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(The Philosophical Part)
YOGI NOT DIFFERENT FROM SANYASI
Careful thinking leads to the conclusion that yogi (Karmayogi) and sanyasi are the same. From spiritual considerations there is no difference between Yoga and sanyas except for the name. It is an accepted principle that a person who performs actions but does not get attached to the fruits thereof, should only be considered as a yogi. Similarly, a person who performs actions appropriate to his caste and circumstances without maintaining the ego about his being the doer and does not permit the desire of the fruits to touch his mind is a sanyasi. Hence a sanyasi is doubtless a yogi also.
On the other hand he who considers routine and incidental duties (like offering to forefathers etc.) to be binding, forsakes them and turns to becoming a sanyasi gets himself into unnecessary problems. Why should one give up the burden of family life only to burden himself with the life of a renunciate? Shastras have stated that sanyasi is a yogi because when desire goes then only the essence of yoga is obtained.
YOGI SHOULD NOT ABANDON ACTIONS
One who follows the yoga path should not give up the path of actions. By assuming proper posture and breath-control, by steadying the intellect, controlling the organs and separating them from the sense-pleasures, he should turn the consciousness inwards and by continued abstraction of mind (Dharana), one should meditate. This will lead to elimination of the tendencies. Then the means (sadhana) becomes one with the goal and one becomes steady in the state of samadhi. By practising thus, the yogi reaches perfection.
Shri Krishna then described the characteristics of such a perfect person as follows: Sense objects do not enter his mind and he is engrossed in the Knowledge of the Self. He is not excited by the pleasures and sorrows in the world and he is not enticed by pleasures. Even if he has to perform actions he does not care about the fruits thereof. His actions are just sufficient for the survival of the body, otherwise he is oblivious to other actions. Such a person may be considered as settled in yoga.
Arjuna then asked as to who gives such a person this capability?
THE HARMFUL EGO
Shri Krishna said, "In this state of oneness who can give what and to whom?
A person dreams of life and death due to ignorance. But when he wakes up then he becomes aware that the dreams were unreal and he becomes aware of the truth that he himself is the Brahman. We harm ourselves by the unnecessary I-am-the-body ego.
One should give up this ego with discrimination and benefit by becoming one with Brahman. Really speaking, being infatuated by the body, one becomes one’s own enemy. An individual himself is Brahman but his intellect does not think so. A person who nurtures desire becomes his own enemy. On the other hand, he who does not bother about these bindings is the real knower of the Self.
For a person who has conquered his mind and calmed his desires the Supreme Self is not far. When thoughts disappear from the mind the soul becomes Brahman. (6:81-82). When the false ego completely vanishes he becomes one with the Brahman already present within him. The thoughts of hot and cold, happiness and sorrow, honour and insult are not possible in such a person. Just as whatever comes in the path of the sun gets illuminated, whoever comes in the path of such a perfect person becomes like him. The thoughts that these deeds are good and those are bad do not enter his mind because he has become one with Brahman and is devoid of the duality. When he ponders over the nature of the world he finds that it is unreal and when he searches for the knowledge about the reality, he experiences that that reality is himself. When later he tries to determine whether he is bound by space and time or all pervading, all his efforts stop because now his feeling of duality with Brahman vanishes. One who by remaining in his body has conquered his senses has automatically reached the level of Brahman. Such a person should be called a yogi who is the master of his senses. The differences like big and small do not enter his mind and a lump of earth, a precious stone or gold are same to him. (6:84-92). Then how can the ideas about friend and foe, relative or a stranger come to his mind? (6:94). To him everything in this world appears as Brahman. One who has experienced that this world is pervaded by Brahman is a person with vision of equality to everything. (6:100-101). Even if one remembers such person he becomes like that person. (6:104). But there is no limit to the praise of such a person. (6:111)
ARJUNA ASKS FOR ADVICE
Arjuna then expressed his desire that though he does not have the qualities of saints in him and perhaps he is not yet fit to understand the importance of these characteristics, Shri Krishna's advice might make him fit to become one with Brahman. (6:138-140). Shri Krishna, realising that this is the opportune time to tell him about the practice of Yoga, told Arjuna, (6:151),
ADVICE ON KUNDALINI YOGA
"What I am going to tell you now is that Yoga path which is the king among all yoga paths, therefore listen carefully. By this path one gains innumerable fruits of detachment through deliberate actions. Lord Shiva is even now a follower of this path. Some yogis tried other ways to attain Brahman but getting wiser by their experience they had to turn to this straight path of Self-realisation after which they made rapid progress. A person who has discovered this path forgets his thirst and hunger and is not aware about when day comes and night falls. Every step in this path opens the mine of liberation. Whether you go eastward or westward the progress on this path occurs quietly and definitely. (6:152-159). Now I shall tell you the details but they are useful only if you experience them. (6:163).
Selection of location First of all a suitable place should be selected for the practice. One should get a feeling of happiness on sitting there and a feeling that he should not leave the place. One’s sense of dispassion should increase while sitting there. Saints should have occupied that place earlier the effects of which are felt by getting a feeling of satisfaction, courage and zeal. By sitting there the practice of yoga should occur naturally and the beauty of the surroundings should give one the experience of the bliss of the Self. Even an atheist should feel like doing tapas there. (6:163-167)
That place should be beautiful and pure and should be inhabited only by seekers and be away from the crowds of ordinary people. Plenty of roots and fruit-laden trees should be available throughout the year and water should be available even in dry season especially from natural fountains. It should enjoy mild sun and cool breeze. It should be so thickly wooded that not only wild animals but even bees and parrots cannot enter. But there may be a few water birds around and perhaps cuckoo and occasional peacock may also be there. Arjuna, one should look for such a place carefully looking for a secret cave or a temple of Lord Shiva. (6:171-179).
Preparation of the seat After selecting one of the two places (cave or temple) one should sit there alone for a long time and check whether your mind becomes calm or not. If it becomes calm then one should prepare a seat there. The seat should be made of Darbha grass over which one should put a deerskin and further cover it by a clean washed cloth. The seat should be level and not too high or too low from the ground. If the seat is too high it will make the body unstable and if too low then it will touch the ground. In short the seat should be steady and comfortable. (6: 180-185).
Stabilising the mind Then one should sit there concentrating one's mind while remembering one's Guru. The Guru must be remembered until mind is filled with Sattvic (good) feelings so that one's ego gets blunted, mind is rid of thoughts of sense-objects, the organs do not stir. One should remain in this state until one experiences that mind has merged with the heart. In this state one experiences that body automatically becomes steady and airs in the body are coming together. After remaining in this state the mind stabilises and interests in worldly affairs get inhibited and he attains the state of trance effortlessly as soon as he sits on the seat. (6: 186-191).
Yogic posture and Chakras Now listen carefully to the yogic posture. First sit with the calves of the legs pressed against the thighs and keeping the left leg on the other leg at a slight angle, press the right sole steadily on the anus, keeping the sole of the left foot naturally pressed on the right foot. Pressing the heel tightly at the centre of the space between the anus and the base of the generating organ, one should balance the body on it, keeping the two ankles straight he should lift the base of the spinal column. This will make the whole body to be supported and balanced on the heel. This is the characteristic of the Mula Bandha posture (the knot at the root or base) also known as Vajrasana. Once this posture is successful then the downward path of the Apana part of the vital breath (or life force) gets blocked and it starts receding inside. [ N.B. There are ten classes of Prana (vital breath), five main and remaining five secondary. The main types are Prana, Apana, Samana, Vyana and Udana. Secondary Pranas are Naga, Kurma, Krikala, Devadatta and Dhananjaya.] (6:192-200).
Then let both palms in cupped shape rest on the left leg which will make the shoulders rise and the head automatically gets in between. The eyes then remain in half-closed state and the sight turns inside. Even if it turns outside it can look only up to the tip of the nose. The desire to look around vanishes. Then the neck gets contracted and the chin presses against the chest hiding the throat. This posture of the neck and chest is called Jalandhar Bandha or knot. (6:201-208).
Then the belly becomes flat and the navel gets raised. The posture of the part of the body between the navel and the anus is called Odhiyana Bandha or knot. (6:209-210).
Thus the Yoga practice starts with the external parts of the body while the thoughts, desires and other affairs of the mind vanish. He is not aware anymore of hunger and sleep. (6:211-213).
Awakening of Kundalini The Apana breath then hits the Muladhar Chakra situated at between the anus and the generating organ and removes all the impurities accumulated there since childhood. Then the Apana breath rises to the Manipur Chakra situated just below the navel and starts hitting against it. Thus the confined breath stirs the body from inside and removes the impurities accumulated since childhood. Then the powerful breath enters the abdomen and eliminates the phlegm and bile. Then it reaches the centres of the seven essential elements ( viz. flesh, blood, muscles, bones, marrow, chyle and semen), gets rid of the fat, and drives the marrow out from the bones. It cleans the blood vessels and relaxes the organs which may frighten one but the seeker should not get frightened. By creating these ailments it throws the diseases out from the body. That Apana breath brings the solid flesh and bones and the liquid blood together. (6:214-220).
While this goes on the Kundalini force awakens by virtue of the heat created by the yogic posture. It was sleeping like a baby cobra coiled in three and half coils near the navel with mouth facing down (6:221-223) and gets awakened due to the constriction by the Mula Bandha. (6:225).
Kundalini reaches other Chakras and purifies the body When it wakes up it opens its mouth and swallows the Apana which has occupied the space in the region of the heart. It then swallows the fat and excess flesh from the region of the heart and wherever it can find flesh. (6:229-231). Then it searches for the palms and soles, tears open the upper parts and searches every joint and organ. It extracts the vitality from the nails, purifies the skin and makes it touch the bones. Then it cleans the insides of the bones, and scrapes the interior of the blood vessels with the result that the roots of the hair are burnt. It then drinks off the seven essential elements and makes the body hot and dry. (6:232-235).
It then draws back the Prana coming out of the nose and the Apana which is inside and when they meet only the curtains of the six Chakras separate them. They would have met except that Kundalini asks them, "What business you have here? Get aside!" The principle is that Kundalini eats off the Earth principle (solid part) and also licks off completely the Water principle (liquid part) from the body and feeling satiated becomes mild and rests at the Sushumna (middle) nerve in the spine. (6:236-240). In this satisfied mood it vomits the saliva which becomes the nectar which guards the body. At this stage the heat leaves the body which now becomes cool from inside as well as outside because of which the lost strength comes back. The flow in the Sushumna nerve stops and the functions of the remaining nine Pranas stop. Because of this the body is without action and becomes still. The Ida and Pingala nerves in the spine meet and the three knots get loosened and the curtains of the six Chakras open. Then the vital airs passing through the right and left nostrils (which are designated Sun and Moon respectively) fade to the extent that even a flame will not flicker by them. (6:241-245). At this time, the intellect gets stilled and the remaining fragrance in the Prana enters the central (Sushumna) nerve along with the Kundalini. Then the spiritual nectar situated at the crown of the head spills into the mouth of the Kundalini and then gets absorbed throughout the body including the ten Pranas. (6:246-248).
Body gets rejuvenated The skin which covers the lustre of this nectar and is brightened by it is shed and all the organs show their bright aura. (6:250, 252-253). Now even Death is afraid of it (the body) and the aging process gets reversed and the yogi gets back his bygone childhood and he looks like a boy. (6:259-261). The yogi gets bright new nails. He gets new teeth also but they are tiny like a row of pearls. Tiny hair grow on the body. The palms and soles become red and the eyes become so clean that his vision cannot get confined within the eyelids and even with half-closed eyes the range of his vision reaches the sky. (6:262, 265-267). Though the colour of his skin becomes golden, his body becomes light as air because there is no earth and water principle in it now. He is able to see beyond the seas and understand what is going on in heaven. He is able to understand what is in an ant's mind and he can ride the wind. Even if he walks on water his feet do not get wet. Thus he attains spiritual powers (Siddhis) like these. (6:268-270).
Divine experiences Now listen to what happens further. The Kundalini, with the help of Prana rises up to the heart through the Sushumna nerve. (6:271). The yogi then starts hearing the divine Anahat sound. (6:274). The intellect which is near the Kundalini power becomes active and is now able to hear some of this Anahat sound. (6:275). There are ten types of Anahat sound and he hears the first type of sound called Ghosha and in this basin of Ghosha itself sound pictures are then generated which one see through one's imagination but when the person is not himself where is the imagination? Actually it is impossible to explain where the sound is coming from. (6:276-277). I forgot to tell you one thing that is the Anahat sound reverberations near the heart persist as long as Air principle is not destroyed. The reverberations in the Sky principle (space) open the window of the Brahmarandhra (Sahasrar) easily. There is another space above the lotus of the spiritual heart where the Consciousness pervades. (6:278-280). There the Kundalini flashes its energy and by giving away the intellect as an offering it makes the duality disappear. Now the Kundalini drops its brilliance and merges with the Prana. At that time it looks like a golden robe shed by a statue of air or like a tongue of lightening. (6:281-284). Thus when it reaches up to the lotus of the spiritual heart it looks like a golden chain or a stream of shining water. Then it suddenly vanishes in the space of the spiritual heart and its power dissolves into itself. Actually now we should call it power but it has really turned into gaseous fluid form because at that time sound, point and phase have vanished. In this state things like conquering the mind, holding the breath or meditating do not remain. Having desires or giving them up also stop. Therefore this Kundalini may be considered as the melting pot of all the five principles. (6:286-290). Dnyaneshwar Maharaj says, "Using the body itself to devour the ego about the body is the principle of the Nath Panth. Shri Krishna has merely mentioned it in the Gita, but I have put the details before the audience." (6:291-292)
Siddhis When the lustre of the power vanishes, the appearance of the body also changes and common eyes cannot see the real form of the yogi. Actually the gross body continues to possess the limbs and other organs but it is now made of air principle. (6:293-294). His body can become so light that he is called Khechar i.e. one who can travel through space. Once he reaches this stage his body performs miracles because now he has gained Siddhis. (6:296). One need not go into the details about these Siddhis, main point being that the three principles Earth, Water and Fire have disappeared from within his body. Of the five principles, Water principle has destroyed the Earth principle and Air principle has destroyed the Water principle while in the spiritual heart, the Air principle has destroyed the Fire principle. What remains is the Air principle in the shape of the body. But that too vanishes after some time in the space of the spiritual heart. At this time the Kundalini changes its name to Marut i.e. wind or air. But until it merges into Brahman its form as power persists. (6:297-301).
Then it breaks the Jalandhar knot and surges through the throat to the Brahmarandhra. With the help of recitation of the basic sound AUM, it rises to the Pashyanti stage of the sound and enters the Brahmarandhra up to the half of Tanmatra. By steadying itself in the Brahmarandhra, it embraces the Brahman. The curtain of the five principles is withdraws and the power meets the Supreme Brahman and it evaporates into it along with the Sky principle. (6:302-306). (N.B.: See Notes at the end of the Chapter)
Thus the soul which was separated from the Brahman by virtue of acquiring the body enters the Brahman. At that time thoughts about whether the soul is different from me that is the Brahman does not survive in the mind. (6:307-309). Thus the person experiences what is described as Sky principle merging with the sky which cannot be described in words but has only to be experienced. (6:310-311). Arjuna, understand that this phenomenon is not something explicit which can be understood by listening to words. There is nothing more left for him to know. I can only say that if one is fortunate then one should experience it and be one with the Brahman. (6:316-318). But it is meaningless to talk about it. That is the root of the universe, fruit of the yoga, and the energy of the bliss. There the forms dissolve. It is the place of liberation and beginning and end disappear there. It is the seed of the five principles and brightness of the Great Effulgence. When the nonbelievers tortured my devotees, I had to assume my beautiful four-armed form out of it (the Brahman). The great bliss of this state is beyond description. Persons who have realised Self by steadily striving for it have become pure and reached my status. (6:321-326).[N.B.:See Notes at the end of the Chapter).
Arjuna now gets a doubt whether he is fit for practising this yoga. He asks,
"Shri Krishna, I am convinced about the excellence of this yoga practice. But I am not worthy to practice it. What I want to ask you is whether anybody would be able to practice it or whether it requires one to be qualified to practice it." (6:333-337).
WORTHINESS FOR YOGA PRACTICE
Shri Krishna replied. "This yoga is a means to liberation. Even an ordinary task cannot be successful unless the doer is worthy and capable of doing it. But the worthiness can be judged only if and when the task is successful. If there is worthiness then only a task, when begun becomes successful. But capability is not something one can easily acquire. When a person, by becoming detached performs the prescribed actions then he becomes an authority. You can use this trick to attain worthiness. (6:339-343).
Arjuna, one rule of yoga practice is that he who does not perform prescribed actions does not become worthy. (6:344) One who is a slave to the pleasures of the tongue and of sleep does not have the right to practice yoga. Also, one who, out of obstinacy reduces his diet by suppressing his hunger and thirst and does not sleep properly cannot control his body and then how can he succeed in yoga? Therefore one should not pamper the sense- pleasures at the same time one should not totally abandon them also. (6:344-348). One should eat but it should be proper and in moderation. One should undertake only a limited number of tasks. One should talk only what is necessary, walk within limits and sleep at proper times only. (6:350) Even if one has to stay awake for any reason, it should not be beyond some specific limit. By such regular routine the essential constituents of the body remain in balance. And when the senses are satisfied in proper proportions the mind remains satisfied. (6:350-351). Once the external organs become regulated the internal happiness increases and the yoga is achieved even without practice. (6:353). One who by remaining regular practices yoga experiences the Self. (6:355). When mind becomes steady and remains so until death such a person may called a person who has achieved yoga. In this stage the mind of such a person may be compared to a flame in windless air. (6:357-358).
GAINS FROM YOGA PRACTICE
A beneficial thing appears as painful to a person. Otherwise nothing is easier than the practice of Yoga. (6:363). Only with the practice of yoga by sitting steadily in the posture as I described can the sense-organs be disciplined. Once that is achieved the mind automatically sets towards the Soul. When it returns from there and looks back at the Self it realises that I have been That all the time. Then it is immersed in bliss and dissolves in the Self. It becomes one with That beyond which there is nothing else and which can never be realised through the senses. (6:364-368). In this state, his mind remains steady and his awareness about the body vanishes even if it is afflicted by severe pains. (6:369-371) Because of this indescribable bliss he forgets other things also. Because of the pleasure of the experience of the Self the mind forgets the desires and is no longer mindful of the worldly matters. The bliss which adorns the yoga, and which gives satisfaction and knowledge appears in form by the study of the yoga and person who sees (experiences) it becomes of that form. (6:372-374).
ATTITUDES FOR STARTING YOGA PRACTICE
Arjuna, you may feel that this yoga is difficult, but in a way it is very easy. First one should get rid of desire and anger which arise out of thoughts in the mind. (6:375) The mind becomes calm once the sense pleasures are eliminated and organs are controlled. Thus once dispassion sets in desires do not come in the mind and courage shelters the intellect. Once the courage helps intellect it turns the mind towards Self-realisation. (6:375-378)
Even if this does not happen there is another easy way for Self-realisation. First one should make a rule that once a resolution is made it will not be changed. (6:379-380). If the mind becomes steady by this then well and good. But if it does not happen then let the mind wander freely. Then bring it back from wherever it has wandered. It will then be steady naturally. Once the mind is able to remain steady for some considerable time it will by itself come towards the Self and when it sees the Self it will become one with it. The dualism will then merge into monism and the three worlds will be bright by the light of the union. (6:381-384). Once the mind dissolves everything becomes full of divine energy. (6:386)
If you are not able to do even this then listen further. (6:390) One should fix the thought in the mind that I am in the body of every being and everything is in Me; that this universe and all living beings are interlinked. (6:391-392). Needless to say that he who sees my presence in every being with the feeling of equality and does not harbour discrimination in his mind based on outwardly differences between them, is undisputedly one with me. (6:393-394). Even though he is in his body, by not being involved with its affairs he reaches my level through his experiencing of the Brahman. He who has experienced my all-pervasive nature himself becomes all- pervasive. (6:401-402). I have seen that a person who has experienced Self in the three worlds is himself Brahman by virtue of his experience, even though he goes about normally in his body with people considering him in their perception as happy or unhappy, as the case may be. (6:407-408). Therefore my advice to you Arjuna is to practice the outlook of equality by which you will see the universe in yourself and be one with it. There is no other thing worth achieving than this outlook of equality. (6:410)
ARJUNA'S DOUBT ON NATURE OF MIND
Arjuna now raises a doubt, "Shri Krishna, the path you have told will not sustain because of the nature of the mind. It tortures the intellect and weakens the determination and runs away from courage. It creates desires in when one is in a state of satisfaction and wanders everywhere. It bounces if suppressed and assists if controlled. Because of this it does not appear possible that the mind will become steady and impart the sense of equality. (6:414-416).
DIRECTING THE MIND
Shri Krishna replied, "What you are telling is true. The mind is mercurial. But if, with the help of dispassion one should turn it towards the practice of yoga, then it will become steady after some time. The mind has one good quality and that is it develops a liking for a thing it gets attracted towards it therefore one should make it like the experience of the Self. (6:418-420).
Those who are not dispassionate and also do not practice yoga would find it impossible to control the mind. But if we do not at all bother about following the techniques of regulated behaviour (Yama- Niyama), do not bother about dispassion and get immersed in sense pleasures and thus did not conquer the mind then how can it become steady? Therefore let your actions be such as to control the mind and then we shall see how it does not become steady. "(6:421-424)
ARJUNA'S DOUBT: WHAT IF SEEKER DIES HALFWAY?
Now Arjuna raises one more doubt. He says, " Shri Krishna, I did not know about this yoga until now therefore I was thinking that mind is uncontrollable. But now, by your grace, the yoga has been introduced to me. But I have one more doubt which only you can settle. (6:428-430). If a person desirous of attaining liberation gives up the worldly pleasures with faith without doing spiritual efforts dies before attaining his goal will have neither the liberation nor the worldly pleasures. Thus in spite of having faith he has lost both. Please tell me what happens to such a person." (6:431-432).
SEEKER REBORN AS YOGI
Shri Krishna replied," Arjuna, can there be anything other than liberation for one who longs for it? He is taking rest in for some time, that is all. If he had practised yoga then he would have attained liberation before death. But because of lack of speed he had to stop in the middle. But liberation is reserved for him. (6:437-440). He reaches with ease the planes which are difficult even for Indra the king of Gods to attain. But he gets sick of the incomparable enjoyments on these planes and says all the time, Oh God! why are there impediments in my path to liberation?" Then he returns to the earth and is born in a religious family and then he starts gaining spiritual wealth. People in such family go by morals, speak clearly and truthfully and behave as prescribed in the Scriptures. (6:441-445). There the Vedas are the living deity, actions are guided by Swadharma and discrimination, thoughts are only about God and the family deity is their wealth. Thus on the strength of his meritorious deeds the person happily is born here. (6:446-448). Or he is born into the family of a yogi of high level. The person is already loaded even as a child with knowledge because of his past. Due to the mature intellect he knows all branches of knowledge naturally. (6:451-454). His intellect develops further from the point when he died in the earlier birth and he is able to grasp the mysterious subjects and even difficult things told by a Guru. (6:457, 459). His sense-organs come under his control, mind becomes one with the Prana the vital life-breath and the Prana dissolves in the consciousness. Somehow, Yoga practice also comes easily to him and he can attain the samadhi state without efforts. (6:460-461). Even in the stage of an acolyte he attains Siddhis. (6:464). Because after millions of years and after overcoming the impediments of thousands of births he has reached on the shores of the Self-realisation, he is able to do his spiritual exercises effortlessly. He gets the power of discrimination and in time putting that also behind and going beyond thought he becomes one with the Brahman. (6:465-467). He then gets that indescribable and unfathomable bliss which is beyond words. He becomes the living image of the state of the Brahman which is the ultimate fate. (6:469-470). He reaches this state while still in his body. (6:480) Consider him as my life-force. He experiences that he is the triumvirate devotee, devotion and the deity of devotion. This union of love between him and me can be described only as he being the soul in the body which is I. (6:482-485).
____________________________________________________________________Notes to Chapter 6:
Pranas (6:192-200). There are ten classes of Prana (vital breath), five main and five secondary. The main types are Prana, Apana, Samana, Vyana and Udana. Secondary Pranas are Naga, Kurma, Krikala, Devadatta and Dhananjaya.]
Chakras (6:214-220). Muladhar Chakra is the lowermost Chakra or centre located near the base of one's spine near about the sexual organs and at which the dormant Kundalini is located. There are six more Chakras above the Muladhar. These are, the Swadhishtan Chakra located a little above the Muladhar Chakra and below the navel. The third is the Manipur Chakra near the navel, the fourth is called Anahat Chakra and is near the heart. The fifth is the Vishuddha chakra at the throat. The sixth is the Adnya chakra in between the eyebrows. The seventh which is not always classed as a chanra is the Sahasrara or the centre of thousand lotus petals on the vertex crown. Starting from the Muladhar the successive Chakras get activated each giving unique experiences. Activation of the Chakras accelerates the spiritual progress. In time the seeker whose Kundalini is activated gets liberated from the influence of mundane subjects and finally gets the experience of the Divine. Depending upon the efforts of the seeker and Guru's benevolence the time taken from the awakening and the ultimate realisation may vary between immediate to several years and sometimes lifetimes too. The yoga postures desribed here should not be practiced without guidance from a teacher.
Nada, Bindu and Kalaa (6:286-290). Literally the verse 6:288 translates as : “Then it is called Power but really it is the Prana which is not aware now of Nada i.e. sound, Bindu i.e. bright light spot in between the eyebrows seen during meditation, or of Kalaa and the flame alternately the flame of Kalaa.” The meanings of terms Nada, Bindu and Kalaa in Tantra system to which Kundalini yoga belongs are very much different from the conventional meanings mentioned above. A brief explanation of the terms Nada-Bindu and Kalaa is given below. (For details refer to Kundalini Yoga by M. P. Pandit, Published by Ganesh and Co, Chennai 1968.)
The ultimate Supreme Reality is in the nature of Consciousness, Chit or the Spirit. The Pure Consciousness is Shiva. Inseparable from Him is Shakti, His Power. Shakti is the active or kinetic aspect while Shiva is the static aspect of the Consciousness Shiva-Shakti. It is Shakti who causes duality by instilling the thought that “I am different from the Self or the Shiva principle.” It is this Shakti through which Shiva causes creation using the 36 principles or Tattvas which include the five elements, the five senses, the five sense organs, the five action organs, the mind, the intellect etc. From Shakti issues the Nada the initial movement which culminates into Shabda-Brahman or Brahman as Sound. From Nada proceeds the Bindu or point (actually Para Bindu or supreme Bindu) which is the state of Shakti in which Self is identified with other objects. When such identification is not made an object appears as extended in space but with identification the object is experienced as an unextended point or Bindu. Both Nada and Para Bindu are the states of Shakti in a mood to manifest Herself. The Para Bindu divides itself into three subsidiary Bindus bringing forth the threefold aspects: Karyabindu which is of the nature of Shiva, Bija which of the nature of Shakti and Nada which is Shiva-Shakti which is the mutual relation between Shiva and Shakti. These three bindus form the triangle called Kamakalaa, the Divine desire for Manifestation. Thus Nada, Bindu and Kalaa are the states of Shakti to manifest Herself. Hence Nada-Bindu-Kalaa should mean manifestation of Shakti as the material world.
Four types of sounds (6:302-306). There are four types of sounds - Vaikhari, Madhyama, Pashyanti and Para. Vaikhari sound is the audible sound we hear as words. Madhyama cannot be heard but its meaning can be understood subconsciously. Pashyanti and Para are still more subtle sounds which common persons cannot hear. In this connection this is what the Nath Panthis say: We have to work continuously for guiding people as per their directive messages from sages like Vyasa etc. who guide the universe by passing divine instructions. The first vibrations generated from the nothingness (i.e. the Brahman) make their first appearance in the consciousness of the Naths. This is in the Para state (of communication). Avadhuts (i.e. yogis who have reached perfection) hear the messages in the Pashyanti state. They receive the vibrations from Naths. Kriyasiddhas (i.e. advanced yogis who are supposed to do actions) receive the messages in Madhyama state, Their task is to pass these messages to different spiritual authorities as per their status. The last state is Vaikhari where the instructions are given a voice and the advice is communicated to public through discourses etc. The aim of a Nath Panthi is to help people without caring about his own personal liberation. Because of the compassion for all the living, he takes birth again and again anywhere on the earth in all communities and not necessarily as an ordained a Nath Panthi during that birth.
Tanmatra is the subtle form of a word or sound before it is expressed. Half tanmatra is the still more subtle form.
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