Enlightenment is the ultimate goal of every soul, on attaining which its journey is fulfilled. It merges and realises its oneness with the Supreme Soul from where it has originated just like the droplet merges with the vast ocean. The human body is the last instrument the soul needs to complete the process after having passed through millions of other forms.
The Purpose of ‘Four Steps to Health and Enlightenment’, the tenth book of His Holiness Swami Paramananda is to help every seeker to make use of the four keys gifted to him, namely the body, the breath, the mind and the heart to practice the science of meditation to move towards enlightenment, while staying in good health, In his usual style, using a scientific approach and clear and simples language, Swamiji explains the four steps and offers his personal guidance to seekers in any part of the world wish to embark on the inner journey.
This book is yet another contribution of His Holiness, an enlightened soul, for the realisation of the dream of a new earth and a new humanity.
My first contact with Swami Paramananda was through his book “Hidden Teachings is the Bible” a few years ago. Since then Swamiji has been serving us book after book to provoke our thought and put us on the right path to salvation. Today he occupies a prominent place among the most prolific writers of our country.
Swamiji expounds religious and spiritual concepts with the help of science, making it clear that religion and science, far from being opposed to each other, are in fact complementary.
In this new volume Swami Paramananda lays down precepts that will help the seeker attain health and enlightenment through meditation. He proposes a four-fold path to happiness and fulfilment through simple meditation techniques and guidance.
There is something magical and wonderful about the word meditation. To the non-initiate, it will simply convey the dictionary meaning. This book will help to put it in its right perspective and to clear any misconception and misunderstanding.
Meditation teaches man how to exist in peace with himself and his environment by harmonizing his body, heart, mind and breath. Through meditation we can bring all the different facets of ourselves together as a unified being, an integral being.
Long life and good health are our primary concerns. While helping us to attain both, the purpose of this book is also to invite the seeker to embark on the journey towards the ultimate destination which is the fulfilment of the soul.
The title seems very promising indeed. Good health is our birthright and natural state of being, but it has been lost. Therefore we are in search of health. If we are a bit more attentive, we will see that we are not really willing to have a good health because if this were the case, then we would not do things that deteriorate our health. The way we live bears testimony to this fact. We live very irrationally and our lives are based on extremes, yet we want to enjoy a sound health.
We are always complaining and running hither and thither in quest of pleasure, peace and power. Most people curse their destiny because they are not progressing materially and think that real achievement and fulfillment lie therein. Little do they realise that by giving them a body, a mind, a heart and life-breath, nature has been infinitely compassionate and loving. Instead of expressing gratitude for a gift that can open the door to the ultimate blessing, we suffer uselessly through our foolish ways of living.
Once there was a king who had only one son. Obviously, the latter was much pampered and consequently he grew into a very irresponsible and arrogant person. So much so that he was disinherited and made to leave the palace. The prince, who knew nothing that could help him earn a living, had to beg. After many years when the king was about to pass away, he felt sad because now there was no one to inherit his kingdom. He was filled with remorse and anxiety. He therefore sent one of his ministers to search and bring back his son. After many days of search, the minister found the prince who by then was a famous beggar and had even forgotten that he was a prince. But when the minister approached him and related the story to him , he left his bowl, sat in the coach and ordered the coachman to move forward. There was no hesitation or reflection. He even ordered the minister to get his best attire ready.
We are like the prince who has been disowned, not by any king but our own self. We have lost the paradise; however, we can certainly win it back. Enlightenment is our very nature , godliness is our potentiality, and peace, love, bliss and infinite freedom are our essence. There is no question of gaining and losing anything. Then why has it always been said that we have to seek, that paradise is lost, that we have to dig and do a lot of tapasya or austerity to find our soul or God? You have all heard the saying, “Too good to be true.” Similarly, people find it difficult to accept that right here and now we are small gods, saints or enlightened being in potential.
People believe in doing in order to achieve results. If you do nothing, people will say that you are lazy. Zazen means doing nothing, not even thinking, simply something by not doing anything? This very doubt becomes a barrier.
Hence, those who have been awakened have had to invent ways and means to lend people towards enlightenment. In this way, different masters have devised various means according to the temperaments of the people.
This is way it has been said that religion has been invented by people. Yes, it has been invented by people but not by ordinary people. They were those who had realised themselves as God. And in this context, religion means a device to awaken you. Imagine that someone is sleeping and you want to wake him up; you may try many devices, like shaking him up or throwing cold water on him. It all depends on you and the relationship you have with the sleeper. It may also depend on whether the sleeper will be able to bear the shock of being awakened by certain drastic means.
It is very rare that an enlightened being knows how to work with many devices. Usually, masters teach seekers to take the path they have themselves followed, but this may not always work. And even if it does, one may take to many births to reach the goal. For example, Raman Maharshi’s method was to ask, “Who am I?”, but this may not suit many people. Osho says, and he is absolutely right, that such a practice is fit for these whose consciousness has reached the navel center. Thus, if your mind is below that point then the above technique will not work. In this way, many people move very slowly and some even get stuck on the path. It is indeed a great blessing to meet with a master who can guide a seeker on any path and using any device.
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