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Swami Satyeswarananda Maharaj sponsored the following endowments in the Philosophy Department of the University of Calcutta (he was an alumni of the University and the Calcutta University College of Law)
Blessed are the Bengalis; for they received the Original Kriya Path. Right from Mahamuni Babaji’s principal Kriya disciple, Lahiri Mahasay, to the present day all the Original Kriya Masters (Guru-param-para - lineage of Guru) 99.9% are Bengalis. They used Om (representing Mahamuni) in Bengali Script. That is why the Bengali Script of Om is used traditionally over the Devnagiri Script to represent him. He has not given his photo to the world. Mahamuni’s photo cannot be taken by a camera.
Some American artist drawing sketches as per Yogananda’s instruction made a portrait. Know it for certain that it is NOT a real photo. It is true that Mahamuni looks like Lahiri Mahasay, but not like a body builder.
A camera failed to take Lahiri Mahasay’s photo; it was possible only when his permission was granted. Produced here is the only photo of Lahiri Mahasay in black and white (original).
From the new title The Journey of a Himalayan Hermit
The road map of the original Kriya
Spirituality and Kriya
To understand SPIRITUALITY one must understand first where the word Spirit comes from and what the word ‘Spirit’ means. The word spirit is derived from the Latin word Spiritus which means “Breath”.
Naturally, SPIRITUALITY means attaining the Spirit or “the Tranquil State of Breath” by the practice of Kriya or Pranayam which is based on “Breath.” NOTHING else is called Spirituality; other than tranquilizing the restless breath and thereby removing motions and vibrations behind the thoughts. Realizing Prana through the breath is beyond the realization of the so called idea of God or the concept of Brahma, or any other religious Godhead. Any endeavor with anything which is NOT connected with “Breath” or “Spirit” definitely is NOT Spirituality.
Conventional religions, philosophy, astrology and anything which are NOT directly concerned with “Breath” that is, the Spirit, certainly cannot provide SPIRITUALITY (Atmajnan, or eternal Realization of the Self).
Any kind of meditation with the sense of egoism is bound to fail. Realizing everything else except the Self (Atma) is but ignorance.
Therefore, Spirituality is to realize the “Tranquil Breath” (Sthir Prana) by the means of practicing the “Kriya Pranayam.”
Adopting “the Aerial
Mode” and “the Beatific Inner Revelation Mode” of the Original
Kriya Discipline is the direct air route (because of the basis on the
Breath or the Spirit) to the seeker’s journey to the eternal Tranquility
(Sthirattva) and realizing the Self (Atmajnan) which is like
that of travel by air.
The Original Kriya
Spirituality > Spirit > Spiritus > Breath > Restless (Asthir Prana) > Prana (life) > Kriya Pranayam > Tranquility (Sthirattva) > Eternal Tranquility, Bliss, or Peace > Eternal Silence …
Like the auspicious 108 number, there are 108 steps of the original Kriya.
Lahiri Mahasay received them from Mahamuni Babaji in Dunagiri Hill, Himalayas in 1861 and grouped (NOT MODIFIED) them into four on the line of the four Vedas (Rik, Sam, Yayur and Atharva), on the four sides of the body (front, back, left and right), and the four directions (east, west, north and south).
Thus whoever practices Original Kriya is practicing the Vedas of the Vedic culture regardless of his or her religious faith.
Attaining ATMA or the SELF (which is the undeniable ONLY self-evident TRUTH, eternally exists, and is all encompassing including skeptics) through the practice of Kriya Pranayam is SPIRITUALITY. Thus Kriya often is called “Atma-Kriya”.
Studying Kriya does not mean studying like in the schools, colleges, and universities for academic achievements. It is also not like theoretical intellectual exercise and philosophizing. Kriya is a positive science: The Science of Breath (Prana) is like physics and chemistry. The mind or the restless breath (according to Kriya) being the element or substance to be conducted (practiced) in the test tube of U shaped inhaling and exhaling in the body laboratory to become one with the Atma or Self which is the subject within. Thus by dissolving the duality (individual self) or destroying the character of a seer (individual self) and becoming One with the Self within or being Atmastha in the light of Yoga, or Tadatma (being one with That) in the light of Vedanta, the Kriyanwit seeker, the subjective scientist (being one with the Subject – the Self) becomes all pervading and all encompassing supreme Self or the Lord.
As Lahiri Mahasay condensed these 108 steps of the Original Kriyas and grouped (not modified) them into four (stated below), he took the responsibility strictly to maintain the tradition of Parampara, meaning, personally, teaching one on one (Master and disciple).
In today’s world of confusion with “the modifications of Kriyas”, “You tube generations” and initiation through video conference, the necessity arises to provide the road map of the Original Kriya. The following are fundamental considerations:
a) Learning directly
from the mouth of a Guru - Guruvraktagamya,
Regarding the Quality of a seeker
According to Mahamuni Babaji - Requirements for Kriya Initiation:
1) The person must be honest and
not a liar.
According to Lahiri Mahasay - Requirements for Kriya Initiation:
1) The person not smoke and drink.
It is comprised of the following Mudras and Kriyas:
Mahamudra (the Great Kriya); Navi Kriya (the Grand Center, the seat of the seeker – Kriyanwit or Kriyanwita); Khecharimudra or Talabya Kriya, the Aerial Mode or Inner-Outer-Space Kriya; First Kriya or Pranayam – Sarab (with sound), Nirab (without sound), Manasik (mental); and simple form of Yonimudra (Inner-beatific-Revelation-Kriya – this mudra must not be confused with Jyotimudra of modified Kriya).
Lahiri Mahasay once made a comment: Everything can be achieved
by the First Kriya. (What he meant by the First Kriya
was the entire group 1 and not a particular Kriya). For example,
Vrinda Bhakat, a postal peon (mailman) did not need more Kriyas.
Only after the successful
Talabya Kriya or Khecharimudra the second Kriya or
Thokar/Thokkar Kriya is introduced in addition to group 1. It is a
“Precondition” in the Original Kriya system.
This is called sthir bayur Kriya (“Kriya of the tranquil
Breath”), in addition to group 1.
At this higher stage, Brahma
Yonimudra is introduced, and the greater dimension of Thokar Kriya
also is advised, in addition to groups 1 and 2.
This is also a higher stage, when all Kriyas are integrated,
all four sides of the body are integrated, and all four Vedas are revealed
and integrated into Oneness, eternal Tranquility or Sthirattva (Peace
or Brahma Nirvan). This is a state of Chira Mouna (Eternal
Silence … ), in addition to groups 1, 2, and 3.
Information on the Multiple Procedures and the Integral Features of Kriya
Only the Guru (the Kriya advisor) observing personally the disciple’s (student’s) needs, accordingly determines the course of the practice of a particular seeker. The Guru first initiates the disciple personally on a one on one basis some Kriya from group one.
Some Kriyas are taught and some Kriyas are NOT taught to a particular disciple; for example, Priyanath Karar (Swami Sriyukteswar) was not taught Navi Kriya by his Guru, Lahiri Mahasay.
Again, some Kriyas are taught to be practiced at an earlier stage and the same Kriyas are taught to some others at a later stage; for example, Kali Banerjee (who occasionally used to live at Lahiri Mahasay’s house) was taught by Lahiri Mahasay to practice Mahamudra at a later stage.
From all these Kriyas, a Guru after observing the needs of a particular disciple formulates the particular disciple’s course of practice and customizes it. In this process of customizing a Kriya course to an individual disciple, some Kriya practicing before and some Kriya practicing later is advised; also under some special conditions, dropping some Kriya already introduced to a particular disciple is also followed.
To cope with all these different circumstances of the Kriya aspirants and the customizing process there is no “Standardization” in respect to a “number” for each Kriya.
Again, if an already initiated person develops a physical ailment, then accordingly is advised some Kriyas to practice adopting a different procedure than normal; for example, Mahamudra is advised to practice differently, in the case of developing knee problems.
Yonimudra also is advised to be practiced differently, in the case of, advanced pregnancy for women.
Again, Navi Kriya is advised to practice adopting a different procedure for an elderly Kriya practitioner (Kriyanwit – male, and Kriyanwita - a female).
In case of a Kriyanwita
(a female) Kriya practice is prohibited during her menstruation in
the original Kriya Discipline. During pregnancy, special advice is
given in three different stages: early stage, advanced stage, and after child
Once Lahiri Mahasay mentioned to an advanced disciple (at his request regarding his wife) that the husband is the Guru of the wife, and then he gave a handkerchief to the disciple, saying, after touching her forehead with this handkerchief, he could initiate her.
It so happened, after the initiation, the advanced disciple, sent the body purification money with a note: “Baba! Who can initiate others except you? When I sat for the initiation ceremony, I felt a jolt in the body – you took charge of my body and so you initiated her. Also your disciple told me that she had a good darsan (seeing) in between the eyes the moment I touched her forehead with the handkerchief.”
In 1861, three people had approached Mahamuni Babaji (before Lahiri Mahasay arrived at Dunagiri Hill, Himalayas), to receive Kriya from him; Babaji had asked them to continue waiting in the bushes. One day, Mahamuni Babaji after initiating Lahiri Mahasay asked him to initiate them; Lahiri Mahasay, instead, requested Babaji to initiate them who refused to do. He pointed out that he did not have any business (relation as Master and disciple) with them; on the other hand, Lahiri Mahasay had business (relation from the previous life as Master and disciples); hence, it was Lahiri Mahasay’s responsibility as per tradition of Guru Param Para. Babaji maintained very strict decorum of the tradition of Guru Param Para.
That is why who is not related with Mahamuni Babaji at all in some incarnation he or she cannot have darsan (meeting) of Babaji. It is impossible; it does not matter who that person is and what the position of the person is among his or her followers. A person may be desperate wanting to see him but it has no bearing on the very strict disciplinarian like Babaji. It may be easy for a devotee to have darsan of his personal God but is not easy to have darsan of Mahamuni Babaji, the Divine Himalayan Yogi.
Before leaving Dunagiri, at Lahiri Mahasay’s request, Babaji granted him a blessing: “Whenever Lahiri Mahasay would remember Babaji, he could have his darsan.” After a month, leaving Dunagiri Hill, once, Lahiri Mahasay remembered Babaji who appeared before Lahiri Mahasay because of his promise given to him; however, Babaji scolded Lahiri Mahasay for remembering him for a very unimportant reason (as Babaji had to come from a long distance leaving the service activities he was engaged in). So Babaji took away the privilege because of its misuse and said that he would visit him when there would be a genuine necessity. If Babaji wishes to give darsan to someone, he appears before that person; it is totally impossible the other way round. Such are the strict rules of Babaji; he lives by them.
Swami Satyeswarananda Maharaj had personal experience in Dunagiri Hill, Himalayas when frequently Mahamuni Babaji dropped by and stayed with him in the cave for a brief period especially during the hazardous monsoon time (during the traditional annual period of Chandrayan Vrata – chaturmas – particular period of four months starting from the Guru Purnima, Full Moon, in the month of July to Ras Purnima, Full moon, in the month of November).
Even though Babaji asked Lahiri Mahasay to initiate those three people (just to help him complete his providence), he was reluctant to give him permission to initiate others. It is the responsibility of a Guru to help his disciple all possible ways including the disciple’s providence which the disciple may overlook. Babaji knew Lahiri Mahasay’s big problem of KINDNESS, even from his previous life (these three people were the examples), to the fellow human beings, and forgetting to attain his own final liberation first. That is why Mahamuni Babaji was very strict with Lahiri Mahasay in his last incarnation, who could be easily carried away and create more unfinished Karmas. At the same time Mahamuni Babaji was committed to perform his duties towards Lahiri Mahasay; asking him to initiate those people at Dunagiri Hill was part of that responsibility for helping Lahiri Mahasay.
Mahamuni Babaji discharged the same responsibility and accordingly sent his disciple, Swami Satyeswarananda, to the U.S.A. for completing his providence.
Swami Sriyukteswar also sent his disciple, Yogananda, for the same reason to complete his providence when one day Sriyukteswar became aware after observing, unmindful Mukunda (Yogananda) who was using the aerial mode of the practice of Khecharimudra and was day-dreaming (seeing American ladies swimming naked at the Encinitas beach - the area used to be known as a nudist colony. Now the beach is called “Swami Beach”). The reference of Mukunda’s (Yogananda’s) vision of Encinitas can be found in Yogananda Sanga, page 84. Thus it was Sriyukteswar (and not Babaji) who sent Yogananda to USA to help him complete his providence.
Lahiri Mahasay remembered how he had to struggle to get permission from Mahamuni Babaji in the Himalayas to his proposal to give Kriya to others. He had to keep everything under direct supervision to maintain personal and customized teaching, and to maintain “secrecy,” “righteousness,” and tradition of Guru-Param-Para (Master and disciple).
Besides those three people in Dunagiri Hill in 1861, Lahiri Mahasay after his final inner realization of the Self, first initiated a man in 1872 at Kedar ghat (step) at the Ganges, Benares who used to sell flowers at Kedarnath Temple. Keeping in mind Babaji’s strictness and reluctance, Lahiri Mahasay initiated people who approached him directly for Kriya (he did not go out seeking students), and thus their number were not more than eight (8) in a year. So from 1872 to 1885, he initiated, approximately, 128 people. After his retirement in 1885, the number increased a bit but not by many, because, in the meantime, in 1883, one of his disciples, Panchanan Bhattacharya, at the age of thirty (30), got permission to initiate others; eventually, Bhattacharya Mahasay began to be regarded as Lahiri Mahasay’s chief disciple.
In this way Lahiri Mahasay
managed the twofold actions: 1) to keep himself free and continue writing the
interpretations of the twenty six (26) scriptures and 2) most importantly, initiated
a limited number of people; so that he could avoid creating more new Karmas
which was Mahamuni Babaji’s primary concern being reluctant to permit
him. If we count twelve (12) people a year after his retirement, the figure
would be 120. So, perhaps, Lahiri Mahasay approximately initiated (before retirement
128+120 after retirement) = 248 people.
Additional information for better understanding of life and the spiritual discipline
The primary reason was that Panchanan
Bhattacharya in his previous incarnation was a highly advanced disciple of Lahiri
Mahasay’s previous incarnation. The husband and the wife as a couple have
a permanent relationship, incarnation after incarnation; so do the Master and
disciple. As a result, Panchanan Bhattacharya was waiting for a long time in
the disembodied state (pitriloka) for his Guru to incarnate
as Lahiri Mahasay.
Why did Panchanan Bhattacharya have to wait for such a long time?
The simple reason is that Lahiri Mahasay in his several previous incarnations before attaining his own liberation had initiated many people and many of them were NOT realized, as a result, for these accumulated bad Karmas, he lost the sight of his Guru, Mahamuni Babaji. However, Babaji was keeping eye on him and those incarnations to try to help him mature. In a later incarnation, Babaji focused on helping him, that is, discharging his responsible duties as a Guru. In his immediate previous incarnation, Lahiri Mahasay became advanced as a Swami while he was meditating at Dunagiri hill, but could not complete his final realization. Thus in this incarnation Mahamuni Babaji was very strict to Lahiri Mahasay so that he did not fall back again to his favorite big weakness of KINDNESS towards his fellow human beings. Such is the tremendous responsibility of a Guru towards his disciples and that is a unique relationship.
(Learning from Babaji that Lahiri Mahasay was a Swami in his previous incarnation and had meditated in the cave at Dunagiri Hill, Lahiri Mahasay proposed to Babaji to be a Swami in his current life, but Babaji sent him back to household life, commenting that he had to do many works to finish his providences. Thus Babaji was performing his duty and helping Lahiri Mahasay to finish his providence).
Back to Bhattacharya; seven people born in the Bhattacharya family had attained realization of the Self and became Siddhas. Panchanan Bhattacharya was born in the Siddha dynasty family. His father died when he was very young. His astrologer uncle once finding out that young Panchanan was going out at night and was involved in sabsadhana - a tantrik way to practice on the dead corpse at night outside the locality, told him, “I have made your astrological chart and have seen that you will have a good connection spiritually and be the eighth Siddha in our family. If I am still alive, I will get the discipline from you and we will meditate together here in this courtyard. Please don’t try this and that, wait till you get the connection.”
(At that young age, being restless, he was making sabsadhana. Usually in Bengal, one group of Tantriks, the worshipers of Sakti (the Divine Mother), look for a dead body buried in the field and forest by the people. They would dig out the corpse at midnight, prepare it as per their rituals and sitting on the chest of the corpse perform tantrik rituals and meditate. They would look for the dead bodies of those buried body Tuesday and Saturday which are auspicious days for them).
Later, his uncle died. Panchanan Bhattacharya became a young “swami” and began to wander in the Himalayas. One day, he stopped and became a guest in one woman renunciate’s (sannyasini’s) asram. At night through meditation, the sannyasini realized that her guest was her husband in the previous life and that they had unfinished business. She was totally surprised to find out that after all those years meditating and living alone in the high hills of Himalayas was just to meet him. So not losing anymore time, the very next day, she disclosed it and proposed to marry him and get on in their lives to complete their providences. Bhattacharya, as a young swami, hearing her proposal, became angry, ridiculing her, and left the asram. The sannyasini fainted and died. (She was born with the vibration of the same physical ailment in her next incarnation). The young swami did not look back, so he did not know that she had just died there. Almost twenty six (26) years later, he found out through meditation when his disciple’s (Hari Mohan Bandopadhyaya, in short Banerjee’s) eight years old daughter, Suradhani, after making a gorgeous mala with flowers garlanded visiting Bhattacharya (who was married then) at their home and declared, “Now you are my husband.” Her father and Bhattacharya began to convince her that it was just child’s play; and could not be possible. At this, she roared like a lioness and said, “The Hindu woman does not marry a second time.” At her roaring loud sound, it so happened, Bhattacharya was forced to close his eyes and automatically went into meditation and found out the whole truth about their last three lives together, including her death in the Himalayas. When he came out of his meditation, he said to her father that he would marry her.
Let us go back a bit in Bhattacharya’s life. After receiving Kriya Panchanan Bhattacharya realized that a swami’s life style is not necessary; he wanted to be like his Baba, Lahiri Mahasay, so he went to Ganges, prayed to Divine Mother and threw his orange clothes into the Ganges. He got married and had no children. He attained liberation, got permission to initiate others from his Guru. In the meantime this event took place. Bhattacharya was about 45/46 years old. Suradhani Devi became the second wife of Bhattacharya; they had a son, Bodhisattva Bhattacharya to continue the Bhattacharya dynasty. Later in life, she had lots of pain because of the immediate previous life’s physical ailment. She asked her husband for medicine. Panchanan Bhattacharya said, “If I give you medicine, you have to come back again.” At this, she said, “Then I will not take medicine.”
Again, another observation, in 1883, when Bhattacharya got permission to initiate others, in the same year in July at the age of twenty eight (28) Priyanath Karar (Swami Sriyukteswar) got Kriya from Lahiri Mahasay who often sent him and Bhupendranath Sanyal to Panchanan Bhattacharya.
Sanyal Mahasay met Lahiri Mahasay at the age of eleven (11) at his elder sister’s house when Lahiri Mahasay was visiting her (who was his disciple). Young Bhupendranath wanted to take Kriya but was afraid to approach Lahiri Mahasay. He received Kriya in a dream at the age of seventeen (17). Two years later, he approached him for personal Kriya initiation, Lahiri Mahasay said, “Don’t you know Kriya?” Sanyal Mahasay said, “Yes Baba. But I want you to initiate me again in person.” He was initiated and often sent to Bhattacharya Mahasay. Bhupendranath Sanyal happened to be a son-in-law of Lahiri Family.
Thus making himself relatively free, Lahiri Mahasay engaged to interpret 26 scriptures. He became busy with this project; and so during this period if someone came from the state of Bengal and Bihar, he used to send them to Panchanan Bhattacharya who acted as his assistant.
Once, a seeker approached Lahiri Mahasay at Benares for Kriya; he sent him to Bhattacharya Mahasay, but after some days, the gentleman returned to Lahiri Mahasay. Just when he was about to say something, Lahiri Mahasay said, “What? You do not like that darkish Lord. I have given him all, emptying my bag (jhuli). Go back to him.”
Again, once some Brahmana people came to him from undivided Bengal, currently Bangladesh, Lahiri Mahasay told them, “You have Nagendranath Choudhuri (disciple of Panchanan Bhattacharya) there at Chittagung. Why don’t you get Kriya from him? He is a Kayastha and not a Brahmana - Is that the reason? Go to him; he has attained Brahmanahood (Brahmanattva).”
Nagendranath Choudhuri was a “swami” like Panchanan Bhattacharya in the young days, and meditating in a temple somewhere in the state of Rajasthan; one day, he heard a voice from the sky: “Go to Panchanan Bhattacharya at Deoghar.” Accordingly, Swami arrived at Deoghar, visited Panchanan Bhattacharya and approached him for Kriya. Bhattacharya said, “You have to promise to me that you will give up your lifestyle of a Swami and go back to your parents; only then will you get Kriya, otherwise not.” Swami knew that since he was directed by the voice of the Lord, how could Bhattacharya deny him Kriya? He mentioned it to Bhattacharya Mahasay who was equally adamant that his demand must be complied with and would not budge from his position.
In the meantime, a seeker came there looking for Kriya from Panchanan Bhattacharya. The newcomer made prostrated pranam to the Swami considering him to be Panchanan Bhattacharya and took his seat there. Bhattacharya pointed out the event to the swami and said, “See what I mean. What your lifestyle can do for collecting your alms?” Although it was hard to give up his lifestyle and to go back to his parents, the Swami had to agree to the suggestion of Panchanan Bhattacharya who was firmly adamant in his position. He received Kriya and went back to his parents. Nagendranath Choudhuri built a house called Panchanan Dham (House of Panchanan) at Chittagung, currently Bangladesh.
The newcomer realizing
the situation was embarrassing, apologized to Bhattacharya Mahasay and approached
him for Kriya and was fortunate to receive it.
The Eternal Relationship of Master and Disciple
In conclusion, it would be very appropriate
to cite a couple of examples of the eternal relationship of Master and disciple
from classical scriptures like Yoga Vasistha Ramayan of Treta Yuga
and from the Bhagavad Gita (the Hindu Bible) of Dwapara yuga.
Yogi Vasistha said, “O
dear Rama! Whatever you have asked me this time, You had asked me the same in
a previous Ramayan [meaning in the Ramayan of a past Kalpa;
a Kalpa consists of the four Yugas – Satya,
Treta, Dwapara, and Kali]. At that time I was the
Guru and you were the disciple. Also in that previous Kalpa
you were Rama and I was Vasistha; again, at that time also, you had developed
the spirit of renunciation (Vairagya) and at my arrival in some forest,
this discourse of Guru-disciple, the delighted dialogue between you and I took
place. O dear Rama! At that time when I was the Guru and you became the great
intelligent disciple and you had asked me about this vast subject.”
Lord Krisna said, “I taught this Yoga to the Sun god [from him developed the Sun dynasty (Surya bangsa)]; he taught to his son, Manu and Manu imparted it to his son, Ikkshaku [the forefather of Rama] and in this way, it transmitted from father to son developing a Guruparampara (tradition of Guru). However, since it disappeared from the earth, today, I imparted to you this ancient Kriya Yoga [the Science of Breath]. You and I have passed through many births. I remembered them all; you do not remember. [The statement indicated the eternal relationship of master and disciple]”.
The sage does not consider himself a Guru, nor does he seek any disciple. Instead, the ego-less sage considers himself as "nothing" or a servant of the Lord. He is not in a hurry; as he enjoys eternal tranquility rejoicing completeness within himself.
However, admittedly the seeker has
to accept (Guru varan kara), seek, serve, and if they meet, being satisfied
by the service rendered to him and being questioned with an open and guileless
heart by the seeker, the sage gives advice, and thereby, their eternal relationship
as Master and disciple is revived.
Surrendering wholeheartedly without
any reservation, the seeker has to accept (Guru varan kara) FIRST;
then the rest follows.
FAITH: IN THE CONVENTIONAL SENSE
The organized religions and faiths in the conventional sense are incapable of delivering Spirituality, pure Consciousness of the absolute Self; hence, one needs to seek the state of desirelessness (nirvasana) which alone has the capacity to bestow eternal Happiness or Freedom; otherwisely, called Liberation.
The people of organized religion have no chance to be sincerely aware that eventually, all union ends in disunion (one departs alone from the world) and all earthly-gained-wealth in loss (no one can take anything).
IN THE SPIRITUAL SENSE
The equivalent term of the word “faith” in Sanskrit is BISWAS which can be scanned into two: Bi and swas; the part Bi is Bigata which means “past,” “dissolve,” or “tranquil,” and the part swas means “breath.” Therefore, Faith is “Tranquil Breath.”
The common notion and popular expression: “Have faith in God,” should be interpreted spiritually that one needs to tranquilize one’s breath. Therefore, it is fair to say that teaching “Faith” in the churches in this context, is missing the fundamental ingredient, that is, “Tranquil Breath.”
Realizing God or the Self is EXCLUSIVELY A PERSONAL MATTER and there is no scope, at all, of spiritual organizations, churches, or any agency in between the seeker and God, the Self.
Unfortunately, crisis creeps in any religion and the teaching of spiritual disciplines when the fundamental factor is made confused or muddied in the first place; that is, a personal matter (direct teaching from Master to disciple) is taught through the so-called spiritual organizations and churches by the novices whose breath and life are still in the restless state (being outward with attachments for commercial gains, accumulating abundant wealth and having a big ego).
BREATH: THE SPIRIT
The word SPIRIT is derived from the Latin word SPIRITUS which means “Breath.”
When the Bible says, “God is a spirit” (John 4:24), it really means that God is a state of “Tranquil Breath,” devoid of restlessness.
In fact, the state of Godhood is the state of Tranquil Breath; when it becomes restless, Creation begins, that is, when one breathes, Creation starts. If one attains the “state of Tranquil Breath,” one achieves the “state of Godhood.” This is certain.
The answer for tranquilizing one’s breath (Prana) is Pranayam (the state of Oneness Union, Yoga). Nanya pantha bidyate ayanaya (Upanisad): “There is no other way left.”
Therefore, the answer is Pranayam.
At the outset, it would be appropriate to define the two words: Yoga and Vedanta in proper perspective in the spiritual light.
Yoga is now a popular word in the West. Yoga is accepted as a form of physical exercises for physical fitness or it is some kind of Eastern ballet.
Yoga is none of that in its proper sense. Truly speaking, Yoga has nothing to do with any kind of physical thing. Let us see how Yogi Patanjali, popularly known as the founder of the Yoga discipline, in his Yoga Sutras, defined the word Yoga.
Yoga-chitta-vritti-nirodha - Which means "Yoga is a tranquil state of Consciousness when the waves (vrittis) of the heart (chitta) are eliminated (nirodha)". In other words, when the restless waves of the heart are made tranquil, it is a state of Yoga. The restless thoughts or the confused intellect of the heart and mind is dissolved, and then it is a state of Yoga, Sthirattva, eternal Tranquility, and Peace.
Therefore, Yoga is essentially a spiritual discipline; it has nothing to do with physical exercises. In reality, the asana (a posture of the body - seating) is a steadfast condition of the mind which consequently shapes the body posture, and so Yoga has nothing to do with the body. It is directly related with the heart and mind. So where is the scope of doing anything with the body? Its primary intension is to dissolve the mind and tranquilize the heart.
The West in reality got it all wrong about Yoga. People in the West have customized and accepted the Yoga for their physical benefits; it does not mean Yoga, the ancient spiritual discipline, have anything to do with the body.
Now, the word Vedanta; it can be scanned into two words: Veda which means "knowing" or "knowledge" and anta which means "the end"; therefore, the word Vedanta means "the end of knowing or knowledge."
Thus the combined
perspective of Yoga and Vedanta brings the state of eternal Tranquility
(Sthirattva) at the end of knowing (realizing the Self); with
nothing more left to know as the knowing mind or the intellect itself
is dissolved in its very Source, attaining the state of eternal Tranquility
(Chira Santi) or eternal Silence (Chira Mauna)…
“The BASIC and FUNDAMENTAL features of the teaching of yoga discipline is that the yoga practitioner should perform each Karma in life with EQUANIMITY treating success and failure ALIKE. (Samatang yoga uchyate. Bhagavad Gita 2:48) for it is Providence [DAIBA] that gives the result.
“Man expects high, though destiny might have decreed against him, and he receives happiness or sorrow as it might chance. Binding himself into the results through expectation [vasana], he attracts bondage into the cycle of birth and death and cannot release himself.
“Karmanye badhikaraste ma phalesu kadachana. Bhagavad Gita 2:47 ‘You have the right to practice Kriya, perform Karmas, but don’t expect results.’
“Therefore, the smart thing to do is to abandon the expectation of results and continue to practice sincerely and very strictly to the instruction and the order received personally (one on one basis) from the living lips of a Guru (Guruvaktragamya). Learning from the representatives in group of any organization, which are prohibited by Mahamuni Babaji, is false, because they lack the authority of command for a mantra to be effective.”
Authority of Command
It is absolutely necessary to know the meaning of a mantra and make it conscious (alive) to be effective; or else, chanting a mantra or japa a million times will not be effective and fruitful.
The verse says, “One who does not know the meaning of a mantra, or has not attained the awakened state of a mantra, and has not known of Yonimudra, his one hundred thousand or even one million japa will not bring him success.”
The explanation is: The true meaning (spirit or life) of all Mantras is breath (the wordings of a mantra are important but secondary), and the process of awakening a mantra from its dormitory state to the conscious state (chaitanya) is Kriya Pranayam. The practice of one hundred thousand or even one million japa without knowing (practicing) Yonimudra (not Jyoti Mudra as some propagate) will not bring success. The simple reason is that without making a mantra conscious (alive or chaitanya) thousands of chanting or japa will not be effective. This is certain. The dormant and inherent state of the inner Light (Jyoti) and the inner Sound (OM) of a mantra along with its vibrations (spandan), can only become alive if the person makes the breath tranquil (Sthira) by the practice of Kriya Pranayam. Thus the most important point is to attain the tranquil state of Breath (Sthira Prana) which makes a mantra conscious (alive or chaitanya) and generates the absolute necessary legitimate Authority of Command to be effective and fruitful.
The commercial and the mass group teaching through the organizations and through the representative lack that Authority, as a result, the whole thing becomes a farce exercise.
A small story could prove the point very well. In a small beautiful kingdom, peace and prosperity were prevailing when the king's very able prime minister sought six months leave to spend time with his Gurudev. “Why six months? What do you plan to do,” asked the king. The minister’s answer that he wanted to learn the Gayatri Mantra, left the king puzzled. The king knew it was a simple mantra.
Asking the minister to meet him the next day to discuss about the proposed leave, he sent for the head priest and learnt the mantra by heart. The next day, when the minister presented himself, the king recited the mantra twice, looked triumphantly at the minister and said, “For this, you wanted to take leave for six months? Were you joking yesterday? I learnt it in just two minutes.” Without blinking, the minister said, “You recited it alright but there is no authority, moral force or legitimacy of command in the recitation.”
The king was furious at being challenged. He thought old age was making the minister a little senile. A mantra is a mantra; he thought and asked the minister to prove that mantra recitation needed some kind of authority.
The minister called a servant and ordered, “Tie the king up.” The servant was shocked and did not even move. The king was now convinced that the minister had gone mad. In rage, he ordered the servant to tie up the minister. The servant immediately tied up the minister. The arrested minister laughed. A surprised king demanded an explanation.
The minister said, “Both of us gave the same order. But the servant only complied with your order because there was authority and legitimacy in your command.” Realization dawned on the king, who embraced the minister and sent him on leave to learn the mantra.
The Self, or the Atma alone exists eternally, and so it does not reincarnate. The popular notion is that the individual self or the jiva reincarnates, which is not correct. It is the mind (the restless breath in the light of Kriya), which is born, reincarnates, migrates to other bodies, and goes to other worlds. The objective world is a materialization of the mind and so in spirituality, renunciation of material things does not matter at all. It is the mind (restless breath or the ego) that needs to be renounced through the actual practice of pranayam or Kriya.
One will realize the Self, the Atma when all desires (vasana) would be renounced. Eternal happiness or contentment (santos) lies in the state of desirelessness (nirvasana). So be tranquil in Oneness within with the Self or the Atma.
Practice! Practice! Practice!
Constant undistracted practice is the real key to attain realization of the absolute Self. Because of wrong thinking for many incarnations, ignorance has firmly established its stronghold and so it appears as external objects (sangsar-adambar – the world-show). It is the monstrous mind that creates the unreal, magical, phenomenal, world-show and stretches it out in front of us through its own imagination to play the game of ensnarement (entrapment). Therefore, the external world, the subjective experiences and assertions are all ignorance.
Ignorance is of two kinds: superior (nivritti) and lower (pravritti). Nivritti or the subjective that draws in the outgoing vritti (modification or wave of the mind) is superior; the ignorance which tends to enjoy life – in the objective world is the lower one (pravritti). So destroy ignorance by superior ignorance (nivritti). To be free from this ensnarement of the mind one must engage to practice at the present moment and not on the thoughts of past and future. Ignorance ends in a similar way when the imagined snake is discovered to be really a piece of rope.
The Self (Atma) is beyond senses. Atma is realized when the mind and the senses subsiding completely in the Atma, are not operative at all.
A Vedantist would say – Knowledge is born of ignorance and destroys ignorance; a man in a dream is chased by a tiger and generates tremendous fear; remembering he has a gun, he shoots the tiger dead and awakes. The illusory gun shoots the illusory tiger and releases the man from fear. Similarly, Knowledge is born of ignorance and destroys ignorance. One who has awakened to spirituality is free from all fear and realizes the Self.
Copyright © 1994 - 2012 Update 10/2012