Lineage of Sanyasis
- What are the different lineages established by Shankaracharya and why were they formed?Shankaracharya divided the Sannyasins into ten tribes called Dasnami:
- Bharati full of light
- Giri live in the mountains
- Puri live in cities
- Saraswati scholars
- Van live in forests
- Aranya live in groves
- Tirtha live in pilgrimage places
- Parvat live in the high mountains
- Sagar live at the ocean
- Nath defenders of the faith
- What if a person is learning from two branches? My kriya yoga tradition and initiation comes from Agastya, who is sometimes recognized as one of the rishis. Then it is clear to me that Shree Maa is my living Guru, so this would be Satyananda gotra.The migration of Hindu to a global culture really makes it evolve with new questions that had not been previously asked. Traditionally, when a woman marries, she drops her family Gotra and takes the Gotra of her husband’s family. Of course the children would take the father’s Gotra, so I know of no precedent for having two Gotras.Suffice it to say that Agastya and Satyananda are so similar in origin and tradition, it would be hard to tell by listening to the mantras from which lineage the puja came. Therefore, you could use either one or both with the inclusion of cha.
- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa said he would reincarnate again in the human form. When will that happen?He reincarnates in every human form.
Jesus in Pali scriptures
- Is there any mention of Jesus in Hindu scriptures? There has been some controversy that Jesus had visited India either before or after crucifiction to what extent might that be true?I do not know of any Sanskrit references, but I have heard that such references exist in Pali Buddhist scriptures. However, the root Ish means to perceive, Ishu – the beloved perception made manifest. There is no reason why we cannot extend the definition throughout history.
- What is the qualification and requirement for a person to serve as a Rishi for others?Ra means again. Ish means to perceive. Ishwara is He who perceives without limitation. Rishi is he who perceives again as Ishwara perceives – without limitation.
- We often read of saints and sages of India who are reported to be of very advanced age. However, in the West, the general “knowledge” is that people rarely live past maybe 120 at the most. How do we account for reports of Saints living to 300 years? Is it because the Saints themselves do not talk about their origination, and the local people make up a story?Has anyone lived, in recent time, in your opinion, to the age of 300 years, years as we count them here in the West? What is going on with the stories of extreme longevity? How do we understand that?Some of it has been documented, some of it is a tradition, some is made up. Ram Nath Aghori, Deoriya Baba, Trailinga Swami have been documented. Babaji is a tradition. In fact, every sadhu in the Himalayas is called Babaji. And there is a whole bunch of modern myths that rely on the gullibility of the village people.
What is more important than how long we live, is how well we live. So we in our tradition do not put much emphasis on those stories at all.
Trailinga Swamiji and Totapuriji
- Where are Sri Trailinga Swamiji’s and Sri Totapuriji’s Samadhis?Sri Trailinga Swamiji’s samadhi is in Benares at Panchaganga Ghat. Sri Totapuriji’s is in Kolkata, at the cremation grounds in Baranagar, where Ramakrishna was also cremated.
- We know that Sri Trailinga Swamiji had disciples. Is there still an existing lineage? Would I also locate this lineage in Benares?Yes. Easiest to go by boat to Panchaganga Ghat. The boatman will show you the way. The Manager of the Ashram is Mr. Dixit. Tell him you came from Devi Mandir and you are part of Shree Maa’s family. You would like to see the cave below the temple.
- This ashram was Sankari Maa’s ashram, correct?Correct. Now it is known as Trailinga Swami Ashram.
Shyama Charan Lahiri Mahasya
- I wonder if you might say a few words about Shyama Charan Lahiri Mahasaya and the practice he taught termed “Kriya Yoga”. Since you spent quite a bit of time in Bengal, I thought you might have some unique insight into this Saint and His teaching.Lahiri Mahasaya is regarded as a great saint all throughout India, and not just Bengal. The kriya yoga technique is primary the practice of the Bhuta Shuddhi, which is one viddhi of the Cosmic Puja. Of course, it is a highly effective and richly rewarding practice, and when performed in the context of the full puja paddhoti, it grants an integrated approach to meditation. By bringing the energy up and then back down again, we learn about meditation not only as a spiritual practice, but moreover as a key element of leading a spiritual life.
- This is regarding Lopamudra wife of Agastya Rishi. Does her name signify any specific mudra?Lopa means to destroy, violate. Lopamudra is She who destroys attachment.
Suffering of Saints
- When Thakur, or Ramana, Nisargadatta, or Jesus, or other evolved person suffered in the physical body is their consciousness capable of resting in a center of peaceful awareness even when the most terrible of physical pains is being endured?Suffering is mental affliction. If the body is in pain, but the mind is in bliss, who suffers?