March 6, 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.

Is everyone comfortable? Is everyone comfortable in the Ashram? Are there any problems? This is being taken care of by the management I am sure. I wish I could have come around and met you all personally, but I have not and for many incarnations yet developed the ability to make myself into many, like Krishna.

I also have little notes with questions on personal practice. I am trying my best to see those people. I’m not always managing, but you are not forgotten. I will see what I can do. The body has a great many limitations. If you are staying for silence from the 10th March onwards for the 9 or 10 or 12 days and your question is about your personal practice and if I have not answered it, I will do that during that period of silence. I don’t have to speak.

Don’t ask me how to get enlightened tomorrow. I don’t have the power. Alright, so if your question is about personal practice and I have not answered by the 10th of March, and if you are staying for silence, I will do my best to answer that during that period. So if you have sent me a question, send through Medha and give to Medha the date of your departure. Always give a date of your departure and your cabin number or how to reach you. People don’t do that; sometimes they do not even sign their name, so I do not know who this person is.

From 11th March we will have the silent meditation. Do you want 45 minutes or do you want one hour? Those for one hour give me your hand.  And those who want for 45 minutes only raise your hands. Okay, one hour has it.  So there will be daily silent meditation from 11th March with me.  Your silent meditation will be at 5.45 pm every day. That is, from 5.45 pm to 6.45pm daily because after that it is your dinner time. I do not know whether we are retaining this tent or we are moving downstairs because then there will be only 200 persons. Do you know? You can find out for me.

This is the first time that on such a large scale we are doing EEG and other tests on the effect of silence. It has never been done before with so many people at the same time. Out of 200 people who are staying in the two ashrams, less than 50 have chosen to participate – I do not know why others have not chosen – and those 50 are to be staggered in respect of their test dates because of scientific protocols. One test will be before starting their silence. The second one will be at the end of the silence. So some of their tests may not be until 12th or 13th or 14th . That is why we have asked for your departure date; so that your last test will be according to your departure date. I hope this is clear, and if you have any questions on that you may ask Dr Prabhu, whom you know now. Alright, is that all clear? Are all the messages clear?

We’ve been discussing the symptoms of spiritual-meditative progress – no, rather the “stations.” Those who were not here for the entire course will need to find the recordings.

The most important stations are the chakras. Are there six chakras? Are there seven chakras? Are there eight chakras? Are there nine chakras? I have explained this question. And if you read my book, the new book that has come out on kundalinī, that book will explain [Kundalini Stilled or Stirred?]. For different stations of progress there are different chakras. There are thousands of chakras; even your fingertips have chakras.

Wherever three or more streams of energy meet that is called a chakra. This I have said many, many times before. Where two streams of energy meet that is called a sandhi. Where three or more streams of energy meet, those are called chakras. And there is a lot of romantic speculation about the awakening of the chakras. Everybody wants his chakras awakened, and people imagine that this chakra is awakening and that chakra is awakening. I will give you very briefly not all the symptoms, just one or two [symptoms] of the opening of the chakras. Keep that in mind and don’t get misled by all kinds of romantic speculations and fantasies.

In one whose mūlādhāra chakra is opening or has opened, the primary symptom is that he/she becomes stabilized. They are stabilized in marriage, stabilized in business, and stabilized in life because they are stabilized in emotions and not going up and down all the time. And their āsana, their [meditative] posture becomes stabilized. A person whose mūlādhāra chakra is open naturally sits comfortably if he wants to sit for four hours of meditation without feeling discomfort. That is what I look for.

One whose mūlādhāra chakra is opening or has opened develops a natural mūla-bandha, a permanent mūla-bandha, a permanent root-lock. Now don’t start doing it.

I remember way back, maybe forty or forty years ago, a very advanced lady to whom I gave a mantra in Minneapolis. You know, people start reading and then they start practicing. And she read somewhere that the yogis have a permanent mūla-bandha, a permanent root-lock, and so she kept on trying to keep the permanent root-lock. No problem. A few months later my gurudeva Swami Rama called me from Chicago and said, “That lady who helped with the Christianity and Meditation Retreat, I want to see her.” because he had this habit of picking my best students and taking them away. The moment they had reached a certain point, they were gone to my guru, which is my celebration. But then I would have to start with new people all over again. So he called her. And I had no idea that she was practicing the root-lock this way. And as soon as she walked into his presence, he said, “Don’t practice the root-lock so often.” So there are more secrets in the gurus than I know of.

When the mūlādhāra chakra is opening, the root-lock becomes natural. Wait for it to become natural. When you sit to meditate, wait for its energies to rise in such a way that it happens naturally for that time. Well, I have already spoken of natural mūla-bandha and natural kecharī mudra.

One whose svādhisthāna chakra is opening naturally becomes a celibate, a brahmacharin. Now don’t get scared or let your spouse become scared by this. All this talk about svādhisthāna chakra and sexuality is junk. Svādhisthāna chakra has nothing to do with sexuality; it has to do with brahmacharya. That is where the power of brahmacharya resides. If you are in a marital relationship, the frequency of your indulgence will become less. Don’t get scared. Let me tell you one principle of pleasure: the less the frequency the more intense the pleasure – if you indulge with patience and selfless love. And the male will cease to ejaculate. And then comes a time when celibacy becomes natural, but that’s a long way away.  Don’t be afraid: “Oh, I don’t want to meditate because my husband or my wife will get scared.” It’s not going to happen tomorrow.

One whose svādhisthāna chakra is open, his siddhāsana becomes natural. Mūla-bandha and [control of the energies of] svādhisthāna chakra together make siddhāsana a perfect posture.

I am telling you things that are not written in books. Whatever I am teaching you is autobiographical; it is not from books.

One, whose manipura chakra is opening or has opened will know the circulation of pranic energies in the personality and will know how to generate prana. My surgeons said twenty years ago, “If this man sits in an aeroplane, he is dead.” That’s what my heart surgeons said. Since then I have done twenty rounds of world lecture tours. I’m not dead yet, I can prove it! I use the re-energizing processes. But of all the chakras, manipura chakra is the most difficult to open.

Now, one whose anāhata chakra or heart chakra is opening or has opened becomes emotionally stabilized, becomes emotionally independent. He no long suffers from emotional dependence: “I need this one. I need that one. I need care. I need loving.” That I need loving: yes – which means that I need to love you; I need to love others. Such a person’s love becomes a selfless love. His love becomes a universal love. Anyone who comes in your presence feels loved if your heart chakra is open or is opening.

One whose heart chakra is open also sees the interaction of the downward-following energies and upward-flowing energies and knows how to create that total balance between the downward-flowing energies and the upward-flowing energies. In the heart center, there is the intersection of a downward-pointing triangle and an upward-pointing triangle, the shiva-shakti triangle, like the Jewish Star of David. The Muslim crescent is in the svādhisthāna chakra, the Indian swāstika is in the manipura chakra, and the Jewish Star of David is in the heart. What religion are you? Fight, fight, fight.

Okay, I’m giving you very simple formulas.

One whose throat chakra [vishuddha chakra] is open becomes both eloquent and goes into natural silence. Not one word of his wasted. His words become effective, and he goes into natural silence. He does not want to speak. He does not want to speak. He has control over hunger and thirst. People who are suffering from diseases like bulimia and anorexia nervosa, I tell them to concentrate on the throat center. People who are suffering from chronic coughs, I tell them to concentrate on the throat center with a visualization of a full moon – but then there are other intricacies. So, one whose throat chakra has opened doesn’t go about shouting at the world. He develops a serene voice, an effective voice, and is very selective with his words. He becomes a master of languages, but doesn’t use it for showing off. And silence to him becomes natural.

The combination of the heart chakra and ājnā chakra being open gives you intuitive knowledge. That combination is through a secret called daharākāśa, which I have taught to our twenty mantra initiators. They know about it.

One whose ājnā chakra is open, knowledge comes easily to him. His intellect blossoms. You know, I never compose a lecture; I have no notes from which I am speaking. When I write, I write it only once and then others do the little, minor grammatical and idiomatic corrections. I write only once, and I don’t plan it. I don’t sit down and jot down notes about what I am going to write in and what chapter – nothing like that. A person whose ājnā chakra has opened does not use his intellect for dry intellectualizing.

I will not go into sahasrāra chakra, the thousand-petalled lotus, at this time. The first six are enough for you to handle for now. And I will meet you in your seventh incarnation from now, if my guru permits.

Coming back to the throat chakra, or with any meditative progress, the quality of your voice will become more loving and gentle. If you are working in the world and you are guiding a meditation, you will have a special meditative voice. Some of our advanced teachers have developed that meditative voice. I recently gave two courses on cultivating a meditative voice. You can refer to them. One was taught in December, 2011; and another was taught in March, 2012 – how to cultivate a meditative voice.

These are some of the basics signs of the opening of the chakras. The yoga practices and meditative practices are designed to help you on the path to these openings and to these blossoming of the petals. The concentration on the chakras is a very complex system; it has many, many, many different layers and levels. We cannot go into those at this time. Someday sometime we will do a course on chakra meditations for a few very select persons, okay?

There is one area I have not touched. I want to continue with the stations of progress in meditation. We still have March 7th and 8th because March 9th is a special date. If I am not able to cover the entire amount on March 7th and March 8th, then I will do it in writing. I think we should have a book which would be a combination of the three courses: Marks of Spiritual Progress, this current one, Stations of Progress in Spirituality and Meditation, and Cultivating Meditative Voice. It is going to be a massive work.

There is one area I have not covered which I want to cover very briefly. While we have spoken of these wonderful stations, but we have not talked about the traps – and there are quite a few traps. Something happened between yesterday and today, and then I said to myself, “Hmm? That’s an area I have not covered.

One trap is complacency. In the Sānkhya system, if I remember right – sometimes I get rusty – there are nine complacencies. You can see the list in Volume One of my commentary on Yoga-sutras in the portion on the Tattva-samāsa-sūtra; it comes under the topic of tushti (complacencies).1  Like “Oh, my guru will take care of my meditation” – the common Indian phenomenon: “I don’t need to do anything. I don’t have to do anything.” And there are other complacencies: “Well, so what? If I don’t manage to sit for meditation for three days, I’ll pick it up again.” But what actually happens is that you don’t pick up back from where you left off; you have to [start over again and] redo the whole thing. So there are all kinds of complacencies. I am not going into details of everything. When we write the book, we will put the details in.

As you make spiritual progress, there arises in you a desire for recognition. You want to be honored for being such a great high spiritual saint. You are now amongst the great rishis; everybody should touch your feet. I know swamis like that, who get very angry if you don’t touch their feet. When I first returned to India to settle down here, I was in a quandary because back in USA I was addressed informally: “Hi, Swami!  How are you doing?”  “Doing fine, John, how about you?” And then when you arrive in Delhi airport, everyone is falling at your feet and bowing their heads. And I was so embarrassed; I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t used to this anymore. So, I don’t accept it; my heart doesn’t accept it. I don’t want to get trapped. These are traps for a yogi and a sādhaka. So I said to myself, “Anytime someone touches my feet, I’ll touch their feet.” Now in a country like India, the reaction to a swami touching your feet: “Swamiji, what hell are you sending me to?” So I reduced my response, and because I am a worshipper of the Divine Mother, I said to myself, “Okay, if a lady touches my feet, I’ll touch her feet.” So I started doing that, and they were horrified. Even my stepping back was not helpful because they wouldn’t stop their habit. And another problem is that I’m a serious heart patient, so for me to bend down and come up was a physical problem, so I gave up. So now what I do is that if anytime anybody touches my feet, I go into my guru chakra and sahasrāra and I say, “Akhaṇda-maṇḍalākāram vyāptam yena carācaram tat-padaṃ darśitaṃ yena tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ.  Not to me, you take it, you take care of it. I am not taking it.” So touching of the feet is totally passed on.

But there arises this desire [for recognition], and you know how I was cured of this desire? I will tell you my weaknesses. I was standing in my guru’s presence. Now a disciple should be very careful with his thoughts in the guru’s presence, and I was normally very careful. If my guru was sitting with eight persons when I went into his room, I did not who else was present. My mind, my thoughts, my eyes were only on my guru. If I came out of the room, I would not know who else was there in the room. That was my relationship with him. But this particular day one Indian family came and touched his feet, and this flash came in my mind: “Why doesn’t anybody ever touch my feet.” You know what? As they were leaving and they touched my guru’s feet, he said, “Touch his feet!” Oh, my God! That was my cure forever. Gurus do these things with you, and only a guru can get away with it. I’m telling you my secrets. As I told you, whatever I am teaching is autobiographical. So I don’t take your touching of feet; it goes to my guru immediately. It gives me an opportunity to remember him again.

Then there is this trap of pride and desire to be honored, desire to be recognized for your spiritual achievements. There are very, very, very few persons who are free of this, and they are the real sants, the real saints. Watch out, because the same honor can dishonor you and can pull you down.

Another trap: as you make meditative progress your sexual charm increases – and that is a great trap because with that kind of trap, I know of many men teachers – and I know of women teachers also – who have misused it. People misuse that charm. Their disciples are drawn to them and are attracted to them. So, watch out. If you serious with your spiritual progress, watch out because this charm will develop in you, and many will want to have a certain kind of association with you. Don’t get trapped because it will pull you down, and all kinds of scandals will happen around you, okay?

Then, as the energies awaken in you and you don’t know how to handle them and if you are not under the guidance of a guru, they go into the intensity of your negative emotions. If you are not practicing emotional purification, chitta prasadanam – you are familiar with that phrase as we always repeat it in our teachings. If you are not practicing sutra 33 of chapter 1 of the Yoga-sutras of Patañjali, and if you are not practicing chitta prasadanam (making the mind into a pleasant place), if you are not practicing emotional purification, if you are not practicing what I have written in the new book that has been distributed to you: Sadhana in Applied Spirituality, the energies arising from your meditation will give you uncontrollable emotions, for example, uncontrollable anger and uncontrollable lust. So the inner sādhana and the outer sādhana have to go together: sādhana in your emotions, sādhana in your mind-purification and sādhana in your heart-purification. Watch out.

There are one or two other traps that I will mention tomorrow, and then I’ll continue with stations of spiritual progress. Tomorrow I will speak less because  Swami Vishveshwananda Maharaj, the head of Omkarananda Ashram, is visiting us, and I will request him to speak for ten minutes also.  God bless you all. Hari Om.

Tattva-samāsa-sūtra 15 – Of the navadhā tushti (the nine complacencies) four are spiritual and five are external: The Four Spiritual Complacencies: (1) Matter will give me realization, (2) Renunciation will give me realization; (3) Time will bring forth realization; (4) Destiny and luck will give me realization. The Five External Complacencies, based on five steps of dispassion (vairāgya): (1) The ways of earning wealth are violent, exploitative and painful; (2) Guarding wealth and the sources of pleasure is painful; (3) Wealth, luxury and pleasure, even well-guarded, are temporary; there is no permanency of feeling of security about them, (4) No matter how many objects of senses one enjoys, there is no satisfaction, and the desires blaze evermore; (5) It is not possible to enjoy oneself without hurting other beings. (from Yoga-sutras of Patañjali with the Exposition of Vyasa: A Translation and Commentary (Volume I – Samadhi Pada), by Pandit Usharbudh Arya [Swami Veda Bharati])

Editor’s note

Kundalini Stilled or Stirred by Swami Veda Bharati can be purchased through AHYMSIN Publishers at, through, and through other bookstores.

Sadhana in Applied Spirituality by Swami Veda Bharati can be found at this link:

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