April 14, 2004
Waukegan Mandira

In response to a question on developing and maintaining soul-consciousness, several techniques were discussed:
1. Think of the body as only an instrument, like a vehicle or cloth, which should be put to good use. The soul is the life of the body. This understanding can be imbibed in daily life by remembering it every time we enter our cars or homes. The car or home is of little use without its occupant. Just as the driver of the car controls the car, similarly, it is the soul that powers the body.
2. Just as a scientist may get lost in his research to the point of forgetting to eat, we should find a devotional activity (such as listening to devotional songs) through which body-consciousness is lost, and then extend that feeling to the entire day.
3. By repeated fasting, one is able to separate from the body and automatically become a witness to it. (Repeated fasting to stop a habit is also very effective since the body is supported by intake of food. By associating the habit with skipping meals, the habit drops very soon.)
4. There is a natural recognition of the self with one's name. To reverse this "program," a saint is given a new name to create a new identity. Kakaji gave the technique of changing one's name for one hour every day. Yogi Bapa said that every morning one should repeat, "I am the soul, I am brahmaroopa (fully liberated)" [ref. Swami Ni Vato 7/30] to set in a new program.
5. In Vedras, Lord Swaminarayan explains to think in turn about each part of the gross body (limbs, etc.), followed by the subtle faculties (mind, etc.), and finally the causation body, with the thought that, "This is not me."
6. Invite a gunaateeta saint to sit inside one's heart as the controller. This is practically done by focusing on every command given by the guru. Thus, soul-consciousness is achieved by focusing on the spiritual master.
7. Soul-consciousness is positively enjoying divinity right now. The qualities of the soul are constant bliss and peace. Thus, by not worrying about the past or future, and finding the positive in whatever is happening, one remains in soul-consciousness.



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