Narasimha on mysticism

My question to Narasimha today was about what he had said before on the differences between Hindouism and Abrahamic religions. Two things were puzzling me in this structure:

Christianity – The God created the world and remained outside + division in Heaven and Hell vs Hindouism – The God created the world and remained in it + division in Heaven, Hell and Liberation.

I was wondering if Narasimha had been talking theologically or experientially and if  the Christianity had the same liberation possible in terms of Mercy. I also asked if the Christ consciousness was equivalent to Atman, God inside of us.

Narasimha said that the mainstream in Christianism is very dry. Some mystics brought light to it through their experience. These mystic experiences among Christians were not in conformity with the religion and thus are not officially part of the religion.

Hindouism has a fluid structure, is very much alive and can absorb anything, like all the new achievements of the science.

Christianism  looks good, but clearly is not satisfying the need of mystic experience today. People search these mystic experiences through other religions.

Narasimha suggested that we do some research on the Christian mystics, like Teresa of Ávila and her writings on the ascent of the soul to see if we can find similarities between Christianity and Hindouism on the experiential level.


Photo by Minna Nuotio

Narasimha on Shraddha


Patanjali’s yoga is called Raja Yoga.  Patanjali’s yoga is like a road map. It can lead to Kaivalya, enlightenment.

The goal is a state of least excitement, the state of total happiness that doesn’t need any external agents.

Beyond the sensory principle, there is ultimate energy that can be approached by a specific methode which is not cognizable by intellect.

You need faith (Shraddha). Faith is difficult, because the mind is afraid to believe what is unknown to it.

The work is a process of involution. We reduce the obstacles of the mind and when they become smaller, we can destroy them completely.  (II.10 Te pratiprasava heyah suksmah)

In Kaivalya, we are totally alone. It doesn’t mean lonely. In this aloneness, we are neither distracted nor disturbed.


My father must have been a whole lot scared for me, because when I was a teenager, he used to spy on me to know exactly what I was up to.  Because of his possessiveness I knew that I would never stand a jealous partner. Life gave me partners who differed a lot from my father in their attitudes towards me. I was grateful for that! What I ignored was that one day I was going to face my fate, my greatest fear, ingeniously disguised.

My partners were not jealous, but some of my female acquaintances were. I remember few of them who were seriously attached to me. This attachment grew either silentely and remotely or very radically and obviously. These relationships had a one-sided admiration and “love” that I didn’t understand carried a risk for me.  Even if these people were not my close friends they strangely became emotionally dependent on me when they got to know me better.

Recently there’s been some discussion on the web about the victims of yoga gurus and yoga teachers. The situation has been explained also by the need of the teacher to be loved and admired. It can be true for some teachers. This kind of idealisation can also be the student’s need to find someone to admire. My experience as a yoga teacher was that I was the victim of an inconmensurable interest and possessive admiration without wanting it at all. Sure, I feel good when my students like me. I feel bad to fill someone else’s mind day in day out with whatever I say or do.

Personally I feel admiration is a positive and elevating feeling and I do admire for example many of my friends, because they are adorable. That’s why seeing a kind of admiration in few of my students towards me didn’t make me worried immediately. I didn’t know that this kind of obsessive admiration can exist with respect to yoga teachers. These people wanted to own me. They might have got overwhelmed in their feelings because of my position and not my personality. Anyway, they regressed.

This kind of blind admiration fused with jealousy and hatred made me feel bad many times. Every now and then I told these students that I was just an average person and I tried to convince them not having anything to admire really. The look in their eyes told me there was nothing to do. They were in their own world and I was part of it whether I wanted it or not. Anything I said or did was distorted.

The Oedipus myth became very concrete to me when I realized that I was attracting exactly the same energy that I wanted to escape: possession, jealousy and even persecution. I was in the hands of the beast. Afterwards I could see more clearly that the myth took place where I was the least conscious: where my personal and professional lives met and so did the expectations of these people. They idolized the teacher, not me, I guess.

The yoga teachers are vulnerable because they assume a relatively new profession which is so far quite unprotected. The students may project their needs, hopes, desires and (wrong) expectations on the teacher and the teacher is not always aware of this. The complexity of this kind of relations should be continuously openly discussed and shared. But how and where?  It’s not simple because many issues are personal and intimate and I guess all the teachers share the same ethics that we are not to talk about our students’ personal problems. The more serious the problems, the more delicate they are.

The practice make people often feel happy and they might attribute that feeling to a person, their teacher. My aim has always been to show the path for my students, not to be the center of their admiration and attention. Some students get blind, fall in love and then when they realize, the feelings are not reciprocal, they start to hate the teacher. Some of them are even hungry for revenge.

I know I’m not the only one to have this experience.  I’ve seen also that there are students who feel that a yoga teacher should take anything. You can always count on his/her gentleness, patience, love and that he/she accepts any aggression.  It’s certainly the minority of the students who behave this way, but their hatred can be extreme and destructive and it has to be stopped as soon as it begins.

I’m grateful for having faced the beast. It was a magnificent turning point in my personal life.


J’ai eu un père possessif. Un père qui m’ espionnais pour savoir exactement ce que je faisais, où je me trouvais. Très jeune, je savais que je ne voudrais jamais un homme possessif, jaloux. J’ai eu la chance d’avoir des compagnons qui ressemblaint peu à mon père dans leurs dispositions envers moi. Ce que j’ignorais, c’est que j’allais faire face à ma peur ultime, rencontrer le mythe d’Oedipe dans un déguisement déroutant. On n’échappe pas à son destin..

Les compagnons pas jaloux. Par contre, des copines jalouses qui devenaient possessives, soit tout de suite, soit progressivement et à mon insu. L’admiration n’était pas tout à fait réciproque, mais je n’ai pas su interpréter leur attachement comme quelque chose de dangereux. Pour moi personnellement, l’admiration est un sentiment positif et élevé, mais il existe aussi une admiration possessive, obsessive, maladive.

Récemment, on a évoqué plusieurs cas de victimes des gurus et des professeurs de yoga sur le web. Il y en a eu qui ont expliqué cela en partie par le besoin des professeurs d’être idolâtrés. Quoi qu’il en soit, il ne s’agit pas toujours du besoin d’être idolâtré d’un professeur. Au contraire, l’élève peut avoir une obsession, une nécessité de trouver quelqu’un pour ses propres projections. J’aime bien être aimée. Mais il m’est pénible de faire constamment l’objet des pensées de quelqu’un par tout ce que je dis ou fais.

Moi, j’ai été la victime d’une possession de quelques-unes de mes élèves. Leur attachement était excessif. Tous ces sentiments ont grandi camouflés jusqu’à un certain degré au-dessous de la surface. J’ai quand même pu me rendre compte de l’importance disproportionnée que j’avais dans leur vie par mon intuition et par leurs insinuations. Je leur en ai parlé en cherchant à les convaincre que j’étais comme tout le monde et qu’il n’y avait rien à admirer. Face à leurs regards fixes, j’ai compris que la communication normale était impossible. Elles étaient dans leur monde dont je faisais parti que je le veuille ou non. Tout ce que je disais, était vu d’une façon tordue. Je me sentais incapable de rectifier leurs fausses idées à mon égard.

Même quand ces personnes étaient loin de moi, elles parlaient de moi aux autres, elles pensaient à moi. J’étais le centre de leur vie sans jamais le vouloir aucunement. Je me suis sentie persécutée, parce que leur curiosité était intrusive et envahissante. Bien entendu, ces personnes se comportaient aussi d’une façon normale de temps en temps et c’est pour cela que je n’ai pas pu comprendre toute la complexité de leur comportement.

Le mythe d’Oedipe m’a touché personnellement. J’ai compris que le fait d’éviter l’image que j’avais dans la tête, je ne faisait qu’attirer cette énergie vers moi. La possession, la jalousie et la persécution. J’étais entre les griffes d’une bête, même si ce n’était pas tout à fait la même chose que j’avais vécue enfant. En fuyant mon père, je l’ai retrouvé au fond de la grotte.  Tombée dans la trappe, j’ai dû faire face à ma peur et j’ai pu assumer mon destin.

Les professeurs de yoga, c’est une communauté professionnelle assez neuve en Occident  et probablement vulnérable. Elle a besoin de solidarité mutuelle entre les représentants de ce métier. Il y a souvent beacoup d’attentes de la part des élèves. Certains élèves s’aveuglent et se mettent à  idolâtrer les professeurs, certains les haïssent et j’ai l’impression que parfois c’est vu comme normal. Comme si un professeur de yoga devait être toujours gentil et accepter les aggressions qui lui sont adressées.

Je dois avouer que, j’ai une gratitude envers cette bête qui m’a surprise, car j’ai pu me débarrasser d’un fardeau subconscient énorme.


Isäni oli omista peloistaan johtuen hyvin omistushaluinen ja piti minut pienestä tytöstä asti tiukassa otteessaan.  Pysyäkseen tarkkaan selvillä  askeleistani hän seurasi ja vakoili minua. Tiesin jo varhain, että en koskaan kestäisi elämässäni mustasukkaista miestä. Tielleni sattuikin kumppaneita, jotka muistuttivat isääni ilahduttavan vähän suhtautumisessaan minuun. Sitähän en tiennyt, että Oidipus-myytti ilmenisi eräänä päivänä minullekin  – sonnustauneena harhauttavaan asuun, kuten asiaan kuuluu. Kohtaloaan kun ei pääse pakoon.

Miesystävät eivät olleet mustasukkaisia tai omistushaluisia, mutta naispuoliset tuttavat sen sijaan olivat. Mieleeni muistuu muutama, joka heti tutustumisen alussa osoitti hetkittäin kuumottavia omistuselkeitä ja jonka takertuminen minuun tapahtui joko jotenkin huomaamattani ja jopa etäällä minusta tai sitten hyvin radikaalisti ja näkyvästi. Näihin suhteisiin  liittyi voimakas yksipuolinen ihailu ja jopa rakastuminen, jota en osannut pitää vaaran merkkinä.

Joissain verkkokeskusteluissa joogagurujen ja -opettajien uhreista on tätä hyväksikäyttöilmiötä selitetty muun muassa joogaopettajien ihailun tarpeella. Mene tiedä. Itse olen joutunut muutaman naisoppilaani kohtuuttoman kiinnostuksen ja omistushaluisen ihailun kohteeksi haluamatta sitä lainkaan. Itselleni ihaileminen on pääasiassa positiivinen ja kohottava tunne enkä siksi osannut varautua tällaisen pakkomielteisen ihailun kohteeksi joutumista, jossa olin käsittääkseni enemmän  joogaopettajan ominaisuudessa kuin yksityishenkilönä.

Kateuteen ja vihaan sekoittunut ihailu sai minut voimaan usein huonosti. Silloin tällöin otin asian puheeksi näiden oppilaiden kanssa ja vakuuttelin heille, ettei minussa ei ole ihailtavaa sen enempää kuin kenessäkään muussakaan. Tajusin heidän lasittuneesta katseestaan, että vakuuttelut olivat turhia. He olivat omassa maailmassaan ja minä olin osa sitä halusin tai en. Sanomiseni ja tekemiseni nähtiin aina jossain vääristyneessä valossa ja tunsin itseni neuvottomaksi yrittäessäni oikoa virhekäsityksiä.

Tällainen idealisaatio ei siis välttämättä lähde kohteensa tarpeesta tulla ihailluksi, vaan kyse on ihailijan tarpeesta löytää sopiva ihailun kohde. Minusta on ihan mukavaa, kun minusta pidetään. Sen sijaan minusta on tuskallisen epämiellyttävää täyttää jonkun ihmisen ajatukset päivästä toiseen sillä mitä teen, sanon, jätän tekemättä tai sanomatta.

Oidipus-myytti avautui minulle hyvin henkilökohtaisesti, kun tajusin, että torjuessani sen kuvan, joka minulla oli mielessäni ja hihkuessani sisäisesti jo pälkähästä pääsemisen iloa, vedin puoleeni torjumaani energiaa. Possessiivisuutta, mustasukkaisuutta ja jopa vainoa. Olin pedon kynsissä, vaikka se oli erilaista mitä olin kokenut isäni taholta. Sain tuntea luita ja ytimiä myöten sen mitä juoksin karkuun. Jälkeenpäin näen, että myytti kiilautui siihen missä olin vähiten kokenut, tietoinen ja kirkas eli kun henkilökohtainen ja ammatillinen elämäni linkittyivät.

Joogaopettajien tuore ammattikunta on toistaiseksi aika suojaton kaikkien odotusten, vaatimusten ja väärien näkemysten edessä, koska ohjaajat eivät myöskään voi ymmärtää oppilaiden outoa suhtautumista ennen kuin näitä kokemuksia on enemmän ja niitä myös jaetaan avoimesti.  Jotkut oppilaat sokaistuvat, ihastuvat, jotkut vihaavat ja näyttää siltä, että se on joidenkin mielestä oikeutettua. Joogaopettajan odotetaan jostain syystä olevan aina kiltti ja hyväksyvän itseensä kohdistuvat hyökkäykset. Jotkut selvästikin kokevat, että joogaopettaja on olemassa, jotta häneen voi purkaa kaiken pahan olonsa. Näitä on varmastikin murto-osa koko oppilasmäärästä, mutta heidän vihansa voi ollakin mittaamattoman suuri ja tuhovoimainen.

Vaikka tämä kokemus oli piinallinen ja puistattava, olen siitä nyt kiitollinen. Tämä sudenkuoppa vapautti minut osasta menneisyyden taakkaani ja siitä tuli kuin tulikin elämäni yksi merkittävimmistä, positiivisista käännekohdista.

1383557_10151902295074061_1534893271_n                                                                                                  Photo by Minna Nuotio

Narasimha on Reality

Today Narasimha was talking just for a short moment. He continued the theme of happiness through Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram.

About Sundaram, the experience of beauty, he said that as the experience is true, the personal experience is reality. And reality is always personal experience.

But of course, there is the real reality, not based on the subjective experience.

How can we reach it?

The amount of reality in our life depends on two things: the purity of our nervous system and the level of our consciousness.


Narasimha on Purusartha

Four facets of human life which according to the Indian system

–  make us interact with the external world

–  form the aim of human existence

–  lead to happiness :

Dharma, Kama, Moksha, Artha

Kama – desire that is going out. When desire has to interact, it has to compromise. Therefore there has to be a predictable methodology of interaction for the Kama to lead to the satisfaction. It needs internal paraphernalia that there could be the total satisfaction. (e.g. not any food will satisfy everybody, it can only fill the stomach.)

Moksha – liberation from desire by action. For example, when we’re hungry, we eat and become happy. When we are tired, we sleep and become happy. (Also a wider meaning: when you have the total liberation, you don’t need to worry of any desire.)

Artha – a need for the paraphernalia, i.e. tools for satisfying the desire.  For each type of desire, Artha is different. This specificity of procuring the paraphernalia that satisfies us is called Artha.

Dharma – For all this (Kama, Moksha, Artha) we are dependent on the external world. How are we to procure these things to satisfy our needs without antagonizing the society around us? Dharma is the proper way of living by which we can procure the things that are desirable for us without antagonizing the society.

Dharma becomes the dominant drive on the basis of mutual understanding of the interaction. We provide satisfaction to the society, the society provides satisfaction to us.  Dharma depends on our age, family situation, personality, responsibility.

The ‘I’ is a combination of suffering and action. (KleshaKarmaVipaka of Patanjali)

Why do people easily welcome sleep? Because then there’s no need to decide, to choose, to worry.  Most of the addictions are the substitute for sleep, because people can’t cope with the world. By shutting off of the world (because you don’t want to suffer neither take action), you avoid taking responsibility (schizophrenia is one of the mind’s ways to get out of the reality). This way the Klesha-Karma overwhelms us. In a predictable world the decision making is easy. In this chaotic world the decision making is always hazardous.

Desire and satisfaction happen inside, not outside. The satisfaction is dependent on the coherence of the different functions in Koshas. The Koshas should be healthy. If Koshas are in contradiction, the chaos will appear and we are not able to understand the situation. Our reactions will be accordingly – wrong. We should be able to use our consciousness to operate in and to interact with nature and get the feedback. How to get rid of the interaction on the Kosha level?

Even when Koshas are healthy, one more complexity on the energy level appears, the Gunas:

The consciousness is made of three components.

Sattva, Rajas, Tamas

Matter stays in a place. Energy is always moving. Consciousness is an energy. When it decides, the matter moves. If no direction or no purpose, it just wastes its energy without no useful benefit for us. If harnessed, it should be harnessed to a creative, evolutionary direction -> vertical growth = Sattva.

If you think you can’t grow, you will destroy yourself. The decay is possible when our Rajas is stagnating within the system.

All energy is Rajas. Stagnation of Rajas = Tamas (Inertia).

All matter is Tamas.

Tamas is also essential -it should be used by Rajas to recover itself.  Tamas should not conduct your energy, it’s just for control.

Sattva is a directional and benificial way of thinking and acting.

Yoga is to transform Tamas and Rajas in Sattva. Yoga catalyses our activity towards the evolution and condenses the complex evolution within one birth. That’s why it’s painful. We should control our consciousness so that Sattva always dominates, because only then we can go on the path of evolution.


* Narasimha *

Narasimha on Jivatma


Annamaya Kosha, i.e. the physical system has 2 aspects: motor nerves and sensory nerves.

Manifest is something we can conceive, understand. Unmanifest is something that exists, but we don’t know it. Electricity by itself is unmanifest. It manifests in a light bulb or a fan. In the same way all energy is unmanifest until it comes in contact with an object. Manifestation of the energy is only possible when there’s an association with material things.

Who’s the one who knows the function of Vijnanamaya Kosha, Manomaya Kosha, Pranamaya Kosha and Annamaya Kosha? It’s another energy level which operates throughout these even in the external world. This is what we call  ‘I’ or ‘Soul’ or ‘Atman’.

We see the body as solid, but there’s movement inside. It’s like the atoms in the whole universe.

Stability exists in different ways. The sun rises every day, there’s a movement and stability.Most of the time our whole system is metastable, not stable. The metastability increases in terms of changes in the system in evolution or devolution.

This energy system or soul is called Jivatma (intelligence that is alive) in India. The liveness means movement, activity. Because of the activity of Jivamukta we can understand  the activity of the koshas and we can use these appendages of the mind to understand the external world.

Why do we want to understand the external world? Because we want to enjoy it. We like something, we want to have it. What do we do? We use our functional / motor organs to get it. We do an activity to acquire it so we can be happy. As long as there is a perfect coordination between the sensory organs and the motor functions, we are always happy.

Because of the incapability in any level or if the koshas are not in cohesion or in tune with each other, our efficiency gets stalled. Our sense organs are not perfect. Our motor nerves can’t sometimes reach what we want. Any discordination in the system causes unhappiness.

Our happiness is more often mental (we imagine things) than real. Our inner perceptions vary and change. Mostly the perceptions are manifestations of our imagination.

The basic manifestation starts with the Manomaya Kosha (feelings) with the help of Vijnanamaya Kosha (logical mind). In Vijnanamaya Kosha  the soul is basically an intelligent principle. It uses the analytical capability of Vijnanamaya Kosha to function efficiently in the world. It can manipulate the combinations, but it will not create anything new out of the box. The Vijnanamaya Kosha is used as a means by the Manomaya Kosha in all the functions of the prana.

As long as we interact with objects, we want to avoid pain and sustain pleasure. The problem is that even when our intention is to sustain the pleasure continuously, our sense organs are not capable of giving the information continuously. The alteration of break and connection are necessary for the pleasure to go on, but we don’t want the breaks. When we don’t want the breaks, it will end up in pain, because the sensation is not there. The sensory information is not coming in, because the senses have to stop sometimes.

If flexibility doesn’t exist, if understanding of our personality doesn’t exist, we are always landing into the misery and uncertainty.

These things are all controlled by Anandamaya Kosha which is the stablest kosha.

Jivatma, soul has a feedback system, constant flux going from the soul to the object. But in all these things there’s a level of stability that has to be maintained. It doesn’t change fast. Ishvara, creative intelligence looks after all other levels. Jivatma is the de-stabilizing force. In the fluctuations there’s life.

How to reach the state of least effort while alive? As long as our search is going to the external world, this state is not possible. It can only happen when we understand how to stop the activity of the koshas. On the zero level of activity, we realize ourselves and heal the other koshas.

Narasimha on Gayatri mantra

It’s 24 syllables .

In western Abrahamic religions there is opposition to forms, formless is preferred.

It’s universal. Usually mantras speak in terms of specific deities or gods. Gayatri Mantra doesn’t specify anything, but it is specifically meant to invoke our mental faculties on the path of evolution. It’s supposed to make us more intelligent. We are not to exploit others by our cleverness. If we start to exploit others by our cleverness, one day or the other we’ll be victim of our own cleverness. We should  grow and make others grow.

Evolutionary intelligence = creative intelligence manifestation – means that we don’t repeat the same mistakes again or take routine solutions. When we know permanent solution, we don’t look for a temporal solution. Creative intelligence manifestation is possible by Gayatri Mantra, because it produces clarity of mind.

History  of Gayatri Mantra: Vishvamitra was a king. He was born into a warrior family. He rebelled against all establishment. He wanted to become a supreme academician, a brahmin. Genes are usually more dominant than nature. Genetically Vishvamitra was proposed to be in a warrior group, but he did a lot of Tapas, so he could transform his genetic code to that of a brahmin. He achieves it with perseverence.

A warrior is a ruler. A ruler has a duty to judge and to punish. The punishing attitude means you act with a superior ego. If you have a superior ego, you can’t become a brahmin. People said to Vishvamitra: you can’t do it in this birth because you can’t do Ishvara pranidhana. Vishvamitra said: I will do it in this body, transform this body, in this birth. (Jayashree comments: “like you people” and makes us laugh.)

During the Kali yuga (which began 5000 years ago) people are selfish, cruel, material, ready to enjoy their senses at the cost of others.

The scholars were asking how to bring people to higher levels of conscience. They have lost their sensitivity of their conscience to be simple, not to hurt others and to be kind and compassionate – what we call human qualities. How can we restore this in this age of Kali Yuga? They selected Vishvamitra, because they thought that a person who had such arrogant and aggressive qualities and who had been able to overcome them and to  become such a kind person, could do it.

Mantra of Gayatri manifested to him in Samadhi. It had to be tested.  Vishvamitra took the lowest type of human beings and taught them this mantra and the procedure how to practice it. When they meditated with this mantra they were all transformed to human beings from beast like savages. They became humans and could go further.

First you become human. Then you can become divine.

Let this be spread all over the world, let’s mitigate the demonic  tendencies that develop in human beings.

It’s not a religious mantra. It has nothing to do with religion. You will be able to understand your own religion better if you practice this.

If you don’t have any inner experience of that kind, you can’t understand sacred literature. Until someone has the inner experience, you can’t convince them.

When the teacher who has practiced it and never wavers from it, tells you about it, you believe it.

In India they say: Educate a man, you educate  an individual.  Educate a woman, you educate a generation.

Women were not allowed to chant this mantra, because the Indians were afraid Muslims would misuse this knowledge. So the mantra was not even taught to women (colonisation always targets the women).

2013-11-12 13.37.23

* The entrance to the Chanting paradise *