Maha/Siddha Yoga---part 3

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Chapter 3 - The Siddhayoga Initiation


The Types of Yoga: There are two disciplines of the Yoga -
1. Abhava Yoga
2. 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 -
1. Those, who have to pass some more time for the ascent of the Serpent Power (Kundalini Shakti), are 'slow-paced seekers'.
2. Those, who have a good speed initially, but later on their progress is slow, are 'medium-paced seekers'.
3. 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,
1. 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).
2. 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)
3. 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':
1. 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.
2. 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):
1. 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.
2. 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):
1. 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.
2. The Greek partridges are delighted to see the moon beams but they themselves cannot delight others of their own kind.

Initiation through 'Will':
1. 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.
2. 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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. When you feel intoxicated (without taking any intoxicant) and feel like drunk of Divinity, know that your Atma Shakti has come into action.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.

Special Instructions:

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:
1. 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.
2. 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)"
3. An aspirant should have determination to abstain from consumation of wine, non-vegetarian food, eggs, onions, garlic, tobacco, Gutka, Ganja etc.
4. In the house of an initiate ladies should observe 'untouchablity' (keep aloof from all household work) for four days during their monthly periods.
5. An initiate should devote one hour every day for spiritual practice (meditation).
6. The initiation into this path is open to all irrespectiive of one's own caste, creed, sect, community, religion, age and sex.
7. 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 view the Online Deeksha Request letter.

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 -
1. should have an intense desire to worship Prana Shakti (Life Force),
2. should firmly resolve to observe all the rules laid down in the path.
3. 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:
1. 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.
2. He should bow down at the feet of his parents, elder brother and obtain their blessings. A wife should bow down to her husband.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Initially he should inhale breath speedily and exhale slowly for seven to eight times.
7. Afterwards he should relax his body completely and watch automatic natural breathing (slow or fast) and should not encourage any voluntary actions.
8. He should Concentrate his mind on automatic breathing.
9. Physical movements arising from within should be given absolute freedom.
10. In this way keeping his eyes closed he should devote one hour or more for the meditation.
11. 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.

Special Instructions:
1. During the meditation keep your eyes closed.
2. During the meditation, for convenience you can change the physical posture.
3. 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].
4. One should not sit for meditation after the meal at least for four hours. Your can have your meal ten minutes after the meditation.
5. One should not narrate one's experiences to others without the permission of the spiritual master.
6. Doors and windows of the meditation room should be kept closed. You can keep a lamp with dim light.
7. The spiritual progress will be speedier if the meditation is performed at the meditation centre of the Maha Yoga.