AHYMSIN NEWSLETTER, ISSUE - July 2016 
 
   
 
   

Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…

Sometimes students have written to or asked Swami Veda Bharati, Swami Ritavan Bharati, and other senior teachers in our tradition questions about practice.  This is one such “Question and Answer,” or Q&A.

Question:

I have seen all popular Sannyasis getting referred to as taken Mahasamadhi. Is it a word used to refer to the death of a Sannyasi?... When it comes to Sannyasis, use of Samadhi appears to be a fashion. Those who die in surgery in USA are also brought back to India and put in a sitting posture to declare Samadhi. Why such a thing of dishonesty is happening with the spiritually luminous Sannyasis?

Answer:

Two have answered this question: Dr. Stephen Parker (Stoma) and Lalita Arya (Ammaji).

From Dr. Stephen Parker (Stoma):

Mahasamadhi is the yogic process of consciously leaving the body at the moment of death, having gathered the pranas in the heart center and then utilizing the udana-vayu to conduct the pranas from the body through the “solar gate,” the brahma-randhra at the crown of the head. Such a yogi returns to rebirth only by choice. One can never really know for certain whether someone who dies in surgery or in some way other than the formally witnessed mahasamadhi, with witnesses seated before the yogi, has actually taken that path. Many times I suspect they do, even from surgery (because a genuine yogi remains aware even under anesthesia). I’m sure there are other times when this is indeed wishful thinking on the part of disciples. It is not our place to judge them or to know their subjective experience. Let us accept these gestures on the part of disciples as a last loving wish and blessing for a beloved teacher.

Remember also that a true sannyasi is not always the one wearing orange or white. Bhagavad Gita gives a beautiful account of the nature of true sannyasa. Sometimes it can be very challenging to discern who is whom. Few sannyasis of recent history exceed the renunciation and spiritual attainment of the great householder yogi Shyama Charan Lahiri (Lahiri Mahashaya) of the Kriya Yoga tradition. Formal sannyasa is not a badge of spiritual attainment; it is the adoption of a lifestyle that allows a total focus on sadhana. Many sannyasis are total beginners on the spiritual path. The true yogis are rare in either group and many times delight in hiding to all but their close disciples. Jesus said, “Those who have eyes to see, let them see; those who have ears to hear, let them hear.”

From Lalita Arya (Ammaji):

Thank you Stoma for giving your time to explain some of the technicalities involved in the system and tradition of sanyaasa.

What I would like to comment on is the apparent arrogance a lot of us assume in what we think we know of the Sanyaasa tradition at least where this questioner is concerned.

Let me quote from the question:

First - "I have seen all popular Sannyasis getting referred to as taken (taking) Mahasamadhi.."  Really?

Have you actually seen them "all"? Please be more specific. Maybe you have actually "seen" some or read about some.

Second quote - "Those who die in surgery in USA are also brought back to India and put in a sitting posture to declare Samadhi. Why such a thing of dishonesty is happening with the spiritually luminous Sannyasis?"
"Dishonesty" is a very strong accusation here about a system and tradition about whose intricate and sometimes very private rules non-sannyasis know nothing about.  And Yes, the Sanyaasa tradition does have its own rules, rites & regulations. We do not know them all; some of what we do know we may not agree with. Sometimes there are students who are thrilled with the idea of becoming a swami, but like most systems, you do not know what it’s going to be like until you are in it - maybe like marriage.

I seek forgiveness if I seem to be harsh in my comments - but I do want to add that while we are all trying to know the TRUTH and we are all seeking, if we are in a meditative tradition, we need to practise the first teaching of Awareness - in our thoughts, in our speech or written words and in our action. True seekers exhibit humility with awareness to find the Right Path.

I agree that all teachers are not true. Some seek fame, some seek wealth, but fortunately some just seek dedicated students. 


Editor’s Note:

If you have a question about spiritual practice, you can use this link to ask it:  http://ahymsin.org/main/adhyatma-samiti-spiritual-committee.html

For previous “Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…” columns, please use this link: http://ahymsin.org/main/practice/administrator.html

 

   
       

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