Tag: self-help

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, 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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