Announcing Journal of a Yogin

Kali’s Brood is proud to announce an online journal for a practising/aspiring Yogin, titled “Journal of a Yogin”..well obviously right.

For those following us, the last few years has been decisive in a specific sense. All that was indicated and held as potentialities have begun to manifest. Many assumptions have been validated, many thrown out as irrelevant to the pursuit of Yoga and the Divine.

The current site remains, and will continue to share material on spirituality and Hinduism. For those who are serious and who wish to exceed the little ken, we have this journal.

We wrote the following on our about section on Medium.

Journal of a Yogin enumerates methods, approaches, paths and different practices of Yoga as found in the ancient Vedic tradition, and in the modern times perfected by the teachings of Sri Aurobindo.

That says everything we wish to say. Please visit us.

Some visuals from Journal of a Yogin on Medium.

Kali’s Brood is now on Medium!

Kali’s Brood is now on Medium!

We are excited to be growing from a new basis, both inner and outer. A new resolve and impulse has propelled us to the next stage in Yoga and we wanted to share all that we have learnt along the way.

We wrote the following on our about section on Medium.

Kali’s Brood is an earnest attempt at reviving the sense of Yoga as understood & practised by the Vedic Seers, and in the modern times by Sri Aurobindo, and through that the manifestation of the Divine potentialities in all of us.

That says everything we wish to say. Please visit us. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter too, from the homepage on this site.

Some visuals from Kali’s Brood on Medium.

Nature, Morals and Spirituality

Wolves change an entire ecosystem. Apart from the interconnectedness of things, this gave rise to thoughts related to morals and spirituality. See the video first. And then perhaps my 2cents.

Nature and Morals

Nature does not do morals. In Her universal economy violence has as much value as compassion. Man considers himself superior to the animal, perhaps it is true when compared from one man to one animal, especially seen from each of their highest capabilities. But when viewed in context of their environment, the animal is so clearly superior in its individual and collective action. Man, with his divisive mind, is a creature of conflict. Man is torment both in isolation and in the collective. He is perfectly capable of perceiving subtle differences, and also capable of conjuring differences where none exist. And for example one has only to see how the non-East regions of this world, in its non-scientific modes of thought, views other societies and cultures.

Morals and Spirituality

True spirituality, once it transcends mere theory and hearsay, and ventures into seeing and experience acknowledges the utility of suffering and hardships. These lesser modes of Life are conventionally viewed as expressions of Ignorance or the Devil but once we have crossed the stormy oceans and reached the shores of certitude we realize the storms have made us more than what we were at the start of the journey. The shore comforts but our gratitude goes to the storm for strengthening our resolve and giving birth to endurance we did not posses before.

The Eastern religions in their profoundest moments venerate the Divine as Destroyer and the Terrible. The aspect of benevolence, the Friend of Man, and the Divine Beloved all exist. But we acknowledge too the Fierce and the Wrathful. For Nature is both benevolent and violent in her moods. And pursuing these trails within ourselves we find the Power that contains every mask that lures, deceives and bewitches us. Kali is our Mother too, as is Durga. All that is transient and of a lesser perfection is effaced by an unerring and benevolent violence. Kali wipes the slate clean. Painful but necessary.

Any contrarian views?

Map of Emotions and Chakras

I came across this interesting map of emotions via FlowingData.

Body-maps

Now see how Patanjali’s Chakras aligns with above heat maps.

kundalini-chakras

 My favourites are how Depression completely “switches off” activity in all chakras! Or how Happiness literally lights up the whole being, in fact even better than being in a state of Love!

Also, the similarity between states of Anger and Pride are interesting. And check how Anger makes the arms glow. Fascinating!

Dance of Shiva

shiva_nataraja

Dance of Shiva is not mere artistic rendition of a mental idea. It is the articulation of a spiritual experience, a clear perception of how one same consciousness wears its many masks of creator, preserver and destroyer. My two cents on this aspect of Shiva.

Sri Krishna says in the Gita, that one cannot help but act. Even the Rishi in his meditative immobility acts, blood courses through his veins, there is a being to sustain and keep alive…within him are the other sheaths of being that support the outer form…all these have to work.

Sri Krishna continues to say that even He the Divine manifest as Avatar for the Age has to act. Without his tendency to act there would be chaos and dissolution. Or perhaps just nothing.

That principle of constant activity, regeneration, destruction is ever present. The immobile stone is but the temporary decision of a group of atoms to hang in there for a while. When they meet their brother sculptor, upon the insistence of his chisel-will they morph into a statue. Where there was irregular block of atoms before, there is now a form of grace and beauty..worthy of adoration, perhaps even prayer.

This principle of making, unmaking and making again is what one sees in the inner experience.

The Dance of Shiva is the amplified version of this experience. His very descent is violent, filled with the immensity of Power. To give an idea of how stupendous this experience must have been, He is the only one of whom even the Vedic Rishis were afraid, “Pity us, O Rudra!”, they cried.

In the Dance of Shiva, it is not the static principle of the Divine one perceives. This is not the Silence of a Samadhi state, not the Void of Nirvana. This is vision of the Divine in all His kinetic glory. Not a snapshot, but a continuous perception of the dynamism of existence.

Thoughts on Sri Krishna’s Revelation of Universal Form

Sri_Krishna_Vision

Let us leave aside the assumption around Krishna’s identity..you could choose whatever works for you..whether as a King, manipulative schemer, beloved of gopis, as Avatar or anything else. The Vishwaroopam, the vision of the Infinite and Immanent Godhead is infinitely more interesting.

Let us remind ourselves of the context again. The hero of that age, Arjuna, has this crisis of conscience. The stark reality of war is in front of him. All the ills that befell him, his family and clan are forgotten. The brutality of what is going to begin makes his moral being shrink in repulsion. He is not afraid, this is his moral being shrinking from the carnage that is about to begin.

In response to this shrinking, Sri Krishna has expounded the larger basis of action, of morality, of spirituality, of how individual action and living can be perfected, of how laws of conduct can be gradually widened in scope to make every thought and action align with standards of living that transcend time bound social contracts into a veritable prayer. To make the individual see his role in the larger context of the Divine Lila, in the play of the Cosmos.

Sri Krishna has expounded the approaches to the Divine, of the ways of conduct that would assure ones entry into the borders of Heaven, to escape the cycle of Samsara and Maya. He has shared his view of the Sankhya path, the Purusha – Prakriti dance that makes up common life, ethical conduct, how individual Dharma coexists with Universal Dharma, how motive of action has more relevance than the action itself, of the role of ritualism, on how ritualism can be transmuted into an inner sacrifice to the Immanent Divine rather than the offering of material things. He has reiterated the various Yogas by which one can attain the Divine, he has reconciled and synthesized these approaches into one that is wide, all-encompassing and complete.

The human disciple who has received this knowledge is already familiar with the hundred roads using which one can approach the Divine. His mind sees how this tangle has been unified into a complex harmony. He realizes the one in front, his Charioteer in this field of battle, is someone not entirely known to him. Sri Krishna senses in his dear friend a mind at relative ease, but not the heart. Knowledge has been imparted but not the experience.

The unity of all existence, the play of Maya are all but theoretical constructs as yet. Arjuna is no trained Yogi, there is yet a patina of doubt that lives when knowledge has not yet become experience.

“Now”, Sri Krishna declares, “I shall show you my universal form, the one to which even the best Yogis aspire to. Because you are dear to me, I shall give you the Yogic sight, by which you shall see my energy in all its forms and manifestations.”

There is nothing symbolic in this. This is an experience. One that can be had by you and I too. The vision of the Universal Godhead. All its diverse manifestations, all its complex inter dependencies. One vision, one perspective too, of this all pervading Godhead and Power removes the illusion of separation. It destroys doubt, it is the certitude of the Godhead, the confirmation of our bright intuitions. We see ourselves surrounded, not with our eyes but an inner perception. We find ourselves as a speck, surrounded on every direction and dimension at the same time. All dimensions open up. We see that there is a Love, a Power than transcends our mind and being. There is a Beloved who watches and broods over us. That experience is the fruit for which we toil over many lives. All our perambulations through time has led us to this moment. And now we see we have looked in vain for the thing that is within us, and that is us too. All that exists is the Brahman. All is That. Nothing exists apart from It.

This is a qualitatively similar experience that Sri Ramakrishna Parahamsa imparts to a doubting Narendra, our later Swami Vivekananda about the nature of Time and Cosmos. The experience that Fritjof Capra has, as recounted in his preface to Tao of Physics, of seeing all reality as a dance of atoms, of the fact that everything is woven from a single fabric is similar to this. The experience of Sri Aurobindo, when imprisoned by the British, where he saw the jail walls, the jailer, the prisoners..even the bars that were holding him in as Vasudeva is similar to this.

There is nothing symbolic in this. Aspiration and/or the grace of a Guru can give this experience. Doubts vanish to one who has had this experience of the Universal form of the Divine. The unassailable poise of the Buddha, the acceptance of calamity with surrender, the ecstatic poetry of Annamayya, Chaitanya, Meera, Andal..all come from this experience in any of its infinite varieties.

Note: This was my answer to a question on Quora. Have posted it here after some editing.

How did Prosperous Bharath Come to this?

Famine during colonial rule of Bharath. Province of Madras.

During colonial rule there were at least some record as pictures. The 800 years before colonials were captured only in books, which have been forgotten or washed over by our ‘secular’ brethren.

On a positive note, Bharath has come a long way since. But poverty remains rooted, leaving way for charlatans with food and money on one hand, and dubious ideas on another. This nation is ours only in name, acidic ideas and people, both domestic and foreign, continue to tear us apart.

What you and I do today and after, however small and insignificant, will have bearing on what Bharath turns out to be.

Vande Mataram!

Yoga of Self-Organization

Prelude

Yoga is a joining of the individual self to the immanent yet all-pervading Divine. Why Yoga? For those who have felt the ache of the call, there is no need for an answer. For those yet to hear the call, know that riches of consciousness and harmony of existence that elude you now will become your natural state through Yoga.

Start of Yoga

If you adhere yourself to a certain rhythm and discipline, you will see a great change. Let us say that all our routine could be subject to this rhythmic inner movement and to a discipline still subject to the inner law. But this is not for the so called intellectual types with big egos. This is for those who are willing to serve the Divine and live for a divine purpose.

Discipline

There are many types of discipline; physical, vital and mental discipline but the one that we need most is a psychic discipline. It is a flowing spontaneity of action out of the inner Spirit, something natural and tremendously simple in manifestation without any artificial mental colours and intellectual deformities (which we call our natural traits!) and is possessed of the Divine Truth.

Method

We have to open ourselves to this inner Psychic Consciousness and organise all our activities around it, all that we do normally in our day-to-day life like reading or writing, work, conversation or even sleep. All must be gathered in a single great movement of aspiration towards the Divine. That’s how you begin into the path of integral yoga.

Inner or Outer

It is the inner conquest that is more difficult than the outer achievement. You may have progressed materially, built your career and even made a name for yourself in your own little world but a man without his spiritual consciousness at the front is more or less a neatly decorated carrion without any life in it. It is by the inner law that all external life must be governed or else your life will be subject to the play of forces and your soul will remain hidden from you and the true splendours of life along with it.

Hour of Light

In a word, to give ourselves in true self-giving to God and to nothing else and through Him possess the world for the sheer delight of existence. It is the hour of light, as we might call it, which has come to the our aid and we must welcome it with all our sincerity and truthfulness.

What Supports the Bhaktha and his Yoga?

The heart is another country. Especially so for the bhaktha, he who has set foot on the path of devotion.

Bhaktha and the Beloved

To the bhaktha, a lover of God, there is a sense of otherness, much like mortal love perhaps but here there is no hankering for a time-born being, no disturbance of the senses, no propensity to debase oneself by indulging in sensual gratification. Often the bhaktha faces downturns, old impulses return to claim their ancestral place, and they protest with vigor and vehemence. But to one whose inner being has woken up in however little a measure and tasted the unmixed delight of Divine intoxication, there can be no lasting fall..there is only a delay until the ultimate embrace with the Divine Beloved.

But until that final embrace occurs there are glimpses, whether frequent or rare, brief glimpses of the Divine. Like milestones strewn around on a highway, these markers arrive to provide solace to the soul on its long-winded journey. They arrive in a multitude of shapes, forms and ways. If there is any method at all, then it is one based on His infinite freedom and our ability to receive it.

A Curious Phenomena

All these little moments/events share a specific character in that they occur anywhere and everywhere. It seems as if they have no limitation of time or space or form. The Rishis and God Lovers of the Hindu tradition had observed the nature of this peculiar Power and Phenomena minutely.

The Rishi’s Habit

What the Rishi observed within or without, he named it. He knew that a Power or Phenomena when named, could be spoken about, could be meditated upon, could be invoked and even made manifest within an individual’s consciousness. This is what they did, the Heroes of the Hindu tradition. They watched and watched with eyes, ears and every sense available. When they reached the limit of the senses, they observed the instrument that observed, the mind. When the chaos of mind was stilled, they found even rarer phenomena. This climb, this reaching out to hidden territory, this journey and adventure within they named Yoga.

Alone and Not Alone

The Rishis found themselves, not unlike the scientist who peers into atoms and builds his models of String Theory or Quantum Physics and who is baffled by the inability of common untrained men to understand them, alone in their pursuit of the Unknown. Even in the crowd the God Lover, the Rishi, is alone. But even in this solitude amidst sense-driven men, the Rishi observed something that always was with him. That could wake up at the most common moments and let him know he was not alone, that the goal of his journeys was always nearby.

The Ever Present Guide

The Hindus had to name this phenomena. What was it that was everywhere? What stayed with them in waking and in dream? What climbed the soul’s stairs into rarer and rarer heights along with them? The name had to be personal, after all this was the Guide who ventured with them into territories no map could capture. And it had to describe the idea that the Phenomena was everywhere. To the Rishi, to name something was automatic..the Power they wanted to name always suggested what it aught to be called.

Sarvavyapi, they ended up calling this Phenomena. Sarva-vyapi, or Sarva-Vyaapi as its pronounced in Sanskrit. Sarva is ‘everything’. Vyaapi is ‘one who pervades’. Put together Sarvavyaapi is “One who pervades everything”.

The Sterile Heaven of Icarus

The nearest western equivalent would be Omnipresent. As with most things spiritual, the western heart had yet to soar into heights of bhakthi yoga. Icarus who tried to soar heavenward was made into a parable to not have men aspire too high. The Tower of Babel was struck because men aspired to heavens. The West was content to abandon ancient freedoms of the Greek spirit for something new. And the word Omnipresent, so remote and sterile.

Swaha

Sarvavyaapi, One who pervades everything. Sarvavyaapi pervades you and I, pervades all that is manifest whether perceived by us or not. May that Sarvavyaapi guide us, as He guided the Rishis of the Veda.

Sri Aurobindo Speaks of Scriptures actually Relevant for Future

Sri Aurobindo speaks about which religion, philosophy will be relevant, survive and actually help the spiritual path.

Only those Scriptures, religions, philosophies which can be thus constantly renewed, relived, their stuff of permanent truth constantly reshaped and developed in the inner thought and spiritual experience of a developing humanity, continue to be of living importance to mankind. The rest remain as monuments of the past, but have no actual force or vital impulse for the future.

The recent episode where priests refused entry to a so-called low-caste in Orissa. I f**cking rage in fury when I hear the term low-caste. What the f**k is low caste anyway?! Don’t the idiotic priests in Orissa know “Sarvam Kalvidham Brahmam”, “All that exists is the Divine”? Every thing, every damn thing is the Divine..to discriminate against fellow men in the name of caste is effin horrible. Of course, I don’t want you to let the marauding barbarian who wants your wealth, land and women inside your house. Discriminate men on the basis of their intent and deal with them, but bloody caste..destroy that crap.

Hinduism is said to live in its traditions and some would argue that this untouchability thing is a tradition. But honestly how many of thousands understand what a tradition is? How many have realized any truths within themselves? Traditions handed down by posterity is immediately treated with veneration..without once questioning what the truth is, whether the truth has come to us undiluted, or whether we actually realized the truth of a tradition ourselves. Bottom line test and know for yourself before accepting a tradition.

Of course Hinduism is infinitely better than other major religious systems, you know which, because it enables an infinite variety of form and practice. But for a few hundred years, the so called upper caste priests have lost the plot. A Brahmin was supposed to be a man of knowledge, a knower of Brahman. We all know the majority are no longer knowers of Brahman. Which means they cannot be arbiters of tradition, as in the Orissa temple case, nor should we give them the veneration deserving to a knower of Brahman. Conversely we should also not pour spite on them as the Christian Missionaries, Marxists and Pseudo-Atheists like the Tamil Nadu, India based politicians do.

Sorry, back to tradition. Some people talk of tradition as if it has been forever. But that is not the case, every tradition..the most hallowed and mundane tradition had been seen within by a Seer/Rishi and shared with common people. Remember, every damned tradition was founded that way. What mattered was the spiritual realization of the person who founded the tradition. Remember no committee sat and discussed what followers will read from then on, no council of descendants argued stuff..just one guy had the realization and shared with followers. If it worked for the followers, the tradition got handed down or else it died naturally. Nothing could be more beautiful or ideal than this arrangement. But we have not had major realized souls like Swami Vivekananda or Chaitanya or Meera lately to drive home truths with the force of their realizations. Now we have media savvy folks, semi-realized folks and so on. Infinitely better than the Abrahamic systems of course, but not good enough for Hinduism.

So what am I getting at? Nothing, just that spiritual realization alone matters. Tradition if it helps us get there sooner then fine, else create a new tradition. We Hindus are not fanatics, we have no perverse need to convert people compulsively like the missionaries do to barely known spiritual truths. Or to enforce semi-moral strictures with the sword. We are descendants of Rishi Vishwamitra, Vyasa, Valmiki and the numberless realized souls of Sanatana Dharma. Let us live and act that way. Hare Krishna!