Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi
  AHYMSIN Newsletter, Issue - August 2013  

Lecture #5

by Swami Veda Bharati

Swami Rama glancing leftwards

March 4, 2013
at the 2013 Sangha Gathering at SRSG


Gurave namaḥ.
Parama-gurave namaḥ.
Parameṣhṭhi-gurave namaḥ.
Paramparā-gurubhyo namaḥ.

Akhaṇḍa-maṇḍalākaraṁ vyāptaṁ yena charācharam.
Tat padaṁ darshitaṁ yena tasmai shrī-gurave namaḥ.

Hiraṇya-garbhād ārabdhām śheṣha-vyāsādi-madhyamām.
Svāmi-śhrī-rāma-pādāntāṁ vande guru-paramparām.

Om tat sat brahmārpaṇam astu.

Om śham.

I have the privilege of introducing someone whose books many of you have read, an author, lecturer, spiritual sādhaka, spiritual guide, author of dozens of books – very popular ones – Dr. David Frawley. You may greet him personally afterwards. Are you staying with us tonight? He’s staying with us tonight. I am not going to ask him to speak this time because I’m being very selfish and I need to complete this course. We are working on a very tight schedule. He visits this ashram every year in the month of March, so he has kept his word. So we will benefit from him with a personal gathering or meeting, or maybe if the organizers agree, before the dance program tonight, he could maybe he could address up for ten or fifteen minutes. Let’s do it that way. Let him address us tonight for just ten or fifteen minutes before the dance program begins tonight; would that be alright? Just a short, brief message for people. (Discussion). Or tomorrow morning. Is it possible tomorrow morning?

Tomorrow we have these very special organizational meetings from 10:00 am. Don’t forget. All the different arms of AHYMSIN are gathering together. The AHYMSIN past executives, new executives, center leaders, Dhyana Mandarin Trust trustees, TTP representatives, swamis and mantra initiators, and youth leaders are all meeting to draft out the program for the future. It is on the decisions that you make tomorrow that I’ll know whether I have the freedom or do not have the freedom. That is the purpose of tomorrow’s meetings: to work out the programs for AHYMSIN’s strategic programs and make decisions. So that is very essential. Don’t forget that you are not deciding AHYMSIN’s future; you are deciding my future tomorrow.

Some people have asked: “If Swamiji is going into silence and he is not so well, why does he have to still keep thinking of planning for travels?” As my organizers have told you, we are thinking of once a year, or once every two years for three months of the year, to travel to three continents, two cities in each continent. Why does Swamiji have to travel? Because I just can’t abandon you; because not everybody can come to Sadhaka Grama. So the idea is that people will meet me there in these various cities, and I will sit in silence while other teachers do the teaching. 

The other part is a very practical one that I need to share with you before I get on to the main topic.  Just this place, this ashram, takes $30,000 a month to run. Where does it come from?  And that does not include the charities I do, the research scholars, their travels, those who are helping me to write the Yoga-sūtras, those kinds of things. It also does not cover my medical expenses.  And very frankly, candidly, I still have not arrived at how all this funding will continue. One way to continue it is that you people keep coming here. 

Don’t say, “Well, Swamiji has gone into silence. Who will teach us?” Let me answer that question also:

Citra vaa-taror mūle vddhā śiyā gurur yuvā, guros tu mauna vyākhyāna śiyās tu cchinna-saśayā: Under the banyan tree, the young teacher – not that this teacher is young (this refers to the cosmic teacher Dakṣiṇāmūrti) – the young teacher sits in silence, and the elderly disciples sit surrounding him. The silence is the teacher’s lecture, and the doubts of the disciples vanish. That is the yoga tradition.

Other teachers will teach you. If they are stuck, they will ask me. And, above all, suppose I die today; then who will teach you. I’m 80 years old.

The Tradition teaches you, not I. My Master teaches you, not I. The forces teach you, and they guide you, and they take you to the source of the teaching. You have not come of your own will.  You have come because the forces have brought you. And they have created the surroundings and they have created the environment, and the means and the will in you and the desire in you to come.  The one who has done that for you so far is the one who will teach you, besides the physical instrumentation.  Did you ask that question 30 years ago? – “Who will teach me?”  Somebody taught you.

Alright, we’ll continue. And tonight be here on time. We will still ask Dr. David Frawley to say a few words, and then we’ll see about tomorrow’s program. And don’t miss this highly important meeting, which means the future of this swami. You free me of all the concerns that I normally carry. Okay.

Shrīm Gurave namaḥ.
Shrīm Gurave namaḥ.
Shrīm Gurave namaḥ.
Om tat sat brahmārpaṇam astu.

Om sham.

We have been covering the course on the signs of progress in spirituality and in meditation, and I have given you a few indications.  First of all, with questions like this, as I’ve explained: when a light, an energy, a force occurs in you, don’t say, “What do I do next?”  Keep doing what you are doing.  The experience that is presented to you by your inner Guru, go into that experience, and dwell in there at that time.  Do not say afterwards, “That was a good experience; how can I go back to it?  What was it I was doing the cause of which that experience happened?  What do I do with these forces in me?” You do nothing; the forces will do it.  Who are you?  Even in your spiritual life do you have to keep this “me, me, me” going?  Let the forces take you, and follow.  But make sure – and this is very important – that you are not concocting something from the emotions that are hiding in your unconscious mind which are triggering some neurological and psychological symptoms.  Those are not signs of spiritual progress.  And you need to be very careful about that.  And wherever you arrive at that point, do not say, “Well, now I’ve seen God.  I’m a great saint now.” People have one little glimpse and they think they have seen the whole of God and they are great prophets now.  It saddens me when I see so many people putting behind their names the titles of “Yoga Rishi” or “Yoga Acharya.”  I was raised to think of the rishis from Satya Yuga.   Where are we compared to that?  So be very careful that your ego does not step in. But otherwise, if it is a pure spiritual experience, just go there, savor it, dwell in it, become absorbed in it.  If it is a one-time glimpse, take it as a grace, in gratitude.  Do not struggle to have it repeat itself.  The Guru-force within you will decide whether it wants to come back or not. Or if it becomes constant, just dwell in it. That is all. Go with it.  Flow with it.

Repeating something I told you earlier: certain things will happen in your body. Your body will become more flexible. If you have stiffness in your body, you have not made spiritual progress.  If you are making spiritual progress, your body will become flexible, resilient.  The āsanas will happen naturally for you, as I’ve explained in my book, Philosophy of Hatha Yoga.

Siddhāsana will form naturally. Even if you are sitting on a chair, something will happen with a flow of inner energies that will want you to cross your legs and will say, “I am not comfortable.  I need to cross my legs – now how do I do that?  It will happen for you, and siddhāsana will form naturally. Siddhāsana is the best asana for meditation as Swami Rama has told us. Siddhāsana will form, and the spine will become naturally straightened.  The spine will become inclined to become straight. And you don’t have to say, “Am I sitting straight or am I not sitting straight?”  The energy inside you will pull and straighten you. You may start your meditation slouching, but when you start your mental practices, slowly the body will straighten up because something from inside you will straighten your spine. It will become a natural inclination, not an effort, not a training.

Mūla-bandha and asvinī mudra will happen naturally.You are all familiar with the terms, “mūla-bandha” and “asvinī mudrā.” If you are not, what have you been doing? And what have your teachers been teaching you? So mūla-bandha and asvinī mudrā will happen naturally. In time, the tongue will tuck itself into the pallet and kecharī mudrā will happen naturally; you don’t have to make an effort. When you do the mūla-bandha and kecharī mudrā with an effort, you often create a tension in the areas. When it happens by inner, natural forces, then those tensions do not occur.  I have seen many people trying to form kecharī mudra, and their jaw is all tensing up.  That’s not the way.

What we are teaching is the path of sahaja – things that happen naturally, easily by the awakening forces within you, without the effort and without the technique. Techniques, again as I have explained in my book, are preparations of the body to receive these forces and the way they flow, so that when these forces flow within you, the body does not resist them. At present, your body is resisting them, and that is why nothing is happening – because you have not trained the body to receive the forces that will make you flexible and will make you resilient. Swami Tat Sat can teach you much more about the flow of the forces. Do we have a program by him? We must! What are you doing! You’ve got to! Such a big gathering – people should benefit from his presence.

So these things will happen naturally in you. So then diaphragmatic breathing will happen naturally. It will not be an effort, and your breath will slow down... and the breath will slow down… and the breath will slow down by itself. As your breath begins to slow down, you will slowly begin to understand and experience the five elements of breath: the earth element, the water element, the fire element, the air element and the space element.

The five elements of the breath, the five stages of the breath, are closely related to the chakra system. There are special texts. Swami Rama often talks about them but doesn’t say much about them. He has given some indications about them in his two volumes titled Path of Fire and Light. They are special texts of what is known as Svara Shāstra, Svara Vidyā. Now very strangely, the word “svara” means “breath rhythm” and the word “svara” also means “a vowel,” and that is where silence comes in. But that is a whole different topic.

Another thing that you need to aspire for is the ability to change your svara. For example, a student is sitting here.  His left nostril is breathing.  Check.

You need to learn to change it, and that is a whole different science also. Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you whose nostril is open and how to change the nostril breath. It is very important that you can do this, and Swami Rama has given some teachings on that in his books, and some have been given orally, and I have taught this also.

Then there is the sushumnā breath where both nostrils flow with equal force. You train yourself through the techniques and concentrations, you train yourself through the techniques of āsana, mudrā, prānāyāma, and concentrations so that when the forces flow, your body is not resisting them. That is the whole point. But if you just continue your practice of meditation, these things will happen, if you really meditate and if you are a serious sādhaka.

In India, I have a society which is in this way very weak: “Swamiji, your grace will do it. It can’t happen by myself; grant me the grace.” They want the swami to do all the work, and they don’t want to sit to meditate, and they don’t want to practice silence. The one thing I like about Western people is that they do, and people in Korea and Taiwan and China, they do. They do the practice. Very few people in India practice meditation. They want grace, kindness, let it happen: “Just touch me on my head and I’ll get enlightened.” It is a very lazy society. I ask the forgiveness of my Indian friends. They always accuse me of being an Indian and always criticizing India.  India has other strengths.

Then, in the process, you will begin to feel what a chakra is. As I was explaining yesterday, there is a system of push and pull. Elsewhere I have taught the methods, by discerning your chakra, the transcripts of which can be appended to this series that you do not know you are preparing for me, Savitri – the transcripts here as well as the other ones — methodically.

And as I was explaining yesterday, there is a system of push and pull: the energies of lower chakras push upwards; the energies of higher chakras pull upwards, and the two combine and become settled in the heart center whose symbol is an upward triangle and a downward triangle because that is where the forces of the push and pull meet. Those who have experienced this, they know what that this upward and downward shiva-shakti triangle truly means experientially.

And please don’t go from here and start teaching all this without having experienced it yourself and just showing off how much you know. There is a strong temptation to show off.  Experience it first. Realize it. Let it become real for you. Then you teach. Then your teaching is effective and it is correct. Otherwise, you will teach somebody, and his energy will go in all different directions: “Oh, since I started doing this practice, I have shoulder pain. I have back pain” – because the teacher has not put the energy in a smooth, direct path, and the energy has gone into the wrong places.

So, in the chakras, initially, you will feel three kinds of experiences: a feeling of pressure in that area – I said that yesterday – and some sensations in that area, or the sense of a flow, something flowing, energy flowing. These are three initial experiences that happen with the chakras.  Along with that, please remember that these chakras are your psycho-neuro-physiological centers; and all of your different emotions, all your different emotional patterns are connected to different chakras. Different psycho-neuro-psysiological attitudes and reactions are triggered from the forces in those different chakras. If you are making spiritual progress, these emotions will be purified.  And we have spent decades talking about emotional purification, so I will not go deeply into it this time.

After you have found that the spine has now the natural inclination to be straight, some people then begin to feel the flow. In the Tantric texts they call it pipilika, as though ants are crawling in the spine. There are no ants there; it’s an energy plug that is triggered, with a different wattage that you can handle. If there is any more wattage, you will go crazy because your container does not have the capacity at the moment to take a stronger content. So you will receive only what you have trained your system for and now you have to learn to absorb that, you have to learn to assimilate that.

To many people, we teach the breathing as though the breath is flowing through a hollow in the spine. So some people ask this question: “Swamiji, when I am doing that, sometimes I feel as though breath is flowing: with the exhalation, the energy is going up; with the inhalation, the energy is going down.” Other people say: “I feel it reversed: with the exhalation, I feel the energy going down; with the inhalation, I feel the energy going up. Which one should I do?”  Whichever one happens to you naturally, you do that.

I’m going to say something and I’m going to leave you puzzled, and you can study it ten years from now.  One of the purposes of breath practices the way we teach then is to change the So-ham into Hamsa mantra.

Swami Prayag asked me a question at one time: “There are two versions of that verse that occur in different Tantras and different texts. Some versions say,sakāreņa bahir yāti hakāreņa viśet punaḥ.” Other versions say, “hakāreņa bahir yāti sakāreņa viśet punaḥ.” Some versions say that with so the breath flows outwards and with ha it enters inwards. Other Tantra texts say the opposite: with the ha the breath flows outwards, and with the sa the breath flows inwards. Our practice is to start with the hum with out-breath, and the so with the in-breath, but later, as you progress, the reverse will happen, and it will become the Hamsa mantra. You don’t have to make an effort for that. And there is a whole science to that.

When you begin to experience and understand what I am saying about the five elements of the breath and your breath slows down – because I feel that I’m leaving you puzzled. You’re asking yourself: “What are those five elements?  What happens with each element?” Stay here another year, and I’ll teach you. People want 10,000 years of knowledge in 10 days because they came from all those distances and spent so much money – well, of course. So take what you can here.

So the breath slows down, and then it will happen that you will enter the path of sahaja.  So then the sahaja kumbhaka happens. It just happens. You don’t practice sahaja kumbhaka. It happens.  The breath becomes soooooo subtle and it vanishes into ākāsha tattva.  For a moment, it ceases. When it ceases even for a few moments, when that happens, become absorbed in it.  These are not things that happen by your effort; they happen by the forces that are responding.  Forces that are responding to what?  Responding to your aspiration, to your commitment to meditation, to your practice of meditation – not go to your meditation, hurried, hurried, hurried, and go sit down for 10 minutes: “Oh, is it 10 minutes yet?  I’ve got to rush. Let me go.” That will not work.

It can work. Sometimes it can work: one can attain in 10 minutes what others can attain in 10 hours, but then you have to be that, okay? So with your breath, that is your goal: to reach that sahaja kumbhaka or kevala kumbhaka, and then these things will happen – alright?

I’ll continue. Today was March 4th. Six, seven, eight; four more days. I will see how much I can finish in four days; the rest will have to come on the computer – because on the 9th I have something else to give you

How is everybody’s forehead doing?  Some foreheads are doing well. Some people forget about it. Some do remind themselves, and I am happy for those. I will ask Swami Tat Sat to not only give a demonstration, but tell people what that energy is that we use. In five minutes – out of  his forty years of practice – tell them everything. Make them a Master.

And are you managing to remember your three minutes of repeated self-awareness?

One thing more that will happen is that the experience of Atma Tattva Avalokanam will happen for you.   You will become aware of the true Self. You will begin to become aware, you will begin to get glimpses of what the true Self is beyond the body, beyond the breath, beyond the senses, beyond the sentiments, beyond the emotions, beyond your ego identifications.

Bring your mind’s attention to yourself.

Relax your forehead.

Feel the flow and the touch of your breath in your nostrils, with your mantra in each breath.

Without breaking the flow, gently open your eyes.

Resolve to enter your spiritual being this way many, many times through the day.

May God and Guru bless us all. Thank you.  God bless you.

Editor’s Note:

Philosophy of Hatha Yoga by Swami Veda Bharati (aka Pandit Usharbudh Arya) can be purchased from The Meditation Center's online bookstore that ships nationally and internationally, yogaineurope.eu, AHYMSIN Publishers, and other bookstores and retailers.

Path of Fire and Light, Volume 1, by Swami Rama is available at also from bookstores and retailers, including The Meditation Center and AHYMSIN Publishers.

Path of Fire and Light, Volume 2, by Swami Rama is available at Amazon.com and other bookstores.

In Self-Study Readings, Recordings and Videos of Swami Rama and Swami Veda Bharati (Swamiji advises many who ask for guidance to use this list), audios on Atma Tattva Avalokanam, chakras, etc. are recommended. These are available through AHYMSIN Publishers at ahymsinpublishers@gmail.com. For an article about just some of their offerings, including Atma Tattva Avalokanam, Beginning Meditation with So-ham, and Chakra Breathing, Sushumna Breathing Meditation, please see: http://www.ahymsin.org/docs2/News/1305May/02.html

An Atma Tattva Avalokanam CD is also found at http://www.yogaineurope.eu/store/audiocd/all/

For more on Atma Tattva Avalokanam, see Swami Veda’s poems “Rivers and Oceans,” “The Oneness of Fire,” “Space of Consciousness” and “The Glory of Self” in The Light of Ten Thousand Suns.

To read Atma Tattva Avalokanam, Swami Veda’s Address to the Gathering of the Sangha, 2nd February 2010: http://ahymsin.org/main/swami-veda-bharati/atma-tattva-avalokanam.html

Swami Rama in Sacred Journey teaches us “The treasure is concealed within the heart of all beings. The treasure according to Vedanta is Atman, the Self or absolute Reality, that exists within all individuals. In the language of the Bible, Atman is the image of God, that which is identical to Brahman, pure consciousness, ultimate Reality, or however else we attempt to express with words that which is indescribable. Atman and Brahman are one, just as Jesus said, ‘I and my Father are one.’ ‘Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect,’ Jesus told his disciples. Know your identity with God. You are the same but have forgotten it, is the message. So remember. Do that essential work of remembering, of getting the clutter removed so you can remember.”

"Most men have lost not their shadow but their substance, the Reality. Wonder of wonders! The body is simply the shadow, and the real Self is the Reality. Everybody will tell us about his shadow, everybody will tell us anything and everything about his body, but how few are there who will tell us anything and everything about their real Self, the real Soul, the real Atman. What are you? What is the use of gaining the whole world and losing your own soul? People are trying to gain the whole world but they miss the Soul, they miss the Self. Lost, lost, lost. What is lost? The horse or the rider? The horseman is lost. The body is like the horse, and the Atman, the true Self, the Soul is like the rider. The rider is lost, the horse is there. Everybody will tell us anything and everything about the horse, but we want to know something about the rider, the horseman, the owner of the horse." – Swami Rama Tirtha in Lecture  Given  on  January  7, 1903, At  the  Golden  Gate  Hall  in  San  Francisco

The Dakshinamurthy Stotram by Adi Shankara expounds the theory or philosophy of Advaita Vedanta and refers to the young teacher, elderly students, and silence.

To read transcripts of these Swami Veda talks, please click on the title:

The Signs of Progress in Spirituality and in Meditation: During the 2013 Sangha Gathering, Ahymsin Publishers recorded Swami Veda’s lectures to help those on a spiritual path recognize the signs of progress. He also gave cautions and 'pitfalls' to watch out as one navigates their practice. This 9 part series is now available and is invaluable for all seekers wishing to enjoy the guidance of Swami Veda Bharati over the next years as he shifts deeper and deeper into silence. Contact AHYMSIN Publishers at ahymsinpublishers@gmail.com


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