Category: Books

The First Steps in God Realization

The First Steps in God Realization

Excerpt from FOOD YOGA – Nourishing Body, Mind, & Soul

“I am the Taste of Water”

The Bhagavad-gita[1] contains a statement from Krishna that illustrates how easily we can raise our awareness of God, just by being conscious while drinking water:

O son of Kunti [Arjuna], I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable Om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man. [2]

The translator, Srila Prabhupada comments: “This is the all-pervasive nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We should mark the important word in this verse from the original Sanskrit: aham. Aham means ‘person,’” he says.

According to monotheistic traditions within Hinduism, God is both a person and an all-pervading energy. Krishna states later in the Bhagavad-gitamaya tatam idam sarvam jagad avyakta-murtina, “By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them” (Verse 9.4); or, as French philosopher Voltaire once stated, “God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere.” [3]

A practical way to understand this all-pervasive nature of God is through the example of the sun. We understand the constitution of the sun globe by experiencing its all-pervasive heat and light. Although we are 93 million miles away from the sun, we are able to understand what the sun is through its energy, heat, and light. Essentially, therefore, the sun and its qualities of heat and light are distinct and yet inseparable.

For example, when the sunshine enters your room, you say, “the sun is in my room.” Of course, if the sun were really in your room, you wouldn’t be around to talk about it. The point is that the sun globe and the sun rays are simultaneously one and different. In the same way, the impersonal, all-pervading energy of the Creator is simultaneously one with and different from the personal features of the Creator. God, the Supreme Person, and God’s omniscient energy are essentially the same thing, and yet distinctly different. Such is the inconceivable and apparently contradictory nature of the Supreme.

The idea that the realization of God can be experienced in the mundane act of drinking water is profound, to say the least, but certainly believable once we accept the all-pervasive nature of the Supreme. After all, water is just one of the numerous energies that make up this mortal world. Logically, we must conclude: where there is energy there must be an “Energetic” — a source from which that energy flows. That energetic Source, according to the Vedas is Para-Brahman.[4]

The Bhagavat Purana contains a rich description of how we can perceive the presence of God’s all-pervading energy or universal form in nature:

O King, the rivers are the veins of the gigantic body, the trees are the hairs of His body, and the omnipotent air is His breath. The passing ages are His movements… (SB 2.1.33) …the clouds, which carry water, are the hairs on His head, the terminations of days or nights are His dress, and the supreme cause of material creation is His intelligence. His mind is the moon, the reservoir of all changes. (SB 2.1.34)

Even without these scriptural references, it is easy to perceive the presence of a divine force in our lives, if we only take the time to contemplate. We may argue on specifics of the Divine, but we can all agree on one thing: God in some form or another exists.

The late Mother Teresa encouraged the practice of contemplation as a means to God-realization by making it a central component of her mission.

“Our life of contemplation shall…gather the whole universe at the very center of our hearts where the Lord of the universe abides, and allow the pure water of divine grace to flow plentifully and unceasingly from the source itself, on the whole of his creation.”

In her teachings, she urged people to become more thoughtful by taking the time to silence our rushed lives.

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, and grass grow in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence … We need silence to be able to touch souls.”

Sometimes, we need to slow down and quiet our minds to be able to appreciate the full value of our current situation. Silence is golden. Author of The Ragged Edge of Silence: Finding Peace in a Noisy World, John Francis Ph.D. certainly believes so.

After an oil spill near the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco in January of 1971, Francis took a vow of silence and avoided riding in motorized vehicles for the next 22 years. A strong-willed and opinionated man, Francis decided to see what he could learn from listening and walking wherever he went. In sharing his experience, Francis learned that contemplation is an effective means to enhance our spiritual awareness because it helps us to discover who we really are — and ultimately — to find peace.

Lacking a natural quiet of a previous age, we can accept the benefits of meditation and silence as a way to counteract the anxiety and depression often generated through our association with a noise-polluted world.

Of all the material elements, water is the one that speaks to our body, mind, and soul. In its purest form, it energizes our body through the process of hydrolysis; as calming tea, it can still our mind; as a transporter of higher vibrations it can inspire our soul, and its feminine qualities can embrace and nurture our entire being.

Take the time to fully appreciate this wonderful element and reap the benefits of holistic well-being.

Excerpt from FOOD YOGA — Nourishing Body, Mind, and Soul

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Footnotes —

[1] Bhagavad-gita As It Is, by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, published by Macmillan in 1972.

[2] Bhagavad-gita As It Is, Verse 7.8.

[3] Voltaire (1694–1778).

[4] Para-Brahman: term often used by Vedantic philosophers as to the “attainment of the ultimate goal.” There is only one Supreme ParaBrahman and all energies and other deities are expansions of this Para-Brahman.

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New Book: The 7 Maxims for Soul Happiness

New Book: The 7 Maxims for Soul Happiness

Unlock the keys to a more fulfilling life with help from ‘The 7 Maxims of Soul Happiness

New book by Paul Rodney Turner teaches readers how to unleash their inner bliss

GAITHERSBURG, Md. – According to former monk and the “Food Yogi” Paul Rodney Turner, the state of happiness is in trouble; with many unable to find some form of happiness, people go through life sad, exasperated and even suicidal. In “The 7 Maxims for Soul Happiness: How to Unleash Your Inner Bliss” (published by Balboa Press), Turner shares insights into living a more blissful life.

Filled with a plethora of tips, the book features pragmatic spiritual solutions intended to nurture a wayward spirit. Turner explains that happiness is the natural state of being. Most discontentment stems from a person’s misidentification with their physical form. “We are programmed to look for happiness in all the wrong place,” says Turner.

He adds, “Everyone wants to be happy but most of us are looking for it in the wrong place. In my new book, I outline some concepts that will shed light on our true potential as spiritual beings, from where true happiness resides.”

For a complete list of books authored by Turner, visit his Amazon Author page.

“The 7 Maxims for Soul Happiness”

By Paul Rodney Turner

Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 156 pages | ISBN 9781982222451

E-Book | 156 pages | ISBN 9781982222468

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

[button_3 text=”download-now.png” align=”center” href=”http://paulrodneyturner.com/7-maxims-of-soul-happiness”/]

About the Author

Australian-born Paul Rodney Turner, also known as the “Food Yogi,” was a celibate monk for 14 years from age 19-33. He lived a simple life, including sleeping on the floor without a pillow, taking cold showers, rising at 3:30 am every morning, meditating for 2 hours and studying the ancient Vedic literature of India. Turner is a vegan chef, social entrepreneur, public speaker, numerologist, holistic life coach, spiritual guide and the international director of Food for Life Global, the world’s largest food relief that serves up to 2 million plant-based meals daily. He currently lives in the Andes Mountains of Colombia with his wife and son on their animal sanctuary. Get a free sample here

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Take Our Survey and WIN a FREE SCHOLARSHIP

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You and I are Brilliant

You and I are Brilliant

“I used to be conceited once but now I know I’m brilliant” – Rodney Turner

LOL, my dad (Rodney Turner) was a character, always the joker and always the one to say something outrageous, however, sometimes he spoke some gems. In all seriousness, the above statement taken literally is outrageous, pompous and a little cheeky but when we understand our true nature as souls the statement get some legs. You see, all of us from the single cell organism to biologically complex humans are essentially souls having a physical experience and what is the nature of the soul? It is as brilliant as the sun and it “illuminates the entire body by consciousness,” says Krishna in the classic scripture known as the Bhagavad-gita.

My father may not have understood the spiritual significance of his comically-motivated statement during his physical presence here on earth but I’m sure he did when he had to leave his body at death.

Death is our greatest teacher with old-age a close second. Both of which provide clues to our true eternal nature as a soul. As we age, things start to break down or stop working the way they used to. As young men, we are motivated by sex and our body responds accordingly.  But, as we get older, sex is not as motivational as it once was and our aging bodies comply. The same can be said of our voracious appetites as teenagers. I remember well how much food I could easily digest in one sitting, whereas now at age 54 I have to be more mindful of how much my stomach can digest.

Wrinkles, reduced vision, hearing, and memory are all reminders (clues) that this body (temple) we call “home” is on borrowed time and at any time it can be taken away and we will be forced to evacuate and move to another physical shell. Unless of course, we are successful in raising our awareness to such a state that we are fully detached from this material world and purified of the ensnaring desires of lust, greed, and anger. Then, according to the Bhagavad-gita, we can transcend the bond of material nature and move into the higher spiritual frequencies.

The fact is, as souls, we are truly brilliant in all aspect, for just as a spark has the same quality as fire, we as a soul have the same qualities as the Creator, only in smaller quantity. It may take us many thousands of physical bodies to awaken to this truth but eventually, our ultimate success is assured. My dad, in all his quirkiness, was actually onto something and it is one of the fondest memories I have of him. He would often say this after potting a ball on the pool table and his natural confidence rubbed off on me, however, it was not until many years later when I decided to become a monk that his statement revealed its true worth.

Thanks, dad.

PS. In my latest book, SOUL POWER I go into great detail about our true nature as souls. Get your copy here.

 

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New Book, SOUL POWER Now Available on Amazon

New Book, SOUL POWER Now Available on Amazon

SOUL POWER – Five Noble Truths for a Successful Life available in paperback and ebook

International director of Food for Life Global www.ffl.org, the world’s largest network of plant-based food relief projects, Paul Rodney Turner has released a new book in the self-help genre called SOUL POWER – Five Noble Truths for a Successful Life that draws from his 35-years of experience as a practitioner of the Bhagavad-gita.

This is a follow-up to his earlier book, the 5-star rated FOOD YOGA – Nourishing Body, Mind & Soul in which he became world-famous as the food yogi.

“One evening in New York, while sitting at the table with pen in hand and feeling a little discouraged, I asked myself a simple question: What is special about me? I allowed my pen to flow without thinking too much about the answers, and to my surprise, I came up with five affirmations that coincidently all begin with the letter “P”. Easy to remember, and as you’ll see they touch upon the very core of our existence. Thus was born what I call The Five Noble Truths that now serve to guide me through my life: I am Powerful; I am Protected; I am Perfect; I am Prasadam; I am Prosperous,” he explained.

Turner’s hope is that these affirmations will give people the solace, strength, and wisdom they need to succeed in life as well help remind them just how awesome they are as a spirit soul.

In expanding on the meaning of each affirmation, Turner has drawn from the teachings of various esoteric and spiritual traditions, with a special preference to the Vedic scriptures. “Essentially, I was writing this book for myself,” he says. “As I typed each word, I took on the role of an empathetic friend offering encouragement. I want the readers to know that everything contained in this book was written with the utmost sincerity by the hand of an encouraging friend.”

An affirmation is a declaration of something that is true. Turner explains that the affirmations presented in SOUL POWER will resonate with readers as they have with him and that they’ll embrace and apply them within the context of their own spiritual tradition.

“Each one of these affirmations is drawn from the perspective that you and I and all living things on this planet are souls – eternal personified sparks of the Creator, not bound by time and the true essence of what makes us conscious beings” he explains.

To complement the spoken affirmations, Turner has also provided geometric equivalents (yantras) for each affirmation which will aid the reader in their meditation.

ISKCON author, Krishna Dharma praised the new book:

It is said that the greatest of all wisdom is to know yourself. In this well written and fascinating book Paul Rodney Turner introduces us to five life changing truths about who and what we really are. Drawing from different spiritual traditions, especially from the Sanskrit texts of India’s ancient Vedic teachings, he shows how we are something far greater than we could ever imagine. He presents us with five powerful meditations, each accompanied by a mystical yantra that embodies its essential truth and aids in expanding the consciousness. By deeply contemplating these truths about the self, along with the yantras, you will surely become empowered to fulfil your life goals, and experience a profound and lasting peace and inner happiness.

The book is available in digital and print from Amazon.com for $1.99 and $9.95 respectively.

GET YOUR COPY NOW FOR JUST $1.99!

PRINT EDITION $9.95

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