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Special Articles on Hindu Dharma ~ Level - 3 ~
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Realization of Supreme through Concentration of the Mind
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Chapter - 7
True Spiritual Discipline through Meditation
HR 322 - 07
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Lesson 07.03:
How will Karma and Bhakti rituals help Realization?
For Next Lesson
Please See Below
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The standards of practice of Hindu Dharma were thus well established by our Sages and Acharyas, guiding us in the practice of our faith with full freedom at the same time gave us all a peaceful mind and a healthy spirit in our life. With all these teaching of Vedanthas, we still continue to follow the rituals of our choice and pray to the Immanent form of the almighty through one of Its transcendental manifestation that we choose.

Here, the philosophy part of our Dharma was combined with the rituals of Vedas following Karma Yoga and the Prayers services and musical worship of Devotional practices of Bhakti Yoga, for the Transcendent forms of Paramatma as various Deities and avatharas, as also to the Divine forces of Nature as Upa-Devathas. While we have been praying to different forms and manifestations of the Supreme Paramathma, we always recognized that the prayers are all ultimately for the One and Only Supreme who comes to us in various manifestations, without ceasing to be "Himself", to support us. In spite of the various Transcendent forms of the manifestations, every Hindu recognizes the Nirguna Brahmam as the formless Immanent Reality of the Supreme behind every prayer offered. This is a realization that every Hindu Devotee gets while he prays to the several forms of the One Supreme as his personal Deity for worship.

Then we may get a question that what is the use for all these prayers when simple meditation will do and what is the use of meditation if our Karma decides all our future. Yes, our Karmas, Prarabdha, Sanchita and Agami Karmas, determines lots of our life now and in future. Performing Karmas properly now can wash off or soften the effects of future. As Swami Nikilananda says, while our past karmas can put a mountain in front of us, by proper karma and devotional worship to the Supreme, we get a stronger back to climb that mountain. The prayer may show a route to go around that mountain.

Proper karma is not just doing our professional work we are trained for to earn our living but sincerity in service and a service to the people, animals, to our ancestors and Devathas. A physician may need to work sometime for the poor and to those upholders of the faith like priests [of any religion] for free. In addition to working in office or factories one must spend some time in service for people, teaching the poor and cleaning the temples.

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Lesson 07.04:
The steps after Prayers and Rituals leading to Spirituality
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Most of us at Tamasika and Rajasika levels of devotion confine ourselves to some prayers and rituals. Some will pray in thoughts within their mind or Manasika Prayers at home or when they visit the temples. Then, at a more advanced level of Rajasika form of Ananya Bhakti, they learn from a teacher or priest some simple prayers to a particular Deity of their choice as Ishta Devata, and some even get formal initiation [Adhikara] for the prayers. They also visit different temples for various prayer services. This has been well preserved over several centuries through oral traditions, repeated recitation and memorization of the mantras only.

Thus, they get the adhikara for performing these prayer services. One must go further to Satvika level of devotion as Ekantha Bhakti and beyond that to full realization of the Supreme, while still follow the proper Karma and Bhakti paths. This path of Meditation and Raja Yoga will lead us to the supreme bliss with the path of Knowledge or Jnaana yoga and ultimately spiritual realization with total surrender to the Supreme Paramathma which is also called Prapatti.

Many felt they were more spiritual and wanted to get beyond karma and bhakti path, to Raja Yoga path of meditation and to Jnaana path of realization of the Truth. But, all these are complementary and Spiritual realization is not giving away Karma and Bhakti paths, but conditioning all of them in the proper standard.

As already noted, our sages, several centuries back, set our path right by offering us the ultimate supreme can be reached by several paths, but also gave us the philosophy and freedom to do that. Here, individual determination, personal discipline and lifestyle changes will help to condition our mind to lead that path. One may again ask, why all these as a discipline. This is like a parade routine to discipline a soldier before he [she] goes to fight a war. This is how, in Bhagavad Gita, Sri Arjuna gets the doubts and Bhagavan sets him on the right path with knowledge and discipline.

This path which includes physical conditioning, proper breathing and mental conditioning by meditation, in addition to proper lifestyle conditions is taught in Raja Yoga as a spiritual discipline by Sage Pathanjali Maharishi. Understanding Raja Yoga will help us to continue proper Karma, including Vedic rituals as well as daily regular public work, as also devotional prayers, including manthra and thantra forms of worship as already seen along with Raja Yoga.

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: Lessons : -: 7.01 : - : 7.03 : - : 7.05 : - : 7.07 : - : 7.09 : - : 7.11 :
A Collection of Lessons on Hindu Dharma discussed in Satsangh
There are Two Lessons on each page - so thay you can read two lessons each day.
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