Part-1. Kundalini power means a three-tense time (tri-kal-gyana) and place sense or perfect orientation of time-place. What is Kundalini Power (Kundalini Shakti), which many Yoga teachers talk about?
Some Yoga books and teachers describe Kundalini as a lotus (Kamal Chakra) with thousand petals. Others indicate that the lotus or Kamal Chakra is located in the heart region.
Kundal means a round ornament worn in ears. Second meaning of Kundal is gold. A circular coiled up rope is also called Kundal. In Yoga books one finds description of three main nerves (Nadies) and some plexuses (Chakras) located in brain and spinal cord. Ida and Pingla Nadies arise from left and right nostrils respectively and travel up towards brain. Then they descend in spinal cord. Susumna is the third Nadi located in spinal cord. It is described as a sleeping serpent with its tail located in pelvis or the lowest point of spinal cord and genital organs.
Susumna nadi also travels upwards to reach brain where it fans out like thousand heads of a snake. This big head is referred to as Kundalini in some Yoga books. Kundalini is the head or lotus like part of Susumna Nadi. Thus Kundalini is explained in different books with different symbolisms and a new curious student gets confused. The other names of Ida and Pingla Nadies are Chandra Nadi (Moon Nadi) and Surya Nadi (Sun Nadi) respectively.
Kundalini arousing means developing mastery over all voluntary muscles in Body (Karma Indriyas) and also a few involuntary systems of body like breathing, sex desires, excretory functions, digestive organs, etc,. by Pranayama and some other tricks. Some Yogis are able to reduce or increase their heart rate at will by such Hatha- Yoga tricks called Tapascharya.
KundaliniShakti (power) is understood by some as super human will power. Orthodox Yogis believe that when Kundalini is aroused a Yogi gets united with Universal God.
Please remember that this is not a correct thing or a true statement. It is not easy thing to develop Kundalini powers for all students and also not needed in regular daily yoga practices. What is 'Agna Chakra'?
A Chakra literally means a wheel. The Chakras are the locations in spinal cord where the 3 main Nadies- Ida, Pingla and Susumna cross with each other and/or from left to right.
Muladhara Chakra, the lowest Chakra is located in pelvis. It regulates excretions (Upastha or Apana) like passage of stools, urine and sex organs. It is the tail of Susumna Nadi.
Manipura Chakra (Nabhi or Ganesh Chakra) is located in Navel or umbilical region. It regulates intestinal movements, appetite, desire for food and water.
Manasa Chakra (Mind), Surya Chakra (Sun) and Kamal Chakra (Lotus) are located in Chest and Heart regions.
Vishuddhi Chakra (Nad-Chakra, Shankha Chakra or Speech Chakra) is located in throat and neck region.
The highest Agna Chakra is located between two eye brows. It is symbolized in Puranic stories as the 3rd eye of Lord Shiva. Only after development of Kundalini, a Yogi should try for the last two steps of Yoga called Dhyana and Samadhi. At this point he might get divine inspirations or awakening of spiritual powers which give him ability of giving commandments like a prophet. He becomes a noble political leader like Mahatma Gandhi or a spiritual leader and founder of religions like Jesus, Moses, Mahavira, Buddha, Mohammed, Shankaracharya, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Swami Sahajananda etc.,.
Unfoldment of "Aagna Chakra" makes a person a Siddha-Purusha (Vibhooti), a great leader in any field. The elephant headed Hindu deity God 'Ganapati' is symbol of such a leader. A good leader is respected by all people. People obey his commands. Leadership brings self esteem and prosperity. Siddhi and Riddhi (success and wealth) are two wives of Ganapati. Kundalini Awakening and use of Agna Chakra imparts ability of mass hypnosis and one becomes a “Ganapati”. (Gana= mass of people and Pati= master, boss or a leader.) Part-2.
Scientific meanings of Kundalini and Agna Chakra. We will now try to understand these words in the light of modern medical terms and facts of anatomy, physiology and psychology.
In anatomy, the nervous system is divided into two main parts, namely voluntary and involuntary nerves. The Nadies and Chakras could be looked upon as parts of voluntary and involuntary nervous systems.
The voluntary nervous system controls all muscles of neck, limbs and spine. The voluntary nerves are under control of will and wishes of all persons.
The involuntary system is called autonomic nervous system. These nerves are usually not under the will control of any person.
It has two further sub-divisions.
Sympathetic nerves and
The ganglia of both groups form nerve net-works, called various plexuses. They are located in brain and spinal cord. These are called Chakras in Yoga books.
Autonomic nerve ganglia control spinchtors of internal organs of digestion, heart rate, rate of respiration, excretions and sex organs. If a worry-less peaceful state of mind is maintained the inner systems function normally and the person lives a long healthy life. This is the aim of Yoga study and practices.
In Anatomical terms, Kundalini could be looked upon as the Corpus Callosum part and nearby areas of brain. These look like petals of a white lotus or thousand heads of a snake to nacked eyes when brain is opened. Through Corpus Callosum pass white fibers of ascending and descending nerves crossing from right and left parts of brain. Their cells are located in higher brain and spinal cord which produce a network of millions of nerves. In this way right and the left hemispheres of brain, the frontal and occipital (back) lobes, mid brain and spinal cord are connected like net work of a gigantic telephone exchange.
Through Corpus Callosum area run afferent and efferent nerve fibers which carry messages to and from brain cells and spinal cord. When sliced like a bread, the Corpus Callosum and nearby brain area look like a lotus to naked eyes.
Human body is equipped with a wonderful nervous system. Today the exact functions of different areas of brain which control body’s voluntary muscles, speech, sight, and thoughts are fairly well known to medical science. Autonomic nerve centers are located in medulla oblongata, which is a part of brain stem connecting Brain and spinal cord. They control all vital systems like respiration rate, blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature etc.
This mid-brain area function like a computerized subconscious control room of respiratory, excretory, digestive, reproductive and circulatory systems. These systems are referred to as five Maha-Pranas (vital systems) in Upanishad texts.
The words used for these vital systems are Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana and Samana respectively. In fire rituals (Yagnas) Hindu priests chant these five words and speak SWAHA, SWAHA after each word, without understanding of any meaning of these words, or the significance of the fire ritual.
The real fire is the body-heat and curiosity of learning new ideas. Whatever we eat is converted into body-heat by these systems. All these five vital systems work in harmony, if we do not worry, do not have any tensions and keep peaceful mind.
Blood circulation to different organs occur according to their needs by automatic adjustment of heart and respiration rates. Brain cells and Nerve cells of autonomic nervous systems are greatly influenced by smoking, alcohol and many drugs. Chemical substances like calcium, potassium, sodium and internal secretions like insulin, male and female hormones, pituitary hormones, adrenal secretions, thyroid etc., also regulate internal systems and general metabolism. If mind is peaceful the autonomic nervous system, hormones, and chemicals work in perfect order, harmony and balance.
The parasympathetic nerve centers are located within the brain and spinal cord, whereas the sympathetic centers and ganglia are located outside the brain, skull and vertebral bodies. Two chains of sympathetic ganglia run by the two sides of vertebral bodies in neck, chest, lumber and sacral regions.
The adrenal glands in abdomen are the biggest sympathetic (Chakra) ganglia. They secrete adrenaline which regulates the tone of blood vessels and maintains normal blood pressure. The Manipura Chakra of Yoga books could be looked upon as different ganglia in abdominal region.
The diaphragm is a dome shaped muscle plate. It separates lungs and heart located in chest from abdominal organs like liver, stomach and intestines. It has a double nerve supply, the voluntary nerves from near by spinal nerves and involuntary nerves from the Vagus (the 10th cranial nerve). This nerve starts from brain and ends in sex organs. It controls blood flow in sex organs in both sexes during sex activity. The rate of respiration and heart, all digestive sphincters and movements of intestines are regulated by the balancing actions of parasympathetic nerves like Vagus, sympathetic nerves, and hormones like adrenaline etc.,. The muscles of bronchi in lungs, spinchtors of stomach, bile duct, bladder and anus are regulated by autonomic nerves.
Sex desires (Kama) arise in mind from sight of sex parts or smell of perspiration of opposite sex in all animals (including human beings) during reproductive age period. They are conducted to brain via olfactory nerves (Ida and Pingla Nadies).
Similarly the secretions collected in seminal vesicles and prostate glands, arouse sex desires. The change of erection occurring in male sex organs is regulated by the Vagus nerve. Kundalini and Agna Chakra decide proper time and place, and teach denial of sex act at improper time, wrong place and student age period. This can be looked upon as ChakraBhedan of Muladhara Chakra. It means gaining control or mastery over the organs of passing stool and organs of sex activity.
God could be understood as a maker of all wonderful organs in body. We hardly think (meditate) about such wonderful gifts of God and the amazing internal functions. Kundalini could be understood at three different levels.
At body level we can easily understand it is awareness of a full urinary bladder and stool in rectum. Its control means diaper training in childhood, and ability to with hold these desires for some time till proper rest room is found. As one grows old, one learns to control desires of hunger and thirst arising in stomach and abdomen. Control of sex desires (Vasana, Vrutties) is celibacy. When any person is able to control such natural animal urges and functions, he has mastered Muladhar-Chakra and Ganesh or Nabhi Chakra.
At average human being's mind level. By meditation and religious training, one learns to control rate and depth of breathing and desire of speaking. Gradually one learns to conquer the likes and dislikes of smell and taste of different food items.
At psychological level. By practicing meditation in the higher steps, one learns to control animal emotions like anger, jealousy, hates and selfish desires. The 4th step of Pranayama immediately makes the mind thoughtless and peaceful. It helps to induce sleep, and end worries and tensions. Prayers and the simple method of OM chanting cures many psychosomatic diseases and insomnia.
By meditating upon past experiences and use of higher intellect, great discriminative ability develops. It is called wisdom (Pragna). A wise man is called Pragna-Chakshu person. Higher meditation for Samadhi should only practiced after mastering first seven steps.
KUNDALINI POWER MEANS A THREE-TENSE TIME (TRI-KAL-GYANA) AND PLACE SENSE OR PERFECT ORIENTATION OF TIME-PLACE.
When a student (Sadhaka) reaches the seventh step of Dhyana, a wonderful awareness and the art of perfect attention in doing the present job or learning new skills develops with some practice and experience.
Never become a hypnotized disciple of any Indian Guru or any religious teacher. Remember that he is also a mortal human being just like you. A religious teacher is supposed to teach good morals like truthfulness, honesty, nonviolence etc,. He can also give you worldly knowledge like all teachers in schools and colleges.
The self-knowledge (Adhiyatma Vidya) can be learned by self-study alone. A non greedy teacher who has studied scriptures like the Gita and some Hindu Upanishads can teach a few points about morals of religion. These teachings ultimately lead to understanding of equality of all non-living and living beings and universal creations, their qualities (Goona) limitations and bondage of Time-Space etc,.
Remember that No Guru can ever show you God.
It is a wrong belief that a Guru is needed for seeing the God. One has to do his or her own efforts and study of Yoga in scientific manner. Never spend money for so called spiritual Guru’s classes which ask for donations for building temples or Ashramas in India or costly audio and video tapes. They are Half-Self Realized misguiding teachers.
The following Gita verses give statistical figures of a true Guru.Such a person is one in a million. It is rare to find a true Yoga Guru, who has seen the God’s Light. Manushyanam Sahatreshu
Kaschit yatati siddhaya
Siddhanam api sahatranam
Kaschit mam vatthi tatvataha
(The Gita Ch-VII- V-3). “Only one in a thousand tries to get some material success (Siddhi) in life, and out of such thousand successful Siddhas only one knows ME (God) perfectly”. Bahunam Janamnam ante Gyanvan mam Prapadyate.
“After many lives only one person can touch me by the path of self-knowledge”
(The Gita Ch.VII-18) Remember the meaning of the word Siddhi.
It means material successes like victory in war, sports, financial, or political achievements, getting name and fame in any field like music, dance, acting, knowledge etc.,.
"Proper diet, proper movements (from one place to another), proper actions (Karma), proper gestures and expressions (on face, speech), proper dreams (goals) and correct knowledge of self liberates a person from many unhappy situations in life".
Body, mind, Intellect and Ego. Bhumiraponalovayu kham mano buddhirev ch
Ahamkarm eetiyam may bhinna prakruti ashtadha.
Gita- VII- 4.
Lord Says: "From different 8 elements of mother nature (prakruti), namely, Earth (Food), Water, Air, Energy (Agni), Space, Mind, Intellect and Ego - I have created physical bodies and mental make up of all living human beings.
Annad Bhvanti Bhutani. Gita Ch-III-14 Physical bodies of all creatures are made by food. All living beings depend on proper food, water, air and energy. If some one over-eats, he/she becomes fat, and not strong; and if one starves, he/she looses strength and normal health. Physical strength depends on muscle mass, power and condition of mind and energy obtained from food. Knowledge of proper food items in Yoga practices means Yoga of Body and Mind.
Choice of food items, taste, quality and quantity of food, short term fasts, missing one meal in a week, taking only fruits for few days, remaining thirsty for few hours are some simple (Tapascharyas) Yoga practices. These should be practiced by the parents and taught to their children. Linking them with holy events creates a divine will power.
Long term fasts of weeks and months are practiced by many Jain Yogies and their followers. Physiologically these are wrong practices and should not be practiced by any intellectual person. Long term fasts weaken digestive and other vital organs. Short term fasts are good for every body. Children trained in this manner during young age remain calm and can bear hunger easily for few hours and days in adverse circumstances.
Various Diet practices are dictated in many religions. Religious fasts are linked with many holy events. People observe them with great faith. They remain hungry and thirsty for weeks. Such fasts are followed by feasts and celebrations. In the month of Ramadan (in Islamic calendar) devoted Moslems observe strict fasts during day time and break them at night. In India the Jains observe 24 hours continuous fasts for 8 days during 'Paryushana' week, in monsoon season. Hindus observe fast of one day on a fixed week or a fortnight day.
The aim of Yoga study (and religion) is to live a healthy, happy and active life, with good name and fame. Yoga prepares a student to achieve all above goals by correct training of body and mind.
A Yogi achieves many successes (Siddhies) during 100 years of life, spiritual upliftment leading to Moksha or Nirvana in later years and vision of God. There is voluminous literature on the subject of Yoga and Hatha-Yoga in English. One will find about 50 books on this subject in any average library in USA. Every author has his own understanding of this complex subject. He presents and teaches in the way he has learned from his Guru (teacher) or from some ancient scriptures.
Many Yoga are described in the Gita. They teach correct mental attitudes and duty bound actions. By learning and doing correct actions (Karma Yoga) an ordinary person becomes an extra-ordinary person, a noble soul, a divine angle or a super soul (Vibhooti).
More vegetarian foods, plenty of fruits, developing control of the taste and smell of foods are a few early vows needed in Yoga study. Short fasts and feasts are good for health.
Attend regularly religious meetings and share food as gift of God (Prasadum) in groups. This is Yoga of divine food and diet. Proper goal oriented dreams and correct actions to achieve them are advised in Gita.
Section: III ADDITIONAL INFORMATIVE ARTICLES.
Lesson 3. Yoga is science of self study (atmagyana or
swadhyay) and art of living a divine perfect life. Lesson 1. Yama Niyama & Sanatan Dharm Yama is afraid of Niyama. If one wants to keep Yama (Death) away, Niyama (No-Yama) must be observed.
The first two steps of Yama and Ni-Yama teach “Ten Eternal Morals” or Sanatan Dharm”-the correct name of Hinduism. Morals are like Eternal good guiding principles. They apply at all Places, at all Times in all countries. Such preachings are observed in all world religions.
"Shariramadyam, khalu Dharma sadhanam".
Good health of Body is the first and most important thing for all religious practices (Dharma).
Most Indian Yoga Gurus, Yoga books and Yoga schools in USA mainly teach Body postures or Asana, a few Breathing Exercises and some age old tricks of meditation. The third step of Yoga Asana teaches “Different Postures” to preserve good mobility of all joints for good health of body.
Before we learn Asana, let us summarise practical message of Yama and Niyama. In later five steps we will learn how to liberate Mind and Intellect (Buddhi) from material attachments and develop concentration (Dhyan) in present job, unfold spiritual self and Self Upliftment by meditation.
Karma Yoga (Gita-Ch-3) teaches how to achieve material successes (Siddhies) and enjoy material happiness at youth age period. Money and Material pleasures are not denied in Yoga Study.
Truth and Non-violence are first two words in the step of Yama. By observing truthfulness and nonviolent attitude one becomes a good person in any society.
All world religions preach these two important religious doctrines.
“Don’t Kill and Speak the Truth”.
Yama is an imaginary deity God of Death in Hinduism. Knowledge and practice of Yama and Ni-Yama guidelines postpone death (No-Yama) and bring good mental and physical health. Beside fear of death, people live in many worldly fears, like loss of money, loss of job, loss of high political position, old age and diseases, etc. Such fears create tensions and worries.
“Santoshat Param Sukham”. But moral advises always need some practical examples. Following short story explains the correct meaning of word Santosh, preached in Niyama.
Most people are always unhappy even with their present good situations in life. On Sunday if there is hot Sun, they complain it is very hot. On a cold Monday, they want a hot Sun. In a rainy season they want clear sky, and in summer they want Rain.
Some people have got everything in their life and family, in material terms. The following event will explain this mental attitude of ever dis-satisfaction, worries and tensions. They are never Satisfied with what they have got Today. During one of my trip of India I met an old school friend after 30 years. I will refer him as Mr. Santosh Kumar. He kept C grades in our class. But by divine grace he inherited a million dollar worth business and estate of a childless distant relative.
He got married to a beautiful good nature girl and had three grown up sons, all married by now. His well-educated sons had taken over all responsibilities of businesses and estates. His two grown up daughters were studying in medical college. I had learned about his weath and family from a common friend.
We entered in a nearby café and I congradulaed him for his present status and family. In reply he tells me following story.
"Oh my friend, don't ask me anything. Life is very miserable. The last week was a hell of experience and the worst time in my life”.
I was shocked and thought something serious must have happened in Mr. Santoshi’s life.
He said. "My eldest son Puranchandra has four daughters. His pregnant wife was admitted in hospital fifth time, for delivery. Doctor told she needed a C-section. We were worried. But the operation went smooth and a grand son was born. For last 4 day I have not slept, because I was busy delivering sweets to relatives for the birth of a son in family”.
He continued his story without a pause. “Yesterday the war between India and Pakistan ended. We had expected a crash in share market and great loss. I was in great tension. But my second son Ramesh told me that we had made a good profit of half a million. But now we will have to pay 50% in the taxes”.
“While I was worried about this tax problem, my daughter Shila came home and introduced to me a smart and handsome boy of other caste, studying with her. She wanted to marry Him. We were in search of a suitable match for her since last one year. But this news shocked me. How she can finalize her life partner without my consent?”
“You see my friend, I am most miserable person living in hell today. I don't know what will happen to the newly born grand son, how we will pay the taxes, and worried for my daughter’s choice of life partner. Will she be happy with the boy whom we don't know at all? We will have to arrange for Dowry and lot of marriage expenses".
After hearing above story of my friend I perfectly understood the exact meaning of the word 'Santosh' preached in the 2nd step of Niyama.
In fact all good events had happened in Santoshilal’s life during that week. Yet he was an ever dis-satisfied soul.
My grand daughter wants pizza from Pizza-Hut only, and any other pizza is “Yaki”. She misses Pizza while in India. When she is back from India, she wants “Pani-Puri” an Indian dish not easily available in USA.
Develop Good Food habits and learn to be Satisfied with any food.
Observe simple regulations of proper food, drinking habits, exercises etc., These are important for health. A daily time-table, according to needs be prepared, but the most important thing is to adhere to it.
Vegetarian foods and proper intervals between meals are simple and easy Niyama. Observe proper timings of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then health will remain in a fairly good and happy mood. Niyama are best learned in a week’s well planned Yoga camp.
Lesson 2. Ten practical points for a happy life. For practical understanding of good manners (sad-aachar) preached in Yama and Niyama, I suggest a ten point formula for a happy healthy, successful and long practical life.
Find time for Asana, Prayers, OM and Mantra Chanting and Pranayama.
These are health preserving vital rituals. Do them daily for about 30 minutes, preferably in early morning.
2. Think and Meditate about only Today's important jobs and obligations.
Save time by avoiding fruitless talks and chit-chatting. Give an order of priority (ak-agrata). Make a list of jobs to be done and points to be discussed with friends, relatives and other people. Do not postpone important jobs for tomorrow, if you can do them ‘today and now’.
3. Punctuality. Keep a perfect Time sense. Niyam means Punctuality. Try to be punctual at all jobs and meetings. A daily time-table, according to one’s job needs, can be prepared. But the most important thing is to adhere to it. Punctuality means sense of time.
Lord Shiva is God of Universal Time. Maha-Kaleshver. This is most important requirement for achieving any social, economic or political success.
DIET. Drink about 20 ounces of Luke-warm water as first thing after getting up from bed.
Take breakfast, lunch and dinner at proper times and avoid eating anything in-between. Yoga teaches how to conquer attachments of taste, smell and look of food. Take pure and healthy foods, drink clean water and breath fresh air at all times.
Quit habits of smoking, alcoholic drinks and drugs. Liberate SELF from such vices. You have no right to say you are a liberated man, if you are slave of vices like smoking or drinking. What is the meaning of the statue of 'Liberty' in New York harbour?
Does it mean one could behave in any manner as one likes? We all live in bilateral family relations. Men and women are always inter- dependent and never independent.
Try to learn daily new skills like computers car driving, music, etc,. welcome new thoughts.
During free times read books, magazines etc. Keep learning curiosity alive and remain a busy student. Develop some creative activity and hobby. Never remain idle. Either Learn something or Earn something, but don’t waste time.
MATRU AND PITRU KARMA. Parents are deity Gods near by is preaching of Hindu Upanishads. Respect and take good care of mother, father, brothers, sisters, well-wisher friends, trust worthy relatives, and wise men in the neighborhood (Gurus). Also find time to look at the progress of children and remain alert about their company of good or bad friends.
Don’t smoke or talk while driving, and Don’t answer mobile phones. Any accident can occur if attention is lost even for a second. The law of “Fullest attention in the present Job or Karma” gets violated if you talk while driving vehicles like cars or airplanes etc.
Any one can do one thing at one time. Do it best is the golden rule for material success.
Keep a pocket diary. Record good thoughts as they crop up in mind during day's work.
Listen well. Maximum knowledge is gained by listening. Pay full attention (listen well) when others are speaking. If you do not understand, do not feel shy in asking questions in a group. You can become a good leader if you listen well.
The symbolic meaning of elephant head Hindu deity God Ganasha (Ganpati) is a good leader. It suggests “Keep Big Ears like an elephant and a Big head symbolizes- a man of great knowledge”. Become a great leader with good knowledge of many subjects and help others is message of Ganesh.
SAT-SANGA. Remain in company of good friends and avoid fruitless political and religious discussions with colleges having different beliefs. Try to attend spiritual discourses of well read teachers of all religions, whenever possible.
An Upanishad Mantra says;
“Swadhyaya Pravachanabhyam ma Pramaditavyam”.
“Do not remain idle towards lectures and discourses of spiritual subjects”. Try to attend such lectures at all times. This is called Sat-Sang.
Yama and Niyama teach a well disciplined life-style. Body is like a car. It needs daily service and good steering and breaks. Religious discourses provide daily or weekly tune up service of intellect and mind.
Note that the above 10 rules and steps indicated are not difficult. Niyama form the basis of successes in present and all future times of life ahead.
Remember Five Ps in Life.
Peace of mind,
Preservation of life (non-violence),
Persistence of actions and
These 5-Ps bring every successes in life. Summary:
1. Keep perfect Time and Place sense.
2. Always Listen well. Learn something, or Earn something, but Don’t waste Time.
3. Find time of 15 to 30 minutes, for exercise and meditation, daily prayers, in morning, noon, and night.
4. If you can do tomorrow’s work today, then finish it TODAY. Keep record of thoughts and important works to be done in next hours, next day or week.
5. Keep company of good friends (sat-sang) and keep ears, eyes and mind open.
Many good Niyama can be mastered by attending a week in a trust worthy Yoga camp, and by the study of Gita and good religious discourses.
Lesson 3. Yoga is science of self study and art of living a divine perfect life. (Atmagyana or swadhyay) Yoga is science of Self study SWADHYAY (Atma-Gyana) and art of living a Divine life.
Yoga is one of the six Hindu Darshans or philosophies belonging to group of Spiritual scriptures of India. Yoga has developed during millenniums in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. The Upanishads (about 240), 6 Hindu Darshans and the Gita, all make this group of spiritual scriptures. It is called Brahm-Vidya or Adiatma-Vidya.
Brahma Vidya means knowledge of soul (spirit of life) in all living beings. Biology is the correct translation of Brahm-Vidya. Keep Curiosity to learn and revise right or wrong beliefs about religion, politics, sociology etc. Yoga teaches all these by meditation and SELF knowledge. The Correct meaning of popular word ATMA.
The word Atma is commonly understood as Spirit or Soul. Let us first learn about different meanings of this most important word ATMA, frequently used in many Indian religious scriptures.
Most Gurus and 99.99 % Indian people understand the word Atma as Soul or Spirit of Life. It is wrong.
In the Vedas the word Brahman was used in meaning of Spirit or Soul. Brahaman and not Atma is the correct word for Soul or Spirit.
Atma, Chetana, Jiva, nameless That (Tat), Sah, Tatva, are the different words used to mean Brahman (soul or spirit). In some scriptures the word used for soul is only pronoun ‘tat’ meaning “That”.
The Sanskrit word Atma is understood in four different meanings during the millenniums of evolution of Hindu scriptures.
‘Thesaurus’ of the word ATMA.
Soul or Pure Spirit.
All Indian Gurus and scriptures that came up after the period of Adi-Shankara (7th cent AD) understand and explain the word ATMA in the popular meaning of soul today. A yoga student has to search and understand soul as a separate element from Body by Self-meditation. Soul is Divine, changeless, undying, unborn, immortal innermost spark of life in living beings.
Body + Soul = a living creature.
Body – Soul = a dead body.
This is correct translation of the Vedic word ATMA, and Not Soul or Spirit. ATMA = Body + mind + Intellect + Ego + Soul.
Manifest Soul (Vyakta Atma).
Any one living creature, an animal, a plant or a tree.
One living human being, one individual (Vyakti). Vyakta means manifest as opposed to Avyakta or unmenifest, formless, invisible etc.
Atma-Gyana (=Self Knowledge) teaches “Who am I?” as one individual.
By Yoga Meditation one has to search an answer to this standard question. The union of ‘Body with Spirit’ and TIME-SPACE bondage of body can be understood by self-meditation only, and search of Divine Self within. This leads to Self-realization and understanding of the perfect laws of Mother Nature (Prakruti) or God of Universe.
Yoga study removes - Avidya and Agyana of Atma orSELF. Agyana and Avidya appear like synonyms but they have different meanings.
Avidya means wrong information, incorrect knowledge, false beliefs and wrong opinions, half knowledge etc,. Most people live with Avidya- particularly, wrong and rigid (Jad) beliefs in religious field. This is due to a fact that most people do not study their own scriptures with open mind and in a systemic manner.
Eastern religions declare that without Atma Gyana even a highly educated person remains in Avidya and does many wrong activities (sins) in name of Religion and God. True understanding of Religion and conviction about One Omnipresent God occurs to any individual (Vyakti) by Self Realization in Yoga study.
Agyan (Tamas) means ignorance, lack of information.
A child is ignorant about names of many material things, and laws of society and country. Adults possess this average worldly information, but they have only superficial knowledge of all universal bodies and perfect laws of Mother Nature. Agyana can be removed by company of good teachers, spiritually enlightened souls, Buddha Jana and Satsang.
It is easy to remove Agyana but it is difficult to remove Avidya. In Kathopnishad, a famous Upanishad, the word ATMA is used as changeless soul. In the ending dialogue between Yama (deity God of Death) and Nachiketa, (a curipus young boy), - Body is symbolized as a Chariot, Five senses are the horses, Mind or Conscious Self is the rider (Arjuna).
The reins must be in hand of Unbiased Unattached Intellect (Krishna). Intellect must be the driver of all desires arising in Mind. The horses (senses) symbolize the five senses, namely, Ears, Eyes, Tongue as taste organ, Nose and Skin. Mind is always filled with endless desires, (kama), fears (Bhaya) and emotions like Angers. These must be controlled by Intellect or Higher Mind.
Albert Einstein declares that the Sun Light (Energy) is also fine matter particles (atoms) traveling in Universal Space at great speed. These fine Atoms unite and make Air, Water and Earth. All visible living bodies and non-living objects like rivers, oceans and mountains are made-up of fine atoms.
He has proved by his famous equation of Relativity that “Time and Space” are relative concepts of human mind. If there are no material bodies in universe, then there is nothing like “Time and Space”.
The changes occurring in all physical bodies are perceptible with five senses which can be understood by mind and intellect in a Space-Time continuum. By deep meditation (Samadhi) one perfectly understands that events like death and birth also occur according to perfect laws of God. Then the fear of death is gone forever.
In ending words Yama says,
“There is nothing higher than divine soul (or self) within”.
Intellect (Buddhi) is the unique human ability not present in animals. Intellect (NyayaBuddhi) is the discriminative power by which one arrives at judgment. It can be called common sense also. This is the ability of reason or logic within all of us. But most people never use intellect in revising their wrong religious beliefs and remain attached to their wrong religious beliefs for entire life.
Yoga teaches how to use intellect for developing self-control (Sanyama), and will power of positive thinking. God Search and knowledge of true Religion comes only by use of Intellect and not by reading books.
No human being is perfect. Beliefs regarding God and religions will vary with all individuals. Ignorance and Idleness are ever present in all human beings. But there is a hidden spark of God Divine within all human beings. This God Nature or Good nature gradually unfolds by Yoga meditation.
By developing a helping nature and attitude of forgiveness and renunciation (Tyag) of all Ego-centric desires (Vasana), instincts (Vrutties) and Selfish attitudes (Swarthi Swabhav), any one can reach the mental level, Nirvana. This was reached by all great religious founders of past like Buddha, Jesus, Muhhamod etc,.
Speech and hands are important human “Karma Indriya” not present in animals. Karma are done by Body. Hands and Feet are most important organs with which all human beings do their daily actions.
Indian Yoga Gurus, books and Yoga schools in USA mainly teach Body postures or Asana, Pranayama or Breathing exercises and some well-known tricks of meditation.
Om Tat Sat. God Is Truth.
Section: III ADDITIONAL INFORMATIVE ARTICLES.
19. ART AND SCIENCE OF MEDITATION Article 1. Before we study the 5th Step of Pratyahara, let us learn something about Art and science of Meitation.
Meditation is a mental exercise or “scientific way of thinking and reasoning to find consciously, answers for “causes of effects seen and events occurring in daily life”.
The answers are confirmed by studying Karma done by self and others, and meditating about events of past and present positions in life. Only a few intellectuals possess this faculty and achieve material successes, fame and prosparity (Siddhi and Riddhi)) in life.
Out of such thousand successful people only a rare soul is interested in knowing Spiritual Divine Self (soul) within, the Eternal Religion (Sanatan Dharm) and God.
Some Guidelines for Meditation.
The student must find a quite isolated place. He will sit there with closed eyes in meditation posture for 30 mins to one hour in beginning. The student must remain physically and mentally fit, but isolated during meditation from friends and relatives.
Start with chanting some Mantra, long OM, and a few Pranayama like MPs described in the 4th step, for few minutes.
This will pacify wandering mind and create a void or ‘thoughtless consciousness’ for a few minutes. Observe this important psychological effect subjectively during Pranayama which is an entry step for higher Meditation. It works like a magic pill. Random thoughts cropping up in conscious mind disappear immediately. Mind becomes fresh and pacified. There is no need to pay high fees to Yoga Swamies, Saints, Babas and/or Pundits.
Think by writing your thoughts about the present worrying situations of your life. Think about their causes, various possibilities and probabilities. You will soon find Right answers and correct plans of actions about solving all present problems and situation.
A student has to try these tricks upon his or her self to experience and get convinced that mind does become thoughtless and pacified by such practices. Breathing is partly voluntary and partly involuntary vital system of the body. When breath stops we all die. Pranayama develop “voluntary control” over an involuntary physiological system and will power. Before learning higher steps of Yoga a student must learn and master some Pranayama.
Thoughts in mind usually run after short term pleasures derived from the five senses. When mind is peaceful, the higher mind or intellect (Buddhi) starts working in a positive manner. Waves of new thoughts and new ideas will start flowing in your conscious mind.
What is Yoga Meditation?
In Yoga Meditation the student searches answers to questions like “Who am I?, Where is God, What is true Religion and its need in life- for days, months and years.
By Self Meditation a student studies his body, mind, true and false Egos and conscious Self. The subject of study and the object of study is one and same- viz., one's own Self.
Yoga meditation starts with the 4th step of Pranayama and ends on reaching the 8th step of Samadhi. Pratyahara, Dharana and Dhyana are middle three steps and different zones of mind. The final aim of Yoga meditation is to discover Divine Pure Soul within, and unite with the maker of Universe (God). Self realization by meditation is not as easy as it sounds.
Levels of Mind Consciousness in Meditation.
Five different levels of consciousness states of mind are described for understanding Yoga Meditation. These states merge into one-another. They are not rigid water tight compartments. The terminology, examples, explanations, and meanings explained in different Yoga books, Gurus and teachers vary a great deal.
To understand these levels, imagine a 100 volts electric bulb regulated by a rheostat switch. It shines at 100 volts when full switch is open. Any other state is less than 100 % light are lower zones of subconscious mind or Chitta. Total darkness is deep sleep or deep anesthesia state.
The following description will help any intellectual student to understand these levels.
Conscious mind. (Jagruta mana).
Perfectly waking normal state of mind during day time.
Day dreaming or imagining mind. (Diwa-swapnastha mind). Thinking about past or future events.
Dreaming mind or hypnotized mind (Tandrit mana).
During early sleep one sees vague dreams (Swapnastha mana). During sound sleep mind is sleeping or is in a state of zero consciousness. This is comparable to anesthesia. All voluntary muscles are relaxed and the person does not respond to external stimuli of noise and mild pains.
Samadhi state of mind.
This is reached only by a few great prophets like Buddha, Mahavira, Jesus, Mohammed or true saints in all countries of the world.
The word Meditation needs correct understanding. There is great misunderstanding about some key words. They are vaguely and poorly translated into English by Yoga Gurus or their English knowing disciples. Only a few common Yoga words are listed here.
Exact or nearest English meanings of some Sanskrit and Yoga words.
Atma. This word is translated and understood as soul by most religious Gurus and also Indian people. The correct translation of ATMA is SELF and not Soul. The second meaning of Atma is ‘One Living Individual’ or Vyakti. Most Indian Gurus translate Atma in sense of Spirit or soul. Correct Sanskrit word for Spirit (soul) is Brahman (Bios- as pure element, devoid of any matter).
Mana = Mind. Psyche.
Chitta is a frequently used word in Yoga books, Gita and Sanskrit texts. Its closest English word is 'sub-conscious mind'. It is the second side of conscious mind like two sides of a coin. Chitta is like a “Store-House” of past memories (Smruti) or a Read Write Memory -Disc of human brain’s computer. In subconscious mind all past experiences are stored as memories. When Chitta is not working properly one forgets the sense of time-place, events of past, names of relatives etc. This is called Amnesia (Chitta-bhrama), Dementia or Memory loss.
Buddhi = Intellect. This is a unique human faculty not present in lower animals. Intellect is the ability of logical thinking with data of past memories stored in Chitta. The religion of Buddhism is based upon use of this ability of Human brain. During meditation this mental power is to be activated to its maximum limit.
Ved, Gyana = Knowledge of material objects gained as past experiences with five senses. This is mostly Audio Visual information recorded in Chitta. This provides a data-base for logical thinking, imagining and reasoning during meditation. Knowledge (Veda) means simple memory (Smruti) of events of past life, presence of material objects and their properties (goona).
Dhayan means perfect attention in the present job of learning or activity. Dhyan is not meditation. Every Yoga Guru has his own concept, ways, notions and ideas about Meditation.
Two Sanskrit words- 'Manan and Chintan' must be well understood before learning more about meditation. The nearest English word translation of Meditation in Sanskrit will be Chintan and not Manan.
What is Manan
The art and practice of memorizing a verse, a poetry, scriptural stories, or Math Tables in schools by repeated chanting and cramming is called manan. Manan is a familiar practice to all public orators, actors, religious priests, politicians, and Yoga Gurus. Children memorize math tables in schools by repeated chanting.
Repeated chanting of short sentences (Mantra) like ‘Om Namah Shivaya', 'Hare Krishna Hare Rama' etc., or of long prose or poetry is Manan. By reciting simple Mantras like OM, loudly or silently in mind, agitated mind becomes pacified. Mantra Jap and prayers in groups in religious places create temporary peace in worried minds. This works like a rubber eraser clearing shabby writings from a paper and making it clear for new writing. All agitated minds become pacified, calm and thoughtless for a short time by 'Mantra Jap'. Constant Mantra Jap done for 10 to 15 minutes arrests vague and worrying thoughts and helps to erase bad memories of events of past. Worries and tensions of the present time get reduced or come to end for a few moments or permanently. This well known time tested trick is used by many Gurus in India. For receiving a ‘Mantra’ from a Guru, ignorant disciples pay lots of money to Indian Gurus.
All kinds of Karma like walking, running, singing, playing some musical instrument, clapping, dancing with music etc., also make mind thoughtless. Then one learns how to direct the flow of vague thoughts to a new event or another object.
Manan is an age-old way for developing memory powers. By repeated speaking, chanting or writing any one can remember long paragraphs, phrases, slogans, verses and poetry or long passages of prose. Actors and lawyers who memorize dialogues do Manan. Religious students commit to memory verses of scriptures like Ramayana, Gita, Koran and Bible by Manan. Later on when they speak with emotions and acting, the audience is carried away in a zone of religious trans. They become professional priests or popular story tellers (Kathakar) and earn great wealths. A few Swamies hypnotize rich people and turn them blind followers of their personal Guru faiths. There are such countless Guru cults (Sampradays) in India Today.
Manan (Remembering and Speaking other’s thoughts) does not create positive thoughts. There is no originality in talks of average priests who give religious lectures from verses of scriptures. They are in business of religion for earning money and building their private temples.
Article 2. Manan. Manan and Chintan are quite different mental exercises. The closest Sanskrit word for meditation is Chintan- very close to, but not a 100% translation.
Chintan is art of pin pointed thinking for finding hidden qualities within objects or effects perceived by five senses (Karya Karana Siddhanta). What is Chintan?
Science roots from Intellect and Chintan.
Sir Isaac Newton saw an apple falling from a tree. By constant Chintan he discovered its cause - the natural laws of inertia, motions and gravity. Re-thinking about some past event with a new angle is also Chintan. Searching symbolic meaning of deity God’s idols, history of old monuments or a possible plan of future actions is 'Chintan'. The highest ability of human mind is intellect (Buddhi). Memory of past events and perfect conscious state of mind and intellect are needed for Chintan. This is called Kundalini Shakti or power. It does not develop in a day, a month or even years.
"WHO AM I?" (Adiatma-Vidya)
Yoga meditation first teaches to look towards own Self. By constantly thinking about Self, the student tries to find an answer to a standard question "WHO AM I ?" The subject and the object of study is one and same- viz., one's own Self.
Adhiatma Chintan = Self Meditation, finding an answer to a question “Who am I? What do I understand or refer to when I speak “I”? Yoga is a science of self knowledge (Atma-Gyan). ‘I’ is first person singular pronoun in all languages. Sanskrit word for I is ‘Aham’, which also means EGO. Removal of all false Egos and development of correct Egos is learnt by Yoga practices.
Some answers to the above question are given in scriptures. They are confirmed by observing own self in daily life. "I am a very small living being. I am ever bound to a Zero Time and occupying Zero Space in Universe. I can be present only at one Place at one time on Earth; But I am also one Unique Unit within this perfect Universe. The bondage of Time - Place (desh-Kal), that apply to my body also apply to all living beings on the Earth - a king or a beggar, any great priest, Guru or a Satan”.
“I want to be myself”. "Be yourself" is a popular phrase in the West. Yoga meditation teaches exactly this particular subject. Yoga is an art of first knowing and than becoming ‘one-self’. Meditation creates self uplifting positive thoughts and removes all negative emotions. If Yoga is studied with devotion it creates courage and self esteem.
Meditation is not as simple as it appears in Yoga books and classes of Yoga teachers. Devoted effort for five to twelve years is an average time needed to realize pure spiritual self and reach Samadhi. Eight Steps of Yoga are like a ladder. A student cannot jump to last step in short time. He is advised to climb the ladder slowly step by step. .
Yoga Meditation and Kundalini?
Kundalini Shakti in Yoga study means ‘ability of thinking about, past, present and future events with perfect awareness and vision of sequence of past events in a time-place frame and awareness of the order of sequence’.
Write Your Own Auto-Biography.
A simple and easy trick for meditation is to write your autobiography. It is not difficult to write about memories of childhood, teenage, adult life and events like marriage, deaths of relatives, different job experiences, financial gains and losses etc., etc.
Start with your birth date. Then try to answer these questions. How and when I came in this world and got this body? Had I any choice to select my sex, beauty, physical fitness, nationality, race or religion?
How small I am in universal dimensions of TIME and SPACE? How small I am in this village, city, country and globe earth. What changes have occurred in my body after my birth in an ever changing endless show of universe?" What is my present age and how long I am likely to live?
Now think about dreams of childhood. Ask yourself if most of your past wishes and dreams of young age are fulfilled or become true TODAY or not? Try to create in mind a perfect picture of remaining wishes and definite goals of future and ways and means of fulfilling them. Make a short term plan of near future, which will be Tomorrow.
This mental ability develops by regular practice of self-meditation. Unbiased Intellect (Buddhi) eliminates negative emotions like angers, greed, hate and jealousy etc,. Understanding of limitations and equality of all human beings creates positive emotions of love, compassion, forgiveness and compromises. Develop a habit of ‘Thinking with Perfect Sense of Time and Place’.
Now answer these questions about your future. What will happen to my property, family and city and the world when I die? Will it go on without me? How big would be my funeral? How or in what manner I would like to die? If I am given to choose a disease before my death, what choice I would make? If you know that you are going to die exactly after seven days what will you do? Write in your notes a few points about such a situation.
There is a mystic or symbolic story in the Bhagvat Purana. Parikshit, some ancient king in North India, gets a curse from a Saint’s son for his egoistic behavior with his saint father. The curse declared that king will die on the seventh day by snake bite. Apply this message to your own self.
The Gita declares a perfect law of God.
“Jatasyahi dhruvo mrutu”
Every born has to die”.
We all know this law, but we are not conscious of this law and behave as if we are not going to die at all. We make endless plans of future and forget this. “I can die today evening, or this very night. I may not see the morning of Tomorrow“.
Section: III ADDITIONAL INFORMATIVE ARTICLES.
20. SELF-REALIZATION - WRITE AUTOBIOGRAPHY. SAMPLE By Swami Dwiroopanand