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Question
Dhananjay, hi

I read in one of your posts about the electromagnetic field cell phones create and how they make uninterrupted sleep virtually impossible. Is it advisable to switch cell phones off while sleeping? Do they cause the same effect when switched off, I am presuming not but just wanted to be sure. Also, should they be kept off while performing bandh,nadi shodan, paranayam and meditation?
Re meat eating, how is it harmful to the spiritual aspirant? If taken in moderation, is it still an impediment to spiritual advancement, I am asking because I have read about self realised masters who used to eat meat, in moderation though.
Hope you are well? Thanks, Manish

Answer
1. A cell phone can be switched off while sleeping. Switching a cell phone off negates the transmission and makes it safe. If this isn't possible, it should preferably be placed at least 20 ft from the body. The 'Linga Sharira' (astral body) is susceptible to the effect of vibration and radiation of all kinds up to a distance of 20ft. While at home/office, it is best not to carry a mobile phone on the body but place it as far away from the body as possible. It makes a lot of sense to switch cell phones off when not in use or when not expecting a call and limit their use to the minimum. During Yogic practices and meditation, cell phones should be switched off or kept in silent at least 20 ft away.

2. Why avoid meat during the initial years of practice:

• Meat is highly ‘Rajasic’ (activating) in nature. It makes the mind prone to anger, passion, agitation, desire and a host of other lower traits and emotions. It opposes tranquility and calmness and promotes aggression and sexuality. Wet dreams and sexual fantasy become frequent and intense. These are traits which work against the beginner Yogi aspiring to achieve unbroken Brahmacharya and deep meditation. Hence the beginner would do well to give up meat. At least till one becomes an Urdhvareta, meat is best avoided.

• The human oral and digestive system is not meant to handle much meat. The human digestive system is alkaline and does not have enough acid to digest large chunks of meat. The intestines are not designed to assimilate large volumes of meat. Hence digestion becomes slow and the food rots within the system for longer than 48 hours. This produces many toxins. The body becomes impure and prone to disease. The rotting material within the system leads to violent emotions, anger and a host of other mood problems. It pollutes and fouls the mind. Meditation becomes very difficult. Shifting to vegetarian food solves these problems to a large extent. Some details are available at: http://www.celestialhealing.net/physicalveg3.htm.

3.  A self-realized master was once moving in the forest with some of his disciples. He had ordered them not to touch meat. At one point of time, the master ate some meat himself. A student who saw this exclaimed –“Master asks us not to eat meat while he himself is eating it”. The master kept silent. When they arrived in town, they came upon a blacksmith who was melting bars of iron in the smithy. The master took a red hot molten block of steel with his bare hands, put it into his mouth, chewed on it and swallowed it. He now asked the complaining disciple to do the same. The disciple shrunk in horror.

The master said –“When you are able to do what I did, then it does not matter to you whether you derive your energy from a plant or a piece of meat. You absorb the one underlying Prana (vital energy) present in all things. You have developed the ability to absorb the essence of a thing and reject the rest. You experience the one Brahman (Almighty) in all things, living and non-living. You have become one with that Almighty and there is nothing different than HIM. All has become HIM. Till then, till such a state (‘Gunatita’ – beyond the three Guna-s or traits – Sattwa, Rajas, Tamas) is achieved, you cannot supersede the limitations you find yourself with.” The disciple realized his mistake and fell at the feet of the master asking for his forgiveness.

We need not know why the master, himself being a vegetarian ate meat on that particular occasion. He would have had some reason which is beyond our comprehension. He might have eaten it just to show his disciples the freedom from limitations which come upon self-realization.  He might have done it to illustrate that  a piece of flesh and a piece of red hot steel were both the same to him, for he saw the all pervading Brahman (Almighty) within all things. What one can be rest assured is that this eating was not fueled by desire for the taste.  A realized soul is in a state of bliss and intasy which cannot even be remotely comprehended by the normal man. Earthly pleasures appear completely tasteless. Not being in the state of body, mind and psyche as that of a realized soul, the common man cannot understand the ways of God and that of those who have united with HIM. For that, we ourselves should reach and experience that state. It is very common for realized masters to stay without food, sleep and water for more than 6 months at a stretch. Can the common man do it? They have transcended all that exists on the Earthly plane and are beyond these limitations. Hence the ‘Sadhak’ (aspirant) should not compare himself to a self-realized soul, nor try to behave that way.

Giving up meat and staying strictly vegetarian during the initial years of practice goes a long way in becoming independent of the senses through their restraint (Indriya-Nigraha) which is mandatory for self-realization. It helps achieve unbroken Brahmacharya and the state of an ‘Urdhvaretha’. This is based on my personal experience. This should be reason enough to the serious aspirant wanting nothing more than unbroken Brahmacharya for self-realization to give up meat gradually if not all of a sudden.

ॐ तत् सत्
(That Supreme being is the absolute truth)  

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Dhananjay

Expertise

Questions concerning the practice of 'Brahmacharya' to know the self, & the means required are dealt with here.

Experience

The term 'Yoga' is a derivative of the Samskruth verb 'Yuj' which refers to union. 'Yoga', also called 'Brahma vidyâ' is the eternal dissolution of the individual 'Aham' (Ego) into the Atman (self) for 'Mukti' (liberation). Mere indulgence in 'Âsana' or physical postures is not Yoga. Âsana is only one limb or 'Anga' of Yoga. The eight limbs viz. Yama, Niyama, Âsana, Prânâyâma, Pratyâhâra, Dhârana, Dhyâna and Samâdhi are the means to Yoga. Brahmacharya or spiritually based continence is one of the important components of 'Yama'. 'Brahmacharya':- "Brahmani charyathey ithi" - "To surrender one's Ego and go with the will of the Almighty."

Education/Credentials
Bachelors degree in Engineering.

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