Dec 24, 2011


Positive vs. Negative

It was a matter of discussion with one of the members of Vedanta society, Toronto, on the influence of negative and positive thoughts on our minds, which prompted me to write on this abstract topic. It is a well known fact that positive thinking forces us to act positively, but even after knowing this fact  people get attracted towards negative thoughts more than the positive ones. For example, people become jealous and envious after seeing somebody’s success, progress or happiness which then gives rise to negative feelings. People also become jealous if somebody is more educated or knowledgeable or spiritually advanced. Therefore the question arises, is negative thought always bad for us and as such, should it have any place in our mental faculties? Why are people so abrasive with the thought of negative feelings? Do negative feelings have any positive role in our lives? If so, then how and what should be the demarcation line for both the feelings to co-exist for the betterment of our personality?  In order to avoid repetition of thoughts already expressed by scholars, sages and seers, I have tried to take a holistic approach on the topic mixed with logic and the latest discoveries in neurological science and the human brain.
The human mind is attracted towards anything which gives it mental, physical, emotional or worldly pleasures. In order to obtain these pleasures, how we perceive our thoughts depends on the outcome of our rational or sometimes, irrational thinking which may be logical and or temperamental in nature. Since negative or positive thinking and the resulting pleasures are mostly sensual and gives us happiness and a sense of satisfaction or accomplishment, then in a true sense, it has to be good or positive. The means to achieve those thoughts which may be bad for others may be negative, but as the outcome gives us the mental pleasure, we cannot overtly categorize them as bad. It is inadvertent that we not only get pleasures by thinking good about ourselves only, but we also get pleasure in thinking bad about other people. Sometimes negative feelings crop up inside our mind due to failure or dissatisfaction towards a thing or a situation which is a very obvious and inseparable part of the entire gambit of the process of thinking. Therefore, the way we think negatively or positively, needs to be investigated before arriving at a conclusion.

The thoughts of worldly pleasure can have negative or positive aspects or there may be a situation where enjoyment of such pleasures may result in stabilization or destabilization of our mental equilibrium. Religious books and books of higher knowledge have given us the dictum that any pleasure which is against the law of nature or immoral in character is bad or negative.  But they have failed to mention that negative thoughts act like a springboard which prepares the foundation for positive thinking. Without the mental ground work one cannot build the castle of hope, aspiration, trust, confidence, self assurance, optimism, desire, ambition etc. In other words, without negative thinking there is no existence of positive thinking. It is an inseparable part of the same coin.

The characterization of good or bad, positive or negative thinking also depends upon the stages of our lives as they transform from one stage to another. It means that our level of thinking does not remain the same and it goes through the process of metamorphosis as we mature. The variation of our thought also depends upon our mood and circumstances; as such they cannot be accepted as good or rejected as bad.

Therefore the question arises; do these mood swings undermine our capacity to think positively and if yes, then how to distinguish between these negative and positive thoughts in our daily lives, or how do we bookmark these thoughts for corrective actions? And why do negative pleasures or negative thoughts attract us more than positive ones? Those who are advanced practitioners of spiritualism may claim to have the ability to overcome negative thinking may sound hypocritical as it is difficult to distinguish the characteristics of positive thought in the absence of negative  the way it is difficult to understand the nature of light in the absence of darkness. It is the mood swing which influences cyclical changes in our thinking of happiness or positivity and sadness or negativity which depends upon various natural phenomena occurring around us.

In order to illustrate metamorphic changes in our thought process, we can see it evolve as we mature.  For example, a toy may be the world of a child as long as he or she has the toy, but his or her world will be gone in the absence of it. Similarly, an adolescent has different perceptions that create his or her own world. As time changes, their priority changes and the definition of pleasure or happiness also changes, this may look ludicrous from the angle of an old person, for whom these pleasures may now be irrelevant. Therefore the values of thought which has a positive impact on one’s life at one point of time will seem to have a negative influence. The understanding of the meaning of pleasure has changed with the change in time but the attributes of the feeling of pleasure has remained the same. The pleasures of life are a constant and only the means to enjoy those changes with time.

Hence we see that the outcry of negative feeling is not always bad. Sometimes negative feelings make us cautious in our approach. After getting the feel of a burn, one becomes cautious of fire, which is the result of negative feeling towards it. Nobody feels positive while going through suffering or pain. It is the after-effect of an event which forces one to think positively in order to regain lost confidence and belief. We learn lessons in our lives after going through suffering, and these lessons are the inseparable part of negative feelings which cannot be explicitly admonished. Sometimes, lessons learned from bad experiences and the resulting negative thoughts provide us with an opportunity to analyze and formulate resolutions to be careful next time and continue moving forward with positive approach. In other words, negative thought ignites the process of positive approach in life.

Now with all said and done logically, what does our modern neurology say in this regard? How does our brain work mechanically in these situations and what type of chemicals is involved in developing positive or negative thoughts? If we can identify them, then can we control their activities in our brains to make our lives more peaceful and stable?

Scientifically it is difficult to prove what triggers our brain to think in a peculiar way. Modern science is still primitive in research as far as the human brain is concerned. So far we know that the process of thinking depends upon our emotion which is controlled by chemicals present in the limbic system which is a complex set of structures that lies on both sides of the thalamus. It has four main structures: the amygdala, the hippocampus, regions of the limbic cortex and the septal area. The hippocampus is important in memory and learning, while the limbic system is central in the control of emotional response. Thalamus or Hypothalamus gland is situated in the left side of our brain on top of cerebellum and connected with pituitary gland and other endocrine systems.

Having described the vital parts of the brain, it would be pertinent to understand how they work in tandem to create positive or negative impulses. It is the billions of neuron or neurotic cells which contain the secret of the brain and release chemicals like Serotonin and Dopamine which transmit brain signals from one neuron to another neuron. Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter and helps relay signals from one area of the brain to another and any imbalance in this neurotransmitter level may influence the mood in a way that may lead to depression. Positive thinking and behaviours encourages the release of serotonin, dopamine and all other ‘feel good’ chemicals and alternatively negative thinking or behaviours, will inhibit the production of those chemicals and instead will release Cortisol that rises during stress. Therefore, a mere smile or sadness will trigger or inhibit the release of these chemicals.

Dopamine being a neurotransmitter makes people more talkative and excitable. The major behaviours dopamine affects are movement, cognition, pleasure, and motivation.  In other words, it affects brain processes that control movement, emotional responses, and the ability to experience pleasure and pain. If any of these biochemical glitches occur, the researcher believes it can lead to depression, as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, panic and even excessive anger. In certain areas of the brain when dopamine is released, it gives one the feeling of pleasure or satisfaction. These feelings of satisfaction become desired, and the person grows a desire for satisfaction. To satisfy that desire the person will repeat behaviours that cause the release of dopamine. For example food and sex release dopamine. That is why people want food even though their body does not need it.

To sum up, we must understand that every thought matters in shaping our lives for good or bad. Positive thinking helps us in shaping our future actions with confidence and conviction whereas the occasional dose of negative thinking may make us cautious of events which may become hurdles in moving ahead positively. It is up to us to weigh which thought process is more helpful in achieving results while remaining calm and happy. If we do not know how to balance the mix of positive and negative thoughts in daily life then we are going to hurt ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. For those who do not know how to balance them, it can be suggested that spiritualism and yogic practices like asanas (physical postures), pranayama (breathing practice) and meditation may help them in controlling the flow of Serotonin and Dopamine in the brain.

I would look forward for your valuable comments and wish you all Happy Holidays.

Suman Saran Sinha

Sep 3, 2011


(Salvation through knowledge)
In modern concept

The philosophy of Jnana Yoga - as written in Sanskrit language, and ‘Gyana’ as it means in Hindi for knowledge, is the most complicated topic to write and discuss as the word ‘knowledge’ itself is very subjective and differs from person to person depending upon one’s perspective of life. A university professor may be very knowledgeable as far as teaching is concerned whereas a farmer may be equally knowledgeable in case of farming and agriculture. Both have a common denominator i.e. the knowledge of their vocation and the difference is in the numerator which is the purpose of the knowledge. None can say in real terms that they are more knowledgeable than others. Knowledge is limitless and its intrinsic value and importance cannot be assessed by its nomenclature. Similarly a lawyer, doctor, engineer, businessman or others engaged in their respective professions may think themselves an expert in their field, but may be less knowledgeable as far as the knowledge of other vocations are concerned and as such they can be also termed as illiterate or partially educated persons.

Generally, people have the tendency to underestimate other people as less Gyani (knowledgeable). This is the pseudo extension of their ego or false pride and reminds me of the story of six blind persons and an elephant. All of them touched different parts of the elephant and described the elephant according to the body part they came in contact with, and ridiculed other fellow blinds for giving the wrong description. Therefore, beyond one’s experience and area of expertise, a person cannot be considered as knowledgeable. Furthermore, the value and importance of knowledge depends upon social, political, economic structure and its demand and supply in a society which changes with the time. In an agrarian society a farmer would be more wealthy and respected than the university professor and vice versa.

Hence, a question may be raised on defining the characteristics of the knowledge in order for a person to be considered as Gyani (knowledgeable). What are the broad categories of knowledge and what is the difference between worldly knowledge and eternal knowledge?  Is worldly knowledge which we acquire from our external senses; is the real knowledge or that which we acquire from the internal senses, the true knowledge? What is the difference between them? And what are the pros and cons of acquiring worldly knowledge and the eternal knowledge? Unless we clarify these questions, it would be difficult for an ordinary person like me having minimal knowledge to digest the philosophy of Jnana Yoga. It would be also difficult for people like me to aspire for salvation through knowledge without knowing its fundamentals.

The knowledge which we acquire in this world is generally meant for becoming an expert in a particular field so that we could profess that knowledge in order to educate others, earn our livelihood or bring a change in the society materialistically, financially, socially and/or scientifically. These efforts directly or indirectly bring material gain, worldly success, self- glorification, personal benefits, a sense of achievement, and accomplishment. One may argue that these successes are necessary to be recognized in the society which also brings material happiness in life. But a question arises - does material success bring real happiness in life? If it is real happiness and success, then it should stay in our life all the time, but does it? The definition of success also differs from person to person. One may consider financial success as the real success whereas for another, the sense of extraordinary achievement is the real success. Yet for another, helping others without any material gain is the real success and so on.

Now, the implantation of worldly knowledge into our personality has its own cost and they are not free of frills. It costs our mental peace, physical and mental wellness, happiness and harmony. Worldly knowledge ultimately puts all of us in a race course to compete for our survival in this materialistic world. In the process, we overstretch ourselves and inherit stress, anxiety, sufferings, blood pressure, heart attacks and other physical and mental ailments.

While acquiring worldly knowledge, our nature and character also changes. Chances  of losing our natural qualities are high  and we may become egoistic, selfish, proud, ruthless, angry or arrogant (with some exceptions), and in some cases it is so overwhelming that one may find less difference between an illiterate and an egoistic educated person in terms of behavioural character.

The worldly knowledge provides the means to survive in the outer world whereas inwardly knowledge or eternal knowledge provides an opportunity to know and understand our inner world and our true selves without disturbing the harmonious balance with nature. It entails who we are, from where we have come, what our true nature is, and how to be mentally and physically fit to obtain everlasting bliss. The implementation of worldly knowledge may result in stress, mental agony, worries and frustration whereas the inwardly knowledge brings peacefulness of mind, tranquility, stability and happiness. It helps us in moving closer from consciousness to pure consciousness or in Vedic terms - from Atma to Param-atma. This inwardly knowledge is also called Aatmic Gyana or knowledge of self.

Now, an ordinary mind may think why to bother about knowing our own self and what we are going to get out of it ultimately? In this materialistic world when everybody is looking for an opportunity to grab something for immediate gain or climb the ladder of material success, what are we going to gain out of such spiritual knowledge or practice? In this world, it seems that ultimately what matters is who is more successful materially. 

Another point of view may be that talking about spiritual philosophy or Aatmic Gyana is for the people who have already enjoyed the materialistic world and are undergoing retirement age. They are already out of binding social and family responsibilities. Therefore, knowledge of knowing the self may be a good pastime for the people who are living a retired life. They have plenty of time to think inwardly and do some soul searching for improving their karmic energy for the next life. Knowingly, I have raised this question against this celestial knowledge so that I could invoke a debate and get the right answer from the readers of this blog. I have also not quoted any scripture on this topic in order to avoid plagiarism.

However to answer the above questions - Aatmic Gyana helps in exploring the world inside our minds and understanding our true nature or self. Once we are able to understand this knowledge, then our perspective towards life changes. It provides containment, detachments, and control on our ego, anger, greed and selfishness. We rise above ourselves and become more kind, loving, tolerant, generous and giving. This knowledge helps us in becoming better human beings.  It frees us from all mental and physical ailments as the body and mind come in harmony with the nature and the universe. Therefore, it is not necessary that a person having top university degrees or having mastered several subjects may also have this knowledge unless specially studied and practiced.

For me, the true knowledge or Aatmic Gyana is the knowledge which makes me understand my true nature, character, who I am and what is the source of my ‘I-ness’ or belongingness,  while working for the livelihood of my family and betterment of the society. If one has realized some Aatmic Gyana then in spite of having all responsibilities, pressures and pains of life, one can still remain calm, enjoy whatever one has with containment, but with the sense of detachment, keep striving for the best while remaining honest, sincere, kind and loving, patient and tolerant in all situations, to be egoless in order not to make another person small, devoid of false pride and just be a better person. I personally believe that worldly knowledge and inwardly knowledge both are necessary for a person to become materially as well as spiritually successful. To become an ideal human being, one has to discharge his or her duties as per his or her karma, while meditating inwardly to acquire the Aatmic Gyana.

For those who believe in worldly knowledge and material success as the main source of all pleasure forget that if they are the doers and makers of their destiny, then they should have control on its perpetuity. History tells that those who have been powerful and mighty are now weaker and suffering and if they have been the maker of their destiny then they should remain powerful in all times to come. Therefore, none of us are truly the makers of our destinies. So, who is the maker of destiny and how are we enjoying or suffering in this life?  If it is the influence of our Karma which determines our path in this life then who is the controller or record-keeper of the Karmas? To understand our inner self or pure consciousness, as well as if there was a past life, then there may be a life in the future. As such, how we can make our next lives better and how we can connect with the divine for salvation, is the Aatmic Gyana (Knowledge of self), and instruments to understand this knowledge is Jnana Yoga.

Looking forward to your valuable comments,

(The view points expressed in this article is purely mine and in no way it has any relevancy with published or unpublished materials worldwide. Therefore, I look forward for an excuse for mistakes in my thought process. However your comments will further enlighten me in understanding these intricate philosophies).

Suman Saran Sinha
Certified Management Consultant
Toronto, Canada
September 1st, 2011

Jun 26, 2011



This article was originally written and published by me in the Indian Business Association, Moscow’s Newsletter dated June 11th, 1998 and I thought to post this on my blog with some comments and improvements. I wrote this article in Moscow when yoga was in the process of becoming popular. Few people knew the subject in the west and I am fortunate that my teacher late Paramhans Swami Satyananda Saraswati, founder of the first yoga university in the world, advised me to go through the teachers training course in the year 1984. He had predicted in the early eighties that yoga is going to become a way of life of the modern world and the day it becomes common to all, true yoga will die. Now the whole world knows what yoga is but true yoga is already in the process of waning. New forms and hybrid techniques combined with aerobic exercises, in steam, in pools, with music, in a closed room or just one part of yoga that is pranayama or meditation without going through the basics are being taught everywhere in the name of spiritual renaissance. However, the power of yoga is so strong that even by practising one part, instead of the prescribed eight fold parts, the impact on our physical, mental and emotional being is likely to be enormous.

Raja Yoga as defined by Sage Patanjali described in his text Yoga Sutra, brings emotional, physical and spiritual harmony into our self.  But to bring the true result one has to practice the entire eight- fold path (Asthanga Yoga) viz. Yama (self restraints), Niyama (self-observances), Asana (physical postures), Pranayama (breathing practice), Pratyahara (disassociation of consciousness from the outside environment), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (identification with pure consciousness). Under the Asana and Pranayama there are several other techniques like Mudra and Bandhs (psycho-physiological energy release technique) and Shatkarmas (internal cleansing practices). They are also called Kriya Yoga. These practices prepare our body and mind for advance practices such as meditation. When the body and mind are forced to perform some unusual activity combined with yogic techniques, they are called Hatha Yoga. And when the consciousness is awakened by meditating on eight Chakras (vortices of psychic energy) it is called Kundalini Yoga. I have devoted this paragraph in order to differentiate various terminology of yoga being practiced by people to attain pure consciousness.

As per the Hindu Mythology, yoga has been preached by Lord Krishna to the Prince Arjuna in the sacred book of ‘Bhagwadgita’ and the types of yoga one should practice in one’s life. Yoga has been described in ‘Yoga Sutra’ written by Maharishi Patanjali and has also been described in various Upanishads such as Yoga Kundalini Upanishad, Yoga Chudamani Upanishad, Yoga Sikha Upanishad, Yoga Tattva Upanishad, Katha Upanishad etc.

Srimad Bhagwadgita has expounded three ways of Yoga- The Path of Action (Karma Yoga), the Path of Knowledge (Jnana Yoga) and the Path of Salvation (Bhakti Yoga). There is inalienable relationship of the three bodies: the gross, the subtle and the causal with the world. After employing all these three in the services of others- is the Path of Action. Realization of one’s own establishment in one’s own self after dissociating from three bodies- is the Path of Knowledge, and surrendering oneself to the God- is the Path of Devotion. As such every human being is endowed with three powers of yoga-

  1. The power to do is for rendering service of the world selflessly – that is KARMAYOGA.
  2. The power to know is meant to know the self – that is JNANAYOGA.
  3. The power to believe and then to surrender- is BHAKTIYOGA.
All these three types of Yoga are independent means of God realization.

My understandings of these philosophies are limited and as such humility demands not to analyze these philosophies in support or in contrary to what has been said or written by great scholars and god incarnated people. However, the human mind is very inquisitive and analytical and does not wish to succumb to a particular thought or philosophy especially in these changing times when so many scientific and technological developments have already taken place and people have no time to go into details of these philosophies. Therefore as an ordinary human being, I have tried to describe in a layman's term, how these philosophies can be applied in a modern concept?

'KARMA' means, what one is supposed to do in a righteousness manner and the term YOGI has been derived from the word yoga and thus the person who performs karma in a righteousness way is called KARMAYOGI. Derived from the root “Yujir Yoge” the word ‘Yoga’ has the implied meaning – eternal kinship with equanimity. The word kinship means – sharing of internal characteristics and equanimity means- mental composure or evenness of temper. Therefore in the word yoga, there is predominance of transcendental stability, but on achievement of this state, equanimity and prowess do follow automatically. Thus word yoga has a very pervasive and profound meaning and should not be confused with ordinary yoga practices.

Besides Asthanga Yoga, Maharishi Patanjali has also propagated other instruments of yoga such as YAJNA (sacrifice), DANA (gift), TAPA (penance), and LAYAYOGA (yoga of rhythmic unison) apart from DHYANYOGA (Yoga of Meditation), PRANAYAM (control of breath), and HATHAYOGA (austere discipline of body).

Now in the Modern Concept, one may believe to attain Sannyasa (renouncement of the world) and Moksha (to attain salvation) without doing Karmayoga. I think that is a misnomer. To attain the salvation one has to practice karmayoga for which one has come to this world and while performing karmayoga they will have to go through the ups & down depending upon the intensity of their karmas. However, in this modern world when one has many responsibilities, several tasks to perform or goals to achieve, life is so hectic and tiring, one can still become a Karmayogi by discharging his or her responsibilities in the true sense but within the framework of the definition of karmayoga as propounded in Gita. I personally think, getting salvation by way of performing karmayoga is the easiest, best and noblest way. Even monks or Gurus,  who practice Jnanayoga or Bhaktiyoga cannot escape the responsibility of doing karmayoga in this life. Therefore why not do karmayoga to attain salvation with the purity of mind and this purity comes automatically by controlling false ego, anger, greed and jealousy.

For example a professor or a teacher, when teaching their pupils with sincerity imparts his or her knowledge without concealing the material fact of the subject, without being partial to students, and without any selfish interest other than what he or she is supposed to get in lieu of their services rightfully while keeping the divine power in mind; is a modern karmayogi.

As long as lawyers, engineers, doctors and other professionals practice their knowledge honestly without any ill motives, ego or greed and by keeping the welfare of their clients, employers or patients in mind, while thinking about the divine power (Istha) as if they are imparting services not for the humans but the manifested forms of the same divine power,  they can be considered as modern karmayogis.

A trader or a business man provides all types of facilities to society by bringing in goods for the economic betterment and survival of the society. As long as they do their business with honesty and fairness and make money by way of fair play by keeping the divine power in their mind as if they are serving the manifested forms of the divine power in all living creatures, are modern karmayogis.

Here the pecuniary gain or monetary benefit or profits behind such professions must not be confused. When we employ upon the various instruments of yoga as propagated by Maharishi Patanjali to become a karmayogi, then we can understand in modern concept that monetary gain is a Gift (DANA) of their hard work they receive from the beneficiary or knowledge which has been acquired by years of TAPA (Penance) and the same knowledge is imparted upon their beneficiary by way of YAJNA (sacrifice) by practicing their vocation rightfully and virtuously.

A person's knowledge or skill cannot be assessed in terms of money, hence the sacrifice. Any person in this world cannot attain the true knowledge of his or her vocation, unless one realizes what he or she is supposed to do with righteousness, that is the realization of One Self, and that can be considered as JANANYOGA. The Jnanayoga cannot be attained unless one concentrates on his profession or vocation to acquire the knowledge, which is DHYANAYOGA. A dancer or an artist cannot understand the intricacies of TAAL (beats) or LAYA (rhythm), unless he or she mediates to understand the hidden secrets of that rhythm and that is LAYAYOGA and so on.

Hence to sum up, one has to imply upon the rightful use of various instruments of Yoga which depends upon the circumstances and the nature of one’s vocation or profession to become a Karmayogi in the modern concept. 

Suman Saran Sinha
a humble devotee of the lord.

Disclaimer: The philosophy of Karmayoga in a modern concept especially its correlation and application in different professions, is the original work of the author and it has no relevance with any book or philosophy published or unpublished. Therefore, any error or omission in my thought process may be excused. 

Apr 5, 2011


(Devotion through complete surrender)

In modern concept
Bhakti means devotion with divinity and yoga means to unify, therefore bhakti yoga unifies a person to the divine by practising ultimate devotion. Every religion on this planet has prescribed the importance of single mindedness on the divine in order to attain salvation. The goal is the same, only the techniques are different.

The Bible says – “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”. (Proverbs 3:5-6). (Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don't trust yourself. God will lead in to His will as long as you acknowledge Him and let Him lead you). Quran says-"Inna deena indalahil-Islam." (Holy Quran 3:19) (A fully conscious and willing effort to submit to the one Almighty God).  Guru Angad Sahib added 63 slokas (verses) in ‘Guru Granth Sahib’ and he believed in complete surrender to the will of God.  As per ‘Kabbalah’ of Judaism - Nullify your will before His will, that He may nullify the will of others before your will. (Ethics of the Fathers, 2:4). Buddhism does not accept the concept of God but they accept Lord Buddha as an enlightened father of humanity and thus worship him like a God with complete devotion. 

Lord Krishna has devoted full 20 verses in chapter 12 of ‘Srimad Bhagvadgita’ about Bhakti Yoga. Swami Vivekananda has given his commentary in the 2nd volume, and the entire description with tools and techniques of doing Bhakti Yoga in the 3rd volume of the ‘Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda’.  Adi Sankaracharya has also described the importance of Bhakti Yoga in slokas 31 to 39 and 46 of Vivekchudamani.

In every era, God was incarnated or people with Godly qualities were incarnated, namely Jesus Christ, Guru Nanak, Ramakrishna Paramhans, Maharishi  Valmiki, Goswami Tulsidas, Kabirdas, Sant Tukaram, Maharishi Ramanna, The Alvars,  Nayanars,  Adi Shankaracharya, Ramanujacharya, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu etc.  All have mentioned the importance of bhakti yoga, to attain everlasting bliss and as one of the ways to realize God.

Therefore, as an ordinary householder having minimal knowledge of the scriptures and holy books, it would be audacious on my part to comment or write an article on this topic. Still, I have dared to weave my mind around the topic with the idea of presenting to you, in a simple language, my own personal contemplation, keeping in mind the latest scientific developments in the field of computer science and quantum physics.

Believing in God or doing daily prayers or going to the temple, church, mosque or Gurudwara is completely different than practising bhakti yoga. In a modern society, these religious activities have become more ritualistic than actually connecting to God by focusing with one’s heart, mind, and soul. Unless these three elements are combined together, there cannot be bhakti but perhaps an emotional, or a temporary outburst of one’s feelings towards the almighty in times of trouble or when looking for some kind of super natural anchor to hold on for success to continue, or even when passing the phases of turmoil’s in life.

Bhakti Yoga is part of a spiritual practice to understand the nature of the sacred thread or invisible umbilical cord by which we are all attached to the source (God), whereas prayers or reading religious books without understanding these intricacies are simply a dutiful practice for the uneducated mass or unenlightened educated souls. Those who believe in realizing God through Bhakti yoga need not  visit any temple or mosque or church but activate their mind's ‘SCAN DISC’ program (like a computer) and look within by meditating and practicing the techniques of bhakti yoga in their daily life.  This can be made possible by clicking on the START tab (preparing for meditation) and then on the COMPUTER icon (brain) followed with PROPERTIES (inner selves), and then selecting TOOLS (Istha or divine). However the scan disk inside our mind will never work unless the mind is ‘DEFRAGMENTED’ and all BAD SECTORS like ego, pride, jealousy, hatred, anger, greed etc. are identified and removed and all GOOD SECTORS like unfettered love, non violence, universal brotherhood, honesty, integrity, kindness, truthfulness are arranged in a sequence for easy access. (Here I hope that readers of my blog have some knowledge of the workings of a modern computer). I am sure that people may fool themselves or  the world by temporarily having  control on their spiritual emotions, but in reality, they cannot achieve the real outcome with a malicious heart and mind.

Now, returning to the point, a question may be raised - what is the use of doing bhakti yoga? By simply praying for a minute or two or even without doing so, can’t we realize God or remain in peace forever? Here, one will have to understand that peace of mind is not perpetual. But it can be made permanent and everlasting by practicing Bhakti Yoga even in the worst of moments of life. By practicing bhakti yoga, all pain and pressure can be transferred to the other side of the mental hemisphere (almighty) in the form of energy.  STRING THEORY of QUANTUM PHYSICS also testifies that there are several extra, unobservable, dimensions of the universe which are parallel to each other. As such, an intense but pure energy or pure consciousness can be transferred to the parallel universe. The String Theory may be new to the West as it is still under research, but those who have read about Sage Narada, it is not new for them. As per the mythology, Narada used to travel between different universes in a fraction of a second. It can be presumed that he knew the art of crossing over back and forth between the existing parallel but invisible universes.

In physics, the LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS also states that energy can be transformed from one form to another, but it cannot be destroyed. I have also mentioned in my last blog ‘Philosophy of Mental Deception’ that nature balances its act and no balancing can be made at one end without causing imbalance at the other end. For example, the change in atmospheric pressure at the tip of North Pole may create turbulence at the South Pole of the earth, and likewise several scientific examples can be given in support of the transfer of energy.

Therefore, by using the tools and techniques of bhakti yoga one can transfer all their pain or sorrow in the form of energy to the divine. And the divine has no way out but to balance the transfer, by providing some kind of relief to the sender of energy.  But for that to happen, some austere measures have to be practiced in one's day to day life.

Furthermore, the sense of true bhakti or devotion to God cannot percolate to our personality unless we understand the true cause of our existence. Who we are, how we have come to this earth, the purpose of our coming, the purpose of doing so many things in our lives, and who decides the time period of our stay in this world? Why is there so much disparity between human beings, why are people good or bad, why are some happy and other’s extremely miserable, why are some very successful and some not, and so on?

In our scriptures, there are several examples of extreme devotion, where there is no room for any doubts—not even an iota.  Under the influence of bhakti (devotional feelings), a person completely surrenders himself or herself to the almighty and as a result, the effect of bhakti kicks in and the almighty takes care of the person. But to attain such bhakti one has to be absolutely pure in mind, thinking and action.  One cannot drive a car with mist on the windshield. Likewise, in our lives, the mists are jealousy, hatred, anger, ego and greed. If these mists are present, then they limit the visibility to see the difference between the right and wrong paths and as such, we are bound to have accidents in the form of mental, physical, and emotional setbacks. In my opinion, God is nothing but a pure and positive energy or pure consciousness and in order to reach him, the same purity will be required. In order to obtain absolute purity, we will have to renounce all smartness and tricks of our minds in our daily lives and let God take over the process of our thinking and actions. Here, giving up smartness does not mean that one has to work or act like a fool or neglect daily chores of life but rather to act to the best of their ability and knowledge with absolute purity of mind.

Now, one may question how to determine the level of absolute purity in the mind. To satisfy them, I have developed my own yardsticks to measure the level, and if an opportunity comes in the future, then I would love to discuss or give a discourse on how to calibrate one’s mind for the purpose. From the blog’s point of view it may become lengthy; hence I will stop here.

Therefore to sum up, we should do our karma honestly, truthfully, and to the best of our knowledge and ability, after which we can enjoy life as much as possible but by remaining calm and leaving all the worrying factors for the almighty. We have enough on our plates and must transfer some to the almighty in whom we believe and pray everyday. This will be true bhakti yoga and I guarantee you will be the happiest person in the world.

Suman Saran Sinha
A humble devotee of the lord

Feb 21, 2011


The human brain is the most complicated structure created by nature. As per the report published in Scientific American, in spite of the enormous power of our brain, we only use 10% of its capacity whereas the brain represents 3% of the body weight and uses 20% of the body’s energy. If the myth about Albert Einstein is taken seriously that he used only 7% of his brain, then we, as ordinary people, can very well understand the percentage of the brain we use.

As per another report of Andy N. and the comments thereon, published in Scienceray on human biology, ‘there is no physical data to determine, in tangible evidence, the amount of usage the human brain has. Our brain is simply amazing. It contains about a hundred thousand miles of blood vessels (160,000 kilometres) and there are about 100 billion neurons or nerve cells and several billions of neuronal and synaptic connections (about 1000 trillion or 1010 = 1 quadrillion) for exchange of signals between the neurons in a human brain’.

Furthermore, another report published in Scientific American on March 10, 2009 states that- “a computer comparable to the human brain would need to be able to perform more than 38 thousand trillion operations per second and should hold about 3,584 terabytes of memory. (IBM's Blue Gene supercomputer, one of the worlds' most powerful, has a computational capability of 92 trillion operations per second and 8 terabytes of storage)”.

Moreover, 10% of our brain is conscious, 88% is subconscious, and 2% is unconscious. As per the article published in New York Times- ``Who`s minding the mind``, Dr. Mark Schaller, a psychologist from British Columbia, Vancouver said that- `Sometimes non-conscious effects can be bigger in sheer magnitude than conscious ones`. Researchers do not yet know how or when exactly unconscious drives may suddenly become conscious in the brain.

Considering all this, it is certain that modern science has a fairly limited knowledge of the human brain and its actual power, especially of 88% of the subconscious brain and 2% of the unconscious brain. In order to estimate the capacity of the brain, the human retina has been used as an example. The human retina is less than a centimetre square wide and a half-millimetre thick, but it has about 100 million neurons. In comparison, 1,500 cubic centimetre human brain is about 100,000 times as large as the retina. Therefore until now, all research on the ultimate capacity of the human brain has been either theoretical or hypothetical.

We are aware of the conscious part of our brain, as it controls our voluntary activity the way our mind thinks. The activities which are involuntary are controlled by the subconscious part of our brain. This part keeps on performing vital activities at a constant such as beating of the heart, breathing, digestion, secreting different enzymes and hormones as and when necessary, maintaining body temperature and so on. These involuntary activities are known to us, but we come to know about the malfunctioning of a particular organ only when we have a disorder, otherwise we have no control on them with our conscious mind.

Therefore, we are forced to analyze what other activities are being performed by the subconscious part of our brain incessantly and on a regular basis, and about which we have not even the slightest inkling. We see a part of its dramatic presentation in the form of dreams when we are fast asleep. Sometimes those presentations of the dream produced by the subconscious part of the brain have no direct or even the remotest connection with our lives; as such we are amazed how those dreams materialize to us. As per human psychology, ‘one cannot imagine anything beyond imagination’. Our power of imagining things have direct relevance with the worldly objects we have seen, read, heard or felt directly or indirectly. Hence, it is impossible to think of an object or imagine a situation which has not been imagined or explored yet by our conscious mind.

In addition, there are situations in our life which are beyond our control. There are no logical, theoretical, practical or scientific explanations of such events and we become absolutely perplexed contemplating how situations in life turn in our favour or against. Now the question may arise what role does the subconscious part of our brain play in the happening of those events?

To make my points clear, I would like to present an analogy between 88% of the subconscious part of the brain with modern cell phones. Consciously, we can talk or communicate on a cell phone with anybody in the world but we cannot see how the signals are being transmitted or with which ‘Bay Tower’ our cell phone is connected. Not knowing this fact does not bother us as long as we are able to communicate. The cell phone is just one of the gadgets with the least amount of intelligent software in comparison to the fastest computers in the world. And when the fastest computers are less superior to our brain cells, then imagine the power of communication being made by the subconscious part of the brain, if they are transmitting signals back and forth like a cell phone without our express knowledge.

There are examples of the minds communicating with another mind or reading thoughts of another mind which is known as telepathy. Recent discoveries in quantum physics and cosmology or quantum cosmology have also thrown light on how our minds interact with the universe. I also have personal experience of this phenomena when my yoga teacher late Swami Satyananda Saraswati surprisingly read my mind during my visit to him in Switzerland in the year 1984.

There is another example of our powerful subconscious mind commonly referred to as the “Sixth Sense”. We also call it our gut feeling that helps us understand the world. It is our ability to understand and perceive the subtle cause and effect relationship behind many events, which is otherwise beyond the understanding of our intellect.

Therefore, if we understand the above theory and if we believe that one part of our brain works like a transmitter or a receptor like a cell phone, and may be connected to a gigantic universal computer or cosmic mainframe, then whatever we think or do in our life must be getting uploaded or downloaded in to the cosmic database in a fraction of a second in the form of positive or negative energy. This traffic has to be inbound and outbound like cell phone calls originating from or getting received into our subconscious mind about which our conscious mind has no clue at all.  I also believe that all the science of predicting the past or future of a person, his or her actions, thought process and ultimate impact on the outcome of their actions may have something to do with this inbound traffic. We may call this energy, or a sixth sense or telepathy or influence of stars and planets, our luck, or fate, or destiny or whatever. This is just a conjecture however.

If the above theory is taken seriously then the questions that may be raised may include: why does it happen, and what purpose does our subconscious mind achieve by uploading or downloading mental data. In order to understand these phenomenas, we have to first understand the law of nature and how nature balances acts of humans in order to maintain universal harmony.

In order to manage a business or personal resources, the modern accounting system is based on the double entry system, whether it is accounted through the accounting software called simply accounting or quick books or other accounting systems. It takes into account all receipts and payments. It also establishes the fact that in order to spend X amount we must receive Y amount or vice versa. And the sum total of all receipts and all expenses must tally. It is also called the balancing of books.

I believe that the same system is adopted by nature. Nature keeps balancing its forces through-out the universe. For example, in our planet, if there is a drought at one place then nature balances this disparity by providing excessive rain fall at another place. If one part of the world suffers from excessive heat waves, then another part must experience abnormal winter. This logic is also applicable in economics. If there is excessive wealth in one part of the world then the other part must remain in poverty. A person cannot become rich without making another person poor. Something is always made, at the cost of other things. Therefore, we can safely draw on inference that if we have done some good work but never got the reward in this life then the universal law of nature has to balance its book by rewarding us in the next life. Similarly, if we have incurred some bad actions but escaped punishment in this life then the law of nature will balance its book by providing punishment in the next life.  

If we understand this logic then it is certain that we all have to face the consequences of our actions either in this life or the next or subsequent lives, as the law of nature will never allow the imbalance to continue for long. In order to make it happen, the cosmic mainframe (computer) keeps a record of our thoughts or actions in the form of positive or negative energy released or received by the subconscious part of our brain.

Here, the theory of KARMA kicks in.  If we are very happy and religious, go to the temple or church everyday with all good thoughts, never did anything wrong or never hurt anybody in this life, still if misery befalls upon us, then only the theory of karma with my above mentioned logic can define this sudden impact on our lives. To further illustrate my points- we have seen several people including politicians, government officials or people with money, power and position misusing their capabilities and performing atrocities on human beings or exploiting their resources. Since their KARMA of past lives is so strong, they are bestowed with all happiness and success in this life, nothing bad happens to them, or if anything bad happens, then it may be because of the violation of state rules and/or regulations. But what about the human pain and sufferings which they have caused, which is against the principles of Sanatan Dharma (the eternal law) which is coherent with nature?

Even we, in our day to day lives knowingly or unknowingly cause pain and mental sufferings to people around us. Sometimes we lie or do immoral acts and are never caught. We think that we are very smart, that is why nothing happened to us.  But due to our ignorance caused by greed, hatred, jealousy and ego, we forget that those actions or bad thoughts have already been registered in the form of bad energy in the cosmic mainframe.  We may not get immediate punishment, but it will come back to us in the form of mental or physical sufferings in the next life. This is the reason that sometimes we are perplexed about why a few are so happy in spite of having all the crookedness and why bad things happens to some in spite of their good nature, behaviour and actions in whatever life they are in. 

In a colloquial term, we say that God is watching everything or God is punishing us. Whereas the truth is, that we are responsible for our success or pleasures or the pain and suffering in this life. And when we are responsible for our destiny, then why blame God? If we could understand this philosophy then those who are successful and happy must be careful not to transmit negative energy to the cosmic mainframe in order to suffer in the next life.

Therefore, if anybody would believe in my philosophy of this mental deception or mental vagaries, then one will have to be careful in what they talk or even think in their day to day life. I call it mental deception, because our mind hides several activities which it is performing without letting us know and the consequences may be enormous.

I am looking for an opportunity to research on the subject and I am sure that one day I will validate my philosophy with evidences on how our mind deceives us by concealing hidden secrets of life and how the philosophy of KARMA actually works.

Your comments are very much solicited.

Suman Saran Sinha