Tag Archives: sri sri ravi shankar

Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength by Roy F. Baumeister & John Tierney

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Big up Big Brandon Carter for the recommendation.

– Most common desire was to eat and sleep. Then sex.
– Carnegie’s Win Friends and Influence People book spent 8 pages on explaining to people how to have that winning smile. Passive bashing of similar books.
– Marshmallow experiment. Successful ones managed to distract themselves for 15 minutes to get another marshmallow. The ones that failed seemed to get in more trouble. The ones with more willpower had higher salaries, more points, better physical health, less issues with drug abuse, etc. So basically self-control in early age showed lots of good things.
– Amanda Palmer’s story of not breaking character by not drinking coffee and other practices for years. She only broke if a couple of times or so. 90 mins x 2 a day.
– Don’t think of a white bear and the monkey mind experiments. EEG experiments.
– Ago-depletion makes a big difference. Fatigue, tired, negative. Signal are things like reacting more sad to sad movies, ice cold water felt more painful, after eating one cookie there was a stronger craving. So look for a change in your feelings about these things. During withdrawal, the recovering addict is using so much willpower to break the habit that it’s likely to be a time of intense, prolonged ego depletion, and that very state will make the person feel the desire for the drug all the more strongly. It’s no wonder relapses are so common and addicts feel so weird when they quit.
– How during exams students would lose this ego. They’d increase their smoking, drinking, shopping, being messy etc. More coffee, less exercise.
– Beeper study: The more willpower expended, the more likely they were to yield to the next temptation. Cash rewards did boost willpower reserves but if it boosts it too much they get used up fast and don’t make it to the finish line if that makes sense.
– Two main points. 1 – You have a finite amount of willpower that becomes depleted as you use it. 2 – You use the same stock of willpower for all manner of tasks.
– 4 uses of willpower – 1 – Control of thoughts. 2 – Emotional control. 3 – Impulse control. 4 – Performance control.
– Focus on one project at a time! Don’t make a long list especially after new years! You will lose.
– Glucose and self-control are connected. Hypoglycaemia was connected to criminals and violent people or such activities. The food gets converted to glucose but does not get absorbed into the body. Surplus of glucose is like lots of firewood but no matches. If it’s high enough it’s known as diabetes. If students were given a healthy snack in the middle they’ll be less rambunctious. Dog experiment where sugar drinks restored their willpower.
– Women are less likely than men to suffer from lapses of self-control but are affected most during the luteal phase of their PMS cycle. It occurs after ovulation (when the ovaries release an egg) and before the period starts. But they are less likely to become criminals or addicts.
– Always eat well or have enough glucose before dealing with things that need willpower. Even sugar tablets have helped reduce the need for cigarettes. Eat foods with low glycemic index.
– Driving with a bad cold is worse than driving intoxicated. If your child has a cold before an SAT test… reschedule. When you’re tired sleep as you’ll end up with less self-control, do more unethical things, etc!
– Even God had to breakdown the creation of the world into daily tasks. But his list he finished and the final task was rest. Our lists keep growing.
– Set a clear goal. We set too many. There are 3 consequences of existing goals.
a) Worrying a lot, over thinking.
b) Get less done, procrastination.
c) Health is affected. More physical, mental issues and anxiety.
– Experiments of people with self-control and addicts. Fast reward, their long term stories were just 9 days compared to 4 years of folks with better self-control. Ignoring long-term goals are not good both physically and fiscally.
– Debate of which is better Proximal/Short term goals vs. Distal/Long term goals.
– Monthly planning/goal setting is best. Daily is time consuming, lacks flexibility and with so many changes everyday it can get frustrating.
– How Drew Carey called up Dave Allen author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity and hired his services … because he’s rich! Dave’s desk is complete absence of paperwork. Even the trays especially the inbox. Done, delegated, dropped or differed. I will be going through this book soon so you can read the notes there. Just do a search or click if the link is available.
– Zeigarnik Effect: Incomplete tasks and goals continue to pop in ones mind. Funny enough if you stop a song halfway your mind keeps thinking of it like it’s an incomplete task. So that’s why it’s stuck in my head! Which is why bad songs get stuck in our head.
– Grrrr. These books and their this study showed this but then that study negated it with this experiment and that experiment hypothesised … JUST GET TO THE POINT! Rant over. I’ll skip over the countless experiments mentioned.
– Mess is good but one mess at a time. Even if it’s getting cat food put it on a list!
– Marathon shopping depletes willpower. Bridal registry helps because it’s registered and things are in order.
– If you have a court case and it’s later in the day … bad news. Judges willpower and decision making will be depleted.
– When you have too much choice you get too picky and wait for something better. Shopping is the opposite, you deplete quickly so sellers market big things first and then towards the end save the impulse buys. How males lose their sense of priority and money when it comes to women.
– Self-awareness also plays a big part. Experiment where kids took more than one Halloween candy when the mirror was not facing them. People getting drunk to do all sorts of stupid things. 2 Step to improve this is 1. Setting a goal and 2. Monitoring your behaviour.
– Public info is also more important which is why all these fitness apps work so well.
– David Blaine’s doing all sorts of weird things so that he became an endurance artist.
– Sitting in good posture and upright helped lots of things.
– Many lefties are fairly ambidextrous.
– Exercises are like using proper words instead of yeah, nah and swearing. Exercise resisting to say them will grow the muscle.
– Exercise increases mental stamina and improved other aspects of life like studies, saving, less smoking and drinking, more chores, less junk food. Even though sometimes working out would mean eating more junk food.
– For men ‘oh heat’, will power is really low. This is where BBC (Big Brandon Carter of YouTube fame) talked about how he masturbates before making choices or how he recommended doing that when you start acting crazy.
– Use pre-commitment to stop you from getting into the bad habits. Making cash punishments help a lot and the more the money the more the success.
– Self-forgetfulness is another technique like how nurses distract you with other stuff and avoid using pain words.
– Talks about how prayer worked for non-believing Eric Clapton and Mary Karr. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has also talked about how to make thing sacred so you honour it more.
– Teenagers risk a hell of a lot to get social acceptance and do it in a cool way.
– The ones who were better at getting support from other people ended up abstaining more frequently and doing less overall drinking. The barbecue law is where you drink with your mates and risk offending people if not, so alcoholics need the same kind of peer pressure in reverse. Religious people are less likely to get into the bad things and misfortunes come to them.
– Bright Lines: These are clear, simple, unambiguous rules. And if you believe that the rule is sacred—a commandment from God, the unquestionable law of a higher power—then it becomes an especially bright line.
– Self-esteem: Grades in 10th grade predicted self-esteem in 12th grade but not vice-versa.
– Narcissists: They need adulation and admiration but don’t require to be liked. Good first impressions but don’t wear well. They are everyone’s favourite person but only during the first few meetings and then slip to the bottom of the rankings. Recently it has risen with USA youth and even their songs full of I and me. (Paras note: One of the reasons I got bored of hip-hop). The exception is in Asian where it doesn’t show up because of good discipline and self-control.
– Confucian concepts of chiao shun, which means “to train,” and guan, which means both “to govern” and “to love.” Chinese parents have two things over their Western counterparts: (1) higher dreams for their children, and (2) higher regard for their children in the sense of knowing how much they can take. Chua’s basic strategies—set clear goals, enforce rules, punish failure, reward excellence.
– The punishment has to be closer to the incident! A relaxed but stern word or two would be the best way to go. Don’t ‘let this one go’ too much or too early.
– Ferber method, or Ferberization, is a technique invented by Dr. Richard Ferber to solve infant sleep problems. It involves “baby-training” children to self-soothe by allowing the child to cry for a predetermined amount of time before receiving external comfort. In this method both child and adult are happier in the long term. Children need and want clear rules and they need to know and understand them. Asking them what goals they have is good too as you can direct them accordingly.
– Money for grades is controversial but it works in the long term. Society will be doing it to them in future anyway.
– Children raised by single parents tend not to do as well in life as children who grow up with two parents. A lack of adult supervision during the teenage years turned out to be one of the strongest predictors of criminal behaviour. When parents keep tabs on where their children are, what they do, and whom they associate with, the children are much less likely to use illegal drugs than when parents keep fewer close tabs. Anything that forces children to exercise their self-control muscle can be helpful: taking music lessons, memorizing poems, saying prayers, minding their table manners, avoiding the use of profanity, writing thank-you notes.
– Most children aren’t being hurt by playing video games, and that they can derive some of the same benefits from the games as from practicing music, playing sports, or pursuing other passions that require discipline. Earn respect through their accomplishments. To acquire skills, they fail over and over.
– 3 Discipline to lose weight: 1. Never go on a diet. 2. Never vow to give up chocolate or any other food. 3. Whether you’re judging yourself or judging others, never equate being overweight with having weak willpower.
– It’s better to make gradual changes because intense diets makes the body hold on to fat thinking there is a famine.
– Conterregulatory eating: Dieters have a fixed target in mind for their maximum daily calories, and when they exceed it for some unexpected reason, they regard their diet as blown for the day.
– Trying to hide your feelings while watching a movie drains your willpower, rendering you more likely to overeat later on in a separate, ostensibly unrelated context.
– Nutritional catch-22: 1. In order not to eat, a dieter needs willpower. 2. In order to have willpower, a dieter needs to eat.
– Plan for battle in losing weight: Things like not keeping sweets out and visible, brushing teeth early before bed to stop from late night snacking. Using techniques like ‘if this, then that’. There is a connection with obese people clustering together like the story of how Oprah lost her overweight friends when she lost her weight. Weighing yourself everyday helps more than weekly. Prisoners gain more weight because they don’t wear tight fitting clothes or belts so they can’t gauge it. Eating in front of the TV encourages snacking as you’re not paying attention. It’s better saying I’ll eat it later instead of never.
– Procrastination: They are healthier overall but the closer they reach the deadline the more health issues they had so it cancels out!
– See last chapter title under Conclusion. Willpower 101 for a quick summary.
– The Planning fallacy: Late and over budget is the norm.

The Decline of the Will
The Comeback of the Will
Evolution and Etiquette
Why Will Yourself to Read This?

1. Is willpower more than a metaphor?
The Radish Experiment
Name That Feeling
The Mystery of the Dirty Socks
Lessons from the Street and the Lab

2. Where does the power in willpower come from?
Brain Fuel
Inner Demons
Eat Your Way to Willpower

3. A brief history of the to-do list, from god to Drew Carey
Which Goals?
Fuzzy Versus Fussy
Drew Carey’s Dream In-Box
The Zeigarnik Effect
Zero Euphoria

4. Decision fatigue
Crossing the Rubicon
The Judge’s Dilemma (and the Prisoner’s Distress)
Choose Your Prize

5. Where have all the dollars gone? The quantified self knows
I’m Self-aware, Therefore I . . . ?
The Quantified Self
Not-So-Invidious Comparisons

6. Can willpower be strengthened? (Preferably without feeling David Blaine’s pain)
Willpower Workouts
From Strength to More Strength
The Toughest Stunt of All

7. Outsmarting yourself in the heart of darkness
The Empathy Gap
The Ties That Bind
The Brain on Autopilot
But Enough About Me

8. Did a higher power help Eric Clapton and Mary Karr stop drinking?
The Mystery of AA
Heaven (like Hell) Is Other People
Sacred Self-control
Bright Lines

9. Raising strong children: self-esteem vs. self-control
From Self-esteem to Narcissism
Exceptional Asians
Nanny Deb and the Triplets
Rules for Babies and Vampires
Wandering Eyes
Playing to Win

10. The perfect storm of dieting
The What-the-Hell Effect
The Dieter’s Catch-22
Planning for Battle
Let Me Count the Weighs (and the Calories)
Never Say Never

Conclusion : The future of willpower: more gain, less strain (as long as you don’t procrastinate
The Deadline Test
Willpower 101, First Lesson: Know Your Limits
Watch for Symptoms
Pick Your Battles
Make a To-Do List—or at Least a To-Don’t List
Beware the Planning Fallacy
Don’t Forget the Basics (like Changing Your Socks)
The Power of Positive Procrastination
The Nothing Alternative (and Other Tricks of Offense)
Keep Track
Reward Often
The Future of Self-control


Dushera / Dusha Hara / Dussera / Dasera / Vijayadashami by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar … thanks Mukund & Aruna

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Q: Dashehra. Although we celebrate this festival of victory of good over evil every year, what should we do so that this victory is truly feasible?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: First one has to have confidence that this victory is possible. If we think that this is kaliyuga, and it is not possible for good to gain victory over evil and only the reverse happens, evil wins over good here then this kind of mind-set is most dangerous. That is why first conquer your mind. Observe what your mind-set is. If your mind has pessimistic tendencies, they have to be removed first and enthusiasm has to be awakened. This is the first victory.

After nine days of battle, Vijayadashmi is not for only one day. What was there in nine days? Tamo guna, rajo guna, and at the end sato guna also had to be conquered.
What was first? Madhu Kaitab, ‘Madhu’ means raag (attachment), ‘Kaitab’ means dvesh (aversion). Victory over attachment and aversion is the first victory of the mind.

Next is ‘Dhoomra Lochan’ and then ‘Mahishasura’. Mahishasura is tamo guna, laziness, inertia. In that we say, ‘oh, everything goes, everything happens, everything is okay, corruption is okay, without that life will not go on. Things will not work, one has to be corrupt.’ This kind of attitude, and mind-set is wrong, this is Mahishasura. This Mahishasura has to be conquered.

Next is Sumbha Nishumbha and then Raktabeeja. Raktabeeja means in our lives we have certain habits, some sanskaars (impressions). As they say, it is in our blood, meaning it is so deeply ingrained, the impression is so deeply imprinted that is called Raktabeejasura.

Wherever a drop of blood falls, it appears. You try to destroy one, and a hundred others are born. So this thing that we have in our genes, in our DNA, we need to get rid of it. How?Through meditation, prayer, devotion and divine grace. The sanskaras that are embedded deep within need to be uprooted and thrown out. All this is victory and it will not work if we say, ‘first I need to gain victory over the self and then I will go out and serve society.’ They both have to be done together.

Your sight should be directed inward as well as outwards. Promote cleanliness, hygiene, and resist dirt and filth. Maintain a clean environment inside as well as outside. The leaders of society should also be such. Sometimes people do something wrong and all the good people stand back with their hands tied. Society has not been ruined on account of bad people, but due to the indifference of those who are good. This earth is being destroyed due to the carelessness and inaction of good individuals. So be dynamic. This is what is implied by the destruction of Mahishasura, getting rid of tamoguna. So victory will happen, believe in it first then work for it. And even if we experience failure a hundred times, we have to keep fighting. It is through devotion that the task gets done easily without any obstruction.

From Aruna Fai
Paras note: So after the 9 nine nights of dancing (Navratri) comes Dusha Hara/Dussera/Dasera/Vijayadashami … and 20 days later is Diwali. Learning new things!
Dasha Hara is a Sanskrit word which means removal of ten bad qualities within you
Kama vasana (Lust)
Krodha (Anger)
Moha (Attachment)
Lobha (Greed)
Mada (Over Pride)
Matsara (Jealousy)
Swartha (Selfishness)
Anyaaya (Injustice)
Amanavta (Cruelty)
Ahankara (Ego)
It’s also known as ‘Vijaydashami’ which means Vijaya over these ten bad qualities.
Happy Dussehara!


Osho Rajneesh – Those who talk nonviolence are violent against themselves

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From The Book of Secrets

Victory needs knowledge, not fight. Fight is a subtle violence. And this is strange, but this has happened: those who talk about nonviolence to others are very much violent against themselves. There are teachings and traditions which say, “Do not be violent to anyone,” but those same teachings are very much violent as far as you are inwardly concerned. They teach you to be violent with yourself, but not to be violent with others. All types of asceticism, renunciation, negative attitudes, life-denying philosophies, are based on maintaining a violent attitude toward yourself. They tell you to be violent with yourself.

Tantra is absolutely nonviolent. It says, if you cannot be nonviolent with yourself, you cannot be nonviolent with anyone else — that is impossible. A person who is violent to himself will be violent to everyone; in his nonviolence also he will be just hiding his violence. Aggression can be turned against yourself, but that aggressive attitude is destructive.

Paras note: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar talks about how Gandhiji was so violent with himself when fasting in his cause to stop the violence of others.


Shivratri: The moment you are centered, you see Divinity everywhere by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Let us understand a little about the Shiva tattva. Only a little can be known. The intellect has to be content and finer feelings awakened. Both scientific understanding and spiritual wisdom are necessary to bring this contentment that is holistic and complete.There is no need to go to on long pilgrimages to find the Divine. If you don’t find God here, where you are, then it is not possible anywhere else. Where the minddissolves, Shiva is there. Be established wherever you are. The moment you areestablished, centered, you see that there is Divinity present everywhere. This is meditation. One of the names of Lord Shiva is Virupaksha – meaning one who is formless yet sees all. We know that there is air all around us and we can feel the air as well. But what if the air also starts feeling you? Space is all around us, we identify space. But what if space also recognizes and feels your presence? This happens. Only we don’t know it. Scientists know this and they call it the theory of relativity. The one who sees and that which is seen are both affected when seen. The Divine is all around you and is seeing you. He doesn’t have a form. He is the formless core of existence and the goal. He is the seer, sight and the scene. This formless Divinity is Shiva.To simply wake-up and experience this Shiva tattva is Shivratri.

Usually when there is celebration, awareness is lost. Deep rest in celebration with awareness is Shivratri. When you face some problem, you become aware and alert. We are at rest when everything is well; on Shivratri we rest with awareness. It is said that a yogi remains awake when everybody else is sleeping. For a yogi, everyday isShivratri. Lord Shiva is beautifully explained in a verse by Adi Shankaracharya (Sri Sri recites a few lines from the verse).

Adyantahinam – One without a beginning or end. Sarvada – He is the Bholenath (innocent ruler of all) who is present everywhere all the time. We think Shiva is somewhere else sitting with a snake around his neck.Shiva is one in whom everything has taken birth, who encompasses everything right this moment, and in whom everything in creation dissolves. Every form you see in thiscreation is all his form.

He permeates the entire creation. He is never born and has no end. He is eternal.
He is the fourth state of consciousness, the turiya avasta, the meditative state, that is beyond the waking, deep sleep and dream states.

He is the non-dual consciousness that is present everywhere. That’s why to do Shiva puja, you have to dissolve in Shiva yourself. Being Shiva, you do Shiva puja.Chidananda rupa – He is the consciousness that is pure bliss.

Tapo yoga gamya – One who can be known through tapa and yoga. The Shiva tattva can be experienced in the knowledge of the Vedas. The state of Shivoham (I am Shiva), Shiva kevaloham (there is only Shiva) is attained. Shivratri is the day to experience a wave of joy and contentment. Without yoga, Shiva can’t be experienced. Yoga doesn’t mean only asanas (physical postures) but that experience of Shiva tattva which happens with meditation, pranayam: when that ‘WOW’ happens from within.

The word Shambo has come from the same source – to realize how beautiful the Divine is, the creation and the Self is! It is a miracle how the same consciousness ispresent in every being in this creation! There is no other miracle greater than this. How did this One become so many? This tradition (of Shivratri) of moving from many to one is so unique. Yoga and meditation is necessary for that. Without meditation, the mind is not calmed. On the occasion of Shivratri meditation, bhajans are all part of the celebration. Everyone participates with a full heart. Everyone should sing.Shiva is the cause of all causes. Because of which everything is there – the tree growing, the sun rising, the wind blowing… The reason for everything happening is Shiva – because of whom everything happens and without whom, nothing happens.Panchmukha, Panchtattva – There are five faces to Shiva – Water, Air, Earth, Fire and Space. Understanding these five elements is tattva gyana (knowledge of the fiveelements). And then Shiva is worshipped as Ashtamurti (eight forms)– Mind, Memory, Ego are also included. This is both the form and formless aspect of Shiva. Worshipping Shiva is dissolving in the Shiv tattva and then wishing for something good. What to wish for? Wish with a liberal heart for the universal good, nobody should be unhappy in the world. ‘Sarve janah sukhino bhavantu .’ And make one sankalpa on this occasion. It is something which comes to you again and again like your breath, like yourheartbeat. And when you surrender such a sankalpa to the Divine, it will definitely come true.

We also worship nature. Divinity permeates everything in this Earth. Puja is not complete without honoring the trees, mountains, rivers, Earth and the people living on the Earth. Honoring everyone is Dakshina. Da means to give and Dakshina means giving something that will cleanse us of all impurities. Offering with which all your sins vanish. No puja is complete without Dakshina. When we act in society with skill and free from the distortions of the mind, all negative tendencies like anger, worries, sorrow are destroyed. I will say give your tensions, worries and sorrows as Dakshina. And how does that happen? With Sadhana (spiritual practices), Seva (service) andSatsang (company of the truth).

Ride the boat of the intellect to dissolve in the ocean of finer feelings and faith.
“That which you cannot express is Love.
That which you cannot reject/renounce is Beauty.
That which you cannot avoid is the Truth.”
~ Sri Sri Ravishankar


The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Swami Satchidananda

Intro from the book: There are almost 200 sutras, traditionally divided into four sections.

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– The first is the Portion of Contemplation (Samadhi Pada) which gives the theory of Yoga and a description of the most advanced stages of the practice of samathi, or contemplation. This probably was given first as an inspiration to the students to begin the practices.

– The second is the Portion on Practice (Sadhana Pada). There is philosophy in the section also, but of a more practical nature. And the first five basic steps out of the traditional eight limbs of Raja Yoga are expounded, along with their benefits, obstacles to their accomplishment and ways to overcome the obstacles.

– The third section is called the Portion on Accomplishments (Vibhuti Pada) and discusses the final three inner steps of Raja Yoga plus all the powers and accomplishments which could come to the faithful practitioner.

– The final section is calledd the Portion of Absoluteness (Kaivalya Pada) and discusses Yoga from a more cosmic, philosophical viewpoint.

It is not known exactly when Sri Patanjali lived, or even if he was a single person rather than several persons using the samee title. Estimates of the date of the Sutras range from 5000 B.C. to 300 A.D. In any case, he did not in any sense “invent” Raja Yoga, But rather systematised it and compiled the already existing ideas and practices. Since that time he has been considered the “Father of Yoga” and his Sutras are the basis for all of the various types of meditation and Yoga which courish today in their myriad forms.

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar recorded some talks on this but he only talks about the first two ‘books’. Basically the Sri Sri version is extremely diluted.

My notes:
– Once a man walked into the backyard of his house during twilight. All of a sudden, in a dark corner, he saw a coiled snake. Frightened, he yelled, “Snake! Snake!” … one bold fellow with a particularly long, pointed stick gave the snake a hard blow. Nothing happened.

Suddenly, an old man arrived with a lantern. He brought the lantern near the corner … the light revealed nothing but a coiled rope… In order to understand the rope as a rope, light was necessary. We, too, need a light – the light of wistom (jnana). With such a light, the world is no longer a world and all the qualities we call the non-Self appear in their true nature.

We can use this analogy to understand another point also. Twilight is the most dangerous time. Why? Because in total darkness neither a rope nor a snake could be seen. In broad daylight the rope would obviously be a rope. Only in a dull light could the man mistake the rope for a snake. If you are completely ignorant, groping in darkness, you will not even see the “rope” – the pains of this world – and want to understand the truth. So, Yoga is neither for a person who has gained the light nor for the totally ignorant person who doesn’t bother to know anything. It is for the person in between. It is to dispell this ignorance that Yoga is practiced.

Patanjali Yoga Sutras are also called Ashtanga Yoga because of it’s 8 limbs of yoga
1 – Yama (abstinence)
Non-voilence, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence, and non-greed.
2 – Niyama (observance)
Purity, contentment, accepting but not causing pain, study of spiritual books and worship of God (self-surrender).
3 – Asana (posture)
4 – Pranayama (breath control)
5 – Pratyahara (sense withdrawal)
6 – Dharana (concentration)
7 – Dhyana (meditation)
8 – Samadhi (contemplation, absorption or superconscious state)

– Bhramcharya (Celibacy): By observing celibacy, we preserve not just physical energy alone but mental, moral, intellectual and, ultimately, spiritual energy as well. Sexual energy that is preserved gets transformed into a subtle energy called Ojas. This is similar to personal magnetism. It tones the entire personality, builds the nerves, improves brain power and calms the mind. There is a similar word to ojas in English: ozone. In the early morning, before sunrise, we can go out and breathe the ozonic wind, which has a special bibration and energy to it. But once the sun’s rays fall, this effect is lost. That’s why the period between four and six in the morning is called the Brahmamuhurta, the Brahmic time, or divine period, and is very sacred time to meditate.

– Saint Thirumular said, “Wherever the mind goes, the prana follows.” They are inseparable. If the mind is controlled first, the breath is controlled. But which is subtler, mind or breath? Which is easier to handle, a subtle thing or a gross one? Always the gross thing. Which is easier to control: steam, water or ice? To keep ice in it’s place, we have just to put it down. For water, we need some sort of vessel. But for steam, even that is not enough; a covered cylinder is needed. Even though ice, water and steam are one and the same compound, they are in different stages. Similarly, it is easier to control prana in a grosser manifestation than in a subtle one. So, first we learn to control that physical body, then the movement of the breath, then the senses, and finally the mind. It is very scientific, gradual and easy.

– Preface
– Acknowledgements
– Introduction
Book 1 – Samadhi Pada: Portion on Contemplation
Book 2 – Sadhana Pada: Portion on Practice
Book 3 – Vibhuti Pada: Portion on Accomplishments
Book 4 – Kaivalya Pada: Protion on Absoluteness
– Guide to Pronunciation
– Simplified Pronunciation
– Glossary
– Index
– Stories, Examples and Analogies
– Sanskrit Quotes
– Selected Reading

A Brief History of Yoga | Art Of Living

Patanjali Yoga Sutras – 5 Types of Dreams – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Has Yoga Lost It’s Soul – Sivarama Swami … thanks Ada


The Power In You by H.H.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

The Power In You by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

You have the power in you.

We all have three shaktis (energies) in us. They are ‘ichcha shakti’ (the energy of will), ‘kriya shakti’ (the energy of action) and ‘jnaana shakti’ (the energy of knowledge). We have disturbances or ups and downs in our lives because of imbalances in these three energies.

The jnaana shakti in you brings ichcha shakti, the will or desire in you. For example, you have a desire to eat rasagolla. You already know what rasagolla is. You have already savoured it. The knowledge of rasagolla brought the energy of desire in you. So you develop a desire to eat rasagolla. Once you have known what rasagolla is, after you get to know where it can be obtained, after the desire to eat rasagolla arose in you, will you sit idly? No! The kriya shakti or the energy of action follows you. You will go and buy it and eat it. In case you do not know where to get it, then you will make an effort to find out where you can get it. Then you will have lot of kriya shakti in you.

When there is kriya shakti and ichcha shakti, they lead you towards jnaana shakti, the energy of knowledge. You have curiosity. You do not know what exists inside the moon. You want to know what exists in the planet Jupiter. What is there in this creation? Most of our such desires are those about which we know almost nothing about. So you take a telescope and go to a planetarium and begin your research. All research depends upon ichcha shakti and kriya shakti. In order to acquire jnaana shakti or the energy of knowledge, research takes place.

In the same way, whereever there is jnaana shakti, ichcha shakti and kriya shakti follow. Jnaana shakti or the energy of knowledge is symbolised as Saraswathi, ichcha shakti and the energy of desire as Paravathi or Uma and kriya shakti as Goddess Lakshmi.

Brahma is the creator. What does the creator need? He needs knowledge. So jnaana shakti or Saraswathi is the consort of Brahma. Vishnu is the protector of all. What does the protector need? He needs Lakshmi, isn’t it? If you need to run an establishment, if you need to run your house, you need money. Money is Lakshmi. You need Lakshmi for sustenance. Ichcha shakti is Umakumari who symbolises change. You need to have a desire in life to change, to obtain liberation. For that Shiva principle to be auspicious, desire should be created in you. That ichcha shakti is Parvathi, also known as Eashwari.

Therefore, the whole world runs because of the presence of these three shaktis. Whichever energy is more in a place or in a person, that energy gets exhibited. When there is right knowledge, then the right desire arises in us. When there is right knowledge and right desire in us, then right action follows naturally. In that case, all activities that happen through us will lead to completion. Completion in activity will lead to completion in knowledge.

There should be a completion in desire too. If you desire something which does not exist, for instance, if you desire to see the horns of a rabbit, which does not exist in the first place, then what is the use? You had a desire, but there was a lacuna in the energy of knowledge. Now, if anybody decides to see or search for the horns of a rabbit, they are bound to get distressed.

People have ichcha shakti, the desire in them. Due to the wrong desire, usually one undergoes lot of misery. People would have become engineers and will be working as engineers. But if they keep regretting, thinking that they should have been a doctor instead, can they start studying for medicine now?

Many people desire wrong. They obtain a postgraduate degree from the University and then begin to study some other course. The moment they get a new desire they begin again. They never have contentment. They begin one job, quit it and move to another job and then again they move on to another job. They keep searching for contentment. What is this? There is ichcha shakti and jnaana shakti here.

Some have do not have kriya shakti and sit where ever they are and dream and think ‘‘Oh! That should happen to me. It would have been wonderful if I had become a minister’’ or some other dreams to live happily. What happens to all such dreamers? They just sit and dream and dream. Kriya shakti is absent here. They sit in one place and calculate all the profits too. They sit idle and keep planning and talking too much. If you look at those people who talk too much, you can see that they would not have done much work. They do not plan even a single thing properly. They just keep advising everybody to do things that way or this way or keep claiming that they could have got many things done. They keep criticising people. If you tell them, ‘‘Okay, you do at least something of it’’ then they say ‘‘no’’ and just slip away and vanish! What happens in such people? They have lot of jnaana shakti, but zero kriya shakti. If kriya shakti disappears from a person, then that person is good as finished for life. Such people keep repeating their mistakes.

It is a very rare opportunity to see the combination of all the three shaktis. When all the three shaktis combine, then they say that the person has attained ‘siddhi’. We should bring about a balance of ichcha shakti, jnaana shakti and kriya shakti in us.