Kings are often famous for conquests and concubines but there was a king in Nepal in the Middle Ages, who was known as a great champion of yoga and spirituality. His name was Siddhi Narasimha Malla who ruled in Patan, Nepal in the 17th century. His rule is described as the golden period in this city state because of high achievement in art and architecture. He built the famous Krishna temple, a monument attributed mainly to his spiritual inspiration.
He was, according to Daniel Wright in History of Nepal, the master of yoga and spiritually liberated king. He was famous for practicing a discipline in breathing, eating and sleeping. Another historian Mary Shepherd Slusser in Nepal Mandala, A cultural study of Kathmandu valley, has stated that Siddhi Narasimha’s building activity was oriented to spiritual ends. Known as the sage among kings, he was a meditative man devoted more to spiritualism than to the enjoyment of kingly splendors. According to her, he lived to be 104 years old. Legend attests, she says, that he lives still.
It is a royal road he steered for human happiness. Happiness has become, as we all know, a crucial issue in modern times when wealth has increased many folds but happiness has not. Can we learn something from Siddhi Narasimha to stay happy amid the competitive and tense lifestyle that we live in today?
Despite the stress, needless to say, we all want to be happy. That is not something we don’t know. But we must admit we don’t know how to stay happy. Let us first try to understand the secret to happiness so that all of us could achieve it. It is only spirituality that has the power to make man feel happy. Spirituality gives us the power of becoming a fulfilled person. It is basically introspection to realize inner awareness and divine presence in oneself. It is a power that bestows us capability to look into our inner self and be familiar with it. It awakens the third eye that is latent but dormant in every individual. It endows a holistic view of life, universe and their interrelationship. Without discovery of this inner power and light, man does not feel complete. Therefore, a materialist, despite his power and pelf, feels empty inside. Such emptiness can be removed only by spirituality.
In this field, Siddhi Narasimha had made a big advancement. He was a vigorous practitioner of yoga. He was said to have built a stone bed to lie down during winter. He used to cover himself with thick blankets to sweat during summer. He put himself on a test of his physical resistance and spiritual influence. His practice in meditation earned him greater spiritual power than his state power. He composed many poems expressing his spiritual faith. The architecture of his times reflected his inner dedication to divinity.
Only spirituality has the power to make man feel happy. Spirituality gives us the power of becoming a fulfilled person. It is basically introspection to realize inner awareness and divine presence in oneself.
It is as a sincere tribute to Siddhi Narasimha Malla and in commemoration of his yogic pursuit that I have chosen to promote a comprehensive concept and program of Siddhi Yoga. It is a way to attain success and fulfillment in life. It deals with body, mind and spirit and helps in putting them in great harmony for a perfect life. Siddhi Yoga is for staying physically healthy, mentally focused and spiritually aware in life like Siddhi Narasimha had demonstrated both as an individual and as a king. It is to make life eternally happy and to enjoy every moment in life. Siddhi yoga has three components of Hatha yoga, Dhyana yoga and Gyana yoga to address the physical, mental and spiritual dimensions of life.
It adopts a holistic approach to achieve body purification by Hatha yoga, mind purification by Dhyana yoga, and spiritual purification by Gyana yoga. The body purification is attained by detoxification process, lubrication process, and toning-up process. The mind purification is achieved by practice of meditation, practice of self-observation and practice of self-control. The spiritual purification is obtained by spiritual awareness, spiritual realization and spiritual discussions.
It is testified by a dialogue in Mahabharata between King Dhritarashtra and his charioteer, Sanjaya. The king admitted he could not understand Lord Krishna properly and, therefore, urged Sanjaya to suggest the ways to do so. Sanjaya frankly told the king that “one who is not spiritually aware cannot understand Lord Krishna.” To be spiritually aware he suggested practicing Dhyana yoga to purify the self. The other way is to seek help from Gyana yoga that helps one to rise above sensual limitations. It is only by developing command over one’s senses that one is able to go spiritual and to understand the true nature of Lord Krishna. This truth is amply reflected in the life and achievement of King Siddhi Narasimha Malla.
For a good health there is no better way than the practice of Hatha yoga, which is based on natural animal postures. It is not a miracle science or art but it nevertheless shows miraculous effects. It is a device to make human body healthy, agile and supple with its vital organs well maintained and constantly invigorated. The discipline of mind can be achieved through meditation. It is called Dhyana yoga or we can call it Raja yoga. Mind is basically restless and a restless mind is detrimental to pursuit of any work. There are various methods of meditation but the objective is the same – attainment of concentration, self-observation and peace of mind. It is not only essential to release stress but also it is good for development of wholesome personality of man. It finally leads to the development of a third eye that helps mankind to understand life and the world in true perspective.
The spiritual awareness can be attained under Gyana yoga. It is all the more important in the present context of materialistic world. Simply material progress has not given happiness to man. So awareness of inner awakening is necessary to complement the material development man has achieved. Coming to the internal world, we find a fight going on between the animal man and the spiritual man, between light and darkness. Without overcoming the animal man by spiritual man it is difficult to gain real happiness.
We have seen how our leaders and rulers suffer from high dominance of ego. They have also shown a great lust for power. The sectarian interests of a party or a class subjugate the national interests. The legacy of Siddhi Narasimha is very relevant in the present context as spirituality that he imbued is the most effective instrument to moderate human ego, rise from selfish and petty interests for higher interests and use power for the welfare of the people. Spiritual awareness can also help develop respect for other’s opinion instead of being dogmatic in one’s beliefs. People engaged in public activities especially in politics need to be spiritually literate to transcend themselves from narrow confinement of their self interests. A study of the message and time of Siddhi Narasimha Malla is helpful for generation of new awareness among our rulers.
A very practical article. Great efforts, highly appreciated. Yes, indeed in this competitive and materialistic world, one ought to be directed towards spirituality to attain real peace. Competition is really tough, and so is the increasing tension in minds. So, I believe everybody should give it a go, what your article is stating right now.