1. Sadasiva Brahman
Sri Sadasiva Brahman, a reputed Yogi, lived in Nerur, near Karur, in Trichinopolly district, some one hundred and twenty years ago. He was the author of Atma Vilas, Brahma Sutras and various other works. Once he was in Samadhi. The floods in the Cauveri river covered him up with mud. For some months his body remained buried underneath the earth. The agriculturists tilled the land and injured the head of the Yogi. Some blood oozed out. They were quite astonished. They dug out the earth. Sadasiva Brahman got up from his Samadhi and walked away. Once some rude people came with sticks to beat him. They raised their hands, but they were not able to move them. They remained like statues. At some other time he entered the Zenana of a Nawab quite naked while he was roaming about as an Avadhuta. The Nawab got enraged and cut off his hand with a big knife. Sadasiva Brahman went away with a laugh. The Nawab thought that the man should be a great Sage. He took the maimed hand and followed the Sage. On the third day the Nawab said: O my Lord! I cut off your hand due to my foolishness. Kindly forgive me. Sadasiva simply touched the cut portion with the other hand. There was a new hand. Sadasiva forgave the Nawab and blessed him.
Sri Jnanadev is also known as Jnaneswar. He was the greatest Yogin the world has ever produced. He was born in Alandi, 7 miles from Poona. His Samadhi is there even now. If anybody reads the Gita written by him by the side of the Samadhi all the doubts are cleared. He is regarded as an Avatara of Lord Krishna. When he was a boy he simply touched a buffalo. It repeated the Vedas. He had full control over the elements. When there was no vessel to prepare food, his sister prepared bread on his back. He entered Samadhi while alive at the age of 22. He drew up all the Prana to the Brahmarandhra and gave up the physical body. When he was a boy of 14 years, he began to write commentary on Gita. His commentary on Gita is considered one of the best. In a big assembly of Sanskrit Pandits in Benares, he was selected President.
3. Trilinga Swami
Sri Trilinga Swami of Benares, born in Andhra Desa, lived some fifty years ago. He lived for 280 years. He made his Tapas in Manasarovar (Tibet). Once Ramakrishna Paramahamsa also saw him at Benares. He brought some money to Benares when he first came in for Tapas. He opened a milk-shop and distributed milk free to poor persons, Sadhus and Sannyasins. He used to live underneath the Ganga water even for six months continuously. He used to sleep in Kashi Visvanaths Temple keeping his feet over the Sivalinga. Once he caught hold of the sword of the Governor and threw it into the Ganges. When the Governor demanded it back, he dived into the water and brought back two swords and the Governor was unable to find out his own sword. Some mischief-makers poured some lime-water in his mouth. He at once pumped it out through the anus by Sang Pachar Kriya.
Sri Gorakhnath was a great Yogi like Sri Jnanadev of Alandi. In Chandragiri village on the banks of the Godavari, there was a Brahmin named Suraj. His wifes name was Sarasvati. They had no children. Yogi Matsyendranath went for Bhiksha in the house of Suraj. Sarasvati entertained the Yogi with good food, with Sraddha. She wept before him for not having a child. Yogi Matsyendranath gave her a pinch of holy ash with blessings for a child. Some time later, she had a son. Matsyendranath came back to Sarasvati and took the boy with him when he was twelve years of age. He sent the boy to Badrinarayan for doing Tapas. Apsaras and other Devatas came to molest him. He stood firm and tided over all temptations. He got tremendous Siddhis. Matsyendranath also imparted all his powers and Vidyas to the boy, his disciple, Gorakhnath.
Sri Gorakhnath in his 12th year went to Badrinarayan and performed Tapas for 12 long years, living on air alone. Gorakhnath had tremendous Yogic powers. When his Guru Matsyendranath entered the dead body of a Raja (Parakaya Pravesh) to obey the orders of Sri Hanuman to produce an offspring for a certain Rani, Gorakhnath assumed the form of a lady through his Yogic powers and entered the inner apartments of the palace (Kamarupa Siddhi). At some other instance he made a toy child out of clay and gave this as a play-mate for the children of a certain village. He converted a portion of a mountain into gold and reconverted it to its former condition. He passed urine on a rock. It became gold. Once in a Kumbhamela on the banks of the Godavari, he gave food to all by spreading only leaves but offered different rich meals to the liking of everyone. In the same Mela he slowly reduced himself in bulk and assumed the form of a mosquito (Anima Siddhi). Through his own Yogic power he burnt himself to ashes and again assumed his original form. He did Akasagamanam (walking in the sky). In this way he performed many Siddhis. Raja Bhartrihari was his disciple.
5. Swami Krishna Ashram
Swami Krishna Ashram is a living saint at Daroli village, 14 miles below Gangotri, the origin of the Ganges. He has been living there for the last eight years in an absolutely nude state, in an icy region, where an ordinary man may require a woollen sweater, a Gothma and half a dozen blankets. He was a Siva Bhakta. He threw away all his Puja-vessels, went to Varanasi, took Sannyasa and lived there for a year. Then he went to Hardwar, threw off the Danda and became an Avadhuta. He was in Uttarkashi also. When sharp, big flies were biting his body, when blood was emerging profusely, he would never disturb the flies. Such was his power of endurance. Once in the Kshetra an arrogant servant insulted him for not bringing any vessel for Dhal and poured very hot Dhal on his hands. Swami Krishna Ashram drank the Dhal though his lips and hands were scalded. There is another Swami by name Bhuma Ashram, living at Daroli in a nude state. He is a friend of Krishna Ashram.
Titiksha, the power of endurance, is an essential attribute of all Sadhakas. This is one of the sixfold virtues of Sadhana Chatushtaya. Read Slokas 14 and l5 of the Gita, chapter II. You will understand the importance of this virtue, Titiksha.
6. Yogi Bhusunda
Yogi Bhusunda is one of the Chiranjivis amongst the Yogins. He was the master in the science of Pranayama. It is said that a big nest, like a mountain, was built by him on the southern branch of the Kalpa Vriksha, situated at the northern summit of the Mahameru. Bhusunda lived in this nest. He was a Trikala Jnani. He could sit in Samadhi for any length of time. He was desireless. He had obtained supreme Santi and Jnana. He was there enjoying the bliss of his own Self and he is still there being a Chiranjivi. He had the full knowledge of the five Dharanas. He had rendered himself proof against the five elements by practising the five methods of concentration. It is said that when all the twelve Adityas scorch the world with their burning rays, he would, through his Apas Dharana, reach up the Akasa. When fierce gales arise splintering up the rocks to pieces, he would be in the Akasa through Agni Dharana. When the world together with the Mahameru would be under water, he would float on them through Vayu Dharana.
7. Tirumula Nayanar
Tirumula Nayanar was a great Yogi in Kailas. He had all the 8 major Siddhis through the grace of Nandi, the Vahana of Lord Siva. He was a friend of Agastya Muni. He came from Kailas and stayed in Varanasi. Then he went to Chidambaram and Tiruvavaduturai and other places near Madras. He worshipped Lord Siva in the temple at Tiruvavaduturai and stayed there for some time. Once he went to a garden on the banks of the river Cauveri. There he saw the dead body of a caretaker of a herd of cows. He noticed that all the cows surrounded the dead body of the cowherd and were crying bitterly. This touched the heart of Tirumular. He pitied the cows very much. He left his body in a certain place and entered the dead body of the cowherd. He looked after the cows throughout the day and sent them back to their respective houses. The wife of the cowherd, who was not aware of the death of her husband, invited Tirumular who was wearing the physical body of her husband. Tirumular refused. He wanted to enter his own body. When he searched for his body, it was not found in the original place. Then he thought it was all the grace of Lord Siva. Then with the body of the cowherd, he went to Avaduturai and sat underneath an Asvattha tree on the western side of the temple and wrote a valuable book called Tirumantram in Tamil. It is a book of 3000 verses which contain the essence of the Vedas.
Mansoor was a Sufist Brahma-Jnani. He lived in Persia, some four hundred years ago. He was repeating always Anal-haq! Anal-haq! This corresponds to Soham or Aham Brahma Asmi of the Vedantins. People reported to the Badshah that Mansoor was an atheist (Kafir) and that he was always uttering Anal-haq. The Badshah was quite enraged. He ordered that Mansoor must be cut into pieces. His orders were obeyed. Even then the pieces of flesh were uttering Anal-haq. He felt no pain as he was a full-blown Samadhi Jnani and as he had full identification with Brahman. He was above body-consciousness. Then they put the pieces of flesh and bones in the fire and reduced them into ashes. Even then the ashes uttered Anal-haq. During his life-time he performed many miracles. Even Jnanis can do miracles if they desire and if they find it necessary for the occasion. Sadasiva Brahman and other Jnanis did wonders. Remember the lives of great men daily. You will advance in the spiritual path.
Milarepa was one who had been profoundly impressed from his youth by the transient and impermanent nature of all conditions of worldly existence and by the sufferings and wretchedness in which he saw all beings immersed. To him existence seemed like a huge furnace where all living creatures were roasting. With such piercing sorrow did this fill his heart that he was unable to feel even any of the celestial felicity enjoyed by Brahma and Indra in their heavens, much less of the earthly joys and delights afforded by a life of worldly greatness.
On the other hand, he was so captivated by the vision of immaculate purity, by the chaste beauty in the description of the state of perfect freedom and omniscience associated with the attainment of Nirvana, that he cared not even though he might lose his very life in the search on which he had set out, endowed as he was with full faith, keen intellect and a heart overflowing with all-pervading love and sympathy to all.
Having obtained transcendental knowledge in the control of the ethereal and spiritual nature of the mind, he was enabled to furnish demonstration thereof by flying through the sky, by walking, resting and sleeping on the air. Likewise he was able to produce flames of fire and springs of water from his body and to transform his body at will into any object desired, thereby convincing unbelievers and turning them towards religious pursuits.
He was perfect in the practice of the four stages of meditation and thus he was able to project his subtle body so as to be present as the presiding Yogi in twenty-four holy places where gods and angels assemble, like clouds for spiritual communion.
He was able to dominate gods and elementals and make them carry out his commands instantaneously, in the fulfilment of all duties. He was a perfect adept in supernatural powers. He was able to transverse and visit all the innumerable sacred paradises and heavens of the Buddhas, where by virtue of his all-absorbing acts of unsurpassed devotion the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas presiding therein favoured him with discourses on Dharma and listened to his in return, so that he sanctified the heaven-worlds by his visits and sojourns there.
10. Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte was a man of great concentration. His success was all due to the power of concentration. He suffered from various diseases as epileptic fits, Brady cardia, etc. But for these maladies, he would have proved still more powerful. He could sleep at any time he liked. He would snore the very moment he retired to bed. He would get up at the very second of the appointed time. This is a kind of Siddhi. He had no Vikshepa or shilly-shallying. He had the highly developed Ekagrata of a Yogi. He could draw, as it were, any single thought from the brain pigeon-hole, dwell on it as long as he liked and could shove it back when finished. He would sleep very soundly at night amidst busy war, would never worry a bit at night. This was all due to his power of concentration. Concentration can do anything. Without concentration of mind nothing can be achieved.
Messrs. Gladstone and Balfour had a great deal of concentration of mind. The very moment they retired to bed, they would get sleep. Mark the word very moment. They would never toss about for 15 or 20 minutes in the bed as in the case of the worldly persons. Think how difficult it is to enter into deep sleep the very moment you lie down. They had perfect control over sleep. They could also get up from bed at any time they wished without any alarm time-piece. Sleeping and getting up at the appointed second is only an example to show the power of concentration to a certain degree. There are people who, after a days hard work, can sleep the very moment they go to bed; but they cannot get up at the appointed time. This is only an example on a very ordinary thing. People of concentration can work wonders and miracles.
11. Teachings Of Kabir
Once Kabir tied a stout pig to the front post in the verandah of his house. An orthodox Brahmin Pundit came to Kabirs house for discussing a philosophical problem. He saw the pig in front of the house. He was much upset, irritated and annoyed. He asked Kabir:Dear Sir, how is it you have tied a nasty animal that eats the excreta of human beings, very close to your house. You have no Achara. You are a dirty man. You do not know the Shastras. You are ignorant. Kabir replied:O Shastriji, you are more dirty than myself. I have tied the pig to the front post outside my house, whereas you have tied the pig to the mind. The Brahmin was very much vexed and went away without telling a word. Man changa katorie me ganga: If the mind is pure, you will find the Ganges in the cup. Purification of mind is of paramount importance. Without this nothing can be achieved in the spiritual path.
12. A Sham Latin Scholar
A certain man went to a Latin teacher to learn Latin. He stayed with the teacher for a week. He noticed that most of the words ended in o. He thought that he must add the letter o to the end of each word. He knew English well. He told the teacher that he knew Latin and with the permission of the teacher, he went back to his native place. He reached his house and tapped the door uttering these words:O, dear-o, wife-o, open-o, door-o. He thought this was all Latin.
There are very many scholars in Yoga and Vedanta also similar to the learned Latin scholar, above narrated. They stay for a few days in Ram Ashram Library or with some Sadhus, learn the names Kundalini, Mula Chakra, Nadi, Pranayama, Maya, or Pratibimbavada and move from place to place. Yoga and Vedanta are philosophies that are to be studied under a Guru with great interest for a period of 12 years. Then only one can master the subjects. Yoga and Vedanta should not be used as a means for livelihood. After learning a few words in Yoga and Vedanta, one should not go about and mix with the worldly people. Attaining perfection in Yoga requires a long practical experience under a perfect guide.
13. Story Of An Aspirant
An aspirant went to a Mahant of Gorakhnath Panth. Gorakhnath-followers are those who wear either big black celluloid or glass earrings. The Mahant bored the aspirants ears, inserted big earrings and gave him a beautiful name also, Yogi Ishvarananda. He remained in the Ashram for three months. He did not get any spiritual progress. He thought to himself:This is not the proper path. Let me try another path. He left the Ashram immediately, wandered through thick jungles, came across a Fakir and implored for initiation. The Fakir circumcised, gave him a Mantra and asked him to have a long beard. This also did not satisfy him. Now look at the pitiable condition of this poor aspirant. The ulcers in the ears had not healed up properly. He had considerable pain through septic inflammation. There was profuse discharge of pus. He had already a disturbed state of mind and this state of affairs augmented his mental worries. He seriously reflected that this was not the way of seeking the Guru. He made a strong determination that he must not roam about, must stick firmly to one solitary place and must perform there Tapas with constant prayers to God. He selected a place and performed Tapas with all sincerity. This purified him and made him fit for higher steps. After a period of two years, a Guru appeared before him, initiated him into deep mysteries of Yoga. Present-day aspirants also are running like this from place to place in search of a Guru. It is of no use. They should purify themselves for a Yogic life. By chance, even if they come in contact with an Avatara, they will not be benefited much if they have not a strong foundation for a Yogic life.
14. Other Yogins
The yogi by means of various practices establishes a conscious control over the organs and functions of the body. He moulds his body like steel. One Swami in London had a demonstration of stopping his heart before the King. Many able physicians were present on the occasion and examined him. Desabandhu in 1926 stopped the radial and temporal pulses on both sides at will and stopped the beatings of the heart also for a short time. He showed a demonstration in the Bombay Medical Union. In Maharajah Ranjit Singhs Court in Lahore, Hatha Yogi Hari Das who buried himself underneath the ground for forty days after tightly closing his nose, mouth, ears and eyes with wax came back alive. The Mohammedan Yogi, Gunangudi Mastan, was buried in Madras. Some Yogins fly in the air. This is due to Khechari Mudra.
Yogi Pratap was in the posture of doing Viparitakarani Mudra. He asked the onlookers to cover his head with clay on all sides. He remained in that position for full 2 hours. Paul Deussen, the German traveller, personally witnessed this in Varanasi. Sri Swami Vishuddhananda of Varanasi once gave life to a dead sparrow. Nothing is impossible for a real Yogi.
Mystic ExperienceVisions Of Lights
Various kinds of lights manifest during meditation owing to deep concentration. In the beginning a bright, white light, the size of a pins point will appear in the forehead at the space between the two eyebrows which corresponds tentatively to the Ajna Chakra. You will notice, when the eyes are closed, different coloured lights, white, yellow, red, smoky, blue, green, mixed lights, flashes like lightning, fire, moon, sun, stars and sparks. These are Tanmatric lights. Each Tanmatra has its own specific colour. Yellow and white lights are very commonly seen. In the beginning small balls of white or red light float about before the minds eye. When you first observe this be assured that the mind is becoming more steady and that you are progressing in concentration. After some months, the size of the light will increase and you will see a full blaze of white light, bigger than the sun. In the beginning these lights are not steady. They come and disappear immediately. When you have steady and systematic practice of meditation for 2 or 3 hours, these lights appear more frequently and remain steady for a long time. The vision of lights is a great encouragement in Sadhana. It impels you to stick to Sadhana steadily. It gives you strong faith in superphysical matter. The appearance of the lights denotes that you are transcending the physical consciousness. You are in a semiconscious state when the light appears. You are between the two places. You must not shake the body when these lights manifest. You must be perfectly steady in your Asana and breathe slowly.
At times you will see some lustrous forms of Devatas or some other physical forms. You will see your Ishta Devata or your Guru. Siddhas, Rishis and others give their Darshan to encourage you. You can see beautiful gardens, palatial buildings, rivers, mountains, golden temples, sceneries so lovely and picturesque as cannot be adequately described.
During intense concentration, many are able to feel certain peculiar sensation as if some electric current passes from the Muladhara-Chakra. They immediately disturb their body and come down to the physical consciousness out of fear. They need have no fear at all. They should keep steady and wait for further experiences.
The experiences vary in different individuals. The experience of one man may not be the same as that of another man. Many erroneously believe that they have realised the Self when they get these experiences, stop their Sadhana and try to move with the public to preach and to do Loka-Sangraha. This is a serious blunder. This is not realisation at all. These are all simple encouragements from your Ishta Devata to convince you of a higher spiritual life and push you in your systematic and incessant practice with zeal and enthusiasm. You will have to ignore these things and drive them away just as you did with worldly objects. You must not care a bit when you get these visions. You must have your Lakshya on the goal. The visions may appear in some persons within a few days, while in others within six or nine months. It depends upon the state of the mind and degree of concentration. Some persons may not have such experiences, but they will be progressing in the spiritual path.
Sometimes you will get very powerful, dazzling lights, bigger than the sun. They are white. In the beginning, they come and disappear quickly. Later on they become steady even for 10 or 15 minutes according to the degree of concentration. Lights will appear before the eyes or at any one of the Chakras. The light is so powerful and dazzling sometimes that you have to withdraw yourself from looking and break your meditation. Some people are afraid and they do not know what to do and how to proceed further. By constant practice, the mind engaged in concentration will vanish. The beings and objects with whom you are in touch during the early period of Sadhana belong to the astral world. The lustrous forms are higher Devatas of mental and higher planes, who come down to give Darshan and to encourage the Sadhakas. Various Shaktis manifest in lustrous forms. Adore them. Do mental Puja as soon as they appear before you.
Do not waste your time in looking at these visions. This is only a curiosity. These are all encouragements to convince you of the existence of superphysical, metaphysical realities. Visions are either subjective or objective, your own mental creations or of realities on finer planes of matter. Universe consists of planes of matter of various degrees of density. Rhythmical vibrations of Tanmatras in various degrees give rise to the formation of various planes. Visions may be of these things or beings. Or in many cases they may be purely imaginary. They may be the crystallisation of your own intense thinking. You must discriminate well.
Sometimes these elementals appear during meditation. They are strange figures, some with long teeth, big faces, some with three heads, some with faces on the belly, some without flesh and skin, etc. They are inhabitants of Bhuvar Loka. They are Bhutas. They are supposed to be the attendants of Lord Siva. They have terrifying forms. They do not cause any harm at all. They simply appear on the stage. They come to test your strength and courage. They can do nothing. They cannot stand before a pure, ethical aspirant. Repetition of Om or your Guru Mantra will throw them at a distance. Whenever young people look at a dead body or when they see a body hanging or when they see a cruel murder, they always brood over this instance. Even during meditation, the same thought will come and take peculiar form. Again and again they will see the same form before their eyes. They should not fear at all. It is only their mental creation. A coward is absolutely unfit for the spiritual line. Destroy fear. Develop courage. Be bold.
Life In The Astral Plane
During the course of practice, one day you will feel that you have separated yourself from the body. You will have immense joy mixed with fear; joy in the possession of a new light, astral body; and fear owing to the entry in a foreign, unknown plane. At the very outset, the new consciousness is very rudimentary in the new plane. You will only feel that you have a light, airy body and will perceive a rotating, vibrating, limited astral atmosphere with illumination of golden lights, objects and beings. You may feel that you are floating in the air.
You will never fall; but the new experience of subtlety generates novel feelings and sensations in the beginning. How you leave the body and remain, is unknown. You are unaware of how you have completely separated yourself from the body. The new joy is inexpressible. Your will have to actually feel and experience it yourself. When you come back to body-consciousness, there is an intense craving to regain the new consciousness and to remain in that state always. By chance, by repeated attempts, you are able to go beyond the body-consciousness once in a month or so in the course of Sadhana. If you plod on with patience, through Yogic practices, you will be able to leave the body at will and stay for a long time.
You can by mere willing travel in any place you like with the astral body and there materialise by drawing the necessary materials either from Ahamkara or the universal storehouse. The process is very simple to occultists and Yogis who know the rationale, the detailed technique of the various operations. Thought-reading, thought-transference, psychic healing, distant healing, etc., can be very easily performed by those who can function with the astral body. Concentrated mental rays can penetrate opaque walls and travel miles and miles.
Hints On Yoga
Brahmacharya is very very essential Even in dreams you must be free from lustful thoughts. It requires long practice and careful watch over the mind and Indriyas. Foolish people hastily jump up to the higher courses in Yoga in vain without having this important item which is very useful for spiritual Sadhana.
Wet dreams generally occur in the last quarter of the night. Those who are in the habit of getting up from bed between 3 and 4 a.m. (Brahmamuhurta) and doing Japa, Pranayama and Dhyana, can never fall a victim to nocturnal pollutions.
That man in whom the sex-idea is deep-rooted can never dream of understanding Yoga and Vedanta even in one hundred births.
Keep the mind fully occupied. This is the best panacea or sovereign remedy for keeping up Brahmacharya. Do Japa, meditation, reading of religious books, walking, Kirtan, prayer, Satsanga, service, religious discourse, writing, etc.
Always wear a Kaupeen or Langotee. This is scientific and spiritual too. If you are a married man, sleep in a separate room from your wife. Change your habit immediately.
Be careful in the selection of your companions. Give up drama, talkies, reading novels and other love-stories. Do not use soaps and flowers. Observe Mowna. Do not mix with anyone. Read good inspiring religious books. When desires arise in the mind do not fulfil them. Crush them immediately. Avoid the company of women. No joking and laughing. These are all outward manifestations of lust only. When you walk in the street do not look hither and thither like a monkey. Do not look at a womaneven the photo or picture of a lady. Do not talk about women.
When you advance in the spiritual practice it will be very difficult for you to do both meditation and daily office and household work at the same time, because the mind will undergo a double strain. It finds it very difficult to adjust to different uncongenial activities. Therefore, the advanced Grihastha-students will have to stop all worldly activities. When they advance in meditation, if they desire to advance further, they should take to seclusion and must disconnect themselves from the worldly activities entirely. Work is a hindrance in meditation for advanced Yogic students.
Live alone. Observe Mowna and record in your diary the benefits you derive. Do not make gestures and signs hu, hu, hu. This hu, hu, hu is tantamount to talking. There is more wastage of energy in this hu, hu, hu business. Utilise this conserved energy in Japa and meditation.
Sadhakas who take up to Nivritti Marga generally become lazy after some time, as they do not know how to utilise the mental energy, as they do not keep up any daily routine and as they do not follow the instructions of their Guru. They get Vairagya of course, but they have no experience in the spiritual line. They do not make any spiritual progress in the end.
Those who want to take up to seclusion and Nivritti Marga, should observe Mowna and discipline the Indriyas, mind and body while living in the world. They should train themselves to hard, laborious life, coarse food, walking without shoes and umbrella. Then only they can bear the rigorous life of an ascetic. They should entirely give up timidity.
If circumstances prevent you from observing Mowna, strictly avoid long talk, big talk, tall talk and all sorts of vain discussions and withdraw yourself from society as much as possible. Too much of talk is simply wastage of energy. If this energy is conserved by Mowna, it will be transmuted into Ojas Shakti which will help you in your Sadhana.
Sadhaka should always remain alone. This is an important factor in spiritual progress. Mixing with householders is highly dangerous. Solitude for Sadhana is a great desideratum. All energies must be carefully preserved. After a short stay in solitude, aspirants should not enter the world. What they have gained in five years in seclusion through hard Tapas, will be irrecoverably lost in a month by mixing with worldly people. Several persons have complained to me that they have lost the power of concentration.
After attaining perfection in Yoga, one can enter world if he is not affected even a bit by unfavourable, hostile currents of the world. There is no harm if you mix with congenial company which is also devoted to Yoga Abhyasa. You can discuss various philosophical points. You can be in the company of higher spiritual personages who enter into Samadhi. Many persons enter the world before perfection in Yoga to demonstrate their minor powers in the name of Loka Sangraha and for fame. They have been reduced to a level worse than a worldly man.
Everything must be done gradually. It is very difficult for a man who was in the world to be in entire seclusion. It will be very painful and troublesome for a beginner. He should slowly train himself by observing Mowna often.
The place wherein you can get concentration of mind is suitable for your Yogic practices. This is a general rule. There will be no use if you run from place to place.
When you do Karma Yoga you must be free from egoism. You must not expect any reward or appreciation for the work that you do (Nishkama). You must have a balanced mind in success and failure.
The moment the Chitta-Shuddhi is attained, you must stop doing Nishkama Karma and take to pure meditation in seclusion.
Most of the difficulties arise in your daily life if you do not have a proper control over your mind. For instance, if a man does evil to you, instantly you want to revenge, to extract tooth for tooth, tit for tat policy, to return anger for anger. Every reaction of evil shows that the mind is not under control. By anger one loses his energy. Balanced state of mind is not possible. From anger all other impurities emanate. Anger controlled properly, becomes transmuted into an energy so powerful as to move the whole world.
A slight overloading in the stomach will upset meditation. The mind has direct connection with gastric nerves of the stomach. You will get drowsiness also. You must train yourself to Mitahara.
When you have diet restriction, in the beginning you will imagine that you are getting leaner and weaker. To add to this your friends and relatives will frighten you. Do not hear them. In a few days you will be quite all right.
In case of indigestion and constipation, take a long brisk walk in the morning. As soon as you get up from bed drink large quantity of water. Do Paschimottana, Mayura, Trikona Asanas, Nauli and Uddiyana. Do physical exercises also. In case of chronic constipation try a change in diet. If you take rice, then take wheat, and see. If you are in the same state, try fruits and milk diet. Then you will be quite all right. Change of diet is a sure remedy.
If you have the evil habit of drinking wine, toddy, coffee, etc., and if you want to stop it, go to the meditation room and promise before the deity that you will stop the bad habit from that moment. Proclaim this determination to your friends. If your mind goes to the same habit, you will naturally be ashamed to continue the habit. Several times you will fail. Still struggle hard. Take to Satsanga. Study religious books. You can destroy all impure habits. If you find it very difficult to give up, the last remedy you will have to take is in running away from the present society and you must flee to a place where you cannot at all get all these. Out of compulsion you can leave the bad habit.
If you want to stop taking mutton, fish etc., just see with your own eyes the pitiable, struggling condition at the time of killing the sheep or fish. Now mercy and sympathy will arise in your heart. Then you will determine to give up flesh-eating so that the poor innocent lives may be spared. If you fail in this attempt, just change your environments and live in a Brahmin hotel where you cannot get mutton and fish and move with that society where there is only vegetable diet. Always think of the evils of flesh-eating and the benefits of vegetable diet. If this also cannot give you sufficient strength to stop this habit, go to the slaughter house and butchers shop and personally see the disgusting rotten muscles, kidneys and other nasty parts of the animal and the bad smell. This will induce Vairagya in you and a strong disgust and hatred for mutton-eating.
A Mantra is a mass of Tejas or radiant energy. It transforms the mental substance by producing a particular thought movement. The rhythmical vibrations produced by Mantra regulate the unsteady vibrations of the five sheaths. It checks the natural tendency of objective thoughts of the mind. It helps the Sadhana Shakti and reinforces it. Sadhana Shakti is strengthened by Mantra-Shakti. Mantra awakens superhuman powers.
Only the knowledge imparted by a Guru through his lips is powerful and useful; otherwise it becomes fruitless, weak and very painful.
Siddhau visvasah prathamalakshanamFor success, firm belief is the first condition.
Develop the power of endurance (Titiksha), learn to bear happiness and misery evenly and to pass through all phases of life, all experiences.
The endurance of all pain and torture with patience and contentment means the exercise of a distinct force which spiritualises the whole nature. The greater this force, the speedier the spiritual growth. Patience and faith should continue undiminished all through the Sadhana period.
Chitta-Shuddhi is purification of mind. Nadi Shuddhi is purification of Nadis. Bhuta-Shuddhi is purification of elements. Adhara-Shuddhi is purification of Adhara. If there is Shuddhi (purification), Siddhi (perfection) will come by itself. Siddhi is not possible without Shuddhi.
Humility is the highest of all virtues. You can destroy your egoism by developing this virtue alone. You can influence the whole world. You will become a magnet to attract the whole world. It must be genuine. Feigned humility is hypocrisy.
Control anger by practice of Kshama, Dhairya, patience and Nirabhimanata, absence of egoism.
When anger is controlled it will be transmuted into an energy by which you can move the whole world.
Anger is a modification of passion. If you can control lust, you have already controlled anger.
Drink a little water when you become angry. It will cool the brain and calm the excited, irritable nerves.
Count twenty, one by one. By the time you finish counting twenty, anger will subside.
Watch the small irritable impulse or thought-wave carefully. Then it will become more easy for you to control anger. Take all precautions. Do not allow it to burst out and assume a wild form.
If you find it extremely difficult to control it, leave the place at once and walk for half an hour. Pray to God. Do Japa. Meditate. Meditation gives immense strength.
Very often depression comes in meditation in neophytes owing to the influence of Samskaras, influence of astral entities, evil spirits, bad company, cloudy days, bad stomach and loaded bowels. It must be quickly removed by cheerful thoughts, a brisk walk, singing His Name, and laughing, prayer, Pranayama, purgative and a dose of carminative mixture.
If you want to enter into Samadhi quickly, cut all connections with friends, relatives, and others. Observe Akhanda Mowna, Live on milk alone. Plunge in meditation.
Laziness and fickleness of mind are the two great obstacles in Yoga. Light Sattvic diet and Pranayamas will remove laziness. Do not overload the stomach. Walk briskly in the compound hither and thither for half an hour.
Diseases are generated in ones body through the following causes, viz., sleeping in day-time, late vigil overnight, excess of sexual intercourse, moving in crowd, checking of urine and faeces, taking of unwholesome food and laborious mental work. If a Yogi is affected by any disease due to these causes, he says that the disease is due to his Yogic practice. This is the first obstacle in yoga.
Disease, mental inactivity, doubt, indifference, laziness, tendency to go after sense-enjoyments, stupor, false perception, non-attainment of concentration and falling away from that when attained on account of restlessness, are the obstructing distractions. (Yoga Sutras I-30).
If a practitioner is gloomy, depressed and weak, surely there is some error in his Sadhana. If aspirants themselves are gloomy and peevish how can they impart joy, peace and strength to others? A cheerful and ever-smiling countenance is a sure sign of spirituality and Divine life.
O emotional, enthusiastic young aspirants! Do not take the movements of rheumatic winds in the back from chronic lumbago for ascent of Kundalini. Do your Sadhana with patience, perseverance till you get Samadhi. Master every stage in Yoga. Do not take up any higher courses before you completely master the lower steps.
O impatient aspirant! Do not bother much about awakening Kundalini. Premature awakening is not desirable. Do your Sadhana and Tapas systematically and regularly. Just as the gardener who waters the trees daily gets the fruits when the proper time comes so also you will enjoy the fruits of your Sadhana when the time comes. Purify and steady the mind now. Purify the Nadis. Then Kundalini will be awakened spontaneously.
The aspirant, even though he would have awakened the Kundalini by some means, will not be benefited at all if he has not developed the necessary qualifications. It is not possible for him to feel, and manifest all the benefits of awakening Kundalini.
There are some developed souls who are in a state of Samadhi naturally from their very birth. They have not acquired this by any exertion in this birth. They are called born Siddhas. They have finished their Sadhana in their previous births.
By continence, devotion to Guru and steady practice, success comes in Yoga after a long time. The aspirant should always be patient and persevering.
Svastika, Gomukha, Padma, Hamsathese are the Brahmic postures (Asanas). Vira, Mayura, Vajra and Siddha Asanas are the Raudra postures. Yoni is the Sakta posture. Paschimottanasana is the Shaiva posture.
Control over the five elements (Bhutas) may be gained by practising Dharana on their respective seats in the body. The seat of earth extends from the foot to the knee; the seat of water extends from the knee to the navel; the seat of fire, from navel to the throat; the seat of air, from the throat to the region between the eyebrows; and the seat of Akasa from the eyebrows to Brahmarandhra.
Nada is like a pure crystal extending from the Muladhara to Sahasrara Chakra. It is that which is spoken of as Brahman or Paramatman.
In the beginning of your practice, you may get jerks of hands, legs, trunk and whole body. Sometimes the jerks will be terrible. Do not be afraid. Do not be troubled. It is nothing. It is due to sudden muscular contraction from new Pranic influence. The jerks will pass off after some time. You will have to pass through these stages.
As soon as Kundalini is awakened for the first time, a Yogi gets these six experiences which last for a short timeAnanda (spiritual bliss), Kampana (tremor of the body and limbs), Utthana (rising from the ground), Ghurni (divine intoxication), Murccha (fainting) and Nidra (sleep).
Good health, lightness of the body, shining complexion, not to be affected by the tips of thorns, to endure hunger and thirst, to eat and drink much and to fast for a long time, to endure heat and cold, and to have control over the five elements, are some other symptoms of Yogic life.
Only a Yogi leading the life of a Brahmachari and observing a moderate and nutritious diet, obtains perfection in the manipulation of Kundalini. (Ghe. Sam. III-12).
Many people are attracted to the practice of Pranayama and other Yogic exercises, as it is through Yoga that psychic healing, telepathy, thought-transference, and other great Siddhis are obtained. If they attain success, they should not remain there alone. The Goal of life is not healing and Siddhis. They should utilise their energy in attaining the Highest.
Those who can do telepathy, psychic healing, etc., use only the Prana in a different way. For producing different results, the same Prana must be utilised in a different method. You should know the technique to use this from a Guru. By long practice you also can do everything successfully.
A Yogi on the appearance of certain Siddhis thinks that he has achieved the highest goal. He may give up his further Sadhana through false contentment. The Yogi who is bent upon getting the highest Samadhi, must reject Siddhis whenever they come. Siddhis are invitations from Devatas. Only by rejecting these Siddhis, one can attain success in Yoga. He who craves for Siddhis is a worldly-minded man. He is a very big householder. Those who crave for Siddhis will never get them. If a Yogic student is tempted to attain Siddhis, his further progress is seriously retarded. He has lost the way.
Do not stop Sadhana when you get a few glimpses and experiences. Continue the practice till you attain perfection. Do not stop the practice and move about in the world. Examples are not lacking. Numerous persons have been ruined. A glimpse cannot give you safety.
You can do nothing by a happy-go-lucky life. Stick to one place for three years. Draw a programme of daily routine. Then follow to the very letter at any cost. Then you are sure to succeed.
There is no use of dilly-dallying hither and thither in search of a Guru. If you search for him, you will never get him. If you make yourself deserving by the practice of all preliminary qualifications, he will doubtless come to you. It is within the power of everybody to attain success in Yoga. What is wanted is sincere devotion, constant and steady Abhyasa.
Never allow sentiment to overcome you one way or other. Wisely utilise every condition for the uplift of the soul and Chitta Suddhi.
Unless you are prepared to give up all you have for the service of the Lord and mankind, you are quite unfit for the spiritual path.
You first separate yourself from the body; then you identify yourself with the mind and then you function on the mental plane. Through concentration, you rise above body-consciousness; through meditation you rise above mind; and finally through Samadhi, you reach the goal.
A Hatha Yogi brings down the Prana by Jalandhara Bandha; by Mula Bandha he checks the downward tendency of Apana; having accustomed himself to the practice of Asvini Mudra, he makes the Apana go upward with the mind intent on Kumbhaka. Through Uddiyana Bandha, he forces the united Prana-Apana to enter the Sushumna Nadi along with Kundalini, and through Sakti Chalana Mudra, he takes Kundalini from Chakra to Chakra. By this procedure a Hatha Yogi makes conquest over Deha Adhyasa.
Eliminate fear altogether by constantly raising an opposite current of thought in the mind. Constantly and intently think of courage. Fear is a Vikara, unnatural, temporary modification on account of Avidya. When fear disappears, the attachment for the body goes away and then it is easy for you to go above body-consciousness.
Do not be carried away by name and fame (Khyati). Ignore all these trivial things. Be steady in your practice. Never stop Sadhana till the final beatitude is reached.
Just as the man who foolishly runs after two rabbits will not catch hold of any one of them, so also a meditator who runs after two conflicting thoughts will not get success in any one of the two thoughts. If he has divine thoughts for ten minutes and then worldly conflicting thoughts for the next ten minutes he will not succeed in getting at the Divine consciousness.
Several aspirants in the name of Tapasya neglect the body. All possible care should be taken to keep the body in a healthy condition. A Sadhaka should take more care than a worldly man because it is with this instrument that he has to reach the Goal. At the same time he must be quite unattached to the body and be prepared to give it up at any moment. That is the proper ideal.
As to the qualification for renunciation, a man should have attained perfect purity of mind, stability of intellect, discrimination, disgust towards sensual pleasures and a keen desire for freedom. Unless a man has attained these qualifications, renunciation of active duties of life does not produce the desired effect.
If you want Samadhi, you must know well the process of Dhyana. If you want Dhyana, you must know accurately the method of Dharana. If you want Dharana, you must know perfectly the method of Pratyahara. If you want Pratyahara, you must know Pranayama. If you want Pranayama you must know Asana well. Before going to the practice of Asana, you should have Yama and Niyama. There is no use of jumping into Dhyana without having the various preliminary practices.
Some aspirants, when they cannot get milk or ghee, stop their Yogic practices. If you cannot get milk or ghee, you will have to take a little more quantity of bread and Dal. Dal is more nutritious than milk. It is very, very substantial. Sadhakas should not develop any habit at all. Habit means slavery. People of slavish mentality are absolutely unfit for the spiritual path. They should not be affected at all even if they are placed under the worst circumstances.
Vedantins use different methods for getting Laya, viz., (1) Antahkarana Laya Chintana, (2) Pancha Bhuta Laya Chintana and (3) Omkara Laya Chintana. In Antahkarana Laya, you must think that the mind is merged in Buddhi; Buddhi in Avyaktam; and Avyaktam in Brahman. In Pancha Bhuta Laya, you must think that the earth gets merged in water, water in fire; fire in air; air in Akasa; Akasa in Avyaktam; and Avyaktam in Brahman. In Omkara Laya, you must think that Visva gets merged in Virat (Virat in the letter A); Taijasa in Hiranyagarbha (Hiranyagarbha in the letter U); Prajna in Ishvara (Ishvara in the letter M). Jiva Sakshi gets merged in Ishvara Sakshi; Ishvara Sakshi in Ardhamatra of Omkara. Thus you can go back to the original source, Brahman, who is the Yoni for all minds and Pancha Bhutas. Brahman alone remains.
Annamaya Kosha is the physical body (Sthula Sarira). Pranamaya Kosha, Manomaya Kosha and Vijnanamaya Kosha are in the astral body (Sukshma Sarira). Anandamaya Kosha belongs to the causal body (Karana Sarira). Pranamaya Kosha contains the five Karma Indriyas. Manomaya and Vijnanamaya Koshas contain the five Jnana Indriyas.
Priya, Moda and Pramoda are the attributes of Anandamaya Kosha. Hunger and thirst belong to Pranamaya Kosha. Birth and death belong to the Annamaya Kosha. Harsha and Soka (exhilaration and depression) belong to Manomaya Kosha. Passion, hunger, greed, Sankalpa and Vikalpa are Dharmas of the Manomaya Kosha. Sleep and Moha belong to Anandamaya Kosha. Kartritva (agency) and Bhoktritva (enjoyment) belong to Vijnanamaya Kosha.
In Manomaya Kosha, Iccha-Shakti is working. In Vijnanamaya Kosha, Jnana-Shakti is working. For other detailed information consult my book Practice of Vedanta.
When Kundalini is awakened, it does not proceed at once to Sahasrara Chakra. By further Yogic practices, you will have to take it from Chakra to Chakra, one by one.
Even after Kundalini has reached the Sahasrara it can drop to Muladhara Chakra. The Yogi can also stop it at a particular Chakra. When the Yogi is established in Samadhi, when he has attained Kaivalya, Kundalini will not come back to Muladhara.
The body will exist even after Kundalini has reached Sahasrara Chakra, but the Yogi will have no body-consciousness. It is only when Kaivalya is attained that the body becomes lifeless.
The Sadhakas should have a pure heart and should be free from Doshas. The Mantra should have been obtained from a great man. The Sadhaka should have faith in the Mantra. In this case, Japa alone is quite sufficient to awaken Kundalini.
Jnana Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga and all other methods have the 8 steps, viz., Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi. These are not the exclusive property of Raja Yoga alone. These are necessary for all Sadhakas.
Young boys have no settled mind. Many have not the power of discrimination. Therefore young age is not suitable for advanced courses in Yoga.
Many other important doubts of the aspirants have been cleared in the text.
Some Practical Hints
The actual method of awakening the Kundalini Shakti and uniting Her with the Lord in the Sahasrara can only be learnt from a Guru. I give here a general outline of the Yogic practice that will enable the Sadhaka to realise the Chit.
The Jivatma in the subtle body, the receptacle of the five vital airs (Pancha Pranas), mind in its three aspects of Manas, Buddhi and Ahankara; the five organs of action (Karmendriyas); and the five organs of perception (Jnanendriyas), are united with the Kula-Kundalini. The Kandarpa or Kama Vayu in the Muladharaa form of the Apana Vayuis given a leftward revolution and the fire which is around Kundalini is kindled. By the Bija Hung, and the heat of the fire thus kindled, the coiled and sleeping Kundalini is awakened. She who lay asleep around Svayambhu-linga, with her coils three circles and a half, dosing the entrance of the Brahmadvara, will on being roused, enter that door and move upwards, united with the Jivatma.
On this upward movement, Brahma, Savitri, Dakini-Shakti, the Devas, Bija and Vritti, are dissolved in the body of Kundalini. The Maheemandala or Prithvi is converted into the Bija Lang, and is also merged in Her body. When Kundalini leaves the Muladhara, the lotus which, on the awakening of Kundalini, had opened and turned its flower upwards, again closes and hangs downwards. As Kundalini reaches the Svadhishthana-Chakra, that lotus opens out, and lifts its flower upwards. Upon the entrance of Kundalini, Mahavishnu, Mahalakshmi, Sarasvati, Rakini Shakti, Deva Matrikas and Vritti, Vaikunthadhama, Goloka, and the Deva and Devi residing therein are dissolved in the body of Kundalini. The Prithvi or earth Bija Lang is dissolved in Apah, and Apah converted into the Bija Vang, remains in the body of Kundalini. When the Devi reaches the Manipura Chakra all that is in the Chakra merges in Her body. The Varuna Bija Vang is dissolved in fire, which remains in the body of the Devi as the Bija Rang. This Chakra is called the Brahmagranthi (or knot of Brahma). The piercing of this Chakra may involve considerable pain, physical disorder, and even disease. On this account, the directions of an experienced Guru are necessary, and therefore also other modes of Yoga have been recommended for those to whom they are applicable; for in such modes activity is provoked directly in the higher centre and it is not necessary that the lower Chakras should be pierced. Kundalini next reaches the Anahata Chakra where all which is therein is merged in Her. The Bija of Tejas, Rang disappears in Vayu and Vayu converted into its Bija Yang, merges into the body of Kundalini. This Chakra is known as Vishnugranthi (knot of Vishnu). Kundalini then ascends to the abode of Bharati (or Sarasvati) or the Vishuddha Chakra. Upon Her entrance, Ardha-Narisvara Siva, Sakini, the sixteen vowels, Mantra, etc., are dissolved in the body of Kundalini. The Bija of Vayu, Yang is dissolved in Akasa, which itself being transformed into the Bija Hang is merged in the body of Kundalini. Piercing the Lalana Chakra, the Devi reaches the Ajna Chakra, where Parama Shiva, Siddha Kali, the Deva-Gana and all else therein are absorbed into Her body. The Bija of Akasa, Hang is merged in the Manas-Chakra and mind itself in the body of Kundalini. The Ajna Chakra is known as Rudra-granthi (or the knot of Rudra or Shiva). After this Chakra has been pierced, Kundalini, of Her own motion, unites with Paramasiva. As She proceeds upwards from the two-petalled lotus, the Niralamba Puri, Pranava Nada etc., are merged in Her.
The Kundalini then in her progress upwards, absorbs herself the twenty-four Tattvas commencing with the gross elements, and then unites Herself and becomes one with Paramasiva. The nectar which flows from such union floods the Kshudrabrahmanda or human body. It is then that the Sadhaka forgetful of all in this world is immersed in ineffable bliss.
Thereafter the Sadhaka, thinking of the Vayu Bija Yang as being in the left nostril, inhales through Ida, making Japa of the Bija sixteen times. Then closing both nostrils, he makes Japa of the Bija sixty-four times. He then thinks that the black man of sin (Papapurusha) in the left cavity of the abdomen is being dried up, and so thinking, he exhales through the right nostril Pingala, making Japa of the Bija thirty-two times. The Papapurusha should be thought of as an angry black man in the left side of the cavity of the abdomen, of the size of the thumb, with red beard and eyes, holding a sword and shield, with his head ever held low, the very image of all sins. The Sadhaka then meditating upon the red-coloured Bija Rang in the Manipura, inhales, making sixteen Japas of the Bija, and then closes the nostrils, making sixty-four Japas. While making the Japa he thinks that the body of the man of sin is being burnt and reduced to ashes. He then exhales through the right nostril with thirty-two Japas. He then meditates upon the white Chandra Bija Thang. He next inhales through Ida, making Japa of the Bija sixteen times, closes both nostrils with Japa done sixty-four times, and exhales through Pingala with thirty-two Japas. During inhalation, holding of breath and exhalation, he should consider that a new celestial body is being formed by the nectar (composed of all the letters of the alphabet, Matrika-varna) dropping from the moon. In a similar way with the Bija Vang, the formation of the body is continued, and with the Bija Lang it is completed and strengthened. Lastly, with the Mantra Soham, the Sadhaka leads the Jivatma into the heart. Thus Kundalini who has enjoyed Her union with Paramashiva, sets out on her return journey the way she came. As she passes through each of the Chakras all that she has absorbed therefrom come out from herself and take their several places in the Chakra.
In this manner she again reaches the Muladhara, when all that is described to be in the Chakras are in the positions which they occupied before her awakening.
The Spiritual Diary
The Spiritual Diary is a whip for goading the mind towards righteousness and God. If you regularly maintain this diary you will get solace, peace of mind and make quick progress in the spiritual path. Maintain a daily diary and realise the marvellous results.
Prepare a statement of daily Spiritual Diary for every month as shown on the opposite page and verify whether you are progressing or not. If you want quick spiritual attainments, you should never neglect to record everything in your diary. To change the worldly nature it needs rigorous Sadhana. Apart from these questions you must also mention the following in the remarks column:
1. The name of the Asanas.
Do not be ashamed to mention your mistakes, vices and failures. This is meant for your own progress only. Do not waste your precious hours. It is enough that you have wasted so many years in idle-gossiping. Enough, enough of the troubles you had all these days in satisfying your senses. Do not say:from tomorrow I will be regular. That tomorrow is for the worthless worldly-minded fools. Be sincere and start doing Sadhana from this moment. Be sincere. Take out a copy of the Spiritual Diary and send it on to your Guru, who will guide you, remove all the obstacles in your Sadhana and give you further lessons.
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