Author Topic: The Practice of Yoga II: Raja Yoga  (Read 52924 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

October 01, 2008, 03:34:04 PM
Read 52924 times

Veos

  • Teacher Emeritus
  • Veritas Furniture

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 473
  • Karma:
    44
    • View Profile


The Practice of Yoga part II:
Raja Yoga





by Fra. Veos





Contents:
Introduction
Part I:Morality and Yoga
Yama
Niyama

Part II: Raja Yoga
Dharana
Dhyana
Samadhi

Part III: Samyama
The Siddhis or magickal faculties

Part IV: The Chakras.

Part V: The Sadhana of a Yogi
Sadhana routines and daily living

Part VI: Brief exposition of other Yoga systems
Bhakti Yoga
Hatha Yoga
Nada Yoga
Japa Yoga
Jnana Yoga
Kriya Yoga
Kundalini Yoga

Closing Remarks


               
“Thus begins the exposition of Raja Yoga”
                                                                        -Yoga Sutras 1:1


   I have decided to expand upon the scope of this article slightly so that I will not have to write further articles to expand upon certain points.  Thus I have included the practices of Yama and Niyama, along with some descriptions of other yogic systems.  The bulk of the article will still remain on raja Yoga though. 

   As one may see from looking at the contents, due to the very nature of raja yoga itself, this article will have to contain a great deal more theory than my previous article on Hatha Yoga.  Raja yoga is too abstract to say “do this and that and thus you have raja yoga”.  While I will try to remain as short and to the point as possible and provide as much practice as I can, Raja Yoga can be quite intellectual and thus requires a great deal of exposition in certain areas. 

   Now it must be understood that there are many yoga systems and different people have different temperaments and thus are more inclined to some forms of discipline than others.  I belief that any person can adequately perform any system of yoga, but the question is can they dedicate themselves to it?  A person who is of a much more emotional and devotional nature will be comfortable and succeed easily in Bhakti Yoga (which is personal, i.e “god is a personality”), while such a person would feel very uncomfortable in a non-personal (God is not a personality but is brahman, and all comes from this essential being) philosophy of Raja Yoga and Jnana (gee-ana) Yoga.  Likewise, someone who believes that self-realization is won through hard work would be more comfortable with Kriya, Hatha, and Raja Yoga.  One who is more intellectual in his pursuit of God may be more inclined to Jnana Yoga.  A musician may prefer nada yoga while a devotee will usually feel at home with Japa and Bhakti Yoga.  For one who believes that we are here to work, Karma Yoga is said to be the way of realization.  What I provide here is a discourse on that philosophy and practice called Raja(royal) Yoga.  I believe that this system provides a methodic means for the achievement more so than some of the more devotional yogas which rely more on grace and extreme religious devotion.  Someone of any religious disposition can generally feel comfortable practicing this.  Regardless of whether you believe God to be a personality or one essential presence or source from which all the other gods emerge (the idea of Brahman or Purusha), the highest success can still be achieved with Raja Yoga.  All that is needed is firm determination.

   Moreover, Raja Yoga proper is the necessity of all yoga.  No yoga can be done without it.  Raja Yoga is Dharana (dar-ahn-ah), Dhyana (dee-ahn-ah) and Samadhi (Sah-mahd-hee).  While there has been a certain tradition of teachings that are associated with what is called Raja Yoga, ultimately all Yoga is Raja Yoga or it is not yoga.  Therefor it is universal.  What yoga is not achieved through Raja Yoga?  In Bhakti Yoga, the devotee always keeps his mind on the lord, constantly reciting his name and remembering his past times.  He remembers the image and qualities of his lord and thus enters into Dharana.  When the concentration (Dharana) becomes even more intense then the mind flows into the lord as a river into an ocean.  Thus the Bhakti enters into Dhyana (meditation) on the lord and knows him intuitively.  When his love and devotion increase even more and the mind constantly remembers the lord and hears his name, then the devotee sees the Lord everywhere and in all things and enters into Samadhi.  Though the process may be slightly different than that of the so-called “Ashtanga Yogi”, it is ultimately still Raja Yoga which is Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.  The Nada Yogi begins his Dharana on the subtle sounds of the divine body, the Jnana Yogi begins his on the Atman or soul, Hatha Yogis start Dharana on the chakras and Kriya Yogis the Kutashta point in the center of the brows.  The Karma Yogi begins his Dharana on his work, the Japa yogi on the divine name.  All of them begin their Dharana and thus evolve gradually into Dhyana and Samadhi.  They become Jivanmuktas (liberated souls) in this very life.  It is Raja Yoga.  There is nothing special about the different yogas other than where the Dharana begins.  Ultimately they all end up in the unity of samadhi.  They all perform raja yoga upon the ideals they focus on for liberation.  Raja yoga is better suited as a verb than as a noun.  As such, I will make reference to the various stages of Raja Yoga employed by the different schools of yoga throughout the article, and then look at those schools separately at the end.   

    Now then, onto the manner in which a yogi should govern his mind and body.  I did not cover the concepts of Yama and Niyama thoroughly in the first part of this treatise entitled “Hatha Yoga”, so I will explain them in detail here.

Yama:

   In Indian philosophy there are three Gunas or qualities from which all others come.  These are called Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.  Sattva is purity and Godliness, Rajas is action or passion, and Tamas is laziness or inertia.  Most people live and breath a Tamasic and/or Rajasic lifestyle.  Thus their mind leaps from one place to another constantly, incapable of stopping on subject for even 10 seconds.  The lower passions drive the higher mind and the latter is enslaved by these passions.  The chakras stay inactive, the body is unhealthy, the mind is impure.  How can success in Yoga ever be realized by such people?  One who wishes any success at all must strive the utmost in living out a sattvic lifestyle.  The Yogi eats sattvic foods, lives in sattvic ways, thinks along sattvic minds.  Thus his mind is always on God, and God is always acting in him.  I will explain more on sattvic foods in the section on Sadhana. 

   Yama is the means of living a physically sattvic life-style.  Thus the body becomes a vessel of divine light in the world, being an ever-perfect temple to house the Self-Realized mind in.  Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras says Yama consists of five parts: Ahimsa (ah-heem-sa), Satya (sah-tyah), Asteya (ah-stay-yah), Brahmacharya (brah-mah-char-yah) and Aparigraha (ah-par-ee-grah-ha).  We will consider each of these. 

Ahimsa: Ahimsa is defined by Patanjali as “Abstinence from injuring and killing”, i.e. non-violence.  This virtue has to be particularly practiced by the Yogi and is also perhaps the hardest . to perfect.  The term itself is relative and does not necessarily mean “no violence at all under any condition”.  Rather, it means that the mind of the yogi is to refrain from hate and violent thoughts,  and that even if violence is necessary in a situation, it is done only according to the merit of he who receives it.  Ultimately it should be avoided under any circumstances, but depending on your duties that may change.  For example, a ruler can not always practice such strict Ahimsa as it may put his country in jeopardy.  Rather he should be chivalrous to the upmost if any violence is to be enacted out at all.  Refrain from mental violence as well, for this is very damaging to the mind.  Do not insult or feel hatred of others, especially if unwarranted. Let vibrations of peace emanate from you.  If there is ever a peaceful way out of something, it should be done.  Perfect Ahimsa develops the Bhuta Siddhi which allows the Yogi to tame wild animals with his mind.  It is the cultivation of Ahimsa which plays a large part in the peaceful vibrations of a God-Realized man.  Ahimsa is easy for one who has overcome his false-ego (Ahamkara) and attachment to this world of illusion (Maya). 

Satya: Satya means “to speak the truth”.  Avoid lies and deceit.  They are the results of the false-ego, the false sense of self associated with your lower desires.  Govern your speech.  How can one govern the mind if he can’t even control the tongue?  Surely no yoga could be done at all by such a man. 

Asteya: “Non-Stealing”.  This is self-explanatory.  Do not covet or be jealous, and then Asteya is achieved with ease. 

Brahmacharya:
Celibacy.  This is necessary for one who wishes to become a Sannyasin or renunciant of the world.  It is not necessary for the householder yogi who works and has a family.  Nonetheless, the sexual passions should be controlled and moderated by anyone seeking success in Yoga.  This applies more to men than women, for men loose a great deal more spiritual energy when there is a discharge of semen.  The mind becomes hard to control and the kundalini will be much harder to control if the body discharges frequently.  The goal is for the energy to run up the spine to the spiritual centers and not down the spine to the sexual centers in the body.  If you live life with the energy constantly going down into the lower centers, success in Yoga is impossible.  One discharge of semen can set your practices back quite a bit.  You will have to work harder for a while to make progress again afterwards.  Most people complain saying that the sexual urges should not be restrained, and this is due to the false-ego.  Such restraint is hard for worldly minded people.  They will have no success in Yoga.  If they worship their sexual organs, then Yoga is not for them.  Some will say “but what of tantric yoga?”.  Any yoga that involves the Kundalini is technically Tantric Yoga.  Some people became deluded by the symbolism of tantra that Matsyendranath taught and took it literally.  Even so they achieve some success, but most people are incapable of maintaining the mind-set necessary for Tantric sex.  The correct mind-set for Tantric Sex is even harder to achieve than complete celibacy.  The yogic scriptures say a householder can engage in sexual activity once a month without being detrimental to his Sadhana.  Lomer in his “Hermetic Letters” says twice a month, and I will second his opinion.  Celibacy is best, once a month is acceptable and twice a month is the absolute most that can safely done without causing serious damage to your progress in Sadhana (spiritual practice).  Some say that  the highest level of Samadhi called Nirvikapla Samadhi cannot be achieved unless observing strict celibacy.  Others say that it can be achieve if sexual activity is restrained to only a few times a year.  While peoples “sexual freedom” and expression is their own priority, I can say that someone who can not exercise the self control needed for sexual restraint can not be expected to ever succeed in Yoga.  He is like a gardener who plants no seed and tills no ground, and then wonders where his crop is.

Aparigraha: Freedom from greed.  A man who indulges in greed and jealousy can have no yoga.  He can have no peace of mind.  How can he?  His mind is stuck in the swamp of maya pursuing snakes as he becomes more and more lost.  Greed is from ignorance.  Ignorance is from the false-ego (Ahamkara).  Greed causes no real satisfaction.  It gives temporal satisfaction and ultimately leads to strife.  It is an unsatisfiable hunger.  It will always eat and never be satisfied.  Why feed it?  It is better off dying of hunger.  A man who has no greed has a clear mind and can think and act better in all walks of life.  He will be successful at whatever he puts his mind to.  He will act on his own and not be guided by false promises.  Some people achieve success in this world with greed.  In reality they achieve no success.  A man who achieves the same success without greed has obtained real success.  The difference may not be what they have physically, but it will be what they have spiritually and mentally.  Greed makes no success.  Determination and perseverance only do.  Greed is like an appendage that is to be cut off due to disease before it takes over the body. 

Niyama:


   Niyama is the means of purifying the mind and body.  When Niyama is practiced with Yama, the mind becomes very sattvic and ready for the practice of yoga.  The purifications of Niyama are Kriya (Kree-yah), Santosha, Tapas (Tah-pahs), Svadhyaya (Swvad-hyai-ya), and Isvarapranidhana (eesh-wvar-ah-pran-eed-hah-nah). 

Kriya: Patanjali uses the word Kriya to denote a series of physical and mental exercises for purification.  In a sense, all of Niyama is Kriya, Do not confuse this use of the word with the Yoga known as Kriya Yoga taught by Paramahamsa Yogananda.  Kriya in the sense of its use in Niyama covers a broad spectrum of things.  Specifically we can see it as referring to the physical kriyas of doing asana along with the Shat Kriyas of physically purifying the body, touched upon slightly in my Hatha Yoga article, as they are hatha yoga practices.  It also refers to mental cleansing exercises such as concentration and pratyahara.  One could see it as all yoga up to Dhyana.  Kriya is not separate from the practice of yoga.  It also refers to physical cleanliness by taking showers and mental cleanliness by keeping the mind concentrated on loft things.  In the actual Yoga Sutras, Patanjali seems to use the term to refer to the following four practices of Niyama, considering them all as Kriyas to be observed by the yogi in his Sadhana. 

Santosha: Santosha means contentment.  Be ever glad, be ever joyous.  Do not let Maya take hold of you.  The emotional body is perhaps the hardest for the mind to control.  Emotion is the presence or absence of contentment.  When the mind is content, the spirit is blissful and peaceful.  When you are sad, angry, jealous, irritated, or upset it is because of lack of contentment.  Why do you let the world upset you so little Rama?  You have the entire universe within you.  Explore!  You will find infinite contentment.  There is only room for Joy in the Atma (soul).  There is no room for any sadness in the spirit.  It is Satchidananda (power, consciousness, bliss).  It is real.  It is the essence of reality itself.  You are immortal.  Now Realize!  Patanjali states “supreme happiness is achieved through contentment”.  The Yoga Vasishta states that Santosha, Santi (peace), Vichara (discrimination of real from unreal) and Satsanga (association with spiritual people) are the four guards at the door of Moksha (liberation from Maya). 

Tapas: Tapas generally means austerities or penance.  It is common in the vedas and in the other hindu literature for great sages go perform austerities for years to achieve liberation.  Yoga is Tapas.  Fasting is a form of Tapas.  Religious observance is Tapas.  There are three types of Tapas; those of body, speech and mind.  Body is things such as pranayama, asana, religious observances, etc.  Speech is regulating the tongue ands controlling it so that no lies are spoken, and each word is chosen carefully and weighed before speaking.  It is also the evasion of idle talk, which is like poison to the mind, and reciting the name of God.  Mind is Chitta-Vritti Nirodha, restricting (Nirodha) the thoughts (Vritti) that appear in the mind (Chitta).  Patanjali states “Through Tapas, due to the destruction of the impurities, arise psychic powers in the body and the senses”. 

Svadhyaya: This is the study of scripture.  It has a wonderful uplifting and cleansing effect on the mind.  When waking in the morning, the Sadhu (yogi in his Sadhana or training) should see to it that all bathroom duties are done first thing.  Then he should take a cold shower and sit for the study of scripture at least 30 minutes.  He can also have a glass of milk or water.  This will calm and center the mind to ready it for the morning Sadhana (spiritual practice).  Read things that are sacred to you.  Keep some scripture in the meditation room, as it has a purifying effect on the atmosphere.  Reading it out loud will also spread spiritual vibrations throughout the atmosphere of the room.  It is good to chant a few slokas from the 6th chapter of the Bhagavad gita and contemplate them before sitting for meditation.  Read various scriptures according to your religious preference.  Patanjali says in the 44th sutra of chapter 2 in his Yoga Sutra “By Svadhyaya comes the communion with the Ishta Devata (personal deity)”.     

Isvarapranidhana: Self surrender.  This should be cultivated greatly by the yogi who seeks liberation.  What does this mean?  It is two-fold, for there are two selves.  The one is ahamkara (false ego), the other is Atman (True Ego or Divine Self).  In the context of the ahamkara it means considering others before you.  You are a Yogi.  Your treasure is somewhere else.  Help those who still have their treasure stored up here.  The help may be meaningless to you, but it may mean the world to them.  Always engage in selfless help to humanity.  This is great Karma Yoga.  Liberation can be achieved by this alone.  Gandhi was a jivanmukta who achieved liberation in this manner.  When the Ahamkara is put in constant troubles for the sake of humanity, the mind moves to higher planes and realizes the Atman.  The Ahamkara becomes nothing more than a tool for the Atman, instead of being the seat of consciousness.  Not all are suited for this path.  Karma yoga is very hard indeed.  The second type of self-surrender is that of the Ahamkara into the Atman, and the Atman into the Brahman or Purusha.  This is called samadhi.  It is liberation.


Part II: Raja Yoga


Dharana:
   

    Many people hear the word Dharana and think “ahh, I can concentrate easily.  I will go on to Dhayana.”  This is a false conception of Dharana.  The english word “concentration” is used to translate the sanskrit word “Dharana”.  Concentration is not an exact translation. “Dharana” means much more than just the western concept of concentration.  It is best defined as  the complete absorption of the mind into one point.  The Yogi can perform Dharana on many things to achieve new levels of consciousness and Siddhis (occult powers).  For consciousness and realization he does Dharana on the chakras, or the Anahata Sounds, or on Jiva and Atman.  For Occult Siddhis he does Dharana on body parts and elements, or the chakras. 

   The yogi must have cultivated a very calm mind indeed should he wish to enter into this state of consciousness.  The leaping deer of the mind must have been tamed and the tiger of the passions subdued.  Dharana does not come for a worldly person.  They think they have some experiences, but they are fooled by their senses.  The prana must flow in certain grooves, and this is not possible for a worldly person.  In Dharana there is no wandering, there is no world or universe.  There is no body.  There is just knower and known.  The mind literally becomes the object of concentration.  Nothing else at all exists.  This is Dharana.

Requirements for Dharana:

      
   Some yogis begin with Raja Yoga only at dharana and have a hard time.  It takes much effort and time to advance only a little.  Karma yoga is good to start with.  Before any yoga can be done at all, the mind and body must be purified for several months at least with Yama and Niyama.  Work constantly in charitable ways, and regulate all aspects of life.  Do not sleep too much, work too much, sleep to little or work too little.  Do eat too much or too little.  Do not play too much, do not idle talk often.  Read scriptures and think of divine things constantly.  This will help the mind and body prepare for Raja Yoga.  Then it is good to do Hatha Yoga for a long time until success is had in Asana, pranayama and Pratyahara.  This will purify the Nadis and chakras.  Once Nadi Sodhana is achieved (complete cleansing of the Nadis), then pratyahara come on its own and Dharana is very easy.  Dharana is impossible without Nadi Sodhana.  Do not even attempt it.  You will waste precious time.  Nadi sodhana can be achieved as such: Sit four times a day at the sacred junctions being sun rise, noon, sunset, and midnight.  With each sitting do 40 sukha purvaka Pranayama, giving you 160 sukha purvaka a day.  This will take around 4 hours a day for most people.  Continuing in this manner and firmly established in Yama, Niyama and Brahmacharya (celibacy), Nadi Sodhana will be achieved in six or seven months, and less than that under the guidance of a Guru.  Guru can make Nadi Sodhana happen very quickly with just his aura.  How does one know that Nadi Sodhana has been achieved?  The body becomes firm but light, the gastric fire in the pit of the stomach is strong, Ekagrata (one-pointedness of mind) is developed, peace and harmony flow freely from the mind and body, sleep is minimal, diet becomes very small but body stays strong and full, and a sweet smell emits off the Yogi.  The sexual energy is transmuted into mental energy for the practice of Yoga.  Such a person will succeed in Raja Yoga very easily.

   Nadi Sodhana is not the only thing necessary for Dharana.  Pratyahara is even more important, and is best entered after Nadi Sodhana has occurred.  The consciousness draws into the sushumna in the spinal chord while the senses in the body shut off.  The Yogi feels his body going to sleep as one would feel a leg or arm going to sleep when he lays on it too long.  The blood even draws inwards a little resulting in a pale complection for some during pratyahara.  The breathing process becomes very slow.  This is a very enjoyable state for a yogi, and Dharana must be entered from here alone.  Pratyahara is the gateway to Dharana, Dharana is the gateway to Dhyana and Dhyana is the gateway to samadhi.  Each blooms into the next in a continuos stream of consciousness. 

Practices for Dharana:

1.  Sit in Padmasana or Siddhasana, or Sukhasana if legs hurt too bad.  Hang a picture of Lord Krishna, or Rama, or Jesus on the wall in front of you.  If neither picture appeals to you, then hang a painting or picture of the sanskrit “OM” in black upon a white background in front of you.  With eyes open, stare as long as possible at the picture without blinking until tears roll down the cheek.  Do not let the mind wander even once.  Have tunnel vision.  All that exists is the picture.  This is called Trateka.  It has wonderful effects on both cultivating concentration to prepare for Dharana and healing the eyesight.  Many people have been able to give up their glasses because of this exercise.  Start for just 30 or 40 seconds.  Gradually extend it to 30 minutes without blinking.  This will come easier than you think.  Persevere and you will see great benefits.  This helps cultivate Clairvoyance as well. 

2.  Perform Trateka on the chosen image for a few minutes, and then close the eyes.   Mentally concentrate on the image.  Recreate the entire image perfectly in full detail.  See every piece of Armor on Vishnu, every bead on Shiva and every hair on Jesus.  The mental image must be an exact replica of the physical image.  Gradually build up your power of concentration until the image can be held for 30 minutes easily. 

3.  When working and performing duties throughout the day, stay completely concentrated on the task at hand.  Do not build castles in the air during work.  People will say “day dreaming helps relieve stress”.  If your concentration was good you would have no stress!  Develop concentration always.  This exercise must be done for a long time every day.  It does no good at all to sit for meditation 3 hours a day, and then spend the rest of the day letting the mind wander at whatever the eyes see or the desires wish.  Then Yoga become useless.  Such a person will make only a little progress in long time.  People have been practicing 4 or 5 hours a day for 10 years and wonder why they still have no success.  This is why.  Concentration is your real friend.  A person with good concentration will do much more work in a shorter period of time than a normal person.  When you drive, focus on the road.  Do not watch t.v or listen to radio while you eat.  Do not think so much about work when at home, or about home when at work.  In this way you will make great progress.  You will become a liberated soul in this life.  This is very hard.

4.  The Yogi should sit in Sukhasana, Padmasana or Siddhasana and withdraw the senses in Pratyahara.  This being done, let him do Namah Japa.  The mind should become completely absorbed in the Mantra.  Have good Bhava (absorption) and Bhakti (Devotion).  Continue in this manner for an hour at least.  The mantra should come automatically.  Namah Japa is a very easy way to purify the mind and make it suitable for Dharana.  Concentrate on the image of the Lord or on the sound of the mantra itself and its meaning.  Dharana will come on its own in this manner.  Only the mantra will exist.  It becomes very easy to do namah Japa all night long while sleeping.  The Yogi has dreams and visions of the Lord and wakes up still repeating Japa. 

5.  Having mastered the first two exercises, sitting in his Asana the Yogi should see the image of the Lord or of OM in his mind without looking at the image physically.  Do not let the mind wander.  Hold this image for an hour.  This is good Dharana.  When only the object exists, you have Dharana. 

6.  Sitting in Asana, visualize one of the 6 Shat Chakras (from Muludhara to Vishuddha) intensely.  Their images have been described in the first part of this treatise concerning Hatha Yoga.  Do Dharana on this.  It will send subtle psychic channels to that chakra so that the mind can benefit from it.  Siddhis will come if the chakra is awakened.  This is an excellent practice for Dharana.  I will give the Chakras in all their details at the end of this treatise.   

   Dharana will become very easy after a great deal of practice.  Dharana becomes Dhayana.  They are not too separate things.  There are however exercises which are more conducive to entering into Dhyana than those above, but dharana has to be cultivated before they can be practiced with any success.  The exercises above are for the sole purpose of developing Dharana. Dharana is only for entering dhayana.  That is its entire purpose.  At first you will not be able to enter into Dhyana.  You will have to practice Dharana rigorously.  Then Dhyana will come after a few hours of Dharana.  Eventually you will be able to do Dharana on an object and go almost instantly into Dhyana.  Exercises 1 and 2 should be practice first, and three should always be done.  All of the others can be done according to your own preference.  Exercises 4-6, if expanded upon slightly, can lead all the way into Samadhi with years of practice.  Do not think that Samadhi will be achieved easily in a few short years.  For a beginner concentration is very hard.  This must be overcome. 


Dhyana:

   Dhyana is not something which can be talked about too much.  It is a deeper state of Dharana.  Rather, Dharana blossoms into Dhyana.  However it is not necessarily as simple as concentrating very hard and then suddenly Meditation ensues.  What most people call meditation is not meditation.  We say “I am going to go meditate now”, not knowing the characteristics that define Dhyana.  There is not the same problem is translating the sanskrit into English as we have with Dharana and the word “concentration”.  Meditation is a great word to define what Dhyana is, but the problem is that the English word itself has been improperly used, at least in a yogic sense.  Dhyana is a very exact state of consciousness.  The senses being withdrawn and the mind absorbed in one object alone, the consciousness rises from the lower chakras up into the head at the Medulla junction located roughly where the atlas bone is.  This stage of consciousness, called meditation, can not be achieved without control of the Kundalini.  Therefore let us first look at the Kundalini a little more in depth than in the first part of this treatise on Hatha Yoga so that everyone understands its functions. 

   Shakti is the feminine principle of the universe which is said to exists co-eternally with Shiva the male principle of the universe.  In the supreme Brahman (the undifferentiated Supreme being called Shiva by the Yogis) these two states of being (Shiva and Shakti) exists together in perfect unity.  When the Brahman “Wills”, then shakti emerges separately from Shiva and we have this separation into a lower phase of reality.  In Hermetic/Kabbalistic parlance, this is the unfoldment of the divine Atziluthic Deity into the realm of Briah and thus the initial spark on the Tree of Life.  Thus a new universe emerges in which there is separation, whereas prior there was always unity.  Keep in mind that any “order of events” is purely metaphorical so that the human mind can grasp inhuman things easier.  This Shakti unfolds and gradually forms the universe, ultimately ending with the symbolism of Om Namah Shivaya, in which the “Om” represents the masculine source of God, and the “Namah Shivaya” is the Universe, which is feminine in nature.  The Kundalini is the fifth unfoldment of this Divine Shakti as it manifest in human beings.  There are three separate Kundalini Shaktis in the Human Body, but we will stick with the one most talked about in yogic scriptures, being the Kundalini at the base of the spine. 

   Now Kundalini, which is represented symbolically in myth by the Divine Goddess Sati, longs to be with her husband Shiva.  In the mundane man, she is separated from her lover but in the Yogi she enjoys his company.  It is the task of the Yogi to see to it that Sati at the base of the spine is re-united with her lover Shiva in the Ajna Chakra.  When this full union occurs, the yogi is called Self Realized and is beyond the wheel of Samsara (reincarnation).  There are various levels of samadhi.  The lower and impermanent ones occur in ajna Chakra, the permanent Samadhi occurs in the Sahasrara chakra.  Now that we understand what the Kundalini is, I will describe its manner of operation. 

   At the base of the spine near the Coccygeal Plexus lies the Muladhara Chakra.  This is not at the tail-bone as many seem to believe.  The Muladhara is in the Perineum.  For a male this is between the sex organ and the anus, and for a female it is actually inside the sex organ.  Here lies the red hued Four Petalled Lotus.  In the center of the lotus lies an upright triangle atop the sanskrit Bija Mantra “Lam” with Brahma on the left side and Dakini on the right.  In the center of the triangle lies an upside-down Linga called the Svayambhu Linga.  Kundalini is coiled as a serpent three and one-half times around the Svayambhu Linga with her mouth open covering the entrance to the Brahma Nadi.  The Brahma Nadi is a very fine tube within the Sushumna.  There is a common mistake here.  Some think that the Kundalini rises up the Sushumna and this is not wholly correct.  The Kundalini enters into the Brahma Nadi, the Prana is what enters into the Sushumna and cleanses it so that the Brahma Nadi will open up.  The Kundalini can not rise safely unless the Sushumna Nadi is purified.  How does one go about purifying the Sushumna?  It is a two stage process.   First the Ida and Pingala must be cleansed by rigorous pranayama and observance of Yama and Niyama.  Once Nadi Sodhana occurs, then the Sushumna becomes active and the yogi can work directly upon the Sushumna Nadi by various Pranayamas and visualizations. Nadhi Sodhana results from purifying the Ida and Pingala, Kundalini awakening results from purifying Sushumna.  This takes much longer than Nadi sodhana if the Yogi is not careful.  He must not stray from his sadhana even one bit.  When the Prana runs freely in the Sushumna then Kundalini ascends.  Its ascent is guided by the Guru and by the Sadhana of the Yogi.  By Asanas, Bandhas, Mudras, Pranayamas and specific concentration exercises the Kundalini is guided up methodically along the spine.  When the Sushumna is cleansed and the Kundalini awakened, then Dhyana is easily achievable.  It comes naturally.  When the Kundalini wakes up, the body will sometimes levitate.  This is not actually that rare.  In people who have not had the proper training under the guidance of a Guru, the Kundalini awakening can be drastic.  They will go into comas, be temporarily paralyzed, loose control over their actions, be very emotional, develop psychological disorders, become very ill, etc.  While this is not always the case, it is best to play it safe and awaken the Kundalini under the guidance of a Guru and a proven system. 

   So why is this necessary for Dhyana?  It all revolves around the Pranic flow in the Sushumna.  The Kundalini “waking up” does not necessarily mean it is ascending.  It generally just means that now the Prana is flowing in the Sushumna Nadi.  I will describe this Nadi and its effect on the Yogi.  When the Prana flows in the Sushumna nadi then Pratyahara ensues easily.  Within this sushumna Nadi is the subtler Vajra Nadi.  When the Prana, after much effort, flows in the Vajra Nadi then Dharana ensues easily.  Within the Vajra Nadi is a subtler nadi called Chitra.  When the Prana flows in this then Dhyana ensues easily by the consciousness raising up the spine into the head.  Within this Chitra Nadi is the very fine and subtle Brahma Nadi in which the Kundalini flows.  When the kundalini flows in the Brahma Nadi then the consciousness rises into the Brahmarandhra at the top of the skull and Samadhi ensues easily.  Thus are the workings of the Sushumna.  So we see that the Prana must flow in the Sushumna first before there can be any hope of entering into Dhyana.


   To enter into Dhyana, first the mind must be totally absorbed on the object in Dharana.  With practice, the mind will start to “flow” within the object knowing it inside and out.  By intuition you will know the object on multiple realms.  Instead of holding steadfast on the image, the mind will move into subtler meanings of the object.  When doing Dharana on Shiva the mind will flow into the very essence of Shiva himself contemplating his attributes and qualities as reflected by his weapons and symbolism.  The Mind becomes absorbed in the meaning of the object on an intuitional level.  The subconscious even becomes absorbed and you merge into the object knowing it from the inside-out instead of from the outside-in.  This process is very hard to describe.  How can I describe something taking place on a super-conscious level?  It has to be experienced, so start practicing right now.  You will experience it with effort and time.  It is a very peaceful state, residing in the inner worlds of peace and harmony devoid of time and hardships.  It is a safe haven for the yogi in times of temptation.  A yogi thus established can easily spend 12 hours absorbed in Dhyana in one sitting.  It will effectively replace sleep as well.  It replenishes the body, mind and spirit in ways regular sleep can not come close to.  For a house-holder Yogi it is very beneficial to learn to gradually replace sleep with meditation so that he can achieve the long periods of Sadhana needed for eventually achieving Samadhi.  Samadhi is not something achieved in your leisure time.  It has to be sought after with extreme diligence and perseverance.       

Exercises for Dhyana:

   While most of the exercises I gave for Dharana will eventually evolve into Dhyana, there are certain exercises which absorb the mind very easily and thus make for good objects of meditation. 

1.  Pranava.  This is the recitation of OM mentally.  The mind must be completely absorbed in Om.  This is not a Japa exercise in which you repeat OM quickly.  It is to be done slowly and powerfully.  Start out loudly, and then repeat it in the mind.  Every 10 repetitions, let the mind dwell in silence for a minute or two listening to it very carefully.  Continue on in this manner.  You will eventually start to hear OM reverberate in the mind in the minutes of silence.  Once you can hear it, extend it.  At first it will be very fleeting.  You have to learn to extend the time of silent listening so that you can spend 30 minutes or more hearing OM the entire time.  Now there is a trap here which the rishis set.  They say “Listen to OM in the right ear after repeating it”.  This can not be done, because it is not the word “OM” that repeats itself in the moments of silence.  I will tell you a secret that not many people know.  It has to be learned by the Guru, but I will reveal most of it.  OM is not OM.  The word “OM” (or AUM) is the outer shell only.  It is a disguise which the Rishis used to trap the ignorant.  They say “Hear OM in the right ear”, but they do not mean to literally hear the word.  Rather they are using the key to refer to what it unlocks.  The pronunciation of the word “OM” is the Key, and when used it unlocks the real AUM, the Cosmic AUM which reverberates throughout the Universe.  The cosmic AUM is not a word, it is a vibration which ensues after the word.  This is the treasure.  I will not tell you what it sounds like.  You must learn to hear it yourself and then you will know.  Once you can hear it, become absorbed in it.  It is the manifestation of God in sound.  If you are aware of this, then the mind will enter into full blown Dhyana while listening to this Cosmic AUM.  I am not speaking out of books right now.  This exercise, called the Omkar Sadhana, can result in full blown Samadhi.  It is very powerful if the entire technique is known.  I have not given the entire technique, just enough to get started.  Just this will lead the mind to very high places and super-conscious states.  This is a jewel.  The technique above is given in many yogic texts, I have just tried to give you some extra help for those of you who don’t have a guru yet.  The Vibration of the Cosmic AUM will be felt sharply in the entire body from head to toe.  If this is felt then you are progressing along the right lines.

2.  Contemplation on the Mahavakyas.  These are the “great sayings” of the Upanishads.  A good one is “Aham Brahma Asmi” which means “I am Brahman”.  Let the mind be absorbed completely in this utterance.  Understand its meaning.  Feel yourself as the Divine Being from which all came and all returns to.  Contemplate on the essential unity of all things, and as the entire universe being nothing more than an extension of your Greater Self.  Here you are mentally contemplating and meditating on a concept which becomes fully realized in deep Samadhi.  This practice helps prepare the mind for Samadhi.  You must try very hard to identify your consciousness with God’s.  Affirm to yourself “I am all Bliss, I am all Light, I am all Consciousness, I am infinite, I am all pervasive, I am immortal”.  This type of meditation is considered as Jnana Yoga.  This is meditation on identifying the Atma with the Atman, the Jiva (soul) with the Brahman.  This exercise leads to very deep meditation quickly.  Keep the concentration on the Kutashta center between the brows.  You will see lights, saints, sages, gods, etc...when deep meditation occurs.  Listen to their advice.  Guru will appear also and give advice. 

3.  Ajapa is the natural repetition of the “Soham” or “Hamsa” mantra with every breath.  This goes on all day long.  In ajapa Sadhana you simply become conscious of the practice.  Sit for Sadhana and interiorize the mind.  Make the breath loud by slightly closing the glottis so that the breath sounds like wind or ocean waves with each inhale and exhale.  If you listen closely, you will hear “Ham” on the exhale and “Sa” on the inhale.  You could also hear “So” in the inhale and Ham” on the exhale.  It makes no difference.  Soham means “I am”, and Hamsa means Swan (which represents the illumined consciousness).  The meditation is the same for both.  We will use Hamsa for illustrative purposes because that is what I personally use.  With the exhale, inwardly hear the breath form “Ham” while exhaling all false conceptions of self and negativity.  On the Inhale inwardly hear “Sa” while identifying the consciousness with Brahman, similar to exercise 2 above.  Suspend the breath in between each inhale and exhale.  Understand the difference between holding the breath and suspending the breath.  When you “hold” the breath, the glottis closes and the breath is retained below the neck.  When the breath is suspended you are just extending the natural pause between inhale and exhale.  Take a few deep slow breaths.  You will notice this natural pause.  Extend this pause and the breath is considered to be suspended.  This is what occurs in Samadhi when one enters the “breathless state”.  The breath feels as though it is being retained in the nostrils and head.  This is more natural.  With time as the meditation deepens, extend the time of this suspension gradually while identifying the mind with God.  The deeper the concentration the easier the suspension of breath will be.  When the mind is perfectly still the prana stops causing the breath to stop as well.  This occurs in Samadhi when the mind enters perfect silence.  In time, you will be able to suspend the breath for very long lengths of time.  Eventually the breath will stop altogether causing the yogi to enter into Samadhi.  The Hamsa Yogis in the Himalayan mountains achieve liberation with just this technique.  It is very powerful. 

4.  Concentrate on the image of your Ishta Devata (personal deity or God that you worship).  As concentration becomes intense, let the mind enter into the image of concentration.  The mind must learn to only move within the subject of meditation.  It moves to the various symbolisms of the Lord’s forms and names, his or her weapons, etc.  This will evolve into deep Dhyana.  It becomes a mental invocation.  The consciousness will actually enter into the form of the deity and be in direct communion with it.  You will have visions of God.  You will understand his workings with Intuition.  You will have God communion eventually.  This is a good meditation for people of a devotional nature.

5.  Contemplate on the body.  Now expand the consciousness into that of the Ishta Devata.  Assume the form of the Ishta Devata with your own body.  Meditate on the body and mind transforming into the deity.  See the skin change, the hair change, the eyes change, formulate the symbolism around you.  Associate your consciousness with the God.  Expand the consciousness now so that you feel like the Ishta Devata.  Think “My head is the heavens, my body is the Universe and my legs and feet are in the underworld, My word is the creative OM, the entire universe is contained in my body”.  This is a very powerful meditation.  It is a yogic invocation.  It connects the individual consciousness to the cosmic consciousness of the Ishta Devata very easily.  You will have visions.

6.  Absorb the consciousness into the Sushumna Nadi.  Let the mind become this Nadi so that you feel like you are the Sushumna.  See radiant light everywhere and feel peace and bliss.  Feel the magnetism of the sushumna and think of Shiva at the top of the spine and Kundalini at the bottom.  This exercise is very simple and very effective for entering into Dhyana from Dharana.  When the consciousness enters into Sushumna Nadi you will have Pratyahara.  Dive deeper and deeper and when the consciousness enters into the subtler Vajra Nadi you will have Dharana.  Deeper still into subtler layers of the astral and mental bodies into the chitra nadi and you will enter into full blown Dhyana.  The breath may stop, but the consciousness should not.  Continue to go deeper and eventually the consciousness will enter into the Brahma Nadi plunging the consciousness into the Super-consciousness of the Divine Self and driving the Kundalini up the spine.  Then you will have Sahaja Samadhi. 

7.  Concentrate intensely on each Chakra for 2 and ½ hours each from Muladhara up to Visshuda.  Keep the mind particularly fixed on the Deities of that Chakra and its element.  In this manner, you will achieve control over all of the elements.  You will have many siddhis, and no force of the elements will be able to overcome and kill you.  When you enter into Samadhi on a Chakra, you will achieve the Siddhis of that chakra.  This is what it means to actually “awaken” a chakra.  Some people think that some simple concentrations and mantra will activate a chakra. They feel a subtle vibration or movement of prana in that Chakra and think that their chakra is active, just like people sit up straight and think their Kundalini is awakened.  To awaken the Chakra requires the Kundalini.  More on the chakras and the Kundalini will be dealt with near the end of this article

   There are two types of meditation called Saguna and Nirguna.  A Saguna meditation is one which involves forms and images.  Exercises 4-7 are Saguna meditations.  They are easiest to start out with and train the mind on.  Once the mind can enter into Dhyan with Saguna exercises then you should move on to Nirguna classically.  This means “without form”, and exercises 1-3 belong to this category.  Depending on the aptitude and inclination of the student, you may start with Nirguna instead of Saguna.  Follow the Guru’s advice.  If you are practicing by yourself then it is usually best to have a small mix that is predominantly Saguna at first and then evolves into being predominantly Nirguna after a while of training.  Saguna will train the mind for Dharana easier, and Nirguna will absorb the mind in Dhyana and Samadhi easier for most people. 

   Let it be known that before any exercises in this article are attempted with any sort of fervor, the student should follow the exercises in the first part of this treatise called “Hatha Yoga” until he has achieved Nadi Sodhana.  You will be wasting your time otherwise.  You will have fleeting illusions of success only.  I will cover this more thoroughly in the section for Sadhana routines a little later on. 



Samadhi:

   Samadhi is the entire reason of Yoga.  In the words of Patanjali, “Yoga is Samadhi”.  It is the “Yoga” or joining of the mind with the super-conscious self.  Then we call this Self Realization.  Samadhi however is not a homogenous level of consciousness.  There are many subtle layers of super-consciousness, and thus different types of Samadhi ensue when the consciousness reaches these.  The work is not done for a yogi in Samadhi! 

   The varying levels of Samadhi all depend on the object of Samadhi and the Samskaras (karmic impressions) left on the soul.  Each time the Yogi enters into Samadhi he burns his Samskaras, but he must enter deeper and deeper so that once all Samskaras are burnt in the fire of Sadhana, the mind can then retain its state of super-consciousness all of the time without being pulled back down.  Now different schools use different terms to describe the varying levels of Samadhi.  I will try to use universal terms, and include other names when needed.

The Samprajnata Samadhis:
   Samprajnata Samadhi is when there is still an object of meditation, and thus it is also called Sabija samadhi and the vedantins call it Savikapla Samadhi and Sahaja Samadhi.   The samskaras are not really burned up by this Samadhi.  Whereas the higher Samadhi involves complete restriction of the mind and its vritties (thoughts), this requires vrittis.  So then why enter into it?  For one, it is the first level of Samadhi you will achieve.  Aside from this, its primary purpose is to understand the reality of the object upon which the Samadhi is entered into.  It is in this manner that the Yogi acquires many different siddhis and realizations of the universe and its functions.  Each level of samadhi has different “Avastas” or states of consciousness depending on the way in which the Samadhi is entered and its depth.  In Samprajnata Samadhi the famous “breathless state” is achieved also called Kavalya Kumbhaka.  There are four Avastas of Samprajnata Samadhi:

1. Vitarka Samadhi: The mind becomes connected with the physical form of the object of meditation, or its “image”.

2. Vichara Samadhi: The thought processes become more restricted, and the mind intuitively understands the astral level of the object of meditation.

3.  Ananda Samadhi: The thought processes become even more stilled and the consciousness realized the Divine level of the object of meditation, feeling it as an intense bliss and peace understanding the object on all levels.

4. Asmita Samadhi: the thought process become more restricted and the Yogi realizes the object in Brahman and as nothing more than an extension of himself.  Then he has mastered that Object.  This is a very high level of consciousness and is the highest form of samprajnata Samadhi.  The Yogi is caught up into the heavens and enjoys the pure peace and bliss of Brahman.   
                                 
   By constantly entering into Asmita Samadhi in which the consciousness is absorbed in Brahman, the Yogi’s Ahamkara (false Ego) starts to dissolve into his Self and he starts to dive into the realm of samskaras.  When this absorption of the mind into Brahman occurs and the Vrittis completely subside, then he starts to enter into Asamprajnata Samadhi, also called Nirbija Samadhi.

Asamprajnata Samadhi:

   At first, this new state is very fleeting.  The Yogi will have to constantly strive to enter into this over and over again increasing its length each time.  He will find that because of both current and past-life samskaras he will not be able to maintain this Samadhi in waking consciousness for long.  It will be pulled down by the samskaras, and so the Yogi has to one by one dissolve these afflictions of the Self.  Dissolving these Samskaras is the task of Asamprajnata Samadhi.  Caught within the bliss of Brahman in his Self, the Yogi constantly discriminates between his mind and his Self (the Pure Divine Being) and thus destroys his Samskaras.  Past-life Samskaras will appear again and again and must be burnt in the fire of Samadhi.  This is restricting the Vrittis in a higher manner.  In Samprajnata Samadhi the vrittis are restricted by destroying latent desires, but in Asamprajnata Samadhi the very source of the desires themselves are destroyed and thus the activities of the mind stop completely allowing the Mind to become completely absorbed in the Self by the destruction of all past life Samskaras.  When this has been achieved perfectly and the conscious mind is in perfect control of the Self at all times then Dharmamegha Samadhi occurs. 

Dharmamegha Samadhi:
   This is the highest level of consciousness achievable by the Yogi in Asamprajnata Samadhi.  It is a waking Samadhi in which full self-realization is obtained.  It causes the Unmani Avasta (state of no-mind) which is the mark of a perfect being.  Such a yogi will never loose his consciousness though he die and reincarnate a thousand times.  He leaves no Karmic footprint.  The universe is nothing but materialized thought which he can play with at his will.  He is an Avadhoot, or God-Man.  He has all Siddhis. 

                          





Part III: Samyama

   Samyama is defined as the doing Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi simultaneously upon one object.  An easy way to explain this is that you go into Savikapla or Samprajnata Samadhi on the object, particularly in the vichara and ananda Avastas.  This isn’t full merging as in the Asmita Avasta, but in the lower Avastas of Vichara and Ananda there is still the trinity of knower, known and knowing.  At this level of Samadhi you are still doing Dharana on the object (in as much as you are visualizing it), but also doing Dhyana because you are intuitively a part of it on a causal level and performing Samadhi upon it because you are in Samprajnata Samadhi.  Thus this active trinity of Yoga is what is called Samyama.  Now then, why use this state?  Samyama is the means by which the Yogi actively achieves Siddhis.  A great deal of Siddhis (Occult Powers) will occur as a result of Sadhana, but should there be other Siddhis he specifically wants which he did not develop automatically, then he will have to use the yogic process of Samyama on a certain internal, external or spiritual object.  While there are many siddhis, I will list the 8 main ones according to Hindu Scripture:

1)Anima: The Siddhi to make oneself as small as an atom.
2)Mahima: The Siddhi to make oneself as large as you wish
3)Laghima: The ability to become weightless
4)Garima: The Siddhi of becoming as heavy as you desire.
5)Prapti: Teleportation more or less.  Defined by Sivananda as “the power of reaching anywhere(power to approach distant things), even the moon, to touch it with the tip of the finger”.
6)Prakamya: The power of having any desire realized.
7)Ishatva: Creative Power.  Especially materialization.
8. Vasitva: perfect control over the elements.

   There are many other minor siddhis such as knowing the future, levitation, clairvoyance, clairaudience, etc...but these are the 8 primary Siddhis.  Why these?  They seem rather odd, but they are considered as the major siddhis for one reason: taken literally, they would require the greatest command over Maya to perform in relation to all the other siddhis.  Now Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras provides a list of things to perform Samyama on that can induce certain Siddhis, and I will quote him accordingly:
 
1. “By Samyama on the Sun come knowledge of the worlds”.  Pretty self explanatory.
2. “By Samyama on the moon comes knowledge of the stars”.  Probably referring to Jyotish, which is Hindu Astrology.
3. “By Samyama on the Pole Star comes knowledge of the movement of the stars”.
4. “By Samyama on the strength of elephants and others, you will get their strengths”.  Saying that whatever you do Samyama on you will get the abilities of.
5. “By Samyama on the form of the body, the power of comprehension being checked, and the connection between eye and light being severed, comes the disappearance of the body”.  This is referring to making the body invisible by making the light around you not be perceived by an onlooker. 
6. “By this the making of words, etc...disappear as explained”.  Referring to the same technique as given above, but done on the other sense organs of the body either on yourself or someone else. 
7. “By Samyama on the signs of others comes the knowledge of their minds”.  Doing Samyama on a person.
8. “By Samyama on a small point in time comes discriminative knowledge.”  Vichara (discrimination between real and unreal) occurs. 
9. “By Samyama on the relation of ear and ether comes Clairaudience.”  Self-Explanatory.  This is essentially the exact technique given by Bardon in “Initiation into Hermetics” for the development of Clairaudience. 
10. “By Samyama on the three modifications of mind, comes the knowledge of the past and the future.”  The modifications of mind refer to the Samskaras or karmic impressions left on the mind from both the current life and past lives.  Essentially you are doing Samyama on your own mind here, and the knowledge of past and future is probably more related to your self than the universe.
11. “By Samyama on the Samskaras comes knowledge of previous births.”  Pretty self-explanatory.
12. “By Samyama on the power of cognition, the essential own nature, egoism, qualities and purposefulness or condition of senses comes the mastery over the sense organs.”  By doing samyama on the sense organs and what they perceive you achieve mastery over them.
13. “By Samyama on Udana Vayu, the yogi will not have any contact with water, mud, thorns and others and can die at will.”  The Udana Vayu is what separates the astral body and physical body at death.  It also works upon the circulatory system with the prana-vayu and helps in digestion of food.  By “not touch” it means the yogi can not die unless he wishes.
14. “By Samyama over Samana vayu comes effulgence”.  The Yogi glows, and can even emit fire from the body like Sage Sarabhanga did after having the Darshan (vision) of Lord Rama.
15. “By Samyama on friendliness and other virtues comes the power to transmit the same to others.”  Self-explanatory.
16. “By Samyama on the distinctive relation between Sattva (purity) and Purusha (the soul), come the powers of omnipotence and omniscience.”  Sattva is the pure relation between the realized soul and Brahman.  By doing Samyama on this concept the Yogi achieves the divine qualities of Brahman being Omniscience, Omnipotence, and Omnipresence.
17. “By Samyama on the distinctions of the word, meaning, and knowledge which are confused with one another and appear as one because of similarity comes the knowledge of the sounds of all living beings.”  By Samyama on the sound (word), its meaning and what its use comes the knowledge of all languages of both animal and man. 
18. “Karma is of two kinds; those that are to be fructified quickly and those that will bring fruits slowly.  By Samyama over these or by portents, the yogi gets the knowledge of the time of his death.”  By Samyama on Karma you get knowledge of your death. 
19. “By Samyama on the chakra of the navel comes knowledge of the body”.  Do Samyama on Manipura chakra.
20. “By Samyama on the chakra at the pit of the throat (visshuda) comes removal of hunger and thirst”.  These are some of the siddhis produced by the chakras once they’re awakened by the kundalini in samyama.
21. “By Samyama on the light of the head (Sahasrara Chakra) comes the Darshan of the Siddhas.”  By Samyama on Sahasrara chakra you will have visions of saints and sages.  They will appear in the third eye in the midst of light, and will usually give you tips on your practices or deliver important messages.  The guru may also come and give a message or give you his Darshan.  Some of these sages are disincarnate and others are incarnate usually meditating in the Himalaya mountains.
22. “By Samyama on the heart (Anahata chakra) comes the knowledge of the contents of the mind”.  This is usually seen as referring to knowing other people’s minds.
23. “By Samyama on the Kurma Nadi comes the steadiness of the body”.  The kurma-nadi is located in the upper chest below the throat.  By Samyama on it you achieve Asana-Jaya (victory over Asana). 
24. “By Samyama on the inner light comes the knowledge of the subtle, the obscured, and the remote.”  Here the inner light either refers to the Ananda chakra inside the Anahata chakra or the Kutashta in the center of the brows.  The Siddhi refered to is clairvoyance and divine intuition.
25.  “Experience comes from the absence of discrimination between Sattva and Purusha that are absolutely distinct from each other.  This enjoyment being for another, knowledge of Purusha comes by samyama on himself.”  Basically saying that by doing Samyama on the identity of the soul with Brahman comes self-realization.  The next sutra goes on to say that this causes such Siddhis as clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience, etc.
26. “By Samyama on the gross form, substantive nature, subtle form, qualities and purposefulness of the elements comes mastery over the elements.”  This produces a lot of Siddhis, and in my own opinion is best done within the chakras. 

   These verses are taken from the third chapter of the Yoga Sutras.  I have used Swami Sivananda’s translation as I personally find it to be the best as far as yogic terminology is concerned.  A lot of modern english translations translate the yoga terminology poorly resulting in confusion.  I highly recommend everyone read this chapter as there is a good deal I didn’t include.




Part IV: The Chakras

   I will describe the chakras, specifically their images and meanings, in a more detailed way now than I have previously in the Hatha Yoga part of this treatise.  The yogi who wishes to pursue his Sadhana with meditation in the Chakras will be much benefitted by this section and should take care to memorize the images of the chakras with their Devas, Devis, and Bija mantras exactly.  By meditation on the chakras comes many Siddhis.  The yogi should not spend less than 2 and ½ hours on a chakra in deep meditation if he wishes to effectively unite the Kundalini with that chakra and receive its Siddhis.  Once the chakra is fully awakened, you will hear its specific frequency of “AUM” being vibrated usually as one of the Anahata sounds.  Yogananda gives the sounds as such: In Muladhara comes the sound of bees buzzing, in Svadishtana there is a flute playing, in Manipura a harp, in Anahata a gong bell, in Visshudha thunder, and in Ajna a very beautiful combination of all the sounds ultimately resonating in AUM.  These are called the Anahata sounds because they are heard in the right hear of the meditating yogi via a nadi that connects the ear to the Anahata chakra.  Now then onto the chakras themselves.  I will be quoting and using a great deal of information from the Shat-Chakra Nirupana, which is undoubtedly the best Yogic Text concerning the details of the chakras.  If you can acquire this text I highly recommend it.  Other sources for the detailed information provided below comes from two other Nath Yoga text the Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati by Shiva-Goraksha-Babaji and the Goraksha Paddhati written by a disciple of Goraksha.  Some subtle teachings about the chakras comes from disciplic succession to me.  For full comprehension of the following section you will need to do a lot of research on sanskrit letters and the images of the various Hindu deities.

1. Muladhara Chakra:
   The Muludhara chakra is in the coccygeal region of the spine, and is specifically at the perineum between the penis and anus in men, and inside the vagina of women (I’m assuming we are all mature enough for some anatomy terms).  There resides a four petaled lotus red in color.  Upon each petal in gold is one sanskrit letter, all four being Va, Sha, Sha, and Sa (the two Sha letters are different).  Learn these sanskrit letters in Devangari script if you intend for any serious meditation on the chakras.  The petals are red, the letters gold and the center bulb of the lotus itself is white.  In the center of the lotus there is a yellow square indicative of the tattva (element) of Prithvi (earth).  Within this yellow square upon the lotus is the bija mantra “ram” in red hue upon the yellow background of the tattva symbol.  Within the lotus at the bottom is the king of Elephants seen beautifully ornamented and wielding 7 trunks each colored according to the 7 main colors of the light spectrum.  Upon his back in the center of the Lotus is Brahma on the left and Dakini on the right.  Brahma is usually depicted with four arms holding the four vedas and four heads looking to the four directions.  Dakini is of a red complexion wearing a red sari with long black hair, one face and four arms.  In the left arms she wields a skull in the left upper hand, and in the right upper hand she wields a sword.  The two lower hands are upon the knees as if in meditation.  Her eyes are brilliant red.  In between them both is an upward facing triangle with upside down linga in the center.  This is called the linga of Svayambmanu, and around it coiled three and one-half times is the Kundalini serpent with her mouth open covering the Brahma nadi at the base of the Sushumna nadi.  The Brahma Nadi starts here at the top of the Svayambhumanu linga in muladhara chakra, whereas the sushumna nadi doesn’t officially start until a centimeter or two above the muladhara in a center known as the Kanda, from which all of the nadis of the body emanate.  The Yogi should meditate on Svayambhu in his Linga form with Kundalini coiled around him within the red triangle called Kamarupa.  In doing so, he achieves the awakening of the Kundalini.  If he meditates upon the Gods he achieves awakening of the Chakra by the marriage of the two deities (the respective forms of shiva and shakti in each chakra).  The chakra is seen as facing with petals downwards until the shiva and shakti (the god and goddess in each chakra) wed.  Then the petal turns right-side up and shines brilliantly.  This achieves many siddhis.  The yogi should meditate for 2 and ½ hours upon the Tattva of the chakra each day until he attains mastery over that element.  In this way that element can never cause him death.       
 
2. Svadishtana Chakra:

   A few inches above the Muladhara chakra located at the root of the sex organ (the reproductive center itself, which for women is inside a few inches above muladhara and for men at the base of the penis), here there is a 6 petalled lotus of vermillion color called Svadishtana.  Located in the lotus is the brilliant upwards crescent moon of the Tattva apas (water).  The crescent moon is very large, and at its base is the Makara (basically a crocodile) curved upwards along the moon’s curve.  In the background on the lotus is the Bija Mantra of Vam in Devangari script.  On the left side of the lotus is Lord Hari, who is Vishnu.  His skin is blue and he wears golden raiments beautifully ornamented with four arms.  On the right is the goddess Rakini who is of a pale bluish-red color with 2 heads and four arms wearing a cone-shaped crown on each head and in vermillion dress.  The Yogi, meditating upon this Lotus gains control of the Bindu (semen) and the sexual urges.  He transmutes the sexual energy into Ojas as a pure mental energy.  He conquers Brahmacharya (celibacy) in both mind and body.  The Shat-Chakra Nirupana says “he is freed from all of his enemies”.  The enemies here are things like Ahamkara (false ego), Avidya (Ignorance), moha (attachment), etc.  Why does he conquer these?  It is said that the enemies of the Yogi on the psychological and spiritual battlefield are manifested by the improper use of the sexual energy.  With mastery of the Svadishtana Chakra the sexual energy is mastered and carefully preserved to be transmuted into Ojas, thus the enemies of the Yogi have no food from which to eat or water to drink.  He starves them by not feeding them from improper use of the Bindu.  In this way does he conquer all of his enemies.  By meditating on the tattva of water and its relation to Svadishtana and the Universe the Yogi gains control over the water element in both the microcosm (svapinda) and macrocosm (Brahmana).  He can never drown, and will have control over the emotions and sexual energy.  By meditating on Vishnu and Rakini the chakra awakens once Kundalini weds them together and the Yogi acquires many Siddhis. 

3.  Manipura Chakra:

   At the navel is a lotus of ten petals with deep purple hue.  Let it be noted that this chakra is sometimes described as being yellow due to its solar nature.  In the lotus is the red triangle of the Tattva Agni or fire (also called Tejas).  This is very important.  It is the legendary Gastric Fire.  This tattva rides upon the back of a Ram.  In the background of the lotus there is the bija mantra of “Ram” shining like fire.  On the three sides of the triangle of Agni Tattva there is a tav cross, also red in color, sticking out in that direction.  On either Side of the center of the lotus there is Rudra and Dakini.  Rudra is usually depicted on the right side and not on the left in this chakra.  He is of a white complexion with ashes smeared on his body and red clothing.  He has two hands, one head and three eyes when visualized here, with his hands in the mudra of blessing.  On the left is the Goddess Rakini who is of a dark complexion with yellow clothing, four arms and one head. 

   By meditating on this chakra one gains the ability to “create and destroy worlds” according to the power of Rudra himself.  Rudra is a form of Shiva, and according to Shivaite philosophy is Shiva when he takes form, whereas Shiva himself is formless as Brahman.  Thus any image or murti (statue) you see of Shiva is actually Rudra.  The Linga (an Oval shaped stone or clay figure with three stripes across the center and the bindu in the middle) is the symbol of OM, and thus is used as the symbol of Shiva himself as the formless Brahman.  The Shiva Purana says that you meditate upon the image of Rudra with Namah Shivaya or Om Namah Shivaya, whereas you meditate upon the Linga with just OM.  Now the Manipura chakra is perhaps the most important of all the chakras in the body (the 6 shat chakras not including Sahasrara which is outside the body) as far as the raising of the Kundalini is concerned along with most of the Yogi’s Sadhana in the early years of training.  The manipura chakra is designated in the Bhagavad Gita by the character of Arjuna and is indicative of the Yogi himself in relation to Maya and Brahman.  It is a very important chakra indeed.  Allow me to explain it thoroughly for you so that you will benefit as much as possible.  In the Bhagavad Gita the devotee of the Lord is Arjuna, and the Lord is Krishna.  Krishna as an incarnation of Vishnu is the inner spirit urging the Yogi to realization.  Arjuna and Krishna are assembled on the field of Kurukshetra for a massive battle between the Pandavas and the Kurus.  Krishna and Arjuna are on the side of the Pandavas with Arjuna as one of the key warriors of the army and Krishna as his charioteer.  The Kurus are the “bad guys”, but many of them are long time friends and relatives of Arjuna.  Arjuna is hesitant to slay them, but Krishna urges him on to do so.  Why is this?  The Pandavas with Arjuna and Krishna represent the inner spiritual forces such as purity, discrimination, non-attachment, celibacy, etc...while the Kurus are the sense faculties of the body and evil inclinations which bring the Yogi down into Maya.  The Yogi (Arjuna) does not want to slay the Kurus at first just as the fledgling beginner does not want to part with his lower desires and sense indulgences at first.  The Kuru army is thus the three lower chakras of Muladhara, Svadishtana and Manipura while the good Pandava army of spiritual intentions and qualities are Manipura, Anahata and Visshudha Chakras.  Manipura, represented by Arjuna, is the link between both “armies”.  When the sexual enegry flows outwards from Manipura to Muladhara the person is engaged in maya and misuses the senses and life-force.  When the Yogi “slays” these lower desires then the energy runs up the spine from Manipura to the Visshudha chakra and he is situated in the internal spiritual realms and their virtues by eventually bringing the kundalini into Ajna chakra by the virtue of the upward flowing sexual energy.  This is the symbolism of Arjuna listening to Krishna (the Ajna Chakra) in slaying the Kurus (lower desires represented by downward flow of energy into the three lower chakras.  Thus Manipura and its function properly reflects the human being itself, who has the decision of looking “downward” into Maya or “upward” into the spiritual worlds.  This is the symbolism of the centaur Sagittarius with his lower body from the navel (manipura chakra) down being a horse representing the animal desires of the lower chakras, but from the navel up he is a human being with a bow and arrow aiming upwards into the heavens showing the spiritual pull of three shat chakras above the navel and the good spiritual qualities therein when the energy flows upwards.  This is what is meant by the yogi being able to “create and destroy worlds”, namely he can destroy by having his sexual energy flow downwards and out or create by having the sexual energy flow upwards towards the noble chakras. 

   Within this chakra is the Gastric Fire which awakens the Kundalini as well as the Samana current.  Now the Samana-Vayu (one of the five major forms of prana in the body) is yellow in color and is extremely important.  In the Muladhara chakra is the Apana-Vayu and in the Anahata chakra (at the chest) is the Prana-Vayu.  When the Apana is pulled upwards by the Yogi with Mula Bandha and the Prana is forced downwards by Jalandhara Bandha then they both enter into the Samana current.  If the samana current is then activated by Uddiyana Bandha (I have given all three Bandhas in the first part of this treatise entitled “Hatha Yoga”) then the Apana and Prana merge together here.  This causes the prana to enter into the Sushumna nadi causing Nadi Sodhana and awakening the Kundalini.  So we see that this chakra is of the utmost importance to the Yogi. 

4. Anahata Chakra:

   In the region of the solar plexus is the Anahata Chakra which is a lotus of 12 petals usually described as green in color, but the shat-Chakra Nirupana describes it as vermillion, as does Swami Sivananda.  Either will work just fine.  Here there is the tattva of Vayu (Air) in the center with its form as a smoky colored Hexagram.  Here there is the bija mantra “Yam” in the background.  On the right side is Kakini who is yellow in complexion with blue clothing.  She has four arms, the upper left has noose, the lower left holds a spear, the upper right bears a shield and the lower right wields a skull.  She has four heads.  On the left side is Ishvara, a form of Shiva with blue complexion, two arms and one head with three eyes.  In his right hand is the spear and his left hand does the mudra of dispelling fear (the mudra of blessing or benediction done facing downwards and out instead of upwards).

   I will tell you something not many people know.  In the center of this lotus is another lotus called the Ananda chakra of a pure golden color.  It is the seat of the pure bliss which emanates from the Anahata chakra in the Yogi.  It is this chakra by which the Guru enters into the spiritual bodies of the disciple and does his work and initiation.  It forms a powerful link between guru and disciple.  This chakra is directly linked to the mental body of the Yogi. 

   The Yogi who meditates upon this chakra (anahata) can levitate, and has a fair voice.  He becomes very radiant and emanates peace and bliss from his body.  The intuition becomes very keen and many other Siddhis occur, such as entering another’s body.  The twelve petals of the Anahata chakra symbolize the twelve zodiac signs as well as the 12 nadis which work from the Anahata chakra.

5. Vishuddha chakra:

   In the pit of the throat is a 16 petalled lotus called Vishuddha.  It is of a smoky purple color, but can also be visualized as blue with efficiency.  In the lotus is a white circle which is the Tattva of Akasha (source of the 4 elements).  While this is not the traditional symbol of this tattva, it nonetheless signifies it in Vishuddha.  Here there is a white elephant and upon it is the bija mantra of “Ham”.  Here there is on the left side Sada-Shiva, a high manifestation of shiva with four arms and 5 faces.  In the two lower hands he holds a noose and spear and in the two upper hands he gives the mudra of blessing and of dispelling fear.  His body is blue in tiger skin.  To his right is Shakini of fair complexion with heads and four arms wearing blue raiments.  She carries a spear, conch, skull and gives the mudra of blessing.

   By meditating on this Lotus the chita (consciousness) becomes absorbed in the Akasha and knows Brahman.  The mind becomes completely stilled. His power is seen as undeniable and unlimited.  The voice becomes very fair and the speech is perfectly controlled.  He gains telepathy and other siddhis.  The intuition becomes amazing and he gains knowledge of past, present and the future.     

6. Ajna Chakra:

   This chakra is located specifically in the Pineal Gland at the center of the brain.  It is a radiant lotus shining white like the moon with 2 light blue petals which bear in white the sanskrit letters “Ha” and “Ksha”.  Here there is the Shakti Hakini with fair complexion, 6 heads and 6 arms adorned in violet clothing.  In the center if the lotus is the Linga of Shiva, or rather Shiva in his linga form (sometimes depicted as shiva with his left side male and his right side female as a hermaphrodite).  The Ajna chakra is the seat of Shiva himself in the body and is thus the seat of the higher Self in the Yogi.  It is here where the Kundalini in muladhara Chakra wishes to join with her lover.  When the Kundalini rises into the Ajna Chakra then the Yogi enters into Samprajnata Samadhi.  The Yogi should see the Bija mantra of “AUM” in Devangari script here in the Ajna chakra and it is in fact quite fine if the Yogi only visualizes this in the Ajna chakra, as it is the form of Shiva himself. 

   I will tell you some little known things about the Ajna chakra.  The Ajna chakra by its radiance does not act of its own, but through three of its manifestations in the head.  The yogi should meditate upon these three places to stimulate and activate the Ajna chakra.  First and foremost of these is the Kutashta at the center of the eye brows located at the pituitary body in the forehead.  Here the Yogi should endeavor to see a shining white star in the center of a blue circle bordered by a golden ring.  This is the visual manifestation of AUM.  It takes a long time to see this star perfectly as the Sushumna must be clear after Nadi Sodhana has been achieved.  Engaging in the practice of Yoni mudra, you must constantly try to see this star.  In star you will see many things.  Sages will come and speak with you, you will have visions of the Lord and see many other things.  You must strive to enter into this star into the heavenly realms and be with the Gods.  This causes Samadhi.  The second center is in the back of the head roughly where the atlas bone is located (large bone at lower back of head that joins spine to skull) where the medulla center of the brain is.  Thus this center is usually called the medulla center.  It is this point in which fresh spiritual energy enters into the body and when meditated upon the Yogi enters into Pratyahara very easily.  This spot is very important for the guru to bestow shaktipat (Transmission of Divine energy) as it acts as a portal for the Guru to act directly upon the Kundalini.  I found this out myself with my own students, in that I could effect the Kundalini very easily if I gave shaktipat at this point.  The third center is called the brahmarandhra and is at the very top of the cranium.  In new-born babies this area is very soft and it hardens as we age.  This is the spot from which the soul leaves the body in Mahasamadhi (willed meditative death) but is also the means by which the consciousness enters into the Sahasrara chakra above the head.  Of all three centers, the Kutashta is the chief center to be meditated upon.  The samadhi achieved in the Ajna chakra is Samprajnata Samadhi. 

7.  Sahasrara Chakra:

   This is the wonderful lotus of 1000 petals.  Gorakshanath is more specific and attributes 16 petals to it.  This chakra is not usually included with the other 6 chakras (called the Shat-chakras) because while the other 6 are in the astral body and causal body, the Sahasrara is alone in the causal body.  When the consciousness, through savikalpa samadhi, brings the consciousness into the Sahasrara Chakra he attains Asamprajnata Samadhi and Dharma Megha Samadhi.  Sahasrara is Brahman himself, it is the pure primordial Shiva.  The yogi who realizes this attains all Siddhis.  He becomes a Sat Guru. 





Part V: Sadhana


   The Sadhana is spiritual practice.  It is the manifestation of the Yogi’s desire for God and to attain liberation.  It is the only means.  However, one can do Sadhana every day for years and achieve no benefit.  He will sit for 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours at night and hope to make progress.  What you do in between your practices is just as important as what you do during your practices.  In the beginning of this article I have covered the concepts of Yama and Niyama.  These have to be observed strictly.  There is no such thing as a worldly-minded self-realized man.  You can not sit for 2 hours of Sadhana in the morning, but then go to work all day and eat heavy foods for lunch, flirt with the office women, spread gossip and talk bad about other people, use degrading language, get mad over little things, etc...and still expect to achieve any real benefit from your practices.  Some people say “I will indulge in the senses now because my Sadhana will get rid of my indulgences later.”  This is wrong thinking.  Sadhana does not make your lower desires simply disappear with the wave of a wand.  Sadhana is absolutely worthless if you are not living a lifestyle that is conducive to spiritual growth.  People are sad to part with their lower desires because they have known them for so long.  They are like a best friend to many people, but in reality they are murderers wearing masks.  They lead you to the path of Death without you knowing it.  People say that their flaws are what makes them “them”.  This is Avidya (ignorance) caused by Ahamkara (false ego).  Once you start to experience the joy of meditation you will understand how fleeting the joy of sense-desires are.

   You have to develop very strong Vairagya (non-attachment).  This is the most powerful tool of the Yogi.  Be in the world but not of it.  Use the senses, but don’t abuse them.  Some people ask a yogi “if the senses are not meant to be pleasing, then why did God give them to us?”.  This is supposed to be a smart question.  The senses do not exist to be abused.  Cars were not created for the sole intention of driving 100 miles per hour and racing, they were meant to get us from point A to point B efficiently.  Likewise food does not exists so that we can eat lots and become very fat, but so that we can sustain the physical body.  Such is the case with the senses as well.  They do not exists to be abused, but to interact efficiently in Maya while we engage in the Drama of life.  Keep this in mind.  You will have to learn to govern the senses under the jurisdiction of spiritual illumination.  Then you will have spiritual progress.  Otherwise any real progress will only be fleeting.

   Now for the neophyte it is good to start with one hour a day, 30 minutes in the morning and 30 at night.  When you first wake up the mind is refreshed from sleep and this is very conducive to good meditation.  Do your Sadhana before eating any breakfast in the morning.  If you are hungry then have a glass of milk, and if you are particularly hungry that morning you can have something very light such as a piece of toast with some butter and honey on it.  In the morning start with meditative sadhana and end with more physical Sadhana such as given in part one of this treatise entitled “Hatha Yoga”.  In this way the body and mind will be fresh and charged with Sattvic (pure) qualities to help guide you throughout the day.  The calm and centered mind-set after Sadhana should be made to last as long as it can throughout the day.  When you get back from work that night dinner should be small.  In the Wets it has become customary to eat a large meal and then fall asleep.  This is not only unhealthy for the physical body but for the mind and spirit also.  Breakfast after morning Sadhana should be the largest meal of the day.  In this way the metabolism will work efficiently throughout the day and you will have plenty of energy for work.  Lunch should be a little smaller or the same size depending on how much physical labor you do in your job.  Dinner should be very light.  A small bowl of fruits or rice is good as it will digest quickly and not disturb the mind for your practices.  After eating a light dinner wait an hour or two depending on how much time you have before starting your night Sadhana routine.  Your night Sadhana should be the last thing you do before sleeping.  Start out with the more physical Sadhana if you do any, and end with the meditative Sadhana to calm the body and mind for sleep.  Start with 30 minutes each sitting for the two sittings a day.  A Grihashta is a “House-holder”, someone who has a family, works a job, etc.  For a Grihashta 2 hours a day should be seen as the minimum for Sadhana.  Start with 30 minutes each sitting to have one hour a day, and gradually increase the length of the exercises to two 60 minute sittings a day so that you can have two hours a day of steady Sadhana.  If you maintain yourself well in between practices and do not let the mind be degraded, then you will achieve good success.  3 hours a day is best for a Grihashta, but most people can’t do that and maintain a job and family. 

   For a renunciant it is different.  Success will of course come much quicker because there is more time available.  The Renunciant should sit a minimum of two times a day for Sadhana, but preferably four times during the Sandhya periods of the day, being midnight, sunrise, noon, and sunset.  Start with 30 minutes a sitting so that you have 2 hours a day.  Then gradually build up to 1 hour a sitting to have 4 hours a day.  A renunciant should build up to 6-8 hours a day of practice at the height of his Sadhana after several years of gradual Sadhana.  Once he can sit for long hours at a time in deep meditation then the entire Sadhana routine can take place at night for 6, 8 or 10 hours all at one time.  You will not need sleep by this point.  Deep meditation revitalizes the body much more than sleep, and replenishes the mind and spirit infinitely more than sleep can.  If a Householder can learn to do this it will be of the most benefit.  It is rare to find a householder who can progress as fast as a renunciant, but if he can learn to slowly replace sleep with Sadhana then he will make lightning progress on the path of Self-realization even as a householder!  This is the method: the Householder must slowly increase the time of his night-sadhana over a long period of time.  15 minutes every few months is good.  After a few years you will be able to act effectively in your Job with only 5 hours of sleep.  Increase the length of time for Sadhana even more.  Once you can enter into Samadhi you can spend the whole night in Samadhi and thus progress very fast in the spiritual path.       

   Now I will give some sample routines for both house-holders and renunciants (Sannyasas).  Keep in mind that when I use that when I use the term Japa in the practice routines, you can replace that with any of the Dharana or Dhyana exercises given in this article.  For most people, Japa is the best tool for meditation, so I have used Japa here.

Householder (beginning routine):
Morning:
-Wake up
-spend 15 minutes emptying the bowels, brushing teeth, taking shower, and other morning duties.
-have a small glass of milk if hungry
-Do Japa for 10 minutes.
-Do 10 rounds of Sukha Purvaka Pranayama.  Should take about 10 minutes.
-2 minutes each Asana of Sirshasana, Sirvangasana, Matsyendrasana, Paschimottanasana, and Bhujangasana. 
Day:
-Do your daily duties (work, school, etc.).  Keep constant mind-set of “Aham Brahma Asmi” (I am Brahman).  Practice vairagya (non-attachment) all day.  Repeat the mantra that you use for Japa throughout the day when the mind starts to get caught up into Maya.  Practice intense concentration.
Night:
-light dinner. 
-scripture reading
-an hour or two after dinner sit for Sadhana:
-2 minutes each of Sirshasana, Sirvangasana, Matsyendrasana, Paschimottanasana, and Bhujangasana.
-10 rounds of Sukha Purvaka pranayama (10 minutes approx.)
-10 minutes of Japa.   
-sleep.

Renunciant (beginner):

morning:
-wake up at 4:15 am
-spend 15 minutes emptying bowels and doing morning duties
-do morning routine for householder
-go back to sleep if felt as necessary for an hour or two
Noon:
-30 minutes of Japa
Afternoon:
-same routine as house-holder night sadhana
Midnight:
30 minutes of Japa

Householder (Intermediate-after 6 to 9 months):
morning:
-wake up
-morning duties for 15 minutes
-20 minutes of Japa
-20 rounds of Sukha Purvaka Pranayama, 3 rounds of 10 bhastrika Pranayamas, and 3 rounds of 30 Khapal Bhati pranayamas.
-5 minutes each Asana: Sirshasana, Sirvangasana, Matsyendrasana, Paschimottanasana, and Bhujangasana
Day: Same routine as for beginner.  Keep focused and remember to practice Vairagya.
Night:
-Asanas 5 minutes each
-Pranayama routine same as morning
-10 minutes trataka (keeping eyes open fixing gaze on image until tears run down face) of image of the Lord or AUM symbol.
-10 minutes meditation on image of the lord or AUM symbol, whichever you used for Trataka.   
                
Renunciant (Intermediate-after 6 months):
morning:
-Wake up at 4:45 am.
-15 minutes doing morning duties
-Do householder morning routine 
Day:
-20 sukha purvaka pranayama, 3 rounds of 10 bhastrika pranayamas and 3 rounds of 30 khapal bhati pranayamas
-10 malas of Japa
-30 minutes of meditation on image of the Lord or AUM
Night:
Householder night routine
Midnight:
-30 minutes of Japa, 30 minutes of meditation on “Amah Brahma Asmi”, Aum, or doing the Hamsa breath. 

Householder (advanced-about 2 years into Sadhana):
Morning:
-wake up
-15 minutes to take care of morning duties
-20 minutes of Japa or silent meditation
-40 rounds of sukha Purvaka Pranayama
-Asanas if time allows.  If not, pranayama is more important at this stage.
Day: same as before
Night:
-light dinner if any at all
-study scriptures
-10 minutes each asana
-40 rounds of sukha purvaka pranayama, 5 rounds of 10 bhastrika, 5 rounds of 50 khapal bhati bhastrika.
-1 hour of meditation doing Hamsa breath, or Aum, or image of the lord, or Japa.

Renunciant (advanced-about 3 years into routine):
Sunrise:
-1 hour of meditation
-40 rounds of sukha purvaka pranayama with 3 rounds of 10 bhastrika and 5 rounds of 50 khapal bhati.
-10 minutes each Asana
Noon:
-40 rounds of sukha purvaka pranayama.  No bhastrika or khapal bhati.
Sunsest:
-same as sunrise routine
Midnight:
-10 minutes each Asana
-40 rounds of Sukha Purvaka.  No bhastrika or khapal bhati.
-2 hours of meditation (whichever meditation you have grown fond of)


    Now then, at this point it will be hard for the householder to press any more time for Sadhana into his day.  Nadi Sodhana should be very close or already have been achieved in the advanced stage of training for a householder.  For a renunciant it will be achieved in the intermediate stage with some help from his Guru.  After some years has passed, the renunciant may replace most if not all of his hatha yoga sadhana with deep meditation.  I recommend at least always keep 1 hour a day of hatha yoga in your Sadhana to stay strong, flexible and healthy.  Once Nadi Sodhana is achieved it is not necessary to do so much pranayama a day.  As a householder, you should expect Nadi Sodhana to take close to 2 years of regular practice, but it can happen much sooner than that if you govern yourself according to Yama and Niyama.  The renunciant should strive to keep at least 40 pranayama a day in his routine after Nadi Sodhana has occurred, and the householder should strive to keep at least 20 rounds of pranayama a day as part of his Sadhana after Nadi Sodhana.  This ensures that Nadi Sodhana is not undone and that the Nadis stay clean and pure.  Once the householder can enter into full Dhyana after some years of practice, he can statr to replace his sleep little by little with dhyana (meditation).  After 5 or 6 years the Renunciant should be striving to keep 7 or 8 hours a day of deep meditation, preferably in as few sitting as possible (two sittings of four hours each in deep meditation is good).  Hatha yoga is encouraged because sitting for such lengths of time can cause hip and leg damage in older age.  With hatha yoga regularly done the chances of such damage are very rare as the legs and hips will stay strong and flexible getting the proper range of movement each day.  Learn as many asanas as you can to keep the legs and hips in good condition.  A renunciant will usually achieve Samadhi much sooner than a householder.  If a householder is very sincere than with as little as 14 or 15 years of dedicated Sadhana he may achieve Samadhi.  This is not long at all.  Think about it: most of you are in your late teens or early twenties here at Veritas.  That means that as soon as your early thirties you could be a completely liberated soul in full self-realization having many siddhis and completely absorbed in Bliss and ecstacy of God.  To be thirty years old and beyond death!  Many people don’t even start this science until late thirties or early forties, so start now while you are still young.


Part VI: Brief exposition of other Yoga systems


Bhakti Yoga: Bhakti Yoga is the means of uniting with God’s consciousness through absolute devotion and dedication of oneself to that God and his work.  It is said in the scriptures that in this age of the Kali yuga, Bhakti Yoga is the best means of liberation for the masses.  Now understand what this means.  It does not mean that Bhakti Yoga is the quickest and most effective means of self-realization.  Kriya Yoga holds that throne.  What it does mean is that very few people are suited for Raja Yoga practices such as Kriya Yoga.  It is a small percentage of the world.  Out of the entire population, 90 percent would reach liberation easier with Bhakti Yoga because there has to be a worshiped and a worshiper, a distinction between God’s consciousness and man’s consciousness.  Such a person could reach self-realization, but probably not God-realization.  About 10 percent of the population is probably capable of the kind of hard work and dedication needed to achieve full success with Raja Yoga.  Bhakti Yogas is the main stream religious practice in Hinduism and most of the Puranic literature of the Hindus preaches bhakti yoga as the chief means of liberation for this age of humanity.  Bhakti Yoga Has produced many saints, but it has the one main flaw of being able to potentially limit someone’s scope of consciousness to “this is my religion, this is my God, this one religion and god of mine is the only way to salvation.”  Thus it can bread close-mindedness if the ego is not properly destroyed.

   The chief meditative practice of bhakti yogis is Japa, which I will describe in the section about Japa Yoga.  For other meditations the Bhakti Yogi should use Saguna (with form) concepts of meditation.  He should do Trataka on the image of his Lord, he should meditate upon the Lord’s lotus feet and the various aspects of his body.  He should meditate upon the Divine Leelas (actions or past-times) of his Lord as presented in scripture.  He should strive to see his Lord in all things, and thus he achieves self-realization.  Following the vedic injunctions for religious ceremony and fire rituals the Bhakti yogi destroys his Karma and attains liberation.  For people of an emotional nature, Bhakti Yoga is recommended.  For people of an analytical nature, Raja Yoga is recommended. 

Hatha Yoga: Hatha yoga is the uniting of the Sun (Ha) and the moon (tha).  I have touched upon this school of yoga in great detail in the first part of this treatise entitled “Hatha Yoga”.  Nonetheless, I will expound a little more.  Hatha yoga proper is thought to have started with the Nath Yogis as a branch of Tantra.  Matsyendranath was a great Yogi who founded the school of Tantra after allegedly learning the art by overhearing a conversation between Shiva and Parvati.  Once Shiva appeared to Matsyendranath and he said “I will grant you any boon”.  Matsyendranath asked that he be given a disciple who would be even greater than himself.  Shiva said that there was no one on earth as skilled in Yoga as Matsyendranath, and thus Shiva himself had to incarnate as Gorakshanath who eventually founded the Nath tradition of Yoga.  Gorakshanath is thus Adi-Nath who is Shiva, and he is known as shiva-Goraksha-Babaji, the same Babaji of whom Yogananda wrote in his “Autobiography of a Yogi”, and the keeper of Kriya Yoga. 

   Now the “sun” is located in the navel and is Parvati.  There is a form of Kundalini here in 8 coils who is called the Madhya-shakti.  When she awakens then Kundalini has fully awakened.  The “moon” is a small chakra in the nath tradition that is located in the palate of the mouth where the legendary Amrita nectar is stored.  The Yogi in Kechari mudra drinks this nectar and attains immortality.  This moon is Shiva.  So then Hatha Yoga is the uniting of Shiva and Parvati.  Though Hatha Yoga is usually used as a step ladder to get to Raja Yoga, it can still lead the Yogi to Samadhi by itself.  The Hatha Yogi meditates upon the chakras and the nadis in the body during the asanas and the pranayamas.  When he attains Samadhi his body enters into the breathless state and performs many sacred and hidden Asanas that are known as the Asanas of Shiva.  Such a Hatha Yogi may very well achieve physical immortality having flushed the entire physical body with so much prana from successive years of asana and pranayama.     


Nada Yoga: Literally “sound union”.  Nada yoga is a very unique system of Yoga that is best done in conjunction with other yogic practices but can still lead the practitioner to Samadhi by itself.  In the Anahata Chakra there is a subtle nadi which connects the Anahata to the right ear.  By this Nadi, the yogi can learn to hear various astral sounds emitting off the chakras and nadis called the “Anahata sounds”.  These start out subtle with sounds like bees buzzing and crickets.  The yogi lets his mind become absorbed in these sounds and induces deep meditation.  The yogic scriptures all agree that “there is no Asana like Siddha, there is no bandha like mula, there is no mudra like Kechari and there is no bhava (absorption) like Nada (the mystical sounds)”.  It is as very beautiful experience.  After the simpler sounds like bees and crickets, then come sounds like flutes, lyres, drums, and harps.  The sound of thunder finally comes and induces Samadhi.  Deeper than this the sound of AUM is heard to resonate perfectly.  The finer sounds require Nadi Sodhana to hear.  The practice for hearing these sounds is very simple, and is called “brahmari”.  The Yogi takes his thumbs and applies pressure slightly up and in front of the ear opening where the lower and upper jaw connect at.  If you apply pressure and open the mouth you will feel the jaw bones connecting and opening.  By pushing down here, the ear canal closes and allows the yogi to quietly hear the Anahata sounds.  The other four fingers rest upon forehead.  As this can become very tiring to the muscles after some time, it is good to use something to rest your arms on that are should height, such as a chair in front of you or the bed.  Another great exercise for hearing the sounds is very similar and is called Yoni Mudra, the practice of which was given in the first part of this treatise.

   Applying some of the principals of nada yoga to music, occasionally a musical genius can learn the secret art of Taan.  In Taan, the yogi learns to play music on an instrument while in the breathless state of Samadhi and control with his mind the sound vibrations.  He can pluck a string of the harp and the sound will not come from the instrument, but off of whatever object he directs his mind too.  In this way he can play music inside the chakras and nadis which cause them to awaken in both himself and others.  The last known master of this art was Swami Nadabrahmananda, a disciple of Swami Sivananda.  He spent seven years learning the Kundalini Taan, and as a result could play music and the music would be heard to actually emit off of the muladhara chakra of the student.  He could awaken Kundalini like this, as a snake charmer controls a snake with music.  He was tested multiple times in American universities under scientific conditions and it was affirmed that he could go entirely breathless (with every orifice clogged up in an air-tight room) for 2 and ½ hours playing music the entire time.  It was also found that in a sound-tight room, after a few minutes of his presence music would actually start to emanate from the walls.  Aside from this, they hooked up small microphones to his body and found that even his skin emitted music.  I believe he died in the 1990's, and do not think there has been a Master of Taan since him. 

Japa Yoga: Japa Yoga is exactly what it says: attaining Samadhi with the practice of Japa.  Like most smaller systems of Yoga (such as Nada and Karma Yoga) it best serves as a complimen to a more substantial yoga system, but can still lead the Yogi to samadhi with just itself.  It completely revolves around the sole practice of Japa.  Now I know that there is some confusion as to the proper practice of Japa with people who are more used to the western spiritual traditions.  In Japa though you are repeating names of God or vedic sayings, you are not vibrating the name magickally.  Japa’s main purpose is to train the mind to be one-pointed.  Once this is done, then intense bhava (absorption) and Bhakti (devotion) are needed for it to lead you into deeper states of consciousness.  The mantra should be said quickly and well enunciated.  I will describe the practice of Japa in some detail.

   Get a mala strand if you can, which is a strand of 108 beads usually made either from Tulsi wood (for a devotee of vishnu) or Rudraksha seeds (for a devotee of Shiva).  In the center of the strand is a large bead called the Meru, which should not be passed by the fingers.  Once you come to the meru bead, turn around and go the other direction.  Traditionally the Mala is held with the thumb below the bead and the middle and ring fingers above the bead.  One may use the little finger too.  After the mantra is said, you use the middle and ring fingers to slide that bead over the thumb and go to the next bead.  This takes some practice, but can quickly be mastered.  The Mala strand is traditionally held in the right hand and at chest level or higher while sitting in meditation.  For the first few rounds (one complete strand of 108 beads, thus 108 mantras) the yogi should say the mantra out loud.  Once the mind quiets a little you can do the next few rounds slightly whispering the mantra, and once the mind has calmed down a lot you can resort to mental repetion of the mantra.  The yogi then monitors his mind raising the mantra to a whisper if the mind starts to wander again, or to saying it out loud if the mind gets even more off track.  Once calmed down again he works on bringing it back to a mental repetition.  There are two types of Japa: that done with bhava and that done with Bhakti.  Bhava is absorption, and means that in Bhava Japa the Yogi’s mind is focused only on the mantra itself and its meaning.  Thus his mind becomes absorbed in the sound of the mantra and he eventually attains Mantra Saiddhi, in which he can chant the mantra for hours upon hours in complete joy listening to the Universe chant the mantra back with the force of a thousand celestial voices.  The second type is Bhakti, which means devotion.  In Bhakti Japa the yogi keeps his mind focused on the Deva (god) or Devi (Goddess) of that mantra and thus has visions and samadhi of that deity.  Some people start with Bhava and move to bhakti, while others practice only one or the other.  Both can lead to Samadhi.  For the full benefits of Japa, you must repeat the mantra as many times a day as your normal body completes the ajapa (silent japa) of Soham or hamsa every day (i.e the number of times you breath in one day).  Thus you should aim to ultimately repeat the mantra 21,600 times a day, which should take 6-8 hours of constant Japa.  Then you have mantra siddhi.  It is good to do at least 108 full rounds or malas of Japa a day, 36 in the morning, 36 at noon and 36 at night if you want success in japa.  I will give some basic mantras, along with how many should be said in one minute on average during Japa according to the instructions of Swami Sivananda:
1. Om=140 a minute
2. Sri Rama= 120 a minute
3. Om Namah Shivaya= 80 a minute
4. Om Namo Narayana= 60 a minute
5. Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya= 40 a minute
6.. The Gayatri Mantra= 6 a minute
7. The Maha Mantra=8 a minute

   The Gayatri Mantra is “Om Bur Bhuva Svaha Tatsaviturvaranyam Bhargo Vedasya Dhimahi Dhiya Yo Nah Prachodayat”, and the Maha Mantra is “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare”.  As you can see, the mantras are said very fast.  In reality this is not that fast, only to a beginner.  With a few months of solid Japa Sadhana the repetition of the mantra becomes effortless and the above figures become considered slow.  With a good Japa Sadhana, in a few years you will have a physical Darshan (vision) of your Ishta Devata (God which you worship).  Be sincere in your efforts.  Japa can give many siddhis and bestow liberation.  It is a good practice, especially for beginners when used as the main practice of meditation. 

Jnana Yoga: Jnana Yoga (usually pronounced as “gyana”) literally means “knowledge union”.  The word “knowledge” here is identical with the greek concept of Gnosis.  It is a spiritual knowledge or realization of God.  In Jnana yoga this is specifically acquired by meditation on the Self and its relation to Atman.  As far as I’m concerned, jnana yoga is very hard to separate from the discipline of Raja Yoga and can easily be considered either an integral part of Raja yoga or a great compliment to it.  Good meditations for Jnana yoga are the Mahavakyas, or great Upanishadic utterances.  They are four in number:
1.  “Prajnanam Brahma”-Consciousness is Brahman
2. “Ayam Atma Brahma”-This Self is Brahman
3. “Tat Tvam Asi”-Thou art That!
4. “Aham Brahma Asmi”-I am Brahman.

   By meditation on these four great sayings, the Jnana yogi destroys all his Karma, merges the Jiva (soul) with the Brahman (Supersoul), and achieves liberation in Samadhi.  Contemplating any of these sayings leads to deep meditation very easily.  Pick one and stick with it, then you will realize.


Kriya Yoga: Though most people know at least a little about Kriya Yoga through the famous book “autobriography of a yogi” written by Paramahamsa Yogananda, I will explain it a little bit.  If you have not read that book. I promise you it as a book that reads better than most novels, and will inspire anyone who reads it.  Now then, Kriya Yoga literally means action union, but not in the sense that Karma Yoga (liberation through hard work) does.  The reason why it is called “action” is because the technique called “Kriya” is a specific meditative technique that requires the active use of will power to move certain energy currents along key points in the body (but in a manner different than Qi Qong or Tai Chi) while in deep meditation.  This one technique, called the Kriya, is the entire base of Kriya Yoga.  This one technique alone leads to liberation faster than any other yogic technique hither to revealed to man.  One complete “Kriya breath” is equivalent to one year of normal human spiritual evolution.  The yogi is advised to build up over a year or two up to 200 kriya a day minimum according to the founder of Kriya in this age, Lahiri Mahasaya.  200 kriya takes about an hour and a half, thus in that short amount of time the Yogi accomplishes 200 years of human evolution.  At that pace, in a little over 13 years the Yogi will accomplish one million years of normal human spiritual evolution. 

   I will talk a little bit about the history of this yoga.  The person who brought Kriya to the people of the world publicly was Lahiri Mahasaya in the late 1800s.  Lahiri Mahasaya had an amazing experience at around the age of 30 in India where he met in a cave the immortal yogi Babaji, who is an incarnation of Shiva himself as Yogadev(God of Yoga).  There Babaji awakened Lahiri’s consciousness back into Samadhi and he recalled all of his past lives, including the many lives he had spent as a direct disciple of Babaji in the Himalayan mountains.  Now Babaji had a small group of disciples that he kept with him from life to life.  Lahiri Mahasaya said that in order to avoid being found by common folk, whenever babaji sensed someone was coming he would hold out his staff and everyone would grab it.  He would then dematerialize everybody and they would reappear in another place in the Himalayan Mountains, and this is still what Babaji and his followers are doing to this day.  Lahiri Mahasaya, having been re-taught (or remembered) the technique of Kriya, he was ordered by Babaji to come back into society and teach it.  Lahiri Mahasaya did as instructed, and started teaching hundreds of students the science of Kriya.  He had many prominent and amazing students.  Lahiri himself was attributed thousands of miracles and constant displays of his complete control over the universe and Karma.  His wife became his disciple after waking up one night in bed because the room was so bright.  When she sat up she saw Lahiri sitting in the middle of the room in deep meditation with light coming from his body and dozens of angels in the room worshiping him. 

   Now while Lahiri had many amazing disciples, the one who is generally the most important to Kriya Yogis is a man by the name of Sri Yukteswar.  It was he who would eventually take on the young disciple Mukanda, who he later renamed as Yogananda.  Yogananda, an amazing man in himself, was one of the first Yogis to come to America in the early 1900s, if not THE first yogi.  He taught kriya yoga to masses of people and started a society which still is at large today called the “Self-Realization Fellowship”.  Yogananda achieved international fame with his book “autobiography of a yogi” which detailed his life and the amazing experiences he had with Sri Yukteswar.  After Yogananda died, his body was responsible for the first U.S Government certified medical miracle sealed by the official U.S Mortician.  It was found that even 28 days after the death of Yogananda, his body was in an incorruptible state.  His flesh was still warm, his body was soft and showed no signs of loss of color, stiffness (rigomortus), and decay.  Aside from this, his skin emitted a sweet nectar which made his body smell like roses.  After several days of clinical test, the U.S Mortician issued an official statement saying that there were no signs of embalming or any other preservative action taken on Yogananda’s body, and that his body was incorruptible by death.  An amazing end for an amazing man. 

   Now the technique itself is only taught by disciplic succession from Guru to disciple.  Though many people claim to know the original kriya and post the technique online, after months of searching I could not find one website that had the real technique.  Some of them were completely wrong and some were close, but none that I have seen online are the original technique itself, and thus don’t yield the same benefits.  However, even the sites that say they give the real technique (and trust me they don’t) still agree that you must learn the proper practice itself and the exercises that accompany it from a true Guru.  Should you wish to learn the technique, it is taught by the Self-Realization fellowship, the Kriya Foundation now headed by Prajnananda, and the Hamsa-Yoga Sangh of Gurunath.  Other people teach it, but these are the three groups that teach it the most accurately in my own opinion.  If you are looking for easy availability the Kriya Foundation of HariHarananda (now headed by Prajnananda) is perhaps the largest of the three groups with over a hundred locations around the world in most countries. 

Kundalini Yoga: Kundalini Yoga is usually considered to be the same practice as Raja Yoga, especially when practiced along side Hatha Yoga.  No Yoga is possible without the Kundalini.  Even those yogas which don’t specifically target or focus upon the Kundalini, it is still a vital part.  No Samadhi is possible without the Kundalini awakening and entering into the Brahma Nadi.  This causes the consciousness to flow into the causal body and merge with the super-conscious force of Kundalini resulting in Samadhi.  There are three types of Kundalini, roughly translated as lower, middle, and upper or cosmic Kundalini.  In every person the Kundalini is active on the first level or else sentient life is not possible.  When the Kundalini is active on the third level via its entry into the Brahma Nadi and into the Manipura chakra, then we say that Kundalini has awakened.  The “lower” Kundalini is in the base of the spine.  The middle Kundalini is in Manipura chakra, and the upper Kundalini is the cosmic kundalini.  When the Kundalini reaches the ajna chakra then we say you are self-realized.  When the Cosmic kundalini (the Shakti of the Universal Shiva) is brought down to the merge with the devotee’s own Kundalini with Shiva in the Sahasrara Chakra, then we say that the yogi is God-Realized.  He becomes an Avadhoot, which is a man who becomes God, instead of a God who becomes Man (Avatar).  This is called the Niruttana state of consciousness.  The personal Kundalini moves at the speed of sound, the Cosmic Kundalini moves at the speed of light hundreds of times faster.  There is a gap.  In order for this gap to be bridged, the Sat Guru is needed.  The Guru raises the vibrations of the personal kundalini in the yogi and lowers the vibrations of the cosmic Kundalini so that they can be in perfect harmony.  Now while a physical Sat Guru is preferred for this, a disincarnate master or a deity can do it as well.  For example, Jesus or one of the ancient Vedic Rishis or Shiva himself could cause such a state of God-consciousness, but only if the yogi was ready for it.  This is very rare, and it is better to find a fully realized being who can do this.



Final Comments:

   Thus I bring to an end my two part treatise on the royal science of Yoga.  If you practice the exercises and meditations given in this little treatise, you will see great benefits and have immense joy and bliss in a short time.  I have laid out techniques in both parts of this treatise which can over years of practice lead the Yogi to Samadhi and liberation.  Still, a Guru is necessary.  Do not think that you are know things about spiritual practice that was not known by the God-realized men who wrote the scriptures and yogic texts.

    Many people in the West say “I don’t need a Guru”.  This is because of Avidya or ignorance.  All the yogic scriptures speak in harmony when they say “Guru is necessary”.  Many people just don’t want to subconsciously admit that there is someone who is better than them.  This is pride and ego.  It will only harm you on the way to success.  People say “but I want to rough it out and experience all the hardships and pitfalls for myself”.  This is ego too.  They want to feel “special” like they have one up on everyone else.  In the end, they will just die and have to reincarnate again and again until they come to their senses, while the people who ran to a Guru will be free from the bonds of the material world and in complete bliss after a few years.  Eventually the ignorant man will, after many lives, finally throw himself at the feet of the guru and admit his ignorance and ask for forgiveness.  It is possible to have a god as a Guru, but it is extremely rare so don’t start your yoga training thinking “I will just assume that God will take form and be my guru”.  This is ego speaking.  Only very rare precious saints have a divine Ishta Devata (God which you worship) Guru.  Shiva Bala Yogi’s Guru was Lord Shiva who instructed him over many years with many visions how to meditate and achieve liberation.  Lahiri Mahasaya’s Guru was Shiva in the form of Babaji.  Arjuna’s guru was Krishna.  The Disciples of Jesus had to be given self-realization by Jesus himself before his ascension into heaven.  Guru is very important.  You will say “but here I am without a guru or even a direction to look for one”.  If you look and fervently pray and do your sadhana every day, then your Guru will come.  In a few years you will be with him.  He may be incarnate, but he not either.  You might be meditating one day and then suddenly a man materializes in your room or appears to you in a vision and starts instructing you.  Do not worry about IF guru will come.  It is not a possibility, it is an inevitability.  You will not have to think “I wonder if this is my Guru”, you will know either immediately upon seeing him or after spending some time with him. 

   That being said, I would like to give a quick explanation of my own personal yogic beliefs and why some of the teachings in this article differ slightly from some of the mainstream yogic texts.  I am a Nath Yogi, initiated into the Nath Sampradaya started by Goraknath who is Babaji many centuries ago.  Though I learned a great deal and practiced a lot before being initiated into the Nath Sampradaya, the Nath teachings reflect my view of universe and the practice of yoga the best and I fell in love with its teachings almost immediately upon studying them.  The nath yogis differ from the traditional Raja yoga teachings of Patanjali and other Yogis in quite a few ways as far as theory is concerned, but as far as practice yoga is still essentially Yoga regardless of the sect.  Most of the techniques are still the same.  The key differences between the Nath tradition and what has now become popular yoga are four:
1) Use of a system of 9 chakras instead of 7
2) The Naths have more emphasis on the waking state of consciousness instead of that achieved in deep meditation through Samadhi.  The Naths only acknowledge traditionally 4 types of samadhi, all of which are states of waking consciousness.
3) The Naths acknowledge 3 different Kundalinis instead of just one.  I have given a quick explanation of those three and the concept of the cosmic Kundalini in the above section discussing Kundalini yoga.  These three Kundalinis are called the Adhya Shakti, Madhya Shakti and Urdhva Shakti which I have translated respectively as lower, middle and upper or cosmic kundalini.
4. Instead of meditating upon concepts such as Brahman and the image of the Lord which is common in Raja Yoga, Nath yogis instead meditate upon different parts of the physical and spiritual body which consist of the 15 physical points (all of which confer siddhis) of meditation, along with 9 chakras, the main nadis, the 5 tattvas and the five “spaces” or akashas inside and outside of the body.  I have tried to refrain from including the Nath teachings too much into the article so that I would not conflict anywhere with people’s perceptions of what Yoga is. 

   All of that being said, I hope you have thoroughly enjoyed this treatise on yoga.               
 
 

       

 
« Last Edit: October 01, 2008, 03:39:15 PM by Veos »
Soham Sivoham Aham Brahma Asmi Mahavakya
Suddha satchitananda purna parabrahma
Chidananda Rupa Sivoham Sivoham

October 01, 2008, 04:38:35 PM
Reply #1

Veos

  • Teacher Emeritus
  • Veritas Furniture

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 473
  • Karma:
    44
    • View Profile
   I have compiled the entire Treatise of "The Practice of Yoga" parts I and II into pdf form in this attachment.  I hope you enjoy it.
Soham Sivoham Aham Brahma Asmi Mahavakya
Suddha satchitananda purna parabrahma
Chidananda Rupa Sivoham Sivoham

October 01, 2008, 05:35:44 PM
Reply #2

Saer

  • Veritas Furniture

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 480
  • Karma:
    3
    • View Profile
Thank you Veos. It was very enlightening and equally inspiring.
As you love your own body, so regard everyone as equal to your own body. When the Supreme Experience supervenes, everyone's service is revealed as one's own service. Call it a bird, an insect, an animal or a man, call it by any name you please, one serves one's own Self in every one of them. ~ Ma

October 01, 2008, 07:38:25 PM
Reply #3

Hech

  • Posts By Osmosis

  • Offline
  • *****
  • Regular Member

  • 1153
  • Karma:
    15
    • View Profile

October 01, 2008, 07:40:10 PM
Reply #4

TheAleph

  • A Familiar Feature

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 116
  • Karma:
    0
  • Personal Text
    א
    • View Profile
Thanks Veos!  :biggrin:
**prints**
"Today, a young man on acid, realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, and we are the imagination of ourselves... now here's Tom with the weather." - Bill Hicks

October 01, 2008, 10:26:57 PM
Reply #5

taaraka

  • Veritas Furniture

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 477
  • Karma:
    36
    • View Profile
OMG!! 

This is exactly what I was looking for....thank you Veos for all the work it took to put together.

:)

October 01, 2008, 11:17:02 PM
Reply #6

Shadow_Dragon

  • Veritas Moderator
  • Posts By Osmosis

  • Offline
  • *****
  • Discoverer of Imaginary Cult

  • 684
  • Karma:
    14
  • Personal Text
    Qing Jing Wei Tian Xia Zheng
    • View Profile
Wow, that's amazing. This is incredible. But I have SO many questions. I'll wait a little bit before I ask them, maybe I'll learn for myself, or maybe someone else will ask them.
Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate. -Sun Tzu

When the Mind is clear and still, all things under Heaven fall into place. -Lao Tzu

Drink your cup alone, though it taste of blood and tears, and praise God for the gift of taste. -Almustafa

October 02, 2008, 11:33:42 AM
Reply #7

Veos

  • Teacher Emeritus
  • Veritas Furniture

  • Offline
  • *****

  • 473
  • Karma:
    44
    • View Profile
I'm glad everyone enjoyed it. 
Soham Sivoham Aham Brahma Asmi Mahavakya
Suddha satchitananda purna parabrahma
Chidananda Rupa Sivoham Sivoham

October 02, 2008, 12:44:11 PM
Reply #8

Jesse9209

  • Veritas Furniture

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 415
  • Karma:
    29
    • View Profile
This really inspired me. I only hope I can keep this inspiration and motivation and practice what's in here. Amazing article Veos thank you very much for writing this. :)

October 02, 2008, 12:45:35 PM
Reply #9

Wushi

  • A Familiar Feature

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 214
  • Karma:
    3
  • Personal Text
    Om Namah Shivaya
    • View Profile
I do have one question though: You speak of helping people all the time and sacrifing yourself for the greater good (this is in my own wording ofcourse). But how can unconditional love expressed through help be a sacrifice, doesn't that slightly contradict? Is it not better not to help someone unless you are sincere in helping them and want nothing in return, thus instead of being a sacrifice it is another form of self-expression?
Konx Om Pax

October 02, 2008, 01:24:16 PM
Reply #10

Saer

  • Veritas Furniture

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 480
  • Karma:
    3
    • View Profile
I do have one question though: You speak of helping people all the time and sacrifing yourself for the greater good (this is in my own wording ofcourse). But how can unconditional love expressed through help be a sacrifice, doesn't that slightly contradict? Is it not better not to help someone unless you are sincere in helping them and want nothing in return, thus instead of being a sacrifice it is another form of self-expression?

I believe you have answered your own question in your wording. The entire goal of ones spiritual pursuit is to achieve the point where everything they do is selfless and out of the good for those around them. They do not take possession of their vessel, they identify it as belonging to their soul and as the weapon of God. When a man goes to help another, or give up one of his possessions, perhaps his time, then he is making a sacrifice. He is committing a selfless act, and all selfless acts require one to sacrifice something. When you love someone, you will wish them to be better than they are and you will feel inclined to act to see that they achieve what you see. Sincerity is never a question when genuine love is prevalent.
As you love your own body, so regard everyone as equal to your own body. When the Supreme Experience supervenes, everyone's service is revealed as one's own service. Call it a bird, an insect, an animal or a man, call it by any name you please, one serves one's own Self in every one of them. ~ Ma

October 03, 2008, 03:40:36 AM
Reply #11

Wushi

  • A Familiar Feature

  • Offline
  • ***

  • 214
  • Karma:
    3
  • Personal Text
    Om Namah Shivaya
    • View Profile
My point is: You wanting to help people isn't unconditional unless it is a natural byproduct of you living your own life. If we move this even further then how do you know you are not just helping their personality instead of helping their own evolution? Helping often implies not doing anything at all so people can learn their lessons their own way (By this I do not imply being arrogant or doing it from the ego-satisfaction of knowing what is going on but not telling them and so on ...). So (and I speak only for myself here) how do I know when I'm really helping someone? When it is a spontaneous act that is a byproduct of living my life and not because I have to or I want to help them. Thus even if they spit on me afterwards, I cannot possible regret helping them because I did it for the act itself, not to help them.
I believe that the only way to really help someone is if you first help yourself reach the level where helping people becomes natural and not because some law tells you to help people. (the paradox in this is that you'll eventually end up helping alot more people)

I know this probably sounds really abstract, but that is my own thought and (so far) experience on the matter and my own bias against certain laws of how one must live her life.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2008, 03:42:42 AM by Wushi »
Konx Om Pax

October 03, 2008, 05:33:33 AM
Reply #12

Trillis

  • Posts By Osmosis

  • Offline
  • *****
  • Has a lot of posts

  • 1244
  • Karma:
    13
    • View Profile
how do I know when I'm really helping someone?

I'm unsure if I can answer this directly, or accurately due to a misunderstanding of your post. But I find that normally when the universe puts you in a position to help someone immediately with what ever you have available then that is justification for giving them your services.

October 03, 2008, 05:38:01 AM
Reply #13

Fireblade

  • A Familiar Feature

  • Offline
  • ***
  • Greenhorn

  • 154
  • Karma:
    1
  • Personal Text
    Sorcerer from the North
    • View Profile
Great article Veos.
Thank you
What one know is a secret
What two knows: everyone knows
-Norwegian saying

October 03, 2008, 06:59:17 AM
Reply #14

Saer

  • Veritas Furniture

  • Offline
  • ****

  • 480
  • Karma:
    3
    • View Profile
My point is: You wanting to help people isn't unconditional unless it is a natural byproduct of you living your own life. If we move this even further then how do you know you are not just helping their personality instead of helping their own evolution? Helping often implies not doing anything at all so people can learn their lessons their own way (By this I do not imply being arrogant or doing it from the ego-satisfaction of knowing what is going on but not telling them and so on ...). So (and I speak only for myself here) how do I know when I'm really helping someone? When it is a spontaneous act that is a byproduct of living my life and not because I have to or I want to help them. Thus even if they spit on me afterwards, I cannot possible regret helping them because I did it for the act itself, not to help them.
I believe that the only way to really help someone is if you first help yourself reach the level where helping people becomes natural and not because some law tells you to help people. (the paradox in this is that you'll eventually end up helping alot more people)

I know this probably sounds really abstract, but that is my own thought and (so far) experience on the matter and my own bias against certain laws of how one must live her life.

Trillis basically answered your question, but I wanted to expand a little bit. Unconditional means you are helping someone without concern of their situation. Your help is not contingent upon their situation, you simply help them as you see it. As for it being natural, it's a matter of practice and spiritual growth. The more you practice, the more in-tune with the Universal laws do you become, the more useful you become to the Universe and therefore the more of a vessel in this world toward overall spiritual evolution do you become. At this point there are no thoughts of: "Should I help this person?", or "What if I am messing up this person's spiritual evolution?" The best charity isn't thought about. It happens when you feel inspired to do so. The more you progress, the more inspired you will feel.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2008, 07:22:55 AM by Saer »
As you love your own body, so regard everyone as equal to your own body. When the Supreme Experience supervenes, everyone's service is revealed as one's own service. Call it a bird, an insect, an animal or a man, call it by any name you please, one serves one's own Self in every one of them. ~ Ma