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Teachings of Chidakash Gita

The Chidakash Gita becomes relevant to Ma Jaya’s students

Swami Nityananda

Bhagwan Nityananda

Those of us who live at Kashi and have been students of Ma Jaya for over 40 years remember well how she often shared her experiences with the teachings of eminent guru, Bhagwan Nityananda. We especially appreciated his teachings regarding detachment.  Ma told us that she had to first learn the concept of detachment before she could merge with her guru Neem Karoli Baba. And so we were treated to wonderful accounts of her meeting with Bhagwan Nityananda and especially some of his personal teachings,namely the Chidakash Gita.

Ma’s teachings about the Chidakash Gita

Whenever we as chelas aspire to be detached, we remember how Ma would tell us that the Chidakash represents the “heart space in the head.” The heart space in the head points to the seventh chakra where detachment resides. In that chakra, there is no room for sentimentality or the emotions of the sensing heart. In that case, the heart might contain personal sentimentality or emotion colored by the ego in some manner.

The Chidakash Gita for caregivers

Ma Jaya particularly liked to teach caregivers of detachment, helping them sustain themselves in their employment. They are reminded to attempt to view their service through the seventh chakra or what is known as the Chidakash. This is a combination of both the head and heart that serves one wisely. It is important when serving the poor, the ill, the handicapped or depressed that one not feel burned out through their service. If one could direct one’s feelings towards the Chidakash or the space above the head, one could see more clearly without emotion the best way to administer to their needs.

When the Chidakash Gita becomes real

In fact, that is how a guru or spiritual teacher best serves his chelas. We limit ourselves by our own egos and human desires. The fortunate thing is that if one perseveres on the spiritual path it is our desire to eventually arrive at the Chidakash to access wisdom.

Some of us had copies of the Chidakash Gita, which we would pass around. Frankly, it was at that time the manuscript seemed too heady for me. I obviously was not prepared for the subtlety expressed in Swami Nityananda’s words. As the years have gone by and I now dip into the Chidakash Gita, I appreciate its nuances and wisdom. Many of us can recall instances of reading a spiritual book without understanding. Yet years later, suddenly the wisdom seems obvious.

Transcribing Nityananda’s teachings

But a few people decided to write down Nityananda’s utterances. We are grateful to them for this wonderful compendium of teachings.

According to Captain Hatengdi’s account (a close disciple) during his early years in Mangalore, Nityananda would start a monologue while visiting various devotees’ houses. At first, the devotees thought he was speaking nonsense. They later discovered that his words contained an odd but exalted wisdom. He spoke from a state of higher consciousness or a trance. A few decided to make notes about what he was saying.

Before making his utterances, Bhagavan prefaces them by saying, “Arjuna-mama come and listen, Krishna (Grandfather Krishna) is going to speak. These words are an announcement that another extraordinary transmission was imminent.

Chidakash Gita gets published

After some time, Tulsi Amman, a female devotee, collected and organized the scraps of paper the listeners produced. She went to Bhagavan Nityananda to talk to him about publishing them. He told her that his remarks came from the ‘Chidakash’, or space of Supreme Consciousness. He didn’t care whether they were published or not. Despite Bhagavad indifference, Tulsi Amman published them in Kannada as Chidakash Gita. The first English version was produced in 1940.

What were same of these utterances like? It appeared that Nityananda delivered all of these little savings in a terse manner.  While quite obscure to the listener they somehow stimulated the intuition of those who listened carefully. Nityananda was fond of using images from cooking and other homely references to demonstrate yogic points. He loved  images from travel, boats, planes, cars an especially trains.

Utterances from Chidakash Gita

These utterances are striking in their uniqueness. The voice and vision of Bhagavan Nityananda are unmistakable. In the Chidakash Nityananda speaks of pranayama, the mind-free state of a great being, the need for a guru, the practice of sadhana and the primacy of direct spiritual experience over mere theory.

Here are some of his teachings:

nityananda in divine presence

Nityananda In Divine Presence

  1. Just as camphor is consumed by the flames of fire, so also, mind must be consumed by soul-fire.
  2. Just as we draw water from a well, we should draw breath. When we breathe out, it should be like letting down the bucket into the well. When we breathe out, it is the carbon (the impurities of the body); when we breathe in, it is the breath of Omkar. Breath of Omkar is the manas (mind).
  3. We should leave off the gross sleep and sleep the subtle sleep. We should enjoy the sleep obtained from the practice of Pranayam.
  4. Just as we see the sky reflected in the water in an earthen pot, so also, to the internal vision, the sky of consciousness becomes visible.
  5. A man should be quite indifferent to honor and dishonor. He should not have the least love for his body; such a man will see the Supreme Being in everything and everywhere.

In all 286 verses of the Chidakash Gita we hear Bhagwan Nityananda’s knowledge as it permeates our awareness and brings our minds into silence and bliss. If you wish further information about Nityananda’s work, I refer you to Nityananda in Divine Presence by M.U. Hatengdi & Swami Chetanananda.

Om Sri Nityananda Ki Jai

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An Evening with Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

An enlightening evening with a Tibetan Master

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

The other night at Kashi Ashram we were privileged to view the film “Spirit of Tibet, Journey to Enlightenment, the Life and Times of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.” The film is made by French photographer and Buddhist monk Mathieu Ricard traveling with Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche for 14 years. The film speaks of Khyentse Rinpoche’s story from birth to death, to rebirth and his escape following China’s invasion of Tibet. For more about this extraordinary teacher, you might also want to read Enlightened Courage, where he presents the entire core of Tibetan Buddhism.

The inspiration of Dilgo Khyentese Rinpoche

This great guru and sage always inspired through his presence simplicity, dignity and humor. Throughout the film we see him ceaselessly beaming with good humor even though it was quite evident that his body was in poor physical condition, requiring two students to facilitate his travels. He was known to pray and meditate for several hours before dawn and then embark on an uninterrupted flow of activities and teachings until late into the night. It is felt that his immense knowledge, the warmth of his blessings and the depth of his inner realization imparts to his teachings a quality quite different from others.

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche was the teacher to many respected lamas and gurus. None other than the Dalai Lama appears on the film speaking of his personal relationship with Khyentse Rinpoche. Most poignant is the fact that these two men suffered the indignity and terror of having to leave their homeland of Tibet because of the Chinese invasion.

 Diego Khyentse Rinpoche returns to Tibet

Both wonderful and sad is to see Khyentse Rinpoche return to Tibet in 1985 and view the many monasteries that had been razed and ransacked. It is gratifying that the Chinese Government allowed him to restore the Samye Monastery, the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet. By 1990, due to Rinpoche’s influence, its main temple is restored. During the three extended visits to Tibet he also inaugurated the rebuilding of the original Chechen Monastery. Most poignantly, wherever Rinpoche went, you see Tibetan people greeting him with warmth and love.

Dharma teacher introduces evening with Khyentse Rinpoche

The evening was hosted by wonderful local Tibetan Buddhist teacher Ram Jyoti, a/k/a Stephanie Braun. She introduced the evening in a very elegant and beautiful manner. Ram Jyoti enjoyed the teachings of Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati for many years. She presently studies with Dzigar Kontrul Rinpoche who is of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche’s lineage. Ram Jyoti also teaches many classes of Buddhism at her Dharma center in Sebastian.

Dzigar Kontrul speaks of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Because it is so noteworthy of  the teachings of Khyentse, here is Dzigar Kontrul’s  own expression of his personal experience:

When I was in the presence of my teacher, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, the very evenness, clarity, and spaciousness of his mind naturally exposed my self-importance. I knew he could always see through my self-absorption, no matter how significant or complex I thought my story was. This was an unspoken understanding we had as teacher and student. This kind of communication was one of the ways I learned from him.

I saw this kind of interaction take place with others too. Sometimes people whose minds were wild — really crazy — would become immediately tamed by his presence. This is what is meant by the teacher as mirror: The teacher is the mirror that reflects not only how we are stuck but our basic sanity as well. This is the main purpose of the teacher-student relationship.

The inspiring words of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Leaving you with the words of Khyentse Rinpoche:

Do not forget the Lama,

Pray to him at all times.

Do not be carried away by thoughts,

Watch the nature of mind.

Do not forget death,

Persist in Dharma.

Do not forget sentient beings,

With compassion dedicate your merit to them.

If you have a question about “Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche,” or anything else, you can write me at Ask The Spiritual Explorer.

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Permaculture Design Comes to Kashi

Excitement as Permaculture Design Comes to Kashi

permaculture-designThe Florida Permaculture Convergence has hosted an annual statewide gathering, allowing fellow permaculturists to network and deepen their knowledge of permaculture design for two full days. This year the event will be held at Kashi Ashram November 18, 19 and 20.

The theme of permaculture design

The theme of this year is The Inner Landscape, which has been described by its organizers as reflecting the inner landscape of a soul. This reflection is inextricably attached to its ability and willingness to view the world from a place of humility. An appreciation for the design and workings of the natural world are combined with a desire to work with rather than against nature. These are the touchstones of permaculture design. It not only cares for wild ecosystems but cares for the health of the earth and its people.

Beginning of Kashi permaculture design

Four years ago Kashi Ashram began to adapt permaculture design to its 80 acres of its land. They planted multitude trees, shrubs and vegetables all with a mind to integrate and assimilate spiritual teachings gained from its guru Ma Jaya. They saw it as a fuller expression of spirit through the fertile expression of green growth on its land.

Calling itself Sustainable Kashi, permaculture design is now into its fourth year. During the first three years, Kashi added over 200 fruit trees, nitrogen fixing trees, berry bushes and support species to its 80-acre property. Along with growing seasonal veggies for the Kashi community, it also educates the local community through weekly tours, monthly workshops and an annual permaculture design course.

The origins of Permaculture design

Bill Mallison created permaculture design in the 1970’s, an Australian ecologist and University of Tasmania professor. He had spent many years out in nature as a wildlife biologist observing how natural systems work and became very distressed at the destruction that he saw going on around him. However, instead of being angry and reacting against the destruction, he worked on creating a positive solution.  He thought the solution would be living based on the patterns he had observed in nature.

Observations of permaculture design

Mallison observes that natural systems, such as forests and wetlands, are sustainable. They provide for their own energy needs and recycle their own wastes. He also observes that all the different parts of a natural ecosystem work together. Each component of the system performs important tasks. For example, bees help to pollinate, birds provide pest control, certain plants pull nitrogen out of the air and fix it into a form that other plants can use. So everything does useful work. He applies these and other insights to design and create sustainable agricultural systems.

By the 1990s permaculture design spread throughout the US, although better known in other countries around the world. To this day, it’s continuing to grow as a global grassroots movement. People primarily learn about it through permaculture design courses and workshops happening outside of academia.

How to continue permaculture

Many people ask how they can continue to sustain this permaculture design movement through their own gardens and land.  One of the best ways is to attend permaculture groups and bring this knowledge back to your community. A noteworthy components of permaculture design is that it impacts the whole world one garden at a time. When we utilize each and every piece of a garden we make a statement about the world itself. Therefore, we need not waste what we already have if we utilize it wisely with a good purpose in mind.

 

 

 

 

 

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