Progressing along in my yog sadhana, my mind started to awaken to truths that though they may have been around, were special to me as they unfolded to me, personally. Short one liners would appear in the minds lake along with their realisation. The whole process is like the blooming of a thought bud into a full flower realisation. A process that I enjoy thoroughly as it still continues.
Finding it pompous to post them as “jyoti” kahats – jyoti says or quotes by me 🙄 – I found an ingenious way to deflect them to my studio nomenclature, a nom de plume if you may. They have been posted on social media as they emerge but here I bring them together in a bouquet for those who may want to feel the fragrance, as I do when i reflect upon them. They are to be enjoyed at leisure and I keep coming back to them as new understandings unfold and may add more or refresh the existing from time to time. The reader may find their own understandings from them as they are pretty self-explanatory too.
I begin not in sequence but with my signature theme of Kurma- the turtle. Since childhood I had a passion for collecting suns and turtle figurines and they both figure in my studio logo, mostly online! The symbolism for both are many and I am not going into that here.
Copyright for the images used in the following notes is dedicated to the world wide web from where I sourced them unabashedly taking care, as much as I could, that there were no issues but I guessed if they are not marked in some way, it was okay, if not we will find out I’m sure. The content is all mine and as always readers are cautioned to use their own discretions to agree or not.
मंथन स्वाध्याय और गुरूकृपा द्वारा आत्मिक स्पर्श
With inner churning, introspection and grace of the guru, the light touch of the divine is experienced on the soul.
As we step on to and progress on our chosen spiritual path a time comes when emotions and the mind are churned by positive and negative passions; at that moment by self study and grace of the Guru, one gets a glimpse of the Inner Knowingness. During the churning as the inner toxins emerge the steady disciple by self study and the grace of the guru flips the negatives into positives and reclaims the innocence of sahaj and feels the touch of divine love.
The sadhak may then exclaim in wonder, as I did with an outpouring of love for the guru. “You are not this body of flesh and bones that sleeps decays and dies, you are immortal Consciousness!!” तुम देह नहीं नश्वर नासी, तुम अल्लख निरंजन अविनासी”, says Yogiraj Siddhanath, “I am spirit, I am truth, I am love divine, this body mind, a dream of mine.” The yogi practitioner through the churning sees the bridge that connects the human to the divine.
Positive agitation births, makes conducive the environment to birth pearls of wisdom. galaxies of infinite realisations. “A consolidated mind is a beautiful mind,” says my guru Yogiraj Siddhanath, a name you will hear repeated many times in all my writings. In spiritual practice a positive stimulation, initiated by the vivek buddhi, leads to rediscovering many truths for the sadhak. Often the popular belief is that meditation profferes a thoughtless state of calm. From personal experience I can say that the mind in a calm manner studies its experiences and as clarity improves nuggets of realisations rise to the fore to be further savoured. It is the very stillness of the mind that allows this steadfast speculation.
True Gurus encourage this quality in their disciples, two of my favorites from the past are Adi Shankaracharya and Kabir who had mastered this to an art. Yogiraj Siddhanath, my satguru often agitates the disciple in order that they don’t fall into a stupor of mindless devotion. “Feel with the mind,” he says, “and think with the heart.”
Clarity begins at Home
Home here of course refers to the self enmeshed in the body of flesh, emotions, mind and intellect. Clarity comes with an intense practice and the self awareness arising from it. Swadhyaya a sub tenet of yog sadhana helps immensely in this. Unless we can see clearly our own motives and agendas without bias through the layers of our mind and emotion, through our intellectually collected information, seeing the external circumstantial occurrences with clarity is near impossible, I have realised. This was the first one in the series and therefore please do excuse the similarity to the very common christian adage about charity!
A Little light can Overcome a Lot of Dark
While watching My Little Pony with my children way back in the 1980’s there was an episode in which the ‘evil’ person, a centaur, half horse half man, had a huge bag pulsating with evil energy which he let loose on the hapless ponies. Let me stop for a moment and say I have never been an advocate of symbolising all good things as white and all evil as black realising how it reflects on a society discriminating based on colour. So here the dark is an opposite of light as in a flame of a candle in a dark room. In fact in spiritual experiences whenever I have experienced light, it has been colourless brilliance. To continue, every time the evil centaur opened the bag of darkness he cried in a thunderous voice, “Behold the power of Darkness”, and the power accompanied with some loud drumbeats would overcome everything, the trees, the river, the lands. Then the ponies managed to get a power of their own. So next time whilst the power of darkness was doing its dance of doom, the little pony opened her small bag and out popped a little rainbow, very minuscule in size, in a small faint voice the pony said, “and behold the power of light.” My girls would gasp at this and feel oh what could this little spark do against the mighty darkness, but lo behold if the rainbow didn’t quickly within a flash drive the centaur, his bag of destruction and the darkness away. I also felt the lesson learnt by my girls then has stood the test of time for them. So this visual was exactly apt for the realisation.
The rainbow of light is encapsulated within our body in the form of our Chakras. The moment we unleash this through yogic practice the dark dis ease of the body (physical, emotional, mental, intellectual) is enlightened. Alternately, a small flame can drive away the pitch darkness in a room. The only act required is to light that spark.
*a note to clarify that in this instance light is used to denote awareness and dark for ignorance, that peace and love can have no colour and or can be all colours. (this was in the original post and I am leaving it here).
I Have No Interest in what Krishna, Buddha, Jesus or Nanak Said, I only know my Satguru has shot me like an arrow and there’s no turning back.
(Sat) Gurus and Divine Guides come from time to time to give direction to an evolving humanity. They come with messages current to that time and age fashioned to awaken and enlighten the contemporary seeker.
Discerning disciples connect with these enlightened beings in every lifetime. Rather than the tradition or schools from the past, these souls find the Spirit in a living Satguru and flow the fast track current. One pointed concentration with vivek and sat buddhi they are magnetically drawn towards the source that is here and now. Some sleeping ones are awakened by the Enlightened One with a swift kick. Thus these realisations become real and immediate for the disciple connected with the living master from life to life.
Yog is a Way of Enlivingness
Yog popularly addressed as yoga is a way of enlightened, enlivened living. It facilitates being present in the moment, the here and now, allowing at the same instance to view the past, present and future.
Daily life becomes a celebration, joyous and liberated. Dissolved completely, flowering into love one cannot but radiate that perfume. Undisturbed and unfettered by the turmoil without. The photograph is the soil of our forest ashram in Pune, where I was introduced to true yog and enlivened living by a Satguru.
Kriya Yoga is an antidote to the vagrancies of a truant mind, by practice of this a force surfaces that overrides archaic patterns of thoughts. The result is an unadulterated vision and immersion.
There is a whole blog I have written on this topic you can find it here.
Perceive the Possibility of Infinity
That moment in yogic practice when awareness opens up to the possibility of infinity. The individual on the threshold of the experience, the distilled mind already knowing of its reality… an exquisite vast moment in time indeed. On the threshold of knowing the merging but not yet merged…
An awesome awareness of the individual knowing the consciousness can extend beyond the borders of their physical body, extend beyond even the earth and the solar system, into this universe and many universe.
Do Not Leave Your Mind/Ego with Your Shoes
The mind, the ego is your sense of self which is transformed to the realisation of your Self. The calming of the fluctuations and turbulence of the mind is the basis of yog sadhana. if you have already achieved it you need not enter at all, if you haven’t, leaving it behind you become part of a herd.
I have once again written a detailed blog on this, you can read it here.
If the Mind is Strong it Leads the Pran, If the Pran is Strong it Leads the Mind
Yogiraj Siddhanath, my Satguru instructed as training for practice, “जहाँ चित्त वहां प्राण” meaning where the mind goes there the pran follows. Following his instructions I realised through practice that depending on whether the pran was stronger or the mind, the stronger leads.
I realised that the Pran has an intelligence that by nature leads inwards. the mind by nature leads outwards. The Pran by nature is non-violent, by training the pran through pranayam, the mind is easily led towards Dharana- concentration. Realisations are still coming in about this in practice daily. Updates will follow. The play of the pran and mind, those who taste know. You may like to read more about how to practice dharana here.
In The Ocean be the Drop; In the Drop be the Ocean
In the ultimate stage of yog sadhana, self and god realisation is accomplished when the individual consciousness merges into the universal consciousness; often referred to as the merging of the drop into the ocean; whether the drop absorbs the ocean into itself or the ocean effacing the final layer of separation absorbs the drop into itself, is the in the purview of personal experience. In this concept success is in the effacement of the ego drop and a becoming of the larger vaster consciousness.
For the yogi in action though- the karma yogi- active in the ocean of samsara the feat could be different. Here in fact the same yogi needs an awareness to not dissolve in the ocean or get carried away by the tsunami of action losing identity of individual awareness and becoming one of the crowd.
Maintaining vivek buddhi, the yogi is to navigate the ocean of samsara, the cyclic wheel of birth and rebirth. The karma yogi through informed intuitive action clears the karmic ledger accrued by past actions without creating new karma.
This thought came as I watched the streets swelling with protesters of BLM, having myself protested in agitations for farmer rights in India, I have a personal understanding of how the effect can take over the cause and how narratives can pull the actor into the role until losing sight of that steady inner spark of the spirit one starts to falter towards the ever changing outer glitter.
Adherence to yam and niyam, the first two tenets of yog affirms the yogi to interact with social injustices and discrepancies. In fact it is an inherent part of yog sadhana. To do that while maintaining an awareness on the inner climate of radiating love to all, even the ones perceived to be on the “other” and “opposite” side is the challenge that many can fail.
Learning from the texts of Dead Gurus is like warming your hands on a fire; learning from a Living Guru is like sitting on the Fire.
This early morning thought was a culmination of years of practice with a living Satguru, of numerous initiations by my satguru into evermore subtle, powerful and distilled practices to expand individual consciousness, a result also of many such lifetimes learning directly in the presence of living gurus and finding the path to the living guru in every lifetime.
It is a practice that i have been doing of sitting on a funeral pyre to burn my impurities which I later found was a technique give in the Vignyana Bhairav Tantra, the living satguru having unlocked this from the latent memory bank during an initiation at the ashram. The living satguru make seamless our lives one from the other so it’s like we wake up from one life into another and carry on from where we left off. Often Gurus and disciples move from lifetime to lifetime or disciples are guided to other living masters by the previous ‘dead’ ones. That has been my experience and realisation.
It is a great comfort to many to read scriptures, join organisations and take for themselves masters who have passed and left behind a legacy. The safety net of the qualities attributed to these gurus are not volatile and cannot change from pupil to pupil and that becomes a relief to many as they can manoeuvre placidly in these waters. While a living satguru tests the disciples constantly, keeping them in a high state of alertness so they don’t fall into familiar intellectual pitfalls.
Though many masters are able to communicate from beyond the veil, I personally feel a living Satguru can and is able to take direct action in the pupils evolution towards the spirit. While texts have to be interpreted and hidden nuances nurture an intellectual pursuit instead of a direct experience, however enjoyable that may be. The process can be very slow and take a long time to bring extraordinary effect.
A living satguru, however in an instant can burn the veil of acquired mindsets, flights of fancy and disproportionate ego of understanding, leaving the student disciple with a clarity beyond clear understanding.
Living Master Dead Letter, a conversation with my Satguru Yogiraj Siddhanath
That’s all in this segment. I will be revisiting and updating as new realisations come. You are welcome to share and subscribe if you want to read more. You will receive no unwanted mail or newsletters or nudges from moi. Too occupied in my own pathways for any of that. Cheers. Namaste.