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SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.

1 Issue No 8
Weekly newsletter for sincere Spiritual Seekers
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(Upasana Society For Hindu Resurgence ) TOPICS OF MAIN ARTICLES: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Suvachan (Words of wisdom) Basic principles of spiritual practice Practical guidance on implementation of spirituality Anubhutis (spiritual experiences) of seekers Clarification of doubts Spiritual healing vis-a-vis negative energies Efforts made by seekers for spiritual progress Guru Poornima special Activites of Upasana

10. Why is it so in Vedic Sanatan Dharma?

SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

1. Suvachan (Words of Wisdom) a. Shree Guru Uvaach (Quote from the Master): Real education is that which guides us towards achieving unison with God. Various streams of modern science and education take us closer to Maya (illusion) and are means to possess mere luxuries and comforts. Since these drive us away and alienate us from God, their significance in our life is zero. - His Holiness Dr. Jayant Balaji Athavale

His Holiness Dr. Jayant Balaji Athavale

SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

Implied meaning: The definition of vidya(real knowledge) is, , Sa Vidya Ya Muktaye, meaning it guides us to the path where we can attain God. Modern science and the existing education system dont have an iota on this subject. Therefore, a person is able to possess and get material comforts, but unable to experience the intangible bliss and make spiritual progress, one of the foremost objectives of human birth. Hence, it has zero value. Today, despite an abundance of material comforts, several afflictions are increasing, there is decrease in values both at the individual and social level. A situation of chaos now exists around us. Remember that our Vasundhara (Mother Earth) is not a Bhog Bhoomi (land for mirth), but Sadhana Bhoomi (land for spiritual practice). But modern science and secular education have converted it into a Bhog Bhoomi. Thus, rather than education, everyone will have to engage in Vidya-Arjan (gaining knowledge about self realisaton) once again.

(b) Quotations from Shaastras (scriptures):


naahaaraM chintayet praaj~no dharmamekaM hi chintayet aahaaro hi manuShyaaNaaM janmanaa saha jaayate - Chaanakya NIti Meaning: The wise do not think about food, but reflect on Dharma alone, (For) food for beings is born along with them!

(c) Dharma Dhaara


SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

In the present times, seekers who worship the warrior form of Lord Krushna(the Sudarshan Chakra-wielding form) are required instead of the devotees adoring the saviour form ie. the flute-playing character of Bhagwan Shri Krushna for the sake of nation building and resurgence of Hindu Dharma - Tanuja Thakur (d) Essence of gita :

(: ) vasaansI jeernaa~nI yathaa vihaay navaa~nI gruhyaa~tI naro~paraa~nI tathaa shareeranI sanyaa~tI navaanI dehee - Shrimad Bhagwad Gita (2.22)

Meaning: Just as a person discard worn out clothes and wears new clothes, in the same way Jivatma (subtle soul) gives up an old body and acquires new bodies. Implied meaning: The human body is mortal and the soul is eternal and immortal. The reality is when the mortal old body which is not capable of performing the Sadhana (spiritual practice) perishes, its a kind of a divine blessing and being born again in a new body (with new clothes) is an excellent medium to do Sadhana. Just as we naturally discard old clothes without any attachment towards them, similarly it is not appropriate to mourn anyones demise. Thus, Dnyani (wise ones) do not mourn death, for the soul in the body is immortal and till the time the dissolution of mind, intellect, desires and ego doesnt happen , it has to remain trapped in the vicious cycle of life and death. To attain liberation from this cycle, performing Sadhana (spiritual practice) is a must.

SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

2. Basic principles of spiritual practice :

The correct pronunciation of Vedas and Mantras is essential as the incorrect pronunciation can cause serious troubles for us. But Naamjap (chanting of Gods name) can be done in any manner. Why is it so? Paninis grammar says:

anaksharaM hatayushyaM viswaraM vyaadhipeeditaM akshataa shastrashrupen vajraM patati mastake It means incorrect pronunciation of consonants destroys age and faulty pronunciation of vowels causes diseases. If the Akshat (unbroken rice ) is energised with faulty pronunciation of mantras and offered on someones head, it falls as a thunderbolt. However, in the context of Naamjap, it has been mentioned in a scripture titled Panchratragam thus:


murkho vadati vishnaaya buddho vadati vishnave naM ityeva arthaM cha dwayorapi samaM phalaM It means that through an ignorant fool wrongly pronounces the Lords name as Vishnaaya Namah instead of the correct Vishnave Namah as pronounced by the literate Seeker, yet both get the same result as the motive of both is to venerate.

SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

That is why there is a saying Ram naam tedho bhala, meaning Lords name can give bliss even if it is pronounced in an incorrect manner. I will narrate a spiritual experience in this context. It was October 1999. I used to conduct weekly Satsang (discourses) in a temple in Bokaro district of Jharkhand. One day, an illiterate woman stopped me when I was going out and in a highly emotional tone, said that about three months ago while cleaning utensils at someones house located next to the temple, she had heard my discourse on chanting. Pointing towards her body, she said, Due to some skin disease, my entire body had almost become rotten, but the chanting prescribed by you cured my disease. Her body still bore faint marks. I felt very happy upon hearing this. I had never met her, and yet she had been chanting. I casually asked her, What have you been chanting? She replied, Guru Deve Datte Namah. Seeing me break into a smile, she asked, Why? Have I made a mistake? I told her, Yes, you are not doing the chanting correctly, and asked her to chant Shree Guru Dev Dutt instead. Then I made her repeat it five times. Blissfully, she corrected her chanting, greeted me and left. I stood there smiling as I recollected the above-mentioned Shloka (Sanskrut couplet). The woman was illiterate. Hence, she could not pick or do the chant correctly, but since her objective was pure and she had faith, she got the desired positive experience. This woman had been troubled by Pitru Dosh (problems due to unsatiated ancestral souls) and had got eczema as a result. By chanting Shree Guru Dev Dutt, ie. Lord Dattatreyas chant, her ancestors got their Gati (onward movement of the embodied soul after life) and her troubles vanished. Although she did not do chanting the correct way, yet through her Bhav (spiritual emotion) she achieved the desired result. Hence, it is said, Neither can sins ruin us, nor can merits alleviate us. Only Bhav (spiritual emotion) can provide us salvation.

SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

3.Practical guidance on implementation of spirituality

Importance of Satsang ( holy company) The spiritual progress through the medium of Shravan Bhakti (devotion through hearing) is very slow. If one wants to make rapid spiritual progress, efforts should be made to implement everything taught at the Satsang. Hence, whenever we go for a Satsang, we must take along a pen and pad, so that notes can be made of the topics discussed at the Satsang and implemented in daily life. Spirituality is a science of experience and only when one implements the tenets of spirituality, he/she gets anubhutis. Hence merely listening does not bring about any significant change in life. Spirituality is the knowledge of the infinite and is also a science. Hence, the simplest medium of learning spirituality is attending a Satsang and that too as a student. While going for a Satsang, one must avoid taking children to the satsang if the children are naughty, as it will disturb the concentration of others. Remember that Satsang is the place where education about Dharma is being imparted. Hence, upholding the dignity is the Dharma of every seeker. In a Satsang, the importance of word is merely 2% and what is conveyed beyond words is 98%. The Seekers who have just begun their spiritual journey with spiritual levels of 30-40% must pay attention to the words and also be attentive to the Chaitanya (divine consciousness) that is being created beyond words in the satsang. Those who have progressed in Sadhana (spiritual practice), that is those who have acquired a spiritual level above 60%, must thrive to receive the divine consciousness present there and which is beyond words. If a seeker possesses Bhav, language does not become an obstacle and they experience bliss through divine consciousness which is beyond words. I will narrate an Anubhuti (spiritual experience) of a woman seeker here. In January 2011, I was conducting a three-day Satsang in English at Chennai. An old woman Seeker used to attend the Satsang;but she did not understand English. However, she used to attend the Satsang daily and would sit blissfully. One day, I asked her through another Seeker as to why she attended the Satsang and whether she understood whatever I explained during Satsang.

SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

She told me she did not understand all that I said at the Satsang, but she could perceive (divine glimpse) of the form of Maa Durgaa in me. The fact is that this Seeker was at 45% spiritual level which due to the collective Saatvikta (spiritual purity) of the satsang crossed the 50% spiritual level. Moreover, her Bhav was pronounced. Hence, she derived the bliss beyond words and also got a divine glimpse for the same reason. Similarly, at a three-day spiritual camp in Godda district of Jharkhand, a four-year-old boy, Kumar Raunak Thakur used to come and sit blissfully and with full concentration for three hours on all the three days.

Kumar Raunak Thakur


SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

During the Satsang, he would also write down a Mantra Om Om Namo Bhagwate Vasudevaye Om (he had been told to do this chanting according to his highly evolved spiritual level). This child Seeker does not even know how to write a sentence properly, but as his spiritual level is at 50%, he used to derive bliss through the Chaitanya generated beyond words in the Satsang and also could write the chant. How to derive maximum benefit from the satsang: Now, we will take a look at what we can do to derive maximum benefit from the subjects taught intellectually and Chaitanya generated beyond words. (i) Before going to attend a Satsang, do the salt-water treatment so that you can receive unhindered Chaitanya at the Satsang. I have seen that due to spiritual problems, some people start sleeping the moment they come for the Satsang. Attending a Satsang after doing the salt-water treatment destroys the black veil surrounding the mind and intellect, and the intellectual aspect of spirituality is received. Also, due to a reduction of the black veil, Chaitanya of the Satsang is grasped much easier. Two hours before Satsang, pray to the one you venerate so that you can receive the Chaitanya of the Satsang. Before Satsang starts, pray to Lord Ganesh, the deity of intellect and to Maa Saraswati, who is the goddess of knowledge, that may the black veil clouding our mind and intellect be destroyed and may we accept the Satsang at the levels of mind, intellect and divine consciousness and may we be able to implement it in our life. Maintain the continuity of chanting and prayers during the Satsang too. In the present times, hundred per cent of the population is suffering from troubles caused by negative energies. Hence, if one experiences some kind of physical problems, do chanting attentively, pray and avoid getting up from the venue of the satsang. After some time, your problems will get reduced. In February 2011, I was taking a Satsang at a house in Delhi, when a Seeker attending the Satsang started feeling uneasy. He started shivering, sweating and felt like running out of Satsang, but he kept chanting and praying and did not leave the satsang. The next day he discovered that there was an 80% improvement in his feet that had been plagued by a 15-year-old eczema.

(ii) (iii)


SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

Within three days, he was totally cured of his eczema that had been itching for the last 15 years and even used to bleed. The reality is that this Seeker was being troubled by a negative energy and due to the Chaitanya received at the Satsang, the negative energy troubling him left him and he was relieved of his problem. Such is the glory of Satsang. Similarly, once I was in Buxar in Bihar for a Satsang. After the Satsang got over, t three seekers told me that prior to the Satsang they had excessive physical pain that was completely cured by the time the Satsang got over. Please remember, the importance of chanting is 5% and that of Satsang 30%.


SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

4 Anubhutis (Spiritual experiences) of seekers

We will take a look at the Anubhutis of Shri Abhishek Thakur, a Seeker of the village that I live in. I. (a) On March 20, 2010, I was going from Tanuja Didis residence to the Kaali temple in our village with a stabiliser for the microphone. The stabiliser was emitting the same kind of divine fragrance that gets emitted from Didis room. (b) In the year 2010, I used to write Suvachan(short inspiring lines from scriptures) on a board in the village to address the Hindus as per didis directives. In one place, Didi had herself written a few Suvachans. On April 30, 2010, when I opened one copy, I saw Didi had written down some points that were emitting energy-enhancing fragrance, whereas the entire copy was emitting another kind of fragrance. Generally the copy used to be kept in Tanuja Didis room but it was lying with me for the preceding few days at my house. In this context, energy-enhancing incense is a marak gandh,(the divine fragrance which represent the destroyer form of God) whereas the other fragrance emanating from the entire copy was a tarak one(the fragrance which represent the saviour form of God) . The tarak and marak fragrance of God are emitted as per requirement for our protection. Tanuja. (c) Didi had in her possession some torn currency notes that needed to be replaced. I carefully took them out of the poly-bag and kept them inside an exercise notebook which I further kept in a bag before proceeding to the city market from my village. I kept the poly-bag inside another copy. When I returned from Godda, I could experience the same fragrance from the copy where I had kept the poly-bag that used to get emitted from Didis room and all the things kept in my bag too emitted a similar fragrance

SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

Analysis of the Anubhuti: A divine aroma is emitted from a spiritual evolved/ saint who is above 60% spiritual level, but this aspect of spirituality was not known to this Seeker.

Shree Abhishek Thakur

II (a) On May 24, 2010, Didi said at a discourse at the temple that artificial (plastic) flowers should not be offered to the deities because they are dead and Tamasic (spiritually impure). When I returned home, I asked my grandmother to remove the plastic flowers from our place of worship. She refused. I felt extremely sad, but prayed to Maa Durgaa thus, May Your will prevail. A couple of days later, Maa Durgaa appeared in my grandmothers dream and said, Everyday you should offer me a garland made of fresh flowers and remove the garland made of plastic flowers. After that, my grandmother started doing the same and I expressed my heartfelt gratitude to Maa Durgaa. Analysis of the Anubhuti: Implementing the issues told during Satsang or discourse is known as Seekerhood. However, the effort to implement the same must not be made by creating tensions within the family and everything should be left to Gods wish. Abhishek did the same and God helped him. III On June 18, 2010, I had an examination at Kharagpur. I had never been to Kharagpur. My examination was to begin at 9 am and I reached Kharagpur station at 8.10 am. Since I also had to look for the examination centre, I felt I would not be able to appear for the exam. Just

SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

then, I remembered that Didi had told me that staying in bliss in any given situation is the quality of a Seeker and one must do chanting in all circumstances. So I started chanting continuously. Surprisingly, I reached the examination centre two minutes before the examination commenced. Analysis of the Anubhuti: The effort made to stay in bliss in each and every situation is known as Sadhana (spiritual practice) and a seeker who becomes aware of this profound mystery and learns to stay in bliss in every situation can easily progress on the path of Sadhana.

IV . On April 21, 2010, my aunt (Chhoti Maa), I and my sister were about to leave for the market in Kolkata, when suddenly we had a change of mind and decided not to go. After a few minutes there was a bomb blast at that very place we were to visit and one person died on the spot. It was then that I understood why our plan of going to the market changed at the last moment. Analysis of the Anubhuti: : Na Me bhaktah pranashyati, meaning the devotee-benevolent Almighty does protect Seekers. We have to merely make efforts to become true devotees.

V . In 2010, Didi had given me some books to read. After reading these, questions began to crop up in my mind. However, the question that I thought I would ask Didi in the Satsang, automatically got answered by her even before I could ask. I felt as if she knew all that I was thinking. Analysis of the Anubhuti: When God has to guide an embodied soul through the medium of a spiritualist, He transforms the guide as a medium to grant Anubhutis to the Seekers and if his/her mind and intellect is tuned to universal mind and the universal intellect, they can easily read the thoughts of the person in front of them.

SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

Some time back, God suggested to me that I should start a weekly spiritual magazine. After a few weeks, it became clear why God asked me to do so after I read the Anubhutis of some Seekers. In this context, we will take a look at the Anubhuti of Smt. Juhi Chauhan of Agra. - Tanuja

Every week while reading Soham, I do so with the hope of getting some guidance. When I start reading it, I get the impression that it is being written just for me. Once, I could not do chanting even after getting up in the morning and making all efforts. I thought that I should send an e-mail to Didi that I cannot get up at 4 am and ask her what I should do, and why is this happening. Before I could send the e-mail, I got the answer through the medium of Soham. Similarly, whenever I used to do salt-water treatment, my three-year old daughter would come and put her feet into the water. I thought that I would ask Didi whether my daughter could do that. I used to keep my feet in salt-water for more than 15 minutes, thinking that it would benefit me more. The thought of asking Didi crossed my mind several times, but I always forgot to ask. Answers to both these questions were clearly mentioned in the following issue of Soham. I feel that Didi keeps listening to me every moment and keeps guiding me. - Juhi Chauhan


SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

5. Clarification of doubts
Do ancestors give troubles to daughters too? Ancestors first give troubles to any member in the family who possesses more capability to perform Sadhana and expect Sadgati (momentum in the journey after life) through them. It is true that ancestors have more expectations from sons, particularly from the eldest son and the most Tejaswi (spiritually evolved) amongst the sons, but if the daughter is more Saatvik (spiritually pure), or if there are no sons in the family, then ancestors give troubles to the daughters too. For them, the crucial factor that matters is those Jivatmas that perform Sadhana and with whom their give-and-take is highest. Hence, the daughters too must certainly chant Shree Guru Dev Dutt, so that they too are protected from troubles caused by ancestors. Since I started taking discourses in my village, several ancestors of our Kul (clan), some of whom were my family relatives too, manifested through Seekers and began asking for Gati. Remember that if Satsang is done with Bhaav, it leads to spiritual healing on us. On several occasions, if negative energies cannot bear the Chaitanya of the one who conducts the Satsang , they manifest in the seeker. The negative energy manifest in them starts creating a ruckus, or seeks Gati. So when some negative energies appeared in a Seeker and began asking for Sadgati, I asked them to go to their son and seek Gati from him, to which they said, These days, sons do not even offer water to us, what to talk of Gati? The scriptures say that during Pitru Paksha (fortnight of ancestors), sons should always offer water, Til Tarpan (sesame offering) to their Pitar(departed ancestors). However, owing to the blind imitation of western culture today, several men do not follow Dharma and have begun forgetting their duty towards the ancestors. Some men have even started considering Pitru Karma (religious rites towards departed ancestors) to be a farce. So much have they degenerated ! Ancestors curse such men

and their house is beset by several troubles and a few generations later, they destroy the entire clan.

SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

6. Spiritual healing vis-a-vis negative energies

During my Dharma Prasaar (spreading spirituality), several seekers have told me that they have been facing obstacles in the means of livelihood of either the head of their family, or the eldest child; or monetary losses being caused; or money not getting saved. Or if the money is there, they are not able to derive benefit from it due to legal proceedings; or there are no promotions in the job; or there is no job, or no stability in the job. Such troubles can be due to several reasons, but primarily Prarabdh (destiny ), Pitru Dosh, or negative energies are responsible for it. Only a saint can tell why such problems are occurring in someones life; but the question is: Where and how to find a true saint? . Hence, one should try out the following solutions as per spiritual science : (i) Worship your Kuldevtaa (family deity). If the name and the original place of the Kuldevtaa is known, one must go there along with the family at least once a year and follow family tradition and rituals of worshiping the family deity. While doing your daily worship, remember your Kuldevtaa and offer him or her Dhoop (incense), lamp, gandh(chandan or kumkum), flowers and Naivedya (food offering). If you are affected by any of the above-mentioned financial problems, do chant the name of your Kuldevtaa, three Malaas or rosary every day. If you do not know the name of your Kuldevtaa, chant Shree Kuldevatayee Namah (one Maala means chanting 108 times) and remember the form of God you venerate. Kuldevtaa is the deity responsible for our material and spiritual progress. It has been noticed that if there is a conjunction of wealth in ones Prarabdh(destiny) but if there is Pitru Dosh in the house, the ancestors create troubles pertaining to money, or cause monetary losses. Hence, for the removal of Pitru Dosh, try the following spiritual measures: Do ritualistic worship of the photograph or statue of Lord Dattatreya every day.




SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

Every month offer one meal to a Brahmin on the Mrityu Tithi (date of demise by Hindu lunar calendar) of the head of the family or on Amavasya (No Moon day) if the exact date of demise is not known, If this is not possible, offer money for food to a Brahmin every month on that date. (On such dates, serving food to a poor person does not provide any relief from Pitru Dosh). Chant Shree Guru Dev Dutt for six hours on a regular basis. Pray to Lord Dattatreya with Bhaa(earnestness) in the following manner: O Lord Dattatrey! The ancestors, who are creating hurdles in the way of the means of livelihood of the male members of my family, please protect them from the departed ancestors wrath and help them settle down financially. Kindly allow the formation of a Suraksha Kavach (protective armour) around the members of our family. Please let your benign Grace be upon us, we seek your refuge. Say this prayer along with chanting as many times as possible during a day. Remove photographs of your ancestors in the house from your sight. Either immerse the photographs in running water of a river, or tie them up inside a white cloth and keep them in an almirah. On the day of Shraadha, you can take them out if you want. Recommend all the points pertaining to the chanting of Lord Dattatreya and about resolution of Pitru Dosh to the maximum number of people as all are suffering today with this problem. Avoid the use of black-coloured cloth in the house as much as possible. In Sanatan Dharma, the use of black colour is for resolving the curse of Shani, or for wearing it on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, Else, the use of black colour has been prohibited for an ordinary person. Serve food to Brahmins during Pitru Paksh. Chant 72 Maalas (rosary) of Shree Guru Dev Dutt during Pitru Paksh everyday. During Pitru Paksh, male members of the house must offer an oblation of water and Til (sesame seeds) and perform Shraddha. Contribute your mite through your body, mind and wealth for the mission of saints, or for activities pertaining to Dharma. (v) If there are troubles caused by negative energies in the house, wealth is destroyed, or if wealth doesnt accumulate. For this, carry out Vaastu Shuddhi (purification of the

SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

premise) regularly. For more information in this regard, visit this link. (vi) One must try to do both Vyashti and Samashti Sadhana to receive Gods grace consistently. (vii) Santosham param sukham, (satisfaction with what You have given is the foremost pleasure); Goddess Lakshmi gets appeased when one lives a life based on this principle of satisfaction and gratification with whatever God has given. (viii) Remember that Lakshmi stays in a house only for 40 years and after that leaves that house for 80 years and returns only after 80 years. If anyone wants to escape from this cycle, keep your money pure and unadulterated. In this connection, a Shloka from Skand Purana is particularly inspiring:
i n : s -

Nyayopaarjita vittasy dashmaanshena dheematah Kartavyo viniyogashcha Ishwaar preethyarthameva cha - Skand Purana It means that by following the path of Dharma, the wealth earned becomes pure only when a tenth portion of it is offered towards spiritual cause, for any work pertaining to Dharma, or mission of a saint. Therefore, if we desire the grace of Lakshmi on our house and family, we must offer a tenth portion of our income for a spiritual cause every month. By doing so, we can easily protect ourselves from the monetary losses caused by ancestors or negative energies. Along with this, the incidence of diseases and tragedy in the house too get reduced. Saints are the physical manifestations of the Almighty. Hence by offering money for the work of saints, our Sanchit Karma (accumulated actions or that portion of both sinful and meritorious deeds that we have to endure in future births) get destroyed and we become eligible for Gods grace.

SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

As mentioned in Skanda Purana, by offering wealth to spiritual causes purifies the wealth. Hence, when out of emotions, we donate money to any orphanage or to some poor people, get a school or hospital constructed, we get Punya (meritorious deed) and have to take birth again to enjoy the same. A Seeker should make efforts not to create neither any new sinful deeds nor meritorious deeds, for according to the science of spirituality, Paap (sinful deed) is considered Paapatmak Paap (sinful sin) and Punya Karma is considered Punyaatmak Paap (meritorious sin). In terms of the end result, both are chains, one made of iron and the other of gold. Hence, one must know about the simplest principle of sacrificing wealth. One who does not have the inclination to sacrifice should make an attempt to donate with a feeling to the poor, orphans, or beggars. The one who is already making this kind of sacrifice, must graduate to the next level and must donate to saints without expectation. Saints do not require our money as Asht Mahasiddhis ( eight supernatural powers) play in their abode. Hence, they oblige us by accepting even a small portion of our wealth. Tera tujhko arpan (I am offering to you all that is yours), with this feeling, one should offer a portion of the income every month. When the portion of monetary sacrifice reaches 55% from 10%, only then does a saint of a high level accept someone as a disciple !

Lord Dattatreya (Shree Gurudev Datta )


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7. Efforts made by seekers for spiritual progress : By offering physical service, Smt. Anita Devi achieved 1% spiritual progress within two years. In November 2009, I resumed the Seva (service) of performing collective Aarati in the neglected temple of Maa Kaali in our village. In June 2010, a woman Seeker, Smt. Anita Devi, voluntarily started tidying the temple premises with a broomstick and cleaning the entire campus of the temple. While doing this Seva (service), she used to experience a lot of physical pain, and at times, I used to do spiritual healing as the negative energies were creating problems to stop her from doing seva(service). She is plagued by troubles caused by negative energies and the severity is such that she cannot even chant continously. Despite this, she has been continuously offering her Seva. In January 2012, the Almighty told me she has made 1% spiritual progress. This Seeker neither has money, nor intellect to offer to God, but by doing Seva through her physical body, meaning doing Sadhana of Shudra Varna, she has made spiritual progress.

Shreemati Anita Devi


SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

(In spirituality, making 1% spiritual progress is no ordinary occurrence. Actually, even if a person performs daily worship, observes fasts and festivals, reads Stotras (hymns) etc with complete dedication, one can make only 1% spiritual progress in a lifetime. You can thus comprehend the amount of Gurukrupa ie.Gurus Grace upon her!) When a Seeker offers his intellect for the Seva of Dharma Prasaar (spreading spirituality), it is known as the Seva of Brahmin Varna, irrespective of the caste that seeker has been born into. Similarly, when someone is prepared to lay down ones life for the protection of Dharma, through Kshatravrutti ( warrior attitude) prevents Dharma Glaani (degeneration of dharma), it is known as Sadhana of Kshatriya Varna. When one sacrifices wealth for the work of a saint, or for the activiites of Dharma, it is known as Sadhana of Vaishya Varna. To achieve oneness with God we need to offer Him what we possess, and perform Varnaanusar Sadhana (spiritual practice as per ones class and capacity). For instance, if someone possesses a sharp and pure intellect, then along with the Seva of Dharma Prasaar; if he has wealth, he has to offer that too and also serve through the physical body in chores like cleaning the Ashram (hermitage), cooking food, or cleaning the venue of Satsang/Pravachan (discourse), putting up banners, going house-to-house to distribute leaflets etcDoing all these kinds four kinds of seva through intellect , offering one life, wealth and physical body, one can make faster spiritual progress. In short, performing Sadhana by offering body, mind, intellect and life, ie. whatever one has, is known as real Sadhana.


SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

8. Guru Poornima special

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Gurubuddhyatmano naannyaat satyam satyam varanane Tallabhartham prayatnastu kartavyashch maneeshibhih It means the Guru is not different from the conscious Self. Without doubt, this is the truth. Therefore, wise men should make an effort to seek knowledge of the Atman from Him.

Guru Sansmaran (Memoirs with my master) part 1 Do not make the mistake of comprehending the Spiritual Master (Sadguru) merely as a physical form. They are omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient and they grant the spiritual experience to their disciples on the basis of their eligibility and their faith on the gurutattva(Guru principle). In 1997, after giving me Darshan (personal audience) for the first time, my Shreeguru His HolinessDr. Jayant Balaji Athavale provided several anubhutis, some of which I will present before you, describing the divine virtue of His omnipresence, thereby expressing my gratitude towards Him. If after reading this series of articles, which I will keep publishing till gurupoornima , you get any assistance in increasing your bhav(spiritual emotion) for your Guru, or if you can understand the greatness of the divine virtues of your Guru, I will consider that my service has reached the lotus feet of my Shree Guru .


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While rendering the service during the course of spreading spirituality, I got this inkling after meeting a few devotees from other spiritual sects that some Gurus, instead of teaching the scriptures about the functioning of guru principle, they grant their Seekers spiritual experiences and want them to learn the spiritual sciences from those anubhutis. I hope that through the medium of this article, you too would recollect the divine memoirs of your Guru and you too will drown yourself in the sea of thought of your Shree Guru. First of all, I will tell you how my omniscient Guru started my spiritual practice even before he had entered my life and how he entered my life in the physical form. (i) - Shree Guru granted spiritual parents and a spiritually nourishing environment for practicing Sadhana: From the beginning, the environment in our home was spiritual. Hence, I was doing spiritual practice through the medium of my parents. The environment at home was Ashram -like and there used to be a regular flow of visitors. All the guests were treated affectionately and all the fasts and festivals were conducted as per scriptures. Whenever all the family members used to sit together, usually spiritual conversations would take place, in which my parents used to narrate inspiring tales and give us spiritual viewpoints from religious scriptures. As a result, I never had trouble staying at the Ashram. I learnt a lot of viewpoints on spirituality from my parents and grandmother, not to mention they were highly spiritual and Sanskari rather I would say my Sadguru imparted these perspectives through them. People who came into contact with my parents would become devoted to them in no time I learnt the virtue of affection through them. My parents were full of spirit of sacrifice; hence the feeling of sacrifice got naturally ingrained in me. (ii) - After parents, younger brother became the next guide: I used to recite Shlokas and did Naamjap since childhood. From 1990, an intense yearning to learn and understand more about God, dharma and spirituality began to take birth in me. My methodical spiritual practice started, when in 1994, my younger brother told me

SOHAM - Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur - Vol.1 Issue No 8

about Naamjap, meditation and mental worshipping the feet of the Sadguru. Since then, I started doing everything regularly driven by self-motivation. Within two years, the spiritual practice recommended by my brother gave me many worldly and spiritual experiences. For this reason, I began to see him in the form of Guru. When I met him in Mumbai in 1996, I touched his feet --- with a feeling of gratitude and told him Now I do not derive bliss like before, what should I do to go ahead in spirituality ? I have considered you as my Guru, hence guide me further on the path of my spiritual practice. My brother said with simplicity Didi, my and your spiritual paths are different. I am a Hathyogi while you are a Bhakti-Margi. I am not your guru. Your Sadguru is someone else. Having said this, he went away. (This younger brother of mine teaches Yoga to people and by Gods grace, he has helped several people in their spiritual journey.) Hearing him say such a thing, I felt very disappointed. I was very perturbed, and began to think Where should I look for an enlightened Sadguru in this illusionary city of Mumbai? My inner self began to yearn for a Guru, I was unable to think of anyone with whom I could share my predicament and felt like crying a lot. (iii) Swami Ramkrishna helped me meet my sadguru Some years back, my younger brother had given me some spiritual books to read. Studies used to be my biggest attraction since childhood . Due to my special interest in acquiring knowledge, I had been a voracious reader. I had carefully read all the books given by him some of the books were about the teachings of Swami Ramkrishna Paramhans. I had read his books quite minutely. After three-four days of my brother asking me to look for a Guru in 1996, one day a book caught my attention. It featured a photograph of Swami Ramkrishna Paramhans on the front cover. I took the book in my hand, poured out my pain and started crying inconsolably, with a desire to find a Guru. I felt if I did not find a Sadguru within a few days, I would certainly die. Looking at Swamis photograph, I said You say that a saints existence never comes to an end and they reside eternally in this universe. So now you have to introduce me to my Sadguru, or else I will take it to mean that your words are a mere illusion And I

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want a saint of the status of Paramhans who can give me the experience of Nirvikalp Samadhi (Immutable Meditation), Saying thus, I started crying and kept crying for a long time. Even today, I keep apologizing to Swami for talking to him in such a manner. Hardly two weeks had passed after this incident, when one day it started raining while I was returning home. To shield myself, I went inside a temple across the road. There I saw a banner of Sanatan Sanstha, which contained details of the discourses held in the temple, But what attracted me most in the banner was this How to become a good seeker and clarification of doubts. I had many doubts in my mind and I too wanted to become a good Seeker. Hence, I decided to attend the discourse and thus, through that discourse, I was able to get an audience with my Sadguru. Even today, I feel that Swami Ramrishna Paramhans listened to my prayer and granted me an audience with my Guru and this is a fact too. Saints have two forms a manifest form meaning His Physical body, and the other the unmanifest Form, implying the divine element inside Him, which is eternally prevalent in the Universe. Swami provided me guidance in his unmanifest form and I have no doubt about it. - Excerpted from my forthcoming book Guru Sansmaran (Memoirs with my Master)

Shree guruve namah


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9. Actvities of Upasana : The weekly profile of Dharma Yatra (Journey) 27.5.2012 5.6.2012 (May 27, 2012 - June 6, 2012) Bangaluru & Hosur Forthcoming Pravchans(spiritual discourse) at Bangaluru : Date 1st June 2012 Timing 7.00 8.30 pm Veneu Ashtalaxmi Temple, Ittina Neela Apartments Sampige Nagar , Bangalore - 560100 Date 2nd June 2012 Timings 6.00 7.00 pm Veneu Srhee Venkataramana Devsthana Shree Anant Nagar Bangalore - 560100

The first public Pravachan (discourse) at Karnavati (Ahmedabad) on 20th May 2012 received excellent response.
On 20.5.2012, a one-day spiritual camp was organised at Samutkarsh Bhawan in Karnavati (Ahmedabad). Two seekers Shri Kshitij Dhanak and Shri Satish Kulkarni had a special contribution in its planning and organisation. Also, local seekers, Shri Muktesh Singh Manhar, Shri Kashyap Shah and Shri Rajendra Jagtapan, too contributed in making it such a success.


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Highlights of the Pravachan: The programme started at the designated hour. Although everything was new for the local Seekers, but on the basis of their planning capabilities and Bhav, the seekers made an effort to do paripurna Seva.(seva with perfection) The officials and workers of Samutkarsh Bhawan too made all possible efforts to make the programme a success. After learning about the objectives of Upasana, they also charged a discounted tariff for the venue. Of the curious ones present on this occasion, the number of men was more than double that of women. At the end of the Pravachan (discourse), the eager devotees evinced a lot of interest in resolution of doubts. A Seeker from the US, Shri Abhinav Mehta, informed his friends and relatives and motivated them to be present at the discourse. He also purchased 50-50 audio CDs (set of three CDs) through his mother for the purpose of spreading spirituality in US.

Spiritual Discourse at Samutkarsh Bhawan in Karnavati(Ahmedabad)


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A seeker from Rajkot, Shri Ashok Ganatra, was indisposed as he was returning from Kashmir, but he did not go straight home in Rajkot and came for the Pravachan and offered Seva instead. Shri Kshitij Dhanaks daughter had been seriously injured in an accident a few days before the programme, but giving a good account of his Sadhakatv (Seekerhood), Kshitij maintained regularity in seva and prasar. Shri Kshitij Dhanak and Shri Satish Kulkarni read out from Soham and made really charming efforts to implement the points mentioned in it in their life. The wife of both the seekers too rendered bhavpurna seva(doing service keeping the spiritual viewpoint) to me during my entire stay. Shri Rajendra Jagtap, who is a friend of Shri Kulkarni, also contributed to the publicity efforts and distributed discourse leaflets to people.

After the pravchan in Karnavati (Ahmedabad)


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Why is it so in Vedic Saanatan Dharma?

(a) Upon meeting someone, why is it desirable to do Namaskar (wish with folded hands) instead of shaking hands.


When two people shake hands, the Rajasik-Tamasik (spiritually impure) vibrations from the hands get corroborated by the fingers. Their bodies bear the negative vibrations that have an impact on the mind.

The sublte effect of handshake

Photo courtesy : Sanatan Sanstha


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If the person making the handshake is troubled by negative energies, the other person too can be affected by it. Hence, follow actions like Namaskar to promote sattvikta (piousness). This earns Gods Chaitanya Bal (strength through divine consciousness) through specific actions and Gods resolution power is received in the form of blessings. Handshake is a western concept. The act of handshake means an act of western culture. Namaskar is a reward of the Indian culture. Taking this reward one must also give the younger generation a lesson. How to do Namaskar upon meeting anyone?


When meeting someone of the same age-group, offer Namaskar by joining the fingers and placing tips of the thumbs on the Anahat Chakra (at the centre of the chest). This type of Namaskar increases the spiritual emotion of humility in the embodied soul. Sattva (pure) frequencies from the universe are attracted by the fingers (which act as an antenna) and are then transmitted to the entire body through the thumbs that have awakened the Anahat Chakra. This activates the soul energy of the embodied soul. In addition, by doing Namaskar in this manner to each other, the frequencies of blessings are also transmitted. (c ) Namskar: Dos and Donts (a) While offering Namaskar, keep the eyes closed. (b) Do not sport any footwear while offering Namaskar. (c) Do not offer Namaskar with one hand. (d) There should be no object in your hands while offering Namaskar. (e) While offering Namaskar, men should not cover their head, while women should cover their heads.


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According to Indian culture, what are the benefits of Namaskar? What is the correct method of paying obeisance to Gods and the underlying principle behind it? Why should you offer Namaskar to old people? Why should you offer Namaskar to a dead person? After marriage, why should a husband and wife not offer Namaskar together? For answers to the above-mentioned questions and for more information on the topic, please read the holy text The correct methods of doing Namaskar? To receive the publication, send a mail to . You can also visit this link and access more information on the subject. See you in the next issue of Soham