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How do we know whether we are progressing spiritually?*

Initially, we are progressing spiritually to the extent that we identify increasingly with that

part of us which is pure consciousness, or the Witness. This is known as #Selfrealization. This occurs in the following stages:

  1. The development of calmness. #Calmness is not the absence of thoughts, but being present with them. So, as we progress in this initial stage, we gradually replace the habit of reacting in habitual manners, for example with anger or anxiety, with a calm presence. The stain of mental delusion (known as #maya), is weakened gradually by cultivating calmness. All of the practices of Yoga, #postures, #breathing, #mantras, #meditation and #devotionalactivities help us in this stage to diminish agitation and unnecessary activity (rajas) and to weaken inertia, doubt and laziness (tamas) with quiet, calm, equanimity (sattva)**. This brings presence, or beingness (sat). By practicing #detachment, we begin to let go of our need to be absorbed in the experiences.

  2. The development of the Witness, or Chit, #pureconsciousness. We adopt a new perspective, but keeping part of our awareness standing back, observing. The Witness does not do or think anything. It simply watches actions happening or thoughts or emotions or sensations coming and going. Part of our consciousness is involved in the activities, part is standing back passively. We begin this stage with the effort to practice being a continuous witness, for relatively short periods or from the beginning to the end of an activity. This is possible especially while doing routine activities, not requiring much concentration, or for which we are conditioned, in automatic mode. Subsequently, you can apply it even to activities which are challenging, or experienced for the first time, for example, when we have an accident, and fall. This perspective becomes more and more effortless, and integrated with daily life activities.

  3. "I am not the Doer." As our Witness consciousness develops we no longer feel that we are doing anything, because we no longer identify with the body and mental movements. Rather, we feel that we are only an observer and that our body and mind is an instrument. Part of our consciousness is involved in doing things, whether it be walking, talking, working, eating, etc., but now part of our consciousness stands back. It does nothing. It remains in a passive state of non-judgmental attention. One feels as if one is an instrument, and that the Divine does everything. One feels that there is "no doer" within. Yet everything gets done.

One enjoys the play of events, their synchronicity, and consequences.

One appreciates more and more how actions, words, and thoughts briing about consequences, or karma, and how this law can be applied to bring happiness rather than suffering to others. With this new expanded sense of Self, one feels that the needs of others are one's own. One expresses one's love for others, helping them to find happiness

4. "I am That I am" In deep meditation, in a much later step, we become aware of what is aware. Consciousness itself becomes the object. We feel that "I am in everything" and "Everything is in me." Later, and gradually this realization of the Self begins to permeate our waking daily activities. God realization comes as this stage deepens. Saints and mystics from all spiritual traditions have attempted to describe this, but words generally fail them. In fact, the more one tries to describe it, the further from it, one goes, because describing it, or even thinking about it, reduces it to a set of ideas.

As "IT" transcends all names and forms, permeates everything, and is infinite and eternal, all else pales in significance. Silence is therefore the preferred medium of instruction for those who truly know IT.

The above stages are not a straight line. We zig zag through them frequently because of the unstable nature of the mind, and our #habits (samskaras), karma, maya and the action of the gunas. But in general, this is the direction of our movement if we are progressing spiritually. Our identification with the body, emotions and mental movements weakens and is replaced with an identification with That, which is beyond names and forms, which is the Self, Pure consciousness, and which is ultimately #Divine.

A first step into the divine depth of eternal

A good #Mantra to feel the sensation of being one with the Universe and become aware of what is aware, is Kirtan Krya

Posture: Sit in easy pose. Hands on your knees. fingers alternate as we sing.

Eyes: Focus your eyes on the tip of your nose.

Breath and Mantra: Breath naturally. Out loud, say each syllable of the mantra Sa-Ta-Na-Ma as you alternate touching each finger to the thumb. So on Sa, you touch the tip of your index finger to your thumb. On Ta, you touch your center finger. On Na you touch your ring finger. On Ma, the pinky finger.

Duration: 3 - 11 minutes

Inhale, exhale, then relax.

Sa is a sound expression of the Universe.
Ta is the sound of Life
Na is the sound of Death.
Ma is the sound of Rebirth.

Chanting Sa-Ta-Na-Ma is the nuclear form of Sat Nam that you were introduced to earlier. Because it is a split of that mantra Sat Nam, the Sa-Ta-Na-Ma literally has the energy of the atom in it.

That's why it can do major, creatively transformative things. Chanting Sa-Ta-Na-Ma totally reorganizes your whole thought matrix.

Join our Programs and experience the bliss of mantra singing.

* Information extracted from

** learn more about the different tempers in the 6days ayurveda class

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