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

Lecture #8

by Swami Veda Bharati

Swami Rama glancing leftwards

March 7, 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.

To continue on the topic – today I have to speak softly. Can you hear me in the back? Can you hear me? Cannot? Cannot or can? Can. You have to forgive me; the body is old and tired.

We were talking yesterday about the symptoms of the openings of the chakras. Now please remember that what I’m giving is not exhaustive. It is only indicative – a few things out of many. And those things many of you will discover on your own someday if you’re ambitious, if you have the desire, if you have the dedication to sādhana. People want lectures and intellectual entertainment, and then they go back home – and no sādhana. But it is only through sādhana that you will verify whether what I am saying is true or whether it’s all my concoction. In some people’s minds they might say, “That’s too fantastic. Well, this can’t be. I think Swamiji exaggerates,” and so on. Because one who has never seen the ocean cannot imagine what the ocean is like.

We have an idiom in Sanskrit: kūpa māṇḍūka: “the frog in the well.”  The frog in the well was visited by a frog from the ocean. “Where are you from?” “I’m from the ocean. How do you manage to live in such a narrow, small space?”  The frog in the well said, “What do you mean? Do you think you are from some high and mighty place? What is this place like?” He said, “This water here in the well is nothing compared to where I live.” “Oh, is that place bigger than this well?” So the frog in the well makes a jump and says, “Is it that big?” “Oh, no, no, you won’t understand.” So the first frog takes three jumps across the well and says, “Well, it must be about that big.” “No, I wish I could show it to you.” The frog in the well says “You are a liar; such a place can’t exist.”

God also can’t exist. Right? The Ātman, the Self cannot exist. The Universal Mind cannot exist. It’s just too fantastic.

Visit the ocean. Start the journey. Do some sādhana. And those who have a glimpse are the blessed ones, and they do not know, they do not know how blessed they are – because grace has touched them. And then they wonder what to do with this grace: “So, what do I do next, Swamiji?”  And I say, Come on. Don’t do anything. This has not come to you by your doing. What level of consciousness you arrive at naturally. Sahaja – remember that word. Just become absorbed in experiencing it. That is your practice.

I’ve been asked a question from a serious sādhaka. I like to answer questions from serious sādhakas. She says: “I do this breathing, the 21,600 breaths,” – the practice we have taught at one time – “but I cannot quite locate where the svādhisthāna chakra is. What is the location of the svādhisthāna chakra, the second chakra?”  First let me give a general answer. In a magnet, is the magnetism in front or is it in the back? People ask, “Are the chakras in the front in these organs – navel and heart and so on – or are they in the spine?”  A chakra is a force-field; it has no front or back. Remember that. It’s a force-field. So do not look for it whether in the front or in the back. I’ve explained that in my book on kundalini [Kundalini – Stilled or Stirred]. If you got a copy, you can read it. It answers many such questions.

So when we talk of the location, where is that force-field centered? Mūlādhāra chakra, for example is located just where the spinal bone ends, just where the spinal bone ends, or on the other hand, two digits width inside the rectum. Two digits farther up from there is the svādhisthāna chakra. Then the maṇipūra chakra and so on are easily recognized because of the well-known organs that are in front. I will not repeat what I have already written in the in the book on kundalini; it would be a waste of time. Please read it. But if you don’t manage to locate the exact spot of the chakra, don’t worry about it. Ordinarily, in our tradition, we do not give concentrations on mūlādhāra chakra, on svādhisthāna chakra except as part of an upward flow of energies, and there are several techniques that are taught in that regard.

The other question answered is that the symptoms of the chakra opening and so on, do they happen in sequence or do they happen spontaneously anywhere? They begin to happen spontaneously – anywhere, depending how much of the psycho-neuro-physiological mechanisms you have purified in a given area. These centers they are the force-fields; they are the force-fields that run your psycho-neuro-physiological faculties and functions. How much you have purified these faculties – on that depends where you feel the spontaneous pulsation, the spontaneous vibration or pressure or whatever. Just because you have begun to feel the little pulsation or you have begun to feel a little pressure, a little flow, that doesn’t mean you have become a great rishi now.

I told you an easy way to become a meditation master, right? Go back home and find a good PR company and they’ll make you a meditation master; you don’t need to go to the caves of the Himalayas anymore. Up to now, I don’t write the word “yogi” behind my name and I don’t allow it. In this entire ashram, you will not see my picture; I don’t allow it. And even to say this could be a display of vanity so I don’t say it often – just to teach you here. Nowadays I get these brochures from this yogi-raj and that yoga-rishi. Oh God, what happened to Patañjali and Vyāsa? What happened to Svātmārāma? Where are they in this big galaxy of yogi-rajas and yoga-rishis nowadays? If you are truly making spiritual progress, humility will happen. We have been talking about traps. Don’t get trapped.

One more question has been sent by a very serious, fairly advanced teacher. She says, “When I guide the manasa-puja, the internal worship in the heart center, many students start crying.”  Now this phenomenon of crying and laughing is very familiar to me. People cry when they come in the presence of anyone loving – because people hold so much pain. Everybody holds so much pain. And there is not enough trust, where they share that pain. And when they come to someone they trust, they overflow. I keep a box of tissues by my side. That is my professional equipment because I know that half the people that come will cry because they get love. I don’t teach; I only love – and they start crying. Understand it. People carry so much pain.

And yet they don’t want to renounce the world. They still keep hoping to find some honey in this pot of bitter juice. When you find it, let me know. Then you can say, “I am satisfied.” I haven’t met anybody except my master [who could say that].

So because we carry so much suppressed emotion, I have seen this happen: sometimes in rare cases even during initiation people cry – especially the people of India; they are very emotional people. Similarly, during guided meditations, sometimes people laugh or cry because the energy that is going on in the crying, or in involuntary laughter, has not been absorbed, has not been assimilated.

Emotional purification has not occurred. So work on emotional purification – number one. Work on emotional purification, absorbing the energy through practices like nādī shodhana, alternate nostril breathing, and through practices like heart-centered meditation. Over a period of time that energy that goes into meaningless crying and laughter will go into bhakti, will go into expressions of divine love. I have given lectures on bhakti yoga. You can inquire about the recordings, and listen to them so you will understand what bhakti is. So, through these stratagems you will learn to absorb that energy and then learn to channel it so that the same energy that you are throwing outward can then be channeled into the spiritual streams and become an instrument of your inner awakening and give you the capacity to open your heart center so that there develops in you that selfless love and universal love – selfless and universal. Whoever comes in your presence feels loved for no reason what so ever. That is the opening of the heart chakra. So that is the answer to involuntary laughing and crying.

Do not get trapped into thinking of these as necessary stations. You may bypass them simply by absorbing the energy and channeling it into the spiritual streams through observation and concentration. There are some here who understand what I am talking about, those who have done some sādhana. There are many who have not done the sādhana and who have not done the studies. They need to do the study and they need to do the sādhana. 

Then there is the trap of intensification of concentration into negative emotions. It happens very often. While on one hand, there may be someone who is working on self-purification and self-pacification calms down and becomes incapable of anger – incapable. There are others, however, who have not done any work on self-purification, emotional purification, chitta prasādhana, and I have seen cases where they have become angrier. And then they say, “Oh, this meditation is making me angry.” They were angry before. They have now channeled the energy of concentration into that anger.

Learn to practice self-pacification. Learn to do the emotional purification, about which we have spoken for decades and decades. Nobody teaches that. And some of the practical aspects of that are in the book that has been given to you as a gift: Sadhana in Applied Spirituality. There are other recordings and writings about that, too.

People can develop the power to place a curse on somebody. I know of cases where the some swamis have done long sādhana and somebody forgot to touch their feet and they put a curse on them. They have the power to curse, but why misuse that power? Use the power to bless. These are traps on the spiritual path, okay?

Similarly, for a time, through the practice of meditation, there may become an intensification of physical passion. I spoke of one becoming naturally celibate, but one may also feel an intensification of spiritual passion. That intensification is not for indulging in; that intensification is simply the force-field becoming more active. Take that force and channel it upwards. That is called becoming an ūrdhva-retas: one who flows upwards. So, become an upward-flowing one.

Do you know what I am doing in this course? I’m saving myself from e-mails so that I can practice some silence, and I’ll bet that three months from now someone will ask me a question that I have already answered in this course – and they are present here.

Uta tvaḥ paśyan na dadarśa vācaṁ uta tvaḥ śṛṇvan na śṛṇotyenām. Even the rishis in the Rig Veda were complaining that there are some who seeing, do not see and hearing, do not hear. And even Jesus got frustrated with people: “Those who have ears let them hear.” So, hear, okay? And don’t send me another e-mail if the question has already been answered somewhere by Swami Rama or by this self. Okay. Sixty-six years of non-stop teaching, lecturing, traveling, teaching, lecturing – Ah, come on, give me a break, please? Do.

So one question that is sent to me with some frequency is this: “At a certain point in my meditation, when I arrive at a certain level of stillness, I become afraid.”  The fear in meditation is quite common and is a great block. The Tibetans, in their system, they have all these demonic figures, and the churches in the Christian world you have these gargoyles on the outside. Okay. I visited a cathedral in Vienna way back about twenty-five or thirty years ago, and the stairs going up to the pulpit, on the banister, were the figures of all these animals. And the tour guide explained that as the priest is going up he should leave all these animal things behind. So, as you move up, the animal figures vanish. So it might happen that all kinds of fearful demons appear in your dreams, and the demon of fear appears in your meditation – but, as some of you know, I used to be a scuba diver; I’ve dived for many, many, many years. A scuba diver has this fear. I mean if you are at fifty feet there is no difference between of being at 50 feet and of being at 150 feet. But you check you altimeter and if you are at 50 feet, you are scared to go down further, just as you were scared, to first jump in. But you go down to 150 feet and there is no problem. You are just as comfortable there as you were at 50 feet or as you were at 25 feet. Okay?

My formula in life and in meditation is this: “What you are afraid of, go do it.”  Go see: “What is it that I am afraid of?”  “I’m scared of a dark room. Let me go in to see what is there to really scare me? Is there some lion, or is there a snake, or is there a demon, or is there somebody hiding there? What is in the dark room? Let me go look.”  And when you go toward that, the fear runs away – vanishes.

One is always afraid of the unfamiliar. The next step of experience in meditation is unfamiliar.   So you have this sense of “Ummm, shall I go?”  Hesitating. “No, I better come out. Suppose I go in and never manage to come out?”  Don’t worry; you will come back out. You will come back because of your karma, your saṁskāras of the world – what in the Yoga-sutras we call your vyutthāna saṁskāras. I have written about it in my work on the Yoga-sutras. There are two kinds of samskāras: vyutthāna samskāras and samādhi samskāras. Samādhi samskāras are those samskāras that your meditation samskaras builds up and builds up and builds up and impels you towards that path. Vyutthāna samskāras, your karmic forces, your worldly samskaras, your attraction in the world, they force you out of meditation. They make you get up. The word vyutthāna means “getting up,” which prevents you from settling down. So you have enough vyutthāna samskāras, and they will pull you out. Don’t worry; you’re not going to get into some beautiful heaven of infinity from which you will never return. I wish you could get into that beautiful heaven of eternity. When my master initiated me – I cannot give you full description of that – for three days and three nights - of whatever world. During that time, every now and then, especially on the first day, he kept calling me: “Usharbudh, open your eyes.”  I forced my eyes open. And then he let me go in again. And I asked him, “Why did you keep pulling me out of that heaven?”  And he said, “If I don’t, you will permanently stay there; I have work for you, and my work will not get done.” Well, big deal! You got me working day and night. Is that fair? (Laughing)  Sometimes I quarrel with my gurus. They don’t mind. So, there is nothing to this fear except your own samskāras, your hesitation toward the unfamiliar. Just go to it. Go to the next step. Go to the next depth. Just dive in, and see what is there to fear. Be curious about it: “Was there really something to fear?”  As you will cross that boundary, the next level of stillness will come to you. If you cross the boundary of that hesitation, of that fear, the next step of stillness and energy will come to you. And over a period of time, over a period of time, another awakening will happen.

I gave you a phrase from the commentary on the Shiva Sutras. What was the phrase? Smera, smera, stimita. Smiling, smiling, stilled. As you go on this journey, these amazing vistas open for you and you smile … and go still. And you go still … and you smile. But that’s a serene smile.

I do not know if you know of the Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra state. These are cave monasteries, ancient cave monasteries. If you look at them, you will not think of it as a cave because they are carved architecture – beautifully ornately carved architecture. Similarly, there are the Dunhuang Caves in China, and there are a number of other caves in Sri Lanka, but the most famous are the Dunhuang Caves – and I’ve been most fortunate to go there. And there are statues, ornate pillars, meditation halls, and there is a particular statue of the Buddha there. But they have these aluminum foils by which they throw light, reflect the light on it, because the earlier lighting system was destroying the caves. So they reflect the light. And if the light is thrown on the left side of the Buddha’s face, the face looks sad; but if you reflect the light on the right side, the face looks happy. If you reflect the light right in front, the left and the right are balanced, and the face is serene. That serenity: stimita – that stillness will come to you. Seek that. Aspire for that. I will tell you one thing. If you are making spiritual progress, you will develop a natural smile. Everyone will see you smiling – in all circumstances. If someone is cursing you, your first reaction will be to smile at him. That will be your first response. If somebody is cursing you, your first reaction will be: smile at him.

All right, tomorrow we have one more session on the stations of meditative progress. I’ll see how much I can cover. The rest will come in writing. And, tonight there is another very beautiful dance by one of our initiate members who is also a dancer. And the day after tomorrow morning, at 10 a.m. one person, most deserving, is taking the vow of vanaprastha and some are taking a three-year vow, so you can attend the yajña-shala at that hour. Alright, enjoy. God bless you all. Hari Om. Hari Om. Tat Sat.

Editor's note:

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/

Sadhana in Applied Spirituality by Swami Veda Bharati can be found at this link: http://ahymsin.org/main/swami-veda-bharati/sadhana-in-applied-spirituality.html

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 a title below: