.4.23

~

This is another very important Sutra from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, in which Brahman is extolled as the sole Witness. It is Brahman which is our innermost self, and it is Brahman which is the subject, the thinker, etc. It is our delusion that we think ourselves as other than Brahman, when in fact we are right at this moment Brahman itself.

~

To read more on Advaita Vedanta, please click here for an overview: Advaita Philosophy

To read more articles on various aspects of Hinduism, Enlightenment, Upanishads, etc. from the website thecircleoffire.com, please click here: Advaita Vedanta

You can look up the book on Amazon here: The Circle of Fire.

~

There is a simple technique, a part of Yoga, which can be used as a stress busting technique and to add positively to our overall happiness.

This is called the `Sukha Pranayama’. Sukha means happiness, pranayama means control of Prana. Prana is an esoteric concept of Hinduism, for now we can take it to mean control of breath.
So Sukha Pranayama means the exercise of controlling our breath which gives us happiness.

It is really very simple. We can do this at any time and place, any number of times we wish to do during the day.

It consists of sitting up straight so that our back is very straight. Preferably we should sit in the Padmasana posture, a Yoga pose which is actually quite simple and consists more or less of a cross legged sitting position. We can sit in this way, but it doesnt matter if we are sitting in a chair in the office or lying down in the bed. This is not a strenuous exercise and any posture will do, the only essential is that our back should be straight. This is considered necessary for the flow of `Prana’ along our spine.

We then breathe in slowly in and out. We should draw the breath in first as slowly and evenly as we can. There is no need to put stress on ourselves by drawing it too long, this is not a test. We should just try to be comfortable. After drawing it in, we then expire in the same way, slowly and evenly.

The main point of interest is not the breathing in or out but the gap in between the two breaths. This period is called `Kumbhaka’ and it is very important for Pranayama, in fact this is the most important period in Pranayama. The aim is to prolong this period between the two breaths.

In Hindu logic and Yoga, it is always the gap between two opposite movements which is the most important, such as the gap between the night and the day. Such moments are considered to be very `still’ movements, and hence the closest to the Absolute. Thus the dawn and the evening are considered to be the most conducive for Yoga.

In breathing, it is the Kumbhaka which is considered the most important. As our breaths become slow and even, the kumbhaka also will become prolonged, but we should not exert ourselves over this and try to prolong it artificially. The movement at all times should be natural.

Our mental state during this Kumbhaka is the vital part of Sukha Pranayama. The aim is to put ourselves into a happy state during this moment, as it is the calmest moment in our movements.
To do this, we are encouraged to think of anything which makes us happy. For Bhakti yogis, this would mean thinking about God and the love of God. But by no means is it confined to this. We can think of anything which makes us happy – some time spent with our family, watching the sunset at the beach, a particular song or piece of music, etc. It could even be a risque joke. It does not matter what it is as long as it is something which gives us happiness.
Filling our minds with this happy thought, we then gently let out our breaths.

This is all there is. We need to repeat this as many times as possible, as often as possible. The time and place does not matter. Any time is a good time for at least one exercise of Sukha Pranayama.

This simple exercise is enough to radically transform our lives. We will find our minds getting lighter and happier, and we will be more easily able to bear the griefs and worries of life in the world. This exercise should form an important part of our arsenal to tackle the world.

~

P,J,Mazumdar is the author of “The Circle of Fire”, a book on Advaita Vedanta and Yoga.

To read further on Advaita Vedanta philosophy, please go here for an overview of the basic principles and logic of Advaita:

-> Advaita Philosophy

To read more articles on various aspects of Hinduism, Enlightenment, Upanishads, etc. from the website thecircleoffire.com, please click here:

-> Advaita Vedanta Yoga

You can look up the book on Amazon here: The Circle of Fire.

Those who have known

the vital force of the vital force,

the eye of the eye, the ear of the ear,

and the mind of the mind,

have realised

the ancient primordial Brahman.

~

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.18

~

This important Sutra from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad describes the most essential teaching of the Upanishads, that the Brahman, the Absolute Truth, is the innermost part of us, that which is the root of our life energy, our consciousness and our thoughts. It is this root of our selves that is our spiritual goal.

~

To read more on Advaita Vedanta, please click here for an overview: Advaita Philosophy

To read more articles on various aspects of Hinduism, Enlightenment, Upanishads, etc. from the website thecircleoffire.com, please click here: www.thecircleoffire.com

You can look up the book on Amazon here: The Circle of Fire.

~

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