Part-2. Sanyasa. Search of Self, God and Union (Yoga) or merging with God is his only Desire of Life. In Hindu scriptures Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are four popular words. They indicate four goals of Life. One goal is to be achieved during one age quarter. The 6th step of Dharana teaches how to achieve the four age quarter related goals.
The Karma Yoga, preached in the Gita teaches how to achieve life goals by doing correct Actions (Karma). Yoga Meditation teaches Time Consciousness, present age related goal and plans for perfect actions. To achieve a goal one has to do some effort (purushartha) or correct actions (karma). All Karma must be guided by Dharma (duty consciousness), intellect and perfect knowledge of doing that job.
Life expectancy of human beings was well studied by the ancient Rishies, the men of great wisdom. They observed that a human being may expect to live at the most 100 years. The span of 100 years of life was divided into 4 age quarters, each quarter called one Ashrama. One goal was indicated for one Ashrama. Some vows for Ashrama were also indicated.
The following table indicates one goal for each Ashrama, and gives a plan of a perfectly happy and healthy life of 100 years.
BrahmCharya-Ashrama. Age period. 1 to 25 Yrs.
Gain worldly knowledge and also Learn DHARMA or moral duties. (No Sex activity during student age.)
Grahastha-Ashrama. Age period. 25 to 50 Yrs.
Get Married, Earn ARTHA (Money), raise children, Respect home coming guests (Atithi-Dev) as God.
Vanprastha-Ashrama. Age period. 50 to 75 Yrs.
Vanprastha means go to jungle. Partial retirement. Try to Fulfill all KAMA (Desires).
Sanyasa-Ashrama. Age Period. 75 to 100Yrs.
Goal - MOKSHA or Nirvana.
Liberty from Fear of death and no or minimum expectations from others.
Socio-economic and obligatory duties towards family, neighborhood, town, state (mother land) must be taught by parents to growing children along with school education during the first and most important age quarter of life, Brahmcharya Ashrama- student (Vidyarthi) age. Education of morals is called religious education.
Dharma teaches speaking truth, no thefts, non-violence, honesty, humbleness, obedience to parents and teachers, etc,. These values must be taught to children during the teenage period. These are fundamental principles of good manners and morality or religion at all places. These are commonly preached in all world religions. (See Yama, 1st step of Yoga).
The Upanishad Rishies gave following advises (moral commandments) to students going home after their study in the Rishi Schools.
Satyam Vad, (Speak the truth),
Dharmam Chara, (keep sense of duty in life and walk on the path of morality),
Praja Tantum Ma Vivatchhetsi. Do not break family lineage. Get married with proper partner. Live family life in home, produce and raise children, give them good education and also teach them Dharm or moral values. Preserve Family Lineage and ‘No Sanyas at young age’ was the advice of the Gurus. In past times most Gurus were married and not BalBrahmcharies as we see in many recent religious Guru Cults (Sampradaya).
What advise a young BramChari or BramCharini will give to a house-holder (Grahastha) in matter of family relations, disputes, love and harmony when they have not lived a family life?
ARTHA = money, Laxmi. Earn money or wealth by path of Dharma.Second meaning of Artha is “Purpose of Life”.
Money is necessary for a house-holder (Grahastha). Become a good and responsible parent was the advice. The goal indicated during this important Grahastha-Ashram of living in home with family, was to earn money by honest and fair means.
Religion is linked with an Individual Self or Atma.
It is called Swa-Dharm in the Gita. In HinduSthan or Land of Hindus (India), today Religion has turned into big business corporations and organizations (Sampradays) of earning money and enjoying all material comforts by average priests. Installation of Idols of Deity Gods and ownership of temples lead by Dynasties of Gurus is a great unreligious activity going on. Ignorant, hypnotized, misguided but rich intellectuals mostly support such activities.
KAMA= Fulfill all desires with the money earned and positions achieved during life. During the 3rd quarter a sense of “having lived a satisfactory life” must arise in mind (Santosha presched in the 2nd step) and desire of earning more and more money must come to some end.
If health is good then gradually withdraw from job and family works, but remain active in selfless community services like education and medical help to needy and old, particularly in backward villages.
A matured wise Karm-Yogi gives benefits of his knowledge, wealth and experience to the next generation during Vanprastha and Sanyasa age.
MOKSHA. It means Liberty. Sanyasa Ashrama means mental Freedom from family bondages and money attachments.
Moksha is the last goal during 4th age quarter. Salvation,Nirvana, and Kaivalya are similar terms used in Christianity, Buddhism and Jainism for achieving this state of mind.
Sanyasa means an attitude of detachment from joys of material objects, money, property and family relations. A truly liberated Sanyasi has renounced all desires of high positions, money, material wealth and property.
Search of Self, God and Union (Yoga) or merging with God is his only Desire of Life.
Meditate upon your correct goal of the present age quarter and try to achieve it by practicing Dharma and dreams of future called dharana.
Some methods of achieving set goals that have worked in my life are suggested below.
Write autobiography. Keep a confidential notebook or Tape-record your own short life-story in your own words of important events. Remember your young age's desires, dreams and wants. According to decisions made and actions done during the past life, you have reached the present place (Home in any country) and position in life Today and Now.
Observe by meditation that most of your desires are fulfilled today or not. You will observe that according to Perfect Laws of accumulation of (Sanchit) Karma of God, you are either enjoying or suffering Today.
Remember your childhood’s unfulfilled desires like learning dancing, music, painting, traveling, sightseeing, etc. Set short-term goals and try to fulfill them. You will notice that most desires will get fulfilled, provided there is no attachment to money and they do not depend upon help of other family members or mercy of other human beings.
Write or make a list of present desires and goals. Give them a Time-Place frame. Record important events of recent past and analyze your actions and reactions. Then try to achieve your remaining goals.
Always look at others as good and equal fellow human beings. Do not neglect daily duty bound actions towards job and family members.
Always try to gain new knowledge in free time. Develop an attitude of making financial compromises in life and close family relations. The priorities, goals and actions must change with passage of time and age.
REMEMBER THIS GOLDEN RULE. When confused about goals and priorities, think with a pen and paper. Conscious mind can occupy only one thought at one time. This applies to any great man, a priest or a politician living on Globe Earth Today, or who lived in the past, or who will live in the future.
Some Tips for Meditation.
A. Meditate in early morning. Pick only one issue or think about only one natural object like the sun, moon, water, air, land, fire, etc. The sun, moon, water, air etc., have similar effects on all living beings. This understanding creates a sense of equality, satisfaction and Self confidence.
B. Meditate upon, law of TIME-PLACE Bondage. Material things and family relations constantly change with passage of Time. There is Perfect Time-Place or Time-Space bondage to all material bodies, living (Chetan) and non-living (Jad).
No two physical or material bodies can occupy the Same Space at Same Time. This Law of Alibi of Mother Nature applies to all, any great religious Guru or any Political Head.
C. Study scriptures of all religions with open mind. Meditate and/or seek advice from parents and good friends. A trust worthy Guru is necessary until one is liberated from all material attachments and expectations from family members and relatives.
God bless You to achieve every short term goal and all four goals of life.
(More about Meditaion See Additional Articles in Sec-III )
OM Tat Sat. Section: II
Ashtang Yoga: 13. STEP NO 7. DHYAN. Tatra pratikata eti Dhyanm.
Vibhooti Pada. Verse 2. Dhyan = Fullest (100%) attention, awareness and concentration in present activity. Part-1. There is great confusion about correct meaning, teaching, and practices of the last two steps of Ashtang Yoga. Most Gurus understand Dhyan and Samadhi- are synonymous words.
Remember these most important points.
In Dhyan- the eyes are open. In Dhyan the person is engrossed in some important activity with fullest attention.
In Samadhi the eyes are closed. A Yogi is in state of deep spiritual meditation or Trans. He has conquered all sensual desires of worldly pleasures and joys. He is beyond any family attachment, personal need, body comforts, pleasures or pains and is ready to die for any noble humanitarian cause. What is Real Dhyan?
DHYAN means perfect Attention, Awareness and Concentration in any and all activities (Pravrutties), namely job, meditation, learning or study one is doing at the present Place and Time (Desh-Kal). This ‘Time’ is always Today and Now.
Different Indian Yoga Gurus teach this step in different ways. Some ask students to focus eyes on some idol of a deity God for long time and then close eyes to bring that idol in mind. Others place a candle or bright object in a dark room and ask students to look at it without blinking eyes. These are different Tratak and Hath Yoga practices and not Dhyan.
Dhyan is the 7th step of Ashtang Yoga. Dhyan is usually translated as Meditation by many Yoga Gurus and books. The meaning in different Yoga Books and its teachings by different Yoga Teachers (Gurus) also vary a great deal. Students need practical examples and some stories of events occurring in daily life to understand correct meaning of Dhyan. Following common incidents will explain the correct meaning of this important Sanskrit word ‘Dhyan’, used in Yoga study.
Daily Examples of Dhyan.
(a) One nice example of Dhyan is narrated in the epic of Mahabharat.
Arjuna, the Pandava prince, is shown to hit a fine target- the bird’s eye at a distance on a tree- with an arrow. Guru Drana during a practical examination, asks one by one all participating students while shooting a target. “What do you see? Do you see the tree, the sky and all us present here?” Most students answered, “Yes”.
When Arjun’s turn came, he said first, “I see only the Bird and Tree”. Guru Asked again “Now what do you see?”. He said, ”I see Bird’s head only”. Next time he replied “I SEE BIRDS EYE ONLY.”
Guru then asked him to let go the arrow, which hit bird’s eye perfectly. This is a very good example of Dhyan.
(b). Alexander Flaming does not hear Sirens.
The famous inventor of wonder medical drug Penicillin did not hear the sounds of warning Siren’s sound when was fully concentrated during research work in his office. He had instructed his staff not to disturb him while he was working in lab alone.
In those days German bombers were raiding England oft and on during the years of 1938-39. When warning sirens started, his staff thought Doctor will naturally hear sounds of siren and come down in shelters. The raid was over.After some time, when the staff returned, they saw doctor still working in laboratory. When they asked about that recent raid, he told he did not know anything about raid and siren sounds about attacks of German bombers. This is 100% attention, concentration or Dhyan.
(c). Dhyan- Saved all from a very bad Accident.
The following event occurred recently in my son’s life on August 12 -2007. It also explains the meaning of 7th step of “Dhyan-Yoga”.
My son with his wife and two daughters, from Jacksonville FL (USA), had gone to Miami Florida located about 400 miles South from our home in Jacksonville, to help his elder daughter to change her Apartment at start of a new college term. She is studying in a college in Miami.
While returning from Miami at night, he was driving North on HW-95. He was following a fast running car in the left (fast) lane. Suddenly the front car took a quick shift in the Right slow lane because there was a totally stopped car ahead of the front fast moving car.
My son had very little time to shift to Right lane due to traffic in the Right side. So to prevent a bad accident he quickly turned his car to left side of the front halted car and drove for some yards in unpaved sloping grass curb, keeping fullest attention and perfect control of steering. He brought back gradually his car in original Left lane, and carefully moved in the slow moving Right lane.
They all were horrified. All started praying and thanked God for saving them from a bad car accident. To prevent other car accidents, his wife called 911 and informed about the stalled car in Left lane on this highway. It was standing there with only Red Lights on and no flashing signals. She informed about approximate mile zone on HW-95.
When we think of “Ifs and Buts” of this little incident an essay can be written. We all will forget about this event after some time. But it will remain in our memory for ever for remaining life.
‘IF’ my son had not taken that correct, quick and right decision of shifting on the grass curb than what would have happened is matter of only speculations. But our common sense can say and predict that a bad accident would have taken place with all its unhappy consequences of injuries or perhaps deaths. This accident was prevented because my son had perfect attention and concentration in driving. This is called Dhyan.
What is Dhyan?
Complete awareness in the present situation and activity one is doing at a ‘Place and Time’ is Dhyan. Perfect attention in whatever “I am doing Today Now and Here” means Dhyan. Concentration and awareness of surroundings in any job one is doing is called Dhyan.
Many such common examples in everyday life can be listed. Keep awareness in speaking with any person- even your family members, and also before any audience. Keep awareness of traffic lights and stop signals while driving car. These are just a few examples of Dhyan in daily life. Even a little loss of attention (Dhyan) will lead to making mistakes, sins and/or accidents.
At physical level the goal of Yoga is to achieve a perfect harmony of Body, Mind and Intellect. Religious devotees believing in some Supreme maker of Universe (God, Allah, Yashovah, Jesus or Bhagavan etc.), reach Dhyan and Samadhi stages quickly and easily, compared to more educated, debating, intellectual atheists.
In real Dhyan a student learns how to unite (do Yoga of) his conscious Mind and sub-conscious (Chitta) mind with intellect (Buddhi). He can think about events that have occurred with himself in the past with perfect sense of ‘Place-Time’ (Desh-Kal), in chronological order. Study of Sankhya Darshan of Kapil Rishi and Vedanta Darshana of Ved-Vysa, also helps in developing art of Dhyan.
From Vedanta Darshan one learns that the effect of all natural elements (Prakruti) like Sun, Rain, Fire, Heat, Cold, water, air, etc,. is equal on all (Purusha) bodies of all living beings. Meditate on 10 deity Gods linked with 5 senses and 5 organs of actions and do some self experiments as suggested in the previous step of Dharana.
Don’t talk on Mobile Phones or don’t do anything else”. This is a simple and practical way of mastering Dhyan.
Tip for today’s young generation.
“Do not Drive in Hurry, and Do not talk on Cell Phone while Driving Car”.
Part-2. Review of previous 6 steps. The first two steps teach moral codes of good behavior (Sanatan Dharm) like truth (satyam)and non-violence, compromising attitudes (Santosh), celibacy, cleanliness etc.,. These are common preaching in all religions.
The 3rd step and 4th step of Asana and Pranayama are for body’s good health. Pranayama prepares foundation stone for meditation. The last four steps of Yoga are for meditation.
The 5th and 6th steps are of self analysis, developing control over all 5 sense organs and mind, and setting higher goals of future life. The 6th step teaches 4 correct age related goals, art of positive thinking, making correct decisions and doing right actions (Karma Yoga).
From 7th step onwards the student enters a zone of transcendental meditation. He learns how to turn mind from zone of material objects of outer world to the spiritual zone and SELF within and understanding of False Egos and True Pride.
As step by step the journey of life progresses, Mind experiences a wonderful peace and divine mood. This is experienced by the student himself only and cannot be shown to others, because this is totally a subjective experience.
Only a few people study scriptures with spiritual zeal and open mind. Only a few try to understand fine points about the last two steps of Dhyan and Samadhi.
Majority of Yoga Gurus in India do not know good English. When important Sanskrit key-words are translated by any Guru in some Indian language, and they are re-translate into English by their average disciples, many a times correct meanings of key words get distorted.
Most Yoga Gurus do not know or talk about the first two steps, morals and family values, or about the four life goals and ultimate purpose of Yoga study. Limitations and bondage of same ‘Time -Place’ apply to all living (Chetan) and non-living (Jad) physical bodies. This is perfectly understood by the student in the Dhyan step. Do not try for deep Samadhi. Some dangers and risks are associated in this last step.
A new and unfamiliar student experiences immediate peace of mind from stress and worries by simple Asana and Pranayama. The effects of deep breathing and chanting OM or any Mantra is similar and universal upon all human beings. Anybody can become a Yoga teacher by learning few Asana, Pranayama and Mantra chanting methods.
Kundalini Shakti and Agna-Chakra are Mental Power Centers (Chakra) located in Brain and Spinal cord. The Sanskrit words used for Chakra can be explained with equivalent words of modern anatomy, physiology and psychology. (See coming Chapters). Dhyan and Samadhi Steps teach how to develop Kundalini powers or 3-tense-sense and art of positive thinking.
Physiological changes in body may be observed as reduction of blood pressure and arrest of diseases like acidity, headaches, arthritis and so on.
Psychological changes like recovery from depressions and experience of mental happiness and joyful mood can be observed by friends and relatives. This is my simple advice to all new Yoga students. Learn how to develop Kundalini-Powers to achieve material successes in the life first. Never try to reach the Samadhi Step in short times. It is a dangerous practice if one tries to reach it, before mastering the other 7 steps.
Remember this message of Lord Krishna in the Gita. “Only one in a million, a true seeker of God is able to reach Samadhi and see the cosmic light of God”. It is difficult to find a Guru who has seen such light of God.
A good way of concentration is to form the habit of concentrating your thoughts upon any and all activities and things that you do in daily life.
When you are tying your shoe, think of tying that shoe lace until it is tied perfectly and do not try to read a news-paper at the same time. When you are dressing for a dinner party, think of your dress only but do try to practice a speech or a song at the same time. Such simple and regular habits and practices of concentration in present- will greatly quicken your power and enable you to do thoroughly and speedily everything you undertake.
All successful men of the world are those who have learned above mentioned habits and practiced daily. They have acquired the art of concentrating upon above indicated simple points.
In Dhyan a Yogi maintains an unbroken flow of thoughts for the goal indicated in the 6th step and has perfect awareness of the present “Place and Time” for doing actions (Karma) and also inaction (Akarma) also.
Spiritual evolution (uplifting) takes place in following order. 1. Control of 5 senses. (Indriya Sanyama, by practicing the 5th step). This develops by learning how to control many random sensual desires arising in mind.
2. Make short term material goals and try to achieve them all.
Understand well that only wishes and desires do not work at all times. Correct actions are also required to get wishes fulfilled. This is the first stage of Self Realization. Remember the names of 5 organs of actions, namely, speech, two hands, two legs, excretory organs and sex organs. Any Action (Karma) can be done “Today and Now” only.
Make a possible wish and do perfect actions. Your wish will be fulfilled soon if your actions are perfect and do not depend upon other persons. Note also that bondage of Time-Place will always occur to all actions done by you.
3. Self confidence develops:
Only after developing an attitude of equality towards all human beings, real self confidence develops. It comes only when all false Egos of superiority vanish. A true Yogi believes that no body is superior and no one is inferior. He does not believe in man made class system and man made unjust laws. We are all equal human beings in the laws of Mother Nature and eyes of God.
4. All inferiority complexes vanish:
When positive thinking starts, a hopeful attitude develops. If others can do it, and if someone has done it in the past then, “I can also do it. This is called self-confidence.” He/she becomes self-reliant, less expectant or dependent upon help from other people nearby. After mastering the 6th and 7th steps, positive helping nature towards others should also develop.
5. Foresight and Vision: Three tense sense- Kundlini develops after conquering six inner major enemies, namely; Desires, angers, greed, illusions, false egos and jealousy (Kama, Krodha, Lobh, Moha, Mad and Matser).
6. Real spiritual Self unfolds only after mastering the Samadhi step.
“I am zero as one individual (ATMA). How small I am in this Universe? So is everyone. We are all mortal human beings. The date of my death is fixed by God or Mother Nature. The next breath or next heart beat can become my last moment of life. It is with grace of God that I am alive here Today and Now at this moment”.
7. Any curious and devoted student of Yoga can reach the mental level of all great prophets by mastering the Samadhi Step.
A Yogi becomes one with God and fearless. He is not afraid of death. After mastering the Samadhi Step, he is able to and can give moral guide lines and commandments to masses as his/her Agna-Chakra unfolds. He is ready to die performing his duty towards God and humanity at large. He dies a martyr’s death fighting against traditional, orthodox, selfish and business minded priests and politicians. His body dies but his noble preaching remains for ever. He thus becomes an immortal (Amar-Atma) soul. The life stories of Buddha, Mahavira, Jesus Christ, Mohammed, many saints and true devotees of God all over the world is same. They were engaged in a life-long fight for delivering the true message of morality (religion) and God.
8. Write your autobiography.
Raj Yoga of Patanjali is a theistic philosophy believing in one supreme creator, compared to Nir-ishver Sankhya of Kapil, Jainism and Buddhism. These are some atheist Darshans in India.
Find 15 to 30 minutes Time to meditate daily in morning about what you will and can do Today and tomorrow. Do not worry too much about day after tomorrow. Do not worry or brood over what you did not do yesterday and in past life.
One concentrates mind upon the relationship between self or “I”, material body and pure spirit by constant meditation during the steps of Dharana, Dhyan and Samadhi.
Ashtang Yoga: 14. SAMADHI STEP 8. SAMADHI = BRAHAMA-NIRVANA. (Budhi-Yog) Yoga of Intellect with Universal Mind and Spiritual Consciousness. Sthitpragnsya ka Bhasha, Samadhi-sthasya Keshava,
Sthitdhihi kim prabhashate Kim aaseet vrajet kim.
Arjuna asks: “Oh Keshava, please tell me how a man of firm mind, pure intellect and wisdom, who has reached Samadhi - sits, walks, speaks, and behaves ?"
When the last step of Samadhi in Raj Yoga is reached, a Yogi becomes Sthita Pragna,- a Wise Man, a Buddha, a man of clear vision and foresight, firm mind and purified (unbiased and liberated) intellect (Sthitdhihi).
The last 18 verses (54 to 72) of the 2nd chapter of The Gita nicely describe the state of Brahma- Nirvana or Samadhi State of mind. A vivid word picture of a Yogi in Samadhi is described in these verses. One should memorize these 18 golden verses, understand their meanings, and try to meditate upon Self, in the light of these verses.
"A liberated soul, in Bhrama-Nirvana state has conquered all desires and is satisfied and peaceful within himself (55).
He is not unhappy in unhappy events, or is elated in happy situations; he is free from attachments and pleasures gained by sense objects; and has conquered false fears and angers (56).
He can endure hunger, thirst and is always in a blissful mood (59).
Buddhi nashat pranashyati. Gita:-Ch.II-62 & 63.
"A person runs after material things (Vishaya- material objects giving sensual joys) and gets attached to those objects. Desires to repeat the previous pleasurable experiences arise in mind. When the (desires) are not satisfied, anger is the result. When mind is in grip of anger, consciousness is replaced by illusion (slumber = Sammoha). Illusion leads to loss of memory (Smruti-vibhramaha=Amnesia). Loss of memory leads to loss of intellect (power of logical thinking). Thus loss of intellect (Buddhi-nasha) brings peril, disasters and down fall of the person."
These two verses explain how two powerful Satans- ‘desires and angers’ arise in mind and where they lead an individual to in end. The other four Satans are false egos (Mada), greed of money and power (Lobha), wrong beliefs arising from ignorence (Maya or Avidya), and unproductive jelousy - Matsara. All these tendences create a sense of 'HATE'. Hate is opposite of true LOVE.
Such and similar verses of the Gita had changed the life of Mahatma Gandhiji. Gandhiji learned these verses for the first time from an English translation of the Gita (by Arnold Edwin) when he was a student of law in London. He got attracted to this scripture and it changed his thinking and life. This is recorded in his autobiography, "My experiments with truth".
Worldly objects come in contact with five senses. They give temporary short lived happiness and joys. For example a dish of sweets gives joy to tongue when it makes contact with tongue. The pleasure experienced by tongue, creates attachments to sweets. Likes and dislikes (Ragas and Dwandwas) for other food items get created in mind. Similarly one likes to see with eyes only beautiful things and persons, and dislikes dirty things or ugly faces of some people. One likes to hear only good news and praises and generally dislikes bad news and critism with another sense organ ‘Ears’. One likes contact of soft and cold things with skin (Sparsha Sukh) and likes fragnence of flowers and nice flavours in food items. People do not like bad smells and dirty odours. By remaining attached to all such objects of sensual joys, one commits many sins and falls in life. Naturally a question arises. What is sin?
Like a wind dragging a boat without a steering wheel in any direction- the life of people living for joys gained from senses and sense objects, run in all directions, because they cannot use their intellect and wisdom (Pragna). (67).
When others sleep, a Yogi is awake; when others are awake he sleeps (69).
He is liberated from sense of possessions, false egos and material desires. He wants nothing, is a man of clear vision, and is conscious of his limitation of Time and Place (71).
The last verse describes mental state of Bhram Nirvana. Esha Brahmi sthiti Partha nainam prapya vimuhyati I
Sthitvasyam anta kalepi Bhrama Nirvanam uchhyate II
Gita, II-72. Lord Says :-"This is the state of Samadhi. One, who has not attained it, is always in illusion (Moha). One who has reached it is unshaken at the time of his death. He gets Nirvana and merges with Divine Supreme Brahaman (God)."
Such a soul merges with the Absolute Bhraman (God) after death and is not born again.
A Yogi is convinced about the perfect laws of Nature and has no duality in mind. He is a man of firm opinion and is always calm in mind during war or peace. He is not an escapist but is ready to fight and die performing his obligatory duties for noble causes.
I know a case of a medical doctor in Bombay who died while practicing Dhyana Yoga and Samadhi, taught by famous intellectual YOGA TEACHER- NOW, LATE Acharya Rajanish. Many young and important family members have died or have became lost path souls while attempting Dhyana and Samadhi under such teachers. They do not teach the earlier steps in a systematic manner.
Never be in a hurry to reach the last step of Samadhi in short time. It is like studying in a Ph.D. class, when one is just a student of the 1st grade in a school. Do not try to Reach Samadhi State hurriedly. It is risky, dangerous and suicidal.
Nirvana stage comes to a true seeker slowly and automatically. All individuals who gain mastery over the first seven steps, experience a mental state of pure universal spiritual at all times during their future years, and at time of their own death. They have conquered the fear of death.
Wrong teachings for Samadhi.
Some Yogis teach control of heart rate by practices of long Kumbhaks and Rachaks in Pranayama. Others give hallucinating drugs and intoxicating herbs, like Cannabis Indica (Bhang), marijuana (Charas), opium (Afim), cocaine and narcotics.
These drugs induce a temporary Samadhi like state of mind, but it is not Nir-Vikalp-Samadhi. Such drugs, alcohol, smoking, etc., create a short euphoria, trance, or a blissful state of mind. The person gets disoriented from the present time-place sense and the world of reality.
Orthodox Hath Yogies teach to with-hold passing urine and stools for long hours "Moolbandha", and such other Bandhas. Some teach long fasts for days and months, to identify that soul is different from body. Such practices are seen in Jainism. These are not real Yoga practices. Penances are meant to develop self control over natural desires of hunger, thirst, sex, etc,.
To exhibit their great sex control and high degree of celibacy, some Yogis (Sadhus) move totally naked (Digamber) in the society. This is a common practice in one division of Jainism (Sthanakvasi Jains). Many so called “Yogis of Himalayan cults in Hinduism” also move naked in small and big groups (Naga Bava), seen on TV in Kumbh-Mela. (January -2001).
When a group of Hath-Yogis visit some village in India, they harass illiterate and ignorant village people. Some demand sweets, rich food dishes, money and many other things. People are afraid of such Naked Sadhus and try to satisfy their demands. If one has courage, do not yield to their demands. They are also mortal human beings, just like us.
Do not try for Samadhi during early steps of Yoga study. There is great risk of becoming an escapist, and leaving family life. People run away from family responsibilities and duties towards children, friends, society and country.
Many young and promising youth, go to Himalaya to learn spirituality and Yoga. They neglect their young children, wives and old parents. A student on path of so called spirituality is highly respected in society and considered a divine soul in India (!). This is wrong practice at young age. It is anti-religious (Adharma).
Ashtang Yoga of Patanjali and the Gita, do not preach practices like, detachment from money, wealth, family life and leadership positions, in any society or country.
Raj means King. Become a king or a good and noble leader to guide the King, is goal of Yoga study. Summary of important points:-
The purpose of Yoga study is to unfold hidden noble and divine qualities within Self, and not to become a Superman or God.
There are many wrong beliefs and notions among Indian people, Hindus and Jains. e.g., “You cannot get Moksha or See God, without a Guru”. Only a Guru can liberate from birth death cycle is another wrong notion. These are great misconceptions.
Today there are nearly 1000 or more living Gurus, who are worshipped as living Gods. Their hypnotized sheep like disciples, believe in their preaching and teachings. These blind followers believe that, “Only their Guru” is a super human divine soul and a Living Image of God!
No Guru can show or teach Samadhi to any student. No Guru can show God face to face (Sakshatkar). A good Yoga Guru can teach up to 7 steps of Yoga. Then by self meditation the final peak of Samadhi is reached by ‘Closing Eyes’ and looking at one’s own dead body with conscious mind.
In this way, only after mastering the 7th steps, one identifies, Body and Soul as two separate things. But do not forget also that they both are ever united (in Yoga), and depend upon each other.
Soul can’t exist without material elements like water, air, etc,. and Body without Brahman, spirit or soul is a dead mass of bones and flesh.
A true Guru guides his disciple on path of morality (Dharma), by first practicing himself. He preaches the higher morals by his own example of selfless, simple life style, and noble humanitarian deeds, and ever peaceful mind and manners.
No human being can ever 'BE GOD OR BECOME GOD'. But any true seeker can SEE THE LIGHT OF GOD by the path of Yoga meditation. This is possible by understanding 'who am I?', and the limitations of time-place that apply to one's own self.
Any self realized soul can SEE and merge with God by the path of Devotion (Bhakti) and total surrender to God’s will in all events of happiness and unhappiness occurring during life, and accepting them as perfect design of Universal God (Vishva Pita or Universal Father).
Ashtang Yoga: 15. WHAT IS HATH YOGA? WHAT IS HATH YOGA?
In different Yoga books HATH YOGA is described as a group of various difficult postures, and /or in many different ways by different Yoga teachers.
The correct meaning of the Sanskrit word "Hath" is will power, firm mind or unshakable determination. It also means obstinacy, obsession or stubbornness.
The purpose of Raj Yoga study is to develop unshakable faith in God, will power to walk on the path of morality (religion) and do noble deeds and perform right actions.
Four types of Haths are well known since age old times which are described in various Indian scriptural stories. These are called Bal-Hath, Stree-Hath, Raj-Hath and Yogi-Hath. It means tenacity or adamant behavior of children, obstinacy of a wife (woman), firm resolution of a king or government officer with weapons, and perseverance or firm beliefs of many religious people or any true YOGI. The last Hath is exhibited by all great prophets who have got no attachments of the other three and conquered likes and dislikes of five senses. There is voluminous literature on Hath Yoga in most yoga books. Each teacher has his own belief about Hath Yoga and explains it according to his understanding of this subject.
Some Tapascharya (see Step 2 Niyama) during young age and teenage periods, or training of enduring some hardships like fasting and not eating tasty foods or water for some hours etc,. is important and necessary part of moral and cultural training (Sanskara imprinting). If children are not trained in this manner, they become miserable, frustrated and depressed when they suffer minor injuries, get diseases or some unhappy situation occurs in their future life.
Hath Yoga does not lead to vision of God, but it develops a higher thresh-hold for pain endurance. This creates a will power, ability of tolerance of hardships to some limit and an attitude of compromises. The sum total of all such training is development of courage and Self confidence (Atma-Shraddha).
Hath Yoga is only a sub-step (Tapa) described in the second step of Niyama in Ashtang or Raj Yoga. Many wrong things are taught in the name of Hath Yoga. Yoga students should understand the purpose of such penances and their limitations.
Some Hath Yoga practices were developed in ancient India when emergency medical aids were not available. By learning these tricks one develops wonderful control over natural instincts and desires like thirst and hunger; and good control over involuntary physiological systems like respiratory, digestive, excretory and reproductive system like sex desires.
Weaknesses of males and females in sex urges (passions) arising during teenage periods was very well recognized by the ancient Rishies. Celibacy became an important vow. This is preached as a sub-step of Yama- the 1st step of Yoga. It is an important moral code, preached in all the religions and all civilized communities.
Mool-Bandhas mean control of excretory functions of body like passing of stools and urine, vomiting, spitting, coughing etc.,. These controls are a part of good social behaviors and manners in every day life. They are important and essential hygienic manners in home life and neighborhood. This is indicated as another sub-step in Niyama, called Saucham.
Many age old tricks and practices of Hath Yoga are obsolete, out dated and not required today. Yet they are taught by many orthodox Yoga teachers.
Simple and useful Hath Yogas.
Victory over taste of food, diet control for a day or two, partial fasts, missing a meal, taking only fruits and/or only milk for a day or a week, remaining thirsty for twelve hours, and avoidance of some food items like salt, sour tasting foods, etc., are some simple Hath Yoga practices. Anybody can learn these and practice easily. They get established as good habits in the course of time. These should be practiced first by parents and Gurus and then taught to children. A wonderful faith and attitude of devotion to God or some noble cause is created by association of famous festivals and religious days and historic legends with such practices
Pranayam and Asana can also be looked upon as Hath Yoga to some extent. These are good for body health. But long term fasts done in the name of false religious beliefs upset and harm digestive organs and other vital systems.
Six well-recognized Hath Yoga procedures (Bandhas) are described below. It is only for the purpose of general knowledge and not for practicing. Some Hath Yoga procedures are described in other steps like the Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara and in higher meditation like Dhyan etc.,.
1. Dhoti or Stomach lavage.
A long bandage like strip of soft cloth is swallowed slowly with plenty of water- nearly 3 to 4 liters. Then the water and cloth are vomited out. This procedure removes accidentally ingested wrong food items or poisons. This is like a crude type of gastric lavage. But one must learn such tricks during normal times as an additional side step of yoga training.
2. Basti or Enema at will without any instruments.
Different "Basti" tricks are mastered and demonstrated in public shows by some Yogis. Some one would sit in a tub filled with water and suck in (drink) the water via anal route by relaxing the anal sphincter at will. Some other one would use a hollow stem (tube) and suck water into terminal parts of colon using abdominal muscles. In ancient times, similar procedures were used to relieve chronic constipation. They can be called enemas of the ancient times.
3. Naiti. or Nose cleaning methods.
A thin strip of wet cloth- about 2 feet long is dipped in plain water or saline. Then it is passed from one nostril and taken out from mouth or the other nostril. Then by to and fro slow movements of the cloth strip, nose is cleaned. Yogis claim wonderful cures of recurrent colds and chronic sinusitis in some patients. It was a way of treating nasal colds which can be compared to scraping of nasal polyps by modern E.N.T doctors. Some Hath Yogis can drink water, either by two nostrils or one nostril directly from a glass of water or some take help of a rubber tube placed in one nose.
4. Tratak. Fixing eyes on a bright object.
This is a popular trick of achieving very good concentration (Dhyana) of mind - which is the 7th step of Raj Yoga. Students are asked to look at some bright object - usually a candle, a bright lamp, or a fixed statue or a picture of deity God or in the eyes of Yoga Guru. They are not supposed to blink any moment, even if tears run profusely from the eyes.
This type of concentration of eyes washout any dust particles from eyes. It is claimed that "Tratak mastery (Sadhna)" imparts ability of reading minds and thoughts of other people when a master is in 'Tratak' with some new student.
Modern psycho-analysts and police officers know such tricks of concentration and looking into eyes. In Karate fights also, such Tratak tricks are taught to students. Wandering sub-conscious mind gets fully concentrated upon the object observed. Yogis who have cultivated this ability can read thoughts of weak minded people, and can hypnotize and influence them.
In many sports Tratak helps to concentrate and win a game. Tratak means fullest attention and tuning of eyes, mind, intellect and complete alertness. All jobs requiring pin-pointed attention and fullest concentration, like calculations of numbers, driving a car in heavy traffic or an airplane, wrist watch repairing, fine painting, etc.,. get done perfectly by Tratak and Dhyana practices.
5. Nauli. Control of abdominal muscles.
Two long strip like muscles run from chest to mid-pubic region located in lower front of abdominal wall. They are called the Rectii muscles in anatomy. By mastering postural exercises of the abdominal muscles, any student (Sadhak) can develop great will control over these muscles. He can then make them stand out forewords while the remaining part of abdomen is withdrawn. He can move the right and left rectus muscle separately and can churn his abdomen by rhythmic movements of these muscles. This trick removes gases and chronic constipation and gives gentle message to all internal abdominal organs like Kidneys, Liver, Stomach, Spleen etc,.
6. Kapal Bhati. Forced deep exhalations.
This is a kind of very popular Pranayama, which is discussed in the 4th step of Yoga. This is usually done in sitting, but can be done in standing position also.
After doing some rapid, short forced exhalations by using the abdominal muscles and diaphragm, the student does one long and forced exhalation. This expiration can be linked with foreword bending of body. Some Yoga postures of foreword bending can be combined with Kapal Bhati.
Kapal Bhati is a good Hath Yoga exercise which needs to be learnt from a well experienced Yoga teacher. If done slowly while sitting on a toilet seat, it helps to relieve gases and constipation.
Ashtang Yoga: 16. WHAT IS KUNDALINI AND AAGNA CHAKRA? (A scientific approach to above frequently used words in Yoga study in light of anatomy, physiology and psychology).