July 09, 2006

Happiness of Mind through Tantra Vidya

The name of the blog is Manasollasa ( मानस उल्लाह्स). The etymology and composite(सन्धिविछेद्द ) of the word is given in the very title of the blog. The meaning of the word Manasollasa, which can be derived from the elucidation, is the Happiness of Mana or The Mind. The blog is located through a posting at Jinajik, a blog by Ian Sinclair, a scholar of Vajrayana with special interest on Nepal Buddhist Tantraism and also a writer on South Asian history and culture. His remark is imbued with some amazement and he wrote:
"This semi-‘experiential’ yogin’s diary, peppered with Sanskrit soundbites, echoes tantric literature in its subject matter as well as in its sheer eclecticism: proper ritual procedure, useful mantras, lineage authenticity, mythical history, and pseudo-real reports of encounters with deities and Sadhakas."

Well, the contents are really awesome. However, it leaves you unsatisfied. The author (agnikula : probably the caste and gotra of the author or may be the name) has adopted a style of notations for writing the Sanskrit Mantras. It becomes difficult to read them with their real sound pattern in their given form. The display of the contents shows that the blogger knows about the technical aspects of making a site and HTML quite well. He may have adopted UTF 8 code for writing the Devnagri and that would have been more effective. It seems that the author is addressing to the audience who know English. However, the author can get good assistance from the Hindi bloggers like Akshargram, Chittahvishav or e-swami if interested in giving Devanagri version of the mantras.

The Tantrism has its roots in Vedic literature. The Tantraism traces its origin to the contents of Black Yajur Veda (Yajur Veda has two renditions namely White Yajur Veda and Black Yajur Veda. It is Black Yajur Veda, which contains Tantric practices) and Atharva Veda. In eighth century A. D., tantraism dominated the Indian religious scene. The Vajrayana after Hinayana (Thervada) and Mahayana involved tantraism in Buddhist religion.

There are many postings which are of great interest. I was really attracted to the contents of the Gatha on the founder of our nation. There are many more such posts which are related to the history as well as to tantraism as explained by Ian Sinclair. The author has interest in Ornithology and paleontology. The blogger has special interest for cricket. There are many postings related to history of other continents.

I regret that I have not introduced these sites to Miland Brown for Asian History Carnival 5.

I have made a noting to this blog because I take a particular view of the definition of history. I do not consider history merely a continuity and change relations over a period of time and space based on written records. This definition is good if you are interested merely in political history. For me, history is also a continuity of customs, traditions, rituals and collective memory over a period of time on the basis of such records which are available in present also. From that point of view, all the rituals, folklores, faiths, customs, traditions are part of history subject. From this perspective, the study of Tantrism and its development in India forms the subject matter of history also. That is other thing, that I have never undertaken this definition in practice. On the other hand, there are many rituals in daily life of an Indian which points towards tantric practice. Whenever one visits a cremation ground, before living the cremation ground, the mourners pick up a small twig or dried piece of a stamp, break it and throw over theri heads behind them. It is generally taken as a ritual and tradition. But it is believed that it is a very strong tantric device. It saves from malevolent spirits which may follow back to your house. This act works as a weapon to throw them back into the cremation ground. There are many such rituals and practices which are ingrained into social practices and they have their origin in tantric practices. Even in case of numerous revolts during the colonial periods, it were the traditions which became the source of the strength and all such traditions were not based on any written records.

Apart from such aspects of social life, there is a sect of Aghoris who practice Tantrism and they played a big role in history of India. Similarly, Lingyats and Shulikas, who are considered to be devotees of Lord Shiva practice Tantric practices. Lord Shiva himself is called the Bhottnatha who is always accompanied by goblins, dakanis and pichshasa.

Well, I have yet to fully explore the above mentioned site but as Ian Sinclair was fascinated by its presence on cyberspace, same is the case with me.

I end this note with another observation. I have pointed out somewhere else, that all such people who talk about esoteric sciences and mysticism, they prefer to pick black background for their site. It intrigues me. There must be some logic on their part for adopting such a background. As far I am concerned, I prefer white back ground.

1 comment:

  1. The American justice Dept. have recently approved the power of yoga and meditation vide a recent judgement in the American court."Man Who Slapped Wife Sentenced to Yoga, It's Anger Management, Says Judge." First there was house arrest. Now there's yoga. A judge ordered a man convicted of slapping his wife to take a yoga class as part of his one-year probation. "It's part of anger management," County Criminal Court at Law Judge Larry Standley said of the ancient Hindu philosophy of exercise and well-being. "For people who are into it, it really calms them down. " Standley, a former prosecutor, said the case of James Lee Cross was unique. Cross, a 53-year-old car salesman from Tomball, explained that his wife was struggling with a substance abuse problem and that he struck her on New Year's Eve during an argument about her drinking. "He was trying to get a hold of her because she has a problem," Standley said after the court hearing. "I thought this would help him realize that he only has control over himself." The sentence came as a surprise to Cross, who was told to enroll in a class and report back to Standley on his progress. "I'm not very familiar with it," Cross said of yoga. "From what I understand, it may help in a couple ways, not only as far as mentally settling, but maybe a little weight loss." Darla Magee, an instructor at Yoga Body Houston in River Oaks, said she would recommend that Cross take a basic yoga class emphasizing breathing and including a variety of postures -- forward bends, back bends and twists. "Yoga can help us to get rid of many emotional issues we might have," she said. "It's a spiritual cleanse." Prosecutor Lincoln Goodwin agreed to a sentence of probation without jail time because Cross had no significant criminal history http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/metropolitan/2365341.
    Yoga which is one of the greatest Indian co tribution to the world has got vast potential in all fields. In Tihar jail India Yoga is experimented among the inamtes and found successful. Their criminal mentality is changed. This study aimed at investigating the effect of Vipassana Meditation (VM) on Quality of Life (QOL), Subjective Well-Being (SWB), and Criminal Propensity (CP) among inmates of Tihar Jail, Delhi. To this effect the following hypotheses were formulated. 1. There will be a significant positive effect of VM on the QOL of inmates of Tihar jail. 2. VM will have a positive and significant effect on SWB of inmates. 3. Criminal propensity (CP) of inmates will decrease significantly after attending the VM course. 4. There will be significant difference in SWB and CP of experimental (Vipassana) group and control (non-Vipassana) group. 5. Male and female inmates will differ significantly in SWB and CP, as a result of VM. In the famous "Time" magazine the importance meditation and yoga, an ancient Indian system, is high-lighted that the ancient mind- and spirit-enhancing art is becoming increasingly popular and gaining medical legitimacy. It is a multi billion dollar business in US. In many Universities it is accepted as subject and included in the Syllabus. In the latest famous book "Inspire! What Great Leaders Do" written by Mr.Lance Secretan recently published by John Wiley and sons, the benefit of meditation is elaborately described for good corporate governance. By practising transcendental meditation, or TM, many people have got relief from back pain, neck pain, depression. The mind calms and quiets, . What thoughts you have during meditation become clearer, more focused. Anger, anxiety and worries give way to a peace. In the world exhorbitant medical expeneses one can definitely make use of meditation. Maharshi Mahesh Yogi and Sri Ravi Sankar are poplarising this. The Iyengar Yoga institute in US is famous.
    In Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna has inspired Arjuna to rise from his depression by preaching Gita in the battlefield and to rise from the depression to do his duties. In Holy Gita we can see, being hidden by the cosmic overview of any institution beset with myriad problems, not the least of which is its lack of moral probity, there is a groundswell of educated people seeking answers to deeply personal but universally asked questions. Chie Executives taking lessons from yoga, meditation and learning how to deal with human resources equations in an enlightened manner. Individuals from every walk of life can get ideas of how to be better human beings, more balanced and less stressed out.
    Medical studies continue to show regular meditation working magic in reducing blood pressure and stress-related illnesses, including heart disease. Brain images show that regular meditation helps calm the most active sensory-assaulted parts of the brain. The ancient Hindu sage Patanjali who had mastered the secrets of the human mind has written a book "Yogasutra".In this book we can see how super powers can be achieved by meditation. It has both cosmic relevance and cosmic resonance. In spite of its universal appeal, for most people total control of mind remains an elusive goal and daunting task. From time immemorial, there have been many attempts throughout the world to unlock the mysteries of the mind and to achieve total control over it through a variety of techniques. One of the most powerful of these techniques is meditation.
    Many spiritual leaders, sages, saints, and holy people such asSri. Buddha, Sri Ramakrishna, Madam Sarada Devi, and Swami Vivekananda have practised this. One of the ways to control physiological reactions to psychological stimuli is meditation, Yoga, Zen Buddhism etc. The scientists take Transcendental Meditation (TM) as the uniform technique, and base their observations on the study of the subjects engaged in this form of meditation. In summing up the results the scientists have come to conclusion that the effect of meditation is a "wakeful, hypo-metabolic state". They have found that: 1) Yogis could slow both heart rate and rate of respiration, 2) Yogis could slow the rate of metabolism as confirmed by decreased oxygen consumption and carbon-di-oxide output. 3) Electro-Encephalo-Gram (EEG - recording of brain activity) in Yogis showed changes of calmness in the form of "alpha rhythm" during both eyes closed and eyes open recordings. 4) Th ir skin resistance to electric stimulation was increased (indicating increased tolerance to external stimuli). Our usual 'defence-alarm' reaction to emotional and physical stress is in the form of "fright, flight, and fight" mediated through over-secretion of certain neuro-transmitters and neuro-modulators, namely adrenaline and dopamine by way of stimulation of sympathetic nervous system. Under the influence of these chemicals and hormones, we reflexively become panicky or aggressive, our blood pressure rises. Thus stress and anxiety is the end result if we allow our natural age-old sympathetic reactions to act and to come to surface. We try to run away, become fearful, or fight the situation. But today these 'defence-alarm' reactions have no place in our lives. Rather, they should be replaced by more calm and serene reactions of equanimity and fearlessness. The need is to just 'face the brute, and it will go away'. Such desirable reactions of non-aggression and peaceful attitude are generated by Y ga and meditation. EEG Studies on Yogis and The Zen Meditations: Yogis practising Raja-Yoga claim that during the state of samadhi they are oblivious to the internal and external stimuli, and they enjoy a calm ecstasy during that state. A study was undertaken to record the electrical activity of their brain during this state by means of a regular and useful test known as electroencephalography EEG. Physiological and experimental studies have demonstrated that the basis of conscious state of brain, among other things, is due to activation of "reticular system" in the brain-stem in response to internal and external stimuli. These stimuli bring about various changes during sleeping and wakeful states of the organism and these can be studied by EEG. The study was carried out on four subjects during the state of concentration and meditation. Effects of external stimuli, like a loud gong, strong light, thermal simulation, and vibrations were studied. The results were compiled and analyzed. It was observed that two Yogis could keep their hands immersed in extremely cold water for about 50 minutes (raised pain threshold). During state of meditation, all of them showed persistent "alpha activity" in their EEG with increased amplitude wave pattern, both during 'eyes closed' and 'eyes open' recording. It was observed that these alpha activities could not be blocked by various sensory stimuli during meditation. It was also observed that those, who had well-marked "alpha activity" in their resting EEG showed greater aptitude and zeal for maintaining the practice of Yoga. Similar observations and results were obtained when EEGs were recorded in persons adept in Zen Meditative technique. Can we say that only those persons who exhibit such recording of "alpha wave rhythm" in their EEG are fit for Yoga? and be designated as right candidates for meditation and Yoga practices? (Such experiments are indeed very few and the number of yogis examined is also very small. Therefore, scientifically and statistic lly these observations have only a tentative importance. Further research is definitely called for, albeit it will have its own limitations.) It is said that in the unknown period of Lord Jesus Christ , He was under meditation.
    Ref. Yoga magazines
    Newyork times
    Time magazine


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