Maha/Siddha Yoga---part 4

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Chapter 4 - The Distinguishing Features of Siddhayoga


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.