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Celibacy/Abstinence/Aasana-s and Ego management


Dear Dhananjay Prabhu,

N/b: I am obese and just out of the teen group

1) When doing tittli aasana as a padmaasana aspirant, how close to the groin should the joint legs (the flappy bird) be?

2) When doing halaasana, during the return journey how should we be breathing? Is it okay if it is impossible to keep the legs together and straight during the initial stages, keeping in mind and attempting to reach the eventual goal?

3) What should one say when pressurized by people of other faiths to convert to their faith? And references are made to Idol and cow worship and mockery in general with regard to our faith? The blood starts boiling, answers are expected and the yogi must tread carefully.

4) How can one handle irritation, conflict from others, hatred for injustice performed by others etc.

Sometimes this 'injustice' can be anger at dalits, whites, women etc. learning the vedas (albeit minute portions) and swelling in a pompous bubble at their achievement.

Sometimes this can be religious intolerance, hypocrisy and other legitimate subjects which still manage to unsettle the mind.

5) Is it possible to keep the ego at bay while engaging in mundane conversation at the unavoidable family function? As you know, the awkward silence is not always possible. What is your advice on this?

1. The heels of the joined feet should be under the groin and the sides of the upper calf muscles should firmly rest on the ground.

2. Halasana: Lie flat on the floor with the arms extended beside the legs and take a slow, deep breath (Puraka). Hold the breath in retention (Kumbhaka) and gently raise the legs. When the legs become vertical, very slowly start releasing the breath (Rechaka), accompanied by lowering the legs behind the head. Maintain the final pose with slow and easy breathing.

Before the return, perform another Puraka and gently bring the legs back to the vertical position in the state of Kumbhaka. From this point, start slow Rechaka and gently lower the legs back to the ground as slowly as possible. With practice, one should keep the legs completely straight, throughout the Asana. They are to be lowered one at a time.

3. Getting into arguments or debates as regards any topic is the resort of the fool. The wise Yogi maintains silence to the best extent possible and neither projects his views, nor questions those of others, for such activity is nothing but a projection of one's Ego. He maintains his state of calmness by holding on to the state of the self, irrespective of what others say or don't.

4. Let go of the Ego which perceives all these illusions and be quiet. Your duty is to be in the self, as the self and not be this or that.

5. It is not awkward silence which is required. One need not appear unsociable. What is required is be internally quiet, with complete lack of internal involvement in what others say or don't, though externally smiling and nodding one's head, as though interested (All the time holding on to one's self in action and not words ). Let people say or do as they want to. Let them say the crow is white and that the Sun is black. By what way are you concerned with all these useless discussions? Will such a debate take you closer to realizing your self? Will worthless talk ending in heated arguments remove the 'Agnyana' (ignorance) surrounding your Atman or improve your wellbeing? The wise do not get trapped in such foolishness.

Arguing, debating or even forcefully projecting one's views as regards any topic, be it material or spiritual is nothing but a projection of one's own Ego. The Yogi who wishes his well being, so as realize himself does not indulge in such foolishness, which is of no benefit to anybody. He remains calm and quiet internally, with an outward smile, behaving as though he knows nothing, keeping his Ego snubbed under his feet. The urge to argue or debate belongs to the Ego. It is the Ego which gets hurt by insult or happy with praise. Let go of it. Your duty is to kill the Ego which knows nothing, yet tries to show it knows everything. Let people have their views, whatever those be. Hold on to the self and be quiet, always at peace.

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


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


The term 'Yoga' is a derivative of the Samskruth verb 'Yuj' which refers to union. 'Yoga', also called 'Brahma vidy‚' is the eternal dissolution of the individual 'Aham' (Ego) into the Atman (self) for 'Mukti' (liberation). Mere indulgence in '¬sana' or physical postures is not Yoga. ¬sana is only one limb or 'Anga' of Yoga. The eight limbs viz. Yama, Niyama, ¬sana, Pr‚n‚y‚ma, Praty‚h‚ra, Dh‚rana, Dhy‚na and Sam‚dhi 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."


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