The Three Great Practices
Arunachala Marga focuses on three basic principles for ascending the Mountain of Light to union with Divinity.
Jesus said: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind... Love your neighbour as yourself." (The Bible: Matthew 22:37-39). If you look carefully you will see three commands there: Love God, Love your neighbour, and Love yourself.
These commands viewed in an Universal Spirit would mean: LOVE GOD, in whichever Name or Form you perceive the Divine Reality. LOVE YOURSELF, which is not the ego-self but the True-Self. LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR, which is everyone and everything that is connected to you and sharing the earth with you.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna mentions three major paths for liberation: BHAKTI MARGA, the path of intense devotion to God. JNANA MARGA, the path towards Realisation of the True-Self. KARMA MARGA, the path of selfless service. One can see clearly how these three Margas (paths) and Jesus’ command reflect the same Truth.
Here's some suggestions on how to practice these three Great Commands / Ways:
1. LOVE GOD - Bhakti Marga:
Perform some devotional practice daily that shows your love for God. It may be saying one Nama Japa (chanting the name for the Lord 108 times), singing some devotional songs, or any other ritual that expresses love for the Divine. As you perform this daily, you will find that your love for God increases, and that you are thinking of God more and more, and soon your whole day will be filled with a God-awareness.
2. LOVE YOUR TRUE-SELF - Jnana Marga:
This is not about an egotistical self-indulgence. To love yourself, you must know your True-Self. And one of the ways this self-awareness will dawn is through meditation. Meditation leads us inwards. It takes us beyond the body and mind and helps us find the truth of our Innermost Being. In the depth of meditation we realize that we are embodiments of the Divine Light. When we become aware of this, we will find a freedom and peace that passes all understanding. So, daily, try and sit in silent meditation for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. LOVE ALL BEINGS - Karma Marga:
Perform some act of service daily. This doesn’t have to be a big project that is meant to change the world. But start with simple acts of love. A phone-call or visit to someone who is lonely, helping a stranger, being kind even to someone who is not so kind to you, taking care of a helpless animal, taking care of the environment... And most importantly, start at home! Do something that expresses your love for those who you live with. Maybe there is project or charity that benefits humanity that you are interested in. Try and get involved. Ultimately, find an act of service that you are passionate about and make it a part of your life-purpose.
Daily PRACTICE will soon become a HABIT, and the habit will eventually become a LIFESTYLE. And this lifestyle of Love has the power to transform you and those around you.
Blessings on the Way to the Mountain of Light,