Welcome to SagesOfIndia.com, your #1 source for information about the great sages of India.
Who are Sages
of India: India has been blessed from time immemorial by advent of
innumerable Rishis (Sages). Ramayan and Mahabhart is enriched with stories of
many of these sages, their lives and their contribution towards uplifting of
human moral, religious and ethical standards. It is believed that God revealed
the Vedas to humanity through these sages in ancient age. Even after the ages of
Ramayan and Mahabharat, God has sent and still sending many sages on earth to
destroy the evil forces and save the righteous. Stories of few of those sages
are included in this website.
Vedas: Vedas are the most sacred scriptures to all mankind. They are
considered as the eternal utterances of God revealed through the Rishis (Sages).
They came to earth before Hinduism was created. So Vedas belong to all Humanity
and not only the Hindus. There are 4 (four) Vedas: (1) Rig, (2) Jaju, (3) Sam
and (4) Atharva. The language of Vedas is so difficult and complex that it is
not easily understandable by ordinary people. On later ages, Upnishad was
created to make the principles of Vedas more understandable to the ordinary
people. Many other “Srutis”, “Smritis” and “Puranas” came on later ages. “Srimat
Bhagbat Gita” belongs to one of these later scriptures.
Hinduism: It is believed that Vedas came on earth before Hinduism. Those
who accepted the principles of Vedas as their guiding principles in life were
called Hindus and the religion was called Hinduism. Unlike all other religions
of the world, Hinduism was not preached by any single individual. All other
religions came from a preacher or a prophet. Hinduism is a unique religion since
this is the only naturally evolved religion on earth.
Deities: Hindus have developed various ways to worship God and achieve
the ultimate enlightenment based on the level of spiritual achievement one has
attained. It is not necessary for a Sannyasi who has attained high level of
spiritual knowledge to worship a deity. He can go to a secluded place or to
Himalayas, meditate on Nirakar (Shapeless) Brahma and attain Samadhi (re-union
with God). But for ordinary people the concept of Nirakar Brahma is difficult to
understand. According to Vedas Brahma is all pervading, he resides in everything
in the creation. So if one worships a deity with devotion, God will appear
before him in that shape. It happened to many sages in India, for example Sri
Ramkrishna worshiped the deity of Ma Kali and She appeared before him like a
living person, talked to him and took food offering from him.
Concept of Hinduism: Hindus believe that the mortal body decays, but the
soul never dies. All living being go through the cycle of birth, death and
rebirth and this cycle goes on and on until they are liberated from this
process. The humans are the highest creation of God and only humans can achieve
this liberation through faith, devotion, austerity and meditation. Heaven is the
natural abode of humans, but God sends them on earth time to time to free
themselves from the bondage of previous life by good actions. By good actions
man can elevate themselves to higher and higher form of life and ultimately free
themselves. But if man becomes involved in bad actions, he may even assume
animal form in the next life.
(actions) affect our lives:
The effect of Karma
affects our lives in three ways – (1) Sanchita Karma – is the cumulative results
of all actions of a man in previous lives. (2) Prarabdha Karma – is the portion
of his Sanchita Karma that he will enjoy or suffer in this life. Somebody may
even carry over some of his Sanchita Karma to his next life. (3) Kriyaman Karma
– is the results of his actions in this life, a part of which he may
enjoy/suffer in this life. The rest he will carry over to his next life.
good Karma (Action): All the prosperity, wealth, happiness, education,
honor, friendship, power - all come from God based on good actions of our
previous lives. Apparently we think that we have earned this honor, this
achievement or this wealth, in fact it is given by God. This Universe belongs to
God, and He gets the work done through us, we are nothing but God’s instrument.
bad Karma (Action): All the sufferings and diseases come from result of
bad karma of man’s previous lives. People suffer from heart attack, stroke,
cancer and other catastrophic diseases - it does not simply happen. There is a
reason behind everything that happens. If someone leads a pure and honest life
he will be free from all diseases in his next life. Though God has given the
diseases, he has also given man the power to find cure, if they strive for it.
If man finds cure for one disease, God will create another new disease to
maintain balance. This is the process how God keep mankind working.
Bhagbat Gita is a sacred scripture to Hindus. According to this
scripture, man can achieve liberation (free from cycle of rebirth and suffering)
by any of the four different ways:
(1) By Karma Jog
(by Selfless Service): One should lead a pure and sacred life and assume that
all his actions are for God’s pleasure. He would leave the results of his action
to God, have no expectation for his actions.
(2) By Jnan Jog
(by Wisdom): One should persistently devote themselves in search of the truth
about Brahma (God). He would have no aspiration for material gains. He would
remain calm whether there is loss or gain, pain or pleasure. He is never
disturbed by five senses. He has deep respect for the revealed scriptures,
engages himself in search of knowledge about God and regularly practices Ashan,
Pranayam and Meditation.
(3) Sannyas Jog
(by Renunciation of the worldly life): One should renounce the pleasure of
worldly life, de-touch themselves from all relatives and friends, take shelter
in a secluded place and lead a life in austerity and meditation for God.
(4) Bhakti Jog (by
Devotion): Unconditional surrender to God. If a devotee can do that God takes
care of all necessities of life.
Astha-Siddhi ( Eight Steps to God-realization): As propogated by Patanjali (a great Indian sage), a Jogi who
aspires God-realization should go through the following eight steps.
Jam (Rule): Has five
(Non-violence) – Never to hurt any man or animal physically or mentally.
(Truthfulness) – Always telling the truth and nothing but the truth. Thinking
and telling should be inseparable. Thinking something and telling a different
thing is not truth.
(Non-attraction) – To be free from all desires of material gains or saving for
now or for future.
(Purity of body and soul) – Absolute abstinence from all sorts of sexual
activity, including never seeing, speaking, thinking or dreaming of any sexual
matters. Conquer anger, greed, jealousy and laziness. Always high thinking and
eating Satyik (Vegetarian) food. No man can become a Jogi (Sage) without strict
observance of this rule.
(Non-acceptance) – Non-acceptance of any materials, gifts or gratuity except
alms (food for living).
Niyam (System): Has five
(Purity) – Maintaining purity of body for good health and purity of mind for
(Contentment) – To be content with whatever is available for living.
(Devotion) – Devotion to the service of God and unconditional surrender to God.
(Study) – Studying scriptures and chanting Guru Mantra.
(Keep God in heart) – Keeping thought of God always in the heart.
Ashan (Sitting postures) –
Practicing a comfortable sitting posture which is suitable for worship,
pranayam and meditation.
Pranayam (Breathing Exercise)
– The breathing process for inhaling, holding the breath and exhaling which
give the Jogis a high level of concentration of mind for meditation. It also
helps to rouse the *Kundalini Shakti (Power) in the Jogis.
Pratyahar (Withdrawing the
mind) – Withdrawal of mind from all worldly matters and make it flow
Dharana (Concentration) –
The process of calming and stilling the mind. It is the stepping stone for
Dhyan (Meditation) –
Fixing the attention at the middle of the eye brows and making
unidirectional flow of mind on the desired object, deity or God. At this
stage the Jogis may gain some divine power.
Samadhi (State of
Transcendence) - When the meditation reaches its peak, the body can
loose self-consciousness and the Atma (soul) unites with Paramatma (God). At
this state the body may loose all signs of life and even the person may stop
breathing. The Kundalini Shakti reaches at the crown of head at Sahasrara.
The Jogi (Sage) enjoys an eternal bliss. He may stay at this state for hours
and even days. Then he gradually gains consciousness. When a Jogi reaches at
this state, he may attain various divine power.
Again Samadhi may be of two types: Savikalpa (imperfect) and
Nirvikalpa (perfect). In Savikalpa Samadhi the dualism is not wholly
overcome. The Jogi may still have some sense of separation from the Brahma. The
Nirvikalpa Samadhi is a perfect Monistic experience, The Jogi realizes the
perfect unification with the CREATOR and the Truth of the Mahavakya – AHAM
BRAHMASMI. When the Jogi attain this state of ecstacy, he becomes a Sage or a
Steps 1 & 2 or
similar teachings can be found in many other religions on earth. But steps 3 to
8 are unique to Hinduism. This gives superiority to Hinduism over other
religions. No Jogi can attain Samadhi without the last 6 steps. When the Jogi is
in Samadhi, he might be blessed by the vision of God. Many western people have
the notion that God can not be seen. This is not true. Many Indian Jogis have
seen the God. One day at his young age Swami Vivekananda (a great Indian Sage &
Philosopher) asked his Guru Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa, “Did you see Ma Kali (his
Goddess of worship) in living form”, he replied, “Not only I have seen her in
living form, I talk to her and she takes food offering from me”.
Kundalini Shakti: It is also called Coiled Power or Serpent
Power. It lies dormant at everybody’s bottom of the spinal cord. As the Jogi
advances in his/her sadhana (meditation) this Kundalini Shakti gradually ascent
higher and higher.
There are seven centers on it path to ascension.
From bottom to top they are:
Muladhar – Near bottom of the spinal cord.
Swadhistan – Just below the naval area.
Manipur- Little above the naval area.
Anahata – Close to the area where heart is located.
Bisuddha – Close to middle bottom of the neck
Aagna – Almost in line with origin of nose.
Sahasrara - At the crown of the head.
As the Jogi climbs through his process of Sadhana, this Kundalini Shakti ascend
higher and higher, and the Jogi starts gaining more and more supernatural power.
However, the Jogi who really wants to reach highest state of Sadhana should not
use his power, since it creates a barrier in his path.
-Kumud Roy, Author