LAYA YOGA: Kundalini Tantra - Mantra - Siddhi Meditations
LAYA YOGA SAMPRADAYA
Laya Yoga is an ancient form of meditation, with concentration on energy centers or chakras (Cakras). Sage Gorakshnatha, an ancient sage of Nepal, and a disciple of Matsyendranath is the modern founder of Laya yoga tantrika. There are five main energy centers in the spine and two in the head. Laya yoga attempts to locate these energy centers and channelize them through meditation. Laya essentially means to dissolve all karmic patterns or conditioning and merge into the transcendental reality. It also means deep concentration and making an effort to obliterate the ego, thereby rising to a higher state of consciousness, called Turiya.
Laya yoga involves techniques of meditation that cause the energy or Prana to move in certain ways, to awaken the Kundalini, the coiled up energy at the base of the spine. Laya yoga channelizes the energy forces in the Kundalini instead of merely controlling the mind. It is important that the Kundalini is activated through performance of asanas, practice of pranayama and making a conscious effort to guide this awakened energy in the spine and allowing it to immerse in the crown chakra (Cakra/m). The ultimate goal of laya yoga for begginers is to attain supreme consciousness through pranayama and breath control; it is a method to prevent fluctuations of the mind. The practice of laya yoga cleanses and heal the mind and body. It uplifts the consciousness of the seeker. As most people live only on three levels of consciousness - material, egoistic and sensual - laya yoga opens us to higher levels of consciousness. It teaches the seeker to locate the different centers of the spine and meditate on them, thereby transforming the consciousness.
Laya means to “re-absorb” "fusion" "dissolution" and as a Yoga system means to re-absorb all of the energies and forces normally dissipated in daily living. The student must have profound knowledge of Raja Yoga, Sankhya and Tantra philosophy. It involves the arousal of Kundalini Shakti, its control and conversion into higher forces and powers. Tejas and Ojas (higher forces) are produces through these practices and the highest of all emotional-mental ecstasies are created by these techniques. Like all the higher aspects of Yoga, these practices must be undertaken with a competent Guru who has the personal experience of the arousal and the control of such shakti.
Laya is the state of mind when one forgets all the objects of senses and gets absorbed in the object of meditation. Laya enables one to have perfect control over the five Tattvas, mind and Indriyas. The fluctuations of mind will stop. The mind, body and Prana will be entirely subdued. For Laya Yoga, Sambhavi Mudra is an effective method, in which one intently concentrates on any one of the Shat Chakras (Six Body Cakras). Trataka exercise plays a vital part in getting success in Laya. In due course of practice, the Yogin gets established in Samadhi. He becomes a Jivanmukta.
Dikshan: initiation into Laya Yoga means that a bond has been established between a human spirit clad in a body and the Eternal, the Highest and the Holiest Spirit of God, Brahman, that remains bodiless. The energy of initiation is a transmission of power from The Holy Spirit and reconciliation with God in the Holy Spirit. It facilitates concentration on the Spirit and Truth, as well as genuinely pious and inspired prayer. One can say that initiation is always an introduction in the Holy Spirit undergone for the practice of spiritual dissolution in God.
Laya Yoga involves concentration techniques to move energy in certain ways for the purpose of awakening dormant forces to be used along the evolutionary path. These forces (or the Force) are somewhat magical in their nature and should only be used by an adept for dharmic purposes, healing or helping others along the spiritual path. Other names by which this yoga is known are Kundalini and Tantra. Knowledge about the energy centers known as Chakras are contained in this realm of yoga. Methods and techniques such as the Laya Yoga Kriyas are used to move energy from the base of the spine to the mind to attain higher levels of consciousness.
The following is a synthesis path of a program of scientific research done in connection with a specific meditation technique, the so called Laya Yoga meditation. Laya Yoga is a method where the subject uses some inner subtle sounds in order to connect with superior energetic vibrations and higher states of consciousness. During the practice of Laya Yoga the oxygen consumption and the metabolism decreases considerably, showing a state of deep rest. During the practice of Laya Yoga the breathing rhythm decreases significantly, showing a state of deep relaxation and rest of the nervous system. During Laya Yoga the activity of the heart decreases, since the heart muscle is safely resting. A strong concentration of lactic acid in the blood is generally associated with tiredness, high levels of stress, nervous breakdown, psychic tension and hypertension. During the Laya Yoga the concentration of the lactic acid is decreasing rapidly. The electrodermal resistance of the skin diminishes under the influence of stress, worries or anxiety. While practicing Laya Yoga the electrodermal resistance increases dramatically, this fact showing a deep rest coupled with diminution of anxieties and emotional disturbances. The practitioners of this technique control stress much better than those who do not practice it. Therefore, the practice of this technique strengthens the nervous system of the individual, and allows him to react with better efficacy to the challenges of the environment. While Laya Yoga is practiced, the cerebral waves with a frequency of 8-9 cycles per second are propagated towards the frontal region of the brain, with the occasional occurrence of synchronous waves with a frequency of 5-7 cycles per second. These cerebral waves show a unique physiological state that is totally different from the state of wakefulness and sleep: it is a state of hyper vigilence simultaneous with a deep rest.
Laya Yoga is also called Kundalini Yoga, because the raising of Kundalini energy to unite her with the supreme consciousness is the main objective, which is reached through deep meditation (dhyana). Includes the practice of postures (asanas) and breath control (pranayama) to energize the subtle channels (nadis), removing obstacles to samadhi or non-duality. Through the repetition of a mantra or seed sound, a higher state of deep concentration (dharana) can be reached at which the divine form inherent in the mantra becomes manifest. Part of Laya Yoga that deals with the sounds of the inner world is Nada Yoga.
Yantras are seen as the body or form of the deity, whereas mantras are the mind, consciousness, spirit or name. Yantras and mantras can bring one in attunement with the same regulating forces that have created nature in all its forms, including the structure of our psyche and our capacity to think. The discipline is used to withdraw consciousness from the outer world and direct it to the inner world. It consists both of the act of drawing and painting the yantra as of centering on the yantra, reconstructing it first within the mind.
Yantra is in Yoga where the understanding of basic geometrical forms produces an appreciation of what is called “spiritual mathematics.” The idea is to lead the mind by use of these geometrical forms across its own labyrinths through to the Volitional. Mudra in Laya Yoga, a language of Mudras or postures of hands, feet, body, eyes and mind is a part of the Yantric study. A legitimate part of Laya Yoga is the Mandala Drishti or geometric form gazing. Concentrating upon the appropriate symbol for the Chakra (Cakra)involved.
Likhita means to write, and in Yoga Meditation practice, it is writing Mantras or Bijas. In this form the student usually practice Mauna or silence and concentrates inwardly on the meaning of the Mantra while writing the Mantra. AUM writing is an excellent from of this particular Sadhana. The AUM is written in a particular form in Sanskrit but one need not circle it or make into a “sunburst” unless one wishes to meditate upon the effulgence of the “Sound of All Sounds”. Likhita Japa practice is an especially wonderful technique for those who are kinesthetically inclined and has to do something with their body. People with Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD) will find great benefit from this practice, since it engages the senses into the present moment without any great deal of discipline and effort.
Prana Yoga or Swara Yoga is the science of nasal breath, providing a practical method to use the right and left hemispheres of the brain at will. It deals with the relationship between the nasal breath and the subtle nerves of the body or nadis, on the one hand, and the cycles of the Moon and the elements, on the other. Swara Yoga offers methods for determining right/left nostril dominance and for synchronizing the dominant nostril with specific activities of everyday life.
Dhyana is an introspective in Laya Yoga, using the various forms of light meditation. It is sometimes also called Samyama Yoga or Antaranga Yoga and belongs within the Laya Yoga School, although there are many techniques of meditation taught outside of the strict rules of Laya Yoga. One thing to look out for in meditation is stillness and to be able to 'watch' the stillness without interfering with it. It has been said that the ultimate practice of meditation is simply... "watching". Using the power of light and sound with the breath as the vehicle to pierce through and go beyond the mind.
Laya-Yoga makes meditative "absorption" or "dissolution"(laya) its focus. The world laya is derived from the root li, meaing "to become dissolved" or "vanish" but also to "to cling" and "to remain sticking." This dual connotation of the verbal root li is preserved in the word laya. The laya-yogins seek to meditatively dissolve themselves by clinging solely to the transcendental Self. They endeavor to transcend all memory traces and sensory experiences by dissolving the microcosm, the mind, into the transcendental Being- Consciousness- Bliss. Their goal is to progressively dismantle their inner universe by way of intense contemplation, until only the singular transcendental Reality, the Self, remains.
The laya-yogins are concerned with transcending karmic patterns within their own mind to the point at which their inner cosmos becomes dissolved. In this endeavor they utilize many practices and concepts from Tantra-Yoga, which also can be found in hatha-Yoga, especially the model of the subtle body with its psychoenergetic centers and currents. Central to Laya- Yoga moreover, is the important notion of Kundalini- Shakti (S'akti), the serpent power, which represents the universal life force as manifested in the human body. The arousal and manipulation of this tremendous force also is the principal objective of the hatha-yogin. In fact, Laya-Yoga can be understood as the higher, meditative phase of Hatha-Yoga.
LAYA YOGA AS THE HEART OF TANTRA
Laya-Yoga, which is at the heart of Tantra-Yoga, focuses on meditative “absorption” or “dissolution” (laya) of the subtle elements and other factors of the psyche or mind to the point of ecstatic realization (samadhi) and, finally, liberation. The word laya is derived from the root li, meaning “to become dissolved” or “vanish” but also “to cling” and “to remain sticking.” This dual connotation of the verbal root li is preserved in the word laya. The laya-yogins seek to meditatively dissolve themselves by clinging solely to the transcendental Self. They endeavor to transcend all memory traces and sensory experiences by dissolving the microcosm, the mind, into the transcendental Being-Consciousness-Bliss. Their goal is to progressively dismantle their inner universe by way of intense contemplation, until only the singular transcendental Reality, the Self, remains.
Laya-Yoga is a frontal attack on the illusion of individuality. As Shyam Sundar Goswami, who has written the most authoritative book on the subject, explained: „Layayoga is that form of yoga in which yoga, that is samadhi, is attained through laya. Laya is deep concentration causing the absorption of the cosmic principles, stage by stage, into the spiritual aspect of the Supreme Power-Consciousness. It is the process of absorption of the cosmic principles in deep concentration, thus freeing consciousness from all that is not spiritual, and in which is held the divine luminous coiled power, termed kundalini. The laya-yogins are concerned with transcending these karmic patterns within their own mind to the point at which their inner cosmos becomes dissolved. In this endeavor they utilize many practices and concepts from Tantra-Yoga, which also can be found in Hatha-Yoga, especially the model of the subtle body (sukshma-sharira) with its psychoenergetic centers (cakra) and currents (nadi).
Central to Laya-Yoga, moreover, is the important notion of the kundalini-shakti, the serpent power, which represents the universal life force as manifested in the human body. The arousal and manipulation of this tremendous force also is the principal objective of the hatha-yogin. In fact, Laya-Yoga can be understood as the higher, meditative phase of Hatha-Yoga. As the awakened kundalini force ascends from the psychoenergetic center at the base of the spine to the crown of the head, it absorbs a portion of the life energy in the limbs and trunk. This is esoterically explained as the reabsorption of the five material elements (bhuta) into their subtle counterparts. The body temperature drops measurably in those parts, whereas the crown feels as if on fire and is very warm to the touch. The physiology of this process is not yet understood. Subjectively, however, yogins experience a progressive dissolution of their ordinary state of being, until they recover the ever-present Self-Identity (atman) that knows no bodily or mental limits.
While you need a teacher to help you learn any form of meditation well, you particularly need the aid of a teacher to learn laya yoga meditation. There are five main energy centers in your spine and two in your head. The laya yoga meditator knows exactly how to locate these centers through the kind training of a teacher. When these centers are found, they function very much like doorways to different realms of higher consciousness. While you need a teacher to help you learn any form of meditation well, you particularly need the aid of a teacher to learn laya yoga meditation. There are five main energy centers in your spine and two in your head. The laya yoga meditator knows exactly how to locate these centers through the kind training of a teacher. When these centers are found, they function very much like doorways to different realms of higher consciousness. The five centers correspond roughly to the main areas of the spine. One is located in the area of the tailbone. The second center is in the area of the sacrum. The third is located in the spinal cord, back of the navel. Then the heart center, which we have mentioned. The throat center is found inside the spine at the base of the neck, directly back of your collar button. The first head center is the point half an inch above where your eyebrows meet in your forehead - it’s called the third eye. The second head center is at the crown of your head. Technically, this area is not a center at all, but is considered the main source of spiritual light and energy which is expressed throughout the body. While it is beneficial to sense where your centers are, it is not wise to concentrate on these centers or meditate on any of them without the help of a teacher. Over-stimulation of a center could cause pain, confusion, or intense desires. On the other hand, most people live on only three levels of consciousness - the material, sensual, and egoic - without ever opening the seven centers which bring higher consciousness. Laya yoga, with a qualified teacher, is an extremely worthwhile endeavor.
LAYA YOGA: MEDITATION ON INTERNAL SOUNDS
Laya yoga is the absorption of the mind in sound. The goal of this practice is to alter one's normal awareness of self by focusing on hearing an internal, mystic sound. The mind will become steady and absorbed in the sound on which it focuses. In space, sound is produced by the movement of sound waves in the air. So, too, in the body, there are currents that flow and produce sound when one practices pranayama.
To do this practice, sit in siddhasana and focus the attention on the spot between the eyebrows. Turn the eyes upward and let the lids remain closed. The eyes, ears, nose, and mouth should be closed. With a calm and controlled mind listen for a sound in the right ear, and eventually you will hear a clear sound. In the beginning the sounds will be very loud and varied, but with continued practice they will become increasingly subtle. At first one may hear sounds that seem to pound and surge, like the beating of a kettledrum. After some time, in the intermediate stage, the sounds will resemble those produced by a conch shell, or by bells. Finally, after further practice, the sounds will resemble tinkling noises, the sound of a flute, or the hum of bees. All of these sounds are produced within and cannot be heard by anyone else. One should practice being aware of both the loud and subtle sounds, alternating and varying one's awareness from one to the other, so that the mind will not be inclined to wander.
When the student's mind is intently engaged in listening to these sounds, he becomes captivated by them and overcomes all distractions. As a result of this practice, the mind gives up its outwardly directed activity and becomes calm, desiring no objects of sense gratification. The mind and breath become refined and one's attention is focused within. Then the yogi forgets all external objects and loses consciousness of himself, and the mind is absorbed in bliss. The absorption that is produced when the mind enters the sound (nada) emanates spiritual powers and a sort of ecstasy, and one forgets his whole material existence. If one desires to attain this state of union, one should practice listening to the anahata sound in the heart with a calm and concentrated mind. When the mind focuses on the sound, it becomes steady. Mental activity is suspended when the mind is absorbed in the sound. The accomplished aspirant interpenetrates the anahata sound and attains the state of samadhi through this method, laya yoga.
These internal sounds can be heard only by those whose nadis are free from impurities and who are well practiced in pranayama. The anahata sound comes from sushumna, and, as with other sounds, it cannot be heard by the aspirant until this nadi is free from all impurities. Thus the practice of concentration and absorption with nada (sound) is only possible after considerable preparation. A beginner can instead perform bhramari kumbhaka, in which a humming sound resembling a bee drone is produced in one's throat. This practice requires breath control, so that the breath may be exhaled very slowly, producing the sound for a significant length of time.
Just as focusing the awareness on the eyes produces special powers of vision, directing one's awareness to the ears allows one to detect special sounds. By directing the full force of one's attention to these senses, the deeper powers develop. Directing the thoughts to any particular sense of the body awakens one's conscious awareness of the powers that correspond to that sense. Concentration upon the organs of the body that are involved in any practice increases their power and sensitivity, and intensifies and strengthens that organ system.
Concentration shows itself in five progressive mental stages: analysis, reflection, bliss, ecstasy, and meditation. The first stage is one of gaining knowledge about the nature of the object. The second step is that of pure reflection; here the lower stage of analysis is transcended. In the third stage, the power of reflection gives way to a blissful state of consciousness, which later merges into the pure ecstasy of the fourth stage. In the fifth stage, one losses awareness of all sensation and external awareness gives way to a state of complete meditation. In samadhi, there is neither seeing nor hearing, neither physical nor mental consciousness; pure existence and total absorption on the absolute is experienced.
The mind is fixed on nada or anahata sound heard in the ear. It gets laya or dissolution. The Yogi enters into samadhi and attains knowledge of the self. This is nada yoga. Essencialy Nada yoga is also called Laya Yoga. Kundalini Yoga is also called Laya Yoga. When the mind gets absorbed in the anahata sounds you will attain knowledge of hidden things. You will hear para-vak. You will develop the eye of intuition. Eventually the mind is absorbed in Brahman or the Absolute.
Sit in padmasana or siddhasana or sukhasana (crossing legs). Close the ears with the thumbs. This is shanmukhi mudra or vaishnavi mudra. Hear the music of anahata sounds. Now you will have wonderful concentration. Do japa and ajapa japa of sauham with breath on any mantra. Practice pranayama for one or two months. You will hear the ten sounds clearly and enjoy the music of the soul.
The sages found that mano-laya followed by mano-nasa was a sager means to attain Self-realisation than the arduous process of controlling the mind and culturing it which is always attended by the danger of the mind jumping into the old grooves of vasanas at any moment. In the course of further practical investigations the sages and seers found that sound has the power to attract the mind and absorb it, so to say. Thus mano-laya and mano-nasa through nada yoga, union or merger into sound was found to be an effective and safe means to Self-realisation.
Brahman was one and non-dual. It thought, 'Ekoham, bahu syam.' That caused vibration eventually bringing in sound and that sound was Om, whence are all other manifestations. Thus sound is virtually the comprehensible basis for all creation. Naturally, therefore, it has the power to absorb the other manifestations. Brahman is incomprehensible in its transcendent aspect. The nearest approach to It is only sound, or we can call sound as Aparam Brahma. As in the macrocosm, so too, in the microcosm. Our physical and astral bodies, our indriyas (senses) and the mind, all should have sound as their basis. As we penetrate deep into them they should only lead us to sound. As we analyse our individual existence, it should take us to sound before we reach the transcendent Self. Normally, when we plug our both ears and try to listen within us, we shall hear this wonderful sound that goes by the name anahata sound.
Anahata literally means unbeaten, unstruck. Anahata sound is so called because it is not the result of striking or beating certain things like the raising of a note on the violin or the vina. It comes from the anahata chakra. Because the anahata sound comes from that chakra, the chakra is so named. By affecting the union of mind with the anahata sound, we will be actually causing the effect to disappear into the cause or, in other words, there will be mano-nasa. Getting ourselves established first in the anahata Sound and then going to our own Self is but a form of krama mukti (gradual liberation). Anahata sounds or the melody are the mystic sounds. This is a sign of purification of the nadis or astral currents due to pranayama. The sounds can also be heard after the uttering of the Ajapa Gayatri Mantram 'Hamsa soham' a lakh of (100,000) times. The sounds are heard through the right ear with or without closing the ears. Nada that is heard is of 10 kinds. The first is chini (cini, like the sound of that word chin, cin); the second is chini-chini; the third is the sound of bell; the fourth is that of conch; the fifth is that of tantri (lute); the sixth is the sound of tala (cymbals); the seventh is that of flute; the eighth is that of bheri (drum); the ninth is that of mridanga (double drum) and the tenth is that of clouds, viz. thunder.
Anahata sounds are the mystic sounds heard by the Yogin during his meditation. It is a sign of the purification of Nadis. Some students can clearly hear it through any one of the ears and some by both the ears. There are loud as well as subtle sounds. From the loud, one will have to contemplate on the subtle and from the subtle to the subtler. Beginners can hear the sound only when the ears are closed. Advanced students can concentrate on the Anahata sound even without closing the ears. Anahata sound is also termed Omkara Dhvani. They proceed from the Anahata centre of the Sushumna Nadi.
Sit in your usual Asana. Close the ears with the thumbs. Hear and minutely observe the internal sound through the ears. The sound that you hear from within will make you deaf to all external sounds. Close the eyes also. In the beginning of your practice, you will hear many loud sounds. Later on they are heard in a mild way. The mind having at first concentrated itself on any one sound fixes firmly to that and is absorbed in it. The mind becoming insensible to the external impressions, becomes one with the sound as milk with water and then becomes rapidly absorbed in Chidakasa (Cidakasa). Just as the bee drinking the honey alone does not care for the odour so also the Chitta (Citta), which is always absorbed in the inner sound, does not long for sensual objects, as it is bound by the sweet smell or Nada and has abandoned its flitting nature.
The sound proceeding from Pranava Nada, which is Brahman, is of the nature of effulgence. The mind gets absorbed in it. The mind exists so long as there is sound, but with its cessation, there is that state termed Turiya. It is the supreme state. It is the Unmani state. The mind gets absorbed along with Prana by constant concentration upon Nada. The body appears to be a log of wood and it does not feel heat or cold, joy or sorrow. Different kinds of sounds proceed from the heart (Anahata sounds). Nada that is heard through the ears is of ten kinds. The first is the sound ‘Chini’ (like the pronunciation of the word); the second is ‘Chini-chini’; the third is the sound of a bell; the fourth is that of a conch; the fifth is that of a lute; the sixth is the sound of cymbals; the seventh is the tune of a flute; the eighth is the voice of a drum (Bheri); the ninth is the sound of a double-drum (Mridanga); and the tenth is the sound of thunder.
You cannot expect the sound immediately after you close your ears. You should concentrate and keep your mind one-pointed. The particular sound that you hear today, you may not hear every day. But you will hear any one of the ten Anahata sounds. The description given above is Laya through Nada, Anahata sound. In the same manner, Laya can be effected by concentration at the tip of the nose (Nasikagra Drishti), at the space between the two eyebrows (Bhrumadhya Drishti), meditation on the five Tattvas, on Sauham(Souham) Mantra, Aham Brahma Asmi, Tat Tvam Asi Mahavakyas and other methods also.
LAYA YOGA SADHANA
Sit on padma or siddha asana. Practice yoni mudra by closing the ears with the thumbs. Hear the internal sound through the right ear. The sound, which you hear, will make you deaf to all external sounds. Having overcome all obstacles, you will enter the Turiya state within 15 days. In the beginning of your practice, you will hear many loud sounds. They gradually increase in pitch and are heard more and more subtly. You should try to distinguish sounds more and more subtle. You may change your concentration from the gross sound to the subtle, or from the subtle to the gross, but you should not allow your mind to be diverted from them towards other objects. The mind having at first concentrated itself on any one sound fixes itself firmly to that and is absorbed in it. The mind becoming insensible to the external impressions becomes one with the sound as milk with water and then becomes rapidly absorbed in Chidakasa - the Akasha, Space where Chitta, Consciousness prevails. The sound proceeding from Pranava, which is Brahman, is of the nature of effulgence; the mind becomes absorbed in it; that is the supreme seat of Vishnu. The mind exists so long as there is sound, but with its cessation, there is that state termed Turiya. This sound is absorbed in Brahman and the soundless state is the supreme seat. The mind which along with Pranava has its karmic affinities destroyed by the constant concentration upon nada is absorbed in the Unstained One. There is no doubt of it. Being freed from all states and all thoughts whatever, you will remain like one dead. You will become a mukta - liberated soul.
Mantra-Yoga, the path of transformative sound, is an integral aspect of Tantra but also can be pursued as a separate yoga path. It is often considered the least complex of all forms of Yoga because it involves no complicated practices. The essence of Mantra-Yoga is the regular and prolonged recitation, japa of one or more potent sounds (mantra), which awaken the Cakras (chakras) and the serpent power Kundalini.
Bhakti Yoga is the most popular mantra yoga known as Yoga of Love and Compasion. The term bhakti, derived from the root bhaj, is generally renderd as devotion, or love. Bhakti-Yoga is thus the Yoga of loving self-dedication to, and love-participation in the divine Person. In Bhakti-Yoga, the emotional force of the human being is purified and channeled toward the Divine. In their discipline of ecstatic self-transcendence, the bhakti-yogins, or bhaktas tend to be more openly expressive than the typical raja-yogin, or jnanin. The followers of Bhakti-Yoga do not, for instance, shy away from shedding tears of longing for the Divine. In this approach, the transcendental Reality is usually conceived as a supreme Person rather than as an impersonal Absolute. Many practitioners of this path even prefer to look upon the Divine as an Other. They speak of communion and partial merging with God rather than total identification, as in Jnana-Yoga.
Mantras (or mantrams) are words, phrases, or syllables which are chanted thoughtfully and with growing attention! Mantra yoga meditation involves chanting a word or phrase until the mind and emotions are transcended and the superconscious is clearly revealed and experienced. Since the mind wanders so much, the music of a mantra easily rescues the mind and brings it back to the object of one’s meditation. Both the rhythm of it and the meaning of it combine to guide the mind safely back to the point of meditation — the higher consciousness or the specific spiritual focus.
A Background on Mantrams
Typical mantrams are: Aum (Om), meaning Spirit, the Word of God, which creates, preserves, and transforms. The most profound, yet simple of the mantrams is AUM or OM. It is called “the name of God in sound”. The mantra AUM, made up three and a half syllables. The syllable 'A'. The first aspect is the waking state, vaiswaanara. In this state, consciousness is turned to the external. With its seven instrument and nineteen channnels, it experiences the gross phenomenal world. The Syllable 'U'. The second aspect is the dreaming state, taijasa. In this state consciousness is turned inward. It also has seven instrument and nineteen channels, which experiences the subtle mental impressions. The Syllable 'M'. The third aspect is deep sleep, prajna. In this state, there is neither desire nor dream. In deep sleep all experiences merge into the unity of undifferentiated consciousness. The sleeper is filled with bliss and experiences bliss and can find the way to knowledge of the two preceding states.
Another one is the Himalayan Shivaist mantram: AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA!, which usually is translated as "Om Homage to the Highest Lord God". Well known is the Hindu mantram: Asato Ma Sat Gamaya!, which means "Lead me from the unreal to the Real."
There are thousands of Veda mantrams which are mainly from the ancient Sanskrit language. Possibly, in time, affirmations will be in English from well known Sanskrit mantras. What such a development would require is a number of great meditators of modern day to be so attuned to the Lord and so at ease within the realms of higher consciousness that these ancient mantrams can easily be revealed to them. All mantrams are the result of a revelation, usually to some deeply meditating adept. Mantras are always in Sanskrit which is Heavenly language of Gods, Devas descended into Earth externally or inwardly as Avataras Incarnation. There is no Avatara (God's Man) without knowing Sanskrit language very well!
Generally mantram meditation involves chanting out loud at first until the body is calm and the atmosphere around oneself is serene and pleasant for meditation. Then whisper meditation almost automatically occurs and the life force begins to withdraw inward from "out-loud" chanting to whisper chanting. In whisper chanting the prana, the life force in the body, is balanced and harmonized, preparing the way for a deeper state of serenity - and of the balance of mind and emotions. Whisper chanting easily dissolves and the life force moves even deeper within as you enter mental chanting. Mental chanting is practiced as long as thoughts are occurring to the mind. Whenever the mind is distracted, the mantram is simply chanted in the same area of the mind that the distraction is occurring. The mantram always wins if given a chance. As the mantram frees you from one thought, then another, and also helps to dissolve distractions, the mantram then begins to reach the border of superconsciousness. Chanting becomes effortless. No effort, nor warding off distractions is needed. Chanting becomes a pleasure. Peace and gentle joy fill your mind.
What the mantram does next
At this point of effortless mental chanting the mantram can do two things: It may dissolve into superconsciousness, or It may first help ventilate the subconscious mind, the storage house of your old thoughts, feelings, and memories which have been sadly neglected or not successfully dealt with. The mantram may create an opportunity for old thoughts and feelings, old fears and guilts, to be released, or healed, or let go. What happens next? If your mental chanting first becomes effortless and ventilates the subconscious pressures, it then moves into your superconscious self. Or, the effortless chanting bypasses the subconscious basement of your mind, going directly into sublime superconsciousness. Either way, you arrive in your ecstatic, heavenly nature. The words of the mantram fall apart and fall away. Only the energy surge of the mantram remains as your awareness becomes blissful and full of light.
Ecstasy Through Mantra Yoga
In this ecstatic stage of continuous rapture, you feel that you have arrived home. You sense that this is your true nature - and your true estate, which has been ignored due to the dominance of the mind, the emotions, and the outer world. You will likely have a very pleasant fifteen to twenty minutes in the delight and comfort of your superconscious self; and then the mantram will begin to come out. You will find your higher consciousness wants to come back to the outer world. It wants to express, to touch your life and loved ones. The words of the mantram re-emerge in the mind and you reverse the whole process, going gradually into whisper - and then out loud - chanting. Ultimately a mantram meditator lives in the ecstasy of the mantram, always aglow with the meaning and spiritual insight of the special syllables. In order to be sure a mantram is right for you, seek a mantram only from a Sri Guru or Master who is qualified to teach and initiate you.
Mantras are articulate sounds, which unite the sub-conscious, consciousness and superconsciousness. A Mantra must be specifically constructed and not just any sound. Mantris are Mantra-makers. Hermetic philosophy and the ancient Arcana used vocal sounds called runes to evoke certain psychic forces, both high and low. Although some of the Mantras are said to be associated with the gods, they eventually unite functions of the five bodies, the Pancha koshas (panCa koSas). The most profound, yet simple of the mantrams is AUM or OM. It is called “the name of God in sound”.
Awakening Kundalini is effected by Mantra also which is a portion of Bhakti Yoga. All aspirants should repeat the Mantra given by their Guru many lakhs of times. During the time of Diksha of an Uttama Adhikari, the Guru utters a particular Mantra and Kundalini is awakened immediately. The consciousness of the student is raised to a very high degree. This depends upon the faith of the student in his Guru and in the Mantra. Mantras, when received from the Guru in person, are very powerful. Aspirants in Kundalini Yoga should take to this Mantra Sadhana only after getting a proper Mantra from a Guru. Therefore we are not touching this point in detail. Mantras when learnt through ordinary friends or through books cannot produce any benefit at all. Mantras are numerous and the Guru should select a particular Mantra by which the consciousness of a particular student can be awakened.
Mantras can excite the emotions and give suggestions to the mind. Mantras affect both the one who chants them as the one who hears them. The word mantra comes from the Sanskrit "mantrana", which means advice or suggestion. In a sense, such a deep word of Guru is a mantra. In our daily life we use words to get everything done, obtain everything we need. Each mantra or word is a sound pattern that suggests to the mind the meanings inherent in it, and the mind immediately responds.
According to Ramana Maharshi, repetition of mantras (japa), with attention directed to the source of the sound, completely engages the mind. This is Tapas - penance. The source is not in the vocal chords alone, but also the idea of the sound is in the mind, whose source is self. Thus the practice of mantra repetition is more than a suggestion, a bit of advice or an idea. It is a means of getting in touch with our self. Mantras may be used for religious worship, for japa (repetition), for healing, to help spiritual evolution, for purification, for making offerings and in Mantra Yoga. Some mantras are only chants or expressions of nearness to the Divine. But some saints who were inspired by divine love and unshakable faith used these mantras in their own spiritual practice and their followers afterwards started using those mantras, calling them mahamantras or great mantras.
Primarily it is faith which creates the effect of mantras. Melody, intonation, pronunciation, whether silently or aloud, all are important in the recitation of mantras. Moreover, the beat cycle in which mantras are recited is important, but it changes according to the state of consciousness of the one who is chanting. An increase in the speed of chanting increases the speed of mind, heartbeat and respiration. The beat cycle of the mantras affects the emotions. A fast speed sometimes creates a continuous vibration and when it is done in groups it creates a good effect, because the mind works in synchronization with the beat cycle and has no time to fantasize. Fast chanting of mantras exhausts the mind, heart and breath and relaxation comes after the chanting is over. Slowing the beat cycle of mantras also creates the same continuous vibration, but it slows down the speed of mind, heart and breath while the chanting is going on. It induces a hypnagogic state, but it is good only when the chanting of mantras is done individually. A medium-speed beat cycle is good for group and individual chanting of mantras. It does not disturb the heartbeat or breathing pattern and makes the mind more awake, alert and conscious.
The place from which the sound emanates influences its' tonal quality. Deep tones are produced by the vocal chords in conjunction with the abdominal region, middletones in conjunction with the chest, heart and throat regions and high-pitched tones in conjunction with the upper region of the body. Indian classical music uses all three regions in a gradual order, but the middle region is used most and produces a greater emotional impact on the listeners.
MANTRA AND SAHASRARA
Mantra Yoga is an intricate study of sound and its influence on energy, on mind, and on the external world. More than just chanting of certain sounds, this goes more deeply into the essence of what sound is as vibration, what type of sounds affect which area of the body, mind, - what the mental reactions are etc. Then comes the application of certain sound formulas to create the desired results. Fundamentally it comes down to the reality that all is energy and that energy is in a state of vibration - vibration is sound. Practice of Mantra will unfold the 7th Chakra: Sahasrara. GOD'S CONSCIOUSNESS itself is the seventh element; a form of primeval power that is the awareness of all the other forces. This element is not of the physical world yet permeates it to the deepest level. Awareness as an element is part of the eternal realm of the universe, that part of each individual that goes on from body to body. Wherever you go there must be an awareness of being there, whether it be heaven, hell or earth you are conscious of being there. It is the constant essence. It is difficult to say how one experiences this particular element because this is the element that does the experiencing, the witness to all of life.
SAHASRARA CHAKRA is actually centered above the head though its awareness goes through all aspects of the body. This being the center of your conscious experience it has the strong tendency in normal life to become wrapped up in the vortex of mind energies that keep it entertained for ages on end. Yet, it has the power to direct all functions of the energies at the six levels below it, when it is free. From this Chakra one has immediate access to the energies of the universe above and to the knowledge of eternity. For this the awareness must be focused upward and away from bodily or earthly concerns. The PINEAL gland is influenced by the energy of this center and in turn directly influences the pituitary gland. In studies done with light and color for instance it was seen that the energy impulses coming through the optic nerves, from whatever color one is looking at, influenced the pineal gland to put out certain hormones that tend to govern the hormones subsequently produced by the pituitary. Each color and form has a specific influence on the entire endocrine system. As an experiment try looking at an attractive mandala, then switching to an attractive member of the opposite sex, naked, and observe your mental, emotional and physiological reactions to what your eyes are seeing. Observe and draw your conclusions; then you may decide to choose carefully what you focus your attention on. CENTER is the direction, or could we say inward. From this center you might go North, South, East, West, Down or Up but they are all away from the Center of yourSelf.
POWER OF SOUND AND NAME
The power of sounds is tremendous. Ideas are generated in the mind by the mere hearing of sounds. Every name has a form corresponding to it. Sabda and artha (word and its meaning) are inseparable. The form related to a name is at once manifested in the mind the moment that name is heard by the ears and transmitted to the mental consciousness. There are names denoting forms that are abhorred and there are names denoting forms that are much desired. Pains and pleasures become the experiences in the mind when it is aware of hateful and delightful objects, respectively, through hearing of them. When anyone suddenly shouts: "Scorpion! Scorpion!" "Snake! Snake!", you at once apprehend the scorpion or the snake and jump in fright. When anyone calls you a "donkey" or an "ass" you are annoyed and you show anger. Why do you do this? Because there is created in your mind the consciousness of your supposed contact or identity with something that you think is very dangerous or far inferior to you. So you get terrified or feel that you are depreciated. That is why you jump in fear when you hear of the presence of a scorpion or a snake near you, and do not tolerate your being addressed as a donkey or an ass. Through anger, you wish to show that you are not a donkey.
When such is the power of the name of an ordinary thing of this world, what a tremendous power should there be in the name of God! God is the completion or the fullness of existence. Hence the name that denotes Him too is full and perfect. Therefore, the power of the name of God is incalculable, for it is the height or the zenith of power. The name of God can achieve anything. There is nothing impossible for it. It is the means to the realisation of God Himself. Even as the name of a thing in this world generates the consciousness of that thing in the mind, the name of God generates God-consciousness in the purified mind and becomes the direct cause of the realisation of the highest perfection, i.e., God, freedom and immortality.
The word tantra literally means "expansion." A tantra yogi concentrates on expanding all levels of his or her consciousness to unveil and realize the Supreme Reality. Tantra focuses on the dynamic aspect of divinity called Shakti, or "the Cosmic Mother." The tantric devotee strives to attune with the spiritual dynamic energy in order to transform personal limitations and release subconscious blockages. True tantra yoga is a pure path, but it has been abused by some self-proclaimed adherents. Tantra yoga is not concerned with sexuality, but with the creative force and transmuting this energy into higher channels. Sometimes self-styled teachers have misconstrued the symbolism of tantra yoga into sex practices for men and women. Rather, the goal of tantra yoga is to awaken and harmonize the male and female aspects within each person in order to spiritually awaken and realize the whole universe as an expression of the Cosmic Mother, the divine life force, or Spirit.
Tantra Yoga Meditation
Tantra yoga meditation is often practiced this way: A tantra devotee sits calmly and purifies mind and heart of wayward thoughts and desires. The devotee then senses the life force within his or her being and gradually, through imagination and feeling, directs the life force to rise up the spine, from the tailbone into the neck and then into the forehead. When considerable life force is gathered in the forehead, the tantra yogi, through practice, directs that the life force move out from the forehead and form a body of light and energy three to six feet before him or her. The body of light in front of the devotee is encouraged to become dense and expand until it is as large as a human form. The tantric yogi then directs love and devotion toward the dynamic body of light which is a profound representation of his or her soul and essence. Usually, after fifteen to thirty minutes of this meditation, the yogi invites the light and energy to slowly return into his forehead and down through the body to the base of the spine. Through practice, amazing renewal is felt through tantric meditation and spiritual awakening is accelerated. The tantric becomes aware that the life force and essence within each person is truly divine; it is from the Lord. The spirit in each one is from God.
Overcoming negative habits
Another interesting aspect of tantra yoga is its dedication to transmutation of negative habits or obsessions - smoking, drinking, and overeating, for example. Of course, the tantric would urge you give up any bad habits you can by simply dropping them. However, if you can’t give up a self-destructive behavior, no matter how hard you’ve tried, why not use a tantric approach to it? The beginning tantric realizes he has failed in giving up his self-destructive habits because they were so strongly established over long periods of time. Often, before taking up tantra yoga, he tried to stop hurting himself through smoking, drinking, and overeating, but failed miserably after many struggles. Now, through tantra he tries to expand his consciousness as he transforms old habits. If drinking is his problem, for example, he thinks of God as he drinks! Rather than ignoring God or feeling rebellious, he strives to sense God’s love, joy, and blessings. The tantric strives to feel God’s joy or love filling him, as well as the intoxication of the alcohol. In a short time, the tantric beginner does not need to drink. The thought of God fills him with joy instead.
Similarly, the smoker strives to sense God’s presence in the satisfaction of smoking. In time, provided deep love of God is cultivated, the cigarette or pipe is not needed in order to feel pleasure and contentment. Overeaters use similar principles. Gradually, their satisfaction is in God — not food. Overeaters also do these tantric practices:
1) As they eat, they strive to realize the food is an expression of the infinite spirit; that they are spiritual beings partaking of spirit. This awareness of the food liberates them from a desperate animal approach to mealtimes and snacks.
2) Sometimes they mix all the foods on their plate into one homogeneous mass which doesn’t look so appealing to the eyes and the mind. Freed of visual allure, the food is simply conceived as energy, a few hours fuel.
True tantric yogis think of God all their waking hours. In this devotion they are freed from destructive habits and enter enlightenment.
LAYA, TANTRA OR KUNDALINI YOGA
A celibate approach to spiritual growth is quite common in many of the world's religious traditions. Many yoga practices suggest that sexual involvement is a detriment to a greater development of self and hence should be avoided if possible. However, tantric yoga suggests that sexuality can be a very powerful force that can be harnessed for increased self-awareness. Thus, tantric yoga is unusual, in that it not only allows sexual feelings and contact, but uses sexual experience as a means to enlightenment. The Tantrics maintain that there is an enormous energy locked into sexuality, which, if released from the lower end of the spine, can flow up the spinal column to bring divine illumination to the brain. They believe that within the interior of the spine, in a hollow region called the canalis centralis, there is an energy conduit called "sushumna". Along this conduit, from the base of the perineum to the top of the head, flows the most powerful of all psychic energies, Kundalini energy. On the other side of the canal are two additional energy channels, one called "Ida" corresponding to the male, and the other the "Pingala" corresponding to the female. Ida is at the right of the base of the spine and the pingala begins at the left. These tow psychic currents are said to coil upward around the spine and the sushumna like snakes, crossing the chakras (energy wheel of center of conscious). Kundalini yogi's lifelong task is to evolve through the various chakra qualities and challenges, thereby bringing the focus of the Kundalini energy upward from the base of his spine to the top of his head.
Once the yogi has achieved mastery of self by relaxing body tension, silencing mental chatter, and releasing energy blocks, he is ready to join with a partner whose energies and spirit complement his own in such a way that together they form a "whole". The partners must first achieve a highly developed awareness within their being, a process that might take a lifetime, before ready to engage in tantric embrace. In the tantric lovemaking experience, known as "maithuna", the lovers undergo a variety of meditations and rituals before they actually make physical contact. They maintain the spiritual link or bond throughout the lovemaking process. They visualize the flow of pranic currents between them. In tantric yoga, the lovers do not try to achieve orgasm. In fact, they work hard not to have one. They are attempting to draw the forces of Kundalini energy upward through their body-minds, thus releasing the power of the various chakras (cakras). This force transforms the yogi psychologically, changing his personality as the Kundalini rises to each succeeding chakra. The emphasis is not on the sexual release as an end in and of itself, but rather on sex as a channel through which the evolution of self may proceed. The goal of spiritual Laya Tantra is the union of dynamic and static aspects of personality. It is little different from practices that dwell on renunciation and desirelessness.
KUNDALINI SHAKTI (ŚAKTI)
Kundalini Laya Yoga is sometimes considered a distinct yoga although it generally involves a combination of: raja, hatha, tantra, laya and mantra yogas. Its principal goal is the stimulation of the spiritual life force at the base of the spine called Kundalini so that it will rise easily from the lower centers of your being into the spiritual centers in your head where higher consciousness is perceived, experienced and, ultimately, lived in. Kundalini is solar feminine, Atmic or of Divine level of subtlety energy, Atma Power orPurusha Power, that one accumulated in all the best moments of all his or her previous incarnations. It is produced and accumulated when one lives in the states of tender and refined love. Kundalini resources of people differ. They depend on the number and quality of lives one has already lived, as well as on how one lives the present life. Kundalini participates in the organism’s activity in various ways, including “replenishment” of the embodied part of consciousness. The greater kundalini one has, the richer his or her spiritual potential and spiritual expressions are.
This energy is not embodied every time the incarnating part of the soul (jiva) enters into a new body, but is “stored” in a sort of a “money-box” resembling in shape a gaunt balloon. The size of this structure, when it is developed, is measured by kilometers; it is located in the corresponding subtlest eon inside our planet at the level of its mantle. So, as it follows from the above said, Kundalini Shakti (Sakti) is not located in the muladhara chakra and all the more it does not have anything to do with the coccyx, as some authors write in their books. Kundalini is connected to the body with a special energetic canal that enters the body at the front part of the muladhara chakra.
“Raising” of Kundalini Śakti Devi
The energy of Kundalini, being Divine, identical to the energy or Devi, Goddess of the Creator by its quality, is still individualized. It is like a drop, not merged yet with the Ocean of Primordial Consciousness. When one matures in the range of incarnations up to the stage when the current incarnation can become the last one and when all defects of the incarnated part of consciousness are eliminated — the time comes when the kundalini may be brought up to the body, raised through it and merged with the remaining part of the consciousness. The purpose of the “raising” of kundalini is the following:
*first - to merge the accumulated individual Atmic energy with the Creator (Paramatman),
*second - to perform “burning through” of the body cells with the Atmic or Purushic energy that heals and transforms them,
*third - to learn to identify oneself with the Divine Soul: Atman, Purusha.
The latter becomes possible when Kundalini Devi has come through the body (it should be performed in a horizontal position of the body) and formed a new energy accumulation behind the chakra sahasrara. It follows from the above said that before starting to “raise” Kundalini, one has to think twice. Since if the energy of Kundalini is transferred into Paramatman, the person as an individuality loses it. And the only correct way out of this situation for such a person is to merge the jiva with the Creator in the current incarnation as well. If this does not happen; for example, if the adept who has not established himself or herself in subtlety reverts to coarse emotional states because of a certain reason which not everybody is able to control - the next time he or she incarnates without this invaluable energy potential and has to accumulate it again starting from scratch.
Chakras are bioenergy or life energy, prana, fluid structures of human organism. Chakras are organs responsible for the generation of emotions and other psychic states of man. Among their functions are storage, conversion, and redistribution of the bioenergies inside the organism. These energies can also flow between the chakras or between the chakras and the organs which correspond to the sphere of influence of this chakra. The channels through which the bioenergies flow are called nadis, meridians. There are no “good” or “bad” chakras though there are such fantasies in the literature. Each chakra plays its role in the work of the organism, even six Dungpa cahkras below Muladhara. There is 72.000 nadis at all.
There are seven main chakras, in total. Sometimes another number is quoted, but this is a result of deeper insight and spiritual development. Also other energy centers or even structures artificially created inside or outside the body are referred to as chakras. There are erroneous opinions as to localization of chakras. For instance, in some incompetent publications anahata where the spiritual heart is contained gets placed in a stomach area, and manipura - in the umbilical region. The chakras are not located in the spinal column, as it is written in some books. In reality chakras are located as follows:
Sahasrara - a chakra that has a form of a lying disk and is located under the parietal bone in the region of the forebrain hemispheres but in the point of your own hand high up above the head. Its diameter is about 12 centimeters, its height is about 4 centimeters for beginer, common people.
Ajna - a large chakra called the third eye, located in the middle of the head, coincident with the central parts of the brain; soun Om (Aum).
Vishudha (viSuddha) - a chakra located in the lower half of the neck down to the level of collarbones; Anandamaya Kosha (Sheath), sound Ham.
Anahata (anAhata) - a chakra of the chest located at the area between the collarbones and the solar plexus. Vijnanamaya Kosha (Sheath), sound Yam.
Manipura - a chakra of the upper part of the abdomen; Manomaya Kosha (Sheath), sound Ram;
Svadhisthana - a chakra of the lower part of the abdomen; Pranamaya Kosha (Sheath), sound Vam;
Muladhara - a chakra, located in the lower part of the pelvis between the coccyx and the share bone; the set of kundalini shakti serpent lotus. Annamaya Kosha (Sheath), sound Lam.
Outside chakras there are petals which are energy channels joints - this is avatara’s insight; and there are many other spiritual structures inside them. And there should have one color the chakras, as it is recommended in some books. Chakras should have inside themselves tender white- goldish light. It is desirable that all chakras be always pure and developed. There are special meditative methods for this purpose. The condition of chakras is closely interrelated with the condition of the organs located in the parts of the body which correspond to particular chakra. Chakras play an important role in supplying the organs with energy, while diseases of the organs negatively affect the condition of chakras. The level of development of individual chakras corresponds to one’s psychological features. So, when the following chakras are developed:
sahasrara - forebrain hemispheres; there is a pronounced ability of thinking strategically, i.e. the ability to see the “whole picture”, to comprehend the whole situation “from above”; this allows such people to be broad-thinking managers;
ajna - the rest of the brain, as well as eyes, nose, and nasopharynx; a person possesses a “tactical thinking” ability, which allows him to successfully deal with “particular” problems in science, business, family life, etc.;
vishudha – ears, the entire neck, thyroid, both jaws, including teeth, and others; The border between the “spheres of influence” of ajna and vishudha coincides with the palate; aether element, akasha; the ability for aesthetical perception is observed; good painters, musicians and other artists are people with well-developed vishudha;
anahata - heart, lungs, arms, and mammary glands; the ability to love emotionally, to love not “from the mind”, but “from the heart”, air element. The main one of all in spiritual path is chakra anahata, because it is with the help of this chakra that one can realize the main purpose of life, i.e. spiritual self-development. It follows from “God is Love” formula that if we want to merge with God, we too, have to transform ourselves into Divine Love - into consciousnesses constantly living in the state of Godlike Love. One achieve this though staying constantly with the consciousness in the anahata chakra and being the emotion of love radiated to all people, to all living beings.
manipura - stomach and other structures of the digestive system; the ability to act energetically, fire element; but sometimes when lotus is impure it is accompanied with a disposition towards dominance of irritation and other manifestations of anger;
svadhisthana - urinary bladder, legs, a well pronounced reproductive function, water element;
muladhara - the organs of reproduction; psychological stability in various situations, elements balance, earth element.
Since the condition of chakras directly influences the functioning of organs located in the same parts of the body, the mere cleansing of the corresponding chakra can easily cure many chronic diseases. It is important to mention that the work on development of chakras and other subtle structures of organism is incompatible with taking 'killed food', alcohol (even in the form of alcohol-containing milk products) and other psychedelics, since such substances destroy those subtle structures. Breaking this rule causes serious diseases.
Classically, kriya yoga is a blend of karma, jnana and bhakti practices. The word kriya means "to do, to make an effort," or "to transform." One of the main ways that kriya is practiced is a daily program of self-discipline of mind and body, introspection, and devotion to God. Another way that kriya yoga is practiced in the world today is in directing life force to move up and down the spine, transforming the meditator’s state of being until spiritual realization occurs. This technique is usually conveyed privately through initiation from a Guru or longtime practitioner of this method.
The destination of Laya Kriya is deep religiousness emerging from "Laya" (vanishing) of the mind i.e. embracing the religion of the "no-mind" or the new mind wherein the negativities of the mind have been negated. However, before embarking upon this profound religion (Sat-Chit-Ananda) which is mentioned briefly at the bottom of the First Kriya paper as Laya Yoga Teachings, it may be worthwhile to reflect upon the four kinds of religions of the mind as we should start from where we are. Both forms of kriya are deeply related and very ancient - well over five thousand years old and probably much older. Several million people practice both forms of kriya yoga throughout the world today.
How do most yoga devotees begins their Paths? What unfoldments do they share in common with one another - and with seekers on other Paths throughout the world? Practice makes you perfect. Success on your quest is inevitable if you put aside fancies, cowardice, and laziness. However, success is impossible if, no matter how many hours and years you practice higher consciousness techniques, you do those techniques incorrectly or selfishly. Experience of higher consciousness comes sooner than expected to those that proceed with devotion, good will, faith and a balanced mind. Doing rather than fantasizing or talking about the techniques, is the key. As you proceed earnestly, you experience several unusual, utterly delightful levels of awareness.
NADIS – CHANNELS IN YOGA
"Nad" means movement. In the Rig Veda, it means stream. In Laya Yoga and Tantra, nadis are the channels of Prana energy and the 14 main nadis are the channels of Kundalini Śakti. The Nadis thus are channels, but not only nerves (snayu). The subtle channels or Yoga Nadis are the channels of mind and the channels of chitta, the feeling self or being. The gross channels of subtle energy are visible as cords, vessels or tubes, including acupuncture meridians, nerves, muscles, arteries, veins, lymph, etc. Ayurveda mentions 72.000 different Nadis. Tantrika Laya Yoga identifies 14 principal nadis of which the following three are the most important:
Passes through the spinal column, originating in the Muladhara Chakra and terminating in the Sahasrara Chakra, diving in an anterior and posterior branch before reaching the Ajna Chakra. The Sushumna generally remains dormant when the other Nadis flow strongly and is activated only when the breath comes through both nostrils simultaneously. It can also be activated through pranayama and Swara Yoga and operates automatically at dawn and dusk, calming down the system and making meditation easy.
The Ida Nadi starts and ends to the left of the Sushumna, but is also connected with the left testicle in males. It terminates in the left nostril, stimulating the right side of the brain. It is feminine in energy, carries pranic energy and is one of the most important mental nadis. As it nourishes and purifies the body and the mind, it is also called Ganga in Tantric scriptures. When Sushumna is not working, activating the Ida Nadi is the best way to facilitate meditation.
The Pingala Nadi starts and ends to the right of Sushumna. It is the carrier of solar, male energy, adding vitality, physical strength and efficiency. It is also purifying like Ida Nadi, but cleansing like fire. It is activated by the breath in the right nostril where it stimulates the left side of the brain. Bhedana pranayama is used to activate this nadi and is recommended for physical activities, debates and, indeed, duels.
The remaining of the 14 principal nadis (meridians, energy channels, streams) are Gandhari, Hastajihva, Yashasvini, Pusha, Alambusha, Kuhu, Shankini, Sarasvati, Payasvini, Varuni, Vishvodara. All are connected with Kubdalini work.
The Kuhu Nadi for example causes ejaculation together with the Chitrini Nadi. The mastering of this nadi is the main objective of the Vajrauli exercise, allowing the male aspirant to raise the seminal fluid from the second chakra to the Soma Chakra within the Sahasrara Chakra, along with the vaginal fluid from his female counterpart. It is this practice which is often known as Tantric Sex, which created a lot of attraction to Tantra in the West.
LAYA YOGA SAMPRADAYA
Laya Yoga is very important one of the 12 directions of the most esoteric yoga. Laya means disappearance, dissolution of oneself in the Harmony of the Absolute, ParamaBrahman. This implies turning off the mind, which resides in the head chakra ajna, - so that the organism may begin to act not under mind’s commands but under the control of God. An example of this is spontaneous dance performed in the state of the sacinda (sachinda) meditation called latihan kedjivan too, which is the most typical example of training in laya yoga. Mantra AUM (OM) is the first bijam of Laya Yoga practiced in Ajna Chakra in connection with Divine Light Transmission Meditation (Laya Dhyanam).
There are other methods. For example, one can “yield to laya” his or her hand holding a dowsing rod and with the help of this rod to discover something that cannot be seen by eyes or heard by ears: to get answers about ore deposits or about underground communication lines, to perform medical diagnostics, and do many other things. Dowsing is also laya yoga, its particular case. In the same way, one can learn to paint when his or her hand as if by itself draws a pencil or a brush. In the same way, one can learn to write texts… In all such cases, the hand is controlled by some spirit, and if the man deserves it, then it can be the Holy Spirit. As for the spontaneous dance, there are special methods that can help to learn to yield the body to laya. For example, if the arms are raised, then it is easier for the body to begin moving, for the backbone to bend. On the contrary, if the arms hang down, then it is difficult to begin dancing in this state.
It is the same with any direction of art where we want to apply the principle of laya: one has to know the basic methods, to be an expert in this area to some degree. For example, in order to paint, one has to know how to mix dyes, to apply them on the canvas or paper. Of course, in order to dance one has to know the principles of plasticity of the body. Of course, one has to be able to hold a pen to write with it. In regard to laya, we have to have a critical attitude toward what we do in this state. The loss of critical attitude can easily make us a laughing stock. This happens when one violates the ethical principles, because the ethics is the foundation of Harmony. On the contrary, if everything is all right with ethics, then Harmony with everything and everyone including God can become perfect.
Buddhi yoga is the highest stage of laya yoga. This term is translated as “yoga of consciousness” and denotes a system of methods for developing the consciousness, cittam (chittam). Buddhi yoga allows one to traverse the final stages of the personal evolution. Within the frame of the “eight-fold path” of the Patanjali's yoga (yama, niyama, asana, pranayma, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi), buddhi yoga represents the content of the eighth stage. There are indications to it in the Bhagavad Gita. There is also the following precept in the New Testament: God is Spirit and they who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). That is man has to perceive himself not as a body, but as a spirit, i.e. a consciousness, a lump of consciousness. And as a consciousness, man must build relationships with God-Spirit, that is with God-Consciousness, the Universal Supreme Consciousness — so that to achieve Mergence with Him as a result. In buddhi yoga there are the following stages:
1. Withdrawal of the consciousness from the body into the cocoon, distributing it there and then — dividing the cocoon into two parts — the upper one (the region of the head and neck) and the lower one (the region of the trunk and legs).
2. Development of the lower bubble of perception in the scale of the planet by filling the planet’s form with oneself as a subtle spiritual heart.
3. Cognition of Nirvana, including its dynamic aspect. Mastering the state ofNirodhi through the meditation of total reciprocity. In it one achieves the stage of “non-I”. All this is possible to achieve only by transforming oneself as a spiritual heart of the size described above.
4. The developed consciousness of the spiritual warrior, who has mastered the state of a subtle spiritual heart expanding beyond the bounds of our planet, merges then with various manifestations of the Divine Fire one of manifestations of the Holy Spirit and with other subtlest aspects of the Absolute, Brahman, except for the Creator in His Abode.
5. Having cognized empirically the entire structure of the Absolute, the spiritual warrior is accepted by the Creator in His Abode, gradually accustoms himself or herself to the state of Mergence with the Creator and then acts from it in the world of evolving purusha (atman). The latter is possible both from the non-incarnate and incarnate states.
BRAHMAN – The Highest God and the Holy Spirit in One
Brahman is a Sanskrit term meaning both the Consciousness of Brahman (God as the Holy Spirit) and a person who cognized Brahman. In order to clarify the meaning of the word Brahman, one need to say a few words about the ancient Indian philosophical system of knowledge called Vedanta. The Vedanta philosophy originated in India even before Krishna and was based on the pagan teachings of the four Vedas. At that time, Indian people did not know about the existence of Ishvara — God-the-Father (i.e. the Creator Who dwells in His Abode). This was the reason why Brahman was considered by the Vedanta philosophy as the Supreme Godhead and even as the Absolute. It was Krishna Who told people of India about God-the-Father. In the Bhagavad Gita He also outlines the difference between the concepts of Ishvara (Avatara) and Brahman (God, All-Spirit):
“14:27. … Brahman, imperishable and immortal, is based on Me. I am the Basis of eternal dharma and the Abode of the ultimate happiness.”
“3:15. Know that realization of destinies originates from Brahman. And Brahman represents the Supreme. Omnipresent Brahman always supports sacrifice.”
“14:3. For Me the womb is Great Brahman. Into Him I introduce the semen and this results in birth of all beings, O Bharata.
“14:4. In whatever wombs mortals are born, O Kaunteya, Brahman is their Supreme Womb. And I am the Father Who procreates them.”
The Holy Spirit - Brahman in Sanskrit, is the Creator manifesting Himself in the Creation. This Manifestation is Divine Teachers, Spiritual Hierarchy, coming out from the Abode of the Creator. They are those in the ancient people who developed Themselves to the state of Divinity and attained the eternal dwelling place in the Abode of the Creator. The cosmic function of the Holy Spirit is to supervise the evolution of all souls of lower levels of development. It is the Holy Spirit Who organizes and supervises our destinies. He does it Himself, directly or by calling to assistance numerous spirits that possess various qualities, either “paradisiacal” or “diabolic”. When we perceive waves of bliss coming from somewhere in response to our righteous thoughts or actions - this is the Holy Spirit manifesting Himself. In such instances, people say that He is granting us His Blessing. In the Christian tradition, the Holy Spirit is considered as a Part of Triune God (Trinity).
“As to the Christian tradition, the best description of the Holy Spirit is found in the Orthodox prayer Heavenly Tsar, which I deem to be the best of all Orthodox prayers. Here it is:
“Heavenly Tsar, the Consoler, the Spirit of Truth!
“Omnipresent and All-pervading!
“Treasury of all good and Source of all life!
“Come and abide in us!
“And cleanse us of all impurity!
“And save our souls, oh Blissful One!”
Below follow several excerpts describing the Holy Spirit from the book The Book of Jesus by B.Cullen:
“The Holy Spirit flows through you as soon as you begin realizing His flowing. As He passes through you, every cell of your body becomes filled with new energy. You become healed, rejuvenated, revived for new life.”
“He is infinite. He pervades everything. You can hardly turn away from the Holy Spirit; maybe in your consciousness only.”
“The Holy Spirit always streams through every atom in space.”
“When you live in ‘now’, The Holy Spirit flows through you and brings you more than you need, because to satisfy your needs and to show you the Kingdom is a great glory for your Father. … The Heavenly Kingdom is near. Why not to accept it? Only strange ways of thinking make people to believe that it is impossible to achieve the Kingdom.”
AVATARA – HEAVENLY HOLY MAN
Ishvara is a Sanskrit term meaning lord, ruler, governer, keeper. In the Bhagavad Gita, the term Ishvara has the same meaning as God-the-Father, the Creator, Elohim, Allah, Tao in the Taoistic meaning, Primordial Consciousness, Adibuddha. Ishvara is Api Guru (Elder Guide), Brahman in human form, called avatara.
Avatar/a also Messiah, Christ is an Incarnation of God, Deva in a human body on the Earth. Avatars are Souls Which attained full self-realization during life in the current or previous incarnations and came then in a human appearance from the Abode of the Primordial Consciousness to the incarnate people. They are Parts of God-the-Father coessential to Him and representing Him on the Earth. The history saved the names of only a few of Them. Huang Di incarnated many times since the Stone Age on the territory of China. Widely known are the names of Rama, Krishna, Dattatreya, Buddha, Mahavatar Babaji, Jesus Christ, Siva-Shankar, Shirdi Sai Baba, Haidhakan Babaji, Anandamurti, Premananda, Shyam Shivananda. At present, Avataras like or Sathya Sai Baba lives and preaches in India and less known like Lalita Mohan Babaji. God, throughout the entire history of mankind on the Earth, many times gave His Teachings through His Avatars and prophets - to people.
The Eternal Spiritual School, also called "Brotherhood of Mystery" or "The Path of Absorption" has been founded on the teachings and practices of Laya Yoga, transmitted in ancient times by Lord Shiva to his disciples and devotees named chela. Chohan (Lord) Shiva founded a total of twelve lines of yoga transmission, which constitute complete and comprehensive teaching and training systems in all stages of man's route of spiritual development. Laya Yoga is a transmission line watched over by great Mahatmas from Ashram located in the Himavanti Valley. We even label it as "The Light of Himavanti". The succession line, i.e. the spiritual tradition from which Laya Yoga originated, is also called Himavanti Sampradaya, or, in more accurate terms, Himavanti Confraternity Brotherhood (HCB). The seven-stage path (Marga) of spiritual growth that causes one to dissolve in an infinite grace of the ocean of compassion of the highest God is a basis for the entire spirituality represented by successions of Gurus (Spiritual Leaders), who in turn pass on one of the most ancient and esoteric forms of Yoga teaching. Traditionally, in the lead of the entire transmission line as well as its forms appear: Guru Shiva (The Merciful One), more familiar in his numerous emanations as the Venerable Father, Babaji, and his spouse, known as Devi Parvati (Daughter of the Mountain, i.e. the venerable Mahatma Himavant). Avadhutas: special found and ordained to keep spiritual Laya Yoga Lineage so called small Avataras. Acharyas: those ordained in the process of spiritual transmission to play the part of messengers or apostles of the succession line belonging the Vedic Laya Yoga, constitute the groundwork of yoga teachings.
Sri Swami Paramahansa Lalita Mohan Babaji and other Laya Masters recommends the following measures of developing Bhakti - Divine Love of the Heart:
Vimoka: freedom from all else and longing for God and Guru
Abhyasa: continuous thinking of God and Guru
Kriya: doing good to others
Kalyana: wishing well to all
SIDDHI IN LAYA YOGA
A Layayogi forgets the body in order to concentrate the mind on the Highest Lord. He conquers heat and cold by mastering breath- control and by controlling his nervous system. A Yogi generates psychic heat in the body through the practice of Bhastrika Pranayama. He can bear extremes of climates without discomfort. He sits on the snow and melts it by the warmth generated in his body. A Yogi covers his body with a sheet dipped in very cold water and dries it by the Yoga heat given off from his body. A few adepts have dried as many as thirty sheets in a single night. A perfect Yogi cremates his body in the end by the Yogic heat generated by his power of Yoga. The Laya Yogi acquires the following minor Siddhis firstly like:
1. Freedom from hunger and thirst.
2. Freedom from the effects of heat and cold.
3. Freedom from Raga-Dvesha.
4. Doora Darshan, clairvoyance or Dooradrishti.
5. Doora Sravan, clairaudience or Doora Sruti and Doora Pravachana.
6. Mano-Jaya, control of mind.
7. Kama Rupa: The Yogi can take any form he likes.
8. Parakaya Pravesha: He can enter into another body, can animate a dead body and enter into it by transferring his soul.
9. Iccha-Mrityu: Death at his will.
10. Devanam Saha Kreeda and Darshana: Playing with the gods after seeing them.
11. Yatha Sankalpa: Can get whatever he likes.
12. Trikala-Jnana: Knowledge of past, present and future.
13. Advandva: Beyond the pairs of opposites.
14. Vak-Siddhi: Whatever the Yogi predicts will come to pass by the practice of Satya, Prophecy.
15. The Yogi can turn base metal into gold.
16. Kaya-Vyuha: Taking as many bodies as the Yogi likes to exhaust all his Karmas in one life.
17. Darduri-Siddhi: The jumping power of a frog.
18. Patala-Siddhi: Yogi becomes Lord of desire, destroys sorrows and diseases.
19. He gets knowledge of his past life.
20. He gets knowledge of the cluster of stars and planets.
21. He gets the power of perceiving the Siddhas.
22. He gets mastery of the elements (Bhuta Jaya), mastery of Prana (Prana Jaya).
23. Kamachari: He can move to any place he likes.
24. He gets omnipotence and omniscience.
25. Vayu-Siddhi: The Yogi rises in the air and leaves the ground.
26. He can point out the place where a hidden treasure lies.
Eight Major Siddhis
An accomplished, Purna Layayogi in the path of Kundalini Laya Yoga is in possession of eight major Siddhis, viz., Anima, Mahima, Laghima, Garima, Prapti, Prakamya, Vasitvam and Ishitvam.
1. Anima: The Yogi can become as minute as he pleases.
2. Mahima: This is the opposite of Anima. He can become as big as he likes. He can make his body assume a very large size. He can fill up the whole universe. He can assume a Virat Svarupa.
3. Laghima: He can make his body as light as cotton or feather. Vayustambhanam is done through this Siddhi. In Jalastambhanam also the power is exercised to a very small degree. The body is rendered light by Plavini Pranayama. The Yogi produces a diminution of his specific gravity by swallowing large draughts of air. The Yogi travels in the sky with the help of this Siddhi. He can travel thousands of miles in a minute.
4. Garima: This is the opposite of Laghima. In this the Yogi acquires an increase of specific gravity. He can make the body as heavy as a mountain by swallowing draughts of air.
5. Prapti: The Yogi standing on the earth can touch the highest things. He can touch the sun or the moon or the sky. Through this Siddhi the Yogi attains his desired objects and supernatural powers. He acquires the power of predicting future events, the power of clairvoyance, clairaudience, telepathy, thought-reading, etc. He can understand the languages of the beasts and birds. He can understand unknown languages also. He can cure all diseases.
6. Prakamya: He can dive into the water and can come out at any time he likes. The late Trilinga Swami of Benares used to live for six months underneath the Ganges. It is the process by which a Yogi makes himself invisible sometimes. By some writers it is defined to be the power of entering body of another (Parakaya Pravesh). Sri Sankara entered the body of Raja Amaruka of Benares. Tirumular in Southern India entered the body of a shepherd. Raja Vikramaditya also did this. It is also the power of keeping a youth-like appearance for any length of time. Raja Yayati had this power.
7. Vashitvam (vaSitvam): This is the power of taming wild animals and bringing them under control. It is the power of mesmerising persons by the exercise of will and of making them obedient to one’s own wishes and orders. It is the restraint of passions and emotions. It is the power to bring men, women and the elements under subjection.
8. Ishitvam (iSitvam): It is the attainment of divine power. The Yogi becomes the Lord of the universe. The Yogi who has this power can restore life to the dead. Kabir, Tulsidas, Akalkot Swami and others had this power of bringing back life to the dead.
INSTRUCTIONS ON SIDDHIS
1. By the process of Hatha Yoga, the Yogi attains perfect physical body - Rupalavanya Bala Vajrasam-hanana Kaya Sampat. “The perfection of the body consists in beauty, grace, strength and adamantine hardness.” The power to bear extreme cold and heat (Titiksha), the power to live without water and food and other powers come under the category of Kaya Sampat (perfection of body).
2. Since the body of the Hatha Yogi is perfect and firm, his mind also is firm and one-pointed. By the practices of Dharana and Dhyana, he reaches the highest rung in the Yogic ladder and attains Immortality through Yogic Samadhi. The Yogi who has reached the highest stage, will have the 8 major and all the minor Siddhis.
3. Attainment of powers depends upon the amount of concentration at different Chakras and Tattvas and awakening of Kundalini. The practice of Mudras, Bandhas, Asanas and Pranayamas will also help a lot in acquiring Siddhis.
4. The Siddhis that are obtained by the practice of Mudras can be obtained by the practice of Bandhas, Asanas, Pranayamas and also by the concentration on different Chakras. That depends upon the temperament and capacity of the aspirants. One can obtain the desired goal by one exercise and others by different methods. Therefore if one is not able to get success by a particular exercise, he will have to have recourse to other exercises.
5. Many of the 8 major Siddhis are mostly not possible and rare at all at the present age (Kali Yuga), when the body and mind of the vast majority are not fit enough. Even today there are several Siddhas who have the power to perform some of the Siddhis. When people approach them to do this and that, they hide themselves or generally say: - “I do not know.” They are not much particular about these Siddhis. Their aim is to ignore these as unreal and aspire to reach the highest. They are the only real Yogins. Many are able to use some powers and they do not know how they are able to do them.
6. One can read the thoughts of others. A man in London hears the spiritual message of sages in India. You have seen several persons removing the poison of cobras by chanting some Mantras or by mere touch. By giving some sort of leaves, incurable diseases are cured. There are men who will very accurately tell your past, present and future. Some are able to see astral entities. Stopping the functions of the heart and changing the mind of others and other powers are due to Yogic practices.
7. Nowadays you cannot find a man who has developed all the powers. When one gets certain powers, he stops there by the influence of Maya and false Tushti (satisfaction) and uses the powers for his livelihood or for fame. Therefore he is not able to proceed further and attain perfection. It is not the mistake of the Yogic Kriyas. You should not lose faith. Faith, attention, sincerity and earnestness will lead you to success.
Fix the mind on some object either within the body or outside. Keep it there steady for some time. This is Dharana. You will have to practise this daily. Laya-Yoga has its basis on Dharana. Purify the mind first through the practice of Yama, Niyama and then take to the practice of Dharana. Concentration without purity is of no use. There are some occultists who have concentration. But they have no good character. That is the reason why they do not make any progress in the spiritual line. He who has a steady Asana and has purified the Yoga Nadis will be able to concentrate easily. Concentration will be intense if you remove all distractions. A true Brahmachari, who has preserved his Veerya, will have wonderful concentration. Some foolish, impatient students take to Dharana at once without undergoing the preliminary ethical training. This is a serious blunder. Ethical perfection is of paramount importance.
You can concentrate internally on any one of the seven Chakras and externally on any good Devata, Hari, Krishna or Devi like Sri Layadevi. Attention plays a prominent part in concentration. He who has developed his power of attention will have good concentration. A man who is filled with passion and all sorts of fantastic desires, can hardly concentrate on any object even for a second. His mind will be jumping like a monkey. He who has gained Pratyahara (withdrawing the senses from the objects) will have a good concentration. You will have to march in the spiritual path step by step, stage by stage. Lay the foundation of Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama and Pratyahara to start with. The super-structure of Dharana and Dhyana will be successful only then. You should be able to visualise very clearly the object of concentration even in its absence. You must call up the mental picture at a moment’s notice. If you have good practice in concentration, you can do this without much difficulty.
In the beginning stage of practice, you can concentrate on the tick-tick sound of a watch or on the flame of the candle or on any other object that is pleasing to the mind. This is concrete concentration. There can be no concentration without something upon which the mind may rest. The mind can be fixed on a pleasant object. It is very difficult in the beginning to fix the mind on any object which it dislikes. If you want to increase your power of concentration you will have to reduce your worldly activities. You will have to observe Mouna (Mauna) everyday for two hours or even more. Practise concentration till the mind is well established on the object of concentration. When the mind runs away from the object, bring it back again. When concentration is deep and intense, all other senses cannot operate. He who practises concentration for one hour (muhurta is 48 minutes) daily has tremendous psychic powers. He will have a strong will-power.
Vedantins try to fix the mind on Atman. This is their Dharana. Hatha Yogins and Raja Yogins concentrate their mind on the six Chakras. Bhaktas concentrate on their Ishta Devata. Other objects of meditation are described under Trataka and Laya Yoga. Concentration is necessary for all the aspirants. Those who practise concentration evolve quickly. They can do any work with greater efficiency in no time. What others can do in six hours can be done easily in half an hour by one who has a concentrated mind. Concentration purifies and calms the surging emotions, strengthens the current of thought and clarifies the ideas. Concentration keeps a man in his material progress also. He will turn out very good work in his office or business-house. What was cloudy and hazy before, becomes clearer and definite; What was very difficult before becomes easy now; and what was complex, bewildering and confusing before, comes easily within the mental grasp. You can achieve anything by concentration. Nothing is impossible for one who regularly practises concentration. Clairvoyance, clairaudience, mesmerism, hypnotism, thought-reading, music, mathematics and other sciences depend upon concentration.
Retire into a quiet room. Close your eyes. See what happens when you think of an apple. You may think of its colour, shape, size, different parts such as skin, pulp, seeds, etc. You may think of the places, Australia or Kashmir, wherefrom it is imported. You may think of its acidic or sweet taste and its effects on the digestive system and blood. Through the law of association, ideas of some other fruits also may try to enter. The mind may begin to entertain some other extraneous ideas. It may begin to wander. It may think of meeting a friend at the Railway Station at 4 p.m. It may think of purchasing a towel or a tin of tea or biscuits. You should try to have a definite line of thought. There should not be any break in the line of thinking. You must not entertain any other thought which is not connected with the subject on hand. The mind will try its level best to run in its old grooves. You will have to struggle hard in the beginning. The attempt is somewhat like going up a steep hill. You will rejoice and feel immense happiness when you get success in concentration.
Just as laws of gravitation, cohesion, etc., operate in the physical plane, so also definite laws of thought such as laws of association, relativity, contiguity, etc., operate in the mental plane or thought-world. Those who practise concentration should thoroughly understand these laws. When the mind thinks of an object, it may think of its qualities and its parts also. When it thinks of a cause it may think of its effect also. If you read with concentration Bhagavad Gita or the Vicar of Wakefield several times, you can get new ideas each time. Through concentration you will get insight. Subtle esoteric meanings will flash out in the field of mental consciousness. You will understand the inner depth of philosophical significance. When you concentrate on an object do not wrestle with the mind. Avoid tension anywhere in the body. Think gently of the object in a continuous manner. It is very difficult to practise concentration when one is very hungry and when one is suffering from an acute disease.
If emotions disturb you during concentration, do not mind them. They will pass away soon. If you try to drive them away you will have to tax your will-force. Have an indifferent attitude. To drive the emotions away, the Vedantin uses the formula: “I am a Sakshi of the mental modifications. I don’t care. Get out”. The Bhakta simply prays, and help comes from God. Train the mind in concentrating on various objects, gross and subtle, of various sizes. In course of time a strong habit will be formed. The moment you sit for concentration, the mood will come at once, quite easily. When you read a book you must read with concentration. There is no use of skipping over the pages in a hurried manner. Read one page. Close the book. Concentrate on what you have read. Find out parallel lines in Gita, Upanishads, etc.
For a neophyte the practice of concentration is disgusting and tiring in the beginning. He has to cut new grooves in the mind and brain. After some time, say two or three months, he gets great interest. He enjoys a new kind of happiness. Concentration is the only way to get rid of the miseries and tribulations. Your only duty is to achieve concentration and through concentration to attain the final beatitude, Self-realisation. Charity and Rajasuya Yajna are nothing when compared with concentration. When desires arise in the mind, do not try to fulfil them. Reject them as soon as they arise. Thus by gradual practice the desires can be reduced. The modifications of the mind will also diminish a lot. You must get rid of all sorts of mental weakness, superstitions, false and wrong Samskaras. Then only you will be able to concentrate your mind.
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