By: T. Nugroho Angkasa
Title: Guru Yoga, the Way Within.
Author: Anand Krishna, Ph.D.
Editor: Gerard Barrie and Ma Anand Bhagawati.
Publisher: Anand Krishna Global Cooperation, Bali, Indonesia.
Edition: 1/February 2012.
Number of pages: xxii + 85.
Price: IDR 30,000.
Pater Mangunwijaya Pr (RIP) has ever said that religiosity connected with our heart. The ripples of this awareness vibration reflected through someone’s attitude. Therefore, its process is relatively mysterious. Since, it coped with the intimacy of the soul.
Moreover, religiosity covered upon personal depth totally. In addition, it was also beyond any rituals and formalities. It’s engaged more with non formal community or gemeinschaft (see, for example, Literature and Religiosity, 1988).
Unfortunately, the religiosity value or borrowing a local term from Ki Hadjar Dewantara, budi pekerti (universal values) tends to be denied nowadays. Especially, in the realm of education for children in their early age at school.
This book, Guru Yoga, revealed a fact. Anand Krishna has ever given a task from his spiritual mentor, Sai Baba. He must conduct some interviews with 300 men and women from various social and cultural backgrounds worldwide.
It was just a very simple question, “Do you remember having been taught that God is not only outside but also dwell within?” (p.41). The result was no body had ever taught to remember this.
Thus, people tend to look outside. It is like pointing an index finger. Only a single finger leads toward other person. The three other fingers are pointing to our selves.
One shortcut method to divert the attention within is by closing our eyes. Since, the research found than 70 percent of energy comes out from the sense of our sight. When a person clenched his/her eyelids, automatically the focus is flowing into the inner self.
It was medically justified also. The endhorpin enzym (natural morphine) and serotonin were produced by the pineal gland in our brain stem. Those substances were only produced during a deep sleep or while we are lying down in a dim room.
Indeed, this book is severe. Meaning that it contained a very depth philosophy. However, the author is able to choose some metaphors to simplify readers’ understanding.
For example, when Sai Baba was asked by a young journalist, “You do not want to be called as a Guru, but you seem to enjoy the show of respect by your disciples, why?” The answer is direct to the point, “That is their business, and my business is to maintain my own awareness”.
We all are fish swimming in a same ocean. A fish bowing down to another fish, a fish respecting another fish, or laughing at another fish’s folly – what difference does it make? It is a fishy business my friend. Let us concentrate on swimming and living, not on what are other fish are doing (p.17).
Moreover, Anand Krishna has also introduced a new term here. The readers will not find it even in the Oxford dictionary. The word is “egosin” (p.5). When we thought that ourselves as nothing, this is a “sin”. Since, we are created by God, aren’t we?
How could the Higher Existence creates such as meaningless creatures? A high quality producer shall undoubtedly create a high quality product as well. In line, with the opinion from a great spiritual leader from India, Swami Vivekananda, “The greatest sin is to think that yourself as a sinner“.
Conversely, when a man/woman considers him/herself to be the highest entity, this is a “sin” as well. Why? Because we are positioning ourselves equally to God. Can we create a Mount Everest, or at least Mount Merapi in Java Island?
Can we can paint a red chili fruit, or at least create a tinny fly? If not, then do not ever think that you are the most powerful person who has right to force others people by some violent actions. Even, it is in the name of religion.
At the beginning of this 85 pages book, Paul Brunton (1898-1981) interviewed Ramana Maharishi (1879-1950). This legendary dialogue has ever published at PEACE magazine in Pradesh, India (September 1931) and reprinted by Mountain Path magazine on April 1966 in Ramanasramam, India. Nevertheless, its teaching is remains relevant to the readers in the 21st century.
Hurst (the original name of Paul Brunton) was a British philosopher. He likes to explore Eastern mysticism, especially in the mainland of India. Here is an excerpt of the legendary interview. Hurst asked, “Is it necessary to be in physically contact with the Guru, and if so, for how long?” Ramana Maharshi answered, “It depends on the maturity of a disciple. Gunpowder catches fire in an instant, while it takes time to ignite coal“.
This book does not only contain many theories, it also presented a practical exercise. Ken Wilber (b. 1941), a famous American author shared a secret recipe here. This trans-personal psychology pioneer always wakes up early at 3.00-5.00 in the morning. He meditated for 1 until 2 hours, then, go to work at his desk to 1.00 pm.
In details, what kind of meditation technique that used by Wilber? Indeed, it is quite simple. Like a kid who is cheerfully fishing in the pond of the mind. By asking a short question, “Who am I?” When we are looking for the answer, the self was transcended.
Its narrow minded was swallowed by the radiation of the Sacred Emptiness. Our awareness is taking a rest for a while on the lap of Mother Nature. She is infinite, invisible and last but not least mysterious (p.74).
For me, this book is a manual to discover the True Master (Sadguru) within. Indeed, it is our awareness. In line, with the 8th habits of Stephen R. Covey who appealed us to listen to the inner voice.
Only then, we can see God’s face in all beings and creations in this universe. I can not agree more with Saraswaty Dewi, M. Hum’s opinion, “Guru Yoga is a reminder that amidst all kinds of confusions and chaos, peace is still possible. We can live blissfully, if we want are willing to listen to our inner voice and tread the path within that leads us to total freedom“.
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T. Nugroho Angkasa S.Pd. is an English Teacher in PKBM (Pusat Kegiatan Belajar-Mengajar) Angon, or Nature School, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org