“BE ALONE – BE HUNGRY – BE WAKEFUL”
“Thanith thiru – Pasith thiru – Vizhith thiru”.
(A Practical elaboration by Sri T.R.Thulasiram on the Three Spiritual Commandments or Formulas of Suddha Sanmargam given by Swami Ramalingam for the Integral realization of the Divine in soul, the universal Self and for the transformation of one’s nature, mind, life and body)
As a discipline for development of the integral yoga which has the double purpose of (1) inner spiritual realization of soul in the mid forehead (or in the heart), and the self above the head as well as (2) for the transformation of outer nature, the mind, life and body, Swami Ramalingam has given a common formula of three essential features but without elaboration. “Thanith thiru – Pasith thiru – Vizhith thiru”. Be alone – Be hungry – Be wakeful. These three terms if separately regarded each, lose much of their power and value. They have to be interpreted according to the purpose for which one follows the yoga. They may be given a predominantly psychological significance for the former purpose, and a predominantly practical and physical significance even in a literal sense for the latter. Both kinds are permissible for the purpose of practice.
“Be alone” implies that for spiritual realization of soul and the self, mind has to be kept silent, and detached which brings a sense of loneliness especially in meditation, or it brings a poise of witness consciousness that would keep one detached and calm in the midst of activity even in the family surroundings or when in the midst of others or even in a crowded gathering. “Be hungry” implies a keen and live aspiration for the said realization of the Divine in soul with love. “Be wakeful” implies an alert and wakeful consciousness that is vigilant to observe the thought movements of mind and the feelings of heart and instinctive urges of desire of the senses so that they are not allowed their free play especially during the meditation but they are stilled and calmed by silent observation or by recourse to chanting of the mantra of Grace-Light(Arut Perum Jyothi Mantra). The process of yoga proceeds from wakefulness for rejection of the wrong movements to loneliness or detached witness consciousness, through the hunger of aspiration.
As a later stage of yoga development, body also begins to participate in the yoga process when it begins to receive something of the spiritual power or the divine power of Grace-Light for its transformation. At this stage one shall avoid mixing with people in crowded gatherings as in a market place etc., because the vibrations of their ignorant bodies bringing unpleasant reactions, effects or illnesses. One shall avoid shaking hands with all and sundry persons, known or unknown, as their ignorant nature – forces directly enter the body that is being purified and transformed by one’s yoga instead, one shall make the greetings by the Indian gesture of “Pranam” (Namaste) with joined palms soon before the other extends his hands for the shake. These precautionary measures for one’s personal protection especially of the body becomes necessary, until one is well established in a firm spiritual consciousness and becomes receptive to Grace-Light for transformation. This does not mean one is following the law of untouchability on the basis of caste or racial distinctions. Here the dictum of “Be Alone” more or less in a physical sense is advisable to follow for the development of body’s yoga. The night hours, after sleeping for three to four hours, shall be used to remain alone and wakeful in one’s room or in the bed in order to pursue meditation, prayer, mantra chanting (oral or mental) etc., when other members of the family continue to be asleep and non-communicative.
But sleep cannot be so easily or naturally reduced to 3 or 4 hours, as recommended by Swami Ramalingam, unless the other dictum “Be hungry” is also followed in a physical sense at this stage, especially by forsaking night food, except for a cup of milk or two. Man is taking food three times a day. He aspires for the freedom or liberation of the soul and spirit, but he hardly gives freedom to the body-mechanism so as to allow it remain without food for a continuous stretch of time so that the body can get the beneficial, healthy and direct influence from his soul-power from within especially in the night which is governed more by Tamas or inertia of the dark Inconscient nature. Even though one takes vegetarian diet only, as recommended by Swami Ramalingam and that too by consecrating it to the Divine by simultaneous touch of the Swami’s picture or the Mother’s S.C. picture during the intake, yet even such power-charged food has an inherent sub-conscient base in its organic substance. It gives energy by digestion and absorption of food-essence for the renewal of body-tissues and for physical and mental work, but after that, it releases its sub-conscient force bringing weariness and drowsiness to the body. It is so especially in the night when the inconscient or sub-conscient forces of nature are more active than in the day time with its sunlight and heat energy. Likewise, the first few hours of restful sleep 2 to 4 hours in the night brings recuperation and health to the body, but the further extended hours of sleep bring tamas inertia and heaviness in the system. Attitude to sleep shall be changed, and one shall remember the Swami to keep wakeful.
Therefore, if night food is reduced in quantity, or most preferably if it is given up except for a cup of milk with honey, it is seen that night hours of sleep get naturally reduced even in the winter season from 6 or 7 hours to 3 or 4 hours, because of the soul-power getting an upper hand of control over the tamasic forces of sleep. Go to the bed early. The extra hours of wakefulness in the night thus gained shall be actively used for meditation, prayer, chanting of mantra or selected ArutPa songs of Grace-Light etc., but after washing at first the face, mouth, hands and feet and sex organ by power-charged water which dispels sleepiness and also by drinking a little of it. Walking indoors may be also resorted to at intervals to remain wakeful, but avoid radio and TV as their electrical vibrations bring tiresomeness to eyes in such hours of the night.
Sleeping after the said meditation brings heavy tamas of the night in the body. After the pursuits of yoga, one may rest in an easy chair having hands and slightly slanted back, or stretch in bed to rest for a few minutes only, but lying on the back in a central poise for 10 to 15 minutes so that one may not be overcome by sleep, even by a sleep of what they called yoga nidra in which body sleeps but with a sort of inner wakefulness or witnessing consciousness. In this state of lying, the eyes get rest and energy to keep them wakeful if tips of fingers are kept softly on eyelids for 5 to 10 minutes and with hands supported by a pillow on the chest. Though yoga nidra is useful for recouping of body-energy, it is not generally helpful for body transformation, because here the body itself has to remain wakeful besides the inner wakeful consciousness of the yoga in order to receive directly the Grace-Light or its power which is at once curative, recuperative, as well as constructive and creative for transformation. In such conditions of inner and outer wakefulness without food for the night, one stands a better chance of receiving the highly valued amrita, the cool ambrosia from within or from above. However, one may take in warm milk with honey (or the power-charged water with honey or sugar) after the night hours of meditation and other yoga pursuits, and this helps to keep awake the body for a longer time. Thus, the Swami’s formula “Be alone – Be hungry (without food)- Be wakeful” is practical and helpful especially in the night, as it is directed for body-power transformation.
Meditation in the hour of God between 11.45 and 12.15 at noon, and between 7.30 and 8.00pm in the evening when the Divine comes with Grace-power directly seeking us, also help greatly to receive the transforming Grace-Light or its power for body-transformation. Active loving remembrance of the Swami or the Mother at the start of meditation for a few minutes followed by complete silence without remembrance, leads to greater inward depths, and makes mediation more dynamic by such alternation once or twice, before getting finally settled in the silent poise of deeper depths. These hours largely support the yoga of the said night hours. One shall be selective for nutritious items of food for the day and avoid disagreeable food items, which produce gas in the stomach and as a result pains in the limbs (avoid mantra-chant in this state), or brings cold effects with cough and phlegm (Kapha). Constipation shall be avoided by by taking banana fruit as the first item of the menu, or motion shall be regulated twice i.e., in the morning and evening. The general health has to be monitored or maintained by due and timely adjustment and regulation of food, sleep, rest and activity, with a graceful respect and regard for the body’s needs, and especially in case of illness or disharmony but disregarding its instinct and urges of desire and wrong habits. Intake of power-charged food during the day by simultaneous touch at the central part of the written paper of the Swami’s songs on deathless body and with integral harmony power (given in Appendix I) and the mantra-chant of “Supreme Compassion Vast Grace-Light, Vast Grace-Light Supreme Compassion” (given as the sixth mantra in chapter 17) very greatly help for the integral realization of the Divine in soul, and the universal self and for the transformation of one’s nature, mind life and body.
Here are some useful hints of advice given by the Swami for the body, its hygiene, health and for the yoga of its transformation. (1) Sleep on the left side at the bed- time, using a bed-sheet or wollen rug if the floor is damp. (2) keep light (bed room light), otherwise the inertia of darkness would enter the body. (3) Drink water after boiling it, and drink it warm at the end of food. To get power and special energy, boil the water so as to evaporate three-fifth of it, and drink from the two-fifth. Honey, sugar or jaggery or sugar-candy may be mixed with it, and drink it remembering the Divine. (4) “Activity (Natam) gives health (Nalam), and in turn health supports activity. Both together bring the light in the body. (Natam here implies physical activity, exercise, game, walking, dancing or an activity for joy and enjoyment). Keep harmony of the left and right sides, and limps of the body in any activity, as the left and right are complementary to each other for a harmonious development. Strength or firmness develops will of the heart, and the exercise of the will- power of the heart brings greater firmness. Both together, the developing firmness and heart’s will, bring divinity. Body develops growth of soul; the soul supports the body and its upkeep. Both together bring realization of the Supreme Divine – Refer the Swami’s “Vallalar Pathi Villakkam” songs and his Upadesha.(5) Take in food which gives heat to the body. Avoid food items which produce gas in the stomach, or bring cold and phlegm (Kapha). Warm food and drink, and warm or hot water for bathing are recommended. Take vegetarian diet, and milk is permissible. Substances of food, which have flavour and fragrance are pure and conducive to the growth of consciousness and wisdom, but those with bad smell or rotten, or grown beneath the soil like some tubers are impure food. (6) Play game with ball, remembering the Supramental Grace-Light (Arut Perum Jothi). You will realize the Light for body-transformation also; (refer Swami’s song “Pandu Aadal”). (7) Get up early in the morning, be wakeful and activein good pursuits of thought and action (or meditation), because amrita Vayu, the beneficial life-energizing atmosphere prevails on the earth at the break of dawn (between 5 and 6am) and lasts until the sun has arisen in the horizon. It helps the growth of consciousness, tender feelings of heart and awakens good thoughts and gives control over senses and brings devotion. It helps to bring in a second the divine consciousness for experience. (8) As a general rule the Swami advises moderation in food, sleep and sex and absence of fear, because these four, and especially food and sex in their excess, have a destructive effect on the body and hence stand in the way of body-transformation. So the Swami advises reduction of food quantity to one-half, sleeping hours to one-eight, sex frequency to one-sixteenth and fear to zero. But for those with serious pursuit of yoga for realization of the Divine and body-transformation, he advises complete absence of fear, and abstention from sex life in thought, word and act, and a reduced sleep to prolong the life but progressively reducing it to three or four hours of sleep, and then to one hour which prolongs the life to a thousand years. (9) As the way for a divine transformation of nature and deathless body, one shall be poised in the soul and the self with compassion and grace in the heart and with an ever undisturbed peace of the purified instruments, mind, heart, senses and the body (Suddha Karana); or one shall always remember the feet of Guru, the Master. When Grace-Light fills the body, complete absence of sleep would become possible in a more natural way, because of the body-transformation due to the Light as happened in the Swami’s case, when he began to take food only one time a day at noon and that too very sparing in quantity, and even forsaking it at times as he did in his last period of healthy bodily existence, but taking in only sugar solution by mixing sugar in the special boiled water (three-fifth quantity being evaporated) which has power of radiation and life energy (Prana Sakti) as said before.
For our practical purposes, five tumblers of water may be boiled in a pressure cooker as to get two tumblers of the special boiled water as the residue. A little of this water may be mixed to a jug of ordinary boiled water and both the water may be touched simultaneously for a minute during the evening meditation. As a result both get charged with the greatest intensity of the Swami’s spiritual-physical power through the heated special water has the inherent power of radiation also when slightly heated. So the former may be used for washing face, mouth, hands, etc., to remain wakeful in the night hours and latter for drink or sip warmly and for charging food and drinks of the day with its power by their simultaneous touch. If the special water, because of its power of radiation presents any problem to the body, it shall not be drunk for some days, though it may be touched to charge food, ordinary boiled water, etc., with its power.