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In the quest of the everlasting, the fountain of the spiritual Mother Energy has always been a source of investigation. Such a search has been carried out through an innumerable ages in India. India has been a sure asset for tapping such an energy and has always been a master guide to satisfy such a quench. Among the stalwarts the crown jewel of saints Shree Jnaneshwar Maharaj has already been a pathmaker for a man in the street hankering and really thirsty and full of inquisitiveness for such knowledge. He has explored it through Jnaneshwari in which every stanza is drenched with nectar of everemerging Mothers Grace.
Mahayoga will have to be regarded as the simplest, free-of-cost and topmost, the world has since ever seen. Various means and methods have been glorified and they possess their own specificity.
This information comprises in a nutshell, the cardinal essentials which would encompass the practices as well as the amazing experiences which bear truth as gathered from the varied masses, those would ensure its effectiveness leading slowly toward entire satisfaction and attaining of real worth of life structure.
Even a clear observational glance through the "signs of awakened Kundalini" especially by this marvelous method of ‘Shaktipata’ would capture the hearts of the eagerly searching souls in the real quest of living eternal happiness.
Words have their limits and would surrender to the eternal unfathomable depth and would cease and merge in themselves.
Oh! My dear friends! ‘Shaktipata’ method in these mundane transitory evermarching worldly affairs, positively and spontaneously too, move your hearts and would try to bring on a natural automatic overflowing nectarous stream with an everlasting peace of mind.
The amazing wonderful part of this Shaktipata sadhana is that the things would happen due to a powerful (perhaps unchallengable) force, automatically driven by a divine power due to which the world exists and moves without any purposeful effort.
The readers are therefore requested to throw off themselves in the everlasting potential of the Mother Energy by relaxing their body elements to the highest relaxcity and the par excellence surrender of thoughts to experience the inner core of solemnity.
Entry towards the ‘Shaktipata’ doctrine, by accepting Deeksha (initiation), would be the only course to achieve the ever melodious and evercharming blissful grace.
(N. Y. Dhekane)
General Outline of Mahayoga
Throughout the world it is only in India that the Science of Yoga has been studied in detail with good depth and with practical demonstration. The four main branches of the Science of Yoga known to the people are Hatha Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Laya Yoga, and Raja Yoga. But the path of the Siddha Yoga (Maha Yoga or the Yoga of awakening the Serpent Power, Kundalini Shakti Jagaran), the supreme path of the Indian Origin, is recently coming into light among the people. This narration has been put forward to acquaint the common people the importance of the Siddha Yoga.
In these days of intolerable stress and strain prevalent in our homes, country and the world, to maintain the balance of mind is exceedingly difficult. Following the path of Siddha Yoga it would be easier for anyone to maintain the mental equilibrium.
Shrimad Bhagavad Geeta can be considered as an authentic text on the Siddha Yoga. Each and every chapter of this Divine Song (Gita) concludes with refrain,
[Tr.: Thus in the Upanishad of Shrimad Bhagawad Geeta, the science of Absolute Reality (Brahma-Vidya) and in the scriptures of yoga......]
Even on the battlefield Lord Krishna insists on Arjuna, to be a Yogi rather than becoming an ascetic (one who performs penance) or a jnani (pursuer of knowledge), or a karma yogi (a man performing rituals or selfless actions).
In Bhagavad Geeta, Lord has advised people making Arjuna as the medium, to follow and practise this secret Raj-Vidya. This Raj-Vidya is the supermost spiritual knowledge. Lord desires that people should procure that knowledge which is advocated by the Vedas. Shri Jnaneshwar Maharaj, the crown jewel amongst the Saints has expounded the Geeta through his commentary Jnaneshvari so explicitly that the (bottom most people) layman can follow it. He begins his Jnaneshwari with:
[Tr. : Bow to the Primal Power, Om (Pranava) which is described in the Vedas, (and) hail to the Supreme Soul to be realised by the self.]
In his youth when Lord Shri Rama was in a perplexed state of mind, His Holiness the sage Shri Vasishtha (the great spiritual master) showered on him with the grace of Siddha Yoga initiation, by the power of which all the doubts of Shri Rama were dispelled at once. Likewise Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa by merely a touch graced Shri Vivekananda with the spiritual power which led him to achieve his life's ultimate goal of Self-Realisation. To achieve one's life's goal (Self-Realisation) it is important to have recourse to the Siddha Yoga for his spiritual progress. The follower of this path can maintain the equilibrium of his mind and body in these circumstances of stress and strain.He can easily attain the stage of a person with a steady mind as envisaged by Lord Krishna in his Divine Song, Bhagavad Geeta.
What is Mahayoga (also known as Siddha Yoga)?
In this system of the Siddha Yoga the initiated has to take no efforts to achieve his final goal. Hence it is called the Siddha Yoga. The follower of this path starts experiencing involuntarily various movements of the mind and body due to the will power of the spiritual master. The tendencies of the mind towards the external worldly pleasures of the aspirant are slowly reverted to inner bliss of the Soul.The extrovert aspirant gradually becomes introvert by the grace of his spiritual master. Through Sushumna from the base of the spinal (cord) column (Mooladhara),the current of the Life Force (Prana), which moves upward towards Sahasrara, is felt by the initiated and he also starts getting various astonishing spiritual experiences which are innumerable. Some of the experiences of this kind are incorporated in the chapter-III under paragraph eight for information. It is worth remembering that all these experiences are not acquired by each and every aspirant but only those expericences are experienced which are essential for the perfection of that aspirant.
Mahayoga/Siddha Yoga also means Shaktipata Yoga (Transmission of Power):
Following the (Maha Vakya) Great Statements of the Vedas when a human being experiences communion with God (Brahma), it is called 'Knowledge'. By the grace of God and by the favourable glance of the spiritual master a deserving disciple achieves this 'Knowledge' through the transmission of spiritual power.
Shaktipat:(Tramission of Spiritual Power/Descent of spiritual energy upon an aspirant):
Although the Serpent Power (Kundalini Shakti) is all pervading and eternal it remains ensnared in the sinful deeds of the past many births. By the grace of the spiritual master the sins committed by the intiated are uprooted and the dormant Serpent Power (Kundalini Shakti) becomes active. The layers over the Primal Power (Moola Shakti i.e. Kundalini) are removed and she merges into her original form of the Divine Entity by the transmission of spiritual power. Owing to the awakening of the Serpent Power, the vital Life Force (Prana) rises upward and consequently mind and Life Force (Prana) both merge into one completely. Hence this path is known as the Siddha Yoga or Maha Yoga.
This path is of the type of [Restraint over tendencies of mind] mentioned in Yoga Darshan by the great sage Patanjali. This state of mind can be achieved spontaneously and instantly by the grace of a spiritual master. The important difference between the Siddha Yoga and other Yogic paths is that the followers of other yogic systems have to make strenuous efforts to accomplish the final goal,while the follower of the Siddha Yoga experiences automatic physical movements of all the four Yogas namely, Hatha, Mantra, Laya and Raja according to the requirements of his body, mind and accumulated impressions of past deeds. If an aspirant needs Bandha, Mudra and Pranayama (breath control) to purify his mind, Prana and senses, these Yogic feats (movements) would happen automatically. If the aspirant needs mantra, he would receive it in a dream or through the divine utterances etc. Like-wise it is also observed that the spiritual progress of a devotee, absorbed in God's worship is accelerated and he attains higher stages like Manonmani and A-manaska (higher thoughtless state of mind) due to grace of the serpent power (Kundalini Shakti). It can be stated firmly that for the complete purification of an aspirant's mind and body, the serpent power (Kundalini) herself employs one or all the four ways of Yoga.
Information about the Serpent Power (Kundalini):
The Serpent Power (Kundalini) having coiled up in three and half turns resides in the base of spinal column (in the Mooladhara). Her original nature is similar to the light of crores of lamps put together. Its awakening is quite essential. After the initiation the initiated feels the presence of the Serpent Power (Kundalini) in the form of vital Life Force (Prana) through the automatic process of breath-control (Pranayam). As she remains dormant (asleep) on the bulb at the base of spinal column (Mooladhara), the aspirant remains in ignorance. Though the aspirant is the form of God Shiva, the supreme power in him remains covered. The supreme power generates Life Force (Prana/Vital air) breath, Fire (Agni), vitality (Bindu) and sound (Nada). To gain the knowldge of this power (Serpant Power) one has to surrender himself completely to the spiritual master for his favourable grace. Some people call this power (Shakti) as the Primal - Fundamental Power, some as sushumna, some as Kundalini (serpent power), and some as Sarasvati, Deity of learning. She is also known as Mahamaya, Mahalaxmi, Mahadevi, Sarasvati and invisible Fundamental Power (energy). Because of Her presence, one's body, mind and breath (Prana) become active. All the activities of the world spring from this Supreme Power. Aspirants who are not initiated do not get real benefits of their efforts of practising meditation, of knowledge of scripture etc., of Yogic practices, of recitation of God's name, of penance, of worship of God or of any kind of religious service. Therefore it is absolutely essential for an aspirant to get initiated. Our physical birth is due to our mother whereas our spiritual birth is due to the initiation of our spiritual master. Once the Serpent Power is awakened, Yogic Practices, recitation of holy name (Mantra), worship of God, reading of holy verses, in whatsoever way they are performed, yield good results. The life of the initiated person turns into the one full of spiritual joy.
Guru Tattva [The Power of the Spiritual Master]:
An aspirant has to surrender himself to the spiritual master and pray him personally or through a prayer-letter for bestowing on him his grace to awaken his Kundalini. Just as a lamp is kindled by another lamp, a spiritual master awakens the serpent power of the aspirant, who surrenders himself totally to the master with full faith and devotion. Consequnetly all his sins are gradually wiped off and the initiated begins to feel the presence of Divine Power. This is how the Guru-Tattva operates. According to the spiritual science, the principle, which makes the initiated feel the direct experience of the transmission of power (Shaktipat) is the Guru-Principle. Preceptors of Vedas call this spiritual power, Chiti-Shakti, Yogis call her the Serpent Power (Kundalini), where as mantra yogis call her Mantra-Chaitanya.
Respect for the Family of a Spiritual Master:
As a spiritual Master is divinity incarnate (God himself), the progress of an aspirant commensurates with the degree of intensity of respect which he has for his spiritual master. The initiated should try to have no untoward feelings for his spiritual master or for the initiated fellow-brothers. Otherwise it will mar his progress. If there is good friendly and brotherly relationship among the disciples of the spiritual master the progress of spiritual power (Guru Tattva) is fast. It is beneficial too. The superb feeling of well-being among all the initiated fellow brothers, described in the following verse of the Rigveda will enhance the spiritual progress of all and will bring worldly, Divine and spiritual peace to all.
[Tr.: Pray God, let all be happy, healthy and prosperous. Let there not be anyone grief-stricken.]
Shri Jnaneshwar Maharaj Praises the Siddha Yoga:
The path of the Siddha Yoga can be compared to the path of birds' sky-way (Vihangam Marg), in which an aspirant bird enjoys easily the fruit (of spiritual progress) owing to the godly gifted power. The Saint Shri Jnaneshwar Maharaj was initiated into the path of Siddha Yoga by his spiritual master, Shri Nivrittinath Maharaj. He has related the yogic experiences of this Yoga in several places in Jnaneshwari for the benefits of all the fellow pilgrims of the spiritual path. Especially in the sixth chapter of Jnaneshwari, as the blessings of his spiritual master, he has narrated in detail some of his own Yogic experiences which he himself experienced without any effort. While reading the description of this path in the Jnaneshwari it is possible that comman man may feel that such a difficult path is not easy to follow. But by the grace of a spiritual master an aspirant starts getting these experiences automatically without any strenuous efforts. So they need not have such fears. The initiated persons have to simply watch whatever the experiences arise in their meditation (spiritual practice). Shri Jnaneshwar Maharaj has disapproved of other Yogas and other Yogic exercises which require special efforts. In the fifth Abhang of his book 'Haripath' he says,
[Tran. Various yogic practices and sacred sacrifical offerings would not yield results leading to man's final goal, for they are sheer waste of energy and would create hurdle like egoism in the spiritual path.]
It seems that he has indirectly criticised other strenuous paths of Yoga. The Siddha Yoga, transmitted by his spiritual master Shri Nivruttinath Maharaj and practised and experienced by him should be made known to common people as it is easy to follow, hence he recommends it in his work, Jnaneshwari:
[Tran. Is there anything so easy as this yoga ?]
The Siddha Yoga the Bestowal of Eternal Bliss:
Worldy pleasures solely depend upon outside objects of men. For example, you get amiable wife, a renowned son and an official promotion etc., all these pleasures you receive from external objects. These pleasures are simply transitory. The spiritual joy is attainable even without ear-pleasing words, eyecatching sights or enchanting fragrance. This is the bliss of the Soul. This unparallel path of Sidda Yoga is the bestowal of eternal bliss.
The Significance of Prana
Prana (Chaitanya): The Main Deity of the Siddha Yoga.
The Life Force (Prana) coupled with the will of the spiritual master is the main Deity in the practice of the Siddha Yoga. The worship of this Deity means efforts being made to obtain the grace of the spiritual master. To obtain the grace of this Deity, the importance of the Life Force (Prana) should be understood thoroughly.
Prana - The Real (Bosom) Friend in the Life
There is none who does not know the Life Force (Prana) for in the practical life the Prana (Life Force) means involuntary process of breathing. Who doesn't know it ? The importance of the Deity is easy to understand. The (Life Force) Prana is the vital principle of the whole world and a layman is capable of grasping its meaning. In the practical life one may emphatically say, "Someone is my 'bosom friend' and dearer to me like the Prana (Life Force)". But it may happen that due to difference of opinion, both may get separated and their friendship is broken. However from the beginning of life till its end, it is only the Prana that maintains the real friendly ties and deserves to be called as, the real friend. The compound word the 'Life-Friend', should be understood in such way that Life Force (Prana) is the 'real eternal friend' or the intimate friend. For if the Life Force (Prana) deserts the mortal body of a man, his life comes to an end.
According to the philosophy of the Upnishadas (it means) the Life Force (Prana) itself is nectar. The tenet is quite known and popular.
[Tr.: The whole world is embodied in Prana.]
Breath may be taken as the moving form of the Life Force. Only the still breath contains profound energy. The energy in the breath is indebted to the (Life Force) Prana.
Who is strong - the Prana (Life Force) or the Mind?
Mind and the Prana are very close and in the practice of breath-control (Pranayama) the control over the breath gives strength to it (Prana). When the mind stirs, the breath also starts pulsating, similarly when the Prana (Life Force) is disturbed, the mind also gets stirred. It is revealed that the Life Force (Prana) is superior to the mind. For example, at times there is a competition amongst children to find out who can hold breath for a long time, an attempt is made to subdue the Life Force (Prana) overlooking its significance. What would happen if a child makes an attempt to control breath for a longer time only on the strength of mind? Ordinarily breath can be controlled for 20, 25 or 30 seconds only, but if the breath is held for a longer time the hand over the nostril is thrown off aside due to the force of Prana and Prana rushes in. Therefore the strength of the Life Force (Prana) is superior to the mind.
The Nature of mind and Prana (Life Force):
The relation between mind and Prana is revealed in the Purusha Sookta.
[The moon emerged from the mind and that the Sun from the eye of the body of the cosmic Person]. In this hymn the description which the ancient sage has laid down before us is quite useful in comprehending their significance. In the context of the formation of the universe, the comparison between the moon and mind as well as between the sun and Prana is quite convincing. It indicates their prudence. The comparison of the moon and mind is very apt. Just as the moon has full-moon and no-moon phases of the opposite direction, the mind too has two extremes. It sometimes ascends to the higher ideas and descends to the lower mean thoughts. The mind sometimes assumes itself as a king and remains in the lofty thoughts and ideas but in a moment it sinks into beastly thoughts. Chaitanya Shakti as compared to the Sun is eternal and is the cause of creation, sustenance and destruction of the Universe. In the hymn of Saura Sukta, the Sun is said to be the soul of the Universe and it is also the Life Force (Prana) of the Universe.
It is evident that Prana is the eternal principle of the Universe. The other notable fact is that according to the astronomical science the moon is luminous owing to the light of the Sun. The moon has no light of her own. The luminosity of the moon is only due to the reflected rays of the Sun. It means the moon cannot shine without the existence of the Sun. As per the analogy cited above, it will not be untrue to say that mind owes its existence to Prana. Even if mind ceases thinking and pondering for some time, the life of a human being continues to exist. But if Prana stops functioning, the mind will not exist at all. When the soul deserts the body, the Life Force (Prana) reverts to its original place in the outside world. Mind which like the moon oscillates between full-moon and no-moon phases which are unsteady and transient, cannot be an ideal object for meditation. On the contrary the Life Force (Prana) akin to the Sun should be accepted as the eternal principle of the Truth. Its worship is beneficial and acceptable to us. That is why in India the worship of the Sun is considered to be superior.
The Universal Importance of the Life Force (Prana):
From the aforesaid exposition you must have observed that the (Life Force Principle) Prana Tattva is superior to the mind. Not only that but if we say "the Prana is the only religion of the whole world", such a statement will have to be accepted as the true one. The sages have defined religion as:
[Tr.: That which sustains life is religion and religion sustains people.]
If this definition is accepted, the same can be further elucidated; the existence of body, mind and intellect is not possible without Prana. Without Chaitanya all the functions of (sense-organs like) hearing, speaking, touching, seeing, smelling, as well as tasting are not possible. It can easily be understood that the Life Force (Prana), which is the all pervading primal force is the basic religion of the universe. It is an irrefutable fact that Chaitanya is the only religion of the whole Universe. It needs no further debate, for all the discussion would be futile. We shall have to accept that Chaitanya (Prana Tattwa) is supreme doctrine. If a prime minister or a person having the highest post like the President of a nation or a less intellectual person or any layman proudly says, "My dear friend, your religion is not acceptable to me and I shall not follow it". His speech of this type is of no value. While speaking and thinking in the absence of the Life Force (Prana) i.e. Chaitanya, a person is completely incapable of expressing his thoughts by way of speech. Prana is the only religion of the whole world. You may call it by any name, some call it Self Consciousness (Atma Tattva), some call it as Consciousness (Chaitanya), some call it Supreme Consciousness (Brahma Tattva) and some call it as cosmos. Thus it is undebatable truth that Chaitanya is the only religion of all.
How is the Life force (Prana) supreme?
A story in the Upanishada clarifies the fact that the Life Force (Prana) is supreme.
Once there was a quarrel over the superiority amongst the sense-organs used for seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling. First of all eyes claimed, "You cannot enjoy the beauty of the world without eyes and then what is the life worth for? The life would be gloomy. Hence in all the sense-oragans we are superior to all". The ears contended, "if you are unable to hear melodious chirping of birds, sweet babble of children and ear-pleasing superior music, you will greatly be missing charm in your life". "Pleasant sensation experienced by the tender touch of the skin will not be enjoyed in my absence, hence you should accept my importance," emphasized vehemently the senseorgan skin. The tongue argued in an enchanting manner, "To relish the taste of different foods varying from tasteful dishes to the sweet nectar, my presence is a must". At last the nose posed his superiority saying, "Only with my help you can enjoy fragrance of different perfumes and flowers like roses. Hence you cannot reject my superiority."
The Prana, the king of the sense-organs, was already present there, when this controversy among the sense-organs was going on. In order to apprise the sense-organs their real worth the Life Force (Prana) said, "You can continue your debate over the supremacy, I am just going out for half an hour." Saying thus when the Life Force the Supreme Lord of all (Prana-nath) started to move out, each sense-organ began to lose its intrinsic power of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling. Eyes failed to see and ears to hear, the skin could not feel the touch, the tongue lost its tasting ability and the nose its sense of smelling. All the sense-organs realised their mistake and they entreated the Life Force (Prana) not to desert them. It is evident from this story that the doctrine of the Life Force (Prana) is the only supreme principle in the Life.
Chaitanya is the only religion, all the rest are modes of worship.
Everybody in the world asserts that, "Only my religion is superior". How would you refute this statement? Hindus claim that Hinduism is supreme, Muslims advocate that their religion is superior, Christians propagate that Christianity is superior and Christ is the saviour of the world. In this way all the religions boast their superiority to others. How would you convince them the superiority of Chaitanya-religion? The suitable reply to them is, according to our view, Consciouness (Chaitanya) is the only religion of the world. All other so called 'religions' are simply various modes of worship. The belief of Hindus in many deities gave rise to different sects which can be called as various paths (to Self-Realisation), such as Vaishnava and Shaiva are the two forms of worship. All these are different ways of worshipping the Consciousness (Chaitanya). Shiya and Sunni are the two sects amongst Muslims. They can be said as the two ways of approaching Chaitanya. Christianity too has different sects known as Catholic, Protestant etc. They too also in a way worship Chaitanya. All religions follow different ways of worshipping, but all of them really speaking, worship Chaitanya Shakti. If the Chaitanya-religion is not accepted, no religious worship is possible in the practical life. If Hindus desire to read Bhagavad Geeta, Muslims wish to read Kuran and Christians long to read Bible, without exception all will have to rely on the Life Force (Prana), Chaitanya. Worship of any kind is quite impossible without the presence of Prana.
Really speaking all the people of different sects (and religions) in a way worship the Consciousness (Chaitanya) by various ways. In this world there is nothing but Chaitanya, hence any worship devoid of Chaitanya will not only be spiritless but lifeless too and cannot exist. According to the discipline of the Siddha Yoga, the worship of Consciousness-(Chaitanya)-the Life Force (Prana) is acceptable to all followers of different sects. Therefore people of all (so called) religions in the world qualify themselves and are eligible for the practice of this Siddha Yoga.
Chanting of God's name is the worship of the Life Force (Prana):
Mostly all the great souls and the saints insist on chanting of the holy name of God. It is also considered to be the main and easy way of activating the Serpent Power (Kundalini Shakti). Then why do you harp on following the path of the Prana-Sadhana? Some people think that chanting of the holy name is insignificant. But it is not so. To understand the real value of 'Name', let us take an example in the practical Life.
A person named John died. The whole family was overshadowed with grief. "Oh! John has departed, who will now look after us? What will be our fate?". In this way the members of the family mourned. At that time a boy came there and said, "Why are you all weeping ? John is still lying here". But the elders in the family told him, "It is the body of John. John is not now in this body". John has deserted the body. Here a question arises that to whom we should attach the name John, to the body or to the Chaitanya?. It would be proper to say that it is the Chaitanya in John that has left the body. Here the name signifies Consciousness (Chaitanya) and name John = Life Force (Prana).
Our names in the practical life are quite essential to know one another, but our body is not our real form, for our true form is the Chaitanya, which resides in our bodies with different names. Hence chanting of holy name in essence is the worship of Chaitanya. The recitation of name (mantra), whenever possible, is the easier way of pleasing the Chaitanya. The chanting of the name of God and the worship of the Consciousness (Chaitanya) both are the same.
However it is also true that the recitation of 'name' is only possible so long as the Life Force (Prana Shakti) exists. In one Yogic path exhaling and inhaling of breath is recognised as the basic form of spiritual practice (Soham Sadhana).
The breath goes out with the sound 'Ha' and it re-enters with the sound 'Sa'. It means while breathing in the sound 'Sa' is heard, and while breathing out the sound 'Ha' is heard. The recitation of these two syllables 'Sa' and 'Ha' is going on without the actual utterance. In this Yogic practice there is no need of uttering these syllables for the practice of recitation, in a way it proves to be beyond the expression of words. It does not depend upon its utterance, for recitation is automatic and natural.
Having followed the Yogic practice, words are of no avail (are not useful in advance stage). The description of the Supreme Consciousness (Brahma Shakti) can be attemped by the utterance of Pranava or Omkar.
[Tr.: Pranava i.e. Om is an exponent of the Lord (God)]
[Tr.: The seeker who has an ardent desire to know God, transcends the performing of Vedic rites (Shabda Brahma)]
When the mind is yoked to the Life Force (Chaitanya) that is, when it is engaged in watching the natural and automatic breathing, the mind being absorbed, chanting of the name becomes impossible. Therefore the description of the supreme joy (Brahmanand) is beyond the expression.
By the practice of Yoga mind and speech get merged into the Life Force (Chaitanya), resultantly their existence is dissolved. The saint Shri Eknath Maharaj states clearly that when the articulation of words (speech) stops functioning, the Yogic practice of a seeker commences.
The Yoga means cessation of tendencies of mind. This definition of Yoga turns out easy to understand and experience. There is a difference between the ceasing and the restraining the tendencies of mind. In the practice of the Siddha Yoga the tendencies of mind cease automatically, they are not restrained (kept under control) by efforts. When the practice of the Siddha Yoga is faithfully and slowly continued all the tendencies of mind get dissolved into the basic vibration of the Life Force (Chaitanya).
Before initiation there is no better way of awakening the Serpent Power (Kundalini) than chanting the name i.e. the recitation of the name of the Deity of one's own choice or the name given by some spiritual person in authority. 'Chanting of name' should be resorted and continued all the while except at the time of meditation.
In Maharashtra, and or many other kinds of 'Chanting' (Nama Smaran) are well familiar to all people. It is quite essential to recite the name (Mantra) assigned by the spiritual master or the name of our own favourite deity. As cited earlier the practice of chanting (Nama-Sadhana) is by itself the worship (practice) of the Life Force (Chaitanya Sadhana).During the practice of meditation whatever experience arises automatically is allowed, hence, 'chanting of name' arising (within) involuntarily is preferred to doing it by oneself. The importance must be given to all those practices related to the Life Force (Prana). During the practice of meditation, it should be borne in mind that a peaceful and steady posture without any physical movement is an important part of this practice.
[ Tr.: Chanting of the name is greater than the sky.]
In this way according to the statement of saint Shri Jnaneshwar Maharaj 'chanting' of the name should be considered as a subtle and efficacious way of practice. So everybody should always keep with him this efficacious weapon of 'chanting' (Nama Smaran) to cross the ocean of this material world, with its help, it will be possible to acquire the knowledge destroying illusion along with the help of the strong weapon of detachment.
The sweetness of automatic 'chanting' is unparallel, untiring and enjoyable. Deliberate 'chanting' with a purpose should be continued till it arises automatically from within. It will undebatedly prove beneficial. Hence the significance of the 'chanting' should be accepted. Many saints have accorded their consent to it.
[Tr.: Oh Soul, recite the name of the Lord Datta with each and every breath.]
In this precept saint P.P. Shri Rang Avadoot Maharaj states 'Chanting' is advantageous. It is quite well said. While 'chanting' if the words of the name (Mantra) are not uttered, the vibrations of the remaining words get spirited and it will be the worship of the Consciousness (Chaitanya), which, in other words, will be self-surrendering supreme devotion in the form of knowledge at the feet of the Almighty.
Devotion is classified in nine ways -
It may be questioned that where this Siddhayoga Sadhana stands, in this classified ways of devotion towards the Almighty. It is the nineth class of devotion i.e. praising the Chaitanya with the mind without any thought. In this way the followers of Siddha Yoga automatically perform the highest type of devotion of . In other words Chaitanya in the form of pure thoughtless state of mind worships the all pervading Chaitanya and it can be stated as [Tr.: The wise (realised) worship their own soul.]
The Types of Yoga: There are two disciplines of the Yoga -
- Abhava Yoga
- Maha Yoga
In the first discipline of Abhava Yoga,perception of the Soul can be achieved by contemplating on the Soul as formless and shapeless as per the Vedic philosophy.
In the second type of discipline of Maha Yoga the seeker merges himself into joyful (ecstatic) state of samadhi through meditation.
The Ways of Initiation:
The awakening of an aspirant's Serpent Power (Kundalini) is called an initiation, Shaktipat Deeksha or Vedha Deeksha. An initiation (Shaktipat) is effected by transmission of spiritual glance, touch, (word) holy name (Mantra) or simply by master's will power. The spiritual master transmits his spiritual power into his disciple, who has full faith in his master. In all these four ways, the transmision of the will of the spiritual master is the basic principle and the rest of the three are its modes of transfer. The spiritual master at his will employs any one or two or the three ways of initiation.
An amazing example of an initiation through Fax:
Spiritual aspirants are initiated by a spiritual master in his presence by glance (sight), touch, word (mantra) or by the will power. A disciple (aspirant) having faith in his master being far away from his master and who by any reason is unable to see him personally, can be initiated by the will power of his master, by fixing a date and time of initiation through a letter or even by a fax. In one example the spiritual master initiated an aspirant by sending a fax message to him and the initiated (aspirant) had an astounding experience. It has been noticed that some aspirants get initiated simply by their participation in the spiritual congregation, while some received initiation even by reading the books on the Siddha Yoga.
Types of Disciples:
There are three types of disciples according to their receptivity -
- Those, who have to pass some more time for the ascent of the Serpent Power (Kundalini Shakti), are 'slow-paced seekers'.
- Those, who have a good speed initially, but later on their progress is slow, are 'medium-paced seekers'.
- Those, who as soon as initiated, obtain best experience, are considered to be the 'best seekers'.
Initiation: Three ways of Transmission of spiritual Power -
It can be explained by an example. Suppose there is a sweet and ripe fruit at the top of a tree. To enjoy the taste of the fruit,
- an ant slowly comes to the trunk of a tree, slowly marches forward to the branch and enjoys the taste of the fruit. The way is known as 'Pipilika-Path' (Ant-path).
- jumping from one tree to another a monkey comes from a distance to the branch of the tree and directly starts tasting the fruit. This way is known as 'Monkey-Path' (Markat-Marg)
- a bird flying in the sky, directly pecks at the fruit with its beak and starts eating. This is known as 'Vihangam Marg' (the Birds'-Path). The path of the Siddha Yoga which Shri Jnaneshwar Maharaj experienced and advocated, is this 'Vihangam Marg'.
Authorisation for Imparting Initiation: (Samya and A-samya Deeksha)
As cited earlier there are four methods of initiation i.e. through touch, sight (glance),word and will. Each one is divided into two i.e. authorisation of imparting initiation can be classified as below in respect of the methods of initiation.
Authority possessing the power of transmission to initiate others is known as Samya Deeksha.
Authority not possessing the power of transmission is known as A-samya Deeksha.
Initiation through 'touch':
- Just as one Oil-lamp lights up any oiled wick the moment it touches it. In the same way the disciples who have been authorised by their masters, can impart (transmit) the same powers into other aspirants. Such disciples can be considered as transmitters of spiritual powers and they can continue the tradition of their spiritual master.
- By the touch of a philosopher's stone iron turns into gold, but the transmuted gold does not have capacity to (transform) the other pieces of iron into gold. It means that by the grace of a spiritual master though the disciple has attained his life's goal of God Realisation, he does not have ability to transmit his powers into other aspirants, nor can he raise or uplift others.
Initiation through 'Word' (Mantra):
- A young cuckoo hears the voice of its mother and gains its voice, after some period the grown up youngone has the power of awakening the same voice by listening to its own youngones.
- The peacock is delighted to hear the thundering sound of clouds but it cannot delight other peacocks by its voice
A spiritual master initiates a deserving disciple through word (mantra) and makes him feel satisfied for achieving his life's goal and by a special favour he makes the disciple an initiator who can transmit his spiritual powers through word (mantra) and thus continues the tradition of his master.
Initiation through 'glance' (sight):
- An example of a tortoise is worth studying for the purpose of initiation by glance. A tortoise nourishes its youngone by a mere (concentration of its) sight and the youngone gets from it the same nourishing power which awakens in it later on when it is needed for the same purpose.
- The Greek partridges are delighted to see the moon beams but they themselves cannot delight others of their own kind.
Initiation through 'Will':
- The fish nourishes its youngones by the concentration of will. The former gives its power to youngones. The youngones later on when grown up can also nourish their youngones by will power. This occurs only by the God-graced will-power.
- But a juggler creates towns, trees, roads and wells, but these objects do not have power to create other objects by will.
It should be borne in mind that it is only by the grace of God or of the spiritual master that the initiated are empowered to transmit the spiritual power into others.The transmission by the unauthorised will harm the doer and the receiver too.
Ideal places for Initiation:
Ideal places which are acknowledged good for initiation are a hermitage, a cowstall, the house of a spiritual master, a worshipping place of one's own house, a dense forest, a holy place, a garden and the bank of a river. In the same way initiation can take place near a Bilva-tree, on the top of a mountain, in a cave, on the bank of the river Ganges and the place and time specified by the spiritual master. The statement of a spiritual master is equal to a Vedic command.
Amazing and Automatic Experiences after the Initiation:
Some characteristic symptoms of the awakened serpent power (Kundalini) are given below. They are illustrative and by no means exhaustive.
- When throbbing (vibrating) at the base of spinal column (Mooladhara) begins, when the whole body starts shaking, involuntary breathlessness starts beyond control, when breath is forcibly exhaled out, without volition deep inhaling and exhaling of breath starts and when the body gets uncontrollable, know that then Bhagavati Kundalini has awakened and become active. You should then give up your assertive approach and sit witnessing what happens.
- When your posture (asana) becomes fixed, Uddayan, Jalandhar and Moolbandhs result involuntarily, when you feel so energetic that you are unable to sit quietly, know that "Paramashakti Kundalini" has become active.
- When your posture (asana) becomes (fixed) steady and sight is attracted towards the middle point of eyebrows and you get automatic Kumbhak (cessation of breath comes with no effort for inhaling or exhaling) and the mind becomes vacant, void of all outward knowledge, feel that Mahamaya Adyashakti [Primal Power] the (Goddess Kundalini) has come into action.
- When you feel currents of the Life Force (Prana)rising from Mooladhara upward to your cerebrum (Sahasrara) within you, automatic repetition of Aum starts and with the rising of the Life Force (Prana) upward, the mind experiences waves after waves of blissful ecstasy (happiness), think that the Universal Mother (Jagadamba Kundalini) has come into action.
- When you feel that bodily existence for the time being is lost (you feel as if there is no body) everything looks vacant, your eyelids become slightly closed and inspite of your efforts do not open, electric-like currents flowing give delightful joy, know that Mahamaya Kundalini has come into action.
- When with the closing of eyes (eyelids) your body falls to the ground and you feel as if your life is passing away, nerves being strained, know that Yogamaya Kundalini has become active.
- When your mind gets influenced spiritually as if some spirit has taken possession of your body and under that influence different postures (asanas) of yoga are involuntarily performed and at the same time some sort of breathing exercises start, know that the Divine power of Kundalini (Ishwariya Kundalini Shakti) has become active.
- When you close your eyes and decide to sit for meditation, your body begins to feel a pleasant sensation (happiness), know that Rudrani Mahashakti (Serpent Power) Kundalini has become active.
- When you feel vibrations (movements) of Prana (Life Force) at different parts in your body and feel its flow wherever you fix your attention and your nerves begin to show easy jerks like the shocks of electricity giving pleasant experience, know that the Goddess of Vidyut (Kundalini Shakti) has come into action.
- When all day and night you feel within your body some activity of (Life Force) Prana is going on and whenever you concentrate your mind, your mind becomes filled with joy and bliss at all times, even during the time of sleep you feel currents of (Life Force) Prana rising up in your Sahasrara and even in dreams you experience movements of Prana (Life Force), know that the joy inspiring (Alhadini Kundalini) has come into action.
- As soon as you sit for meditation, your body begins to shake and in ecstasy of joy you involuntarily utter words and speak language not known to you nor anyone else, yet the sound gives you joy, know that goddess of speech (Saraswati) has come into action.
- When you feel intoxicated (without taking any intoxicant) and feel like drunk of Divinity, know that your Atma Shakti has come into action.
- While walking when your mind is filled with an impluse to walk faster and do not feel tired (fatigued) even though you have walked a long distance, you feel buoyant and joyful, you do not feel unhappy even in dreams, your balance of mind is not disturbed in all ups and downs, no work is difficult for you, know that Brahma Shakti Kundalini has come into action.
- While in meditation you see divine visions, have divine fragrance, feel divine taste, hear divine sounds and experience divine touch and receive instructions from the gods, understand that the divine power (Daivi Shakti) has come into action.
- When you are in meditation future unholds its secrets to you, the hidden meaning of scriptures, Vedas and Vedantas shine on your understanding, all doubts vanish, you acquire an insight into obstruse meaning of the works on any science even at their first glance, you acquire strange powers of oratory and do not feel the need of approaching even Brahma, the creator of the world for knowledge and you acquire self-confidence, understand that Siddha Shakti Kundalini (the bestower of occult powers) has come into action.
- As soon as you sit for meditation your sight becomes fixed in the mid of eyebrows, your tongue rises up for khechari, breath stops altogether (completely) and mind plunges into the ocean of bliss, Shambhavi Mudra operates and you experience the pleasures of Savikalpa Samadhi, know that Yogashakti (Subtle power) Kundalini is in action.
- While in the meditation, if you think of any spiritual experience, you see your subtle body, you are not conscious about the time, know that Chit Shakti Kundalini has come into action.
- As you sit for meditation, your mind gets concentrated and you can talk with the Gods and Goddess who can prescribe medicines for a disease, can give divine Mantra to remove difficulty (obstacles in progress) and when you receive spiritual knowledge or guidance (advice) from any Siddha, know that Siddhi Pradayini Kundalini has come into action.
What type of expriences and to whom they are assigned is decided by the Serpent Power (Kundalini Shakti) i.e. by the will of the spiritual master. Each and every individual gets different experiences. The initiate has to simply watch whatsoever divine experiences come to his lot. An initiate will receive spiritual experiences on the day of initiation or even after some days. The initiate should not expose his experiences to anyone but to his spiritual master.
How can you know what type of spiritual experiences you will obtain unless you are initiated? Really speaking getting the above cited spiritual experiences is a great wonder of the world. In the science of Yoga it is a top secret.
If the seeker has been initiated earlier by another spiritual master ...
According to the spiritual discipline if an aspirant has once been initiated, it is not considered proper for him to be initiated by another master again for the same motive. But having taken a permission from the former spiritual master, there would be no difficulty in being reinitiated by another spiritual master for his spiritual progress and for achieving the desired goal. Lord Shri Dattatreya had taken up lessons from twenty-four masters. Having learnt and studied these special lessons from each one of them he acquired those virtues. Thus if one cannot by initiation of the former spiritual master, accomplish (attain) his goal, the re-initiation is acceptable in the spiritual discipline. The succeeding spiritual master should be revered with the same respect as the former one in the new form. Identifying the successor with the former , with full faith will prove beneficial. The spiritual practices assigned by the first spiritual master should not be foresaken but continued with honour.
The initiation of awakening the Chaitanya is fundamental, therefore it is useful in rendering perfection in all the allied matters and it is beneficial . Hence with the permission of the former spiritual master, there should be no objection for the aspirant to be re-initiated into the Siddha Yoga. But if the former spiritual master does not permit a seeker for another initiation then in such a case the seeker should bear in mind that his spiritual goal can only be achieved by his former spiritual master. It should be taken as the last word.
The Siddha Yoga Useful to all Sects, Traditions, Paths, Organisations & Ideologies etc:
Today the ideologies, which are currently engaged in the social awakening, will also find this path of spiritual awakening useful. Saint Shri Jnaneshwar Maharaj, foremost exponent of the traditional path of devotion, known as Warakari-path has spread the doctrines of the Siddha Yoga. Having awakened the Serpent Power (Kundalini) by the grace of Shri Nivruttinath, he has explicitly elucidated the path of Siddha Yoga in his book, Bhavartha-Deepika (Jnaneshwari) the critical appreciation of the Bhagwad Geeta. Having accomplished proficiency in the path of Siddha Yoga, Shri Jnaneshwar Maharaj set up himself an ideal example for others to follow the tradition of warkari-sect (a path of devotional sect in Maharashtra). The sixth chapter of the Bhagawad Geeta exposes the Knowledge pertaining to the Siddha Yoga. It has been observed that there is a popular belief amongst the followers of the 'Warkari-Sect' that this path is not meant for them. Really speaking the easiest path of the Siddha Yoga has been upheld by Sri Jnaneshwar Maharaj to be followed even by the lowest level of the people among the society. "Is there anything so simple as this Yoga?" says Sri Jnaneshwar Maharaj. He inspires people to follow it by exposing the simplicity of this Yoga. It is my sincere request to all ' Warkari-brothers' who are to me God Pandurang in various forms, that besides their devotional path of the 'name Consciousness', (Namachaitanya), they may also consider the easy 'Birds' path' (Vihangam Marg), the path of Life Force (Prana-shakti) experienced by Sri Jnaneshwar Maharaj himself.
Likewise the fundamental worship of the supreme Consciousness (Chaitanya) will be useful, advantageous and efficacious to all the spiritual pilgrims of different sects and traditions and to all those who are engaged in national awakening and to all engaged in activating individual Self-Consciousness.
General Rules to be observed by the aspirants desirous of being initiated into awakening of the Serpent Power (Kundalini Shakti) i.e. Maha Yoga:
- An aspirant should have an intense desire to obtain direct and actual spiritual experiences described in Srimad Bhagwad Geeta and an implicit unquestioning faith in the advice of the spiritual master.
- He should obtain permission from elders (parents) and should have concurrence between husband and wife, and firm belief in the fact that "I am a part and parcel of all pervading Consciousness (Chaitanya)"
- An aspirant should have determination to abstain from consumation of wine, non-vegetarian food, eggs, onions, garlic, tobacco, Gutka, Ganja etc.
- In the house of an initiate ladies should observe 'untouchablity' (keep aloof from all household work) for four days during their monthly periods.
- An initiate should devote one hour every day for spiritual practice (meditation).
- The initiation into this path is open to all irrespectiive of one's own caste, creed, sect, community, religion, age and sex.
- An initate should try to attend the group meditation conducted at the centre.
Those who resolve to observe the above rules may pray for the initiation into Maha Yoga by sending a prayer-letter in the form given below or meet the spiritual master personally (with a prayer-letter).
A prayer-letter for the initiation into the Maha Yoga (Siddha Yoga):
I sincerely pray to you, sir, to bestow on me your grace and initiate me into this path of Maha Yoga praised by the ancient sages and upheld in the Bhagawad Geeta as the supreme path. I have read all the rules related to this path and I shall abide by them sincerely.
Click here to visit the Online Deeksha Request webpage.
Eligibility for the initiation into the Siddha Yoga:
An eligibility test is conducted before giving an admission (to a student) into any educational institution. The eligibility criteria for entering the path of the Siddha Yoga are, An aspirant -
- should have an intense desire to worship Prana Shakti (Life Force),
- should firmly resolve to observe all the rules laid down in the path.
- should make a sincere and humble prayer to the spiritual master for an initiation.
All these are quite essential qualities for an aspirant.
The Rituals to be performed on the day of Initiation:
- On the day of initiation, before the appointed time of initiation, an aspirant should get up early, perform his morning routine, take a bath, perform his daily rituals, the worship of his own Deity and the family Deity, which he thinks necessary, should be performed.
- He should bow down at the feet of his parents, elder brother and obtain their blessings. A wife should bow down to her husband.
- He should garland his own Deity (favourite), offer a water-borne coconut keeping its hairy end towards the Deity (God) and offer some money as a token of offerings to the spiritual master.
- He should spread a woollen carpet or a carpet of thick cloth, covered by a piece of clean white cloth and should be all alone in the room.
- An Aspirant should preferably put on loose garments, sit in the middle of the carpet facing to the East or the North, leave equal distance from either side of his carpet (seat). He should sit in such a way that the place of his Deity (God) should be either on his left or right side, but it should never be at his back side. He should close his eyes at the stipulated time of initiation and contemplate on the image of the spiritual master.
- Initially he should inhale breath speedily and exhale slowly for seven to eight times.
- Afterwards he should relax his body completely and watch automatic natural breathing (slow or fast) and should not encourage any voluntary actions.
- He should Concentrate his mind on automatic breathing.
- Physical movements arising from within should be given absolute freedom.
- In this way keeping his eyes closed he should devote one hour or more for the meditation.
- After the meditation, when the eyes get opened he should bow down to his Deity (God) and break the coconut and distribute pieces to all the members of the family.
- During the meditation keep your eyes closed.
- During the meditation, for convenience you can change the physical posture.
- In this way after performing the meditation every day, by the end of the month, an aspirant should submit a report of his spiritual progress to the spiritual master. [There is no need of offering garland and coconut every day].
- One should not sit for meditation after the meal at least for four hours. Your can have your meal ten minutes after the meditation.
- One should not narrate one's experiences to others without the permission of the spiritual master.
- Doors and windows of the meditation room should be kept closed. You can keep a lamp with dim light.
- The spiritual progress will be speedier if the meditation is performed at the meditation centre of the Maha Yoga.
Distinguishing Features of Mahayoga
The awakening of the Serpent Power:
In any system of spiritual field, the awakening of the Serpent Power is most essential to achieve perfection. All efforts for activating the Serpent Power (Kundalini) are strenuous. It can be achieved by the Hatha Yoga . However in this yogic practice, various yogic exercises like breath-control (Pranayam), Bandha, Mudra etc. are to be performed under the direct guidance of the expert spiritual master. Any slightest error in its practice may turn out to be harmful. Shri Swatmaram Yogi, the author of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, narrates in the last shloka of the fourth chapter, that so long as the Sahajavastha is not achieved, and the Life Force (Prana) doesn't enter the Sushumna Nadi, all efforts are fruitless.
[Tr. : As long as the Prana does not enter the middle path of Sushumna as long as the Bindu (semen) does not become steady by the practice of the restraint over breath, the Atma-Tattwa is not achieved easily in the meditation; till that time, the talk of knowledge is futile and boastful.]
Even in the Mantra Yoga, so long as the Mantra is not activated with the spiritual power (by the grace of the master) all the efforts of recitation are arduous.
Even in the Laya Yoga and Raja Yoga the process of the awakening of the Serpent Power (Kundalini) is necessary for the spiritual progress. The activation of the serpent power (Kundalini) is inevitable for gaining spiritual experiences and attaining perfection. For perfection is not possible without its awakening. This path of the Siddha Yoga, which is advocated by the Bhagawad Geeta, scriptures and Vedas, gives immediate and direct results. As it is very easy to perform, it is worth following.
Some clarifications for aspirants desirous of following the Siddha Yoga:
To achieve the above mentioned stage some preliminary practice is administered for which some explanation is necessary. In order to enable the Serpent Power (Kundalini) to enter the Sushumna at the base of spinal column Mooladhara some preliminary practice is to be followed. Sit down with closed eyes, body completely relaxed and the mind engaged in watching the involuntary breathing of the Life Force (Prana). While performing this type of spiritual exercise as the mind is engaged in watching automatic breathing, the action of removing of all layers covering the Consciousness (Chaitanya) starts by the Sankalpa power emanated from the spiritual master [Tr. Imparted to purify]. The transmission of power (Deeksha) in the Siddha Yoga is a powerful remedy for the purification of our past deeds (sins). During meditation there is no need to ask the mind to control breathing (Pranayam) but it is necessary to allow the automatic breathing, that would happen involuntarily. It (the meditation) is not the practice of breath control (pranayam), but it is the concentration of mind on the automatic breathing which is very important. For example after keeping the body in a relaxed and in steady posture, if the breath of its own accord remains outside for a long time (not deliberately kept outside), it means outward Kumbhaka has taken place or if the breath remains inside the body by the grace of the Serpent Power (Bhagawati Shakti), an internal Kumbhaka has taken place (it was not performed deliberately). As meditation goes on, the aspirant is not able to make out whether his breathing is actually taking place or not,in which state, he should know that Kewal Kumbhak has effected (it was not performed).
[Tr. :One should not think of anything.]
Whatever happens of its own accord is to be allowed to happen. Do not contemplate on any other things. Lord Krishna would have asked us to meditate on his image (face, idol) or on his lotus feet, but he has suggested us 'not to think of anything'. This supports the definition of meditation given by Kapil Muni.
[Tr. : The meditation is a thoughtless state of mind].
Contemplation on any external object would also mean thinking about worldly affairs. In order to make the mind free from the worldly objects an aspirant should participate in the afore-said group meditation. At that time if an aspirant is asked to open his eyes, he would not like to do so, owing to the blissful experience of automatic cool currents of the breath of Bhagawati Shakti. Each and every individual automatically becomes eager to achieve slowly the serenity of mind. Accordingly even if this type of experience lasts only for three, five or ten minutes,it will make the aspirant extremely happy. This is the preliminary stage of the path leading to the supreme bliss. The experience of this type can be achieved by any person irrespective of his age.
Shrimad Bhagawad Geeta expounds the theory and practice of the Siddha Yoga:
The theory and practice of the Siddha Yoga have been enunciated in Shrimad Bhagwad Geeta in the following verse. The detailed explanation of it seems to be necessary.
[Tr.: With intellect and patience one should gradually withdraw from sense desires and fix his mind on the Soul (Atman) without thinking of anything else.]
The words, indicate slow and gradual pacing of the spiritual practice. Any undue haste in this practice (performance) will not yield any desired fruits. In this context saint Shri Tukaram Maharaj affirms,
[Tr.: Tukaram affirms that undue haste in this path would not be fruitful, you have to wait till the proper time arrives].
The progress in the spiritual practice is gradual. (Hence the spiritual practice (meditation) should be performed daily and steadily). Lord Shiva, the propounder of this path of meditation (Siddha Yoga) always remains absorbed in the thoughtless state of mind.
[Tr. : Lord Shiva, the exponent of this path (Siddha Yoga) persists in following it.]
In the practice of meditation idleness should be avoided. After the initiation, when the practice of meditation for a couple of years does not yield any apparent result, one may naturally wonder how long he has to continue the meditation (in the pursuit of spiritual progress). The above description of the Lord Shiva's meditation should always be cherished. Initially, all the activities intended for purification take place slowly. Aspirants should watch patiently with steadfast state of mind the actions which take place automatically by the influence of the Serpent Power (Kundalini). The iron-wired brush can not be accepted for washing clothes.Therefore undue haste is of no use. Meditation should be performed with immense patience.
Contemplation on the Soul or on the Prana
One should meditate with a firm conviction in one's own mind that the Soul in the form of Chaitanya is all pervading (omnipresent). In order to comprehend and appreciate the meaning of the word the clarification given about it in Yogavasistha should be looked into. Contemplation on one's Soul and on one's (Life Force ) Prana are the two sides of the same coin termed as the Brahma-Pada. If you catch hold of any one side of the coin, you can easily procure the coin itself. As the meditation on the (Soul) is a difficult task, the contemplation on the (Life Force) Prana should be considered. The significance of the Life Force (Prana) has already been clarified in the second chapter of this book. If the word (meditation on the Soul) is substituted by the word (meditation on the Life Force), it would facilitate the practice of meditation. Hence if the clause is replaced by the clause , it will not contradict the tenets of the science of Yoga. means to resolve. It follows that it means to contemplate on the (Life Force) Prana. During the meditation, an aspirant should engage his mind to observe the automatic movement of breathing (Prana Sanchar). The mind should be engaged on automatic process of breathing which takes place as per the command of the Lord (Chaitanya). He should think of nothing else, is the meaning of the latter part of the second line,
[Tr. This is the supreme procedure of the yoga.]
Commenting on the twenty fifth stanza (shloka) of the sixth chapter of the Bhagawad Geeta, Bhagavad Pujyapada Shrimad Shankaracharya explicitly states, which means that there is no other better path of yoga than this one, the path of (Siddha) Yoga is the only one worth following.
How can one trust this path?
One should not believe in any science and should not consider it as a true one unless he has any personal practical experience of it. A little experience in the awakening of the Serpent Power (Kundalini) will make an aspirant believe in the science of the Siddha Yoga as the true one.
Four stages of the spiritual progress attained by the followers of the Siddha Yoga:
The Initial Stage (Arambha-avastha) -
In the initial stage the Serpent Power (Shakti) starts her work with physical movements (Yogic postures),which an aspirant involuntarily experiences during the meditation. They are Asanas (physical postures), Bandhas (Locking of limbs to prevent the movement of breath) and Pranayam (breath-control) etc.,which help to purify nerves (Nadi Shuddhdi). Yogic exercises (physical postures) bring steadiness in the body, while Bandha and Mudras make the body firm. Bandha and the Pranayam (breath-control) bring lightness in the body. Purification of nerves (Nadi) maintains proper balance of the fluids and the elements of cough, gas and bile in the body.
The Second Stag (Ghata-avastha) -
In this second stage the mundane (worldly) desires get slowly decreased (subdued) and an aspirant who constantly remembers Almighty, remains in the holy atmosphere and pleasant mood that lead him slowly towards the detachment of wordly attraction. As both these stages are intermingled with each other, the path of the Serpent Power (Shakti) towards the Brahmarandhra (Sahasrara) becomes easy and simple. This also brings automatic control over the breath and stability of mind.
The Third Stage (Parichaya-avastha) -
In this stage the Serpent Power (Kundalini) making Prana (Life Force) stable in the heart, remains Herself merged with the Lord Shiva in the sahasrara. Therefore an aspirant attains an extremely motionless state of the body. Consequently the striver achieves serenity of mind and slowly attains (reaches) the stage of Siddha which enables him to possess extra-ordinary powers.The yogi feels fulfillment of his life's goal. Having attained this stage, the yogi can awaken the Serpent Power of others. The knots of his heart being unfolded, all his doubts are dispelled. The knowledge of such a Yogi doesn't remain by any means concealed. As he has seen the path of Brahmaloka, he straight way goes to the Satyaloka after his death.
The Fourth Stage (Nishpatti-avastha) -
In this stage the Serpent Power (Kundalini Mahashakti) merges into Lord Shiva, the real support. The Yogi attains the stage of liberation, (the stage of perfection).
The Siddha Yoga for the Upliftment of the Nation and the world:
Shri Jnaneshwar Maharaj the crown jewel among saints opines that the Bhagawad Geeta gives description of the Siddha Yoga only. The science of Yoga aims at the liberation of human beings. According to the maxim [Tr. Whatever qualities (elements)exist in an individual body, do exist in the Universe], the Siddha Yoga which is capable of uplifting a person towards perfection, is equally competent enough to elevate a nation and the world too. Some people are susceptible about the ability and the function of this Yoga. They express their doubt, "How is the Yogic science (path) able to elevate the society and entire human race as it elevates only an individual ?" Revered Shri Gulavani Maharaj, the saint adept in the transmission of the Serpent Power (Kundalini), delivered a lecture, the only one in his lifetime on 26th May 1957 evening. In his address he mentions that the tenets of the Siddha Yoga are benevolent to the nation and to the whole Universe. Following the practice of the Siddha Yoga an aspirant can free himself from an incurable disease, likewise the process of inner purification of all the people can elevate the nation. He explicitly said, "Even if the devout aspirants resort to this path for their self fulfilments, the invaluable knowledge of this path (Yoga) will certainly prove beneficial to India and through her to the whole world. It is the experience of many aspirants that their sinful tendencies have been diminished and their emotions have been purified. The inner purification is the real protecting and safeguarding power of the nation". Only the righteous persons can achieve this power by the favourable grace of the able spiritual master. It is the prime duty of all the torchbearers of the nation to concentrate on such a spiritual path capable to enhance national strength. It has been observed, after deliberation, that the real prestige of India will be enhanced commensurate (in proportion) with their careful and sincere performance. He explicilty says that by the awakening of inner (serpent) power and by achieving the grace (blessings) of the supreme Lord, the path of Siddha Yoga beneficial to the whole world will gradually come into limelight.
The Siddha Yoga is the Path of World Religion which embraces the whole Universe:
The ancient sages have praised God with various prayers of superb feelings inculcating bonds of human love namely, ['The whole world is one Family'], [Transforming the world into highly cultured society], [The whole world is my home]. The second prayer includes superb feeling of love encompassing the whole world into a single nation.
The ideology that 'the whole world is one nation' has been introduced to the world by the ancient sages. From this point of view it must be said that all the nations of the present day world are but small tiny integral parts of one Earth-nation. Consciousness (Chaitanya) is the common ruler for all the human beings. i.e. for all castes and communities, of all the nations (the whole universe). There is no need to prove that there exists only one universal religion; for all are born from one and the same Mother Consciousness ( - Chaitanya). All live life as a manifestation of the Consciousness ( - Chaitanya) and later on merge into It (the same Consciousness).
Therefore the Consciousness ( - Chaitanya) is the mother of the whole world (universe). This ideology of the Siddha Yoga is fundamentally based on the principle of Consciousness () which dwells in all human beings despite having different bodies, is a uniting force and should be acceptable to all without any doubt, for the path is easy to follow and gives instant results (experience). There is no doubt that Siddha Yoga will prove to be powerful means to carry (all living beings of) the world across the ocean of miseries'. This Chaitanya Ganga of the Siddha Yoga, which has been brought forth and nourished by revered Shri Gangadhar Tirth Swami Maharaj, has a capacity to purify the whole world.
Guaranteed Path for World Peace:
Consciousness ( - Chaitanya) is the cause of the Universe, for the world came into (being) existence due to 'ITS' explosion. Retracing the foot steps in the direction of the original cause is the spiritual means to achieve peace. "Whatever exists in an individual body that also exists in the Universal body". Therefore it is natural to concentrate on Universal Consciousness (Vishwa Chaitanya) part of which exists in every individal. The Life Force (Pran Tatwa) which pervades outside and which functions as an automatic breath (Prana) in an individual is identical. The study of the Life Force (Prana) principle is a means to the Universal peace.
The world organization of the followers of the Siddha Yoga:
The Consciousness ( - Chaitanya) is the main cause of the Universe and all living beings have emanated from It. The ancient Vedas have stated in aphorisms like that the Consciousness ( - Chaitanya) which abides in all beings binds them in one supreme Consciousness. Hence the world organization of the Siddha Yoga will work like a miracle when the followers of the organization lead the world towards perfection.
In this world though there exist outward differences, the common bond of brotherhood which is the supreme principle of the Indian Culture will be easily acceptable to the world. Despite the differences, the creative principle binds them together for the world organisation. The aspirants, who have developed increasing faith in God, owing to the awakening of the Serpent Power (Kundalini) can be organized under one head. Saint Shri Jnaneshwar Maharaj Says, [Tr.: The Whole Universe is my home]. While Shri Samarth Ramadas, with the same feeling of universal brotherhood says, [Tr.: I think of the welfare of the universe]. The statements of both the saints reflect their deep love for human beings and indicate their feeling of universal brotherhood. In the same manner the ancient sages, guided by divine intellect express their desire of transforming the whole world into highly cultured society. To glorify the wishes of the above mentioned saints and following the desire of the ancient seers the world organisation of the Siddha Yoga followers will culminate into world peace, the work befitting the Divine desire.
The Easy Path
Easy to Practise:
The path of Siddha Yoga is very easy to practise. On the day and time appointed by the spiritual master an aspirant has to squat down on the floor with crossed legs, keeping the backbone straight (but not stiff), body in a relaxed position, and close the eyes. The straight seating posture should give complete freedom for the functioning of the spiritual power, released by the spiritual master. In order to control the inner wandering of the mind, it should be engaged on the automatic breathing process. Such is the simple technique of this path. After the initiation when the spiritual power activated by the spiritual master, enters the Sushumna nerve (Nadi), the initiated is expected to do nothing. In other words the spiritual power of the spiritual master itself starts functioning for the progress of the awakened Serpent Power (Kundalini). It is therefore important to let the involuntary physical actions move freely, and to control the wandering thoughts the mind should be left on the automatic and natural breathing process. This will help the spiritual master's will for further progress of the awakened Serpent Power (Kundalini). After the initiation in a short period of time the actual experience achieved through spiritual practice will attract the aspirant. The charming impact holds the aspirant firmly towards the inner blissful experience.
No Discrimination in initiation:
The practice of the Siddha Yoga means keeping the mind always in the state of equanimity, (Geeta-2/48) [Tr.: Evenness of mind is Yoga].
In the Siddha Yoga outward distinctions which exist in practical life are of little significance. Even the women folk can undertake the study of the Siddha Yoga by observing the rules mentioned earlier. Likewise any individual belonging to any caste or creed can be initiated into this path which is easy to follow and swift in leading to the stage of Supreme Divinity. The discrimination of race, caste, creed, community and religion of the world does not come in the way of any one who follows this path which aims at the welfare of all human beings.
Even the most sinful person can attain Salvation by following this path:
[Tr.: Even if the most sinful worships Me whole heartedly, he too should indeed be regarded as virtuous, for he has rightly resolved.]
Even the most wicked and sinful person can be initiated into this path of the Siddha Yoga, provided he bears an ardent desire for liberation. After the initiation he becomes a pilgrim eligible to traverse the path leading to the blissful state of Divinity. The pilgrim of the Divine path can be in future a leader of the seekers . It is the strong will of the Spiritual master which is most important to an aspirant. With due respect and regard to the resolve of the spiritual master he should strictly adhere to the rules and discipline of the path. The awakening of the Serpent Power (Kundalini) brings about the transformation of an aspirant's behavior. He achieves an easy and speedier progress. Many aspirants, after the initiation, have observed that they have developed a desire to follow a virtuous life, by the grace of the Goddess Bhagawati. There is complete transformation of their personality and the rules of the path are also observed easily by them by the grace of God.
In this context Lord Krishna has solemnly declared that such a devotee shall never perish and his downfall is sealed. In due course of time he would attain the stage of a person with a stable mind' (Sthita pragna).
[Tr.: Soon he becomes virtuous and attains eternal peace. O Kaunteya, know for certain that my devotee does never perish.]
A Golden Opportunity Especially for the Youth:
Especially those who have been trapped into addictions and are unable to get rid of them, despite their sincere efforts to do so, with success no where in sight, naturally feel let down. Such aspirants need not curl up their lips in mocking doubt for even the disheartened and discerning youth who would follow the path assiduously will certainly find this Siddha Yoga as a positive cure for their malady borne out of their frailties and accumulated indiscrete actions. These dejected persons would find the path of the Siddha Yoga a valuable weapon which will help them in axing the root of a tree of bad habits. The same idea is expressed in the following verse of the Geeta.
[Tr.: Having cut asunder this firm rooted Ashwattha-tree with the strong axe of non-attachment].
In the baffled state of affairs to cross the ocean of wordly miseries, the easy path of the Siddha Yoga which instantly yields experiences of the Divine Power, will function as a light-house. The path of the Siddha Yoga which is the path of transmission of power [ Shaktipat-Vidya] will bring eternal happiness and enlightenment to the downtrodden and debased class of people and it will certainly elevate their state of life. This is the eternal truth and can be experienced. After the initiation the aspirants notice some glimpses of Divine Light during the meditation and their efforts in the spiritual practice Sadhana would gain good results.
The Siddha Yoga - A master key to the Supreme Bliss:
The human body is originally a form of Supreme Consciousness ( - Chaitanya). It is the gift of God assigned to a human being to uncover the layers enveloping the Consciousness [ - Chaitanya] and to establish Its unity with the main causal Effulgent Consciousness [ - Chaitanyamaya Prakash]. It is necessary to remove by all means these layers which have been accumulated as a result of good and bad deeds of the past births. In due course of time having got rid of all the layers and the darkness of ignorance having been dissolved, the aspirants become eligible for attaining the Self-Realisation. In the Siddha Yoga by the powerful will of the spiritual master various yogic postures take place and the layers of past actions get automatically wiped out without any strenuous efforts done by the aspirants. These layers can also be removed by following the other Yogic paths. But as explained before the Birds' Path [ - Vihangam-Marga] of the Siddha Yoga can easily remove these layers and also bring the goal of the spiritual fulfilment nearer and earlier.
An Easy Path to rise above the three bondages sprung from Nature:
Every individual ordinarily undertakes all activities under the influence of three bindings of Sattwa (Purity), Raja (Passion) and Tama (Inertia). Lord Krishna exhorts Arjuna emphathetically, to free himself from the bonds of these three qualities (Gunas).
[Tr.: O, Arjuna, free yourself of the three binding qualities].
Under the influence of these binding qualities (Gunas) an individual performs good or bad deeds. In this path when the aspirant sits for meditation keeping the body in a relaxed state and with the will for total submission, he loses the consciousness of the body and his mind becomes stable, being engaged in automatic breathing. After the initiation the aspirant gradually frees himself from the bondage of the three qualities. The main difference between this path and other paths is noteworthy and is glaringly felt. In other Yogic paths to achieve steadfastness of intellect [ - Sthita Prajnata] and to transcend over the three qualities, the aspirants have to rely on the four strenuous yogic exercises, whereas all these stages of mind are reached (achieved) automatically in the Siddha Yoga solely due to the impact of the strong will of the spiritual master. It means that there is a difference between making the mind steadfast and achieving the steadfastness of mind gradually and automatically. In the same manner making oneself free from the impact of the three binding qualities and achieving freedom from them, the aspirants, who practise the Siddha Yoga, realise the impact of automatic relief taking place in them.
Renuonce Good and Evil actions, ideas and qualities:
As stated earlier the Consciousness ( - Chaitanya) the basic nature of human beings is enveloped by the layers of the deeds of the past births. The awakening of the Serpent Power (Kundalini) is the most powerful weapon to remove all these layers of the imprints of the deeds of the previous births. Ordinarily it is a known fact that in order to be a true devotee of God (Lord), one has to forsake all evil habits, but to achieve perfection one has to give up good things also. It may appear a little strange. However it is quite necessary to attain the spotless and stainless stage of perfection. Lord Krishna has clearly asserted that,
[Tr.: He who sacrifices both good and evil and is rapt in devotion, is dear to me.]
It means only after the renunciation of both good and evil things that the Divine devotion as loved by God, shall take place. In one way any idea or thought is a kind of layer over on the desired purified stage of perfection. National saint Shri Ramadas has also asserted in his book Manache Shloka that,
[Tr.: Even the slightest thought should not be there.)
The slightest thought or any attitude of the mind would bar the Yogic progress. Shri Samartha Ramadas implies the same thing in this line,
[Tr.: Let the mind be free from all thoughts.]
It is evident that any kind of slightest thought, good or bad takes a form of a seed that may in due course become a large tree of thoughts. It should be nipped in the bud. Thus any kind of hope, wish, desire and passion would become an obstacle for the achievement of the ultimate goal. The same doctrine has been concluded in the Yogawasishtha.
[Tr.: A desire creates severe grief, while freedom from desires gives absolute happiness.]
It should be borne in mind by the aspirant that he should be without any residual desire as expressed in the Bhagawad Geeta:
[Tr.: Giving up without reserve all desires born of from thoughts of the world]
Lord Krishna states in the Bhagawad Geeta in the following verse how the stage of supreme Conscoiousness is achieved.
[Tr.: When one completely casts off all the desires of his mind.]
This type of supreme state of the mind can be attained in the present birth by the practice of the Siddha Yoga. In the meanwhile if the death overtakes, it can automatically be achieved in the next birth. When the mind accomplishes thoughtless state, only then and then the Yogi can be called merged into Supreme Consciousness Yuj means to join - become one with the Consciousness [ - Chaitanya] This stage is not to be achieved by self efforts but it comes automatically.
[Tr.: Oh Arjuna, nobody becomes a yogi, unless he abandons all his desires.]
Therefore giving up of good and evil thoughts is essential.
The Highest Devotion in the form of total Submission by the Self:
In this path concentrating the mind on the automatic breathing of the Life Force ( - Prana Shakti Sanchar) is a kind of devotion. When the mind surrenders completely to the Master's Life Force ( - Prana shakti), it ( - Chaitanya Shakti) begins to purify the body, mind and senses. By giving absolute freedom to the purifying process, the devotion of the Consciousness ( - Chaitanya) will take place. It will be the worship of the Consciousness ( - Chaitanya). In the Narad Bhakti Sutra the devotion is described as . [Tr.: That Devotion is the highest love for God.]
In this way the devotion to the Master () will be transformed into the love for the Consciousness. Gradually he will not find any thing so alluring as his own Self. and in this way the undivided devotion will automatically be performed by the aspirant. The devotion of this type reared by the Siddha Yoga is the supreme one. [Tr.: Only the devotion is supreme].
It is the worship of the Self by the Self. In this worship one has to surrender completely to the Master's Power ( - Shakti) and allow Her to act freely. In the form of activity the Divinity ( - Shakti) will worship Herself .Until the perfection is achieved, the spiritual practice should be continued uninterruptedly.
No Return (Journey) Ticket: (Uninterrupted Spiritual Practice)
In this path of the Siddha Yoga, the worth remembering feature of the spiritual practice is that it is the prime duty of an aspirant that he should get acquainted with all the rules of this path, before he is initiated. By the grace of a spiritual master when the spiritual power is transmitted to him, he begins to experience the physical actions. As mentioned earlier the Divine Power undertakes the work of removing all layers on Chaitanya. Due to the imprints of the past deeds, if the spiritual practice remains unfulfilled, they will be removed in the next birth. In this path there may be occasional stoppages but there is no 'Return Ticket' (no turning back).
Inner Purification is the solution to all problems: (Impact of Siddha Yoga on the Life of an aspirant)
After the initiation, it has been noticed that due to the impact of initiation all the nerves in the body get purified.
[Tr.: When all the nerves get purified]
It has been observed that the inner purification of the body has produced remarkable change in the outward life of an aspirant. Absolute freedom from, diseases, alertness in one's own work, progress in studies, freedom from addictions, the mind remaining always in a joyful state, happening of some impossible events in the life etc; all these are the experiences of external benefits earned by the aspirants by the awakening of the Serpent Power (Kundalini).Once the Divine Power ( - Bhagwati) has showered Her grace on an aspirant, what would be impossible for him? External activities are for the well-being of an aspirant, they bring greater benefits to the aspirant with minimum efforts. For participating in outward activities in the practical life the Consciousness ( - Chaitanya shakti) in the form of Life Force ( - Prana-Shakti) is a basic need.
It is the earnest desire of the author that more and more persons should derive the greatest benefits from the unparallel system of the Siddha Yoga. All should achieve complete fulfilment in their life's goal. They are requested to inform other aspirants about this path for their individual welfare.
Finally I humbly pray at the lotus feet of Brahmaleen Revered Shri Loknath Tirth Swami Maharaj to bless all human beings for their peace, prosperity and happiness, and help us all in fulfilling the ideal.
[Tr.: Let all be the followers of the Siddha Yoga.]
May you all be liberated from the worldly entanglements and experience the Lord who dwells in your hearts.