Swami Veda Bharati distils Vedic wisdom to impart lessons in living

Wednesday, 22 May, 2024
The torchbearer for Swami Rama, who blazed a trail in the US, Swami Veda Bharati was a spiritual luminary and prolific author. (Photo provided)

By Navni Chawla

Swami Veda Bharati (1933-2015) was a spiritual luminary. He established the worldwide Association of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Societies International and the Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama in Rishikesh, named after his guru. Here are gems of his wisdom culled from his books. 

Cultivating a Saumya personality

To embody a saumya (gentle) personality, we must start working consciously and conscientiously on purifying the mind and emotions. We need to learn to choose the purer emotions.

We speak of emotions in their two stages: 1. The feeling within us as an internal state, and 2. The expression of that feeling evokes a certain response as a communication.

If we watch over the internal states, we can train or re-retrain them.

It must be remembered that our emotional choices are acquired ones; they are habits that we have formed. In the same situation, we have multiple choices for the emotion generated. A brave man sees a tiger in the wild and is inspired to hunt. A coward seeks to run away. A yogi stays neutral or filled with non-violent, fearless, amicable thoughts towards a fellow living being. 

There is a famous verse in Sanskrit:

A beautiful woman,

In the eyes of a tiger just some flesh to eat,

In the eyes of a city predator, an object of unbridled desire,

In the eyes of a yogi, a body of flesh enlivened by atman- the spiritual self.

From the book, Mind: The Playgrounds Of God


Spiritual progress indicators 

As one rises above one’s psychological conditioning by applying one’s spiritual insight, the spiritual insight grows, and the same things that used to get you angry, defensive, or self-protective, those very situations will trigger a very different and very positive response from you. 

You see the person coming, and your first reaction to the angry person is, “I wonder what the best way is to soothe him?” You look at the person, and now that your mind is a sattvic mind, it can see through the person. You may not understand the details that led to the angry condition of his mind, but you would know how to soothe him, and he will go away smiling. And, you have one more notch in your series of conquests of the universe. 

From the book, Signs of Spiritual Progress

Let the mind observe the mind

There is one secret for deepening meditation and learning to do the long mantra: Observe the mind. Let the mind observe the mind. If one is meditating with a mantra, then observe the presence of the mantra. The part of the mind that is being employed to experience the thought wave at present is a small fragment. The rest of the mind wanders off.

That remainder of the mind should be employed in observing, and gradually, the doer and the observer will merge. Those initiated into a particular technique will find a certain vibration and learn to merge their consciousness. Sit in grace and surrender. Not by your effort alone will you reach total pacification and enlightenment. 

Your effort only purifies the vessel. Surrender your body, prana, and mind so that the Guru spirit may enter and the Guru mind may touch your mind, making your mind one of its meditation seats where it may meditate. 

From the book, Night Birds

Skillful communication

Before someone raises an objection to you, raise that objection yourself. Articulate it. This is the best way to vanquish opposition. If the person in opposition is going to criticize you, take the words out of his mouth, and he has got nothing left to say against you. You can say, “You might say such and such. It’s true to a certain extent, but then beyond that, there is something else.” The wind goes out of his opposition.

In this way, your communication becomes skillful. Whenever another party may have anything to say against you, if you are sensitive or an empathizer, you will see where that person is operating from. True humility is the best self-defense. Move with the force, not against it. Eventually, you will discover that no power in the world can resist the strength that comes from positive thoughts, positive words, and positive actions, the three combined. 

From the book, Path to Successful Relationships

(The article first appeared in ALotusInTheMud.com)

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