Ishwar Stuti Prarthana aur Upasana

19 Oct

Ishwar Stuti Prarthana aur Upasana

We hear these three words Stuti, Prarthana and Upasana in every satsang. A question arises in everyone’s mind that what are these? Do they represent the same meaning? If yes, then why do we say the three words?

Let’s ponder on the definition of these from the seventh chapter of “The Light of Truth”.

Stuti – or appreciation creates love for God and helps a man to reform his character by contemplating the character of God.

Prarthana – or prayer creates humility, hopefulness and confidence.

Upasana – conduces to communion with God and his realization.

Question – How many kinds of Stuti is there?

Answer – Stuti or appreciation is of two kinds:

  • Sagun Stuti – or Positive appreciation consists of the contemplation of those attributes which God has, e.g. He is all-pervading, soon-acting, infinite, strong, pure, all-knowing, existing within all, transdental, ever-living, and self-proven, and that He makes known to His ever-living subjects, i.e. souls, through His ever-living knowledge the correct meanings of things in the form of the Vedas. Here we think of those qualities which exist in God.
  • Nirgun Stuti – or Negative appreciation is the contemplation of the nonexistence of certain qualities which do not belong to God but belong to other things e.g. He does not come into a body. He does not take a physical birth; He has no defects in Him. He does not submit Himself to the limitations of nerves etc. He never does any sinful thing, at no time has He trouble, pain and ignorance. Here, we think of God as being free from foolery, aversion etc.

Question – Sagun means consisting of form and Nirgun means without form, this is what we have heard and is our belief too.

Answer – What you have heard and your belief is wrong because God is always free and is never bounded with the limitations of nerves and cycle of birth and death; devoid of these qualities He is called Nirgun. Similarly, Consisting of All-knowing, Just etc. qualities/capabilities, He is termed as Sagun.

Question – What are the fruits/purpose of Stuti?

Answer – The purpose of Stuti or appreciation is to imbibe those qualities, actions and characteristics which God has e.g. He is just, therefore we too should be just. If a man sings laudations to God very loudly like a court-fool and does not reform his conduct, his Stuti or prayer is meaningless.

Question – What are the fruits/purpose of Prarthana?

Answer – In prayer we know that there is a power much greater than us, thus destroys our arrogance. Similarly, when our mind is engulfed in weakness, this prayer generates internal hopefulness, confidence etc. in us by the grace of God. Through prayer we should ask for Medha intellect, enlightenment, patience, bravery, capabilities, strength etc. and should walk on our path of duty by doing human efforts.

Question – How do we do Upasana?

Answer – The word Upasana or communion means to sit close (union of two). In simple words, our mind which is always running around after material aspects should be turned inwards away from material subject/s – like a tortoise/turtle withdraws its limbs in his shell, so should the humans turn their minds inwards towards the soul.

Question – Please elaborate this.

Answer – Maharishi Patanjali in his Yog Sutras explain that – for a person intending to start Upasana should begin by bearing no ill-will towards anybody, love all persons at all times. Always speak the truth (Satya); never speak the untruth (Asatya). Shun thievery; have fair dealings. Govern his senses; never be sensual. Be humble; never be arrogant. These five Yamas form the first step of Upasana Yog.

Maharishi further teaches that clean your inside by shunning infatuation and aversion; clear your outside body with water. Work righteously, neither be overjoyed at profit, nor over pained at loss; be not idle, work assiduously with a cheerful heart. Control your joys and sorrows, practise virtue and shun vice. Study true (Satya) books and associate with truthful men. Recite God’s name “AUM” or “OM” and concentrate your thought on its meanings, surrender yourself to the will of the Supreme Being. These five Niyamas constitute the second step of Upasana yog.

Question – Are the above two steps only described in Yog Sutras?

Answer – Maharishi Patanjali has described eight steps required to be in communion with God and realize his existence as an omnipresent and omniscient being. I will attempt to describe these steps in the upcoming blogs.

Questions – Does the prevalent Yoga classes teach this Yog?

Answer – No, most of these classes teach Hatha Yoga. Hatha Yoga is not preached by any Rishi. Maharishi Dayanand has advised to shun Hatha Yoga in the third chapter of “The light of Truth”.

Question – What is the proof of Pranayaam?

Answer- The sutra (2/28) of Yog Darshan says that when a man does breathing exercises, every impurity is removed in quick succession and the light of knowledge dawns upon him. The inner light goes on increasing until the salvation (Moksha) is attained.

Manu Smriti (6/71) says that just as the impurities of the metals, e.g., gold etc., are destroyed by heating them in fire, similarly the defects of the mind and other senses are removed and their purity is achieved by the performance of the breathing exercise.

Question – What is the method of Pranayaam?

Answer – In the third chapter of “The Light of Truth”, Maharishi Swami Dayanand Saraswati explains the 34th Sutra of Yog Darshan’ s Samadhipaad  – Just as strong vomiting throws out food and water, similarly the breath should be forcibly thrown out and checked there as long as possible. When it is intended to throw out the breath, the pelvis should be kept pulled upward. So long will the breath remain out. This is the way how to keep the breath out long. When there is a feeling of uneasiness, then the breath should be slowly drawn in. The above process should be repeated according to the capacity and desire. This should be accompanied by the recitation of the sacred syllable ‘OM’ or ‘AUM’ in the mind. This conduces to the purification and firmness of the Soul and the mind.

Question – How many types of Pranayaam are there?

Answer – Types of Pranayaam or breathing exercises – breathing exercise number one is ‘External’ i.e. to check the breath outside. Number two is stopping the breath inside as long as possible. Number three is immediate checking, i.e. stopping the breath all at once at whatever place one desires. Number four is ‘Out-in-throwing’ or drawing the breath forcibly inside when it has the tendency to go in. By thus counteracting the inspiration and expiration both, the movements are kept in check and control of breath leads to the subjugation of the mind and the senses. This process increases the strength and energy and so sharpens the intellect that it can easily apprehend the most obtuse and subtle problems. This helps the development of the vital fluid (semen) in the man’s body, which in turn is productive of firm strength, courage, control of senses, and acquisition of the knowledge of all sciences in no time.

*** For further elaboration and understanding, please read the third and seventh chapters of “The Light of Truth” written Maharishi Swami Dayanand Saraswati.

Author:  Pt. Prashant Kumar Sharma

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