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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Mantra "Sahanavavatu" -part 3-

...Sahaveryam Karavavahai...

As we proceed to the next step of the mantra, we question, what is the nourishment for? For example, when you take in food, the food is nourishing and provides energy for your daily activities. Through the intake of food, a person should become more energetic. If he does not, then it is better not to take that food as it is not truly nourishing.

If the food itself makes us energetic, knowledge should make us much more energetic. Knowledge is that which makes you energetic for life, especially when you feel depressed and that life has no meaning. Knowledge should become your crutch and help you come out of depression. You should feel that you can also live life by giving you a positive outlook. It provides a new lease on life. That is the proper kind of knowledge and is the product of proper nourishment for the mind and soul.

This is why the next sutra says, ‘may we become energetic and let our activities become energetic.’ Such misuse of spiritual knowledge is exemplified in two extreme examples.

In the 1970s, there was a spiritual retreat in New York, NY, conducted by a leader named Jim Johns. He conducted a 10 day retreat where he spoke of spiritual knowledge. Nearly 1000 people assembled for these ten intense days of learning and they were convinced that life is so useless that they committed suicide together.

Similarly, in 1996, in Waco, TX there were a group of spiritual people who’s leader, David, gave them the message that at the end of their retreat, they should burn themselves to death.

Are either of these two, truly spiritual knowledge? Knowledge which makes one feel that life is so useless that they should commit suicide is not truly spiritual knowledge. Life is something positive; hence, ‘Sahaveeryam Karavahai.’

Thus far this mantra has paralleled the life of a human in that if they eat well and become nourished and perform some exercises, they will be energetic. He has all the necessary energy to run and perform well athletically, but what is this energy used for? If the person understands that he has all this energy but then says, “I do not want to lift,” then what is the use of this energy?


-to be continued...

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