Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

Association of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Societies International

Two minute meditations
Silence programs
  AHYMSIN Newsletter, Issue - September 2013  

Lecture #6

by Swami Veda Bharati

Swami Rama glancing leftwards

March 5, 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.

What an impressive view today! With all your yellow wraps, it looks like you’re half way to sannyāsa. I wish I had such a large group of swamis working for me! And you’re wrapped up in Gāyatrī mantra, what more do you want? What greater protection and assurance for life do you need? [Note: Swamiji had gifted sangha sādhakas with shawls printed with the Gāyatrī mantra.]

Today has been a long day of sessions and meetings, and I am feeling the effect. That’s why I’ve chosen to sit more comfortably. And, I’ll be shorter even than usual.

One problem is that I never manage to complete a course; so I promise, and I do not deliver, because, there is so much to cover, and so little time. You people don’t come for a long enough period. So, we have, after today, three more days left. I’ll see how much I can cover, and the rest will be left for another time, or for the computer. Sometimes I think that computers and CD’s are going to obtain enlightenment and liberation long before us! They retain!

I’ll continue on the subject of the stations in your spiritual and meditative progress, and what happens as you progress, as you experience.

I’ve told you of the three symptoms, three sensations in the chakras. That’s not all, but that is very brief. And when these three kinds of sensations do occur, there are three practices; there are many more, but there are three to start with. You feel as though the breath is flowing in and out of that chakra; that’s one. Another is that you feel as though the breath is ascending from and descending to that chakra. And the third one is that, with both forms of breath, you feel as though your mantra is arising in that chakra. These are the three practices to start with. You can experiment quite safely, but is always best to consult your meditation guide.

I spoke to you of the sensations and symptoms. I’ve not covered everything. For example, some people have the experience of sound, inner sounds in what we call brahmara guha, “the cave of the bees,” in the right half of the head, inside the right ear. Or, one may hear anāhata nāda, the “unstruck sound” in the anāhata chakra, the heart chakra. But don’t start imagining and fantasizing! Every time you have an experience, that is not full enlightenment. You’re not yet a yoga-āchārya and yoga-rishi and a meditation master.

There is an easier way to become a meditation master! Go back from Rishikesh and contact a PR company. Ask them to advertise you as a meditation master who has come back from training in the Himalayas, and you will be very rich! This is one way to become a meditation master. That is the way of the Kali Yuga! But, some of us are still backward, way back, living in the consciousness of the Satya Yuga and trying to ward off the onslaughts of this Kali Yuga as much as we can. If you have something truly to offer, the world will come to you, because you will be a magnet.

So, there is the experience of sound. And, there are ways to respond to that experience. I’m not here to teach you the secrets of nāda-yoga at this time. I’ve given the nāda-yoga initiation to just one or two people in my life.

Then there is the experience of light. Mainly the experience of light occurs either in the center between the eyebrows or inside the head. And, there are many different kinds of experiences of light. It could be a white light, it could be a blue light, or it could be a red light. And, each one has a meaning. There is more, if you are ambitious, and you have your goals set for the next twenty-five or fifty years of sādhana and you are truly serious, then these things will happen. There comes a time when the every nāḍi, all the 72,000 energy currents look like they are rays of luminosity. But, enough of that because now at the moment for you it is a very dramatic speculation.

But on the question of light, long ago, in the 1970’s, in The Meditation Center, in Minneapolis, I gave a lecture titled “Sources of Light.”  Where Do These Lights Come From? You can ask Swami Ritavan if he can dig out that, and when you are doing the transcriptions of this series, refer to that. But every little flash of light is not enlightenment.

Then, there is the experience of fragrance. The experience of fragrance happens from two sources. One is that something triggers the electric storm in the odor centers, the smell centers of the brain. We have a dozen doctors here. They will tell you that there are certain conditions of brain disorders when patients smell all kinds of things, right? They are not mystics!

Every experience you have is not a mystical experience, and, it is not a mystery. I follow one principle: If there is a scientific explanation for something, I do not accept it as a spiritual experience. If there is a scientific or medical explanation for something, I do not accept it as a spiritual experience. And, there may be experiences for which the present science and medical science has not yet arrived at an understanding scientifically, but it may still be a scientific or a physiological or medical condition, okay? So, don’t get mislead by every little experience that happens.

So, there is this experience of fragrance. I said two sources; actually there are three: There can be a sense of fragrance by the concentration on nāsagra at some point, someday, if you have good concentration.

What is the principal of concentration? Sa tu dīrgha-kāla-nairantarya-satkārāsevito dṛḍha-bhūmiḥ “Practiced: dīrgha-kāla: “for a long time”; nairantaraya: “without interval”; satkārā: “with due faith and respect”; then it becomes firm of ground. [See the commentary on Sūtra 1:14 in Yoga-sῡtras of Patañjali with the Exposition of Vyāsa: A Translation and Commentary (Volume I - Samādhi Pāda), by Swami Veda Bharati (Pandit Usharbudh Arya).] 

Concentration on nāsagra, and one or two other concentrations can give you experience of celestial smells.

But, there is another one, and few people even in this gathering, are fortunate enough to have experienced that: The siddhas, the gurus project themselves in the form of a fragrance, and they thereby make their presence known that they have blessed you.

These things do happen, but do not sit for your meditation practice in expectation of them: “When am I going to see the lights? Lord God, I signed a contract with you, and you haven’t fulfilled your end of the contract and shown me light, nor have you let me hear your celestial music. I have not experienced any fragrance of the siddhas. This meditation is no good.”

What you are looking for – I say it repeatedly and I say it here again – what you are looking for is not experiences. What you are looking for is . . . stillness. That is all. If your meditation leads you to stillness while you are meditating, and after you have risen from your meditation, then you are making progress – stillness.

Your way of body movement will change. It will be a flowing movement. And your body will remain always relaxed. I can sit here, if I have the physical strength, and speak to you for three hours, and my body will remain this relaxed [Swami Veda demonstrates this by lifting one arm with the other and dropping it limply to his meditation seat]. You can test me anytime. And your body will remain relaxed, especially in the moments that trigger stress. And, when the masters train you, as they did with me, they put you in the moment of stress and then say, “Stay Calm.” They excite you, agitate you, challenge you, and, you respond to the challenge, and he says, “Stay Calm.” “Oh, alright, I missed it.”

There are many practices related to the chakras of which I have spoken elsewhere. I had a small gathering of ten or twelve select teachers to whom I gave some indications, maybe about a month back, and when the transcripts of these lectures come to you, references will be made to those teachings.

In the chakras, there are yajñas, there are pūjas. Many people ask me about this very natural and high ambition of bindu-bhedana,“bursting through the point.” I have spoken about it many places before. It starts with understanding the central points of the petals of each chakra, merging those bindus, and then you burst through that merged mahā-bindu. That is the art of dying.

Another thing that happens quite often in meditation is a feeling of expansion of space. At present, your consciousness is limited only to the space that your physical body is occupying. The next stage comes of experiencing the space of what is known in the Tantras as dvādashānta.

Do you know one thing? – and, I’m repeating myself because I’ve said it before many times: Every individual is the same height. Everybody is 108 digits tall.

These 108 digits are your own digits. The physical part, if you measure from the toes to the top of the head is 96 digits. The prana body extends 12 digits more, here. This is where I meditate [Swami Veda gestures to an area 12 digits above the crown of his head]. But, don’t you start doing it. You begin to experience that space as your own space, just as at present you experience only the physical body’s space.

Then, there may be further expansion, and there’s no end to that. In the higher Vipassana teachings, there is a term ākāśānantyāyatanam (ākāśa anantya āyatanam) – too difficult to write down; I can write it down for you later – the experience of “unending space.” So, that whole universe becomes your body.

The armchair spiritualists sit back there and start imagining. That’s not the way. The way of fantasy is not the way of spirituality. Just because you’ve read something, just because you’ve heard something, you start imagining. That is not progress. When it happens naturally, then you know where to go with it. So, this expansion of space occurs.

I’m not talking of little problems people feel. Sometimes they feel fear at the next step, and so on, so on. That is a different topic. We do not have time for it in these few days.

All important: your mantra ceases to be in your mouth and on your tongue. Some of you are still practicing the mantra in the mouth and on the tongue. The mind is an ocean. The mind is an ocean, and that whole ocean of the universal mind is inside you. That ocean has many layers and levels of subtler and yet subtler and yet subtler energies, just as the ocean has depths below depths below depths. And at what depth you practice your mantra, so that it ceases to be a word and becomes a vibration, depends on how you allow yourself to go inwards: by relaxing, by gentle breathing, by lengthening your breath, and so on. If you go into that – and in the spiritual realms, what we call “higher” is “deeper,” and what we call “deeper” is also “higher” – your mantra becomes faster. It becomes faster because it is moving more and more towards becoming less a word and more a vibration, a vibration in a given layer of the mind. It is a vibration in a given layer of the mind, depending on how deep you are going, okay?

I have spoken on this subject elsewhere in some detail: The time that it takes you to think your mantra once, in that time the Guru thinks your mantra 512 times! 512 is the figure, and there’s a mathematics to it. That’s why he can take care of so many people. And, sometimes their grace manifests itself involuntarily. Your mantra begins to go fast.

And, remember that principle I’ve given you: when something happens in you, just go there, become absorbed, just observe, just become absorbed in it. Just experience it. Dwell there as long as it lasts. And, if it’s gone, don’t struggle. It’s not in your hands. A very old sentence of mine: “Grace and a baby do not come by appointment.”Alright? They do not come by appointment. So when the Guru comes into your mind in this form, don’t say, “Well, when will I see you next?” We’ll see, we don’t know. They have their own rhythm by which they operate.

But remember that this mantra becoming faster on its own is actually the first thing that should happen to you. All the rest comes later. And when that happens, just dwell there, experience it.

There are two ways to meditation: your effort as a technique, and the Guru’s grace. If your effort is sincere, the grace will come. And, without that grace, nothing actually, nothing will truly fructify.

Here I find a vast difference between the modern Western mind and the Indian mind. The Western mind believes in its own effort: “I can do it. I’ll do it. So, what technique should I follow, Swamiji?” And they believe in doing it on their own. In India, the psychology is of too much dependence: “Just give me your grace. I don’t want to go through all this sitting and doing sādhana. Just give me your grace.” Easy and cheap. I find that here. I don’t know what they have made of swamis and yogis in India. Half the people who come to me and to the swamis say things like: “My son is sitting for an exam next week. Swamiji give your blessing so that he passes.” I’m not an examiner! “Ah, Swamiji, my son-in-law has applied for a job in the civil service. Give your blessing.” Half the people in India, they come to the swamis and yogis with these requests. “My son is not getting a child.” Forgive me! I don’t do those things. I’m a useless swami, really, absolutely useless! I only know to shut my eyes and shut my mouth – and sometimes open my mouth a little. That’s all I know. I only know to teach meditation.

And, I’ve told you many times, my Master said “Let me grant you some siddhis.” And I said, “Maharaji, I’ve no interest in siddhis. If you only give me samādhi, that is all.” So, I have no siddhis. You’ll be very disappointed. I have no powers to show, okay. If you want to come here, come for meditation – pure meditation.

One day I was walking on an island called Ko Samui off the east coast of Thailand. And these Indian merchants were everywhere. And on that island there were a series of Indian shops, and they saw a swami passing. And this shopkeeper came running out: “Swami pranam!” “Bless you.” “Where are you from?” “From Rishikesh.” “From Rishikesh!” – like I was from heaven. “Rishikesh” is a magic word. “Ah sa.” Then he stretches his palm out. “So then, do you read palms?” I said “No, I don’t read palms.” He did not say one single word; he turned and walked back into his shop! That is the level of spirituality in India – with a lot of people.

Now, listen to this. Three shops later, another man, a shopkeeper, saw this swami, came rushing out, and there was exactly the same exchange: “Swamiji, pranam.” “Blessings.” “Swamiji, where are you from?” “From Rishikesh” “Oh, from Rishikesh! Do you read palms?” “No, I don’t read palms.” Not one word more, back into the shop. What kind of swami is he who doesn’t read palms! I don’t even read minds, leave alone palms. Why should I invade your privacy? Tell me!

So, don’t get confused by the meaning of spirituality. Keep it pure and apply it in the way I have written in this book that is distributed to you Sadhana in Applied Spirituality. Apply it, practice it.

I’m sorry, I’m very, very tired today, and I’m going to cut it short. And, don’t take my scolding too seriously!

Be happy. Practice.

You look wonderful in these yellow scarves!

God bless you all! Thank you.

Editor's Notes:

Sadhana in Applied Spirituality can be read at http://ahymsin.org/main/swami-veda-bharati/sadhana-in-applied-spirituality.html

“Sources of Light” is in Kundalini Stilled or Stirred as “Spheres of Light.” There are also these talks by Swami Veda on light: “Meditation of the Flame / The Centers of Flame” (1976), “Light Meditation” (1976), “River of Light and Life Meditation” (1976), “Light in Meditative Experience” (1977).

Kundalini Stilled or Stirred by Swami Veda Bharati can be purchased through AHYMSIN Publishers at [email protected], through the online bookstore at The Meditation Center (they ship nationally and internationally), through Amazon.com, and through other bookstores.  In Europe, inquire at http://www.yogaineurope.eu/contact/

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 [email protected]

To read transcripts of the previous Swami Veda talks in this series, please click on the title: