Saturday, 16 July 2011

divine grace


Divine Grace

There are two domains of existence, i.e., external and internal.  The external domain is the subject matter of our sense organs.  So it is gross and visible.  On the other hand the internal domain is composed of vibrating energy in the form of electron, proton and neutron.  This internal domain can be experienced and conceptualized. Therefore, it is invisible and subtle.  This fact applies to both           in-animate and animate forms of existence.  Moreover animate forms of existence have feelings, emotions and thought flow.

            The nature of existence seems dualistic.  This dualism is manifested in the opposite pairs of body-mind & matter-energy, reason-intuition, object-subject, science-religion and inside-outside.

Modern science is rooted in ancient Greek Philosophy.  In the sixth century B.C. the Greek philosophy was monistic and saw the pairs of opposites as the manifestation of the same unity.  But later on a totally different thought started gaining ground, leading to the formulation of the separate nature of matter and consciousness or spirit.  Western modern science which started developing with Renaissance in later part of the fifteenth century had a strong foundation of division between mind and matter.  In the seventeenth century the great philosopher, Rene Descartes, reinforced the dualistic and separate nature of mind and matter.  The Cartesian philosophy had profound impact upon the scientific thinking of that era.  The world was treated as a matter or machine quite separate from consciousness.

            Newton's mechanistic view of the universe is based upon this dualistic approach.  The dualism is the basic of classical physics and it reigned supreme till the emergence of the atomic and quantum physics in later part of nineteenth century and specially in early twentieth century.  According to the findings of new physics matter is both a wave and a particle.  The distinction between matter and energy ends at subatomic level.  The theory of Einstein that matter can be converted into energy and vice versa shattered the mechanistic and fragmanted view of classical
physics.  Thus a totally new paradigm regarding  matter and energy emerged in the realm of physics.  The new finding of physics started pointing to an underlying unity in diversity and interconnectedness among  seemingly separate entities of the universe.

Ancient Greek and Eastern Philosophers had already postulated that the Supreme Reality is one and different energy forms are its varied manifestations.  They again reinforced that all contradictions are reconciled in one harmonious truth.  The following remark of J.R. Oppenheimer is very remarkable in this regard  :-

" The general notions about human understanding..... which are illustrated by discoveries in atomic physics are not in the nature of things wholly unfamiliar, wholly unheard of, or new.  Even in our own culture they have a history, and in Buddhist and Hindu thought a more considerable and central place.  What we shall find is an exemplification, an encouragement, and a refinement of old wisdom."

In this way, now, science has come to the conclusion that opposite pairs are not separate, but interwoven into the web of interconnected relationship.  Everything is the interplay of energy.  Contradictions and separateness are not the nature of things, but they are different waves arising in the infinite ocean of primordial energy.  In its pure form energy is the same and unbroken.  But when it is activated, it takes different forms.  Swami Vivekanand has put it very beautifully :-

"The whole Universe is one.  There is only One Self in the Universe, only One Existence .........   Everything in the Universe is that One, appearing in various forms."

The above statment of Swami Vivekanand is strikingly similar to that of the great physicist, David Boehm :-

"One is led to new notion of unbroken wholeness which denies the classical ideas of analyzability of the world into separately and independently existing parts."

The medium through which philosophers and mystics realized the oneness of the Universe is meditation and intuition.  On the other hand it is a widely held opinion that science arrives at truth through experiments and physical verification in laboratories.  But the great and revolutionary discoveries of science have been revealed through intuitive flashes and insight.  The Theory of Gravitation was discovered by Newton in a deeply contemplative state.  The Mass and Energy principle was revealed to the mind of Einstein in a flash.  Archimedes discovered the

Theory of Buoyancy in a highly meditative state of mind at the time of taking bath in a tub.  The following statement of Einstein is very significant in this regard:-

There is no logical path to these laws; only intuition, resting on sympathetic understanding of experience, can reach them...........  The real thing is intuition.  A thought comes and I may try to express it in words afterwards."

Dualism and fragmented view of the Universe are the result of five factors i.e., name, form, time, space and cause effect.  One object appears different from another because both have different names.  Again objects are different due to different forms.  Time is the sequence of events taking place one by one.  What happens in first moment is different from what happens in second moment.  Since the whole universe is in a flux, therefore objects or happenings are separated or differentiated by time.  Past, present and future are conventional units to measure time.  Space is the gap between two objects.  When the space is removed, objects become one.  Every object or happening of the universe is the cause and effect of different combination and permulation.  The cause of one effect is different from the cause of another effect
When we analyze the nature of the above mentioned five factors responsible for causing difference among objects, it seems that the difference caused by name is superficial. The name of an object can be changed at our will.  But changing from is not so easy.  Therefore, the difference caused by form is deeper than the difference caused by name.  But again we can change the forms also.  But we cannot change the time.   The difference caused by time is irreversible.  Since space gives rise to forms, it can be changed.  Things look different because of different space.  But cause effect principle is natural, so it cannot be changed.

            The above details clearly show that name, form and space can be manipulated physically.  But time and cause-effect are beyond purview of physical manipulation.  Time and cause-effect exist in our mental realm.

            Before the discovery of the Theory of Relativity by Einstein, it was believed that time and space are absolute.  But Einstein shattered this common belief by proving that both time and space are relative.  The Special Theory of Relativity discovered by Einstein puts the same thing in the following way:-

            "Over vast distances time and space become relative.....

            When you are courting a nice girl, an hour seems like a second.  When you sit on a red-hot cinder, a second seems like an hour.  That's relativity."

            According to Einstein time indicates simultaneous events.  The arrival of train at 7 O'clock  means that the small hand of the watch pointing to seven and the coming of the train are simultaneous events.  Similarly, space is nothing, but connection between two sets of data.  Eddington has said :-

            "...............  but length is not a property of the rod; it is the relation between the rod and the observe.  Until the observer is specified, the length of the rod is quite indeterminate."

            Similarly, Ronald W. Clark describes it in the following words :-

            "Just as beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, so does each man carry with him his own space and own time."

            The sense of time and space appears as a result of our fragmented view.  In case of time the fragmentation is caused by the division of time in past, present and future.  Similarly space appears because our physical eyes cannot see beyond a certain limit.  Therefore, the concepts of time and space are the creation of our thought.  When our consciousness is anchored in the present only, thought flow stops and the sense of time and space is replaced by the unbroken and continuous awareness.  In such a situation there is no thought, but only awareness.  Mind is also transcended.  This realization is achieved in deep meditative state.

            Scientists state that the Universe came into existence through Big Bang.  With the birth of the Universe time and space also came into being.  Space gives dimension and shape to things and time gives the glimpses of events happening in order and sequence.  At sub-atomic level and in quantum realm things lose their dimension and behave like both a particle and wave.  Thus space does not exist as an absolute at sub-atomic level.  Similarly, in quantum world particles can move backward also in time.  The past events can be altered and maniputed.  Thus at  sub-atomic and quantum level there is nothing like time and space.  Everything is an unbroken whole and unanalyzable.  If everything is basically an unbroken whole, the question of cause effect does not arise.  
The unbroken and interconnected  unity discovered by scientists in quantum physics has been realized by mystics and widely described in spiritual and philosophical texts specially of Eastern tradition.  In his book The Tao of Physics Fritjof Capra describes this fact very beautifully :-

            "The basic oneness of the universe is not only the central characteristic of the mystical experience, but is also one of the most important revelations of modern physics.  It becomes apparent at the atomic level and manifests itself more and more as one penetrates deeper into matter, down into the realm of sub-atomic particles."

            Now, both science and philosophy are of the opinion that although appearing contradictory and dualistic, everything in this universe is if fundamentally the same and one as the universe is nothing, but pulsatiry energy.

            In its purest form energy is fundamentally the same and indivisible.  But the manifestation of energy is varied and takes countless forms.  These energy types may be electrical physical, mechanical, chemical, nuclear, solar, thermal, hydral or many many others.  As a result of being the same at core, one type of energy can be converted into another type.  According to science, creation or destruction is nothing, but just transformation or change in energy pattern.  By manipulating energy patterns radical changes have been produced by science.  Einstein proved that mass can be converted into energy or vice versa.   Even a small amount of mass can produce tremendous energy.  Atomic and nuclear bombs are manufactured in this way.
            Thus the entire universe is bundle of energy.  This cosmic energy is potentially neutral.  But when it gets manifested, it may become positive and beneficial or negative and harmful.  Positive cosmic energy creates and heals, while negative cosmic vibration leads to destruction and harm.

            It is the nature of energy to vibrate at a certain frequency.  The universe is like the infinite ocean of energy and innumerable number of both positive and negative energy waves are playing in the womb of the universe.  These different energy waves have different rate of frequency and they are governed by the Law of Attraction.
The Law of Attraction postulates that like attracts like.  In other words it can be said that birds of the same feather flock together.  Hence similar energy vibrations get attracted towards each other.

            Our thoughts are subtle vibrations of our brain.  They have got a certain frequency.  According to the Law of Attraction they attract similar energy vibrations from the cosmos.  If our mind entertains positive thoughts, the same corresponding positive thoughts are attracted towards our thought waves from the surrounding.  On the other hand negative thought vibrations invoke negative cosmic energy.  It is said that our thought get materialized into actions.

            Our thoughts have electro-magnetic reality.  Hence they influence reality outside also.  The great, psychologist, Jim Donovan, has put it very beautifully :-

            "You are creating your own reality moment by moment with the thoughts you chose to think and say."

            It is clear from the above details that with the help of our thought process we can invoke the cosmic energy.  Thus by divine grace is meant the positive cosmic energy which is invoked by our positive thoughts.  As pure gold can be moulded and made into numerous forms of ornaments, similarly divine grace or positive cosmic energy can be invoked for different types of gains.  Divine grace is not a mysterious phenomenon, but tapping into the cosmic energy by thought vibrations.

            Nature is the inexhaustible source of energy.  It depends upon us how much energy we can derive from nature.  The means through which we can derive the cosmic energy is our consciousness.  If we are conscious and mindful about an idea that idea starts getting materialized.  Our mindfulness and consciousness create favourable conditions outside and the attainment of the desired goal becomes easy. 
The cosmic impulse and drive which unite with our consciousness as a result of the Law of Attraction and helps us in achieving our goal is divine grace.

            According to neuroscience our brain emits waves.  These waves are categorized into four types beta, alpha, theta and delta.  Beta brain waves are emitted by brain during wakeful state.  Such waves are of low complitude and high frequency over 13 cycles per second.  The brain emits alpha waves in a relaxed state.   Such   waves   have   frequency   ranging   from   8  to 13  cycles per second. 

Theta waves are emitted during sleeping state.  These waves have a frequency of 4 to 7 cycles per second.  Delta waves are emitted by the brain during dreamless sleep.  They have frequency below 4 cycles per second.  These brainwaves are measured by a biofeedback machine named EEG (Electro encephalogram).

            The vibration of these brainwaves at different frequency determines our consciousness and state of mind.  As is the consciousness or state of mind, so is the inflow of cosmic energy.  If we entertain love consciousness, the same cosmic energy full of love flows towards us.  Similarly, other types of positive thought vibrations cause corresponding positive cosmic energy to flow towards the subject.  This energy flow is divine grace.  Since thoughts have electro-magnetic reality, bad and negative thought vibrations attract the negative and harmful cosmic energy.  In other words if positive and good thoughts benefit, negative and bad thoughts harm.

            Thoughts are the most important ingredients of human personality.  Our words and actions emanate from thought.  It is properly said that thoughts are seeds, words flowers and actions fruits.  If there is a harmony among thought, words and fruits, man is at peace with himself as well as with others.  Lack of harmony at mental, verbal and functional levels generates conflicts, stress and psychosomatic ailments.  This conflict situation breeds negativity and negative cosmic energy is attracted, leading to failure and unhappiness in life.  Therefore, when positive thought are reinforced by positive works and actions, the maximum amount of positive cosmic energy or divine grace is invoked.

            Religious and philosophical texts are replete with description of divine grace.  Divine grace has been depicted in different ways and various rituals and methods have been prescribed to obtain divine grace.  According to Christianity divine grace refers to God's gifts to humankind including life, creation and salvation.  Men are saved from sins and granted salvation by divine grace.  It is God's benevolence towards men.  Men do not deserve it.  It is an endowment on behalf  of god.  It is a favour by God.  Islam provides that men can turn to God despite their enormity of sins and can deserve divine grace.  According to Vedic tradition divine grace can be earned by man through purity of his heart and nobility of his deeds.
Conclusively, it can be said that whether viewed religiously or otherwise, divine grace is the flow of the positive cosmic energy towards the seeker through the positive thoughts, words and deeds.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Recent Trends in Yogic Therapy: Spiritual Perspective

Recent trends in Yogic therapy :
Spiritual Perspective.
Dr. B.K. Upadhyay,  IPS.

     The basic purpose of Yoga is to create a sense of oneness in the psyche of human beings.  This purpose is obtained by initially freeing the mind from distractions and ultimately merging it in the cosmic consciousness.  This journey of Yoga passes through different stages of evolution.  First, it starts with the body and creates harmony between the body and the mind.   The harmonic relation between the body and the mind facilitates the better co-ordination among emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects of human personality.  Thus, physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects of human personality are harmoniously linked together, leading to a holistic personality which identifies itself with the whole universe.     A sense of unbroken unity and interconnectedness is the hallmark of such a personality.  This is a yogic personality.  A yogic personality is free from diseases, both physical and mental.

     Yogic texts state that diseases are the result of the disturbed energy flow in the body.  The disturbance of energy flow leads to the disharmony in the functional mechanism of human personality.  When this energy flow is restored either by medicine, exercise or otherwise, health is

maintained.  Thus any therapy works on the principle of the restoration of     bio-energy.

          Although the ultimate aim of yoga is to lead to liberation from the clutches of worldly cycles, it has emerged as a very safe and effective therapy for preventing and curing all ailments.  Yogic therapy is fundamentally spiritual in nature because it does not depend upon any outside resource.  It is the therapy of innerself.  By regenerating our inner energy, it repairs our psycho-physical mechanism and restores health.  It trains our mind to go inside and conserve our bio-energy.  Yogic therapy is based upon the inward journey of our consciousness.  Yogic therapy harnesses the power of mind to prevent and cure diseases.

          Yoga treats human body as a microcosm of the universe.  So the individual consciousness is always interlinked with universal or cosmic consciousness.  But our ignorance comes as an obstacle between individual and universal consciousness.  As a result we treat ourselves as limited entities with limited energy and consciousness.  But yoga removes this lid of ignorance and we find our consciousness inseparably united with infinite and all encompassing consciousness of the 

cosmos. Yogic therapy enables us to draw energy from the infinite energy ocean of the universe.  As a result diseases get healed and well-being is reinforced.

          Recent advances in medical science have proved that mind plays a very dominant role in the healing process of diseases.  The Law of Attraction states that like attracts like.  So the positive thought vibrations attract the some positive cosmic energy.  Thus, the spiritual perspective of any therapy cannot be overemphasised.

          Yoga experts of ancient times had already recognized this spiritual perspective in the healing process of ailment.  In his yoga Sutras Bhagawan Patanjali has beautifully described the spiritual aspect of prevention and cure of diseases.  He talks of Vritti (modification), Antaraya (Obstacle), Klesha (Suffering) and Vitarka (evil tendencies and actions).   Vritti or modification of mind is controlled by establishing consciousness in pure form.  When consciousness goes inside, obstacles disappear.  Suffering is silenced through mediation and Vitarka is to be countered by contemplation of their opposite.  Vritti, Antaraya, Klesh and Vitarka are root cause of all types of diseases.  By inwardization of consciousness and cultivation of positive thoughts diseases are prevented and cured.

          A number of yoga institutes in India and abroad are doing a pioneer work in this regard.  Kaivalyadham is one of them.  Millions of people have benefitted from the yogic therapy being provided by this premier yoga institute.  Here diseases are cured and health is restored not by doses of medicine, but by invoking innate creative and regenerative power of consciousness that is spiritual in nature.