The Wisdom of Yoga..Life, Death & Rebirth

Discussion in 'Community' started by resm, May 31, 2002.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2002
    Having done (Tantra) Yoga for the last 17 yrs myself and to give Dukestreet something to read, here a small exerpt from a book called "The Wisdom of Yoga". This form of Yoga is called "Tantra" Yoga and has its roots 7500 years back. It is the base of all spiritual philosophy and has nothing to do with what is sometimes called "Tantra" in connection with some almost extreme sexual practise.

    In order to understand the process of rebirth it is necessary to understand what is life. Life is a parallelism between mind and body. There is a particular wavelength associated with the body, and there is a particular wavelength associated with the mind. Just as in modern physics, the yogis have said that this entire creation is vibration and that the vibrations are of varying wavelengths. When these wavelength are parallel we have life.
    However, if something happens to the physical body such as an accident or sickness, the physical wavelength may change and the parallelism may be lost. In this case we have what is known as the physical cause of death.
    Similarly the body may be functioning properly, but if there is a severe shock to the mind the mental wave may change and the parallelism is lost. This is known as the psychic cause of death.
    An example of this is a person dying due to having experienced a tremendous shock.
    Another example occurs when animals live with humans. A dog living with a human family is constantly in contact with the more developed human minds. The dog who lives, eats and travels with humans, begins to undergo an expansion of mind. His mind becomes gradually more and more human-like.
    If the expansion continues there may eventually be death due to the loss of parallelism between his mental and physical wavelengths. In this case the mental wavelength has changed due to the contact with human beings and will consequently require a more subtle body with which it can find parallelism. This will probably be a human body.
    There is another possibility, which is known as the spiritual cause of death. In very evolved spiritual practitioners, the mind will become absorbed in cosmic consiousness, which has a vibration of infinite wavelength represented as a straight line. If the mind attains prolonged parallelism with the cosmic entity, the person will lose parallelism with the physical body.
    In this case the person "leaves" his or her body and attains the state of "Moksa". It is not a death in the sense of annihilation, but a merger into a state of infinite beatitude.
    There is one more element that we must examine before we can fully understand the process of life, death and rebirth. In every living being there is not only a physical body and not only a mind, but also "Atman" or unit of witnessing consciousness. This witnessing consciousness is the ultimate witness of the mind and is the source of the "I feeling" in the statement "I know that I exist". In an earlier chapter the three functional parts of the mind have been discussed: Citta (I have done), Aham (I do) and Mahat (I exist).
    The "I" which verifies the existense of this three functional parts of the mind is known as the "Atman". It is the imperishable unit of consciousness and is the key to unlocking the mystery of life, death and rebirth.
    When a person dies, the vital energy of the body (prana) enters a state of disequilibrium and leaves the body. With the loss of the vital energies, the physical body ceases to function. The formerly living person loses all sense of pleasure, pain and self-consiousness. Although the mind enters a "long sleep" at the time of death, it has not perished as the physical body has. The Samskaras--reactive momenta of the mind--exist and are recorded in the casual mind. The Atman remains as the witness of this inactive mind.
    According to the type of Samskaras, the inactive mind has a particular wavelength and where there is a proper physical body anywhere in this universe which has a wavelength parallel to that of this mind, the mind will be reborn in this new body. The living being will then have the possibility to experience the potential reactions acquired in previous life times.
    How long will the interim period last ? It can be very short or it can be thousand of years. The important thing is that there must be a suitable body somewhere in the cosmos whitch matches the vibration of the inactive disembodied mind and soul.
    Another commonly asked question regarding reincarnation is wether one can remember his or her past lives. Up to the age of four years a person has extra-crebral memory which includes memory of the past lives. However, if this memory persisted after the age of four, then a split personality would develop and the person would die. Thus, nature protects humans by not allowing this development of multiple personalities in a single body.
    As to heaven and hell, heaven is when we experience in this life the results of good actions of the past and hell is when we experience the result of bad actions.
    Superstitious concepts of eternal suffering have been promoted by various religions, but they have no place in spiritual philosophy.

    thats it for fingers start to hurt ...:(
  2. Moderator emeritus


    Jan 2, 2001
    Metairie, LA
    oh man...this looks great!! :D

    but I need to get to work...where I shall get back into it... :(
  3. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    That was a quite a long post, wow.

    Interesting read, and I'll be looking at the book Cleo recommended so I'll reserve most of my comments till I know some more. As I'm typing this I'm experiencing some heavy deja vu, now that's weird....

    So these prana, where are they when not attached to a body?
  4. macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2002
    Florida, USA
    Very interesting! Unlike Hindu Tantra, Buddhism denies the existence of the atman... but there are also some strong similarities with Vajrayana (which I practice), especially around the ideas of rebirth, the experience of the bardo, etc.

    What are your practices like?
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2002

    to Dukestreet....

    "Prana" or also called vital energy or life force is merely attaching itself to the body as long it is necessary to maintain the body.
    It maintains bodily functions by vibrating nerves, cells, organs by means of a continual pulsation.
    After death it remains as free energy.

    You can experience prana during strenuous exercise.
    The pulsation of prana speeds up as breathing becomes more intense. The agitation of prana results in a similar agitation in the mind. Thats why concentration becomes exceedingly difficult.

    you have to "catch your breath " :)
  6. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    Re: Prana

    Ok, so how does it retain its form, prevent dissapation...

    Is it a measurable energy form or something else?
  7. Moderator emeritus


    Jan 2, 2001
    Metairie, LA
    u had mentioned yoga...

    I've just dabbled in yoga a little bit over the past few months...

    I started it mainly for the physical benefits I see people getting from it as well as an attempt at getting deep within myself in hopes of finding a calmness from the stress in my life...

    I've found that I like what I get out of it...and lately I haven't had much time for it...

    do u practice? and what have u found through doing so?
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2002
    Yoga practices

    first of all...the main pilar of Yoga is meditation and in Tantra Yoga there are 6 "lessions". You start with No. 1 and go up.

    Meditation is a concentration technic that can be many things.

    You can concentrate on crude objects or as in spiritual meditation you concentrate on the most subtle entity that exists....thats God.

    God can have many names or in meditation there are many "Mantras". (Mantra in Sanskrit means "Word") Different Mantras have different powers and the more spiritual realised your Guru is, the more powerful are the Mantras he is giving you.

    But the Ideation behind the Mantra must always be the same...thats God.
    The way you think...thats the way you become or in other words, by thinking of the most subtle entity your mind becomes more and more like the object of your Ideation....more subtle and "God like".

    Everything in life is is food. Crude food = crude vibration. Subtle food = subtle vibration.
    Vegetarian or "sentient" food is not absolutly necessary in order to be able to do meditation but it helps, since less crude vibration are disturbing your mind.

    Vibration of chicken : Fear.....running away like a chicken
    Vibration of Fish : The bigger eats the smaller

    and so on and so on.......

    Besides....Animals are my friends....and I do not eat my Friends :D

    Service to humanity : that includes the entire creation....humans..animals...plants and even crude matter..

    where there is system, there is mind.

    Asanas : gosh...thats my weakest point :mad:

    "Asanas or Posture" are physical subtle exercises that massages your glands who are resposible for your hormonal balance and therefore your physical and mental health.
  9. Moderator emeritus


    Jan 2, 2001
    Metairie, LA
    Re: Yoga practices

    that's interesting...I know it seems to be a taught method...but I often try not to think of anything going on in my life while practicing...I feel clean...actually the only time I find it easiest to...

    so from the time u have much of a difference can u honestly see in yourself?
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2002
    Pranah...more in detail a bit more detailed explanation:
    So that it becomes more understandable I take an extract of one of my books again, otherwise I may just rambling in all direction....



    After the separation of mind from body by either of the above three causes, lifelessness or death comes to the body when the Pranah leaves it. Pranah (plural for Prana) is the collective name for ten vital airs or vital energies known as Vayus in Sanskrit. They are five internal and five external and each play a vital role in various physiological functions, namely as follows:


    1. Prana is situated between naval point and vocal chord, its function is inhalation and exhalation.

    2. Apana resides between the naval point and the anus, it controls movement of urine and stool.

    3. Samana resides in the naval area and its function is to maintain adjustment between Prana and Apana.

    4. Udana resides in the throat and it controls the vocal chord and voice.

    5. Vyana regulates blood circulation and physical function of the afferent and efferent nerves.

    External :

    1. Naga gives power to jump, extend the body and throw an object

    2. Kurma controls contracting of the body.

    3. Krkara controls yawning, hiccuping and sneezing.

    4. Devadatta is responsible for thirst and hunger.

    5. Dhananjaya causes drowsiness and sleep

    A physical deficiency or defect in any portion of the body results in the weakening of Prana and Apana. In extreme cases Samana may become unable to maintain adjustment between Prana and Apana, resulting in a strong clash in the naval area and the vocal chord. This is called "naval breathing". When Samana loses its vitality, all three Vayus- Prana, Apana and Samana - are transformed into one powerful force which strikes Udana. The moment Udana loses its separate identity, Vyana also comes in contact with their collective force and all the internal Vayus, merged into one force, move trough any delicate point of the body and escape. As the combined internal Vayus pass out, the external Vayus, except Dhanajaya, also leave the physical structure. Dhananjaya causes sleep and therefore causes the sleep of death. Dhananjaya remains in the body even after all the Vayus have left. When the dead body is cremated or totally decays, Dhananjaya also leaves the body.
    end of quote.

    So, life force is not a force that we can measure (yet) but like air, its presence or absence can be feelt.
    A walk in the fresh morning air or fresh air at all, increases your vital energy and you can feel the effect.
    By keeping our body and mind healthy and fit, we maintain the harmony of our vital energy.
  11. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    Re: Pranah...more in detail

    What I find most facinating about all this is that it comes across as a psuedo-scientific description (for lack of a better way of saying it) but its still based in faith. I understand that meditation and exercise make you feel better, so you will get some benefit from the activity but I'd love to know how all this knowledge evolved, how did the first practitioners figure this all out?
  12. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2002
    sorry Duke....I have to go out for a while but I will get back to you later :)

    then I will also talk a bit about my own experience since I started Yoga.
  13. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    I'll probably check it in the morning, I'm off to bed soon myself.

  14. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2002
    the Origin of Yoga

    As I mentioned before, Yoga is a practice that has existed and started thousand of years ago.

    Tantra Yoga (or Astaunga Yoga= means eight limbed/parts) can also be called "Intuitonal Science".

    That already gives away its origin. When human beeings became intellectualy more developed, they also reached the point where one day they asked themself "who am I" and "where do I come from" and "what is the purpose of life".
    Trough this intense questioning and concentration, Yoga or at least the meditation part of it started to evolve and was then made into a "way of life" by adding the different parts that addresses the different needs in society like for example "Asanas".

    All knowledge of this universe is stored somwhere in the layers of our mind.
    Thats where people get their "brilliant" ideas from, be it in science, art etc.

    People like Einstein, just to mention one, couldn't possibly learn their knowledge from someone else. It didn't exist until he had that "flash of mind".

    The physical aspect or asanas (easy postures) are often a mimicry of animals. By asuming a pose and holding it for a while and controling your breath in the same time you will get an effect on your body thats similar to the ability of that specific animal.
    Lets take the "snake" pose : by laying on your stomach , then stretching your arms forward and lifting your head like a snake and controlling your breath, you exercise your spine and stomach that gives you more flexibility (like a snake).

    Yoga is not a belief...its something you practice no matter what religion you belong to.

    You don't "belief" in play it :)
  15. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2002
    my experience with Yoga

    response to eyelikeart

    first a bit about my background ......

    I am born in Switzerland and grow up in a roman catholic family (families)
    and even went for 2 years to a catholic boarding school run by Benedictine monks.
    In that time I was a Altar boy as well as a choir boy in one of the choires considered at that time to be second to the Vienna boys choir(even recorded on one of the good old black records) until my voice went down the drain.

    So...all very good religious background.

    When I finally escaped the clutches of my family at the age of 16 and consequently left Switzerland to work and live abroad I questioned more and more what I was forced to belief and couldn't accept anymore the hypocracy and unscientific explaination of religious teachings.

    After scrolling trough different books of different religion and meditation technics I finally run into an organization that teaches meditation and Yoga as a way of life.

    I was mainly attracted trough their books that made sense and trough their "teaching by example".

    Part of Yoga practice is fasting.....and by fasting I mean NO solid NO liquid. That goes for 24 hrs twice a month and should only be done after having adjusted by only eating fruits, then juice, then just water for the first few times.

    When I got initiated in 1985 I went off like a rocket.
    Unlucky (or maybe lucky) for me, the first fasting day (that always falls on the eleventh day after full and new moon) was exactly 2 days after my initiation.

    I was crazy enough to do the "full Monty" that very first day.

    After more then 30 hrs with absolute nothing in my stomach and still working on my job, I feelt more close to death than anytime before.
    With the little energy that was still left in my body I was able in the morning to get to my place of work and brake my fast with light lemon water with a pinch of salt.
    That didn't do enough yet to revitalize my system but then I got some glasses of water and then I started to fly :D

    My god, my mind was so clear and my determination so strong I feelt like I could have convinced my boss to sell me the company for 1 dollar and he would have done so with a smile :)

    My meditation was nice almost from the beginning but as normal in spiritual practice it moves in cycles.....up and down and then up again.

    But I have something now that I never had before....I can sit down and close my eyes and create peace of mind within myself anytime I want.

    I have realized my purpose of beeing here and the reason why and many things that didn't make sense before now make perfect sense :cool:
  16. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001

    Interesting take on the fasting. I've done it before as well, and you do feel so much better afterwards. What is the purpose for doing it on a regular basis? And what sort of foods to you eat when you're not fasting?

    Cleo, Happy B-day and nice 'tar.....
    (compliment for a b-day theme, and not as an official of the Avatar Contest, don't want people getting the wrong idea, you know....)
  17. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2002
    fasting and eating

    Our body consists of 80% fluid and 20% solid.

    The gravitational force of the Moon exerts his power on all water on this planet. That's why we have hi-tide and low-tide and due to the fluid content in our body, also on us.

    When the attraction of the moon is at its strongest, the fluid content in our system, attracted upwards, exerts pressure on our brain with a negative influence on our mood/mental behaviour.

    Trough fasting on that particular day, the fluid content in our body is reduced and therefore this effect on our brain is reduced too.

    At the end of drinking light lemon water with a dash of salt (that takes out the acidity and makes it alkaline) our digestive system will be flashed out , removing whatever is still remaining in the system and de-toxifying it.

    There are 3 type's of food :

    Sentient = good for the body and mind (includes most but not all of vegetables, milk products, grains and most but not all fruits).

    Mutative = beneficial to the body and may or may not be good for the mind (includes coffee, tea, chocolate carbonated drinks)

    Static food = harmful to the mind and may or may not be harmful to the body (includes meat, fish, chicken, eggs, garlic,onion,mushroom, alcohol)

    So my diet is mainly sentient, partial mutative and when I'm a bad boy I close my eyes to things like garlic, onion and mushroom and an occasional drink.
    But never any animal products exept dairy products. :D
  18. macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2001
    Santa Cruz Ca
    Esoteric to Scientific translation of Prana:

    Prana is the oldest unified field theory. The basic harmonic of the universe creates a body of potential manifestation the size of the Universe itself. Stars spew it forth as do all bodies in the universe.

    One can think of Prana as potenial causality as well as a basic energy that can be manipulated and used a number of ways.

    An Aware individual brings Prana into their body's chakras (think deep-cycle battery with built in alternator) through two counter-rotating magnetic fields arranged one atop the other. Energy enters simultaniously through both the "north" and "south" pole of the combined field.Cycling of Prana is linked to breathing and "un-Aware" people only cycle Prana shallowly with each intake of breath.

    Prana can be used to, shall we say........ adjust local causality and probability.

    All substances in the universe are harmonics generated by either Stars or mobile heavy energy (matter) beings by observational direction of Prana. See also Heisenberg/Shroedinger model.
  19. Moderator emeritus


    Jan 2, 2001
    Metairie, LA
    re: fasting & such...


    I have fasted on a few occasions...not by free will of course...and I honestly have to say it was pretty terrible...the last time was for medical reasons...

    I can see, however, the way one would feel cleansed after doing so. I have enjoyed the immediate effects I feel from yoga...and while I was practicing 3 times a week...had noticed a difference in my outlook on life's situations. I really need to get back to it, as I am in a transition stage in my life and have been on a rollercoaster ride of stress & happiness...very...very unstable & tiresome.

    How would one go about preparing for fasting like myself? I generally eat 4-5 times a day...and I have a tendency to get a bit flakey when I haven't had anything over a long period of time...
  20. macrumors 6502a


    May 28, 2001
    resm, I think we need to speak with arn, see if he can set up your own Yoga forum. then we all practise while you teach :D

    On that first post I got a question, first I quote:
    This means that my spirit, when entering a suitable body has travelled time.
    This could be future as well as past.
    since the cosmos is not time sensitive, only the physical manifestation of it, my spirit can find a parallel with a physical body anywhere, anytime.
    that would certainly explain some of the mysteries that surround some events in the earths history.

    Or is there more to it?
  21. Moderator emeritus


    Jan 2, 2001
    Metairie, LA
    it's certainly interesting to see how many of us here are actually into this...

    I'm quite surprised...being that most computer/techie people aren't into physical fitness of any type...even though it's more's still a pleasant surprise...;)
  22. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2002


    Fasting should not be done by going all out right away....unless you are as crazy as I was :D

    the best way to get used to fasting is to go on a fruit diet first. That puts at least something in your stomach and does not deplete you of all energy.

    Fruit fasting gives you a fantastic mental "high" and has most of the benefits of total fasting.

    Do NOT fill your stomach to bursting point the day before fasting, with the belief, that you will get easier over the rounds later on.
    It actually makes it worse...the feeling of hunger will be even stronger the next day because your stomach will cry for food to restore the previous day's condition.

    Once you survived one day with only fruits, then next time you can try fruit juice only followed by water only.

    Never go for a whole and heavy meal right away the following morning. You would destroy most of the benefit you gained trough the fasting.

    Drink some light lemon water with a dash of salt on your empty stomach accompanied by a very ripe banana. The banana will absorbe any remaining toxic substance in your intestines and the lemon water will flush it out.

    Do not add to much salt or you may trow up ! (but enough to make it alkaline)

    Good advice....stay near a will act fast :p

    After that drink some plain water and then proceed to a light meal preferably vegetarian :p
  23. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2002
    no time travel


    thanks for your vote of confidence but I am not a Yoga teacher just a practitioner.
    But in the land of the blind the one with one eye is the king ;) time least not backwards and not forwards.

    Time is partial to this physical universe only.

    Our body consists of the 5 fundamental factors....that is :

    1. Solid
    2. Liquid
    3. Luminous
    4. Aerial
    5. Ethereal

    At the time of our physical death we loose 2 of the above factors, solid and liquid but the last 3 remain attached to our detached mind and this mind contains the "reactive momenta" and also the non-cerebral memory and will move in the universe.

    Missing the 2 first factors makes that detached mind "invisible" exept to some people with developed mind who would see this "luminous body" under certain conditions.

    This 5 fundamental factors are "physical" so our detached mind remains within the physical level and therefore under the clutches of time.

    So.....sorry, no time travel there :mad:

    This state of mind can last any time.....from day's to thousand of years all according to our accumulated "reactive momenta" (also called Samskara)
  24. Moderator emeritus


    Jan 2, 2001
    Metairie, LA
    Re: fasting

    hmm...that sounds a bit interesting...he he he :D

    and yes...fruit is definitely a good source of fiber...I am an avid vegetable eater...and I know what mass quantities can do to one... :eek:

    I am interested to experience the mental awareness that u describe here...I'm just not too keen on the idea of breaking my typical eating habits...I feel like my body is on such a schedule it's scary! :eek: :D
  25. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2002
    fasting......sweet suffering


    its Mind over Matter :D

    where there is determination.....there is victory

    once you survived your first attempt the sailing will be easy :)

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