Wednesday, October 13, 2010

LAYA YOGA

LAYA YOGA


Laya Yoga is an ancient form of meditation, with concentration on
energy centers or chakras (Cakras). Sage Gorakshnatha, an ancient sage
of Nepal, and a disciple of Matsyendranath is the modern founder of
Laya yoga tantrika. There are five main energy centers in the spine
and two in the head. Laya yoga attempts to locate these energy centers
and channelize them through meditation. Laya essentially means to
dissolve all karmic patterns or conditioning and merge into the
transcendental reality. It also means deep concentration and making an
effort to obliterate the ego, thereby rising to a higher state of
consciousness, called Turiya.

Laya yoga involves techniques of meditation that cause the energy or
Prana to move in certain ways, to awaken the Kundalini, the coiled up
energy at the base of the spine. Laya yoga channelizes the energy
forces in the Kundalini instead of merely controlling the mind. It is
important that the Kundalini is activated through performance of
asanas, practice of pranayama and making a conscious effort to guide
this awakened energy in the spine and allowing it to immerse in the
crown chakra (Cakra/m). The ultimate goal of laya yoga for begginers
is to attain supreme consciousness through pranayama and breath
control; it is a method to prevent fluctuations of the mind. The
practice of laya yoga cleanses and heal the mind and body. It uplifts
the consciousness of the seeker. As most people live only on three
levels of consciousness - material, egoistic and sensual - laya yoga
opens us to higher levels of consciousness. It teaches the seeker to
locate the different centers of the spine and meditate on them,
thereby transforming the consciousness.

Laya means to “re-absorb” "fusion" "dissolution" and as a Yoga system
means to re-absorb all of the energies and forces normally dissipated
in daily living. The student must have profound knowledge of Raja
Yoga, Sankhya and Tantra philosophy. It involves the arousal of
Kundalini Shakti, its control and conversion into higher forces and
powers. Tejas and Ojas (higher forces) are produces through these
practices and the highest of all emotional-mental ecstasies are
created by these techniques. Like all the higher aspects of Yoga,
these practices must be undertaken with a competent Guru who has the
personal experience of the arousal and the control of such shakti.

Laya is the state of mind when one forgets all the objects of senses
and gets absorbed in the object of meditation. Laya enables one to
have perfect control over the five Tattvas, mind and Indriyas. The
fluctuations of mind will stop. The mind, body and Prana will be
entirely subdued. For Laya Yoga, Sambhavi Mudra is an effective
method, in which one intently concentrates on any one of the Shat
Chakras (Six Body Cakras). Trataka exercise plays a vital part in
getting success in Laya. In due course of practice, the Yogin gets
established in Samadhi. He becomes a Jivanmukta.

Dikshan: initiation into Laya Yoga means that a bond has been
established between a human spirit clad in a body and the Eternal, the
Highest and the Holiest Spirit of God, Brahman, that remains bodiless.
The energy of initiation is a transmission of power from The Holy
Spirit and reconciliation with God in the Holy Spirit. It facilitates
concentration on the Spirit and Truth, as well as genuinely pious and
inspired prayer. One can say that initiation is always an introduction
in the Holy Spirit undergone for the practice of spiritual dissolution
in God.

Laya Yoga involves concentration techniques to move energy in certain
ways for the purpose of awakening dormant forces to be used along the
evolutionary path. These forces (or the Force) are somewhat magical in
their nature and should only be used by an adept for dharmic purposes,
healing or helping others along the spiritual path. Other names by
which this yoga is known are Kundalini and Tantra. Knowledge about the
energy centers known as Chakras are contained in this realm of yoga.
Methods and techniques such as the Laya Yoga Kriyas are used to move
energy from the base of the spine to the mind to attain higher levels
of consciousness.

The following is a synthesis path of a program of scientific research
done in connection with a specific meditation technique, the so called
Laya Yoga meditation. Laya Yoga is a method where the subject uses
some inner subtle sounds in order to connect with superior energetic
vibrations and higher states of consciousness. During the practice of
Laya Yoga the oxygen consumption and the metabolism decreases
considerably, showing a state of deep rest. During the practice of
Laya Yoga the breathing rhythm decreases significantly, showing a
state of deep relaxation and rest of the nervous system. During Laya
Yoga the activity of the heart decreases, since the heart muscle is
safely resting. A strong concentration of lactic acid in the blood is
generally associated with tiredness, high levels of stress, nervous
breakdown, psychic tension and hypertension. During the Laya Yoga the
concentration of the lactic acid is decreasing rapidly. The
electrodermal resistance of the skin diminishes under the influence of
stress, worries or anxiety. While practicing Laya Yoga the
electrodermal resistance increases dramatically, this fact showing a
deep rest coupled with diminution of anxieties and emotional
disturbances. The practitioners of this technique control stress much
better than those who do not practice it. Therefore, the practice of
this technique strengthens the nervous system of the individual, and
allows him to react with better efficacy to the challenges of the
environment. While Laya Yoga is practiced, the cerebral waves with a
frequency of 8-9 cycles per second are propagated towards the frontal
region of the brain, with the occasional occurrence of synchronous
waves with a frequency of 5-7 cycles per second. These cerebral waves
show a unique physiological state that is totally different from the
state of wakefulness and sleep: it is a state of hyper vigilence
simultaneous with a deep rest.

Laya Yoga is also called Kundalini Yoga, because the raising of
Kundalini energy to unite her with the supreme consciousness is the
main objective, which is reached through deep meditation (dhyana).
Includes the practice of postures (asanas) and breath control
(pranayama) to energize the subtle channels (nadis), removing
obstacles to samadhi or non-duality. Through the repetition of a
mantra or seed sound, a higher state of deep concentration (dharana)
can be reached at which the divine form inherent in the mantra becomes
manifest. Part of Laya Yoga that deals with the sounds of the inner
world is Nada Yoga.

Yantras are seen as the body or form of the deity, whereas mantras are
the mind, consciousness, spirit or name. Yantras and mantras can bring
one in attunement with the same regulating forces that have created
nature in all its forms, including the structure of our psyche and our
capacity to think. The discipline is used to withdraw consciousness
from the outer world and direct it to the inner world. It consists
both of the act of drawing and painting the yantra as of centering on
the yantra, reconstructing it first within the mind.

Yantra is in Yoga where the understanding of basic geometrical forms
produces an appreciation of what is called “spiritual mathematics.”
The idea is to lead the mind by use of these geometrical forms across
its own labyrinths through to the Volitional. Mudra in Laya Yoga, a
language of Mudras or postures of hands, feet, body, eyes and mind is
a part of the Yantric study. A legitimate part of Laya Yoga is the
Mandala Drishti or geometric form gazing. Concentrating upon the
appropriate symbol for the Chakra (Cakra) involved.

Likhita means to write, and in Yoga Meditation practice, it is writing
Mantras or Bijas. In this form the student usually practice Mauna or
silence and concentrates inwardly on the meaning of the Mantra while
writing the Mantra. AUM writing is an excellent from of this
particular Sadhana. The AUM is written in a particular form in
Sanskrit but one need not circle it or make into a “sunburst” unless
one wishes to meditate upon the effulgence of the “Sound of All
Sounds”. Likhita Japa practice is an especially wonderful technique
for those who are kinesthetically inclined and has to do something
with their body. People with Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD) will
find great benefit from this practice, since it engages the senses
into the present moment without any great deal of discipline and
effort.

Prana Yoga or Swara Yoga is the science of nasal breath, providing a
practical method to use the right and left hemispheres of the brain at
will. It deals with the relationship between the nasal breath and the
subtle nerves of the body or nadis, on the one hand, and the cycles of
the Moon and the elements, on the other. Swara Yoga offers methods for
determining right/left nostril dominance and for synchronizing the
dominant nostril with specific activities of everyday life.

Dhyana is an introspective in Laya Yoga, using the various forms of
light meditation. It is sometimes also called Samyama Yoga or
Antaranga Yoga and belongs within the Laya Yoga School, although there
are many techniques of meditation taught outside of the strict rules
of Laya Yoga. One thing to look out for in meditation is stillness and
to be able to 'watch' the stillness without interfering with it. It
has been said that the ultimate practice of meditation is simply...
"watching". Using the power of light and sound with the breath as the
vehicle to pierce through and go beyond the mind.

Laya-Yoga makes meditative "absorption" or "dissolution"(laya) its
focus. The world laya is derived from the root li, meaing "to become
dissolved" or "vanish" but also to "to cling" and "to remain
sticking." This dual connotation of the verbal root li is preserved in
the word laya. The laya-yogins seek to meditatively dissolve
themselves by clinging solely to the transcendental Self. They
endeavor to transcend all memory traces and sensory experiences by
dissolving the microcosm, the mind, into the transcendental Being-
Consciousness- Bliss. Their goal is to progressively dismantle their
inner universe by way of intense contemplation, until only the
singular transcendental Reality, the Self, remains.

The laya-yogins are concerned with transcending karmic patterns within
their own mind to the point at which their inner cosmos becomes
dissolved. In this endeavor they utilize many practices and concepts
from Tantra-Yoga, which also can be found in hatha-Yoga, especially
the model of the subtle body with its psychoenergetic centers and
currents. Central to Laya- Yoga moreover, is the important notion of
Kundalini- Shakti (S'akti), the serpent power, which represents the
universal life force as manifested in the human body. The arousal and
manipulation of this tremendous force also is the principal objective
of the hatha-yogin. In fact, Laya-Yoga can be understood as the
higher, meditative phase of Hatha-Yoga.



LAYA YOGA AS THE HEART OF TANTRA

Laya-Yoga, which is at the heart of Tantra-Yoga, focuses on meditative
“absorption” or “dissolution” (laya) of the subtle elements and other
factors of the psyche or mind to the point of ecstatic realization
(samadhi) and, finally, liberation. The word laya is derived from the
root li, meaning “to become dissolved” or “vanish” but also “to cling”
and “to remain sticking.” This dual connotation of the verbal root li
is preserved in the word laya. The laya-yogins seek to meditatively
dissolve themselves by clinging solely to the transcendental Self.
They endeavor to transcend all memory traces and sensory experiences
by dissolving the microcosm, the mind, into the transcendental
Being-Consciousness-Bliss. Their goal is to progressively dismantle
their inner universe by way of intense contemplation, until only the
singular transcendental Reality, the Self, remains.

Laya-Yoga is a frontal attack on the illusion of individuality. As
Shyam Sundar Goswami, who has written the most authoritative book on
the subject, explained: „Layayoga is that form of yoga in which yoga,
that is samadhi, is attained through laya. Laya is deep concentration
causing the absorption of the cosmic principles, stage by stage, into
the spiritual aspect of the Supreme Power-Consciousness. It is the
process of absorption of the cosmic principles in deep concentration,
thus freeing consciousness from all that is not spiritual, and in
which is held the divine luminous coiled power, termed kundalini. The
laya-yogins are concerned with transcending these karmic patterns
within their own mind to the point at which their inner cosmos becomes
dissolved. In this endeavor they utilize many practices and concepts
from Tantra-Yoga, which also can be found in Hatha-Yoga, especially
the model of the subtle body (sukshma-sharira) with its
psychoenergetic centers (cakra) and currents (nadi).

Central to Laya-Yoga, moreover, is the important notion of the
kundalini-shakti, the serpent power, which represents the universal
life force as manifested in the human body. The arousal and
manipulation of this tremendous force also is the principal objective
of the hatha-yogin. In fact, Laya-Yoga can be understood as the
higher, meditative phase of Hatha-Yoga. As the awakened kundalini
force ascends from the psychoenergetic center at the base of the spine
to the crown of the head, it absorbs a portion of the life energy in
the limbs and trunk. This is esoterically explained as the
reabsorption of the five material elements (bhuta) into their subtle
counterparts. The body temperature drops measurably in those parts,
whereas the crown feels as if on fire and is very warm to the touch.
The physiology of this process is not yet understood. Subjectively,
however, yogins experience a progressive dissolution of their ordinary
state of being, until they recover the ever-present Self-Identity
(atman) that knows no bodily or mental limits.

While you need a teacher to help you learn any form of meditation
well, you particularly need the aid of a teacher to learn laya yoga
meditation. There are five main energy centers in your spine and two
in your head. The laya yoga meditator knows exactly how to locate
these centers through the kind training of a teacher. When these
centers are found, they function very much like doorways to different
realms of higher consciousness. While you need a teacher to help you
learn any form of meditation well, you particularly need the aid of a
teacher to learn laya yoga meditation. There are five main energy
centers in your spine and two in your head. The laya yoga meditator
knows exactly how to locate these centers through the kind training of
a teacher. When these centers are found, they function very much like
doorways to different realms of higher consciousness. The five centers
correspond roughly to the main areas of the spine. One is located in
the area of the tailbone. The second center is in the area of the
sacrum. The third is located in the spinal cord, back of the navel.
Then the heart center, which we have mentioned. The throat center is
found inside the spine at the base of the neck, directly back of your
collar button. The first head center is the point half an inch above
where your eyebrows meet in your forehead - it’s called the third eye.
The second head center is at the crown of your head. Technically, this
area is not a center at all, but is considered the main source of
spiritual light and energy which is expressed throughout the body.
While it is beneficial to sense where your centers are, it is not wise
to concentrate on these centers or meditate on any of them without the
help of a teacher. Over-stimulation of a center could cause pain,
confusion, or intense desires. On the other hand, most people live on
only three levels of consciousness - the material, sensual, and egoic
- without ever opening the seven centers which bring higher
consciousness. Laya yoga, with a qualified teacher, is an extremely
worthwhile endeavor.

LAYA YOGA: MEDITATION ON INTERNAL SOUNDS

Laya yoga is the absorption of the mind in sound. The goal of this
practice is to alter one's normal awareness of self by focusing on
hearing an internal, mystic sound. The mind will become steady and
absorbed in the sound on which it focuses. In space, sound is produced
by the movement of sound waves in the air. So, too, in the body, there
are currents that flow and produce sound when one practices pranayama.

To do this practice, sit in siddhasana and focus the attention on the
spot between the eyebrows. Turn the eyes upward and let the lids
remain closed. The eyes, ears, nose, and mouth should be closed. With
a calm and controlled mind listen for a sound in the right ear, and
eventually you will hear a clear sound. In the beginning the sounds
will be very loud and varied, but with continued practice they will
become increasingly subtle. At first one may hear sounds that seem to
pound and surge, like the beating of a kettledrum. After some time, in
the intermediate stage, the sounds will resemble those produced by a
conch shell, or by bells. Finally, after further practice, the sounds
will resemble tinkling noises, the sound of a flute, or the hum of
bees. All of these sounds are produced within and cannot be heard by
anyone else. One should practice being aware of both the loud and
subtle sounds, alternating and varying one's awareness from one to the
other, so that the mind will not be inclined to wander.

When the student's mind is intently engaged in listening to these
sounds, he becomes captivated by them and overcomes all distractions.
As a result of this practice, the mind gives up its outwardly directed
activity and becomes calm, desiring no objects of sense gratification.
The mind and breath become refined and one's attention is focused
within. Then the yogi forgets all external objects and loses
consciousness of himself, and the mind is absorbed in bliss. The
absorption that is produced when the mind enters the sound (nada)
emanates spiritual powers and a sort of ecstasy, and one forgets his
whole material existence. If one desires to attain this state of
union, one should practice listening to the anahata sound in the heart
with a calm and concentrated mind. When the mind focuses on the sound,
it becomes steady. Mental activity is suspended when the mind is
absorbed in the sound. The accomplished aspirant interpenetrates the
anahata sound and attains the state of samadhi through this method,
laya yoga.

These internal sounds can be heard only by those whose nadis are free
from impurities and who are well practiced in pranayama. The anahata
sound comes from sushumna, and, as with other sounds, it cannot be
heard by the aspirant until this nadi is free from all impurities.
Thus the practice of concentration and absorption with nada (sound) is
only possible after considerable preparation. A beginner can instead
perform bhramari kumbhaka, in which a humming sound resembling a bee
drone is produced in one's throat. This practice requires breath
control, so that the breath may be exhaled very slowly, producing the
sound for a significant length of time.

Just as focusing the awareness on the eyes produces special powers of
vision, directing one's awareness to the ears allows one to detect
special sounds. By directing the full force of one's attention to
these senses, the deeper powers develop. Directing the thoughts to any
particular sense of the body awakens one's conscious awareness of the
powers that correspond to that sense. Concentration upon the organs of
the body that are involved in any practice increases their power and
sensitivity, and intensifies and strengthens that organ system.

Concentration shows itself in five progressive mental stages:
analysis, reflection, bliss, ecstasy, and meditation. The first stage
is one of gaining knowledge about the nature of the object. The second
step is that of pure reflection; here the lower stage of analysis is
transcended. In the third stage, the power of reflection gives way to
a blissful state of consciousness, which later merges into the pure
ecstasy of the fourth stage. In the fifth stage, one losses awareness
of all sensation and external awareness gives way to a state of
complete meditation. In samadhi, there is neither seeing nor hearing,
neither physical nor mental consciousness; pure existence and total
absorption on the absolute is experienced.

NADA YOGA

The mind is fixed on nada or anahata sound heard in the ear. It gets
laya or dissolution. The Yogi enters into samadhi and attains
knowledge of the self. This is nada yoga. Essencialy Nada yoga is also
called Laya Yoga. Kundalini Yoga is also called Laya Yoga. When the
mind gets absorbed in the anahata sounds you will attain knowledge of
hidden things. You will hear para-vak. You will develop the eye of
intuition. Eventually the mind is absorbed in Brahman or the Absolute.

Sit in padmasana or siddhasana or sukhasana (crossing legs). Close the
ears with the thumbs. This is shanmukhi mudra or vaishnavi mudra. Hear
the music of anahata sounds. Now you will have wonderful
concentration. Do japa and ajapa japa of sauham with breath on any
mantra. Practice pranayama for one or two months. You will hear the
ten sounds clearly and enjoy the music of the soul.

The sages found that mano-laya followed by mano-nasa was a sager means
to attain Self-realisation than the arduous process of controlling the
mind and culturing it which is always attended by the danger of the
mind jumping into the old grooves of vasanas at any moment. In the
course of further practical investigations the sages and seers found
that sound has the power to attract the mind and absorb it, so to say.
Thus mano-laya and mano-nasa through nada yoga, union or merger into
sound was found to be an effective and safe means to Self-realisation.

Brahman was one and non-dual. It thought, 'Ekoham, bahu syam.' That
caused vibration eventually bringing in sound and that sound was Om,
whence are all other manifestations. Thus sound is virtually the
comprehensible basis for all creation. Naturally, therefore, it has
the power to absorb the other manifestations. Brahman is
incomprehensible in its transcendent aspect. The nearest approach to
It is only sound, or we can call sound as Aparam Brahma. As in the
macrocosm, so too, in the microcosm. Our physical and astral bodies,
our indriyas (senses) and the mind, all should have sound as their
basis. As we penetrate deep into them they should only lead us to
sound. As we analyse our individual existence, it should take us to
sound before we reach the transcendent Self. Normally, when we plug
our both ears and try to listen within us, we shall hear this
wonderful sound that goes by the name anahata sound.

Anahata literally means unbeaten, unstruck. Anahata sound is so called
because it is not the result of striking or beating certain things
like the raising of a note on the violin or the vina. It comes from
the anahata chakra. Because the anahata sound comes from that chakra,
the chakra is so named. By affecting the union of mind with the
anahata sound, we will be actually causing the effect to disappear
into the cause or, in other words, there will be mano-nasa. Getting
ourselves established first in the anahata Sound and then going to our
own Self is but a form of krama mukti (gradual liberation). Anahata
sounds or the melody are the mystic sounds. This is a sign of
purification of the nadis or astral currents due to pranayama. The
sounds can also be heard after the uttering of the Ajapa Gayatri
Mantram 'Hamsa soham' a lakh of (100,000) times. The sounds are heard
through the right ear with or without closing the ears. Nada that is
heard is of 10 kinds. The first is chini (cini, like the sound of that
word chin, cin); the second is chini-chini; the third is the sound of
bell; the fourth is that of conch; the fifth is that of tantri (lute);
the sixth is the sound of tala (cymbals); the seventh is that of
flute; the eighth is that of bheri (drum); the ninth is that of
mridanga (double drum) and the tenth is that of clouds, viz. thunder.

Anahata sounds are the mystic sounds heard by the Yogin during his
meditation. It is a sign of the purification of Nadis. Some students
can clearly hear it through any one of the ears and some by both the
ears. There are loud as well as subtle sounds. From the loud, one will
have to contemplate on the subtle and from the subtle to the subtler.
Beginners can hear the sound only when the ears are closed. Advanced
students can concentrate on the Anahata sound even without closing the
ears. Anahata sound is also termed Omkara Dhvani. They proceed from
the Anahata centre of the Sushumna Nadi.

Sit in your usual Asana. Close the ears with the thumbs. Hear and
minutely observe the internal sound through the ears. The sound that
you hear from within will make you deaf to all external sounds. Close
the eyes also. In the beginning of your practice, you will hear many
loud sounds. Later on they are heard in a mild way. The mind having at
first concentrated itself on any one sound fixes firmly to that and is
absorbed in it. The mind becoming insensible to the external
impressions, becomes one with the sound as milk with water and then
becomes rapidly absorbed in Chidakasa (Cidakasa). Just as the bee
drinking the honey alone does not care for the odour so also the
Chitta (Citta), which is always absorbed in the inner sound, does not
long for sensual objects, as it is bound by the sweet smell or Nada
and has abandoned its flitting nature.

The sound proceeding from Pranava Nada, which is Brahman, is of the
nature of effulgence. The mind gets absorbed in it. The mind exists so
long as there is sound, but with its cessation, there is that state
termed Turiya. It is the supreme state. It is the Unmani state. The
mind gets absorbed along with Prana by constant concentration upon
Nada. The body appears to be a log of wood and it does not feel heat
or cold, joy or sorrow. Different kinds of sounds proceed from the
heart (Anahata sounds). Nada that is heard through the ears is of ten
kinds. The first is the sound ‘Chini’ (like the pronunciation of the
word); the second is ‘Chini-chini’; the third is the sound of a bell;
the fourth is that of a conch; the fifth is that of a lute; the sixth
is the sound of cymbals; the seventh is the tune of a flute; the
eighth is the voice of a drum (Bheri); the ninth is the sound of a
double-drum (Mridanga); and the tenth is the sound of thunder.

You cannot expect the sound immediately after you close your ears. You
should concentrate and keep your mind one-pointed. The particular
sound that you hear today, you may not hear every day. But you will
hear any one of the ten Anahata sounds. The description given above is
Laya through Nada, Anahata sound. In the same manner, Laya can be
effected by concentration at the tip of the nose (Nasikagra Drishti),
at the space between the two eyebrows (Bhrumadhya Drishti), meditation
on the five Tattvas, on Sauham (Souham) Mantra, Aham Brahma Asmi, Tat
Tvam Asi Mahavakyas and other methods also.

LAYA YOGA SADHANA

Sit on padma or siddha asana. Practice yoni mudra by closing the ears
with the thumbs. Hear the internal sound through the right ear. The
sound, which you hear, will make you deaf to all external sounds.
Having overcome all obstacles, you will enter the Turiya state within
15 days. In the beginning of your practice, you will hear many loud
sounds. They gradually increase in pitch and are heard more and more
subtly. You should try to distinguish sounds more and more subtle. You
may change your concentration from the gross sound to the subtle, or
from the subtle to the gross, but you should not allow your mind to be
diverted from them towards other objects. The mind having at first
concentrated itself on any one sound fixes itself firmly to that and
is absorbed in it. The mind becoming insensible to the external
impressions becomes one with the sound as milk with water and then
becomes rapidly absorbed in Chidakasa - the Akasha, Space where
Chitta, Consciousness prevails. The sound proceeding from Pranava,
which is Brahman, is of the nature of effulgence; the mind becomes
absorbed in it; that is the supreme seat of Vishnu. The mind exists so
long as there is sound, but with its cessation, there is that state
termed Turiya. This sound is absorbed in Brahman and the soundless
state is the supreme seat. The mind which along with Pranava has its
karmic affinities destroyed by the constant concentration upon nada is
absorbed in the Unstained One. There is no doubt of it. Being freed
from all states and all thoughts whatever, you will remain like one
dead. You will become a mukta - liberated soul.

MANTRA YOGA

Mantra-Yoga, the path of transformative sound, is an integral aspect
of Tantra but also can be pursued as a separate yoga path. It is often
considered the least complex of all forms of Yoga because it involves
no complicated practices. The essence of Mantra-Yoga is the regular
and prolonged recitation, japa of one or more potent sounds (mantra),
which awaken the Cakras (chakras) and the serpent power Kundalini.

Bhakti Yoga is the most popular mantra yoga known as Yoga of Love and
Compasion. The term bhakti, derived from the root bhaj, is generally
renderd as devotion, or love. Bhakti-Yoga is thus the Yoga of loving
self-dedication to, and love-participation in the divine Person. In
Bhakti-Yoga, the emotional force of the human being is purified and
channeled toward the Divine. In their discipline of ecstatic
self-transcendence, the bhakti-yogins, or bhaktas tend to be more
openly expressive than the typical raja-yogin, or jnanin. The
followers of Bhakti-Yoga do not, for instance, shy away from shedding
tears of longing for the Divine. In this approach, the transcendental
Reality is usually conceived as a supreme Person rather than as an
impersonal Absolute. Many practitioners of this path even prefer to
look upon the Divine as an Other. They speak of communion and partial
merging with God rather than total identification, as in Jnana-Yoga.

Mantras (or mantrams) are words, phrases, or syllables which are
chanted thoughtfully and with growing attention! Mantra yoga
meditation involves chanting a word or phrase until the mind and
emotions are transcended and the superconscious is clearly revealed
and experienced. Since the mind wanders so much, the music of a mantra
easily rescues the mind and brings it back to the object of one’s
meditation. Both the rhythm of it and the meaning of it combine to
guide the mind safely back to the point of meditation — the higher
consciousness or the specific spiritual focus.

A Background on Mantrams

Typical mantrams are: Aum (Om), meaning Spirit, the Word of God, which
creates, preserves, and transforms. The most profound, yet simple of
the mantrams is AUM or OM. It is called “the name of God in sound”.
The mantra AUM, made up three and a half syllables. The syllable 'A'.
The first aspect is the waking state, vaiswaanara. In this state,
consciousness is turned to the external. With its seven instrument and
nineteen channnels, it experiences the gross phenomenal world. The
Syllable 'U'. The second aspect is the dreaming state, taijasa. In
this state consciousness is turned inward. It also has seven
instrument and nineteen channels, which experiences the subtle mental
impressions. The Syllable 'M'. The third aspect is deep sleep, prajna.
In this state, there is neither desire nor dream. In deep sleep all
experiences merge into the unity of undifferentiated consciousness.
The sleeper is filled with bliss and experiences bliss and can find
the way to knowledge of the two preceding states.

Another one is the Himalayan Shivaist mantram: AUM NAMAH SHIVAYA!,
which usually is translated as "Om Homage to the Highest Lord God".
Well known is the Hindu mantram: Asato Ma Sat Gamaya!, which means
"Lead me from the unreal to the Real."

There are thousands of Veda mantrams which are mainly from the ancient
Sanskrit language. Possibly, in time, affirmations will be in English
from well known Sanskrit mantras. What such a development would
require is a number of great meditators of modern day to be so attuned
to the Lord and so at ease within the realms of higher consciousness
that these ancient mantrams can easily be revealed to them. All
mantrams are the result of a revelation, usually to some deeply
meditating adept. Mantras are always in Sanskrit which is Heavenly
language of Gods, Devas descended into Earth externally or inwardly as
Avataras Incarnation. There is no Avatara (God's Man) without knowing
Sanskrit language very well!

Mantram Meditation

Generally mantram meditation involves chanting out loud at first until
the body is calm and the atmosphere around oneself is serene and
pleasant for meditation. Then whisper meditation almost automatically
occurs and the life force begins to withdraw inward from "out-loud"
chanting to whisper chanting. In whisper chanting the prana, the life
force in the body, is balanced and harmonized, preparing the way for a
deeper state of serenity - and of the balance of mind and emotions.
Whisper chanting easily dissolves and the life force moves even deeper
within as you enter mental chanting. Mental chanting is practiced as
long as thoughts are occurring to the mind. Whenever the mind is
distracted, the mantram is simply chanted in the same area of the mind
that the distraction is occurring. The mantram always wins if given a
chance. As the mantram frees you from one thought, then another, and
also helps to dissolve distractions, the mantram then begins to reach
the border of superconsciousness. Chanting becomes effortless. No
effort, nor warding off distractions is needed. Chanting becomes a
pleasure. Peace and gentle joy fill your mind.

What the mantram does next

At this point of effortless mental chanting the mantram can do two
things: It may dissolve into superconsciousness, or It may first help
ventilate the subconscious mind, the storage house of your old
thoughts, feelings, and memories which have been sadly neglected or
not successfully dealt with. The mantram may create an opportunity for
old thoughts and feelings, old fears and guilts, to be released, or
healed, or let go. What happens next? If your mental chanting first
becomes effortless and ventilates the subconscious pressures, it then
moves into your superconscious self. Or, the effortless chanting
bypasses the subconscious basement of your mind, going directly into
sublime superconsciousness. Either way, you arrive in your ecstatic,
heavenly nature. The words of the mantram fall apart and fall away.
Only the energy surge of the mantram remains as your awareness becomes
blissful and full of light.

Ecstasy Through Mantra Yoga

In this ecstatic stage of continuous rapture, you feel that you have
arrived home. You sense that this is your true nature - and your true
estate, which has been ignored due to the dominance of the mind, the
emotions, and the outer world. You will likely have a very pleasant
fifteen to twenty minutes in the delight and comfort of your
superconscious self; and then the mantram will begin to come out. You
will find your higher consciousness wants to come back to the outer
world. It wants to express, to touch your life and loved ones. The
words of the mantram re-emerge in the mind and you reverse the whole
process, going gradually into whisper - and then out loud - chanting.
Ultimately a mantram meditator lives in the ecstasy of the mantram,
always aglow with the meaning and spiritual insight of the special
syllables. In order to be sure a mantram is right for you, seek a
mantram only from a Sri Guru or Master who is qualified to teach and
initiate you.

MANTRAS

Mantras are articulate sounds, which unite the sub-conscious,
consciousness and superconsciousness. A Mantra must be specifically
constructed and not just any sound. Mantris are Mantra-makers.
Hermetic philosophy and the ancient Arcana used vocal sounds called
runes to evoke certain psychic forces, both high and low. Although
some of the Mantras are said to be associated with the gods, they
eventually unite functions of the five bodies, the Pancha koshas
(panCa koSas). The most profound, yet simple of the mantrams is AUM or
OM. It is called “the name of God in sound”.

Awakening Kundalini is effected by Mantra also which is a portion of
Bhakti Yoga. All aspirants should repeat the Mantra given by their
Guru many lakhs of times. During the time of Diksha of an Uttama
Adhikari, the Guru utters a particular Mantra and Kundalini is
awakened immediately. The consciousness of the student is raised to a
very high degree. This depends upon the faith of the student in his
Guru and in the Mantra. Mantras, when received from the Guru in
person, are very powerful. Aspirants in Kundalini Yoga should take to
this Mantra Sadhana only after getting a proper Mantra from a Guru.
Therefore we are not touching this point in detail. Mantras when
learnt through ordinary friends or through books cannot produce any
benefit at all. Mantras are numerous and the Guru should select a
particular Mantra by which the consciousness of a particular student
can be awakened.

Mantras can excite the emotions and give suggestions to the mind.
Mantras affect both the one who chants them as the one who hears them.
The word mantra comes from the Sanskrit "mantrana", which means advice
or suggestion. In a sense, such a deep word of Guru is a mantra. In
our daily life we use words to get everything done, obtain everything
we need. Each mantra or word is a sound pattern that suggests to the
mind the meanings inherent in it, and the mind immediately responds.

According to Ramana Maharshi, repetition of mantras (japa), with
attention directed to the source of the sound, completely engages the
mind. This is Tapas - penance. The source is not in the vocal chords
alone, but also the idea of the sound is in the mind, whose source is
self. Thus the practice of mantra repetition is more than a
suggestion, a bit of advice or an idea. It is a means of getting in
touch with our self. Mantras may be used for religious worship, for
japa (repetition), for healing, to help spiritual evolution, for
purification, for making offerings and in Mantra Yoga. Some mantras
are only chants or expressions of nearness to the Divine. But some
saints who were inspired by divine love and unshakable faith used
these mantras in their own spiritual practice and their followers
afterwards started using those mantras, calling them mahamantras or
great mantras.

Primarily it is faith which creates the effect of mantras. Melody,
intonation, pronunciation, whether silently or aloud, all are
important in the recitation of mantras. Moreover, the beat cycle in
which mantras are recited is important, but it changes according to
the state of consciousness of the one who is chanting. An increase in
the speed of chanting increases the speed of mind, heartbeat and
respiration. The beat cycle of the mantras affects the emotions. A
fast speed sometimes creates a continuous vibration and when it is
done in groups it creates a good effect, because the mind works in
synchronization with the beat cycle and has no time to fantasize. Fast
chanting of mantras exhausts the mind, heart and breath and relaxation
comes after the chanting is over. Slowing the beat cycle of mantras
also creates the same continuous vibration, but it slows down the
speed of mind, heart and breath while the chanting is going on. It
induces a hypnagogic state, but it is good only when the chanting of
mantras is done individually. A medium-speed beat cycle is good for
group and individual chanting of mantras. It does not disturb the
heartbeat or breathing pattern and makes the mind more awake, alert
and conscious.

The place from which the sound emanates influences its' tonal quality.
Deep tones are produced by the vocal chords in conjunction with the
abdominal region, middletones in conjunction with the chest, heart and
throat regions and high-pitched tones in conjunction with the upper
region of the body. Indian classical music uses all three regions in a
gradual order, but the middle region is used most and produces a
greater emotional impact on the listeners.

MANTRA AND SAHASRARA

Mantra Yoga is an intricate study of sound and its influence on
energy, on mind, and on the external world. More than just chanting of
certain sounds, this goes more deeply into the essence of what sound
is as vibration, what type of sounds affect which area of the body,
mind, - what the mental reactions are etc. Then comes the application
of certain sound formulas to create the desired results. Fundamentally
it comes down to the reality that all is energy and that energy is in
a state of vibration - vibration is sound. Practice of Mantra will
unfold the 7th Chakra: Sahasrara. GOD'S CONSCIOUSNESS itself is the
seventh element; a form of primeval power that is the awareness of all
the other forces. This element is not of the physical world yet
permeates it to the deepest level. Awareness as an element is part of
the eternal realm of the universe, that part of each individual that
goes on from body to body. Wherever you go there must be an awareness
of being there, whether it be heaven, hell or earth you are conscious
of being there. It is the constant essence. It is difficult to say how
one experiences this particular element because this is the element
that does the experiencing, the witness to all of life.

SAHASRARA CHAKRA is actually centered above the head though its
awareness goes through all aspects of the body. This being the center
of your conscious experience it has the strong tendency in normal life
to become wrapped up in the vortex of mind energies that keep it
entertained for ages on end. Yet, it has the power to direct all
functions of the energies at the six levels below it, when it is free.
From this Chakra one has immediate access to the energies of the
universe above and to the knowledge of eternity. For this the
awareness must be focused upward and away from bodily or earthly
concerns. The PINEAL gland is influenced by the energy of this center
and in turn directly influences the pituitary gland. In studies done
with light and color for instance it was seen that the energy impulses
coming through the optic nerves, from whatever color one is looking
at, influenced the pineal gland to put out certain hormones that tend
to govern the hormones subsequently produced by the pituitary. Each
color and form has a specific influence on the entire endocrine
system. As an experiment try looking at an attractive mandala, then
switching to an attractive member of the opposite sex, naked, and
observe your mental, emotional and physiological reactions to what
your eyes are seeing. Observe and draw your conclusions; then you may
decide to choose carefully what you focus your attention on. CENTER is
the direction, or could we say inward. From this center you might go
North, South, East, West, Down or Up but they are all away from the
Center of yourSelf.

POWER OF SOUND AND NAME

The power of sounds is tremendous. Ideas are generated in the mind by
the mere hearing of sounds. Every name has a form corresponding to it.
Sabda and artha (word and its meaning) are inseparable. The form
related to a name is at once manifested in the mind the moment that
name is heard by the ears and transmitted to the mental consciousness.
There are names denoting forms that are abhorred and there are names
denoting forms that are much desired. Pains and pleasures become the
experiences in the mind when it is aware of hateful and delightful
objects, respectively, through hearing of them. When anyone suddenly
shouts: "Scorpion! Scorpion!" "Snake! Snake!", you at once apprehend
the scorpion or the snake and jump in fright. When anyone calls you a
"donkey" or an "ass" you are annoyed and you show anger. Why do you do
this? Because there is created in your mind the consciousness of your
supposed contact or identity with something that you think is very
dangerous or far inferior to you. So you get terrified or feel that
you are depreciated. That is why you jump in fear when you hear of the
presence of a scorpion or a snake near you, and do not tolerate your
being addressed as a donkey or an ass. Through anger, you wish to show
that you are not a donkey.

When such is the power of the name of an ordinary thing of this world,
what a tremendous power should there be in the name of God! God is the
completion or the fullness of existence. Hence the name that denotes
Him too is full and perfect. Therefore, the power of the name of God
is incalculable, for it is the height or the zenith of power. The name
of God can achieve anything. There is nothing impossible for it. It is
the means to the realisation of God Himself. Even as the name of a
thing in this world generates the consciousness of that thing in the
mind, the name of God generates God-consciousness in the purified mind
and becomes the direct cause of the realisation of the highest
perfection, i.e., God, freedom and immortality.

LAYA TANTRA

The word tantra literally means "expansion." A tantra yogi
concentrates on expanding all levels of his or her consciousness to
unveil and realize the Supreme Reality. Tantra focuses on the dynamic
aspect of divinity called Shakti, or "the Cosmic Mother." The tantric
devotee strives to attune with the spiritual dynamic energy in order
to transform personal limitations and release subconscious blockages.
True tantra yoga is a pure path, but it has been abused by some
self-proclaimed adherents. Tantra yoga is not concerned with
sexuality, but with the creative force and transmuting this energy
into higher channels. Sometimes self-styled teachers have misconstrued
the symbolism of tantra yoga into sex practices for men and women.
Rather, the goal of tantra yoga is to awaken and harmonize the male
and female aspects within each person in order to spiritually awaken
and realize the whole universe as an expression of the Cosmic Mother,
the divine life force, or Spirit.

Tantra Yoga Meditation

Tantra yoga meditation is often practiced this way: A tantra devotee
sits calmly and purifies mind and heart of wayward thoughts and
desires. The devotee then senses the life force within his or her
being and gradually, through imagination and feeling, directs the life
force to rise up the spine, from the tailbone into the neck and then
into the forehead. When considerable life force is gathered in the
forehead, the tantra yogi, through practice, directs that the life
force move out from the forehead and form a body of light and energy
three to six feet before him or her. The body of light in front of the
devotee is encouraged to become dense and expand until it is as large
as a human form. The tantric yogi then directs love and devotion
toward the dynamic body of light which is a profound representation of
his or her soul and essence. Usually, after fifteen to thirty minutes
of this meditation, the yogi invites the light and energy to slowly
return into his forehead and down through the body to the base of the
spine. Through practice, amazing renewal is felt through tantric
meditation and spiritual awakening is accelerated. The tantric becomes
aware that the life force and essence within each person is truly
divine; it is from the Lord. The spirit in each one is from God.

Overcoming negative habits

Another interesting aspect of tantra yoga is its dedication to
transmutation of negative habits or obsessions - smoking, drinking,
and overeating, for example. Of course, the tantric would urge you
give up any bad habits you can by simply dropping them. However, if
you can’t give up a self-destructive behavior, no matter how hard
you’ve tried, why not use a tantric approach to it? The beginning
tantric realizes he has failed in giving up his self-destructive
habits because they were so strongly established over long periods of
time. Often, before taking up tantra yoga, he tried to stop hurting
himself through smoking, drinking, and overeating, but failed
miserably after many struggles. Now, through tantra he tries to expand
his consciousness as he transforms old habits. If drinking is his
problem, for example, he thinks of God as he drinks! Rather than
ignoring God or feeling rebellious, he strives to sense God’s love,
joy, and blessings. The tantric strives to feel God’s joy or love
filling him, as well as the intoxication of the alcohol. In a short
time, the tantric beginner does not need to drink. The thought of God
fills him with joy instead.

Transformations

Similarly, the smoker strives to sense God’s presence in the
satisfaction of smoking. In time, provided deep love of God is
cultivated, the cigarette or pipe is not needed in order to feel
pleasure and contentment. Overeaters use similar principles.
Gradually, their satisfaction is in God — not food. Overeaters also do
these tantric practices:

1) As they eat, they strive to realize the food is an expression of
the infinite spirit; that they are spiritual beings partaking of
spirit. This awareness of the food liberates them from a desperate
animal approach to mealtimes and snacks.

2) Sometimes they mix all the foods on their plate into one
homogeneous mass which doesn’t look so appealing to the eyes and the
mind. Freed of visual allure, the food is simply conceived as energy,
a few hours fuel.

True tantric yogis think of God all their waking hours. In this
devotion they are freed from destructive habits and enter
enlightenment.

LAYA, TANTRA OR KUNDALINI YOGA

A celibate approach to spiritual growth is quite common in many of the
world's religious traditions. Many yoga practices suggest that sexual
involvement is a detriment to a greater development of self and hence
should be avoided if possible. However, tantric yoga suggests that
sexuality can be a very powerful force that can be harnessed for
increased self-awareness. Thus, tantric yoga is unusual, in that it
not only allows sexual feelings and contact, but uses sexual
experience as a means to enlightenment. The Tantrics maintain that
there is an enormous energy locked into sexuality, which, if released
from the lower end of the spine, can flow up the spinal column to
bring divine illumination to the brain. They believe that within the
interior of the spine, in a hollow region called the canalis
centralis, there is an energy conduit called "sushumna". Along this
conduit, from the base of the perineum to the top of the head, flows
the most powerful of all psychic energies, Kundalini energy. On the
other side of the canal are two additional energy channels, one called
"Ida" corresponding to the male, and the other the "Pingala"
corresponding to the female. Ida is at the right of the base of the
spine and the pingala begins at the left. These tow psychic currents
are said to coil upward around the spine and the sushumna like snakes,
crossing the chakras (energy wheel of center of conscious). Kundalini
yogi's lifelong task is to evolve through the various chakra qualities
and challenges, thereby bringing the focus of the Kundalini energy
upward from the base of his spine to the top of his head.

Once the yogi has achieved mastery of self by relaxing body tension,
silencing mental chatter, and releasing energy blocks, he is ready to
join with a partner whose energies and spirit complement his own in
such a way that together they form a "whole". The partners must first
achieve a highly developed awareness within their being, a process
that might take a lifetime, before ready to engage in tantric embrace.
In the tantric lovemaking experience, known as "maithuna", the lovers
undergo a variety of meditations and rituals before they actually make
physical contact. They maintain the spiritual link or bond throughout
the lovemaking process. They visualize the flow of pranic currents
between them. In tantric yoga, the lovers do not try to achieve
orgasm. In fact, they work hard not to have one. They are attempting
to draw the forces of Kundalini energy upward through their
body-minds, thus releasing the power of the various chakras (cakras).
This force transforms the yogi psychologically, changing his
personality as the Kundalini rises to each succeeding chakra. The
emphasis is not on the sexual release as an end in and of itself, but
rather on sex as a channel through which the evolution of self may
proceed. The goal of spiritual Laya Tantra is the union of dynamic and
static aspects of personality. It is little different from practices
that dwell on renunciation and desirelessness.


KUNDALINI SHAKTI (ŚAKTI)

Kundalini Laya Yoga is sometimes considered a distinct yoga although
it generally involves a combination of: raja, hatha, tantra, laya and
mantra yogas. Its principal goal is the stimulation of the spiritual
life force at the base of the spine called Kundalini so that it will
rise easily from the lower centers of your being into the spiritual
centers in your head where higher consciousness is perceived,
experienced and, ultimately, lived in. Kundalini is solar feminine,
Atmic or of Divine level of subtlety energy, Atma Power or Purusha
Power, that one accumulated in all the best moments of all his or her
previous incarnations. It is produced and accumulated when one lives
in the states of tender and refined love. Kundalini resources of
people differ. They depend on the number and quality of lives one has
already lived, as well as on how one lives the present life. Kundalini
participates in the organism’s activity in various ways, including
“replenishment” of the embodied part of consciousness. The greater
kundalini one has, the richer his or her spiritual potential and
spiritual expressions are.

This energy is not embodied every time the incarnating part of the
soul (jiva) enters into a new body, but is “stored” in a sort of a
“money-box” resembling in shape a gaunt balloon. The size of this
structure, when it is developed, is measured by kilometers; it is
located in the corresponding subtlest eon inside our planet at the
level of its mantle. So, as it follows from the above said, Kundalini
Shakti (Sakti) is not located in the muladhara chakra and all the more
it does not have anything to do with the coccyx, as some authors write
in their books. Kundalini is connected to the body with a special
energetic canal that enters the body at the front part of the
muladhara chakra.

“Raising” of Kundalini Śakti Devi

The energy of Kundalini, being Divine, identical to the energy or
Devi, Goddess of the Creator by its quality, is still individualized.
It is like a drop, not merged yet with the Ocean of Primordial
Consciousness. When one matures in the range of incarnations up to the
stage when the current incarnation can become the last one and when
all defects of the incarnated part of consciousness are eliminated —
the time comes when the kundalini may be brought up to the body,
raised through it and merged with the remaining part of the
consciousness. The purpose of the “raising” of kundalini is the
following:

*first - to merge the accumulated individual Atmic energy with the
Creator (Paramatman),

*second - to perform “burning through” of the body cells with the
Atmic or Purushic energy that heals and transforms them,

*third - to learn to identify oneself with the Divine Soul: Atman, Purusha.

The latter becomes possible when Kundalini Devi has come through the
body (it should be performed in a horizontal position of the body) and
formed a new energy accumulation behind the chakra sahasrara. It
follows from the above said that before starting to “raise” Kundalini,
one has to think twice. Since if the energy of Kundalini is
transferred into Paramatman, the person as an individuality loses it.
And the only correct way out of this situation for such a person is to
merge the jiva with the Creator in the current incarnation as well. If
this does not happen; for example, if the adept who has not
established himself or herself in subtlety reverts to coarse emotional
states because of a certain reason which not everybody is able to
control - the next time he or she incarnates without this invaluable
energy potential and has to accumulate it again starting from scratch.


CHAKRAS (CAKRAS)

Chakras are bioenergy or life energy, prana, fluid structures of human
organism. Chakras are organs responsible for the generation of
emotions and other psychic states of man. Among their functions are
storage, conversion, and redistribution of the bioenergies inside the
organism. These energies can also flow between the chakras or between
the chakras and the organs which correspond to the sphere of influence
of this chakra. The channels through which the bioenergies flow are
called nadis, meridians. There are no “good” or “bad” chakras though
there are such fantasies in the literature. Each chakra plays its role
in the work of the organism, even six Dungpa cahkras below Muladhara.
There is 72.000 nadis at all.

There are seven main chakras, in total. Sometimes another number is
quoted, but this is a result of deeper insight and spiritual
development. Also other energy centers or even structures artificially
created inside or outside the body are referred to as chakras. There
are erroneous opinions as to localization of chakras. For instance, in
some incompetent publications anahata where the spiritual heart is
contained gets placed in a stomach area, and manipura - in the
umbilical region. The chakras are not located in the spinal column, as
it is written in some books. In reality chakras are located as
follows:

Sahasrara - a chakra that has a form of a lying disk and is located
under the parietal bone in the region of the forebrain hemispheres but
in the point of your own hand high up above the head. Its diameter is
about 12 centimeters, its height is about 4 centimeters for beginer,
common people.

Ajna - a large chakra called the third eye, located in the middle of
the head, coincident with the central parts of the brain; soun Om
(Aum).

Vishudha (viSuddha) - a chakra located in the lower half of the neck
down to the level of collarbones; Anandamaya Kosha (Sheath), sound
Ham.

Anahata (anAhata) - a chakra of the chest located at the area between
the collarbones and the solar plexus. Vijnanamaya Kosha (Sheath),
sound Yam.

Manipura - a chakra of the upper part of the abdomen; Manomaya Kosha
(Sheath), sound Ram;

Svadhisthana - a chakra of the lower part of the abdomen; Pranamaya
Kosha (Sheath), sound Vam;

Muladhara - a chakra, located in the lower part of the pelvis between
the coccyx and the share bone; the set of kundalini shakti serpent
lotus. Annamaya Kosha (Sheath), sound Lam.

Outside chakras there are petals which are energy channels joints -
this is avatara’s insight; and there are many other spiritual
structures inside them. And there should have one color the chakras,
as it is recommended in some books. Chakras should have inside
themselves tender white- goldish light. It is desirable that all
chakras be always pure and developed. There are special meditative
methods for this purpose. The condition of chakras is closely
interrelated with the condition of the organs located in the parts of
the body which correspond to particular chakra. Chakras play an
important role in supplying the organs with energy, while diseases of
the organs negatively affect the condition of chakras. The level of
development of individual chakras corresponds to one’s psychological
features. So, when the following chakras are developed:

sahasrara - forebrain hemispheres; there is a pronounced ability of
thinking strategically, i.e. the ability to see the “whole picture”,
to comprehend the whole situation “from above”; this allows such
people to be broad-thinking managers;

ajna - the rest of the brain, as well as eyes, nose, and nasopharynx;
a person possesses a “tactical thinking” ability, which allows him to
successfully deal with “particular” problems in science, business,
family life, etc.;

vishudha – ears, the entire neck, thyroid, both jaws, including teeth,
and others; The border between the “spheres of influence” of ajna and
vishudha coincides with the palate; aether element, akasha; the
ability for aesthetical perception is observed; good painters,
musicians and other artists are people with well-developed vishudha;

anahata - heart, lungs, arms, and mammary glands; the ability to love
emotionally, to love not “from the mind”, but “from the heart”, air
element. The main one of all in spiritual path is chakra anahata,
because it is with the help of this chakra that one can realize the
main purpose of life, i.e. spiritual self-development. It follows from
“God is Love” formula that if we want to merge with God, we too, have
to transform ourselves into Divine Love - into consciousnesses
constantly living in the state of Godlike Love. One achieve this
though staying constantly with the consciousness in the anahata chakra
and being the emotion of love radiated to all people, to all living
beings.

manipura - stomach and other structures of the digestive system; the
ability to act energetically, fire element; but sometimes when lotus
is impure it is accompanied with a disposition towards dominance of
irritation and other manifestations of anger;

svadhisthana - urinary bladder, legs, a well pronounced reproductive
function, water element;

muladhara - the organs of reproduction; psychological stability in
various situations, elements balance, earth element.

Since the condition of chakras directly influences the functioning of
organs located in the same parts of the body, the mere cleansing of
the corresponding chakra can easily cure many chronic diseases. It is
important to mention that the work on development of chakras and other
subtle structures of organism is incompatible with taking 'killed
food', alcohol (even in the form of alcohol-containing milk products)
and other psychedelics, since such substances destroy those subtle
structures. Breaking this rule causes serious diseases.


LAYA KRIYA

Classically, kriya yoga is a blend of karma, jnana and bhakti
practices. The word kriya means "to do, to make an effort," or "to
transform." One of the main ways that kriya is practiced is a daily
program of self-discipline of mind and body, introspection, and
devotion to God. Another way that kriya yoga is practiced in the world
today is in directing life force to move up and down the spine,
transforming the meditator’s state of being until spiritual
realization occurs. This technique is usually conveyed privately
through initiation from a Guru or longtime practitioner of this
method.

The destination of Laya Kriya is deep religiousness emerging from
"Laya" (vanishing) of the mind i.e. embracing the religion of the
"no-mind" or the new mind wherein the negativities of the mind have
been negated. However, before embarking upon this profound religion
(Sat-Chit-Ananda) which is mentioned briefly at the bottom of the
First Kriya paper as Laya Yoga Teachings, it may be worthwhile to
reflect upon the four kinds of religions of the mind as we should
start from where we are. Both forms of kriya are deeply related and
very ancient - well over five thousand years old and probably much
older. Several million people practice both forms of kriya yoga
throughout the world today.

How do most yoga devotees begins their Paths? What unfoldments do they
share in common with one another - and with seekers on other Paths
throughout the world? Practice makes you perfect. Success on your
quest is inevitable if you put aside fancies, cowardice, and laziness.
However, success is impossible if, no matter how many hours and years
you practice higher consciousness techniques, you do those techniques
incorrectly or selfishly. Experience of higher consciousness comes
sooner than expected to those that proceed with devotion, good will,
faith and a balanced mind. Doing rather than fantasizing or talking
about the techniques, is the key. As you proceed earnestly, you
experience several unusual, utterly delightful levels of awareness.


NADIS – CHANNELS IN YOGA

"Nad" means movement. In the Rig Veda, it means stream. In Laya Yoga
and Tantra, nadis are the channels of Prana energy and the 14 main
nadis are the channels of Kundalini Śakti. The Nadis thus are
channels, but not only nerves (snayu). The subtle channels or Yoga
Nadis are the channels of mind and the channels of chitta, the feeling
self or being. The gross channels of subtle energy are visible as
cords, vessels or tubes, including acupuncture meridians, nerves,
muscles, arteries, veins, lymph, etc. Ayurveda mentions 72.000
different Nadis. Tantrika Laya Yoga identifies 14 principal nadis of
which the following three are the most important:

Sushumna


Passes through the spinal column, originating in the Muladhara Chakra
and terminating in the Sahasrara Chakra, diving in an anterior and
posterior branch before reaching the Ajna Chakra. The Sushumna
generally remains dormant when the other Nadis flow strongly and is
activated only when the breath comes through both nostrils
simultaneously. It can also be activated through pranayama and Swara
Yoga and operates automatically at dawn and dusk, calming down the
system and making meditation easy.

Ida


The Ida Nadi starts and ends to the left of the Sushumna, but is also
connected with the left testicle in males. It terminates in the left
nostril, stimulating the right side of the brain. It is feminine in
energy, carries pranic energy and is one of the most important mental
nadis. As it nourishes and purifies the body and the mind, it is also
called Ganga in Tantric scriptures. When Sushumna is not working,
activating the Ida Nadi is the best way to facilitate meditation.


Pingala


The Pingala Nadi starts and ends to the right of Sushumna. It is the
carrier of solar, male energy, adding vitality, physical strength and
efficiency. It is also purifying like Ida Nadi, but cleansing like
fire. It is activated by the breath in the right nostril where it
stimulates the left side of the brain. Bhedana pranayama is used to
activate this nadi and is recommended for physical activities, debates
and, indeed, duels.



The remaining of the 14 principal nadis are Gandhari, Hastajihva,
Yashasvini, Pusha, Alambusha, Kuhu, Shankini, Sarasvati, Payasvini,
Varuni, Vishvodara. All are connected with Kubdalini work.

The Kuhu Nadi for example causes ejaculation together with the
Chitrini Nadi. The mastering of this nadi is the main objective of the
Vajrauli exercise, allowing the male aspirant to raise the seminal
fluid from the second chakra to the Soma Chakra within the Sahasrara
Chakra, along with the vaginal fluid from his female counterpart. It
is this practice which is often known as Tantric Sex, which created a
lot of attraction to Tantra in the West.


LAYA YOGA SAMPRADAYA

Laya Yoga is very important one of the 12 directions of the most
esoteric yoga. Laya means disappearance, dissolution of oneself in the
Harmony of the Absolute, ParamaBrahman. This implies turning off the
mind, which resides in the head chakra ajna, - so that the organism
may begin to act not under mind’s commands but under the control of
God. An example of this is spontaneous dance performed in the state of
the sacinda (sachinda) meditation called latihan kedjivan too, which
is the most typical example of training in laya yoga. Mantra AUM (OM)
is the first bijam of Laya Yoga practiced in Ajna Chakra in connection
with Divine Light Transmission Meditation (Laya Dhyanam).

There are other methods. For example, one can “yield to laya” his or
her hand holding a dowsing rod and with the help of this rod to
discover something that cannot be seen by eyes or heard by ears: to
get answers about ore deposits or about underground communication
lines, to perform medical diagnostics, and do many other things.
Dowsing is also laya yoga, its particular case. In the same way, one
can learn to paint when his or her hand as if by itself draws a pencil
or a brush. In the same way, one can learn to write texts… In all such
cases, the hand is controlled by some spirit, and if the man deserves
it, then it can be the Holy Spirit. As for the spontaneous dance,
there are special methods that can help to learn to yield the body to
laya. For example, if the arms are raised, then it is easier for the
body to begin moving, for the backbone to bend. On the contrary, if
the arms hang down, then it is difficult to begin dancing in this
state.

It is the same with any direction of art where we want to apply the
principle of laya: one has to know the basic methods, to be an expert
in this area to some degree. For example, in order to paint, one has
to know how to mix dyes, to apply them on the canvas or paper. Of
course, in order to dance one has to know the principles of plasticity
of the body. Of course, one has to be able to hold a pen to write with
it. In regard to laya, we have to have a critical attitude toward what
we do in this state. The loss of critical attitude can easily make us
a laughing stock. This happens when one violates the ethical
principles, because the ethics is the foundation of Harmony. On the
contrary, if everything is all right with ethics, then Harmony with
everything and everyone including God can become perfect.

Buddhi yoga is the highest stage of laya yoga. This term is translated
as “yoga of consciousness” and denotes a system of methods for
developing the consciousness, cittam (chittam). Buddhi yoga allows one
to traverse the final stages of the personal evolution. Within the
frame of the “eight-fold path” of the Patanjali's yoga (yama, niyama,
asana, pranayma, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi), buddhi yoga
represents the content of the eighth stage. There are indications to
it in the Bhagavad Gita. There is also the following precept in the
New Testament: God is Spirit and they who worship Him must worship in
spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). That is man has to perceive
himself not as a body, but as a spirit, i.e. a consciousness, a lump
of consciousness. And as a consciousness, man must build relationships
with God-Spirit, that is with God-Consciousness, the Universal Supreme
Consciousness — so that to achieve Mergence with Him as a result. In
buddhi yoga there are the following stages:

1. Withdrawal of the consciousness from the body into the cocoon,
distributing it there and then — dividing the cocoon into two parts —
the upper one (the region of the head and neck) and the lower one (the
region of the trunk and legs).

2. Development of the lower bubble of perception in the scale of the
planet by filling the planet’s form with oneself as a subtle spiritual
heart.

3. Cognition of Nirvana, including its dynamic aspect. Mastering the
state ofNirodhi through the meditation of total reciprocity. In it one
achieves the stage of “non-I”. All this is possible to achieve only by
transforming oneself as a spiritual heart of the size described above.

4. The developed consciousness of the spiritual warrior, who has
mastered the state of a subtle spiritual heart expanding beyond the
bounds of our planet, merges then with various manifestations of the
Divine Fire one of manifestations of the Holy Spirit and with other
subtlest aspects of the Absolute, Brahman, except for the Creator in
His Abode.

5. Having cognized empirically the entire structure of the Absolute,
the spiritual warrior is accepted by the Creator in His Abode,
gradually accustoms himself or herself to the state of Mergence with
the Creator and then acts from it in the world of evolving purusha
(atman). The latter is possible both from the non-incarnate and
incarnate states.


BRAHMAN – The Highest God and the Holy Spirit in One

Brahman is a Sanskrit term meaning both the Consciousness of Brahman
(God as the Holy Spirit) and a person who cognized Brahman. In order
to clarify the meaning of the word Brahman, one need to say a few
words about the ancient Indian philosophical system of knowledge
called Vedanta. The Vedanta philosophy originated in India even before
Krishna and was based on the pagan teachings of the four Vedas. At
that time, Indian people did not know about the existence of Ishvara —
God-the-Father (i.e. the Creator Who dwells in His Abode). This was
the reason why Brahman was considered by the Vedanta philosophy as the
Supreme Godhead and even as the Absolute. It was Krishna Who told
people of India about God-the-Father. In the Bhagavad Gita He also
outlines the difference between the concepts of Ishvara (Avatara) and
Brahman (God, All-Spirit):

“14:27. … Brahman, imperishable and immortal, is based on Me. I am the
Basis of eternal dharma and the Abode of the ultimate happiness.”

“3:15. Know that realization of destinies originates from Brahman. And
Brahman represents the Supreme. Omnipresent Brahman always supports
sacrifice.”

“14:3. For Me the womb is Great Brahman. Into Him I introduce the
semen and this results in birth of all beings, O Bharata.

“14:4. In whatever wombs mortals are born, O Kaunteya, Brahman is
their Supreme Womb. And I am the Father Who procreates them.”

The Holy Spirit - Brahman in Sanskrit, is the Creator manifesting
Himself in the Creation. This Manifestation is Divine Teachers,
Spiritual Hierarchy, coming out from the Abode of the Creator. They
are those in the ancient people who developed Themselves to the state
of Divinity and attained the eternal dwelling place in the Abode of
the Creator. The cosmic function of the Holy Spirit is to supervise
the evolution of all souls of lower levels of development. It is the
Holy Spirit Who organizes and supervises our destinies. He does it
Himself, directly or by calling to assistance numerous spirits that
possess various qualities, either “paradisiacal” or “diabolic”. When
we perceive waves of bliss coming from somewhere in response to our
righteous thoughts or actions - this is the Holy Spirit manifesting
Himself. In such instances, people say that He is granting us His
Blessing. In the Christian tradition, the Holy Spirit is considered as
a Part of Triune God (Trinity).

“As to the Christian tradition, the best description of the Holy
Spirit is found in the Orthodox prayer Heavenly Tsar, which I deem to
be the best of all Orthodox prayers. Here it is:

“Heavenly Tsar, the Consoler, the Spirit of Truth!

“Omnipresent and All-pervading!

“Treasury of all good and Source of all life!

“Come and abide in us!

“And cleanse us of all impurity!

“And save our souls, oh Blissful One!”

Below follow several excerpts describing the Holy Spirit from the book
The Book of Jesus by B.Cullen:

“The Holy Spirit flows through you as soon as you begin realizing His
flowing. As He passes through you, every cell of your body becomes
filled with new energy. You become healed, rejuvenated, revived for
new life.”

“He is infinite. He pervades everything. You can hardly turn away from
the Holy Spirit; maybe in your consciousness only.”

“The Holy Spirit always streams through every atom in space.”

“When you live in ‘now’, The Holy Spirit flows through you and brings
you more than you need, because to satisfy your needs and to show you
the Kingdom is a great glory for your Father. … The Heavenly Kingdom
is near. Why not to accept it? Only strange ways of thinking make
people to believe that it is impossible to achieve the Kingdom.”

AVATARA – HEAVENLY HOLY MAN

Ishvara is a Sanskrit term meaning lord, ruler, governer, keeper. In
the Bhagavad Gita, the term Ishvara has the same meaning as
God-the-Father, the Creator, Elohim, Allah, Tao in the Taoistic
meaning, Primordial Consciousness, Adibuddha. Ishvara is Api Guru
(Elder Guide), Brahman in human form, called avatara.

Avatar/a also Messiah, Christ is an Incarnation of God, Deva in a
human body on the Earth. Avatars are Souls Which attained full
self-realization during life in the current or previous incarnations
and came then in a human appearance from the Abode of the Primordial
Consciousness to the incarnate people. They are Parts of
God-the-Father coessential to Him and representing Him on the Earth.
The history saved the names of only a few of Them. Huang Di incarnated
many times since the Stone Age on the territory of China. Widely known
are the names of Rama, Krishna, Dattatreya, Buddha, Mahavatar Babaji,
Jesus Christ, Siva-Shankar, Shirdi Sai Baba, Haidhakan Babaji,
Anandamurti, Premananda, Shyam Shivananda. At present, Avataras like
or Sathya Sai Baba lives and preaches in India and less known like
Lalita Mohan Babaji. God, throughout the entire history of mankind on
the Earth, many times gave His Teachings through His Avatars and
prophets - to people.

The Eternal Spiritual School, also called "Brotherhood of Mystery" or
"The Path of Absorption" has been founded on the teachings and
practices of Laya Yoga, transmitted in ancient times by Lord Shiva to
his disciples and devotees named chela. Chohan (Lord) Shiva founded a
total of twelve lines of yoga transmission, which constitute complete
and comprehensive teaching and training systems in all stages of man's
route of spiritual development. Laya Yoga is a transmission line
watched over by great Mahatmas from Ashram located in the Himavanti
Valley. We even label it as "The Light of Himavanti". The succession
line, i.e. the spiritual tradition from which Laya Yoga originated, is
also called Himavanti Sampradaya, or, in more accurate terms,
Himavanti Confraternity Brotherhood (HCB). The seven-stage path
(Marga) of spiritual growth that causes one to dissolve in an infinite
grace of the ocean of compassion of the highest God is a basis for the
entire spirituality represented by successions of Gurus (Spiritual
Leaders), who in turn pass on one of the most ancient and esoteric
forms of Yoga teaching. Traditionally, in the lead of the entire
transmission line as well as its forms appear: Guru Shiva (The
Merciful One), more familiar in his numerous emanations as the
Venerable Father, Babaji, and his spouse, known as Devi Parvati
(Daughter of the Mountain, i.e. the venerable Mahatma Himavant).
Avadhutas: special found and ordained to keep spiritual Laya Yoga
Lineage so called small Avataras. Acharyas: those ordained in the
process of spiritual transmission to play the part of messengers or
apostles of the succession line belonging the Vedic Laya Yoga,
constitute the groundwork of yoga teachings.

Sri Swami Paramahansa Lalita Mohan Babaji and other Laya Masters
recommends the following measures of developing Bhakti - Divine Love
of the Heart:

Viveka: discrimination
Vimoka: freedom from all else and longing for God and Guru
Abhyasa: continuous thinking of God and Guru
Kriya: doing good to others
Kalyana: wishing well to all
Satyam: truthfulness
Aryavam: integrity
Daya: compassion
Ahimsa: non-violence
Dana: charity

SIDDHI IN LAYA YOGA
Minor Siddhis

A Layayogi forgets the body in order to concentrate the mind on the
Highest Lord. He conquers heat and cold by mastering breath- control
and by controlling his nervous system. A Yogi generates psychic heat
in the body through the practice of Bhastrika Pranayama. He can bear
extremes of climates without discomfort. He sits on the snow and melts
it by the warmth generated in his body. A Yogi covers his body with a
sheet dipped in very cold water and dries it by the Yoga heat given
off from his body. A few adepts have dried as many as thirty sheets in
a single night. A perfect Yogi cremates his body in the end by the
Yogic heat generated by his power of Yoga. The Laya Yogi acquires the
following minor Siddhis firstly like:

1. Freedom from hunger and thirst.

2. Freedom from the effects of heat and cold.

3. Freedom from Raga-Dvesha.

4. Doora Darshan, clairvoyance or Dooradrishti.

5. Doora Sravan, clairaudience or Doora Sruti and Doora Pravachana.

6. Mano-Jaya, control of mind.

7. Kama Rupa: The Yogi can take any form he likes.

8. Parakaya Pravesha: He can enter into another body, can animate a
dead body and enter into it by transferring his soul.

9. Iccha-Mrityu: Death at his will.

10. Devanam Saha Kreeda and Darshana: Playing with the gods after seeing them.

11. Yatha Sankalpa: Can get whatever he likes.

12. Trikala-Jnana: Knowledge of past, present and future.

13. Advandva: Beyond the pairs of opposites.

14. Vak-Siddhi: Whatever the Yogi predicts will come to pass by the
practice of Satya, Prophecy.

15. The Yogi can turn base metal into gold.

16. Kaya-Vyuha: Taking as many bodies as the Yogi likes to exhaust all
his Karmas in one life.

17. Darduri-Siddhi: The jumping power of a frog.

18. Patala-Siddhi: Yogi becomes Lord of desire, destroys sorrows and diseases.

19. He gets knowledge of his past life.

20. He gets knowledge of the cluster of stars and planets.

21. He gets the power of perceiving the Siddhas.

22. He gets mastery of the elements (Bhuta Jaya), mastery of Prana (Prana Jaya).

23. Kamachari: He can move to any place he likes.

24. He gets omnipotence and omniscience.

25. Vayu-Siddhi: The Yogi rises in the air and leaves the ground.

26. He can point out the place where a hidden treasure lies.


Eight Major Siddhis

An accomplished, Purna Layayogi in the path of Kundalini Laya Yoga is
in possession of eight major Siddhis, viz., Anima, Mahima, Laghima,
Garima, Prapti, Prakamya, Vasitvam and Ishitvam.

1. Anima: The Yogi can become as minute as he pleases.

2. Mahima: This is the opposite of Anima. He can become as big as he
likes. He can make his body assume a very large size. He can fill up
the whole universe. He can assume a Virat Svarupa.

3. Laghima: He can make his body as light as cotton or feather.
Vayustambhanam is done through this Siddhi. In Jalastambhanam also the
power is exercised to a very small degree. The body is rendered light
by Plavini Pranayama. The Yogi produces a diminution of his specific
gravity by swallowing large draughts of air. The Yogi travels in the
sky with the help of this Siddhi. He can travel thousands of miles in
a minute.

4. Garima: This is the opposite of Laghima. In this the Yogi acquires
an increase of specific gravity. He can make the body as heavy as a
mountain by swallowing draughts of air.

5. Prapti: The Yogi standing on the earth can touch the highest
things. He can touch the sun or the moon or the sky. Through this
Siddhi the Yogi attains his desired objects and supernatural powers.
He acquires the power of predicting future events, the power of
clairvoyance, clairaudience, telepathy, thought-reading, etc. He can
understand the languages of the beasts and birds. He can understand
unknown languages also. He can cure all diseases.

6. Prakamya: He can dive into the water and can come out at any time
he likes. The late Trilinga Swami of Benares used to live for six
months underneath the Ganges. It is the process by which a Yogi makes
himself invisible sometimes. By some writers it is defined to be the
power of entering body of another (Parakaya Pravesh). Sri Sankara
entered the body of Raja Amaruka of Benares. Tirumular in Southern
India entered the body of a shepherd. Raja Vikramaditya also did this.
It is also the power of keeping a youth-like appearance for any length
of time. Raja Yayati had this power.

7. Vashitvam (vaSitvam): This is the power of taming wild animals and
bringing them under control. It is the power of mesmerising persons by
the exercise of will and of making them obedient to one’s own wishes
and orders. It is the restraint of passions and emotions. It is the
power to bring men, women and the elements under subjection.

8. Ishitvam (iSitvam): It is the attainment of divine power. The Yogi
becomes the Lord of the universe. The Yogi who has this power can
restore life to the dead. Kabir, Tulsidas, Akalkot Swami and others
had this power of bringing back life to the dead.



INSTRUCTIONS ON SIDDHIS

1. By the process of Hatha Yoga, the Yogi attains perfect physical
body - Rupalavanya Bala Vajrasam-hanana Kaya Sampat. “The perfection
of the body consists in beauty, grace, strength and adamantine
hardness.” The power to bear extreme cold and heat (Titiksha), the
power to live without water and food and other powers come under the
category of Kaya Sampat (perfection of body).

2. Since the body of the Hatha Yogi is perfect and firm, his mind also
is firm and one-pointed. By the practices of Dharana and Dhyana, he
reaches the highest rung in the Yogic ladder and attains Immortality
through Yogic Samadhi. The Yogi who has reached the highest stage,
will have the 8 major and all the minor Siddhis.

3. Attainment of powers depends upon the amount of concentration at
different Chakras and Tattvas and awakening of Kundalini. The practice
of Mudras, Bandhas, Asanas and Pranayamas will also help a lot in
acquiring Siddhis.

4. The Siddhis that are obtained by the practice of Mudras can be
obtained by the practice of Bandhas, Asanas, Pranayamas and also by
the concentration on different Chakras. That depends upon the
temperament and capacity of the aspirants. One can obtain the desired
goal by one exercise and others by different methods. Therefore if one
is not able to get success by a particular exercise, he will have to
have recourse to other exercises.

5. Many of the 8 major Siddhis are mostly not possible and rare at all
at the present age (Kali Yuga), when the body and mind of the vast
majority are not fit enough. Even today there are several Siddhas who
have the power to perform some of the Siddhis. When people approach
them to do this and that, they hide themselves or generally say: - “I
do not know.” They are not much particular about these Siddhis. Their
aim is to ignore these as unreal and aspire to reach the highest. They
are the only real Yogins. Many are able to use some powers and they do
not know how they are able to do them.

6. One can read the thoughts of others. A man in London hears the
spiritual message of sages in India. You have seen several persons
removing the poison of cobras by chanting some Mantras or by mere
touch. By giving some sort of leaves, incurable diseases are cured.
There are men who will very accurately tell your past, present and
future. Some are able to see astral entities. Stopping the functions
of the heart and changing the mind of others and other powers are due
to Yogic practices.

7. Nowadays you cannot find a man who has developed all the powers.
When one gets certain powers, he stops there by the influence of Maya
and false Tushti (satisfaction) and uses the powers for his livelihood
or for fame. Therefore he is not able to proceed further and attain
perfection. It is not the mistake of the Yogic Kriyas. You should not
lose faith. Faith, attention, sincerity and earnestness will lead you
to success.

DHARANA (CONCENTRATION)

Fix the mind on some object either within the body or outside. Keep it
there steady for some time. This is Dharana. You will have to practise
this daily. Laya-Yoga has its basis on Dharana. Purify the mind first
through the practice of Yama, Niyama and then take to the practice of
Dharana. Concentration without purity is of no use. There are some
occultists who have concentration. But they have no good character.
That is the reason why they do not make any progress in the spiritual
line. He who has a steady Asana and has purified the Yoga Nadis will
be able to concentrate easily. Concentration will be intense if you
remove all distractions. A true Brahmachari, who has preserved his
Veerya, will have wonderful concentration. Some foolish, impatient
students take to Dharana at once without undergoing the preliminary
ethical training. This is a serious blunder. Ethical perfection is of
paramount importance.

You can concentrate internally on any one of the seven Chakras and
externally on any good Devata, Hari, Krishna or Devi like Sri
Layadevi. Attention plays a prominent part in concentration. He who
has developed his power of attention will have good concentration. A
man who is filled with passion and all sorts of fantastic desires, can
hardly concentrate on any object even for a second. His mind will be
jumping like a monkey. He who has gained Pratyahara (withdrawing the
senses from the objects) will have a good concentration. You will have
to march in the spiritual path step by step, stage by stage. Lay the
foundation of Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama and Pratyahara to start
with. The super-structure of Dharana and Dhyana will be successful
only then. You should be able to visualise very clearly the object of
concentration even in its absence. You must call up the mental picture
at a moment’s notice. If you have good practice in concentration, you
can do this without much difficulty.

In the beginning stage of practice, you can concentrate on the
tick-tick sound of a watch or on the flame of the candle or on any
other object that is pleasing to the mind. This is concrete
concentration. There can be no concentration without something upon
which the mind may rest. The mind can be fixed on a pleasant object.
It is very difficult in the beginning to fix the mind on any object
which it dislikes. If you want to increase your power of concentration
you will have to reduce your worldly activities. You will have to
observe Mouna (Mauna) everyday for two hours or even more. Practise
concentration till the mind is well established on the object of
concentration. When the mind runs away from the object, bring it back
again. When concentration is deep and intense, all other senses cannot
operate. He who practises concentration for one hour (muhurta is 48
minutes) daily has tremendous psychic powers. He will have a strong
will-power.

Vedantins try to fix the mind on Atman. This is their Dharana. Hatha
Yogins and Raja Yogins concentrate their mind on the six Chakras.
Bhaktas concentrate on their Ishta Devata. Other objects of meditation
are described under Trataka and Laya Yoga. Concentration is necessary
for all the aspirants. Those who practise concentration evolve
quickly. They can do any work with greater efficiency in no time. What
others can do in six hours can be done easily in half an hour by one
who has a concentrated mind. Concentration purifies and calms the
surging emotions, strengthens the current of thought and clarifies the
ideas. Concentration keeps a man in his material progress also. He
will turn out very good work in his office or business-house. What was
cloudy and hazy before, becomes clearer and definite; What was very
difficult before becomes easy now; and what was complex, bewildering
and confusing before, comes easily within the mental grasp. You can
achieve anything by concentration. Nothing is impossible for one who
regularly practises concentration. Clairvoyance, clairaudience,
mesmerism, hypnotism, thought-reading, music, mathematics and other
sciences depend upon concentration.

Retire into a quiet room. Close your eyes. See what happens when you
think of an apple. You may think of its colour, shape, size, different
parts such as skin, pulp, seeds, etc. You may think of the places,
Australia or Kashmir, wherefrom it is imported. You may think of its
acidic or sweet taste and its effects on the digestive system and
blood. Through the law of association, ideas of some other fruits also
may try to enter. The mind may begin to entertain some other
extraneous ideas. It may begin to wander. It may think of meeting a
friend at the Railway Station at 4 p.m. It may think of purchasing a
towel or a tin of tea or biscuits. You should try to have a definite
line of thought. There should not be any break in the line of
thinking. You must not entertain any other thought which is not
connected with the subject on hand. The mind will try its level best
to run in its old grooves. You will have to struggle hard in the
beginning. The attempt is somewhat like going up a steep hill. You
will rejoice and feel immense happiness when you get success in
concentration.

Just as laws of gravitation, cohesion, etc., operate in the physical
plane, so also definite laws of thought such as laws of association,
relativity, contiguity, etc., operate in the mental plane or
thought-world. Those who practise concentration should thoroughly
understand these laws. When the mind thinks of an object, it may think
of its qualities and its parts also. When it thinks of a cause it may
think of its effect also. If you read with concentration Bhagavad Gita
or the Vicar of Wakefield several times, you can get new ideas each
time. Through concentration you will get insight. Subtle esoteric
meanings will flash out in the field of mental consciousness. You will
understand the inner depth of philosophical significance. When you
concentrate on an object do not wrestle with the mind. Avoid tension
anywhere in the body. Think gently of the object in a continuous
manner. It is very difficult to practise concentration when one is
very hungry and when one is suffering from an acute disease.

If emotions disturb you during concentration, do not mind them. They
will pass away soon. If you try to drive them away you will have to
tax your will-force. Have an indifferent attitude. To drive the
emotions away, the Vedantin uses the formula: “I am a Sakshi of the
mental modifications. I don’t care. Get out”. The Bhakta simply prays,
and help comes from God. Train the mind in concentrating on various
objects, gross and subtle, of various sizes. In course of time a
strong habit will be formed. The moment you sit for concentration, the
mood will come at once, quite easily. When you read a book you must
read with concentration. There is no use of skipping over the pages in
a hurried manner. Read one page. Close the book. Concentrate on what
you have read. Find out parallel lines in Gita, Upanishads, etc.

For a neophyte the practice of concentration is disgusting and tiring
in the beginning. He has to cut new grooves in the mind and brain.
After some time, say two or three months, he gets great interest. He
enjoys a new kind of happiness. Concentration is the only way to get
rid of the miseries and tribulations. Your only duty is to achieve
concentration and through concentration to attain the final beatitude,
Self-realisation. Charity and Rajasuya Yajna are nothing when compared
with concentration. When desires arise in the mind, do not try to
fulfil them. Reject them as soon as they arise. Thus by gradual
practice the desires can be reduced. The modifications of the mind
will also diminish a lot. You must get rid of all sorts of mental
weakness, superstitions, false and wrong Samskaras. Then only you will
be able to concentrate your mind.

This Laya Yoga & Kundalini Tantra Lesson may be spreading freely!!!

THE HATHA AND LAYA YOGAS

THE practice of hatha-yoga is composed chiefly of prānāyāma, which is
regulation of breath, āsanā, the practice of various postures, and a
set of six bandhas or body-purifications. Although the writer of these
words holds to the opinion that these physical practices cannot
develop the mind at all, or contribute to its yogic or occult
experience, he agrees that when the hatha-yoga exercises are properly
done they are very beneficial to the body. As long as people have
bodies they should treat them if possible as prize animals, but if
that is too much to ask they should at least give them good exercise
as well as good rest and good food. In this sense only one should
understand the well-known maxim: "No rāja without hatha; no hatha
without rāja."

The āsanās or postures have some advantages over

p. 88

ordinary physical exercises intended for muscular development.
Although these latter do also stimulate good breathing and benefit the
nervous system to some extent, especially if used in conjunction with
proper relaxation at suitable times, the hatha-yoga postures do in
addition provide suppleness and slenderness, and give massage to the
internal organs. Besides this, when allied to suitable and not
excessive breathing exercises, the entire body benefits. None of the
yoga schools aims at abnormal strength—a reasonable standard such as
is suitable for the ordinary purposes of life is regarded as
sufficient, and more than that may often be just a matter of personal
satisfaction or pride, not the spiritual attainment which the
hatha-yogīs, rāja-yogīs and all other yogīs are aiming at, which
contains no self-satisfaction. Incidentally, one must remark, great
mental muscularity—to use a metaphor—is also not sought by any of
them. If there are mental giants among them, this must be put down to
some work of supererogation in that line in their previous lives.

In an earlier chapter we have spoken of hatha as the "sun" and "moon"
breaths. It comes in, say some works, with the sound of ha and goes
out with the sound of tha. Another explanation is that the "sun" and
"moon" correspond to the breaths travelling through the right and left
nostrils. Still a third view is that as the whole word hatha
ordinarily means

p. 89

forcefulness, the system of hatha-yoga is one which, at least as
compared with other yogas, requires considerable energy. It has
already been stated that in those yogas the thinkings and meditations
are intended to be done without allowing any tension in the body.

We may introduce the picture of a typical form of hatha-yoga breathing
by quoting from the Shiva Sanhitā:

"The wise man, having closed the right nostril with the thumb of the
right hand, and having drawn air in through the left nostril, should
hold his breath as long as he can, and then let it out through the
right nostril slowly and gently. Next, having breathed in through the
right nostril, he should retain the air as long as possible, and then
breathe it out gently and very slowly through the left nostril.

"Let him thus practice regularly, with twenty retentions, at sunrise,
midday, sunset and midnight, every day, keeping a peaceful mind, and
in three months the channels of the body will have become purified.
This is the first of four stages of prānāyāma (regulation of breath),
and the signs of it are that the body becomes healthy and likeable and
emits a pleasant odor, and there will be good appetite and digestion,
cheerfulness, a good figure, courage, enthusiasm and strength.

p. 90

"There are, however, certain things which the swarasādhaka
(breath-practiser) must avoid: foods which are acid, astringent,
pungent, salty, mustardy and bitter, and those fried in oil, and
various activities of body and mind, bathing before sunrise, stealing,
harmfulness, enmity, egotism, cunning, fasting, untruth, cruelty to
animals, sexual attachments, fire, much conversation and much eating.
On the contrary, he should use and enjoy ghī (butter clarified by
simmering), milk, sweet food, betel without lime, camphor, a good
meditation-chamber with only a small entrance, contentment,
willingness to learn, the doing of household duties with vairāgya,
singing of the names of Vishnu, hearing sweet music, firmness,
patience, effort, purity, modesty, confidence and helping the teacher.
If there is hunger, a little milk and butter may be taken before
practice, but there should be no practice for some time after meals.
It is better to eat a small amount of food frequently (with at least
three hours’ intervals) than much at once. If the body perspires it
should be well rubbed (with the hands). When the practice has become
well established, these rules need not be so strictly observed." 1

One does not wish to put any of these hatha-yoga practices into print,
to be read by various kinds of people, without sounding a warning.
Many people

p. 91

have brought upon themselves incurable illness and even madness by
practising them without providing the proper conditions of body and
mind. The old yoga books are full of such warnings, and they tell the
would-be practicer to go to a teacher who really knows all about these
things, to receive personal inspection and instruction. For example,
the Gheranda Sanhitā announces that if one begins the practices in
hot, cold or rainy weather, disease will be contracted, and also if
there is not moderation in diet, for only one half the stomach must
ever be filled with solid food. 2 When the present writer tried, as a
boy of fourteen or fifteen, the long alternate breathing for three
quarters of an hour, he found when he stood up that he had lost his
sense of touch and weight. He handled things without feeling them, and
walked without any sense of touching the ground. The sense returned
only after ten or fifteen minutes.

The Hatha Yoga Pradīpikā states that control of breath must be brought
about very gradually, "as lions, elephants and tigers are tamed," or
else "the experimenter will be killed," and by any mistake there
arises cough, asthma, head, eye and ear pains, and many other
diseases. 3 The Shāndilya Upanishad gives the same warning. On the
other hand, right

p. 92

practice may be undertaken by anybody, even the young and the old, the
sick and the weak, and will result in slenderness and rightness of
body. 4

The theory behind these breathing exercises is that between the mind
and the body comes prāna. This word is translated "principle of
life"—referring to life in the body. Five vital airs are mentioned
extensively in the Sanskrit literature which touches on the physiology
of the human body. Prāna is always referred to as the chief of these
vital airs. The word comes from a verbal root "an" meaning "to
breathe," and thus "to live." Patanjali in his aphorism on Prānāyāma
calls it regulation of the manner of movement of shwāsa and prashwāsa,
that is, breathing. 5 The late Dr. Vaman R. Kokatnur, noted scientist
and Sanskrit scholar, in a paper read at the American Chemical
Society's meeting in Detroit in September 1927, quoted a text which
says that what is inhaled is prāna and what is exhaled is apāna. On
various grounds he made out a good case for these being oxygen and
carbon dioxide, a third "air," udāna, being hydrogen. Of the other two
of the five, samāna is generally spoken of as essential to digestion
and vyāna "pervades the whole body." Many speak of

p. 93

these five airs as being something else, fine or "etheric," but all
agree that various ways of breathing affect them all. Many of the
teachers recommend the traditional proportions of one unit of time for
inbreathing (pūraka), four units for holding the breath within
(Kumbhaka), and two units for out-breathing (rechaka). The Shiva
Sanhitā speaks of the units being gradually lengthened, as seen in
verse iii 57: "When the yogī is able to practice holding the breath
for an hour and a half, various siddhis (faculties and powers) arise,
including prophecy, travelling at will, sight and hearing at a
distance, vision of the invisible worlds, entering others’ bodies,
turning various metals into gold, invisibility at will, and moving in
the air."

Various teachers and books offer more elaborate, as well as some
simpler, breathing exercises. The following eight are often mentioned:
(1) Practice kumbhaka (holding the breath) until the pressure of air
is felt from head to foot, then breathe out through the right nostril;
(2) breathe in deeply and noisily, hold as before, and exhale through
the left nostril; (3) putting the tongue between the lips breathe in
with a hissing sound; exhale through both nostrils; (4) breathe out as
fully as possible, then in with a hissing sound, and go on very
rapidly like bellows, until tired; then exhale by the right, or (5)
the left

p. 94

nostril; (6) breathe in with the sound of a female bee; (7) after
breathing in, contract the throat, place the chin on the chest;
breathe out very slowly; (8) simply hold the breath, without
inbreathing or out-breathing, as long as you like.

While issuing warnings about these exercises, I would like to add that
many have found benefit from the following simple practice. Breathe in
fairly fully while saying mentally to yourself "pūraka;" hold the
breath in without any muscular effort while saying "kumbhaka,
kumbhaka, kumbhaka, kumbhaka;" breathe out quite fully while saying
"rechaka, rechaka." This may be done at odd times as a pick-me-up,
with generally about ten repetitions. The best slowness or quickness
of the words should be found by the student for himself, but all the
words should be of the same length. A tendency to lengthen them a
little may gradually and rightly appear.

Some teachers maintain that all the impurities of the body may be
removed merely by control of breath, but others hold that it is
necessary to practice also certain cleansings, especially in the case
of persons who are flabby and phlegmatic. 6

The six principal purifications are: (1) slowly (under the direction
of a teacher) learn to swallow a clean, slightly warm, thin cloth,
four fingers broad and fifteen spans long; hold on to the end of it,
and

p. 95

gradually draw it out again; (2) take an enema sitting in water and
using a small bamboo tube; shake well and dispel; (3) draw a fine
thread, twelve fingers long, in at one nostril and out at the mouth;
(4) look at something without winking, until tears come; (5) with the
head bent down, slowly massage the intestines, round and round both
ways, and (6) breathe rapidly, like the bellows of a blacksmith. 7
These acts are said to remove corpulence and many other diseases.

The Gheranda Sanhitā has a much bigger collection—about twenty-four
purifications—which includes swallowing air with the lips formed "like
the beak of a crow," and expelling it from below; doing the same with
water; gently pressing the intestines towards the spine one hundred
times, massaging the depression at the bridge of the nose (especially
after waking and after meals); vomiting by tickling the throat;
gargling; drawing air softly in at one nostril, and sending it out
softly at the other, alternately; drinking water in at the nostrils
and letting it out at the mouth. 8

Closely connected with the elaborate practices of prānāyāma are the
postures (āsanās). Quite often eighty-four of these are enumerated,
but the Shiva

p. 96

[paragraph continues] Sanhitā contents itself with recommending four,
which are called "The Adept Seat," "The Lotus Seat," "The Powerful
Seat," and "The Swastika Seat." These are briefly as follows: (1) body
straight, legs crossed, one heel at the anus, the other at the front,
gaze between the eyebrows, chin on breast; 9 (2) legs folded with
feet, soles upwards, on opposite thighs, arms crossed, hands on
thighs, tongue pressed against teeth, chin on breast or held up, gaze
on tip of nose (or straight in front); or arms may be crossed behind,
hands holding great toes; 10 (3) legs stretched out, apart, head held
in hands and placed on knees; 11 (4) feet between calves and thighs,
body straight. 12 The Hatha Yoga Pradīpikā also advocates four āsanās
especially, two being the same and two different.

An excellent modern book on prānāyāma, āsanās etc., is Yoga Asanās by
Swāmī Shivānanda, of Rishikesh, in the Himālayas. 13 In this the Swāmī
explains with illustrations a large number of postures, including the
Sukhāsana, or "pleasant posture" described and recommended for the
West in my Practical

p. 97

[paragraph continues] Yoga: Ancient and Modern. He also gives very
useful simple breathing exercises as well as the more elaborate ones.

We come now to another school of yoga called the laya yoga. Laya means
"latent" or "in suspense." The especial features of this yoga are its
study and practice of kundalinī and the chakras. Kundalinī is
described as a force lying in three and a half coils like a sleeping
serpent, in a cavity near the base of the spine. This is regarded as a
goddess or power, "luminous as lightning," who, even though sleeping,
maintains all living creatures. She lies there with her head blocking
a fine channel which goes straight up the spine and is known as the
sushumnā. Some, to link this up with modern thought, have called it
the fount of bodily electricity.

The purpose of the laya-yoga practice is to awaken the kundalinī (or
"coiled one"), who will start up hissing, and can then be carried
through the series of six chakras (literally, "wheels"), which are
threaded upon that channel at various points in the body, which are
situated at the level of the base of the spine, the root of the penis,
the navel, the heart, the throat and the eyebrows. These chakras are
depicted somewhat as flowers rather than wheels, and have petals
respectively numbering four, six, eight, twelve, sixteen, and two.

p. 98

The works describing these chakras, and the effects of meditation upon
them or in them, are altogether too numerous even to mention. 14 They
are depicted with very much symbology. For example, the anāhata chakra
(at the heart) has a yantra or design showing twelve petals, each one
bearing a certain letter of the alphabet. In the center circle there
is a pair of interlaced triangles, having written in the middle of
them the syllable "yam" (which is a mantra or sound which can produce
some effect when properly repeated). This yam is pictured as riding on
a black antelope, and, in its final sound m, which is written as a
dot, a figure representing the male divinity is placed. He is styled
Isha, has three eyes, and holds out his hands with gestures of
dispelling fear and granting boons. Near by, in the pericarp of the
lotus (for the chakras are also called lotuses) is the female divinity
Kākinī, seated on a red lotus, having golden color, dressed in yellow
clothes, wearing all kinds of jewels and a garland of bones. She has
four arms, two hands bearing a noose and a skull, and the other two
showing signs of dispelling fear and granting boons. In the center,
above the interlaced triangles, is an inverted triangle as bright as
lightning, and in that a

p. 99

symbol of Shiva of a golden color with a crescent moon surmounted by a
dot upon its head. This chakra, like all the padmas (lotus flowers) is
brightly colored, the petals and pericarp being red.

One cannot attempt in this brief space to unravel the significance of
all these letters, colors and symbols, or to give the symbols of the
other five padmas. Each chakra has its own diagram, colors, animal,
divinities, letters, etc. It will be evident that the yogī, as he
meditates in each of them in the course of his progress, will have
plenty to think about. Arthur Avalon's excellent translation of the
Shatchakra Nirūpana, with comments thereon, is a mine of information
on the subject, but the thorough student should also read various
minor Upanishads, Purānas and general works on yoga touching on this
subject. There is a certain amount of conflicting testimony on the
subject of colors, divinities etc., but this does not mar the general
unity of information as regards all the main features. 15

There is in all the literature on the subject a poetical rather than
an exact description of what happens as kundalinī rises. The spine is
called "the axis of creation" for the body. In that is the channel
sushumnā;

p. 100

within that another, named vajroli and within that again another,
called chitrinī, "as fine as a spider's thread." On this tube the
lotuses are said to be threaded "like knots on a bamboo rod."
Kundalinī rises up little by little, as the yogī employs his will. In
one practice he brings her as far as he can, and, as she pierces any
one of the lotuses, its face, which was turned downwards before, turns
upwards, and when the meditation is finished he leads her back to her
home near the base of the spine. 16

It is further explained that as she leaves each chakra on the way up,
she withdraws the functions of that center, and so makes them latent,
hence the term laya-yoga, or the Yoga of Suspension. It is, of course,
natural that in such a process, as attention is given more and more to
the higher thought, the lower responses should become latent, as, for
example, when we are reading and do not hear or see a person who
enters the room.

Kundalinī proceeds upwards until she reaches the great
"thousand-petalled lotus" at the top of the head,

p. 101

beyond all the six chakras. There she enjoys the bliss and power of
union with the source of all life, and afterwards, as she returns
through the centers she gives back to each its specific powers,
purified and enhanced. The process of bringing kundalinī to the
highest point is usually considered to require some years, but there
are exceptional cases in which it is done quickly.

The hatha-yoga books take up a curious view of the mind in relation to
all these matters. It is expressed in a few verses of the Hatha-Yoga
Pradīpikā. "The mind is the lord of the senses; the breath is the lord
of the mind; and that depends on nāda." 17 "There is talk of laya,
laya, but what is its character? Laya is the non-arising of further
vāsanās, 18 and the forgetting of external things." 19 Some of the
minor Upanishads, such as the Muktika of the Shukla-Yajurveda, have a
similar idea.

Even so brief an account of these practices as this is would be
incomplete without mention of the mudrās, or physical practices, and
the nādas, or internal sounds. The mudrās, although in some cases
similar to the purifications, are intended for a different

p. 102

purpose—to obtain some delight or power, and to awaken kundalinī, for
it is held that the awakening can take place through āsanās
(postures), kumbhakas (holdings of the breath) and mudrās.

Though there are many mudrās, only ten are usually recommended. Among
the most popular ones intended to awaken kundalinī is that of
supporting the body on the palms of the hands and softly striking the
posteriors on the ground, which is also considered to remove wrinkles
and grey hair. In another, very highly recommended, the membrane under
the tongue is gradually cut ("one hair's breadth every seven days"),
and rubbed with salt and turmeric, so that the severed parts will not
join. The tongue is also gradually lengthened by a process resembling
milking, so that after six months the yogī can turn it upwards into
the cavity at the back of the palate, and thus, with the hole closed
and the breath suspended, contemplate kundalinī and "drink the nectar"
flowing there. Another physical method requires a sort of massage for
an hour and a half morning and evening, for up to forty-five days.
Still another requires the feet to be crossed behind the neck.

It must be mentioned that those rāja yogīs who do not approve of the
awakening of kundalinī by these external methods, nor even by
meditation upon it, nevertheless usually believe that kundalinī
naturally

p. 103

awakens and rises as a result of the purely internal meditations which
they practice. This takes place a little at a time so that there is no
strong feeling or pain in the body, as is often the case when it is
done by the hatha-yoga methods. The purifying and subliming effects of
the return journey through the chakra in all cases awakens some degree
of clairvoyance and similar powers, but what the yogī sees will depend
upon his state of mind, and even then the understanding of what he
sees will depend upon his evolutionary status. There is plenty of room
for error, inasmuch as his own thoughts and those of others may easily
be mistaken for objective realities, as in dreams.

Some of the books prescribe an "elephant mudrā," which is performed by
standing up to the neck in water, drinking it in through the nostrils,
sending it out through the mouth and then reversing the process. This
resembles the action of elephants in the pools and rivers, though they
use the trunk only, not the mouth.

Now we come to the nādas or sounds. The Shiva Sanhitā instructs the
yogī to close the ears with the thumbs, the eyes with the index
fingers, the nostrils with the middle fingers and the lips with the
remaining four fingers. After some practice, he will begin to hear the
mystic sounds. The first will be like the

p. 104

hum of a bee, then a flute and then a vīnā. With more practice there
comes the sound of bells, and afterwards thunder. The mind of the yogī
becomes absorbed in these sounds, and he forgets the external things
which could distract him. 20 These sounds are usually called anāhata,
or belonging to the heart center. According to the Hatha Yoga
Pradīpikā, when the ears, eyes, nose and mouth are closed, a clear
sound is heard—first like the tinkling of ornaments, and later like
kettle-drums; later still there is the sound of the flute and the
vīnā. In the middle stage there may be the sound of bells and horns.
The yogī must give his attention to the subtler sounds. The Nādabindu
Upanishad also gives much the same order of sounds as the Hatha Yoga
Pradīpikā, mentioning in stage one the sound of the sea, clouds,
waterfalls and kettledrums, in the second stage that of drums, bells
and horns, and thirdly, that of tinkling bells, flutes, vīnās and
bees. The Hansa Upanishad gives the order more in agreement with the
Shiva Sanhitā. First come soft chattering sounds, then that of the
bell, conch, lute, cymbals, flute, drum, double drum, and, lastly,
thunder. The nāda laya or "absorption

p. 105

through sound" is regarded as a great aid to concentration. 21

Samādhi, the highest practice of yoga, is conceived in a very material
manner in the hatha-yoga books. The idea is that the yogī in samādhi
is uninfluenced by anything external, because the senses have become
inactive, and he does not even know himself or others. Although the
Gheranda Sanhitā says that samādhi involves union of the individual
with the supreme Self (Parātman) so that "I am Brahma and no other;
Brahma am I, without any sorrows; I am of the nature of fundamental
existence, knowledge and bliss, always free and self -supporting," 22
it also prescribes, for the attainment of this, various mudrās or
physical practices, such as that of turning the tongue into the nasal
cavity and stopping the breath, 23 the theory being that all you need
to do is to cut off contact with this world, and the other state will
be there.

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