SOHAM – Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur-Vol 1- issue No 3

Soham comes from the Indian word which means, "I am." Sanskrit word which means, "Soham is a combination (Sandhi) of two Sanskrit words Sah & Aham. It means that when a child is born it cries Koham-Koham which means who I am. That is when the almighty Replies Soham. You are the same as I am...”
||Shree Ganeshay Namaha || || Shree Guruveh Namaha ||

Dear Friends and Seekers , The main objective of ‘Soham’ is aimed to guide every sincere spiritual seeker from any sect, religion or guru in their spiritual journey hence one can find more importance given to practical aspect of spirituality like how to do stepwise spiritual practice, clarification of doubts during sadhana or spiritual practice, analysis of spiritual experiences and how to analyse and remove our mistakes that happen due to personality defects so as to lessenen them in the beginning and curtail them totally in future. Don’t worry at all, I am not here to make you all my disciples but rather take you closer to your guru or to help u start your spiritual journey!!! One more important point which I would like to share is, that the terminologies which will be used in the newsletter from henceforth will be in Sanskrut with English meaning. Sanskrut is a dev bhasha (language of the deity) and the spiritual terminologies in Sanskrut have healing effect as well while reading. So I want all you to have this wonderful experience while reading this spiritual newsletter and in this process you can enrich yourself with few sattvik and divine sanskrut words too.

SOHAM – Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur-Vol 1- issue No 3

ARTICLES IN THIS EDITION 1. Basic principles of spiritual practice: 2. Practical guidance on the implementation of spirituality . 3. Spiritual Experiences (Anubhuti) of seeker. 4. Spiritual healing to negate problems posed by negative energies. 5. Efforts by seekers for spiritual progress 6. Obstacles faced due to negative energies during ‘Dharm Yatra’ and Dharmprasar. 7. Mistakes of seekers. 8. Clarification of doubts.

The most important attribute to realise God is Mumukshutva (the presence of an intense desire for self-realisation). A seeker who possesses this attribute gets past all obstacles on the path to spiritual practice and becomes one with the Supreme Power. Let us see what Mumukshutva is. The intense yearning to attain liberation is called Mumukshutva. When a seeker understands where his/her ultimate welfare rests, the seeker develops an intense desire for self realisation and begins to transcend in that direction. I would like to refer to an incident in this context. The ways of saints are unique and their style of teaching spirituality is amazing. Incidents pertaining to saints are the most inspiring ones that provide enthusiasm and chaitnya (spiritual energy) for spiritual practice. Once a disciple asked Ramakrishna Paramhans, “What is the most important attribute to realize God?” Swami ji replied with simplicity – “Mumukshutva (Intense desire for self-realization.)” The disciple asked, “Can you please explain what is Mumukshutva (intense desire for selfrealization) ?” Swamiji said, “I will tell you when the time comes.” A few days passed, but Swami ji did not speak a single word about the topic to the disciple. One day both of them set out for a dip in river Ganga; no sooner had the disciple proceeded for the dip and put his head inside the water, Swami ji pressed it inside without letting him take the head out of the water. The disciple tried to take his neck out to breathe, but Swami ji would not let him do so. Within a few moments, the disciple felt that he would drown and die in the water. Just then, Swami ji relaxed his grip on the disciple’s head. As soon as the disciple took his head out of water, he said,

SOHAM – Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur-Vol 1- issue No 3

“Had I stayed in water for one more second, I would have died !” Swami ji replied smilingly, “I was explaining you the meaning of Mumukshutva.” Surprised, the disciple asked, “how?” Swami ji replied, “The longing that you experienced inside the water to breathe, when you develop that kind of a longing to realize God, that is known as Mumukshutva .” Thus, a seeker must make all efforts to develop this special attribute of intense yearning for the Supreme Being. To increase the attribute of Mumukshutva : i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. Be in the company of genuine seekers. Minutely study and practice what the saints did to acquire the sainthood status and strive to implement the same in your life. Learn and practice how saints served their Gurus. Make real efforts to learn the science behind spirituality and dharma. Study religious scriptures, or books written by saints on a regular basis. Students and householders must accord priority to sadhana (spritiual practice) too, along with their material progress. Pray incessantly unto the Guru(master) or unto God, to increase the desire for self-realisation.

2. Practical guidance on the implementation of spirituality : One obstacle that majority of people recount is being unable to find time for spiritual practice. Let us know the reasons behind this common problem and its solutions. In most cities, the rush for office starts early in the morning. Yet, you can painlessly accommodate spiritual practice in your daily routine. For instance, you can do Naam Jap (chanting) while commuting to your workplace, Naam Sankirtan Yog (The path of Chanting of God’s name) is the single most important practice for ‘Kaliyug’ (the age of Kali). These days, the intense desire for so-called entertainment has grown roots like a social evil. This distortion leads to people in metropolitan cities (Metros) to switch on FM radio channels, or wear mobile earphones early in the morning while travelling. Thus, they begin the most important part of their day with blaring songs and music that induces negative or tam influences that stays in their

SOHAM – Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur-Vol 1- issue No 3

head entire day. Instead, this precious morning hour can be easily utilised for chanting. You can play a CD of Namjap (available with us), play devotional hymns sung by saints, or play verses in Sanskrut. By doing this, a propitious environment for Namjap is created and the mind gets focused and starts chanting almost without any special effort. According to modern research, 80% of our physical and mental problems are psychosomatic in nature – meaning we suffer mainly due to a restless mind. Thus, we must surely make efforts to calm our mind and there cannot be any better and simpler medium of keeping the mind peaceful than chanting. Not only does Namjap earn the grace of God to the seeker, it also reduces the flow of unnecessary thoughts to our mind. Please remember, the lesser number of thoughts there are in our mind, the more our mental, intellectual and spiritual ability increases.

You can also stick pictures of your Guru (Master) or the deity you venerate, paste vastu shuddhi pattis or vehicle purification stickers (available with us). By doing this, your vehicle will become a purer place for your spiritual practice. Due to exponential growth in the number of vehicles, our roads are clogged due to traffic jams and it often takes many people two-three hours commuting to and from the office in a vehicle. This time can be utilized for doing sadhana(spiritual practice) .

I have discussed this issue because whenever Namjap is recommended, a lot of people claim they can not find time for it. In Kaliyug (the ‘Age of Kali’) ‘maya’ (illusion) is at its pinnacle. Thus, we must intelligently take out time from our daily routine to do sadhana. Those who commute to office by public transport can also easily do Namjap en route. Instead of listening to film songs on the mobile phones, you can make an effort to listen to spiritual hymns, Namjap or verses to facilitate chanting.

If you travel by public transport, before starting the chanting, say a prayer unto your Guru (Master) or to the God you venerate, thus, “O God, I am going to do Namjap. May my chanting continue with single-mindedness, may a Suraksha Kavach (protective armour) be formed on my mind and intellect, so that the unwanted and tam vibrations of people around, do not affect me and may I continue to chant unabated, grant me Thy mercy thus.” Also try to do prayer in your own language , it helps in building bhav(spiritual emotion) with the Almighty easily. After making such efforts for a few days, your mind will

SOHAM – Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur-Vol 1- issue No 3

be at peace and the chanting will start automatically in your mind, even in a crowded place. 3. Spiritual Experiences (Anubhuti) of seeker. Today, I am sharing the experience of Shri Himank Kothiyal. “My name is Himank Kothiyal. I met Tanuja Thakur in December 2011 and started doing spiritual practice. Although I had been reading her articles and posts on Facebook for some time and was also doing some spiritual practice on my own, my sadhana in the real sense commenced after meeting her. Tanujaji asked me to carry out the seva (service ) of language correction and translation of articles from Hindi to English. While doing this seva, several questions that used to accumulate in my mind got answered automatically and I started experiencing extreme bliss. For quite some time now, whenever I travel in my own vehicle, I have started liking ‘traffic jams’ because I get more time to do chanting” ! Analysis of the experience: Himankji has been inquisitive by nature. Hence God is giving him experiences of that level. If an inquisitive person receives knowledge, happiness and contentment at intellectual plane is derived. Due to the chaitnya (presence of divine consciousness) in writings, he is automatically getting answers to his questions, because my writings are purely based on the teachings of my Shree Guru, who is Paramavatari ( an incarnation of Lord himself) and a saint of ‘Paramahans’ (saint of the highest spiritual order) level. The importance of Namjap is 5%. According to Gurukrupayog(Path of attaining Guru’s grace), satsang (spiritual discourse) is the second step of sadhana and its importance is 30% while the importance of seva (service ) is 100%. As per Gurukrupayog, seva is the third step of spiritual practice and the importance of service is 20 times that of Namjap. This means that when a seeker does seva along with chanting, he or she gets experiences very quickly and the grace of the nirgun guru (formless Guru) ie. God begins to get transmitted. The experience of bliss is the highest level of anubhuti (spiritual experience ) in spirituality and one can experience it sooner by serving either the Guru or ‘Dharm’. Himank ji’s spiritual level being more than 45%, he quickly agreed to offer his services for dharma’s cause and by trying to do the service with love, shraddha (faith) and perfection, he is getting the experience of bliss.

SOHAM – Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur-Vol 1- issue No 3

4. Spiritual remedies to negate problems posed by negative energies. For the last year-and-a-half, I have been on an all-India tour. During this period, it has come to my notice that in the absence of dharmacharan (abiding the code of conduct as per vedic dharma ) by parents and blind imitation of the Western culture, infants are increasingly experiencing problems and they get affected by the negative energies in the mother’s womb itself. Consequently, as these children grow up, their problems also keep increasing and even after making physical, mental and intellectual efforts to tackle these troubles, no real benefit accrues. Symptoms of problems caused to children by the subtle negative energies : If children experience troubles caused by negative energies, the problems caused are such as sleeplessness, not being able to concentrate in studies, leave studies midway, developing bad habits and addictions at a young age, abusing or turning violent, being excessively mischievous, getting up in sleep at night feeling scared, mood swings, or develop diseases that last a lifetime et al. If this be the case with your kids, put your hand on the head of children (those below seven years of age) when they are sleeping and chant, “Shree Guru Dev Datt’ and ‘Om Namah Shivaay” alternately for one-two hours for two years, depending on the severity of the problems. This is basically a spiritual healing remedy known as ‘touch therapy’ where we infuse the spiritual energy of chanting to combat the problems which is caused due to the attack of sublte negative forces. If the child can do chanting, ask him to do it and if he/she can write, then get the child to write the Namjap. Alongside, also ward off the evil eye every Tuesday and Saturday. Give the child a bath with salt-water and cow’s urine, followed by an ordinary bath regularly. Our lifestyle has become tamoguni (spiritually impure) in the race for modernisation without our realising it. As a result, infants end up experiencing such troubles. As they grow up, these troubles multiply and result in more monstruous problems. Thus, it is the need of the hour that as an ideal parent you should provide spiritual nourishment, along with physical, mental and intellectual nourishment to your children.

5. Efforts by seekers for spiritual progress: The efforts of Kshitij Dhanak of Ahmedabad are worthy of emulation! A few days ago, I arrived in Ahmedabad at the invitation of a lady. There I met a seeker, Shri Kshitij Dhanak, with whom I had not talked much on Facebook. I had, of course, once replied to one of his queries in his Inbox. When I reached Ahmedabad, he had come to the airport to receive me, along

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with a friend. His bhav (spiritual emotion) amazed me. I then realised that I had not gone to Ahmedabad for that lady, but for Kshitij ji and his friend, Satish ji. Both the friends used to read my articles, discuss them with their family members and tried to practically implement them. Kshitij ji used to download my audio and video clips from Facebook and Youtube and play them out to his acquaintances and would also distribute CDs to people on his own. He posseses an intense yearning for learning and sharing spiritualism. Kshitij ji’s sharp intellect, his loving nature, humility and bhav (spiritual emotion ) make it appear as if he has been doing sadhana under the guidance of a qualified Guru (master) since many years. When I went to his house, I saw that after reading my articles, he had removed the photographs of his ancestors and also started chanting. Like him, his wife, father and children too reflect attributes of seekerhood. His daughter, studying in Class XII, had her examinations after a few days of my visit. Even then, he arranged for a satsag (spiritual discourse) at his house and sent his daughter to the house of a neighbour so that her studies are not compromised even as the house gets purified by the satsang and people educated about ‘Dharma’. His wife, like an ideal follower, was listening to all that he was saying and doing everything with a feeling of love. After my return from Ahmedabad, there has been an increase in the intensity of his efforts and he has been spreading spirituality or whatever he knows about ‘Dharma’ with devotion. Learning the science of spirituality and implementing it by imparting knowledge to others is an extraordinary quality in Kshitij ji. May God impart momentum to his devotion and sadhana ! Due to his consistent efforts, he has become eligible to receive Guru’s grace in a very short spell of time ! His sadhana is worth emulating! Due to his sincere efforts, he has made one percent spiritual progress over the last eight months!!! In spiritualism, it is not an ordinary thing to register one per cent progress in such a short span. In reality, if a person performs worship, celebrates festivals and does fasting, visits temples, reads scriptures with dedication, only then can one make one per cent spiritual progress during one’s entire lifetime. Thus, you can clearly comprehend the amount of flow of Guru’s grace on him!! That is why it is said, “Gurukripa hi kevalam Shishya Parammangalam”!! (The ultimate well-being of a disciple lies only in Guru’s grace). 6. Obstacles faced due to negative energies during ‘Dharm Yatra’ and Dharmprasar. During the last one-and-a-half years, some organisations arranged for my spiritual discourses in different states of India. In the course of these travels, I found out that if the organisers themselves suffer from severe problems caused

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by subtle negative forces, they invite me but do not give sufficient time for me to speak on the dias. Last year, I went to Buxar (Bihar) upon invitation of an organisation that organises ‘Ram Charit Manas’ narrations regularly every year. But when I reached there, I found that the organiser himself was suffering from problems caused by negative forces, allthough he holds a high post in a Pro Hindu organisation. (Please note that the sublte negative forces has attacked all the people who are in some way linked to hindutva cause.). He allowed every kathavachaks (professional spiritual preachers ) to speak for two to three hours on the stage while he kept telling me that people will not be able to understand what I had to say and gave me just forty five minutes to speak. This continued for three days. Similarly, last year and this year too, at Dehri-on-Sone, (Bihar) an organiser of Hanuman Chalisa Gyan Yadnya Committee also had the same thing to say. However, the reality was something else. The crowds used to force them to let me speak and no sooner would I finish speaking, 70% of the people would get up and leave. At both these places, I had a three-day discourse. People used to request me to speak more and even said, “We have heard ‘Ram Katha’ (Lord Ram’s story) a number of times, but we have never heard whatever you are saying. We remember whatever you tell us even after you leave ! Please do speak more” !!

When I made a subtle analysis of the stark difference between the reactions of the people and those of the organisers, I found that the problems caused by the subtle negative forces made the organisers do such acts, so that the subtle aspect of Dharma do not reach the people.

7. Mistakes made by seekers: Under this issue, we will look at the mistakes made by some seekers, go to their root cause and learn to remove our personalilty defects. Remember, every mistake takes us farther away from God, no matter if it is small or big. A mistake is a mistake!!! Thus, our effort should be that the seva (service unto truth) is perfect and bereft of mistakes. Mistake 1: “Tanuja Didi asked me to get a railway ticket reserved for a seeker for April 9. The train starts at 12.30 am in the night, but while making the reservation, I did not pay attention that after 12.00 in the night, the date would

SOHAM – Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur-Vol 1- issue No 3

change. As a result, the seeker had to face problems. I had done the seva of getting a ticket reserved for the first time but had not got acquainted myself with the finer details of the seva.” – Ashish Analysis of the mistake: Whenever we are given any service, we must try to perform it with utmost perfection then only its called sadhana. For example, after getting the ticket in hand, Ashish ji should have checked immediately if everything was in order. Carelessness and not getting acquainted with the finer details of the seva properly can lead to similar mistakes in all kinds of seva being done. Mistake 2: “When I served food to Tanuja Didi, I realised that the cooked pulses were without salt. After tasting the food, she had to ask for salt.” – Mrs. Sinha. Mistake 3: “When I offered Tanuja Didi grapes to eat, some of the grapes were rotten.” – Mrs. Mishra Mistake 4: “Cooked green leafy vegetable (spinach) were to be served to Tanuja Didi, but they had not been washed with water thoroughly. Thus, while eating, she could feel some fine stones in her mouth.” – Mrs. Thakur Analysis of mistakes: Whenever we have a guest at our home, we must serve food only after tasting it and cooked with perfection. The mistakes make us understand how careless we are towards seva. Cooking has been termed as one of the kala (fine arts) and it is an act of ‘Yadnya’ which means its a medium for spiritual progress . At our Guru’s hermitage (Ashram), several lesser educated and young girl seekers have made rapid spiritual progress by offering their seva in the kitchen. Thus, whatever seva it may be, if we render it with perfection, attention and devotion, it will lead to the development of virtues inside us. Our Guru’s Guru, His Holiness Bhaktraj Maharaj, used to hold bhandara (feeding cooked meals to masses as a part of spiritual practice) before distributing ‘Prasad’, He used to taste it to check if there was something missing in it. This is called bhav (spiritual emotion). Offering rotten grapes demonstrates

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carelessness. Similarly, not washing leafy vegetables properly is also a part of carelessness. There have been occasions when, during my tour of India, seekers have offered me fruits at night which were cut into such big pieces that it was difficult to eat them. Often, people offer rotten grapes or pomegrenates. Some people do not peel off a papaya properly and leave the skin on the outside, as a result of which it tastes bitter. I have found that a majority of people do not know how to cut and serve raw fruits. If somebody comes to one’s home, fruits must be cut and served properly, if things as gross and basic as this are to be taught, you can well imagine how many births it would take to learn subtle aspect of spirituality ! 8. Clarification of doubts: After reading the second issue of Soham, curious readers have posed questions related to their spiritual practice. In this issue, we will look at solutions to their issues: Namaskar Tanuja ji, kindly resolve the following doubts: 1. To do the salt-water chant, cow’s urine is required. What if cow’s urine is not available? (For instance, I am staying at a place in Pune where I have not spotted a cow during the last five years. Even if I arrange for cow’s urine from a far-off place, by the time it reaches me, it will not retain its purity.) You do not have to do salt-water chanting ! It is known as ‘spiritual healing method’ through salt-water, in which you have to keep your feet dipped in salt-water for 15 minutes and then throw the water and wash your legs with clean water. If cow’s urine is not available, you can still do the treatment with salt-water. These days cow’s urine is available at several distribution centres of many saints. In Pune, there is a Seva Kendra ( a small unit of ashram of our Shree Guru), you can take cow’s urine from there. Cow’s urine possesses a special ability to ward off troubles caused by negative energies and at least, Bhartiya (Indians) within Bharat(India) can surely get it. These days, distilled cow’s urine is also available, which can be used for several years. You can also get cow’s urine in any Ayurvedic dispensaries. The speciality of cow’s urine is that it never gets impure. If cow’s urine is not distilled, its colour changes after sometime, but its elements never change. – Tanuja .

SOHAM – Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur-Vol 1- issue No 3

2. Can the effect of evil forces be so intense that they may not allow us to even worship, or pray to the Almighty? I too have been experiencing for the last two years as if some evil force is having an effect on me, but I never felt that some force trying to prevent me from worshipping Kali(my benevolent deity). It is a different matter that I am not able to perform ‘Puja’ because of getting up late, for it is my view that the body and the mind should be clean at the time of worship and I am utterly lazy in taking a bath. – Akash.

In the present times, 50% of ordinary people and 70% of good seekers are plagued by severe problems caused by negative energies. Have you not read Ramayan? When demons could disrupt even Sage Vishwamitra’s Yadnya (spiritual oblation given to fire God), where do we stand? If we are suffereing from problems caused by negative energies, they try to put obstacles subtly, in our sadhana. The negative energies forces are trying to magnify laziness, the personality defect of yours to distract you from the path of spiritual practice. Hence, try to get rid of this personality defect. When you sit down for pooja ( ritualistic worship), they cannot distract you. Hence by magnifying such shortcomings, negative energies try to stop you from doing your daily worship. You may try the following remedies for this: (i) (ii) Put your feet in salt-water for 15 minutes daily and do chanting regularly. Before going to sleep each night, pray to the Divine Mother ‘Kaali’ that the negative energies may not be able to create obstacles during worship, the next day and may I succeed in praying unto You. Say this prayer at least 21 times and then go to sleep. If you are not able to perform daily worship, do chanting. For chanting, cleansing of gross body is not required, but to do ritualistic worship, purity of body is important. Chanting is done in the mind, and it can be cleansed only through the sublte weapon of sadhana. A bath only cleanses the gross body, not the mind. Hence, you can do chanting anytime, anywhere. Try to eliminate the defect of laziness with all seriousness. Try it at the level of work and give autosuggestion to your mind in this way , “Whenever I am not able to get up early in the morning and defer taking a bath, I will remain alert at such times and will start my day with a bath and doing pooja (ritualistic worship) regularly”. Repeat this autosuggestion in your mind before going to sleep for 10- 15 times for a month and see the impact it has on you. There is no greatness in merely saying, “I am lazy”. You must remember that

(iii)

(iv)

SOHAM – Newsletter by Tanuja Thakur-Vol 1- issue No 3

real purusharth (pursuit) lies in overcoming your personality defects and imbibing divine attributes.
Edited – Printed and Published by Tanuja Thakur for distribution for educational and knowledge sharing basis only. Not for Commercial use. All copyrights belong to Tanuja Thakur

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