Namaste, Divine Brothers and Sisters,
I salute you and all your efforts on behalf of yourself and others.
Most people do the best they are able under the circumstances in which they find themselves. We are not perfect (yet). We still make mistakes (Yes, you, too ,and certainly me.) Yet we are still the hope of the world. Imperfection does not limit our ability to offer powerful chants and prayers for our family, community, nation and world.
Personally, I have chanted a ton of Shrim to Lakshmi to be able to bring the Power of Abundance into manifestation. Most of the spiritual people I know are in need of more abundance in their lives. I chant Shrim, among other reasons, so that I can assist you all in achieving the abundance you all need and deserve.
I also chant the Liberation mantra, Om Sri Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama, to combat negative attitudes and emotions that seem to permeate the psychosphere we all inhabit. Guruji and Guru Mata have been teaching this mantra to us for YEARS, yet the need for it seems to be ever with us.
As the saying goes, "Keep on keeping on. We jointly need all we can collectively do to restore and maintain Dharma.
In Service With Prem,
Note from Satyabhama: We are getting a lot of bounces of this newsletter for people who have changed their email addresses. If you change your email address, please click on "Customer Mailing List" at sanskritmantra.com and follow the instructions to update. Thanks.
Hierarchies of Power, Part 2
An excerpt from True Stories of Spiritual Power
Common Conceptions Concerning Power
While considering the idea of power it is useful to review the traditional categories of power that we in the West commonly understand, employ and to which we have been conditioned to aspire. This discussion is by no means exhaustive, but rather presents an overview of the generally accepted vehicles of power in play in the world at large. Although you may think of categories I have overlooked, these still represent the way most of us look at power and how it operates in the world.
1.Power Through Politics and Government. In democratically-oriented societies, political parties need approval of their actions through the vote. Elections give them power. All forms of government may directly impose broad policy as well as a ban on certain personal freedoms, depending upon the degree of their ability to control. In either case, both the governments and the people who live under them will maintain that broad effects on people's lives are wrought through government.
2. Power Through Corporations. The institution of the corporation is a stable bastion for the ongoing accumulation and application of power. The basis for most economic power is the corporation. Those who run corporations, particularly multi-national ones, acknowledge that corporations greatly influence the economies and governments of the developed nations.
3. Power Through Banks. Banks understand corporations and governments perfectly well. The operating assumption of banks is that they have the real power. Without international progress in the exchange of wealth and the continuing operation of banking supports for both governments and corporations, we would still be fighting over the local wheat field and waging war for grazing land. Those with substantial power in the world of finance and banking believe that banks hold the real power on a global scale.
4. Power Through Religion. While God is the always the real power, the churches claim to be the instrument of God's power on earth. Very tangible power rests with religious organizations who understand the kind of leverage such organizations can put at their disposal. Most religious organizations are not comfortable with the idea of personal power. They favor organizational power much the same as the corporations and the banking community do. Personal power means that people might not be under control. And control through orderly constraint is what makes organizations work. Throughout history, formal religious organizations have sought to circumscribe personal power with institutional power, punishing dissenters as they see fit.
5. Power Through Crime. As Heidi and Alvin Toffler so eloquently put forth in their book Powershift, money combined with force exerts tremendous power all over the world. This explains why organized crime has a hold on so many facets of human society. It gains wealth and then exerts threats or actual violent influence. It is not surprising that many in the crime business are forging alliances and establishing international cooperative networks, all under the assumption that they are the real power. Interestingly, they, too, have placed the locus of power outside of themselves into a quasi-organizational framework.
6. Power Through Mass Media. The power of the press is a force going back to the industrial revolution. People in prison have been freed by journalistic crusades. Careers of candidates for political office have been built, ruined and restored by television and long-lens still cameras. Clearly, the modern mass media has challenged the power of the other types of institutions. The strategies and alliances are still in a global consolidation stage.
But two things are clear:
Corporations. International media corporations are making deals and defining turf for the upcoming skirmishes which will determine who has access to the most people. The banks are financing the deals to insure their control.
Cultural homogenization. Because of Hollywood films, television, satellite networks and MTV, a cultural transformation is taking place in both Europe and the East. Levis and Nike sneakers are now popular in places where they were unknown in the 1970s and 1980s.
7. Power Through Sex. Those who believe that sex is the real source of power can go on at some lengths about how money is really an extension of sexual power. They can include governments and banking and corporations and organized crime in a comprehensive way. From Freud to Wilhelm Reich and his Orgone Box, a small minority of people believe that sex is the basis of all power. Interestingly, of all the kinds of power described, sex is the only one that is based upon a personal power. Second, the descriptions of power through sex are similar to, in a very distorted way, the Eastern idea of kundalini, the mystical power source located at the base of the spine.
Levels Of Authority
In terms of the local universe, let's start at the top and work down. We will begin in the most general of terms by discussing Spheres of Power. These spheres are nearly impossible to change. We are under or within the control of these spheres, whether or not we like it. Next, we will discuss Spheres of Control and then look at Spheres of Influence. These are descending in scale in relation to the absoluteness of their power, but the control on our lives is formidable nonetheless.
Spheres Of Power
Spheres of Power are absolute. The power that operates in this sphere cannot be combated or abated. Our only option is to recognize it for what it is.
1. The Sun. The most powerful entity visible in our local universe is the sun. Without the sun, there would be no life on Earth as we know it. I t controls or influences everything in the local solar system and extends its influence beyond the solar system. So long as the laws of physics are not violated, it allows beings their own independent existence. Yet no force of which we are aware can take even one cupful of darkness up to the sun for open inspection. I t is just not possible. In this sense, the sun has absolute control. In the world of objects, darkness can only exist if it is masked from the sun in some way. Even then, reflected light abounds in the local universe. Complete darkness is hard to find in the solar system unless you are under the surface of a planet. The sun allows the planets complete freedom to fulfill their own evolutionary agenda, noting that each planet itself will always be in full view of the sun. S o there may be darkness as an absence of objects from which to bounce or catch light, but the minute you introduce any solid object into the solar system, the sun will light it up.
The ancient spiritual literature of the East and the modern esotericists of Western mysticism each speak of "light" in spiritual terms. S imilarly, enlightenment is one of the pinnacles of human experience or milestones in evolutionary development, depending upon one's point of view. T he common element is "light," spoken of in a spiritual context. Therefore, the dominion of the sun extends into the spiritual realm as well.
After all if, as the Bible says, "The glory of God is intelligence" then the sun with its self-effulgent glory must be highly intelligent. What is the difference between the glory of the nimbus of the saint and the glory of the halo (corona) of the sun exposed by an eclipse by the moon? I offer that there is no functional difference whatsoever, only one of degree. The order and magnitude of intelligence may be markedly different, just as the order and magnitude of the intelligence of a plant as revealed by Kirlean photography is different from our intelligence. But is the same spiritual light.
All this means that the sun has both spiritual and physical authority in our local universe. Even the light of the moon is only reflected sunlight, as we learn early in school. If the sun is removed from us, all life on earth will perish. Its sphere of power is absolute.
2. The Earth. The earth has authority, in every sense of the word, in the local universe. It contains the oxygen we breathe. We rely upon its gravity, its water and its flora and fauna for our very survival in the material sense. While we all know these things, it is important that we not omit at least a passing reference to the authority of the earth here, because we tend to ignore things that are close to us, even if they are of great power. For instance, if life in the ocean dies, humanity dies. If the air becomes unbreatheable, we die. The world's foremost scientists have long stated these truths. The power of certain aspects of the earth is absolute.
We become accustomed to things like the sun and the earth and neglect to give them their rightful impact upon our lives in the scheme of things. After all, in any of your private or public discussions or musings about power, has either the sun or the earth come up? If they have, you are unusual.
3. Our Human Biology. We have been born with a set of specific physical conditions that respond to natural laws as they operate on Earth. We require nourishment. We must relieve ourselves of waste products. We age. We must reproduce or the species perishes. Therefore, in a basic sense, our biology operates as a "sphere of power."
Spheres Of Control
Next in the hierarchy of power is "control." Spheres of Control operate with power that is not absolute. The power operating in this sphere can be abated and to some degree combated or opposed.
Spheres of Control do not have the same inescapable effect upon us that things like the sun and the earth do, but their relative power is formidable anyway. The first key to understanding "control" is as it relates to behavior. Control here means that the way we process information and arrive at conclusions and courses of action are greatly controlled. While this is not as cast in concrete as our biological imperatives, still the forces are powerful and pervasive. To get a better idea, let's examine the work of psychologist Milton Rokeach. His work is important because it offers valuable insights and clues about the way we form values and opinions which in turn control our behavior.
Values And Beliefs
Rokeach discovered through his research that values are central to our lives and not changeable. Attitudes are a little farther out from our core and can be changed with considerable effort. Beliefs are farther out still, and can be changed with some effort. Not as much effort is required to change a belief as is required to change an attitude. Clearly the definitions of attitudes and beliefs are arbitrary. Therefore, most disagreement with these concepts boils down to discussions of definitions of these terms.
Here is an example that might help. A person may have a value that killing another person is absolutely wrong. A strong Quaker upbringing could instill this value at such an early age that it qualifies as a cultural value in the sense that Rokeach means it. No amount of conditioning or persuasion later in life can change this value. While a person with this value might be moved to kill another in the ultimate situation of self-defense, only the most intense primeval survival urge is strong enough to accomplish the task. Another person might have the value that to kill another is wrong. . . in most conditions. This is the value to which most of us in Western culture are conditioned. But we can be rather easily convinced that wars are correct things to undertake. This is not true for the majority of Quakers.
This means that we really have an attitude or a belief that killing is acceptable under some conditions, whereas Quakers do not. Theirs is a true "value" in the manner of Rokeach's definition and cannot be changed under any circumstances. The rest of us have non-killing as an attitude rather than a core value. I f this were not true, we would never go to war.
While such distinctions can weave a complicated tapestry for discussion about real life situations, be aware that they operate quietly and inexorably. Rokeach suggests that even brainwashing leaves our core value system intact. He maintains that during the most intensive forms of brainwashing, we are forced into acknowledging new attitudes or beliefs and discarding old ones, but the values remain intact.
During the Korean Conflict, some prisoners of war were brainwashed into believing that the Communist system was promoting humanitarian values better than the United States. Thus, their values were not changed but simply reinforced in a new and different direction, Communism.
When we experience a change in attitudes or beliefs, the new attitudes or beliefs are just as much in agreement with our values as the old ones are. But because the new beliefs involve different behavior, the changes appear revolutionary. In fact, the old values system is now expressing itself in different forms of attitudes, beliefs and therefore, behavior. Rokeach concludes that brainwashing merely reinforces core values in a different direction, producing different behavior from that previously manifested.
By understanding Rokeach, we have a better place to stand when viewing Spheres of Control. The power to form or influence values is synonymous with control in this context. If human beings gain control of one of the spheres described below, real power is achieved. Here are some examples of Spheres of Control.
1. Countries. We are born into a given country. Before the age of seven, we have absorbed the essentials of that culture into our personality matrix and are functionally conditioned by the values it contains. Its values are our values. Its assumptions are our assumptions. And although we may change certain things, we will only change those things that are peripheral. Because we can change our country, the power it exerts is placed under the category of "influence" rather than power or control.
2. Families. Families have the same power in establishment of values that countries do. From the time we first wake up at home after birth, the conditioning begins which will form the value system we use is every aspect of our lives. We may change political affiliations as we grow older. We may change religious preference. We may change jobs and spouses. But our values will not change. The attitudes which surround those values can change, accounting for dramatic turns and seeming reversals in our lives, but if we dig deeply enough, we find that attitudes may have changed and beliefs will have certainly changed, but the core values have remained quite immovable.
But we can leave our families and go elsewhere. We also may decide to rid ourselves of certain aspects of our family conditioning by going through therapy. Sometimes a similar result can be achieved though a very specific and intense form of prayer or spiritual discipline.
Although it may be difficult, we can make progress toward change in the power that the Spheres of Control have over us.
Spheres of Influence
Spheres of Influence are the easiest to oppose because they are about choices and behavior. Spheres of Influence operate by giving us choices that are heavily weighted in one direction. Certain decisions will be presented as "highly to our benefit" if we make them. Not choosing a certain action of belief is presented as a course of action that will be accompanied by unpleasant circumstances or even punishment.
There is an underlying assumption for each Sphere of Influence that is quite rational: Control the behavior and you will eventually control the mind that chooses the behavior. It is not always this Machiavellian, of course, but operationally the results are the same. An example of a Sphere of Influence is the corporation.
Next Month: More on personal power in a corporate setting
|Mantras of the Month|
Another Mantra for Bringing Things Under Control:
Krishna Krishna Maha Yogin
Sarvam Me Vasha-Mananaya
O Krishna, King of the yogis
I am your devotee.
Make me fearless and invincible;
Let everything that concerns me come under my control.
Mantra For Immediate Assistance:
Om Kshipra Prasadaya Namaha
O Lord Ganesha who incarnated as Kshipra Prasada, please give me quick assistance. I need your divine aid immediately.
Mantra to Combat Negativity
Om Sri Rama Jai Rama Jaya Jaya Rama
|Certified Priests and Pujari|
Sri Savitri Devi and Maheshwara, Sanatana Dharma Satsang Certified Priests, are available for pujas and fire
ceremonies in absentia. Please click here for further details: Pujas in absentia.
Mahavir has been certified by Sanatana Dharma Satsang as a Pujari for 8 years. He is available to do puja in Brooklyn or at your location in New York City area on a donation basis. He can be reached at email@example.com
The works of Thomas Ashley-Farrand (Namadeva Acharya) give unprecedented, detailed instruction in how to empower yourself using the techniques of the ancient sages and rishis. He and Satyabhama have been given the mission by their Gurus Sadguru Sant Keshavadas and Guru Rama Mata to bring these teachings to everyone.
To that end, he has written and recorded a number of works, and he travels to North America and the UK to teach workshops. Bi-annually, we lead a Pilgrimage Tour of India's Holy Places, visiting with the Shankaracharayas at Kanchi Math, Guru Mata at Vishwa Shanti Ashram, and doing fire ceremonies in the Himalayas, among the highlights of the trip.
We have founded a religious organization, Sanatana Dharma Satsang, which has opened a Gayatri Temple in Beaverton, Oregon. Plans are in the works to found temples with residential communities in Oregon, New Mexico, and other locations. The link to it is in the right column.
These works are offered in a spirit of service. We sincerely hope that they will further you on your path.
Prem & Shanti,
Satyabhama (Margalo Ashley-Farrand)
Saraswati Publications, LLC
Video Quick LinksIndia Video
Visit with SatGuru Mata at Vishwa Shanti Ashram and Pujas
India Video HD
True Stories of Spiritual Power
Piercing the Knots-Granthis CD - A Mantra
& Visualization Meditation to release the Kundalini
Mantra Therapy for Prosperity CD - Help with blocks to prosperity and mantras to bring it in
Ancient Power of Sanskrit Mantra and Ceremony, Volume I & II CDs now recorded and available
Mantra, Path to Spiritual & Material Attainment - a 15-hour workshop on 14 CDs
Rama & Sita Workshop, Co-Starring Hanuman - approx. 15 CDs.
2010 Schedule of Workshops
We will be doing workshops in the following places:
2010 information: http://sanskritmantra.com/schedule.shtml
March - CANADA: Waterloo, Ont; MA: Boston (Satguru Rama Mata), Kripalu and Keene, NH.
April - 2 workshops in London, England
May - 2 weekends in Kansas City, MO; CANADA: Prince George, BC
June - Portland, OR: workshop 6/11-13; CANADA: Maple Ridge, BC; Portland, OR: Satguru Rama Mata at end of month
July - CANADA: Red Deer, Alberta; St. Louis, MO; Far Horizons, Sierra Mtns, CA; Pensacola, FL
Contact Sara Minnis at
Listed at Dr. Jennifer Laing's website:
Contact Maheshwara, Certified Priest, at
Contact Anandra George, Certified Mantra Instructor:
Cochrane, Alberta, Canada Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Los Angeles, CA
Atma Jyoti Chanting Group, Contact Jagadamba, Certified Mantra Instructor, at email@example.com
Contact Mary Huddleston, Certified Mantra Instructor, at firstname.lastname@example.orgSt. Louis, MO
Contact Nita Turnage and Craig Hamby,
Certified Mantra Instructors, at email@example.com
Contact Bill Barry, Certified Mantra Instructor, at
Contact Don Campbell and Chris Walsh, Certified Mantra Instructors, at
Monthly Puja and Chanting
Contact Sri Savitri Devi, Certified Priest, at
The Ancient Power of Sanskrit Mantra and Ceremony Recordings
The Ancient Power of Sanskrit Mantra and Ceremony, 2nd. Ed., is now being revised to simplify pronunciation.
As promised some time ago, material to be chanted is being recorded by Namadeva
to be sold in CD sets of 7 or more CDs.
Volume I and Volume II 7-CD sets are now for sale at our online store for $65 each
. Volume III, which will be 20 CDs, already recorded, will be edited and for sale soon. $150