Harmony of Yoga by Student of Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda (Part 1)

Mantra Meditation

Thank all of you very much for coming. It’s Saturday evening, I know there’re a lot of things to do on Saturday. Everybody had many choices, so we appreciate you’re choosing to come here.

We are going to be speaking tonight about yoga, specifically we will entitle it: The health, harmony and peace of yoga.

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There are different yoga systems. Some are much more popular than others today. But they all have one thing in common: they all revolve around the main activity of meditation. So any presentation on yoga would have to include some meditation. And so it will be tonight.

We’re going to begin our program with the very easy meditation. There are three main reasons for this. Number one, we‘ve been busy all day in the outside world doing whatever we were doing. Now it is time to slow down, relax and be receptive. So our meditation will help that to occur. Number two, by doing this meditation we’ll be able to understand the subject matter a little more easily. And finally, you get to learn this meditation. You can take it home with you, practice on your own.

The type of meditation that we’ll be doing is called mantra meditation. Mantras are transcendental sounds. Transcendental means transcendent or beyond the material realm. Beyond the material realm is the spiritual realm. So transcendental sound means spiritual sound. These mantras originate in the spiritual world and descend into the material world, and they bring with them great spiritual power. When we contact this sound vibration, automatically we receive great spiritual benefit.

In the package that you received, there are two cards which have mantras on them. The mantra we’ll be using now is on this yellow card. It is the mantra GAURANGA. If you look, you see GAURANGA is divided into four syllables: GAU-RA-ANG-GA. That is how we will be using GAURANGA in this meditation. To make sure we have our pronunciation correct, we can all practice saying it now. First I will say the mantra, and then everyone can respond. Ok, is everybody ready? All right. GAU-RA-ANG-GA. GAU-RA-ANG-GA. All right. Very good.

Our technique is also very easy. It’s a deep breathing technique. Sometimes we even call this GAURANGA breathing. We breathe in through our nose very slowly and gently, but also very deeply. Take the air all the way down to the low abdomen. When we inhale, silently in our mind we chant the mantra GAU-RA-ANG-GA. When our body’s filled with air, we begin to exhale and out loud we chant GAU-RA-ANG-GA. Then we’ll repeat this several times.

Before we begin the meditation, we want to relax. To help us relax we’re going to take a big breath and let it out. Then while we do our meditation, we want to listen closely to the sound and put the mind on the sound, meditate on the sound. So that’s the process.

I’m going to give you a demonstration to show how it works. Then we can all do it together. We encourage everyone to take part in the meditation. The more we all take part, the more we all benefit, and you get to experience the meditation directly. Ok, here is the demonstration. I’m going to begin by taking a big breath and relaxing. Now very slowly, gently and deeply I inhale and chant GAU-RA-ANG-GA in the mind:


Ok, it’s just that easy. Let’s all do that now. It’s good to sit erect in your seat, it helps us to breathe. Feet flat on the floor is the best. Now all you have to do is to follow my guidance. Remember to relax, meditate on the sound. When we finish, just sit quietly for a couple of moments and feel the effect. All right, everybody take a big breath, let it out, and relax. Now very slowly, gently and deeply inhale, and chant GAU-RA-ANG-GA in the mind.


So you can see this is a very easy meditation to do. Maybe also you found it’s very relaxing. This is an excellent way to begin your day and an excellent way to end the day. So take your cards with you and you can practice on your own.

We Are The Souls

Before I begin my presentation, I always offer my respects to the great spiritual teachers, our masters, who’ve brought this knowledge to us. All the information I will be presenting comes from the authorized Vedic scriptures. And these scriptures are very ancient, they were written down 5 000 years ago. However the knowledge is eternal. So prior to being written down, it was passed down orally from one perfect master to the next. And such a line of perfect teachers is known as a disciplic succession, or a parampara. A parampara is necessary for the truth to descend in its pure form. We are in the parampara known as the Brahma Sampradaya. We feel very fortunate to receive our knowledge through this lineage. So this is not my opinion, I’m just passing on this eternal science.

Yoga is becoming more and more popular in the world today. You can’t go anywhere where people have not heard of yoga, and many people are actually to some degree practicing yoga. In America it’s basically main stream. Every little town and village has yoga classes. It’s a good thing because yoga is very beneficial for everybody.

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And there are, as I said, different yoga systems, but all these yoga systems start with one basic philosophical foundation. And this is the understanding of one’s identity. So we are going to discuss that now. If you learn one thing in your life, this is the most important thing you can learn.

The Vedas say we should all ask ourself a question, Who am I? Very logical. If you don’t know who you are, you’ve got a big problem.

A trouble experience one may have in life is amnesia. When all of a sudden they don’t know who they are. They’re basically lost: they don’t know who they are, they don’t know where they live, they don’t know who their parents are, they have no contact, no memory, no connections. They don’t know what to do, they are lost. Reality is: we are like that.

You can say, I have my identity. I know who I am. Yes, that’s why we don’t ask ourselves the question Who am I? We do have our identities. We’ve had them our whole lives. We have them in our minds, we have them on our lips, we even have them in our pockets, meaning this is who I think I am, this is who I tell others I am, and I can prove it, here is my passport, documents. We accept it, so does everyone else. But is this our true identity?

Upon close examination we will find this is only a compilation of many labels. And the labelling process begins at birth. So all of us here now, as soon as we took birth, received one of two labels: male or female. And we still identify like that: I‘m a man or I’m a woman. At the same time we get another label according to our race: Caucasian, Negroid. Our national identity can be very strong: I am Russian, I am British. And of course, our family identity: we belong to this family. Actually this identity is so strong that every day on this planet one person kills another person simply because they have a different label.

And this is just the beginning. Many, many labels come and go throughout our entire life. So at birth we also are known as babies, then kids. We start school, now we are students. A few years go by, we are teenagers and finally adults. We take up some profession in life and we are known accordingly: doctors, lawyers, secretaries, nurses. We get married, immediately we are: a husband or a wife. Then we have a child, now we’re parents: fathers, mothers. A few more years go by: grandfathers, grandmothers. This is how we see ourself, This is me. This is who I am. And this continues on and on until we finally get the last label: dead.

But if we look closely, we see this is all in relation to our material body. It is true that the body is male or female, black or white, old or young. Whatever the body is, it is. That’s true. But the question is, Is this who we are? Every day we all take our pilgrimage to the mirror to see how we look. Sometimes we’re a little disappointed. We always come back the next day, Gee, maybe there’s been some improvement? But the question is, Do I really see myself? Am I this material body?

If we want the most authoritative answer, we should go to the revealed scriptures of the world. There we will learn: no, you are not the material body. But this is the modern world. Very rarely there’s anyone who goes to scripture to find out the truth in life. But we do readily accept the conclusions of the scientists. We like the scientists because they prove things. And uniquely enough, in this case the scientists have proven in their laboratories that we’re not our material body.

They discovered there’s no cell in the human body that lives more than five years. Some cells have a very short life. The lining of our stomach, those cells live five days. Our skin cells – one month. Liver cells – six weeks, etc. But in five years everything has changed. So if I am looking at a photograph of myself taken ten years ago, the eyes in the photograph are different than the eyes I’m looking at the photograph with. They’re not the same eyes. According to the scientific formula, if I am 35 years old, I’ve had seven bodies. But of course, we all know we are not seven different people. Everybody knows: I am still me. So the changing factor’s the material body, and the constant factor is ourself. We’re not this material body.

Now at this point some people become introspective. They begin to look inside to find out who they really are. And when we look inside, what do we find? Emotion, desire, feeling, will, it’s all very real. This is easy to conclude, This is who I really am. Maybe we even have an experience that reinforces this, let’s say we are very emotionally upset. We recognize when people look at us, they don’t see us. All they see is the outside cover. And we might feel very lonely. Sometimes we even say, Nobody really knows me.

But we must confirm this with scripture, especially the Vedic scriptures because they’re very detailed in this knowledge. When we do, we find we’ve made another mistake. This is not who we are either. This is another material body. It’s called the subtle mental body, sometimes called the austral body. I’m sure some of you’ve heard of the austral body. So really we have two bodies: the physical body and the mental body, like two layers of clothing: an outer layer and an under layer.

But the question remains, Who am I? So once again we go to the Vedas. There we learn we are in a different category of energy. Everything is energy. Our bodies are material energy. But we learn that we are spiritual energy. We further learn we’re tiny spark of spiritual energy.

We learn that material energy is temporary, and that’s very easy to see. We all know too well that our bodies are very temporary; so much so we don’t even want to talk about that, Hey, don’t talk about that! But even a more permanent things like this building… Come back here in 1 000 years, Where was that lecture, again? Temporary. But we learn that spirit is eternal. Eternal means no beginning and no end. So we’re eternal.

We also learn that material energy is non-living, and again that’s easy to see. In this table, in this microphone there’s no life. But we learn that spirit is life itself. There’s no such thing as live matter. There’s no such thing as dead spirit. We are the life force in the body. As long as we’re present in the body, the body’s called alive. But actually this is not true. The body’s dead. We are alive. It becomes obvious at the time of death. At the time of death we leave the body and at that moment the body shows its true nature: it can’t even sit in a chair, falls on the floor. So we are the life force in the body.

Therefore our true identity is spirit soul. Spirit meaning that we are spiritual in essence, and soul meaning this individual spiritual spark that we eternally are. We never become someone else. We never cease to exist. For some people this is very depressing news, What? I’ll always be me? Gee, I thought it will be over soon! Sorry, it’s never over. But when we learn the truth in life, this becomes very wonderful news. So once again, we are spirit soul.

And we further learn we are part and parcel of the Supreme Soul. There is a Supreme Soul from which we all come. We are known as the atma, and the Supreme Soul is the Paramatma. Now understanding our true identity, we can begin to discuss yoga in a very logical way.

The Causes of Disharmony

Yoga is not a material philosophy. Yoga is not only material, it is not only philosophy. Yoga means living the philosophy. The actions, the practices are contained in this philosophy. Incorporating that into your life, you have a yoga lifestyle.

The main yoga that is known today is Hatha yoga. Hatha yoga is basically for the physical body. Not exclusively; it also has a very positive effect on the mental body. It is a series of bodily asanas, or poses. By practicing these asanas, one can receive great benefit for body. All different systems in the body can be addressed: the muscular system, the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the nervous system, the skeletal system, the various organs in the body, etc. They can be addressed and benefit.

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That is why this Hatha yoga is so popular today: people identify themselves as being the material body. So they want something for the body, something that will make them look better. Maybe they want to lose weight, improve their skin tone, whatever. Maybe they have some physical problems: the bad back. Hatha yoga is very, very good for the bad back. All kinds of ailments can be improved. Maybe they want to improve their athletic skills. You can do that as well. The major league football teams in America started having their players do Hatha yoga. Not only they did improve their playing, but it also reduced their injuries. Material benefit. So therefore those who identify with the body will be attracted to this type of yoga.

And as I mentioned, Hatha yoga can also be beneficial for the mind. The mind and the body are very closely connected, it’s very difficult to separate the two. They are separate, but they influence each other continuously. So when the body becomes more relaxed, the mind becomes more relaxed. And when the mind is more relaxed, the body is more relaxed. These two work together.

Remember the idea was health, harmony and peace. The key word here is harmony. This is the one thing that we need to try to work toward. Harmony, of course as we know, means working together.

It could be a machine; there has to be harmony within a machine. Take a car engine, there’re so many working parts. I won’t go into details because maybe you don’t know much about engines, but everybody knows when all the parts are working as they should, the motor runs good. Things are firing at the right time, things are going up and down at the right time. All kinds of harmony here.

But let one part get out of harmony, then chaos begins. One thing bumps into another thing, things start breaking. We call it blowing up the engine. Now it doesn’t work at all, or if it works, it doesn’t work very good because it went into inharmonious condition.

So you take that same principal and you apply it anywhere. Music. When all the notes work together in accord, then there’s harmony. But if one note is wrong, you play the wrong note in accord, it doesn’t sound good, does it? Out of harmony, off key, sounds bad. And so it is in the body.

But let’s take it to a bigger picture. Remember we’re spirit soul, part and parcel of the Supreme Soul. The Supreme Soul creates everything, including ourselves, our bodies, our minds, the material world and all the many, many systems that make it all work together. He has created a huge machine which includes matter and spirit working together. And He has designated a way to work together so there will be harmony. Harmony between all the different parts of the body.

Just the physical body has to be in harmony, all these parts have to work together. It requires a lot of attention: the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the exercise we get, all kinds of different requirements here for there to be harmony. And when there’s harmony, there’s health.

And the mind. There needs to be harmony here as well. And all of this has to be coordinated with the soul. And all of that has to be coordinated with the Supreme Soul.

So there is a complete system to be followed so this is possible to achieve. And that system is called the yoga system. Automatically, if we follow these systems of yoga, we will be in harmony with everything. Right now we are completely out of harmony with everything. And that’s why there is chaos everywhere.

There is a system of nature, laws of material nature that have to be followed. Respect for nature and these laws. If we don’t respect and follow these laws, then we have chaos. So I think we will all agree that on the planet today that’s, unfortunately, what we have.

If you look at the material world, look at nature, everything is so perfectly designed. Everything works together. All the life forms have their place: one helps this way, one helps another way, one provides food, one provides this, one provides that… When nature operates on its own, non-interfered with, everything is Ok.

But when men intervene not in harmony with God’s system but acting independently, determined to make things better, we cause a lot of problems. So that’s why the planet is in such difficulty right now. I don’t think anybody can deny this. The scientists declare it, we experience it. Things are getting so bad that various species of life can no longer survive. Every hour three species become extinct. They had their place in the system but the system is so disturbed that they can no longer survive.

We require basic essentials to live: air, water, food. And for our life to be healthy and harmonious, there has to be clean air, not just air. And there needs to be clean water, not just water. And there needs to be clean food, not chemically filled and genetically modified food.

But we’ve changed all that. So now everything is toxic. And we pay the price. We pay the price in disease, pay the price in all kinds of different stress, again destroying the planet and all the other people living on the planet.

Because we think we’re god, I’m god, I’m the controller. I decide what is right and what is wrong, throw away these so-called yoga systems. We have something better. We’ll just manufacture it or will invent it, or will modify it – whatever we decide to do in our position as new lords.

But we could ask, Ok, is it working? Are things getting better? I don’t think there’s anybody who’ll say, Yes, it’s getting much better! I think everybody will agree things are getting worse. There’s more disease although we have all kinds of amazing ways to cure them. People still die every day.

And the stress: not only the physical but the mental body is being bombarded. We have such weak psyches. It’s hard to find a person who’s not in some way psychically stressed or damaged. So we take all types of medications, legal and illegal, and try to cope. And remember the mental affects the physical.

Cancer’s ripened today, and one of the leading causes is stress. What does the stress come from? The creation was not designed to be stressful. We have created all this. So now we are filled with fear and worry, What’s the future going to be? What’s this? What’s that? So the body suffers because of it. On and on it goes.

I think it’s very obvious there’s a problem. We’re out of sync, we’re like that engine and it’s all broken. We’re individual parts of that machine bumping into each other.

There’s supposed to be harmony between individual souls. Our relationship with each other should be very harmonious, peaceful. But unfortunately, it’s not like that. There’s so much chaos now on the planet: so many wars, so much conflict, domestic conflict in the families. Where is the peace? Where is the harmony? It’s been replaced with the adverse. And in the nation, in the world there’s so much political unrest, social unrest, chaos, no harmony. Turn on the news, what do you see? Chaos. Do you see harmony? People picking up flowers, holding hands, singing together? Nobody would even watch that! There’s no interest there, stupid stuff. We see some killing, some bombs, some murders, what’s interesting here. We’ve even developed the taste for that, we like it. That’s how twisted things have become.

And worst of all is the relationship between ourselves and the Supreme Soul. That’s been completely abandoned. Nobody even has any clue what to do about that. Nobody has an interest in that. What are you talking about? But this is the most important thing. See, we can supposedly be in harmony with the body, the mind, each other, the environment, but if we’re not in harmony with the Supreme Lord, we still have a big problem.

Our position is subordinate. We have to harmonize with His systems, with His words, with His guidance, with His instructions. And if one does that, everything will be very, very good. One will be healthy, happy, harmonious and peaceful. That’s the formula. That is the design.

It’s like a good engine builder: he doesn’t build an engine to blow up but he sends that engine out with some instructions: There’s a perfectly built engine, but you need to maintain it. Use this kind of oil, service it regularly, use this type of coolant, keep it within this RPM range, all kinds of instructions. And if you do that, then everything will be good. But if you don’t do this, I am not responsible, you will destroy the engine.

So the Supreme Lord builds a perfect system. He says, You follow this system and everything will be very nice, things will work together: your body, your mind, your relationship with the environment and other living entities, and most importantly, with Myself. And we can all be happy.

And gradually you will evolve in your consciousness. And as the consciousness evolves, the awareness of the truth and the goal in life becomes more clear. You become more of a yogi. Yoga means union. That’s what the word itself means. And it specifically means union between the individual soul and the Supreme Soul.

But that union includes union with the whole system, Oh, I’m in union with God. But I am not in union with any of His teachings, His system, His arrangements, His design of the body, His recommendations of how to live, what to do. I don’t have any care about that stuff. See, you can’t do it like that. It has to be together, you can’t take one part, I like this part, but I don’t like these parts. So that’s what we do, Oh, I like this part, but these parts…no. You can’t do that. You can do that, and we do it, but it does not work.