Sadhana for Week 33
Body Level: Watch the Sunrise
Wake up early and take a bath. Watch the sunrise. Be with the sun every moment. If the mind thinks anything else or thinks about oneself, bring it back to sunrise
The bright beginning made each day
Can become the early dawn of the day of achievement.
Live in the vital present,
Leading and guiding its flow into the future glow.
Swami Chinmayananda writes in his foreward to Wandering in the Himalayas: “In the early years of my study at his feet, Shree Swamiji (Swami Tapovanam) once stopped in the middle of a walk to point out to me a spot in the distant sky where the golden colour had suddenly changed, in a mighty stroke of inscrutable inspirations, into a blue splash! On another occasion he cried, ‘Why can’t man see the Divinity behind that mad Painter who has painted this inspired beauty?”
In a thousand such instances he always directed my attention to see: a tiny crab returning to its hideout or a spider weaving its web, sometimes the mighty pines whispering to each other, sometimes the majestic peaks of the snow-clapped mountains divinely glistening above the lower hills. Here an insignificant bull, there an uninviting herd of tired sheep, elsewhere a poor man singing a crude tune with a joyous abandon almost Divine. But alas, immature, unpoetic, and intellectually sophisticated as i was then, I must have sadly disappointed him.
But I knew what he had felt, for I had felt the warmth of his ardour, serenity and joy. I had watched him as he stood dissolved in Divine harmony with Nature. At such inspired moments, an unearthly tranquility used to descend around him. As i read these pages i relive those glorious moments.
Who has said that the Lord is formless? They are blind - blind to his Presence. They are deaf - deaf to His Song which throbs everywhere. Those who read Wanderings in the Himalayas will develop in themselves the true vision to see the Unseen and to hear the Unheard. Wanderings in the Himalayas can open both your eyes and ears. Vedanta does its miracle in every student; makes the blind see and the deaf hear.”
To watch a sunrise is beautiful, an almost indescribable experience. During our holidays to hill stations, mountains and treks we often visit “sunrise” points or while vacationing at beaches we wake up early to go the shore to watch the sun come up. That is the time we feel peaceful, relaxed, connected with nature, in fact often unknowingly we lose ourselves in it - forgetting everything around us, even ourselves – for those few moments. Such is the beauty and power of nature.
Imagine what joy it would bring us if we are able to do this daily. This is the sadhana for the week - to avail of the sattvik environment and begin each day by watching the sunrise. The entire creation is made up of 3 gunnas – sattva, rajas and tamas. At different times during the day each of these come into prominence. Early mornings from 3am to 9am sattva gunna (sattva represents calmness, peace, balance, knowledge, purity, brilliance) is predominant. The Sun is the source of energy (physical) and light (literally and symbolically of knowledge), is a purifier (literally: destroys bacteria, lethargy, symbolically it destroys impurities in our personality and ignorance), and of tireless service.
Looking at white crane flying across the sky which had dark rain bearing clouds, Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa went into Samadhi. It was his first experience of that state. Drig drshya Vivek describes various types of Samadhis that one can experience through sight and sound etc.
To connect with nature and through that to the Lord and our own Self, is the sadhana of this week.
1. Decide the time you will wake up every day for this week. Make sure there is adequate time to take a bath and reach the place in time to watch the sun rise. Eg if you have to go to the sea side or a park, make sure you get there in time to be able to watch the sun rise. If you are watching from your window or balcony the additional time need not be factored in.
2. To be able to wake up fresh and alert every morning, the time to go to sleep the previous night also needs to be planned and adhered to. Only then will one benefit from the sadhana this week.
3. Once you are at your chosen the spot to watch the sunrise, switch off your phone or keep it on silent mode with the vibrator off. There should not be any disturbance for the next 10-15 minutes.
4. Take a comfortable stance or sit in a comfortable position so that you do not have to move for the next 15 minutes.
5. Close your eyes for a minute and concentrate on your breath making it deep and steady. This is done to remove all thoughts from our mind and to bring the mind to the present.
6. Now open your eyes. Look at the horizon and breathe normally.
7. Watch the sun rise. Feel every moment. Be with the sun every moment. If the mind thinks of anything else or thinks about oneself, bring it back to sunrise
8. Do not fidget or make any movements.
9. Initially it may be difficult. Keep trying. In a few days the body will learn to be still and the mind will be totally absorbed, watching the sun move and rise on the horizon.
The most strenuous of all endeavours in the world is that which needs the least effort – to be quiet.
- Swami Chinmayananda
This is one of the simplest yet most powerful sadhana. It has many immediate and long term benefits both at the material and spiritual levels:
1. Improves the ability to focus and concentrate
Once mastered it is easy to focus on the job at hand and can be applied anywhere – be it at work, at home, in spirituality to meditate.
Restlessness of the mind and unsteadiness of character are reflected in the physical movements of an individual.
- Swami Chinmayananda
2. Develops the ability to be in the Present
To be in the “Here & Now” is the most important skill one can develop. It solves most of our problems like time management, correct decisions, no procrastination, quick decision making. One has no worries about the future, learns to live in the present in contentment and at peace.
The present alone is the only time
When we can work and achieve,
Gain and gather,
Give and serve.
- Swami Chinmayananda
3. Improves ability to control our senses:
One is able to withdraw from the environment as well as overcome the pull of senses and sense enjoyment at will. Thus can enjoy and withdraw as per the need and is not a slave to one’s own innate tendencies.
Without the control of the Indriyas,No spiritual growth is ever possible.
- Swami Chinmayananda
4. Improves alertness and vigilance
The mind is always jumping from one thought to another. This sadhana helps not just in channelizing and reducing the thought flow but also to be alert and vigilant to the manifestation of thoughts themselves ie when they arise. Forewarned is forearmed – we are aware and hence are better equipped to handle them.
Vigilance is the price we pay to live a joyous life of perfection.
Be careless, we slip immediately.
- Swami Chinmayananda
5. Discipline becomes a way of life
A. Inculcates habit of waking up early and sleeping early. This one physical regime is the solution to so many of our problems:
- Morning air refreshes us , is good for our lungs and pranas
- Taking a bath invigorates us
- Absorbing early morning rays of the sun is good for health
- Morning sattva gunna helps to quieten the mind
- Concentration helps to sharpen our intellect
B. Over a period of time we are able to get discipline into all spheres of our life and personality wherever required with little effort.
All the qualities enumerated above will help tremendously at the materialistic level to improve ones’s health and wealth.
Sri Swami Tapovanam said - “What is the beauty of nature? It is the same as Divine Beauty. Apart from Brahman, nature has no beauty. Even as Purusha and Shakti are inseparable, Brahman and Prakriti are indivisible. He who has realizes God, finds Him everywhere and in everything. Nothing is, except Brahman. Brahman appears under different names and in different forms, and nothing else.”
Beginners and Advanced:
Do are advised above.
1. Do as advised above.
2. Last 3min - close your eyes and visualise the Sun in the space between the two eye brows or in your heart and contemplate on it as the Lord of the Universe.
3. Try to tune up the mind with the Supreme Creator of this Universe, the Lord of Nature - the Purusha who enlivens the Prakriti. You can use a mantra like Gayatri Mantra if you like. Otherwise contemplate on the Lord as the Creator of this universe and who pervades the whole universe.
Dharmasya vrdhhim kurute jananam,
Punatu mam ta-savitur-varenyam
The glowing orb which lights up the subtle intellect,
Which nourishes the righteousness in people,
Which destroys all sins –
May that adorable Sun purify me.
- Sri Suryamandalashtakam, shloka 5
UNTO HIM OUR BEST