Sunday, June 5, 2011

Yoga and Vipassana Meditation

Yoga and Vipassana Meditation, pdf of a lecture by Professor Desani in Rangoon, Burma.  I've written about Desani elsewhere. hosts this pdf.  I'm grateful to Todd Katz for his efforts in maintaining the site.

Cross posted on Tackingintothewind.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Nadi Shastras - Personal Notes from Readings by Prof. Desani

Updated July 23, 2011

Since there is a lot of information on the WWW about Nadi Sutras or Shastras I have decided to publish this.  People write about the Professor and some mention his interest in the Nadi texts.  Hopefully this account of my personal experience will benefit all who would  have an interest in this subject.

These are almost verbatim from my written notes  All I added was the comment about Aristotle and Kierkegaard.  There will be some unscholarly errors in spelling, and probably more egregious errors too regarding the content itself.  You may, of course, do what you will with these.  In other words, I give them to you as they were given to those present at the time.

I have pondered why these were shared with me and the others present.  Indeed, I have pondered why they were translated into English at all.  I guess the answer is obvious, though in my humility, considering myself unworthy to participate in such affairs, I am loathe to state it in writing.  I can't elevate myself to that status.  Obviously enough, these Shastras were addressed to Professor Desani but the listener in these readings could hardly help feeling he or she were also being addressed, and, indeed from time to time there were references to those attending.  There were occasions, it needs saying, when he would come to a part that he would say he was instructed not to read aloud.

I will share that to be in this setting with these people affected me  profoundly.  I wish I had the craft to convey the overpowering sweetness of the benevolence one felt at the time.  We felt we were being vouchsafed a glimpse of the workings of the Divine,  The voices that spoke across the ages were most compassionate and understanding of us creatures.  Professor Desani, too, seemed taken by his role.  One could see in him that he was profoundly affected by the proceedings.  But he was perfectly fitted for his part and tirelessly explained as we went along what needed elaboration.  The texts became a series of talking points, as it were.  He ever kept his mind on the listener.  There were many diversions.  My notes below do scant justice to what really went on in these meetings.

He showed us the texts a couple of times.  They were on split bamboo or palm leaves fastened together at one end and would fold out like a fan.  The individual 'leaves' were maybe a foot long.  The writing on them was as if burned into the surface with a hot stylus.  He only showed them to us.  I, at least, never handled them.  They were beautifully crafted.  The transcriptions, as I recall, were on a kind of onion skin, legal size, and, of course, typewritten.  I did hold one of these once in my hands.  Thinking back on it now, I think it might have been a carbon copy of an original.  If so, I imagine Mr. Murthi kept the original for his own purposes.  I don't know.  This is just speculation.

I'm not sure about the sequence of events, but I think it was about the time Professor Desani went to Boston University as a Distinguished Guest Professor of Religion, I recall it was, that our friend and president of Boston U., John Silber, had a sliver of an original Nadi text run through a carbon dating process to see whether it was indeed 5000 or more years old, as claimed by the source in India.  It wasn't, and this needs to be addressed.  The very fact that Professor Desani felt the need to have this test conducted is telling.  In conversation with his followers I never heard him voice doubts as to the authenticity of these documents.  He did say he was hoping to arrange such a test, however.  My own opinion is that he was given copies of the original bamboo which originals were kept by the operators behind Mr. Pele and Mr. Murthi.  I will have to leave it to others to sort this out.  Personally, I think they were authentic.  They certainly felt real enough sitting there with the teacher listening to the words.  But human personalities were at play, no matter how enlightened, and any student of the spiritual traditions of this part of the world will understand that infinitely complex currents are always at play.  People, even very enlightened ones, used one another, jockeyed for the upper hand, constantly.  Indeed, that is a constant theme in his novel, All About H. Hatterr.  One takes his chances and, as the Professor said below, we don't buy or sell, we weigh.

A search of the internet and perusal of the results lead me to conclude that while some of these texts at some time were authentic for some subjects many or most others have been generated as time advances for personal gain by corrupt individuals.  No surprise there.  This follows a rule old as man himself.  Unknown in the West during Professor's life one can now go on the net and get a professional Nadi reading, for a fee, of course.  Real or not, I leave it to you.  Professor Desani thought these were worth sharing with those who loved him and as the texts themselves stated repeatedly, would understand their purpose.

Desani has written and submitted unsuccessfully for publication his magnum opus named Rissala.  Much of this material would presumable be in that work.  It is my hope that someday someone will get this from the United Nations and publish it.  I was given to understand that he left his papers to their Children's Fund.

All of these meetings took place at Professor's residences near the University of Texas, Austin.
Nadi Text, June 29, 1980

If there is only one religion, you will have a partial view of the world.

Treat all life as your own, small and large.

Nundi Deva and Shiva Yogi are the "speakers."

This text spoken before Buddha.  Talks of Jainism, Buddhism before they appeared in the world and says one more religion will appear in Kaliyuga - Christianity.

The Lord incarnated, it said, as Buddha, Christ, Desani, etc.  Eleven parts of the Lord.

Gives birth date, place, time, etc., parents, horoscope, of Buddha, Christ, Desani.

Of Christ, "He is Immanuel, Deva Kurna (sp.).  There was a comet in the sky for three days.  They fled to Egypt, to avoid edict of government....."  His color is green, he is Love...  "Twelve disciples, St. Paul wrote history."

Crucify:  Prana left body, and they killed his physical body, Prana in Maya Svarupa (illusionary form) appears later.  (He is risen.)  He will appear in Maya Svarupa to some few devotees.

"After 1984 the people will get very angry.  The government will do anything they want."

(aside:  When you get angry evil beings get inside you.  Buddha said if you control anger you could control the world...)

"Water will be bad, there will be bad gasses in the air, the food will be scarce."

"Why so many Shastras for Desaniman - 42?  They are like God's treasures.  Desaniman will know their purpose."  (He gleans them for publishing.)

The five elements (Punja (sp) Bhutas are parts of Prakriti) are in the body.  These perform their function, but they should receive proper help from the 6th sense, reason.  Purity follows using 6th sense to control five elements.

(aside:  Prakriti is conscious.  This is the basis of magic.)

The same Tattvas do not apply to all religions.

"You are to control your mind and do Dhyana,"  then say, "Thy will be done."

If love of the lord is used for love of the self then it is not true Bhakti.

1983 - He might move to another country to avoid bad effect due to planetary positions.  Might die in 8 years or 1988.

Prana/life and body are different from each other.

Sin and virtue go with Prana at time of death.

Atma (behind the body and  Prana) is pleased by talk of Bhakti.


Nadi reading July 5, 1980

Gives 36 Tattvas - essential things |  Dance of the Lord

Shiva - Rudra (speaks)
Shiva Yogi is there - This being has been identified with Desaniman - they are the same being.

The body is Shakti, life is Prana.
The Lord lives in us always.

All things happen according to the will of the Lord, if you are a Bhakta.

If you have affections for others, you have affection for the Lord.

Anger causes early death.

We should do good for other Bhaktas.
Do not speak against anyone.  It will act as a curse, a bad deed.  Such deeds reduce Satguna (sp) in one.  Do not use poisonous words against others.  If our state of mind is at peace, others will be at peace..

Avoid making friendships, takes away from Bhakti.

Karma affects even the Gods, their deeds.

We should not delay doing our works, our good works.

Shiva is Prana.  The Lord, preserver, creator, destroyer.

Keep Atma in Bhakti, keep Prana dedicated to the Lord.  (Jivsamadhi, 24th dance (of the) Tattvas.)

Do not desire status, high position.  Do not be hasty, if something does not come to a Bhakta then have an aversion for that.

Upadesha - instruction.

We must love our families.
The (red) Lord - destroyer.
If the Atma is not pure, the Lord will destroy it.

Our bodies are Shri Yantras.  The Divine Lord, the Divine Father are in the heart.

In the 32d dance, the five recede to the first, radiance.  If the 5 - Punja Bhutas - are controlled they become "friends."

Reduce salt, sour, hot, irritants, bitter:  five elements reveal themselves as tastes, too.

Not too much sweetness.
Sweetness causes knowledge.

Anger is encouraged by hot (and meat), sour, salt, (but these) should be added in balance, then the kundalini does not get exaggerated, instead there is sukha, ease.

To avoid (or during) sickness due to imbalance of these tastes, take milk, and milk curds.  Take these tastes occasionally with no harm, take without greed, take as blessing.

Instruction:  Take food offered from Bhaktas, accept all, decline none.


Nadi reading November 29, 1980

#1 "He is 72 (DOB, Jul. 1, 1909)  He is 'form of the Lord' "

#2  "Shiva Yogi is disciple of Nundi Deva.  Shiva Yogi meditates in the Himalayas waiting for Desaniman to die, come to him."

Text instructs:  "Guard against self worship!"

Text mentions:  "Faults in the sun." - sunspots - or power from the sun....  "After 18 years (i.e., 1998) it will hit the earth at 'scattered points'.  After this time " a handful of grain for one gold.  People will eat leaves.  In a given country if 50% of the people are Bhaktas, the country will survive."

Used in Puja:  Cardamon and cloves
Text instructs:  "Do not use powers - ever!  Do not break any laws."

3rd text

"He (Desani) is disciple of Nundi Deva (and) also Patanjali, also Markande (sp).  He, Nundi Deva, has five disciples.  In all the nine continents there are very few Bhaktas.  Desaniman wrote Shastras in all incarnations.

4th Text
Rudra and others speak in this text.  Text says to Desani:  "do not eat at night.  May do Zen, Yoga, with no object.  The Atma is like an abode of the Deva.  If one speaks against Desani he loses his merits."
Text mentions Auro-Bindo, 83.
Text says:  "Death is a great, peaceful being."  "A good Bhakta worships with no expectation."

Offerings:  Deepa (lights), Dupa (incense)

Spoken aside:  "Do not build temple..."

Text says:  "Nundi Deva has greatness of Rudra, myself.

Aside:  Keep in mind the Yantra is a material form of the Deity:  Prevents one from doing wrong things.

Text says:  "In 1981 1/8th of population has Deva Bhakti."
Text instructs:  "Should avoid bad people."

  1. This Shastra was recited 5 - 10,000 years past.
4th text ends thus:  "Shibum, may peace be."


Nadi readings Winter and Spring 1979 and 1980

Notes from 5 Nadi Texts G. V. Desani read to us.

Text instructs:  "avoid over indulging 5 tastes:  sweet, hot, sour, salt, irritants."

Text gives:  The meritorious deeds:  1.  To worship, to be mindful, meditate on the Lord.  2. To offer light to the Lord, e.g., night light burns always in (his) prayer room.  3. To help elderly person.

Text says:  After 1984 (there is) much world trouble.  At that time there will be a great meeting of great beings to decide the fate of the world.  It will be like the end of the world.

Text says:  "Bhaktas should guard against mistakes.  The Guru will know, and advancement will be retarded...The power of the Guru accrues to the disciple in time...not necessarily in this life.  It is the Bhakta's duty to renounce one article of food...To keep good health use nine grains, wheat, rice.....;  meat eaters, including fish, should take extra water.  To eat meat is permitted but it causes some trouble to the Bhakta.  No greens at night.  Greens can be taken four days a week;  Peas two days a week.  The nine grains are taken separately, not mixed.  Take beans once a week.  Take black beans (not available in U.S.) daily for strength.  in worship offer fruit then take yourself as blessing."

Text says:  If you want something, offer it.  We should avoid cruel, wicked people.

Text says:  In March, 1980 the force that was at the base of his (Desani's) spine will rise to the top of his head.

Text says:  First there are two things (Personal note:  Aristotle also concluded this):  The Lord and the Prime Substance:  Purusha and Prakriti.  For the Lord, give up worldly pursuits.  One should gather Puja things.  We can follow any profession, just follow path of daily worship.  Avoid politics.

Desani needs piece of lead and brass.

There are one or two cruel people - he rejects them.

Text says:  "To each according to the quality of his worship."  during Kali Kali (?Kali Yuga?) only one in one thousand will have love of the Lord."  "From 1984 those who seek sexual gratification will suffer greatly."  "There are many demons born as men now, they are the thieves, etc."

Text predicts:  Acid rain, bad air, and so forth.  Says some countries will be ruined by this.  1984 - 1989 (I'm not sure I took this down correctly)  After 89 things will change again (maybe for) the better, somewhat.

Another text now - 6 in all today -  I said 5 above (?) over a period of months.

It seems that Desani read to us for five hours straight.

Saturn periods come to everyone.  (Note:  Use intelligence during these Saturn periods to avoid injury, accidental death.

Another Text on future 10 years.

5085 = 1984:  From then there will be bad troubles.  Prices will increase, everything will be new, new level of evolution, times will see increase of knowledge in people of the world.  Good grows with the bad.  This text says to get Guru Bhakti, the five senses should be pure, (one should) speak truly, be moderate to get (have) the grace of the guru, to get divine strength. 

"To each his own Karma.  Thus we grow strong."

Saturn transit - November, 1978.

This text says to:  "Treat the great light as the Lord.  But he will appear in other forms too.  Worship the feet of the Lord; that is, do not aspire for highness.  When approached by the Lord, should he appear, get up!  One should gesture supplication - hands together.  Offer anything you are fond of."

"If you chant 108 times a day, that is good (enough)."

Aside:  Mr. Pele (in India) types these texts.  He is virtually blind.  Mr. Murthi (also in India) translates.  In a former life they helped Desani build shelters for pilgrims.

His text says:  "To the Yogi, the benevolent look of the Lord is wealth, not gold, land, etc."

"It is natural to have some enemies.  Leave it to the Lord.  Some enemies are from former lives."  (as are family members, wife, children, etc."

"Even bad people have some goodness in them," says the Lord benevolently.

"Each person who comes to Desani did so in former lives."  Pele and Mr. Murthi helped (him) build shelters and asked to have their current role in this scheme (as typist and translator).

"The Deva says bad acts are his responsibility too, because they are 'in him'.  Desani says, "this is very great of him."

"Desani talks only for a reason, not for gossip or 'passing time'. "

"Incline to the Lord and power comes.  Never desire power or show it off for any reason."

"The Devil is a great fool;  he can be fooled if you are clever."

"If there is less suffering in a country it is because of the people's intelligence, which follows from good deeds."

"He will give silver square to persons he owes debts to, people who helped him in former lives.  This article stays in the 'Cottage of the Lord' for six months while he puts spirit in it.  It is a Chakra.  He should collect expenses for them.  This Chakra will get them (the Bhaktas) divine wealth.  Moreover, with the power of the Chakra the Bhakta will have a good life more or less free of the suffering of most people in these bad times."

"From the base of his spine the divine nerve has gone to the eye; it is time for it to go to the lotus at the top of the head."

"The rising of the moon is like the rising of the Kundalini.  For Desani, in March, the rising of the Kundalini will be full."

Aside:  "Confucius said death is a blessing as are all Universals."

"Desani will think that whatever comes to him is enough."

Pele and Murthi lived with him, helped him to construct shelters in a former life.

Aside:  Desani says if you constantly give in to your appetites you merely serve the five elements.

"This is his fifth life.  When he goes it will be like a Yogi leaving his Samadhi.  His Prana goes to a tree in the Himalayas where Nundi Deva meditates.  This being then rises and goes to a mountain....."

Desani says his guru told him to have a willed death.

"The body is our property, not us.  It is to be controlled."

"Only because of the merit of Bhaktas, the Universe is not destroyed."

"The great beings will assume illusionary forms for a talk about the World's fate."

"A short person with six letters in his name will write against him in 1982, then come to him asking pardon."

"The Atma (Christian Conscience) will tell us it is not good to deceive.  If we ignore it there will be untimely death.  The voice of conscience causes guilt, which causes death."

guilt = death

This age is called Kaliyuga.  Kali = iron  "In 30 and in 100 years people (will be) are smarter, live longer.  There will be much sensual gratification, but also Dhyana is being done.

The eighth dance of the Lord.  Dance - Tattva

"At time of death the Prana leaves through one of nine doors (orifices).  Then the Prana goes to Yama Puri (City of the Dead) to await rebirth.  Full Yogis go to Parma Purusha (indestructible).  His Prana can hence assume a living form at will."

-end of text-

New Text

"Some of Desani's disciples will publish Shastras too."

Text refers to following text.

-end of text'

New Text

I think this Shastra is the Devi speaking to the Lord of Wisdom.  She is the Divine Mother.  He has Elephant head.

Aside:  "The Devi is different from the Lord, and eternal too."

To Desani:  "Cut salt by half or three quarters."

Devi repeats that mentioned in first Shastra, "nine grains correspond to nine planets."

Aside:  About 5000 years past only seven planets (circled the Sun).  One split in two.  Desani lived then too.

"Cut back on salt.  Take fruits with grain if possible."

"Sickness follows if formal practice is not completed.  If practice is begun  (108) it must be completed.  Offer fruit then have as a blessing."

"Desani is now 71.  When he is 82 a person (name like a poison) will come to him.  For no reason, in a former life, this person was an enemy.  Desani is instructed to be friendly to him (by this Shastra)."

"Do not speak of siddhis.  People will not understand;  They will be confused, angry, etc."

"If offerings aren't available, do it mentally....  'I make a flower of my life (or breath) and offer it to you' ".

End of Shastra

New Shastra

"A few more texts (are) to come."

Aside:  Desani equates death and solitude.  I think he said death and the Prana's being in Yama Puri is solitude.  He said that (Milton or Blake ?) had what appeared to be a holy radiant being appear to him once when he was trying to conjure the Fiend.  'Go Away!  It's not you I want,' he said.  But lo!!!  It WAS the Fiend."

End of this text

End of today's reading from the Nadi Shastras


This text I didn't date

"In the beginning all people were Devas.  Then they fell to lower Worlds."

"Desani's five lives were all in the Kaliyuga."

Aside:  "Why is it (the World process) happening?  It is a divine secret, a secret of the Lord.  This creation is more man's than the Lord's, so to speak."

"It is very difficult to see the Lord these days.  It is the times."

"1992 -1993 - fire hits planet."

"During a period when we suffer blows we are in a Saturn period and the Karma of past lives works itself.  He warns to be very careful not to do additional wrongs.  He says to do additional Bhakti then."

"He will not know who the bad people are who come to him."

"One should control one's mind.  Live in the law.  Do not show off divine wealth."

"There are Bhaktas who indulge (strong) desires, who have weak minds, who will, in their next lives have the same attachments."

"In that passage he calls them great Bhaktas, that is, with attainments."

Karma - inordinate desire
Lobha -greed
Krobgh - anger
Moha - (self love) attachment
Ahankara - pride

"There are four periods.  The best are the longest.  Together they are known as a great period.  After (illegible word) have run there is total destruction."

"Desani was born in a 'special way' in each period."

Bhakti - act

"He reads texts because they help us."

Chakra - anything round.

end of this Shastra


Nadi reading June 21, 1980

Three texts today

Palas - effects

second text:  "All conjectures by man about creation are false."

"After 1984 people over fifty (will have) eye problems.  This and pain causes lack of sleep."

"Before going to sleep do worship of the Deva.  Bow down to the Deva."

"To avoid bad effects during these years (one should) control Panca Bhutas (5 elements)."

"To use siddhis (powers) one must abandon compassion."  Desani says it is better to live simply, not to abandon compassion.

sixth sense - mind

"The mind and the five elements control his (Desani's) appearance in illusionary form before Bhaktas.  He does this by intention, and the appearance lasts for several seconds.  He gives some words then goes."

"When we do wrong the soul/self will be troubled.  This is conscience.  Blows come to the body.  That is, debts of Karma are paid by physical pain."

"If anyone says one scripture is right over the other, his mind will be affected."

"The 'third eye' opens at the Lord's pleasure."

"The four Vedas are held in a fist (silence)." *

"The Deva sits in the place of the Puja."

"One should have fear/awe in that presence."

"To deal with evil people or beings is a sin."

"Taking liquor and meat causes sickness.  Those who do this cannot become good Bhaktas."

"After 1984 Desani will be like a 'new Yogi' in the world.  He will be shown awe by all who meet him.  He will be famous the world over.  He has more Nadi texts than any other Yogi.

end of these 3 Shastras.


Nadi reading August 9, 1980

Recited by, or to (?) patron saint of Southern India.

21 years from now half of world's population will have love of God.
Half of world's population will be destroyed by then too.

One of the texts read today says he will make a sanctuary (for himself).  Personal note by your writer:  Myself, and Josh Farley, and Lynn Hough, and Allan Smith did subsequently add on a little room in the back of Blossom Burn's apartment into which he moved and for a period of some months followed a vow of total silence.  During this time when I saw him he would 'speak' to me using sign language or written notes.


Nadi reading around August, 1982

Three texts read this day.

This year Saturn is in 8th house - no one can fight it.  Mentions "spark from the sun" - destruction.

2nd text from Five Faced Lord:  It is divine knowledge of God that grants us happiness.

Don't see or know a difference between dukha (difficulty or pain) and sukha (ease).

He says our purposes are wrong...  (meaning the purposes of modern man)

Doctrines are not different (meaning doctrine of Shankarachariya (sp) and his detractors, I think)

Postures for exercises, he says, shouldn't be done by older people.

3rd text:  Narada.  In every period there are seven sages.  Rule for Bhakti, 18 steps among which are to listen with pleasure, satisfaction, to words about things divine.  To see temples.  To recite mantras.  To have images.  To avoid over eating.  Not to be in search of money.  Not to be egotistical.  To go the forest, solitude:  this is the way ??? from world attachments.  To conquer death (former merits are needed) then you're not affected by dissolution of Universe.

There are several kinds of Yoga.

Should not change mind.

Highest Yoga is to become one with supreme Lord.  Then comes powers.

To BE the creator, destroyer, sustainer.

The people of the Kaliyuga can't understand the Upanishads.  Desani said he's been 'yelling' this.  Then the Nadi writer says, "some will understand when explained by the proper people."

Ages of man
four Ashrams - rooms?

6-25 learns all through Yoga/learns how at 6 years ???
25-50 householder
50-75 seeks solitude, goes into forest
75- attains sunyasi

They, the Nadi writers (in this) text, are having court, Sabha, assembly.  One says, "will not the wealth of the divine knowledge be diminished by the telling of it?"  "No, rather it will be increased," comes the answer.

One said Yogis could stop the coming disaster.  He also said the people could stop it (since) it stems from "bad thoughts".


Nadi reading April 18, 1981

The real powers of these Lords (the 3 forms - we have made the form!)

The Mantra's sound spreads through (to every) particle in the (one's) body.  This is how the Punja Bhutas are controlled, for Sadhus.

Worship sitting - face North
Eating - face South
Don't face West - mind won't rest.

For Bhaktas.  Assume particular posture.  Plank, yellow cloth, maybe a chair.  These procedures key the mind into religious mode.

Says to rise before dawn, do chores, then worship at dawn.

Manus - Lords

Before 1994 or 1998 (?) a great light falls on the people.  This will shatter and go all over.  Some call it a planet, meteor.

It is Lord's will.   Good Bhaktas stay away from the (subject).  Some will be saved.

Desani gets permission of the Lord to pass away.  After death he still gives words, moves about in the world;  he still helps people.

Recite/say Mantras to conquer demons in us.

Propunga - net

Many Manus, good people - are born now to help in these bad times.

"The Lord's grace is all.  Mantra is all."

Light of the sun
If Bhakti increases destruction from light of the sun decreases.  (I think he means on a planetary scale.)

What do we do?

Aside:  "We weigh, we don't sell, buy.  We weigh!"

*  I'm reminded of Soren Kierkegaard who wrote that God stands before us with arms outstretched, hands closed.  In one hand he offers the ultimate secrets to the Universe.  In the other he holds the eternal searching for those.  We should choose the eternal seeking and let God keep the greatest Truths, Wisdom, for himself.  So says Kierkegaard.