One of the greatest spiritual teachers from India, a Yogi called Paramahansa Yogananda, left behind a treasure chest of knowledge and wisdom for millions to be inspired from. His book, Autobiography of a Yogi, considered a spiritual classic of all time made Paramahansa Yogananda a world teacher, a spiritual emissary who brought ancient Indian wisdom to the West.

His life and teachings continue to be a source of light and inspiration to people of all races, cultures and creeds. Paramahansa Yogananda was born Mukunda Lal Ghosh on January 5, 1893, in Gorakhpur, India, into a devout and well-to-do Bengali family. From his earliest years, it was evident to those around him that the depth of his awareness and experience of the spiritual was far beyond the ordinary.

Both his parents were disciples of Lahiri Mahasaya, the renowned master who was instrumental in reintroducing Kriya Yoga in modern India. When Yogananda was an infant in his mother’s arms, Lahiri Mahasaya blessed him and foretold: “Little mother, thy son will be a yogi. As a spiritual engine, he will carry many souls to God's kingdom.”

One day in 1920, while meditating at the Ranchi school, Yogananda had a divine vision showing him that now was the time to begin his work in the West. He immediately departed for Calcutta, where the next day he was invited to serve as India’s delegate to an international congress of religious leaders convening later that year in Boston. Sri Yukteswar confirmed that the time was right, saying: “All doors are open for you. It is now or never.”

Shortly before his departure, Yogananda was visited by Mahavatar Babaji, the deathless master who revived in this age the ancient science of Kriya Yoga. “You are the one I have chosen to spread the message of Kriya Yoga in the West,” Babaji said to Yogananda. “Long ago I met your guru Yukteswar at a Kumbha Mela; I told him then I would send you to him for training. Kriya Yoga, the scientific technique of God-realization, will ultimately spread in all lands, and aid in harmonizing the nations through man's personal, transcendental perception of the Infinite Father.”

You can find more about his life here.

'Awake : The Life of Yogananda' is an unconventional biography about the Hindu Swami who brought yoga and meditation to the West in the 1920s. Paramahansa Yogananda authored the spiritual classic “Autobiography of a Yogi,” which has sold millions of copies worldwide and is a go-to book for seekers, philosophers and yoga enthusiasts today. (Apparently, it was the only book that Steve Jobs had on his iPad.) By personalizing his own quest for enlightenment and sharing his struggles along the path, Yogananda made ancient Vedic teachings accessible to a modern audience, attracting many followers and inspiring the millions who practice yoga today.

Filmed over three years with the participation of 30 countries around the world, the documentary examines the world of yoga, modern and ancient, east and west and explores why millions today have turned their attention inwards, bucking the limitations of the material world in pursuit of self-realization.

Archival material from the life of Yogananda (who died in 1952) creates a spine for the narrative, but the film stretches the dimensions of a standard biography. The footage includes stylized interviews, metaphoric imagery and recreations, taking us from holy pilgrimages in India to Harvard’s Divinity School and its cutting-edge physics labs, from the Center for Science and Spirituality at the University of Pennsylvania to the Chopra Center in Carlsbad, California. By evoking the journey of the soul as it pushes its way through the oppression of the human ego and delusion of the material world, the film creates an experiential immersion into the unseen realms. AWAKE is ultimately the story of humanity itself: the universal struggle of all beings to free themselves from suffering and to seek lasting happiness.

Get your copy of the Autobiography of a Yogi ... It is a must read !!!

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Coming into this world isn't exactly a joy ride, but it is up to us to make it Fun while we are here. In this search for happiness we come across a lot of different ways to get there, through attaining altered states of consciousness and momentary escapes by using drugs and other mind altering substances or by giving into ones sexual urges and carnal desires. All of these may seem to bring some sort of peace and happiness, it is short lived though. Overuse of any of these drains us of their vital energies which are responsible to build a strong immune system and a healthy, sound working mind-body connection. Studies have shown that there is a definite similarity between deep meditative states and orgasms which can also be compared to some of the altered states produced through the use of powerful plant based 'Entheogens'. Being able to harness this creative energy some know as 'Kundalini' enables us to be in better control and deepens our understanding of the self in relation to the external world.

Unless the Root chakra is cleansed and its blockages removed, its corresponding center in the brain will always pull our consciousness back to sexual satisfaction. We can live the same life as we do live today or we can consciously choose to make it much better. Acknowledging this dissipation of our vital energy brings back into focus certain crucial areas of our lives which we might have previously avoided confronting or simply ignored due to lack of awareness. The sexual act is sacred and our ideals today have been corrupted to an extent where sexuality has taken many perverse forms taking us further away from the truth. The only way we can find meaning in all the madness is by turning within and withdrawing our awareness from the seductions of the sensory world, instead allowing this life force to rise up into our brain and open new dimensions previously unexplored. We always have the power to re-look and re-examine our values and belief system while progressing further on a spiritual path.

I came across this eye opening TedX video of Ran Gravieli speaking about why he stopped watching porn ...

Even getting sexually involved with someone who you don't know so well can result in unconsciously absorbing some of each others energies and can make one feel drained off their vital energy. Being in a dysfunctional relationship or having multiple sexual partners, one night stands etc ... can result in contamination of ones Auric field allowing negative energies to slip in and take advantage of ones lowered frequency.

In ancient times, as suggested by texts such as the Kamasutra, the sexual act of union between the male and female was more about enjoying the journey than reaching the destination, which is to say the focus was on continuing the sexual act for a longer duration while delaying the orgasm, for as long as possible. Sex isn't necessarily a bad thing, only when indulged in excessively one loses a lot of vital energy which makes us feel drained and hastens the aging process, while not providing the required flow of Prana (Life Force) to reach the brain where it is utilized to awaken our intuitive abilities by opening the Ajna Chakra.

“In the ordinary sexual orgasm you meet as two excited beings – tense, full of excitement, trying to unburden yourselves. The ordinary sexual orgasm looks like madness; the tantric orgasm is a deep, relaxing meditation.”
~ Osho

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The question of Plastic is quite bothersome for most of us as there seems to be little that can be done about seeing the extent of trash is being strewn around everyday in the name of progress and globalization. This is anything but growth made in the right direction. We continue to take from the Earth with little or no regard for we are giving back, in most cases its garbage and toxic pollutants that might take a while for the Earth to clean up on its own. This way of life is surely doomed and we are quite steadily marching on towards an end of times scenario when the Earth can take no more and decides to clean up the scum from the Planet, which sadly might include us unless we decide to change our ways.

Plastic and all other artificial chemicals as they are popularly known as are all finally from this biosphere we call Planet Earth and the Earth knows best how to deal with itself. We live under the delusion of being in charge of all life forms on Gaia, when the truth is that we too are one of its living, breathing, functioning cells .... seeing itself from human eyes ! Plastics are a by product of the Oil and Gas Industry and by bringing in cleaner and more sustainable forms of energy we will automatically start phasing out plastics. Broadly categorized as Free Energy, there are many kinds of free energy devices that have the potential to power the entire world without burning any fossil fuels. Nikola Tesla's Wardenclyffe Tower is one such example of Free Energy technology suppressed for personal monetary gain by a few greedy men.

With pollution levels rising to alarming heights many people are now seriously taking a look at the garbage problem at hand and what can be done about it. Something each one of us can do is start segregating our garbage into wet waste, dry waste and plastics. This is our home and it is up to us to keep it clean. Let's leave our future generations something beautiful and life affirming rather than dying oceans and islands of plastic. Thankfully there are new ways being discovered to deal with Plastic. Plastic eating Fungus in the Amazon Rainforest and other such Plastic Remediation tools devised to deal with the Garbage problem are some examples of solutions to the growing Plastic problem.

An expedition to the Amazon by a group of Yale researchers has led to the discovery of a fungus called "Pestalotiopsis Microspora" which can survive on a diet of only polyurethane, one of the most common pollutant from industrial plastics used by humans. What's even more amazing is that the plastic eating fungus can feast on polyurethane in an anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment - the perfect match for chowing down on trash at the bottom of a landfill.

19-year-old Boyan Slat, an Aerospace Engineering student at TU Delft came up with this brilliant idea to clean up the oceans ! Slat's design came out of a school paper about the possibility of remediation of the ocean garbage patches, which went on to win numerous accolades, including Best Technical Design 2012 at the Delft University of Technology. He developed the concept even further that year, and presented it at TedXDelft 2012.

Some more videos highlighting the extent of garbage pollution on our planet !

Here is the trailer from Trashed ...

We must stop producing more plastic on this planet, while continue to recycle and reuse the plastic that already exists. If we can seriously look to cleaner fuel / energy sources we will start to bring back some harmony into the ecosystem.

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