Identify What Embodiment Needs
1. In the previous session [Lesson 12] I mentioned that we will be looking into the fact that dhyana is a… “must” for embodiment.
Our embodiment needs so many things. We cannot take only what we… want. We also have to cater to what our embodiment needs. For example, no one likes to swallow medicine. But, then, don’t we take medicine because something in us needs that medicine…?
2. We have an illusion that it is our embodiment — “It is my body, my mind….” There are so many things which are ours. Even if we don’t like it, don’t need it, and don’t want it, we have to take medicine…, for example….
This is because we are a body of… mine — my things, my body, my organs, my mind, my psyche, my senses, my consciousness. They are all mine. We are not just me. We are a body of mine. The [aggregation of] my things come together to denote me.
There are so many things that you don’t like, but you [do]…. Your child may ask you to do certain things that you don’t want to do…, but you do them for the sake of your child.
3. Our embodiment is similar. Most of the embodiment is unknown to exoteric anatomy and physiology. Scientists say that 90-95% of the brain is not still mapped — as if 100% of the body were mapped…. They [may] claim that they have mapped the whole body, but they have not mapped the mind. In fact, even the body is not totally mapped because anatomy does not reveal [all] aspects of the embodiment.
It will be interesting to note that the English word anatomy… has come from the Sanskrit word anatmya, non-soul, non-Self. What is not-Self is our body. That is why it is called anatomy. So they are only investigating what is not our Self. The whole of medicine — the anatomy, physiology — tries to survey, …read, …map all that which is non-Self. The Self is not in its purview.
4. There are so many aspects of embodiment in the science of yoga which [require] you to look into esoteric anatomy and physiology. Perhaps we know what exoteric anatomy needs — what the skin, flesh, muscles, bones, tissues, cells, blood, liver, stomach, colon, bladder, spleen, pancreas, and the brain need — and, then,… cater to all those needs with our diet.
Strangely, modern dietetics identifies all that is needed for body matters. They say, “This is good for skin, this is good for muscles, this is good for flesh, this is good for bones, this is good for blood, this is good for liver…, stomach, colon, bladder, spleen, pancreas, intestines, duodenum,” and, then, they give a scheme. They only consider what the body organs need, and then they say, “This is good for you.” They don’t even consider the mind in modern dietetics….
There are so many unidentified things in the study of body sciences…. [If something]… remains unidentified, you cannot [ascertain] what it needs.
That is a travesty. Within yourselves, within your embodiment, there are so many unidentified things. [But] you will never come to know what they need.
Needs of Gross & Subtle Bodies +7.10
1. In our wisdom lore… this embodiment has three aspects — sthula sharira (gross body), sukshma sharira (subtle body)— which is also called the astral body — and the karana sharira (causal body).
We [mistakenly] only consider what the gross body needs, and then try to cater to the requirements of the gross body…. Gross body means the corporeal body, the body of cells, and the psychological mind, temporal mind, and empirical mind. These aspects [comprise]… the gross body.
2. The subtle body underlies the gross body. It is [also] called the astral body. Some modern philosophers call it the electronic body. This is the body which transmigrates. It doesn’t take birth when our body takes birth, when we take birth. It doesn’t die when we die. It transmigrates. It is an ageless body. It is an ageless body of psyche, consciousness, the infrastructural body, and mind….
The subtle body can not be seen by radiology, or any [other] mechanical [means], which have already been, or will be, developed by science…. They will never be able to catch that subtle body, which transmigrates, is birthless and deathless, and [thus] an ageless body.
Do we ever bother about what that body needs? We can only see what our mortal body needs, which has been born…, and goes through different stages, such as growth, then decay, and then death. So we have [mistakenly] only considered that body.
3. But the wisdom of the lore identifies the subtle body, the sukshma sharira, and the causal body, the karana sharira…. The adhyatma [Self] considers what that subtle body and the causal body need.
The scheme is quite simple. The list for our gross body…, which is the physical, corporeal body, and the psychological mind, needs activity, nourishment, exercise, rest, recovery, medicine, purification by bath, etc…. Study what the gross body and the mind require. We have been catering to our body and mind to [whatever] extent possible, [to meet those] needs….
4. All that the gross body and mind, the sthula sharira, needs is also needed by the subtle body. But the scheme has been simplified. You don’t have to take that body to the dining table, to the bathroom, to the gym, to bed, to a clinic, etc…. Adhyatma [Self] says that all the needs of the gross body are [also] the needs of subtle body.
But there is just one measure…, one means through which all that will be done. That is why we don’t really have to take care of the subtler body, subtler mind, in the sense we try to take care of our grosser body and grosser mind.
5. Actually we need to take a different care of the subtler body, particularly in the… field of yoga. The Bhagavad Gita says yoga is fructified after a journey of several, several, several lives –
aneka-janma-samsiddhas tato yati param gatim
[The yogi…] attains perfection (samsiddhas) not in a single birth (aneka-janma). Then (tatas) he reaches (yati) the highest (param) goal (gatim). [Bhagavad Gita VI.45]
Yoga does not fructify in one lifetime. It is not a material endeavor which one might attain in one lifetime. Several lives are consumed for… yoga to fructify.
6. That means the transmigrating body needs to be taken care of. How to take care of it… comes from the adhyatma shastras (texts pertaining to the Self). It says that you only need to do one thing for that subtle body, the ageless body, and that will take care of everything. It will [provide] its nourishment, activity, exercise, purification like the bathing, etc., recreation, and treatments. [Just as] our gross body and mind need treatments from physicians and psychiatrists, the subtle body [also] needs such care. But, there are no physicians and psychiatrists for the subtle body… and mind.
Subtle Body Needs Japa +15.00
1. What is this marvelous measure? This marvelous measure is japa. Japa of what? Patanjali has expressly mentioned this, but we students of Patanjala yoga, who claim that we are ardent followers of the Patanjali Yoga Sutra, have conveniently set aside this instruction which has come from Patanjali in the niyamas — svadhyaya. Svadhyaya (Self-study) [also] comes in kriya yoga.
Patanjali has a concept of svadhyaya which comes even in the niyamas. [Although] we all claim that we are adhering to the ashtanga yoga of Patanjali, we have conveniently overlooked it.
2. Svadhyaya means we have only considered self-study but the science expressly, explicitly, says
pranava-adi mantra-nama japah ||
japa is the repetition of the preeminent (adi) mantra called (nama) pranava (the sacred syllable AUM).
It is japa of pranava [AUM], etc., mantras. There are several mantras…. Carrying out japa [repetition] of these mantras, will take care of the subtle body in every aspect. Right from nourishment, to bathing, to exercise, to recreation, to rest, to respite, to any remedial [needs], all cares will be taken care of by just [this] one measure…. Take recourse to the means called japa.
3. The japa may not work for your grosser body. Many of us have experienced that, and that’s why we are not inclined to do japa. [When] we don’t seem to be getting any tangible benefits, most of us say that it’s a waste of time. We are wasting our time because we are not reaping anything…. [If] you have such a shallow logic, [then you will conclude] there is no point in spending time for mantra-japa, pranava-japa, gayatri-japa, and the many other mantras….
We think that these japas won’t work; that they don’t really give any tangible benefits to us. That’s why we easily deem that it is all a waste of time, a waste of energy, [so there is] no point in doing it. [We want to] be more practical about it. Life… has become overtly practical. That’s why we… are, and will be, neglecting it.
4. So adhyatma-shastra (texts pertaining to the Self) say
nama, mantra, pranava
mantra is called (nama) pranava (AUM)
Take recourse to japa, even silent utterance. There are so many ways to utter those. You can utter orally, mentally, expressly, silently and anywhere, [while] walking, talking, moving, eating. You can be doing it.
It doesn’t really [require] that you must sit here and there, this way and that way, for this duration and that duration etc.
So there are so many kinds of japas. If you look into the japa-shastra one of the japas is chala-japa. Chala means mobile. You can do it while you are in motion…, moving, …active. The japa can be done anywhere, anytime, even in any way.
It is such a liberal kind of… instruction. There are so many kinds of japas…. [Although] it is such a liberal offer…, we neglect it. Howsoever, the shastras are magnanimous and liberal.
5. So where is the dhyana then? There is a definition of dhyana
japa is dhyana [Vishnu Purana 2,6.44]
This comes in Shrimad Bhagavata Purana, which has this definition that mere japa is dhyana.
In the Bhagavad Gita, the Lord says you just have to offer me ordinary things — a patram (leaf of a tree), a pushpam (flower), a phalam (fruit), toyam (water). [BG IX.26] He doesn’t expect you to make a big offering, just water, just a leaf, just a flower is enough.
Similarly, here [the same applies to] japa, whether you are involved or not involved, whether the japa is taking place very scrupulously, or not. You need not even be integrated. If you are integrated, [that is] well and good. But even if you are not really integrated, it says just take the name of God, take the nama, utter the mantra, utter the pranava.
So such a liberal offer does not [require] any conditions, any stipulations. You don’t even have to qualify. Nama-japa is the greatest means of adhyatmic evolvement in these times of the Kali-yuga (dark age of spirituality).
Harer nama, Harer nama, Harer nama iva kevalam ||
The holy name of Lord Hari, only (kevalam) the holy name of Lord Hari [Charita-amrta Madhya 6.242]]
Vyasa, raising both or his arms, hands, says just take recourse to Hari-nama. He says it three times in the Vishnu-dharma-uttara Purana. The point is you just have to do the japa without any condition, or stipulation. It is such a liberal offer that will work for the subtler body.
Indriyas Are Not Organs +22.20
1. All the parts of our body and mind are not called organs, as they are called in English. Nor are they called avayava, parts. We should be proud of our ancient wisdom that they have the right kind of description of all these.
They are called indriyas. They are called jnanendriya, karmendriya, sharirendriya, manasindriya (organs of sense, action, body, mind). So we have indriyas of digestive system, circulatory system, endocrine system, generative system, psycho-mental system, nervous system. All these systems of the body are of indriyas.
2. The word is indriya. What is this word indriya? The word indriya comes from the word [Lord] Indra. What is Indra? Who is Indra? In the pantheon of the ancient Vedic religion, Indra is the king of all gods…, semi-gods, demi-gods, semi-deities, demi-deities… All gods are the forces which work under him. He is the supreme of all the gods. That’s why he is Indra, and all these are indriyas.
What is this inflection? Indriya is inflected from word Indra, [just] like we say Bharat-Bharatiya (India – Indian), America-American, Japan-Japanese, China-Chinese, Australia-Australian. Similarly, all these are indriyas, which means of Indra. That is why they are called indriyas.
They are not called organs. It is wrong to translate the word indriya into English as organ, or the word organ in English as indriya. This is how the word has been derived. So all the deities are residing within us. The pantheon says there are 330 million deities…. So these deities are for various functions.
3. That is why this… embodiment is a real marvel! We have taken it for granted. We need to understand how marvelously any organ works, eyes, ears, nose, liver, stomach, colon, bladder, spleen, pancreas — [each] a great marvel. Every organ is a great marvel.
The heart is a great marvel. We should not have a mechanical view of the body. The heart works incessantly for 80-100 years, day in and day out, no sick leave, no privileged leave.
All these [indriya] are working in our body and some of them are really working without respite, without rest. The lungs, the breathing organs, and the heart, work incessantly without break, without respite.
Other organs may get some rest when you go to sleep. Your organ of mind sleeps, gets some rest. You can fast and rest your digestive organs. So other organs will find rest….
But some of the organs, vital organs such as lungs and heart, work incessantly. They don’t relent even for a moment, for any reason. It is a marvel that they work for so many decades. And the way they work, the way they function, is a marvel.
Explore this kind of information from the body sciences, body book. How the liver…, the pancreas…, or any organ works is a marvel. The kidney — do you know the size of the kidney, the dimension of the kidney? It contains some thousands of filters. Who produced and manufactured such a delicate organ and such a marvelous organ? Every organ is a marvel. We are a [collection] of marvels.
We ourselves are a marvel. Every organ of our body and mind is a marvel, but we don’t realize it. Why are they marvelous? Why are they super human? We might be all humans, but all which constitutes us really work on the super human plane. The way our organs of the body, organs of the mind, and the brain… work is a marvel.
Dhyana Serves Adhyatma (Self) +29.00
1. It is all celestial; it is all of the gods. And now we need to give something to these celestial forces. There are certain practices given by adhyatma (Self) which serve and subserve the celestial forces. Dhyana is one of such things. A noble thought will certainly give great contentment, nourishment to something in our subtle body. So, dhyana is a must in a form where there must be a noble thought process coming on a regular basis. We are given the brain, we are given the thought mechanism. Why are we so practical-minded [that we] try to keep it engaged for the practical purpose of life?
2. Why not also consider that there are celestial forces which are really managing it, handling it? Why not do something for them? A noble thought process, or hearing noble thought, [because] you may not have a noble thought…, will cater to them. So that’s why the dhyana comes that way as well.
It is not that you must assume a position, a dhyana position. It can be noble thought, sublime thought, mantra-japa, name of the divinity. Whether it appeals to you or not it will appeal to them…. If it doesn’t appeal to you, you will not continue. You will get bored… if it doesn’t appeal to you. But if it is appealing to something in you, something very vital in you…, you have to do it.
3. I will give you just a last example to conclude this session. How many of you relish castor oil? Is it like a delicious juice…? You might like the juice from rasa-gulla (sweet dumpling dessert), gulab-jamun (sweet dessert) — these are [sweet] juices. Or, we relish fruit juice. [Is there] anything within us that relishes castor oil as juice?
But something within us relishes that. That is the colon. Colon not only needs it, [but] colon likes it, colon wants it. It is wrong to conceive that it only needs it. It likes it because it lubricates it and it relishes it. We take it because we need it. We don’t take it because the colon likes it…. We do not know its likes and dislikes. We are not even aware of likes and dislikes of our heart, liver, stomach, colon, bladder, spleen, pancreas, intestines, duodenum.
We are only aware of what our eyes relish, what is good for our eyes, what is good for our ears — sonorous music, a beautiful…, bewitching sight. But there are so many subtle things… beyond all those, that have taste. Therefore, we take castor oil. No part of your mouth, or the passage through which it goes, seemingly likes it, but the end entity…, where it finally goes to the colon… relishes it, and we take it.
4. Similarly, the subtle body needs those things. It does not give us a long list, that you [need] this and that. Like the… crazy tongue, has no limit to its requisition (list of demands)…, from our senses. They have an endless list.
Here there is no such list — just dhyana — in the form of a merely noble thought, transcendent thought, sublime thought, or japa, nama, nama-sadhana, japa-sadhana. That’s all meditation, in the dhyana sense.
It doesn’t look for your qualification. We all are capable of doing that. We can [pray to] God, we can [say] the name of Bhagavan (the Lord), we can utter OM, we can utter mantras, utter nama. So that will certainly cater to, and take care of, the subtle body.
5. So japa is dhyana. Whether you are involved in japa, whether you are totally in it or not, just the act of japa is expected. What’s the problem? So also noble thought: the thought process which is sublime, a little transcendent, trans-material, trans-personal — that thought process — also nourishes those aspects of subtle body.
That is why dhyana is prescribed in adhyatma [sadhana], in yoga, and all so called spiritual practices. So understand this connotation of dhyana, you don’t have to sit, erect, firm, steady, be integrated…, involved, absorbed, etc. Even if its not there, you should do it. If you do it, the beneficiary is the subtle body. It will certainly receive the benefits. Try to understand this dimension of dhyana as well.
 In the previous session [Lesson 12] I mentioned that we will be looking into the fact that dhyana is a “must” for embodiment: “Dhyana of the Yoga Sages +21.10” Five Types of Dhyana 5-15-20 “So, there is a kind of dhyana which becomes imperative for a human being to be a good being. You must have that kind of dhyana. It is a must.”
 But there is just one measure…, one means through which all that will be done: Japa, the means, is the subject of the next topic.
 pranava-adi mantra-nama japah: My translation of the statement. Is he quoting Vyasa? VB I.28 | pranavasya japah pranava-abhidheyasya cha-ishvarasya bhavanam | (This means) the japa (repetition) of the pranava (symbol of AUM), and (cha) cultivating the feeling (bhavana) of Ishvara, who is denoted (abhidheya) by the pranava.
 nama, mantra, pranava: I believe he is summarizing the prior quote.
 Vyasa, raising both or his arms, hands, says just take recourse to Hari-nama. He says it three times in the Vishnu-dharma-uttara Purana: The Vishnu-dharma-uttara Purana (ca. 7th c. CE) is an upapurana that supplements the Vishnu Purana on cosmogeny, law, duty, dance, painting, etc.
 embodiment is a real marvel: marvel = ashcharya. See BG II.29 One sees the atman as a marvel…. This verse is drawn from Katha-Upanishad I.ii.7.