Ego is self or “I-ness” Everyone has an ego, whether big or small. In Hinduism, Ahamkara (अहंकार) is a Sanskrit term that is related to the ego. Egoism is identifying with or attachment to one's ego. It is a crystallization of pre-existing thoughts and desires resulting into shadow self, which is subject to ignorance, duality and illusion (maya) that veils the true Self and lets the ego-sense take charge of the mind and body and act as if it is the real Self. Ego will significantly impact our relationships with one another and the outside world. It also affects our ability to be persuasive and understood.
Remember that the ego is mischievous, wicked and vulgar. Its voice is the noise of the world. Let us put out the noise of the ego to hear the voice of the divine. The elimination of egoism is the sole condition of self-realization. One’s individual ego, pre-conceived notions, pet ideas, prejudices and selfish interests should be given up. All these stands in the way of spiritual progress.
As per modern psychology, ego comprises the executive functions of personality by serving as the integrator of the outer and inner worlds as well as of the id and the superego. Freud conceptualised ego structure as id, ego and superego. The id is driven by the pleasure principle, which strives for immediate gratification of all desires, wants, and needs. Ego develops from the id and ensures that the impulses of the id can be expressed in a manner acceptable in the real world. The superego begins to emerge at around age five. The superego tries to perfect and civilize our behaviour. It works to suppress all unacceptable urges of the id and struggles to make the ego act upon idealistic standards rather that upon realistic principles. However, id, the ego, and the superego are not three separate entities.
There is not much inputs about “ego” in modern psychology. But ancient Hindu rishis have deeply probed about it. As per Hinduism, “ego” has been elaborated as below:
What is Ego:
Ahamkara (Ego) identifies the atman (soul, self, jivatma) with the physical body. Ego is not mere self-pride or arrogance, except in a very narrow sense. In a wider sense, it is the very feeling of separation that makes one feel distinct and different from the rest of the creation and the Creator.
How ego functions:
How to overcome ego:
The various Hindu scriptures have the dynamics of ego and actions in great details. I am discussing here only a few to describe -
जब मैं था तब हरि नहीं अब हरि है मैं नाहीं । प्रेम गली अति सांकरी जामें दो न समाहीं ॥
अर्थ: जब तक मन में अहंकार था तब तक ईश्वर का साक्षात्कार न हुआ. जब अहम समाप्त हुआ तभी प्रभु मिले. जब ईश्वर का साक्षात्कार हुआ – तब अहम स्वतः नष्ट हो गया. ईश्वर की सत्ता का बोध तभी हुआ जब अहंकार गया. प्रेम में द्वैत भाव नहीं हो सकता – प्रेम की संकरी – पतली गली में एक ही समा सकता है – अहम या परम ! परम की प्राप्ति के लिए अहम का विसर्जन आवश्यक है.
According to Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, conquest of the self is therefore very important for peace of mind and union with God. He who conquers his self is in the company of the Supreme. He remains stable and serene in cold or heat, sorrow or happiness, respect or disrespect (6.7). Giving up all desires, without the awareness of any need, sense of ownership and egoism, he attains peace (2.71).
Pride literally means self-esteem, self-satisfaction, self-worth, self-glorification; ego etc. When pride becomes excessive, it is “Mada” which is sign of the pre-dominance of tamas and rajas and results in delusion, egoism, ignorance and deep attachment. The baneful egoism generates actions, desires and pains. Ravana & Kaikeyi from epic Ramayana and Duryodhana from epic Mahabharata are glaring examples of excessive pride. Pride nullifies the fruit of our good karma. Pride makes us loose a correct perspective of things. Pride earns us many enemies.
On the other hand, humility, Modesty or Namrata (in Hindi), is the virtue which expresses low self-preoccupation and is opposite of Pride. When we perform duties as a service rather than a favor to the God and to the people around us, we cultivate humility.
Bhagavad Gita has listed humility or absence of pride as first virtue (13.7). Swami Vivekananda argues that the concept of humility does not mean "crawling on all fours and calling oneself a sinner." According to him, each human being the Universal, recognizing and feeling oneness with everyone and everything else in the universe, without inferiority or superiority or any other bias, is the mark of humility.
When the yaksha, the divine being asked Yudhishthra, the eldest Pandava brother, “destroying what does one becomes dear”; to which, Yudhishthra had replied by killing pride one becomes dear. Pride keeps us on lonely island. One is unapproachable when he builds strong notions about him and around him.
Categories of pride:
Lord Buddha categorized pride into seven forms:
Grades of Pride:
In Hinduism, different grades of pride are denoted by various nomenclatures viz. Abhiman (Conceit, Vanity, and arrogance), Ahankara (Egoism), Darpa (Pride with arrogance) and Mada (excessive pride).
Humility is the virtue and opposite of pride. It is not sign of weakness but it elevates. Humility is part of the Hindu culture. Hinduism has given wisdom that every living creature has an identical soul in them. So, we are not superior to anyone in essence. In fact, everybody is constituted with same Jiva and Prakirti. All have same emotions, intellect, feelings, body etc. Some may be better in a few areas and worse in other areas. Moreover, everyone is imperfect and commit mistakes. Hence, there is no place of arrogance or pride. The “Namaste” in Hindu culture, not only prevents spread of contagious diseases, but also signify the element of this deep philosophy. Even an old person bow down and touches the feet of the person of honor.
There are a large number of popular wisdom stories in Hinduism on humility & pride such the story of Sri Shankaracharya & Chandala; the story of Shabri and Sri Rama; the story of Bihima & Sri Hanuman etc.
Dr. S Radhakrishnan mentioned that humility in Hindu Dharma is the non-judgmental state of mind when we are best able to learn, contemplate and understand everyone and everything else. In Taoism, humility is defined as a refusal to assert authority or a refusal to be first in anything. Humility is one of the foundations of devotional life. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has said:
"Consider yourself as less important than a blade of grass. Be more forbearing than a tree. Do not crave for respect, but respect others. Always sing the praise of Hari's name.
We are again and again drawn to live a mundane life. Selfless work and self-observation draw our attention to real purpose of life. Self-observation brings our attention to the ‘emotional personality’. At this stage, the attitude of nobility is more important than ability.
Action Plan to be humble:
Temperament & Selfless Service
Temperament has two dimensions – Passive and Aggressive. Passive temperament is based on apathy and aggressive temperament is based on selfishness. Passivity makes one want to escape from one’s duties and become unproductive. Shri Krishna ridicules such an individual as a hypocrite because his passivity is not born of wisdom and absence of desire, but ignorance and fear of failure. This only leads one to live as a burden to society. Aggressiveness based on selfishness may make one successful, but not without the manifestation of arrogance and pride.
Hinduism preaches serving both God and humanity. Selfless service or Seva is serving or working without selfish expectation. Selfless service is the antidote to be free of both these temperaments. Service means to perform one’s duties as an offering to the God. According to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the joy of giving is far more exhilarating than the joy of getting
Shri Krishna explained the glory of performing duties & selfless actions to Arjuna in Shrimad Bhagavad Gita as under:
1. One should perform the allotted duty as action is superior to inaction. Desisting from action, one cannot even maintain the human body (3.8).
2. It is better to perform one’s own duty, though devoid of merit, than the duty of another well discharged. Even death in the performance of one’s own duty brings blessedness; another’s duty is fraught with fear (3.35). It is not advisable to abandon a prescribed duty. Such abandonment out of ignorance has been declared as Tamasika (18.7).
3. In the path of selfless action there is no loss of effort, nor is there fear of contrary result, even a little practice of this discipline saves one from the terrible fear of birth and death. Selfless actions bring purification of heart which in turn leads to fearlessness (2.40).
4. One should perform his duties efficiently at all times without attachment. Doing work without attachment man attains the Supreme (3.19).
5. One, who think of Me (Brahman/Shree Krishna) at all times and fight with mind and reason thus set on Me (Brahman/Shree Krishna), he will doubtless come to Me (Brahman/Shree Krishna) (8.7).
Hence, there are four basic principles of work:
1. The work is more important than your opinion about it.
2. Attempt to make your work useful to everyone (that may include yourself).
3. Maintain your objectivity in all your work and their results.
4. Do not hesitate to perform your duty and complete whatever you undertake.
Indian Constitution & Hinduism
We are very much proud for the Indian Constitution and celebrating the Republic Day, but we never look through the Hindu Elements in Indian Constitution. Each part of the Constitution begins with the artistic picturization that traces our 5000-year-old history. The glorious history of the great India has been registered in the constitution of biggest democracy and oldest civilization of the world. Not only that it is an affidavit on Hinduism.
The original Indian Constitution, a hand-written document is essentially illustrating rich religious & cultural heritage of Hinduism. Important Parts of the constitution incorporated the photographs of Hindu deities such as Shri Rama, Shri Laxman, Ma Sita, Shri Krishna, Shri Shiva etc and historically important persons & monument works. The various photographs on the parts of the constitution are carefully selected and drawn on the original constitution signed by the members of Constituent Assembly on November 26, 1949. The original of the book is kept in a special helium-filled case in the Library of the Parliament of India. The calligraphy in the book was done by Prem Behari Narain Raizda. It was illuminated by Nandalal Bose and other artists, published by Dehra Dun, and photolithographed at the Survey of India Offices.
Unfortunately, post first republic day, the various governments never highlighted this vision of our great makers of constitution and buried in the helium filled case and printed faulty constitutional copies disregarding very foundation of our republic. The copy of photolithographed original constitution of India is available on internet and anybody can verify the facts.
The purpose of this article is to highlight vision, mission and the depictions of various arts which have been part of the original constitution approved by the makers of constitution. The details are as follows:
Soul (Jiva), its Composition & Attributes
God, the universal consciousness along with Souls, the individual consciousness and Matter form an organic whole of the Universe. According to the karma, Jivas get material embodiments as per divine will.
Every thought (मनसा, Mansa), every word (वचना,vachna) and every action (कर्मणा, Karmna), good or bad, just goes down and becomes fine, and is there stored up as Samskaras, the impressions and create Karmic account. These impressions of past Karmas cause tendencies and desires. The fulfilment of desires leads to enjoyment and lack of fulfilment leads to sufferings. The cycle of pleasures & pains goes on and Jiva is caught in cycle of birth and death, to reap the fruits his own actions through enjoyments and sufferings. Hence, we become slave of situations. In case, we take decisions based on qualities of soul viz. Love, peace, Happiness, Knowledge, Power, Purity and Bliss and believe the situations are creation of past karma, negative decision and behaviour shall be avoided as a result karmic account or samskara will not be formed.
Composition of Jiva:
Jiva in bondage is composed of three bodies’ viz. Causal Body (Karan sarira, innermost), Subtle Body (Sukshma sarira or Linga-sarira, middle) and Gross Body (Sthula sarira, outermost). The details are as under:
Attributes of Jiva:
According to Madhva, gradation and the classification each Jiva results from the uniqueness of each Jiva. As a reflection of Brahman every Jiva has in him a modicum of Brahman’s essential features – Sat-Chit-Ananda. But due to their own intrinsic capacities, they share these characteristics in varying degrees only. They all alike have a dependent existence, but their capacity to know vastly varies and their joy much more so. In the state of bondage, the differences in nature of Karma clouding them can easily account for this variation in their intelligence, joy and misery. Madhva classified Jivas in three types viz.
According to Vallabhacharya system, the classification of the Jivas is according to their varying capacities. The main classes are: Maryada, Pusti and Pravahini, and these have distinct goals to attain at the end of their evolution.
According to the Advaita system of Shankaracharya, Jivas are all similar in their nature and realize their identity with non-dual Brahman ultimately. Ignorance is the cause of bondage, and liberation is attained when ignorance is removed irrespective of whether the body is alive or not. There is no necessity of physical body for attainment of liberation. The body will fall only when the prarabdha karma of the current body is exhausted. But Ramanujacharya does not accept that an embodied person can be liberated. For, according to him, the cause of embodiment is Karma.
When jiva is suppressed by ignorance, its Dharmabhuta-jnana is contracted. When Jiva is liberated, he continues to maintain his individuality, his Dharmabhuta-Jnana expands and becomes merged in that of God.
Reference: Bhakti Schools of Vedanta – by Swami Tapasyananda, Sri Ramakrishna Math, Chennai.
Mind that Matters
As per modern science, brain is the most important part of the human body and functioning of its various parts have been identified. But science of Hinduism has also deeply probed into the mind. Mind is invisible to both the eye and the modern instruments of observations. It is not even made of the brain substances. Though it is an invisible substance, its activities can well be perceived. It is according to Hindu philosophy, a subtle and rarefied material.
Mind is a bundle of thought and Man is the product of the sum total of his thoughts. There is a world as long as there is mind. The world ceases to exist as a separate entity when the mind is annihilated. Thoughts are live vibrations. Each thought is a magnet and pulls in its like. Mind is full of energy. It is the author of all actions. The body is only the instrument. Lack of understanding of the inner structure of human is the cause of woes and suffering in domestic, social and political spheres.
Mind takes the form of the thing thought of. The whole universe has its existence due to the presence of the thought behind it. So, we say that in the mind both the external and the internal worlds are held and conditioned. The mind acts as a medium of communication between soul and matter. Man, who has the right mastery of the mind will have a mind full of peace. The mind has to be calmed and for that all sadhanas have to be performed systematically in the kriya manner and method.
The realization of the spiritual unity everywhere is affected by the cessation of all thoughts, or in other words, the utter annihilation of mind. The human in every one is to die, so that divine shall be revealed. This can be done through meditation, which neither means holding the mind in a negative dreamy state, nor on vague abstractions, but necessitates a continuous flow of thought towards the ideal, without any break and with a harmony between reason and emotion.
Genesis of Thoughts:
The mind constitutes the subtle body in every creature and does not die with the death of the body, but goes on along with the soul into another physical body & take re-birth to work and gather further experience through the medium of a subsequent body more suited to its purpose.
In subsequent birth, every child brings with it impressions from past lives in the form of tendencies, which can be classified partly as moral and good ones and others as evil or immoral. The latter are the kleshas (afflictions, poisons) which ought to be modified and sublimated. The problem that one has to face is how to change an undesirable trait of character or how to cultivate a good habit in place of a bad one.
These tendencies create constant impulses in mind to trigger thoughts and in turn actions which may be negative or positive. The negative thoughts cause Kama (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (attachment), mada (over pride), matsara (jealousy), swartha (selfishness), adamber (hypocrisy), anyaaya (injustice), ahankara (false ego) etc. The positive thoughts cause truthfulness, self-control, purity, dominance over the senses, simplicity, devotion, service, generosity, equality, tranquility etc.
Impulses repeated from an idea. Ideas repeated become an act. Actions repeated become character and character repeated molds the very creator of habit. A word is a vehicle for the thought to express itself. A noble and God like character is not of accident or a chance, but is the natural results of continued effort in right thinking.
These negative thoughts and feelings close up the channels of the body and mar the life forces in their flow. If the mind is not properly trained, the gross body will suffer from innumerable diseases. These are devils which crush the mind and injure the body. Poison and secreting cells are developed by them. The free circulation of blood is disturbed.
World of Mind:
Though the mind seems to exist in the body or the world, in the real sense, the body and world exist in the mind. The real universe is the occasion of the reaction of the mind and the mind is a mixture of actions and reactions. We generally note that it breaks into two and one half of it stands alongside as the witness, while the ‘other half’ goes on functioning. We have to master the lower mind with the higher mind. To conquer the mind is to conquer the world, since the mind and world are but the observe and reverse of the one and the same thing.
Attributes of Mind:
Mind is like sea which is sometimes turbulent, sometimes calm and sometimes silent. Sometimes, it experiences tsunami. Ripples in the sea are like thoughts in mind. When no ripple, no thought.
The mind is collective essence of the five elements (prathivi, jal, vayu, akasha and agni – solid, liquid, gas, space and energy) and compound of three attributes - tamasic (lethargy, dullness), rajasic (activity) and sattvic (rhythm). Mind is the receptacle of senses & factory of thoughts. The three states, instinct, reason and superconscious, (i.e., the unconscious, conscious and superconscious states), belong to one and the same mind. A man works the predominance of one guna alone at a time. When one guna is in play, the other two are at rest. It is thus a man is sometimes found to be dull, sometimes active and sometimes well-balanced. The tamasic nature in man is to be combated and conquered by a rajasic nature and this, in turn by a sattvic nature. And this sattvic guna also is to be dissolved and transcended by us to be ever in perfect unity with the universal consciousness. It is of the highest importance to make the mind lose itself in the infinite.
Functions of Mind:
Mind has four functions – thinking or knowing (Manas), likes or dislikes based on past memories (Chitta), discrimination & decision-making (buddhi, intellect) and I-ness to control other functions (Ahamkara). A man’s will-power is his power to deliberately wish and decide how to act. Passion are strong feelings of likes and dislikes, which rush like an unexpected flood and excite men and women to certain actions, making them to lose control of mind and body. Passions arise from lust, desire, hope and delight in things out of hatred, disgust, fear and anger. Passions are blind. Through will force, the mind and senses can be curbed.
Heaven & Hell in Mind:
The strength of the body depends on that of the mind, whose strength, in turn, depends on that of the spirit (Atman). Happiness proceeds from neither woman nor wealth, but from mind. Later the soul is the enjoyer.
Anger, envy, jealousy, malice, worry etc., should not find lodgment in the mind. These are devils which crush the mind and injure the body. Poison and secreting cells are developed by them. The free circulation of blood of the body and mar the life forces in their flow. On the contrary, love, the divine treasure in one and all of us, finds no obstructing reactions anywhere and it expands our little life by remolding the human in each and fashioning every one of us into a child of light (the light of sacchidananda).
We make our heaven or hell on earth by our petty desires and demands and what we do here makes or mars our hereafter. The mind that pursues the steps of its own whims, fancies and caprices is caught in its own cocoon of desires.
Vacuum cleaning of Mind:
Mastering the mind:
The person who has the right mastery of the mind, will have a mind full of peace.
Reference: Voice of Babaji – by V T Neelakantan, S A A Ramaiah, Babaji Nagaraj
Love is a feeling of strong and positive emotional and mental states. Love is commonly contrasted with hate (or neutral, apathy). Love-hate is for creation, maintenance and destruction of this world. Love also has a profound effect on our mental and physical state. A ‘broken heart' or a failed relationship can have disastrous effects; bereavement disrupts human physiology and might even precipitate death. Love can be impersonal (for object, principle, goal etc.) and interpersonal (between human beings).
Among living organisms, the natural love and attraction is the root of reproduction, growth and multiplication. In unicellular organisms, reproduction is asexual wherein the two strands of DNA repel and duplicates; wherein Hate-Love relationship is involved. In multicellular organisms, mostly sexual reproduction takes place due strong attraction between male and female. So, love creates and is responsible for organic growth and multiplications. Dopamine, oxytocin and Serotonin are neurochemicals which help in making love.
Love-Hate also exists in non-living and inorganic matter. The matter is made of minute particles – molecules, atoms, electron, proton, neutron and so on at micro level and Galaxies, stars, planets, moon etc. at macro level. Scientifically, the very basis of their existence and continuously held together are electro-magnetic attraction among these microscopic particles and gravitational force or attraction among galaxies and planetary systems.
Learn to love. Love one. Love all. Love your enemy as much as you could love your friend. Love the mute animals as if they are human. No barriers of family tie, no caste or communal considerations, no territorial boundary should obstruct the even flow of your universal love. No despising of the sinner, no consciousness of superiority towards those who are less advanced, no hatred of the vicious. Love all and lovingly lead them on.
Forms of Love:
Love has different forms, gradations of intensity and facets. Love may be for food, for relationships, for wealth, for particular profession, for wine & narcotics, for opposite sex, for plants & animals, for humanity, for almighty and so on. Magnetic attraction or love may manifest mildly to very intensely. Sometimes, one becomes very possessive for a particular person or thing. Love may germinate due selfish motive or selflessness, though very-very rarely. When selfish love turns into universal love then one sees divinity in all.
In Greek language, nine forms of love have classified - Eros (passionate love), Pragma (enduring love), Ludus (playful love), Agape (universal love), Philia (deep friendship), Philautia (self-love), Storge (familial love) and Mania (obsessive love).
In Hinduism, divine love or Bhakti is deeply probed and is one of the four means of salvation or liberation from the cycle of re-births. Various forms of love are explained based on selfish motives and selfless pure love.
1. Sattvika Love - It is done to attain the almighty. It originates from intellect or Buddhi. When the person doing sattvika love desires Moksha, it is Sagun bhakti. When he loses all the desires of fruit, it becomes Nirgun or Nishkam love. It is pure love for the almighty.
2. Rajasika Love – It is done to attain worldly comforts.
3. Tamsika Love – It is done for attaining special powers (siddhis).
4. Sakamya Love or Gauna Love – It is devotion with desire for material gains.
Gradations of Love:
Sri Vallabhacharya has explained the different stages of love. Love has ten evolutionary stages of growth –
Love in Hinduism:
In the Chaitanya school, about twenty characteristics are enumerated as expressions of the unique Divine sentiment of Maha-Bhava in both its phases as love in union and love in separation such as intense longing, inability to bear separation, readiness to bear even intense pain in the interest of the beloved, loss of the sense of time, power to influence one’s environment with the intensity of one’s feeling, loss of sense of self even in normal consciousness, loss of all fear of death and welcoming it as the means for elemental union with Sri Krishna, supra-normal behaviour that looks like ‘Divine Madness’ and so on. The Maha-Bhava is said to have manifested only in Gopikaa and in some divine incarnations like Sri Chaitanya and Sri Ramakrishna.
The existence of God may be a subject of debate. To talk of God is not belief. Man, a finite being consciously feel for something unknown. They begin to unravel the mystery of infinite. They hear from the depth of their soul its irresistible call. Though the human body is finite the heart does not throb to its infinite capacity because the infinite reveals Itself in the inmost recesses of the human heart. It is man who seeks God for its own sake.
What is God:
The difference between man and man and between other animate and inanimate objects lies in the degree of divine manifestation. But there is unity of existence. In fact, at soul level and material level, there is no difference between she or he. It is only temporary appearance which is different. God is both with and without form and yet transcends both. He alone can say what else he is. God with form and God without form are like ice and water. Under the intensifying influence of the deep devotion of his worshipper, the Infinite reduces himself as it were, into the finite and appears before him as a Being with form.
God comes before us in the form of the needy, the sick, the poor, the wretched, is not a stranger to us, at all. Our salvation consists in the salvation of all who are the veritable manifestations of God.
Divine expresses into four cosmic powers – Wisdom, Strength, Harmony and Work – which are the bases of the four types of personality in the human mind. The wisdom of ancient India saw four powers of the creative. God manifests in four types of human beings, and called them as Brahmana, the Kshatirya, Vaishya and Sudra.
The thought of God has a wonderful effect on the human soul. It wholly transforms a man’s character. Those who establish them based on the highest purity, unselfishness and intense love. The divine love – in any form whether any deity or guru, gradually grows to perfection.
What Hinduism says:
A man cannot have both enjoyment of monetary sensual pleasures and enjoyment of permanent spiritual bliss. This world is not an illusion. It is a relative realty, while Brahman is an absolute Reality.
Unless the person is purified and become as little child, he shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven i.e., bliss. Purity is freedom from unholy desires. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. The nearer a man approaches his goal, the more he captures his lost purity. He has less and less to conceal. Secretiveness becomes alien to him. A pure soul willingly lets others know. He is not disturbed by the shame of the guilty. His nudity is not nakedness. A pure soul is often an enigma to the worldly-minded. Innocence does not resist evil simply because it does not see it.
Reference: Voice of Babaji – by V T Neelakantan, S A A Ramaiah, Babaji Nagaraj
Science in Sanskrit Syllables
According to NASA, Sanskrit is the most scientific language, suitable to develop computer programming for their Artificial Intelligence program. The grammar also makes Sanskrit suitable for machine learning and even artificial intelligence. The first research paper published in this regard was by NASA scientist Rick Briggs in 1985. In Germany, 14 of the top universities teach Sanskrit. North America - primarily the US - has the largest number of Sanskrit academic institutions. Sanskrit is taught in several other countries such as Russia, Japan etc.
Sanskrit is co-original with the Vedas. The Vedas cannot be studied without the six Vedangas of which the first three deal with the spoken aspects of the language. These are Siksha (how to pronounce the letters of the syllables), Vyakarna (grammar, meaningful word formations), and Niruktam (certain fundamental root words). The fourth, Chandas describes the formation of sentences in metrical form. The remaining two Vedandas are Kalpa and Jyothisha, deal with space and time.
What is Akshara:
It is fascinating to trace the science in Sanskrit syllables. Traditionally, syllables (not letters) in Sanskrit are called Akshara, meaning "imperishable (entity)": "atoms" of speech, as it were. Akshara denotes the set of letters of Sanskrit. Akshara (aksha + ra) represents the A to Z of the wheel of creation itself which is characterized by the union of Shakti (aksha) and Shiva (ra) respectively. The sounds and thoughts which manifest from the mantras and sacred syllables (bijaksharas) reflect the power of speech and the power of thought which grows exponentially when they are illuminated by the light of Shiva or intelligence.
Science in Akshara:
Each akshara is mapped to a concept or significance. The collection of aksharas could form a set of concepts forming a ‘periodic table’ and by stringing Aksharas in suitable order and composition, one could use sound as a very powerful tool. Select words and seed Mantas (Bijaksharas) in Sanskrit are then interpreted using this conceptual basis. The concept and significance of each Sanskrit syllable has been properly dealt with in an article named - Akshara – The Forgotten Periodic Table by Sai Venkatesh Balasubramanian and Gomathi Balasubramanian.
The sound of akshara does not ever get destroyed. There are two aspects of non-destruction:
Number of Aksharas:
Aksharas are classified mainly into two types: Svara and Vyanjana. A consonant derives its name from the sound when the basic vowel "a", is sounded with the consonant. In Sanskrit and in other Indian languages, each consonant has a generic form in which its pronunciation will not have any vowel sound associated with it.
Stress or Tension
Stress or tension is an inevitable part of a busy, modern life. Stress by definition is, “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension”. Stress is not always harmful since increased stress results in increased productivity. During stress, body responds by releasing hormones that increase your heart and breathing rates and ready your muscles to respond.
As per research done (07.08.2014) by American Psychological Association, American Institute of Stress, major causes of stress are job related, money, health, relationships, poor nutrition, digital or media overload and sleep deprivation. These causes include job related - co-worker tension, bosses, work overload; money – loss of job, retirement, medical expenses; Health – health problems, chronic illness; Relationships – fights with spouse or other relations, death of spouse, divorce, loneliness; Poor nutrition; digital or media overload – TV, internet, social networking; Sleep deprivation etc.
Nearly 9 in 10 Indians suffer from stress. As per findings of the 2018 Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey - Future Assured, conducted by Cigna TTK Health Insurance, show that stress levels are higher in Indian compared with other developed and emerging countries. 95 per cent of Indian millennials between the age group of 18-34 are stressed compared to the global average of 86 per cent.
Stress is, “a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.” The root cause of stress is uncertainties. Fears, hatred, dislike, jealousy etc. are accumulated since birth and cause disruptive interaction with others. Much of the discontentment or stress is also due to behaviour of others and disruptive interactions.
Every psycho-physiological disturbance, every negative and destructive emotion causes conflict in the brain. This interferes with the normal tonic rhythm of the muscles and keeps them in an abnormally high state of stress. This over-activation of the muscles without the corresponding muscular activity results in a continual drain of energy from the body.
Impact of chronic stress:
Chronic stress can cause a variety of symptoms and affect your overall well-being. Symptoms of chronic stress include: irritability, anxiety, depression, headache, insomnia etc. Continuous mental tension leads to excessive muscular fatigue which ultimately results into chronic fatigue. Due to this, there continued drain of energy from the body. The digestive system, circulatory and respiratory systems have to work harder to provide more energy. Eventually, the body become less efficient and general health of body declines. Often there is a breakdown of one or more of these organs leading to ailments such as arthritis, coronary problems, constipation, asthma and so on. The endocrine system also suffers.
Further, emotional responses due to tension, automatically inject adrenalin into the bloodstream which causes contraction of muscles, contraction of blood vessels, increases the heart and respiratory rates, speeds up the thought processes and so on. Injection of adrenalin in bloodstream is warranted only during emergencies. But modern living abuses the emergency response system and eventually leads to malfunctioning of various organs and inefficiency. This is the precise reason of life style diseases – diabetes, cardiac stroke, BP, ulcers, brain stroke and so on.
Stress & Hinduism:
Memory is storehouse of past experiences which determine reactions in the similar situations. Hence, the mind is conditioned. These past experiences are stored as impressions (sanskars) and vasanas (deep-rooted desires) in sub-conscious realms. These impressions form the attitudes which are continuously updated in the light of new experiences.
Impressions stored in subconscious realms in the form of Prejudices, complexes, fears, etc. filter the incoming data. The perceptions from external situations sent through sensory nerves are processed in the subconscious realms of the mind in the light of impressions stored there. We have several prejudices such as some generally see good points of their favourite friends or relatives, whereas worst points of others; etc.
People have inherent fears. People have different fears such as fear of death, fear of failures fear from heights, fear from lonely or dark place etc. People are born with certain complexes such as undue attachment with the parent of opposite sex (Oedipus/Electra Complex), person views themselves as having God-like powers (God Complex), person that believes they are better than everyone else (Superiority Complex), person that always blames things that go wrong on themselves (Guilt Complex), person wants to be centre of attention (Hero Complex) etc.
Swami Satyananda Saraswati ji formulated following codes: