The eight-fold path of blissful living or Ananda Ashtanga!

Living in bliss
– The eight-fold path of blissful living or Ananda Ashtanga

These are:

1.  Blissful Laughter
2.  Blissful Affirmation
3.  Blissful Cleansing
4.  Blissful Yoga
5.  Blissful Meditation
6.  Blissful Tools
7.  Blissful Energy
8.  Blissful Chant

Ananda Ashtanga or Blissful Living is a simple eight-fold pathway to Living Enlightenment. These are simple techniques that take you into the experience directly without the need to understand and absorb.

Blissful Laughter

Laughing meditation or Haasya Dhyana Meditation

As soon as you wake up in the morning, even before you get up from your bed, laugh for five minutes!

Just laugh at yourself. Laugh without a reason!

Laughter is a wonderful meditation technique. The technique of the ancient Zen tradition of masters and disciples is to touch no-mind through laughter.

Laughter works whether we believe it or not. It has an immediate effect. With other techniques, we need to practice to see the result, but with laughter we don’t need to practice. It happens the first time and every time. It goes in deep and heals us physically and mentally.

Laughter itself is born out of health and creates health. It is an overflowing energy. It releases emotional suppressions.

Laughter is the greatest spiritual quality. In laughter we become Buddha – the enlightened One. Buddha is ‘no-mind’.

When we laugh, we are in a no-mind state for those few moments. Either laughter or our mind can exist, never both at once. When we laugh, for that moment, our mind disappears and we become one with the energy of Existence. We don’t feel our identity. Can we experience ourselves as separate in the peak of our laughter? No! That ceasing to exist is the momentary no- mind and merging with Existence. That is why we need to laugh more. The moments of the self’s disappearance can be extended so that we finally lose our identity and live as one with the energy.

Laughter is known to heal a number of diseases, especially diseases related to the nervous system and throat. A hearty laugh is said to squeeze out harmful byproducts of cellular functioning.

Blissful Affirmation

A vow of bliss or Ananda Sankalpa

Ananda means bliss. Sankalpa means vow. It is a vow of bliss.

You can decide to be blissful. It is a choice you make. In fact it is not even a choice that you make. If you allow yourself to flow in a choiceless manner along with whatever Existence intends for you, you will be in bliss eternally. This attitude of being choiceless can be cultivated.

Part of this meditation has its origin with the Sufi mystic Abdullah. Sufis are the most ecstatic sect ever. Their prayer is gratitude, nothing else.

Abdullah was famous for his ever-smiling face. It is said that even on his deathbed, he was laughing. Finally some of his disciples couldn’t help but ask Abdullah how he was always blissful. They asked him, ‘Master, what is so funny about dying?’ Then Abdullah gave them the secret that his own master had taught him. He said, ‘Remember that your happiness is always in your hands. Your happiness is 100 percent your own choice. Every day, life gives you a chance to be happy or miserable. What you choose is up to you!’

There can’t be a simpler meditation technique than this. Yet it is the most effective one.

Meditation technique

Every morning, as soon as you get up, even before you open your eyes, sit up in bed.

Call out your name loud. If you don’t wish to disturb people around you by calling out loud, then just speak silently to yourself. Ask yourself (using your name…in the first person), What do I choose to experience today? Do I choose happiness or sadness?

Naturally, first thing in the morning, you are not going to choose misery! So your mind will say, I choose happiness.

Then reply, Ok (your name), be happy, that’s all!

Then, with your eyes closed, for a few minutes, strongly and consciously, come to the understanding that nothing can make you suffer without your silent permission. You suffer because you agree to be affected by external circumstances. You have the power within you to be happy all the time. Now open your eyes and live your affirmation!

You will see during the day that just by the strength of your affirmation, you have changed the whole course of your mind. You will see how until then you were blaming others for your misery, while actually you were choosing to become disturbed at every turn of events. You will develop an attitude of being happy, not because of external circumstances, not despite them but irrespective of them. You are happy because you are happy, that’s all.

Blissful Cleansing

 Oil pulling

The tongue is said to be an indicator of what is going on in the body. By examining the tongue and its color, it is possible to guess the medical condition of a person. According to Ayurveda, the tongue is mapped to different organ locations. Specific sections of the tongue are connected to specific parts of the body, like the kidneys, lungs, etc. When we do oil pulling, the oil pulls mucous, bacteria and toxins from your body through your saliva and tongue. According to Ayurveda medicine, mucous is a poison that must be removed.

Meditation technique

Early morning, before brushing your teeth, eating or drinking anything, take one full tablespoon of either sesame or refined sunflower oil. Put it in your mouth, sit in one place, tilt your chin up so that the oil gets to the back molar teeth, and slowly pull through your softly gritted teeth for fifteen to twenty minutes.

Don’t multitask while doing this. When the time is up, spit out the oil in a washbasin and brush your teeth well. If you have pulled properly, the oil that you spit out will be thin and whitish in color. Drink two glasses of water after rinsing and cleaning the mouth.

Note: do not swallow the oil that you pull. It will contain parasites and bacteria.

If you have to pull oil after meals, wait at least four hours before you do it.

Oil pulling is said to address many conditions, including anything from cracked heels to cancer. Exhaustive research reports on the benefits of oil pulling are available on the web.

Blissful Yoga

Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar

Surya Namaskar is part of Nithya Yoga. The uniqueness of Nithya Yoga is that it directly brings to life the original teachings of Patanjali by adapting it to suit the modern mind. Sage Patanjali, from southern India, is considered to be the Father of Yoga.

Surya Namaskar is a daily salutation to the sun. Not only does it help keep the body at peak functioning, it also brings a complete awareness of the body-mind connection.

Benefits of Surya Namaskar

The practice of Surya Namaskar awakens the body intelligence to directly draw energy from the sun. Surya Namaskar is designed to access the etheric energy around us. It has tremendous effects on the mind, body and spirit, when practiced facing east in the first rays of the morning sunlight, along with the appropriate breathing technique and the corresponding mantras or chants. Nothing more needs to be done.

Surya Namaskar works on all body parts, every organ, system and chakra (vital energy centers in the body). It is a sequence of postures done dynamically and fluidly with appropriate breathing.

Every morning, you may do six to twelve repetitions of Surya Namaskar. Of all the yogic postures, Surya Namaskar is considered the most effective way to tone up the limbs, stretch and strengthen the entire body and spine. Surya Namaskar is regarded as the king of all postures Significance of Surya Namaskar mantras (chants)

A mantra (chant) is a composition of syllables, words, phrases or sentences that, when repeated with awareness, has a very powerful and penetrating influence on the mind and body. The Surya Namaskar mantra comprises a beeja mantra and a glorification mantra. The glorification is to the Sun god.

The beeja mantra has no meaning by itself but the vibration created by chanting it is very powerful in the human system. The ‘Theory of Vibration’ expounded by modern scientists was put to direct application thousands of years ago by the ancient inner world scientists, our vedic seers!

Scientific studies conducted by Dr. Masaru Emoto of Japan have clearly proven that sound vibration has a profound effect on water. Since water makes up over sixty percent of the human body, it is evident that sound vibrations can and do influence our entire mind-body system also.

Unconscious thoughts and emotions create strong vibrations within us in the form of stored memories or samskaras. We need to dissolve them with awareness. Then we will experience the completely positive consciousness that already exists deep within us. There are six beeja mantras. They are:

  • Om hraam
  • Om hreem
  • Om hroom
  • Om hraim
  • Om hraum
  • Om hraha

The glorification mantras highlight the glorious qualities of the sun. Beginning with the first, each mantra is chanted with complete awareness before every cycle of Surya Namaskar. The mantra is empowered to imbibe the same qualities of the glorification in the sincere practitioner.

Through simple set of steps, we can realize that the outer sun symbolizes the shining intelligence of our inner Self. We come to understand our connection to the cosmic energy that is all pervasive.

Surya Namaskar mantras (formed by combining the beeja mantras with the glorification mantras)

  1. ~ OM hraam mitraaya namaha – Salutations to the Friend of all

  2. ~ OM hreem ravaye namaha – Salutations to the Shining One

  3. ~ OM hroom suryaaya namaha – Salutations to the One who induces activity

  4. ~ OM hraim bhaanave namaha – Salutations to the One who illumines

  5. ~ OM hraum khagaaya namaha – Salutations to the One who moves swiftly

  6. ~ OM hraha pushne namaha – Salutations to the giver of strength

  7. ~ OM hraam hiranya garbhaya namaha – Salutations to the golden cosmic womb

  8. ~ OM hreem mareechaye namaha – Salutations to the Lord of dawn

  9. ~ OM hroom adityaaya namaha – Salutations to the son of Aditi, the infinite cosmic Mother

  10. ~ OM hraim saavitre namaha – Salutations to the benevolent Mother

  11. ~ OM hraum arkaaya namaha – Salutations to the one who is praiseworthy

  12. ~ OM hraha bhaaskaraaya namaha – Salutations to the one who leads to enlightenment

Breath control

In Surya Namaskar, every movement of the body is synchronized with the breath. With every inhalation and exhalation, visualize clearly you are taking in and sending out bliss energy. Feel the bliss energy moving in every cell of your body and revitalizing your body-mind.

Meditation technique

This should be done on an empty stomach preferably in the morning.

Asana (Posture) Sequence of Surya Namaskar:

  1. Stand with the feet slightly apart for balance. Bring the hands together into namaskar (prayer position) in front of the chest. Keep the eyes open throughout the practice of Surya Namaskar. Chant the corresponding mantra.
  2. Inhaling, gracefully sweep the arms up over your head and gently arch the spine backwards.
  3. Exhaling, sweep the arms forward and down so the hands touch the floor on either side of the feet and close to them, and the forehead comes in close to the knees. You may bend the knees to allow for greater ease in doing this.
  4. Inhaling, step the right foot backward as far as you can and lift your heart center, looking up at the same time.
  5. Holding the breath, step the left foot back and come into a plank position with the spine, neck and head in one straight line, your hands placed directly beneath your shoulders and eyes looking down at the floor.
  6. Exhaling, lower the knees, chest, and chin to the floor and assume ashtanga namaskar (salute with eight
    parts or points of your body touching the floor). Let your stomach be off the floor with your hips lifted up gently, the elbows tucked in.
  7. Inhaling, point the toes out, relax your stomach to touch the floor, keeping the elbows bent at a ninety- degree angle. Then, gently pushing with your hands, lift the chest off the floor. Come into bhujangasana (cobra pose).
  8. Exhaling, push with your hands, raise your hips upwards and backwards into the air, and assume adhomukha svanasana (downward- dog pose). Spread the fingers wide and gently push your heels toward the floor. If you are unable to touch the floor with your heels, don’t bother about it. But don’t shift your position in order for them to touch.
  9. With a soft gaze look forward between your hands and step the right foot forward as far as you can, between the hands and in line with them if possible. Inhale, lifting your chin and chest.
  10. Step the left foot forward to meet the right foot, bending your knees slightly if you need to. Exhale and bring the head in close to the legs.
  11. Inhaling, sweep your arms up over your head and gently arch the spine, saluting the sun.
  12. Exhaling, bring your arms down, and your hands back into prayer position in front of your heart.

Each cycle consists of two such movements of twelve positions each. In the first half of the cycle, lead with your right leg in steps 4 and 9. In the second half of the cycle, lead with your left leg.
Complete at least 6 such cycles and if possible 12. Before starting on each cycle chant the mantra in sequence.

Blissful Meditation

Life Bliss Meditation or Nithya Dhyaan

Up to the age of eleven, I explored and experimented with numerous traditional meditation techniques. At the age of twelve, I had my deep spiritual experience. From twelve to twenty-one years of age, I consciously scanned and analyzed the benefits of several techniques. For three years after my enlightenment, I created and perfected a technology to reproduce the experience of enlightenment in others. The essence of this entire inner-world research to date is formulated in the Nithya Dhyaan meditation technique.

Nithya Dhyaan is a formula and a technique that works on the entire being to transform it and make it ready for the ultimate experience of enlightenment. Each segment of this unique technique complements the other steps to help raise the individual’s consciousness. It is an everyday meditation for eternal bliss – nithya ananda.

This is a five-step technique, each step being of seven minutes duration. Please refer to the Nithya Dhyaan chapter for meditation instructions –

Blissful Tools

Knowledge-weapons or Shaastra-shastras

Meditation technique

Everyday for half an hour, read the books of an enlightened master or listen to his discourses.

A master’s words are straightaway shaastra, the ultimate knowledge, Truth. Weapons used to slay your ignorance are called shastra. When words become the very weapons to slay the ignorance, they are called shaastra- shastras or knowledge-weapons!

The master’s words are the knowledge-weapons that can directly slay the ignorance. A master continuously expresses many ideas. Suddenly, some idea will click for you. It will bring you out of depression. It will give the solution to some problem. That is a click. That click is what is called initiation.

The person who gives these knowledge-weapons through his words, techniques and body language is a master. The person who receives these knowledge-weapons through the master is the initiate.

A master is a person who has created a technology to reproduce in others the same ultimate experience that happened in him.

Initiation is the technique. The knowledge-weapons are the techniques to raise ourselves again and again to higher Consciousness. The totality of these knowledge-weapons sitting inside us is our inner master. Till the inner master is awakened, the outer master works on us. He works through words, techniques, his body language, and gives us the confidence to use the knowledge, and above all to live the life of an enlightened being.

Blessed are those who have had the click with enlightened beings. This click is not through logic. Suddenly, some words from the master will get connected to our heart. The first time it happens, we will suddenly know that he is our master, that this is our path. That click is the first initiation. Whoever has felt this click through the master’s words, his teachings, books, blessings, techniques, energy, or body language, is blessed.

Understand, the seed is always afraid of breaking open, of rupturing. But only the seed that ruptures and opens becomes a tree. Then the tree needs to give courage to the other seeds by saying, ‘Don’t be afraid, you will never die by breaking, you will only live. You will only expand like me.’ But the seed is waiting for the tree to happen and the tree is waiting for the seed to open! That is the problem. I know the Truth that I am speaking. O! Sons of Immortality, have the courage to sprout and become the tree! This energy, this inspiration is the master. The advent of the master is the greatest adventure in one’s life. Once the master has entered our inner space, all we need to do is stand up with trust, courage and confidence.

Again and again, use the clicks that have happened in your life. Any weapon not used will not only lose its power on us, but we will also forget how to use it. Again and again, the weapons that are actually used will bring us clarity and courage and we will also have the intelligence to use them.

Add more and more clicks to your life by listening to the master’s words. Add them to your inner space. Creating a family, friends, a spiritual circle, will constantly give us the courage and inspiration to use the knowledge-weapons.

One more thing, when we watch the master talk, we are watching the body language of an enlightened being. A person’s body language radiates his own truth and totality. A master is an embodiment of the ultimate truth of Existence. His body language is therefore the very body language of Existence. By watching him, the Truth will work on us beyond our logic.

Blissful Energy
Harnessing the energy of Existence or Shakti Dharana

This technique is taken from Tantra Shastra (Kulaarnava Tantra). It is a beautiful technique to relate with the Existential energy.

It is ideal to practice this meditation at night just before going to sleep. This can also be done in the morning but it must be followed by at least fifteen minutes of rest, or else you would be in a state of intoxication because of the effect of the meditation. This meditation leads to your merging with the energy of Existence. The importance of Shakti Dharana meditation is that it leads you to the threshold of the state of turiya, where you are in a state of total awareness but without thoughts.

Meditation technique

Stand on your knees and balance yourself well.

Do not sit on your haunches.

Close your eyes and raise both hands upwards with palms facing skywards.

Tilt your head slightly upwards.

In this position, feel the Existential energy flow through you. Visualize that a light-beam of Existence is flowing through you. To start with, you can visualize the blissful face of any enlightened master. Just as a miser is at the peak of his energy when counting money or a lover is at the peak of his energy when he is with his beloved, so also a master is at the peak of his energy when laughing or smiling. That is why I tell you to remember his blissful face and allow the energy to flow through you. Also, it is better that you think of a master than allow your mind to wander and think of something else!

As the energy of Existence flows down your arms, you will feel a tingling sensation, a gentle vibration, or a slight tremor in you. It would be as if a tender leaf is dancing in the breeze. Just allow the tremor to happen. Help the tremor, let your whole body vibrate with the energy. Just allow and help whatever happens to happen. You might feel as if the earth below and heaven above are merging, as if the male and female energies are merging. You might feel as if you are floating or merging. Allow any feeling, just drop yourself completely. There is no ‘you’. You have simply dissolved into Existence.

After two or three minutes when you feel that your being is completely filled with the energy of Existence. Bend down, rest on your elbows and forearms, and kiss the earth, or at least let your forehead touch the ground. You become a medium or a passage for the divine energy that you attracted to unite with the energy of the earth. Allow all your energy to flow into mother Earth. You may visualize the feet of the master when in this posture. It will help to be in a mood of surrender to mother Earth while offering the energy.

Now, regain your original posture and repeat this cycle at least six times. You will do seven cycles totally.

This meditation tremendously improves energy circulation in the body. All troubles related to the backbone will simply vanish by doing this meditation, as the energy goes straight to the muladhara chakra, an energy center which is at the base of the spine. After completing the meditation, you may go to sleep in the same meditative mood. The sleep that follows this meditation will be intense and dreamless. When you wake up the next morning you will experience great freshness and energy.

This is a very powerful technique. When done consistently, a new life, a new meaning, a new Truth will start flowing into you. A beautiful and alive connection between Existence and you will be created. You will experience much joy and each day will become a celebration!

Blissful Chant
Chanting the Bliss mantra or Purashcharanam

Mantras are chanted in the Vedic language, Sanskrit. The beauty of Sanskrit is that all the possible sounds are described in its fifty-one syllables. The Sanskrit language not only conveys meaning, its phonetic sounds also transmit special vibrations along with them. Even if you don’t understand the meaning of the mantras, the vibrations will work on you.

In the East, Sanskrit mantras are used for initiations. The master will utter a mantra and the mantra itself will give the awakening initiation to the disciple. The vibrations will straightaway enter his being and start working.

Meditation technique

Chant the Guru mantra fifty-four times every day for eleven days or continuously whenever it is remembered. The chanting can be done either out loud or silently in the mind. The speed of chanting varies from person to person.

The mantra has the property of energizing your inner space and preventing unwanted thoughts from rising. Thoughts arise as silent words from the navel region, the manipuraka chakra, which is the vital energy center at the navel region. When you chant the Guru mantra, the manipuraka chakra gets completely cleansed. This automatically leads to the removal of all worries, negative thoughts and emotions.

The Guru mantra purifies the energy behind speech, which is called vaak energy. It causes continuous bubbling of energy and intense enthusiasm and excitement for life.

The vibration of this mantra can change the vibration and frequency of the being. The important thing is to keep the awareness on the mantra. When you persistently bring your awareness back to the mantra, you move closer to your inner consciousness.

Like in a water tank, if we keep blue powder at the base, the rising bubbles will also be blue, in the same way, when you keep this mantra at the center of your consciousness, your entire thinking system will be purified.

Slowly you will see, the mantra will begin happening effortlessly, on its own. And you will fall into a naturally meditative state.

The mantra, when done with a particular affirmation, becomes an intense prayer. Medical research has proven that prayer has remarkable effects on the body, mind and spirit.

Leading universities in the United States of America have found that prayer causes a forty-percent lower death rate from heart disease and cancer, up to fourteen times higher survival rate after surgery for heart patients, decreases the stroke rate by half in the elderly, and reduces hospitalization time by up to three weeks. There is a large database establishing the positive effects of prayer on the web.

source: Living Enlightenment

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