Sunday, October 3, 2010


Philosophy of Gorakhnath
INTRODUCTIONA Yogi and a Philosopher Both a Yogi and a Philosopher are seekers of the Absolute
Truth. But they differ in their modes of approach.

A philosopher advances in the path of rational logic and wants
to intellectually understand the Truth, whereas a Yogi advances
in the path of moral and psychical self-discipline and aspires
for spiritually realising the Truth. The conclusion of
philosophical speculation cannot rise above the status of an
intellectual theory ( Vdda), whereas yogic spiritual discipline is
expected to lead to direct supra-intellectual experience of the
Truth. No theory can satisfy all truth-seekers and the history
of the philosophical quest of the Absolute Truth is found to be
a history of continuous intellectual warfare among different
schools of philosophers. The Absolute is variously conceived
by various thinkers and they refute each other's views. The
Absolute Truth, which is the Soul of the universe and the Soul
of every individual being, unveils its true character to the
innermost illumined consciousness of a perfect Yogi in the
deepest supra-intellectual transcendent state of Samadhi.
This transcendent experience is distinct from normal or
abnormal subjective experience as well as from phenomenal
objective experience, but is not on that account a negation of
experience. The exact nature of this experience cannot be
intellectually conceived or defined; but it gives perfect
satisfaction to the truth-seeking consciousness. When a Yogi
returns from the illumined state of Samadhi to the normal plane
of phenomenal experience, the deep impression of his Samadhiexperience
exercises a wonderful enlightening influence upon his
normal mind and intellect and behaviour. The enlightened
Yogis become free from ail kinds of dogmatism and bigotry and
narrow outlook. They look upon all men and all affairs of the
world from a spiritual point of view and live in the world as
embodiments of the highest wisdom and universal love and
compassion. All the highest moral and spiritual ideals of the
human society originate from the enlightened Yogis. When
any Yogi, out of love for humanity, assumes the role of a
public teacher, he often finds it suitable to impart lessons to
truth-seekers in the form of a philosophical system, which he
regards as an effective mode of intellectual discipline.
CHAPTER I. Gorakhnath A Mahayogi. Pages 23-25.
Gorakhnath was an enlightened Mahayogi, and not a philosopher
in the commonly accepted meaning of the term. He did
not attach any primary importance to metaphysical speculations
and controversies as a means to the realisation of the Ultimate
Truth. But he considered them valuable as modes of intellectual
discipline and helpful in the path of search for Truth. He
adopted philosophical reflection as a part of the comprehensive
yogic self-discipline, which alone could lead to the perfect
illumination of consciousness and the transcendent experience
of the Absolute Truth. Gorakhnath and his Sampradaya have
a vast literature, but books dealing purely with metaphysical
problems are very few. All standard works are chiefly on
various processes of yoga. Books on yoga incidentally discuss
scientific and metaphysical topics. The ultimate basis of his
philosophy was his and other enlightened yogis' supramental
and supra-intellectual experience in the highest samddhi state.
He, though mainly an illustrious teacher of yoga, preached
along with it a system of philosophy which has a special place
among the philosophical systems of India
CHAPTER II. Literary Sources of his Philosophical Views. Pages 26-28.
Sanskrit works of Gorakhnath and his Guru Matsyendranath,
Upanishads dealing specially with yoga, other authoritative
treatises on yoga, and numerous old treatises in Bengali, Hindi,
Rajasthani, Napalese, Tibetan, and other regional languages,
based on the lives and teachings of Gorakhnath, Matsyendranath
and other Mahayogis of the Nath-yogi sect, give informations
about his views on the Absolute Truth and other
philosophical topics. Siddha-Siddhanta-Paddhati is an
important philosophical work of Gorakhnath. The present
thesis is mainly based on this book.
CHAPTER III. Contents of Siddha-Siddhanta-Paddhati. Pages 29-32.
The topics are discussed under six heads, called Upadesa
(lessons). The first lesson discusses Pinddtpatti (i.e. the origin of
the bodies, cosmic as well as individual) of the Absolute Spirit.
The second lesson is on Pinda-Vicara, i.e. deeper contemplation
on the constitution of the bodies. Nine Cakras, sixteen Adharas,
three Lakshyas and five Vyomas are explained from yogic viewpoint.
The third is on Pinda-Sambitti, i.e. true insight into the
spiritual nature of the bodies. It shows the essential identity of
individual bodies with Cosmic Body. The fourth is on Pindadhdra,
i.e. Container and Sustainer of the bodies. It shows how
all bodies are contained in and sustained by one Supreme
Spiritual Power (Saktl) of the Absolute Spirit. The fifth deals
with Samarasa-Karana, which is the supreme ideal of the life of
a yogi. The sixth describes the character of an Avadhuta, i.e. a
perfectly enlightened yogi.
CHAPTER IV. -Conception of the Ultimate Reality. Pages 33-37,
The basis of Gorakhnath's conception of the Ultimate Reality
is direct transcendent experience in the highest state of Samadhi.
Relation between direct experience and conception, Conception
is an affair of the intellect, necessitated for rational
interpretation and understanding of the contents of direct
experience. Being in the domain of theory, conception cannot
reach the certitude of the direct experience of the Absolute
Truth. An enlightened Mahayogi does not require any conception
for being sure .of the validity of his transcendent experience.
But he cannot but take the help of intellectual conception
to explain his experience to others. Gorakhnath asserts that
from the view-point of transcendent experience, in which the
Absolute Truth reveals Itself in Its perfect self-shining nature
and 'the individual consciousness is wholly identified with It,
there is no question of the origination of the cosmic order with
the plurality of individual existences, since they are all unified
in Its transcendent nature. Still for the satisfaction of the
rational demand of the people of the normal planes of
phenomenal experience, this world-process must have to be
accounted for from the nature of the Absolute Reality, and
accordingly an adequate intellectual conception of the Absolute
has to be formed. The transcendent experience of an enlightened
Mahayogi and the intellectual demand of a common man must
be linked together. Gorakhnath conceives the Ultimate Reality
accordingly as Para-Sambit with Nijd-Sakti^ Absolute Consciousness
or Absolute Spirit eternally possessed of infinite
unique Power for self-expression in the form of a boundless
phenomenal cosmic order evolving countless orders of finite and
transitory existences in time and space and also harmonising
them into one whole.
Unique Power as Sakti. The same Absolute Reality viewed as
the transcendent self-shining self-perfect differenceless and
changeless Spirit is Siva, and as revealing and enjoying Himself
freely and eternally in an ever-changing diversified phenomenal
cosmic order is Sakti. There is really no difference between Siva
and Sakti. In the ultimate samddhi-Qxperiencc in which the
cosmic plurality is merged in absolute unity He is realised in
His transcendent aspect as Siva9 (His !0&//-aspect being hidden
in Him), and in the enlightened phenomenal experience in
which the cosmic plurality appears as an objective reality He is
realised in His self- manifesting dynamic aspect as Sakti. The
two aspects are in eternal union. Hence Siva and Sakti are
popularly conceived as eternally wedded to and in loving
embrace with each other. Siva is conceived as Saktimdn.
Accordingly Siva is regarded as the Father and Sakti as the
Mother of the universe, though there is no difference between
the Father and the Mother and there is no question of gender
in the nature of the Spirit. The Divine Sakti, as conceived by
Gorakhnath and Siddha-yogis, is neither the non-spiritual nonself-
conscious Prakriti of Sankhya, nor the illusion-producing
inexplicable Maya of Adwaita-Vedanta, nor the Sakti distinct
from but possessed and governed by the Supreme Spirit, as
conceived by many dualistic bhakti schools. She is Sat Cid->
Ananda-mayee Mahdsakti, i.e. self-manifesting self-diversifying
all-harmonising all-unifying ever-active Dynamic Sat Cid~
Ananda. The cosmic system is conceived, not as Cid-Vivarta,
but as Cid-Vilasa. The Sakti is conceived, not as dvaranavikshepdtmikd,
but as Prakdsa-Vimarsdtmikd. Gorakhnath and
his school teach the truth-seekers to appreciate the world as
CM- Vilasa, as Saundarya-lahari, as Ananda-lahari, and not to
renounce it out of disgust or to think of it as an evil. Renunciation
has to be practised for the pucpose of the realisation of the
Ideal of Absolute Sivahood in his Divine World.
CHAPTER Vm Gradual Unfoldment of Sakti. Pages 7587
Gorakhnath and his school are upholders of Sat-Kdrya-VQda.
They accordingly hold that before creation the whole world
of effects exists in an absolutely unmanifested and undifferentiated
state in the nature of the Unique Power of Siva and
that destruction or dissolution consists in the merging of all
the diversities in the absolute unity of the same Power (Sakti).
Creation or origination of the cosmic system is thus regarded
as the gradual unfoldment of Siva's inherent Sakti, which is
essentially non-different from Siva. The temporal process of
creation and dissolution, of evolution and involution, has no
absolute beginning or end in time. The Ultimate Cause and
Ground and Support of this temporally eternal process of
creation and continuity and dissolution, constituting the cosmic
order, must be some supra-temporal self-existent Reality
having the Power for such self-expression in a temporal
order, and this is the Absolute Spirit or Siva with His Sakti.
The unique causal relation between the supra-temporal changeless
transcendent Spirit or Siva and the temporal ever-changing
phenomenal world-order is conceived by Gorakhnath and
the Siddha-yogi Sampradaya as Cid- Vilasa or iva-$akti- Vildsa,
which means perfectly free and delightful sportive self-manifestation
of the Transcendent Spirit in the phenomenal plane.
This is of the nature of a free play and self-enjoyment of one
self-fulfilled perfect Spirit in the forms of countless orders of
imperfect phenomenal existences evolved from His own Sakti.
Gorakhnath's Siva-akti-Vilasa-Vdda or Cid-Vildsa-Vada is
distinguished from Arambha-Vdda, Parindma-Vdda as well as
Vivarta-Vdda. Vedanta's Maya is given a more exalted
position by Yogis, who conceive Maya as Mahd-Mdyd or Yoga-
Mdyd or real Cit-Sakti of Brahma or Siva, the real Mother
of the real cosmic order, and as such an Object of adoration
to all individuals. The self-unfoldment of Divine Sakti is
perfectly free and delightful. Sakti's self-unfoldment is
described as through five stages, Nijd, Pard, Apard, Sukshmd,
Kundalini. Gorakhnath attempts to give an idea of each of
these stages. Kundalinl-Sakti unfolds Herself as the glorious
Mother of the unlimited spatio-temporal cosmic order and all
kinds of individuals and classes within it. She is also present
as the sleeping spiritual Power in every individual body.
CHAPTER IX-Self-Manifestation of
Siva As Cosmic Furusha. Pages 88 99
The gradual self-unfoldment of Sakti within the spiritual
transcendent nature of the Absolute Spirit, Siva, gives birth
to the Supreme Spiritual Body of Siva, called Parapinda
The birth of Parapinda means the self-manifestation of the
Absolute Spirit as the Supreme Individual Parama Purusha
with the full consciousness of all His eternal infinite glorious
powers and attributes. The Supra-personal Spirit becomes
a perfectly self-conscious Personality, Brahma becomes ISwara.,
Reference to the difference of Gorakhnath's view from
Patanjali's view of ISwara. The significance of the term Pinda.
Pinda means an organised whole, a unity of diversities.
Gorakhnath attaches special importance to the term, in order
to show that all our conceptions of concrete realities in all
the planes of our knowledge and thought involve the idea of
unity of diversities. Accordingly even in the highest plane of
Spiritual Reality he rejects Pure Non-Dualism of the extreme
Adwaita-Vadis as well as Pure Dualism of extreme Dwaita-
Vddis and Pure- Pluralism of Vahu-Paddrtha- Vddis. In the
lowest physical plane also he rejects the doctrine of the
plurality of unrelated material units or paramanu* integrated
and disintegrated by external causes. The whole universe is
conceived by him as one organism consisting of countless
orders of organisms, one Samasti-Pinda consisting of innumerable
Vyasti-Pindas. This universe is the self-embodiment
of the Absolute Spirit, Siva, by virtue of the Gradual selfunfoldment
of His Sakti.
Gorakhnath describes the Para-Pinda of Siva as consisting
of five forms of spiritual consciousness, all shining at the
same time without overshadowing each other in His allcomprehensive
Divine consciousness; viz. Aparamparam,
Paramapadam, Sunyam, Niranjanam, Paramatma. These are
explained in terms of psychological concepts. This Para-Pinda is
also called Anddi-Pinda as well as Adi-Pinda, implying that this
Divine Individuality is without any origination and without
any Higher Source of existence and that this is the Supreme
Source of all other Pindas or individual existences. Anadi-
Pinda is described as having the characters of Paramdnandat
Prabodha, Cid-udaya, Prakasa, Sohambhdva. Thus the Absolute
Spirit, by virtue of the unfoldment of His immanent Sakti in
the transcendental plane, reveals Himself as a magnificently
glorified self-conscious self-active omnipotent omniscient
playful Divine Personality embodied with an ideal universe.
This Adi-Pinda is the eternal link and meeting-ground between
the transcendent and the phenomenal planes of existence,
between the Transcendent Spirit and His phenomenal cosmic
CHAPTER X Evolution Of The Cosmic Body Of Siva. Pages 100114
Having described the nature of Para-Pinda or Adya-Pinda in
the supra-physical plane, Gorakhnath exposes the evolution of
the physical world-system from this Adya-Pinda. Siva as
Adya-Pinda, the Cosmic Purusha, evolves from within Himself,
through the further self-unfoldment of His Sakti, a Physical
Cosmic Body, extending in space and changing in time, and
makes it an integral part of His all-comprehending and allenjoying
Self-Consciousness. The universe, which was ideally
real in the nature of Adya-Pinda, becomes physically and
objectively real as theCosmic Body of Siva, and this Body is
called Mahd-Sdkdra-Pinda. Siva with His infinite and eternal
Maha-Sakti is seen by a Mahayogi as immanent in and revealing
Himself through all the diversities of this physical order.
A Mahayogi looks upon and loves this world as the sacred
Divine Body.
From Adya-Pinda evolves Mahd-Akasa, from Mdhd-
Akdsd evolves Mahd-Vdyu, from Mahd-Vayu evolves Mahd
Tejas, from Mahd-Tejas evolves Mahd-Salila, from Mahd"
Salila Mahd-Prithm. These five Tattwas (Basic Elements) are
gradual stages of self-unfoldment of the Divine Sakti in more
and more complex physical forms and they are all organised
by the same Sakti into an unlimited and ever-continuous
physical embodiment of Siva. The distinctive characteristics
of each of these physical Tattwas (generally called Mahd-
Bhutas) are described in details. General reflections are made
with reference to the different schools of Indian philosophy
on the relation of the basic physical elements of the universe
of our experience to the Ultimate Reality or the Absolute
Spirit. Ace. To Gorakhnath and the Siddha-Yogis, this
Physical Cosmic Body is the grossest and most complicated
and diversified form of free self-manifestation of the Absolute
Spirit through the gradual self-unfoldment of His infinite and
eternal Spiritual Power, and hence it is essentially a spiritual
entity. In relation to this Cosmic Order the Supreme Spirit
reveals Himself principally in the forms of eight Divine
Personalities, Which are called Ashta-Murti of Mahd-Sdkdra-
Pinda Sivaviz. Siva, Bhairava> Srikantha, SaddSiva, Iswara,
Rudra, Vishnu and Brahma.
CHAPTER XI Evolution of A System of
Worlds In The Cosmic Body. Pages 115128
In the Cosmic Body of Siva various orders of phenomenal
existences are gradually evolved, and these are conceived as
distinct interrelated worlds or Lokas. First, there is the
world of material bodies and physical forces, governed by
what are known as natural laws. This is Ja$a-Jagat. Secondly,
there is the world of Life and Vital Forces, governed by
biological laws. This is Prdna-Jagat. Life and vital forces
are embodied with and manifested through material bodies,
but life transcends matter and exerts regulative influence upon
its phenomena. Thirdly, there is the world of Mind, Mano-
Jagat. All phenomena of empirical consciousness are expressions
of mind. Mental phenomena are manifested through living
physical bodies, but Mind transcends Matter and Life and uses
them as its instruments Mind and Body are found to act and
react upon each other, but Mind does not occupy any special
part of the physical body nor does it die with the death of the
physical body. Mind has a higher order of reality than
Matter and Life, being a higher self-expression of the
Supreme Spirit. Fourthly, there is the world of Reason or
Intelligence, Buddhi. Buddhi is higher than Mind, and it is
manifested in the acts of discriminating between valid and
invalid knowledge, correct and incorrect thought, and in the
urge for the attainment of truth. Buddhi exercises a regulative
and enlightening influence upon Mind. Cosmic Buddhi
with Cosmic Manas and Cosmic Prdna is all-pervading.
Fifthly, there is a still higher world, the world of Moral
Consciousness, the world of Dharma. Dharma is revealed in
the form of some Ideal of goodness or righteousness or moral
perfection, having the inherent claim to regulate and elevate
all natural phenomena of matter and life and mind and
reason towards the Ideal. Dharma governs the course of
evolution in this Cosmic Body of Siva. Though Dharma is allpervading
and underlies jail spheres of phenomenal existences,
it is specially manifested in the Moral Consciousness of man.
Sixthly, there is the world of Rasa, Aesthetic Order. This
is specially revealed to the Aesthetic Consciousness of man, to
which the whole universe is a universe of Beauty. Seventhly,
there is the world of Bliss, Ananda. Ananda is the real and
eternal nature of the Supreme Spirit and it underlies all selfmanifestations
of the Spirit. To different orders of phenomenal
consciousnesses different orders of existences are
revealed. The infinite richness of fifaha-Sakara-Pinda is
unfathomable. Every world has ddhyatmika, adhidaivika and
adhibhoutika aspects*
CHAPTER XII The Evolution of Individual Bodies in
The Cosmic Body. Pages 129138
Recapitulation of the foregoing discourses, indicating the way
of philosophical thinking of Siddha-Yogis. The conceptions of
the eight Divine Cosmic Personalities further explained. With
the evolution of the eight Divine Personalities and their
respective planes of consciousnesses and existences, the constitution
of Maha-Sakdra-Pinda (Cosmic Body) of Siva-Sakti
is complete, so far as the Universal Cosmic Principles are
concerned. The plane of Brahma is the lowest and grossest
of all and is most closely related to the gross world of our
sensuous experience. Gorakhnath traces the evolution of the
individual existences and consciousnesses of this world from
the Conscious Will (Avalokana) of Brahma. This Conscious
Will is manifested in the form of Prakriti-Pinda, from which
all individual bodies ( Vyasti-Pindas) are evolved. Every
individual body is a particularised manifestation of Prakritl-
Pinda and ultimately of the Cosmic Body of Siva. Gorakhnath
is particularly interested in the study of the constitution of
the individual human body. In the human body all the external
and internal organs of an individual body are fully evolved,
and also life and mind and reason and moral consciousness
and aesthetic consciousness are fully manifested in individualised
forms. The human body is realised as an epitome of the
entire Cosmic Body of Siva. It is in and through the human
body that the Divine Sakti, Who in the process of cosmic
self-manifestation comes down from the highest transcendent
spiritual plane of absolute unity and bliss step by *ep to the
lowest phenomenal material plane of endless diversities and
imperfections, ascends again by means of self-conscious processes
of Yoga and Jnana and Bhakti to the transcendent spiritual
plane and becomes perfectly and blissfully united with
the Supreme Spirit, Siva. Man with his developed individuality
can experience Siva as his own true Soul as well as the true
Soul of the universe.
CHAPTER XIII The Constitution of Individual Body. Pages 139-168
From the standpoint of yogtc discipline, Gorakhnath conceives
the human body as consisting of (1) the gross material body
called Bhiita-Pmda(2)(hQ mental body described as Antafi-karana-
Pancaka, (3) Kula-pancaka, (4) Vyaktipancaka% (5) Pratyaksha*
karana-pancaka, (6) Nddi-samsthdna, and (7) Daa-Vdyu. The
Bhuta-pinda is constituted of the five gross physical elements,
purposefully organised by the Creative Will of Brahma with
life-power and mind-power immanent in the organism and
regulating ideologically the functions of its various organs.
The conceptions of wholes and parts and their relations are
discussed from the view-point of yogic Sat-kdrya-vada.
Gradual evolution of parts within parts from the Cosmic
Whole leads to the organisation of the amazingly diverse parts
of individual bodies of various orders and kinds. The individual
minds are individualised self-manifestations of the
Cosmic Mind in relation to and apparent dependence upon
individual living bodies. The individual lives also are individualised
self-manifestations of the Cosmic Life. Every individual
human mind is manifested in five forms according to
functions, viz. Manas, BuddM, Ahankdra, Chitta and Caitanya.
The functions of each are explained. Kula is here
interpreted by Gorakhnath as the forces which exercise their
directive influence from behind the scene upon the psychophysical
phenomena and give special inclinations and aptitudes
to them It is conceived as of five forms, viz. Sattwa, Rajas,
Tamas, Kdla and Jeeva. These are explained. Vyakti pancaka
refer to the five forms of self-expression of the individual
mind and they are classified as Icchd, Kriyd, Mdyd, Prakriti
and Vdk. The various subdivisions of each are described,
The forms of Vdk, viz. Pard, Pasyanti, Madhyamd, Vaikharl
and Mdtrikd, are discussed. By pratyaksha-Karana Gorakhnath
indicates the efficient and material causes which practically
contribute to the maintenance and development and also
renewal of \he indvidual body. He enumerates then as, Kama,
Karma, Candra, Surya and Agni. Their characteristics and
influences are discussed. The knowledge of Nddi-Samsthdna
or the nervous system is of great importance to yogis. Of
countless Nddis, ten are specially mentioned. Of these, three
are highly important, viz. Ida, Pingald and Sushunmd.
Sushumnd is the most important from yogic view-point.
Vdyu-Samsthdna also Is of special importance from yogic
view-point. Vdyu or Prdna-Sakti is essentially one, but it is
conceived as tenfold, ace. to different functions it performs in
different parts of the living organism. Of the tenfold Vayu,
Prdna and Apdna are of special importance for yogic discipline.
In this connection the nature and inner significance
of breath are discussed and Ajapa-Gdyatri is explained.
CHAPTER XIV The Esoteric Aspects Of The Body. Pages 169194
For the purpose of attaining true enlightenment about the
inner nature of the sacred human body, Gorakhnath regards
it essential to acquire insight into nine cakras, sixteen adharast
three lakshyas, five vyomans. The nine cakras are conceived
as different stations in the central Sushumna-Nadi, which is
called Brahma-Mdrga. These are centres of psycho-vital forces
and indicate different planes of esoteric experience in the path
of yogic discipline. They are like wheels and whirls in the
path of spiritual progress, and they act sometimes as hurdles
and often as revolutionary steps in the path.
Cakras are enumerated by Gorakhnath somewhere as nine and
somewhere as seven (including the highest, Sahasrara). The
special features of these Cakras are described at some length.
The underlying conception is that, Kundalini'Sakti, the
Supreme Divine Power, lies sleeping like a coiled serpent in
the lowest Mulddhara Cakra of every human body, becomes
awakened with the awakenment of the spiritual consciousness
of every individual, rises step by step through yogic discipline to
higher and higher Cakras (higher and higher planes of spiritual
illumination), blesses individual consciousness with various
kinds of occult experiences and miraculous powers in the
particular Cakras, and finally ascends to the highest Cakra,
the plane of the perfect blissful union of Sakti with Siva or
Brahma, in which the individual consciousness becomes
absolutely united with Universal Consciousness, the Absolute
After describing the Cakras9 Gorakhnath describes what he
calls Adharas and for the students of Yoga he enumerates
them as sixteen. By Adharas he refers to the principal seats
of the vital and psychical functions, which have to be brought
under control and then transcended by means of appropriate
methods of yogic discipline. Having given lessons on the
sixteen Adharas, Gorakhnath imparts instruction on the three
kinds of Lakshyas% internal and external and non-located.
Lakshya means an object upon which a yogi should fix his
attention temporarily for practising concentration of psychovital
energy with the ultimate view of elevating it to the
highest spiritual plane. Lastly, Gorakhnath gives lessons on
Vyoma or Akdia or Sunya, which, though really one, he
enumerates as five for the sake of the practice of concentration.
CHAPTER XV The Cosmos In The Individual Body. Pages 195-205
In the view of enlightened yogis there is no pure and simple
matter, as conceived by scientists, anywhere in the universe.
Even Akdsa, which is the ultimate form of matter and which
appears as pure contentless space or void, evolves from and
is ensouled by the Supreme Spirit with infinite Power immanent
in His nature. Through the Power's gradual self-unfoldment
the other Mahabhutas with specific characteristics
emerge from it and they are all ensouled by the Spirit. In the
course of this evolution, individual material bodies with
apparently distinctive existences and characteristics emerge in
the Cosmic Body of the Spirit, and life and mind and intellect
are found to be gradually evolved in individual forms in
relation to individual physical bodies, in which the character
of the Spirit is more and more brilliantly reflected. Every individual
body with life, mind, etc. is thus a self-manifestation
and self-embodiment of the Supreme Spirit, Siva. All causal
activities of all material things and all processes of evolution
and emergence of apparently newer and newer and higher and
higher orders of realities in the universe are governed by the
free Creative Will-Power inherent in the essential nature of
the Absolute Spirit. The Spirit is revealed as the material
cosmic system.
As a yogi draws upward in a systematic way his psycho-vital
energy to higher and higher adharas and cakras and concentrates
his consciousness upon deeper truths unveiled therein,
the individual body is gradually realised as liberated from the
grossness and impurity and spatio-temporal limitations and
imperfections of its normal material nature and hence as a
true spiritual entity. When the consciousness is adequately
refined and illumined, the whole is experienced in every part,
the entire cosmic system is experienced in every individual
body, Maha-Sdkara-Pinda is realised in Vyasti-Pinda. This
realisation of the Cosmic Body in the individual body is called
by Oorakhnath the true knowledge of the body (Pinda-
Sambitti). For training the intellect of truth-seekers Gorakhnath
describes the location of all the worlds in the Cosmic
Order within distinctive parts of the individual body.
CHAPTER XVI Individual Souls. Pages 206223
The individual soul and the individual body are both phenomenal
self-manifestations of the transcendent Supreme Spirit.
The soul is evidently a spiritual manifestation, and the body is
a physical manifestation. The body appears as a finite changing
composite material entity, while the soul appears as a
simple self-luminous entity without any spatio-temporal characteristics
and limitations and changes. The soul does not
occupy any special portion of the body, but gives unity to the
whole body and is realisable in every part of it. The soul is
the master of the body, and all the operations of all the
organs of the body revolve round the soul as their dynamic
centre. The soul is distinguished not only from the physical
body, but also from life, mind, ego, intellect, moral and
aesthetic consciousness, and even spiritual consciousness. It is
self-luminous witness to them, the innermost dynamic centre of
all their operations, and it realises and enjoys itself in and
through them. The individual soul is ultimately one with Siva,
the Supreme Spirit, Who in His phenomenal cosmic play
freely enjoys Himself as the plurality of individual souls in
relation to the various orders of individual bodies.
The souls are not really touched by the joys and sorrows and
bondages and limitations and changes of the respective individual
bodies. So long as Avidyd or Ignorance prevails over
the phenomenal consciousness, these are falsely attributed
to the souls. Discussion on the conception of Vldyd and
Avidyd from the view point of Siddha-Yogis, Vidya and
Avidyd are two-fold aspects of the phenomenal manifestation
of the Swatantrd Nijd Sakti (Free Unique Power) of Siva
(Absolute Spirit). Gorakhnath and the yogi school more
often use the terms Prakdsa and Vimarsa in place of Vidya
and Avidyd. The significance of these terms is discussed. In
this universe of phenomenal self-manifestations of the Absolute
Spirit, His Prakdsa-Sakti and Vimarsa-Sakti are apparently
conditioned and limited by each other, and the Soul as manifested
in each individual body appears to be conditioned and
limited by the nature and limitations of the body. It is the
Supreme Spirit Who reveals Himself as individual souls. The
Absolute, .while manifesting and experiencing Himself freely
and playfully under limitations of all kinds of forms, remains
eternally in His own true Self as the One Transcendent Spirit.
The problems of Evil, Sorrow, Sin, Warfare, etc. are discussed
and solved from this view-point.
CHAPTER XVII~-The Supreme Ideal Of Life. Pages 224250
From the earliest age of Hindu spiritual culture, Moksha or
Mukti is generally accepted as the Supreme Ideal (Parama
Purushartha) of human life. It is commonly understood in the
rather negative sense of perfect and absolute deliverance from
the present earthly state of existence subject to sorrows and
bondages and imperfections. Many schools of philosophers
and spiritual aspirants lay special emphasis upon Sorrow
which is the most universal and the most undesirable fact of
human experience and conceive absolute cessation of sorrow
as the ultimate Ideal of all human endeavours. The significance
of Sorrow is discussed. All Hindu saints and sages
proclaim the possibility of the absolute conquest of Sorrow,
not by means x>f external contrivances and changes of physical
conditions, but by means of internal self-discipline
and self-enlightenment. Perfect self-enlightenment really
consists in the elevation of empirical consciousness to the
transcendent spiritual plane, and the experience of this plane
can not be exactly and adequately described in terms of
intellectual concepts. Attempts at such description lead to
different religio-philosophical views about Moksha. The transcendent
experience is often described negatively as absolute
cessation of Sorrow and positively as the attainment of
Ananda or perfect Bliss. Discussion of Mahayogj Buddha's
conception of Nirvana, and his doctrine of the suppression of
all desires and universal sympathy as the means to it. Discussion
on the conception of Atma, on which all Hindu schools
of philosophy lay special stress. The realisation of Atma or
the true Self is conceived as the real nature of transcendent
experience and the essential nature of Moksha. Discussion on
Jlvanmukti and Videha-inukti. The nature of Atma after
absolute disembodiment is a puzzling problem, on which even
the greatest saint-philosophers are found to differ. Views of
Buddha, Kapila, Patanjali, Gautama, Kanada, are briefly
mentioned. Discussion of the Upanishadic and Vedantic view
of the realisation of the identity of the individual Atma with
the Absolute Spirit, Brahma, as the Ultimate Ideal. Gorakhnath
agrees with this view, though he denies the illusoriness of
tlie Cosmic Order and of the individual AtmS, Reference to
the Bhakti schools. Ace. to Gorakhnatb, the perfect realisation
of Sivahood or Brahmahood by the individual soul through
yoga is the Supreme Ideal. Gorakhnath's grand conception of
Samarasa-karana and his conception of the true character of
a Natha or Avadhuta are explained. A Ndtha not only realises
the identity of himself and all existences with Siva or Brahma
and experiences the whole universe within himself, but also
becomes a complete master of all physical forces in the
CHAPTER XVm The Evolution of Hindu Spiritual
Culture. (I) Pages 251280
Vedas the basis of Hindu spiritual thought. Some fundamental
Vedic Truths, that this world-order is essentially a spiritual
and moral and aesthetic system, that all phenomena
of all planes of existences are governed by Universal and
Inviolable Moral and Aesthetic and Spiritual Principles, that
the Cosmic System is not only an ddhibhoutic, but also an
ddhidaivic and ddhydtmic system, that in the scheme of the
universe man as a self-conscious intellectual and moral and
spiritual being endowed with a highly developed physical body
occupies a unique position. The Vedas unveiled the inner
secrets of the order of the universe and human nature and
showed the way to the solution of the most fundamental problems
which are puzzling to the greatest intellectualists of all
ages. The principal modes of discipline taught by Vedas for
elevating man to higher planes, of existence and consciousness
till the highest spiritual plane is reached, the cultivation of the
spirit of Yajha in practical life, the cultivation of devotional
sentiments and spirit of worship to the Supreme Spirit as
revealed in this wonderful Cosmic System, the cultivation of
Renunciation and Tattwa-Jndna and Yoga. The wide-spread
influence of Vedas upon the practical life of the Aryans.
Controversies on the true interpretation of Vedic Texts,
interpretation from the view-point of Karma> from the viewpoint
of Jndna and Yoga, from the view-point of Updsana or
Devotion. In the period of progressive expansion and consolidation
of the Aryan society people were naturally more
interested in a philosophy of action than in a philosophy of
renunciation or emotional devotion, and hence the interpretation
from the view-point of Karma prevailed in the society.
The view-point of Jfi&na and Yoga and Vairdgya also steadily
developed and found expression in the Upanishads and the
Agamas* Kapila, the founder of Sdnkhya-darfana, was the
independent rationalist philosopher, who constructed
developed and found expression in the Upanishads and the
Agamas* Kapila, the founder of Sdnkhya-darfana, was the
independent rationalist philosopher, who constructed a complete
philosophical system for the explanation of the worldorder
and added great strength to the view-point of Jndna and
Yoga. A brief account of the Sdnkhya-darsana of Kapila and
its contribution to the development of Hindu spiritual thought.
The development and spread of the view-point of Updsand and
Bhakti through a good many sects and sub-sects, along with
the development and spread of Pravritti-Marga and Nivritti-
CHAPTER XIX The Evolution of Hindu Spiritual
Culture. (II) Pages 281320
With the progress of Hindu spiritual culture, a psychological,
social, moral and spiritual necessity was more and more keenly
felt for rational synthesis and harmony of Karma Jndna Yoga
and Bhakti, and various attempts were made by eminent
thought-leaders. The most successful attempt was made by
Lord Sri Krishna in His wonderfully eventful life and specially
in the Bhagavat-Glta. Sri Krishna was the truest representative
of the Spirit of the Vedic Revelation, and was adored as a
veritable Incarnation of the Supreme Spirit in human form.
His Gfta was hailed as Brahma-Vidyd> Yoga-Sdstra, Bhakti-
Sastra, as well as Karma Sdstra, and as the most profound
interpretation of the essential teachings of the Vedas. It gave
the most enlightened conception of Yajna, Yoga, Jndna, Karma,
Tydga, Sannydsa, Updsand, and Moksha, and taught the Art
of the thorough spiritualisation of the entire life of a man.
Sri Krishna laid far greater emphasis upon the inner spirit
than upon the outer forms of religious practices and opened
the door of Yoga and Jndna and Bhakti and God-realisation
to men and women of all grades of the society and of all sorts
of occupations in practical life. In His philosophical view
also He sought to assimilate all the important schools of
thought. He conveyed to humanity another great message of
hope and strength, viz. Incarnation of God on earth at
critical times as a mark of His love and mercy for man.
The credit for propagating the teachings of the Vedas and the
message of Lord Sri Krishna in the most popular and liberal
forms to all sections of people and building up the structure of
ooe universal Hinduism goes pre-eminently to Krishna Dwai(
pftyana Vyflsa and his disciples. He compiled and rearranged
all the available Vedic Texts with their varied interpretations,
preached the Upanishads as constituting the essence of the
Vedas, composed the great national Epic, Mahabhdrata,
founded the school of Veddnta-Dar&ana, and initiated the
composition and propagation of the Purdnas. These together
with the other great national Epic, Valmtki's Rdmayana,
exercised a powerful influence upon the development and
popularisation of Hindu spiritual culture and the permanent
unification of this vast sub-continent.
More than a thousand years after Sri Krishna and Vy3sa,
Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavira, both of whom were
Mahdyogis and followed practically the Nivritti-Mdrga of the
Vedas, initiated two powerful ethico-spiritual movements,
which led to the creation of Buddhism and Jainism within
the fold of Hinduism. They really preached the ancient Yoga-
Mdrga with special emphasis on renunciation, universal
sympathy and compassion and purity of ethical conduct, and
particularly on the principle of Ahimsd. Their special contributions
to Hindu spiritual culture and the causes of their
conflict with the orthodox Hindu community are briefly
A few centuries later, KumSrila, Sankara and Gorakhnath
appeared as very powerful exponents of Vedic Karma-Mdrga,
Jndna-Mdrga and Yoga-Mdrga respectively, and their contributions
to the restoration and consolidation of the moral,
spiritual and cultural unity of the vast country on the basis of
the Vedic outlook on life and the world are most remarkable.
The special features of their contributions are briefly expounded.
While Kumarila strongly defended Vedic Hinduism
against the attacks of Buddhism and Jainism, Sankara and
Gorakhnath contributed greatly to their assimilation with
In the Middle Ages, while the different interrelated currents of
Vedic spiritual culture continued to flow on, the Bhakti-cult
or Updsana-Mdrga got a great impetus from the life and
teachings of a good number of Bhakta-saints with high
spiritual attainments and magnetic personal influences born in
different provinces. A good many Updsaka Sampraddyas,
Saiva, Sdkta, Vaishna\a> Rdmdyata, etc., worshipping the same
Supreme Spirit in different Divine Names, in different visible
and tangible Forms and in different methods, developed at
this age throughout the country. Image-worship and Pilgrimage
became very popular. Islam came and made a permanent
place .for itself in India at this period.
Hinduism, as it took shape and form in the middle age, continues
without much substantial change in the present age,
though it had to meet the challenge of the invasion of the
materialistic culture and civilisation of the West and had to
adjust itself with new situations. The**contributions of the
modern saints, and particularly of Ramkrishna and Vivekananda,
are most remarkable. These are briefly referred to.
Dealing with the long chronicle of Indian Philosophy and thought,
one cannot but realise that our country has been fortunate, from time to
time, in having given birth to Sages and Yogis who have interpreted and
re-interpreted the primeval message contained in the Vedas, the Puranas
and the Prasthanatraya, and added to by successive Seers according to
the needs and circumstances of the times.
This volume contains the essence of the writings and teachings of
Mahayogi Gorakhnath. It is well pointed out that while the ultimate
object of search is the same for a Yogi and a philosopher, their modes
of approach are different, the latter's being intellectual and the former's
intuitive and spiritual. The task of a Yogi does not require any subtle
intellectual speculation or the framing of hypotheses and theories. The
quest of the Yogi is direct spiritual experience of truth on a high plane,
of consciousness. The highest state of Samadhi attained by the Yogi is
neither purely subjective nor objective. It transcends both categories and
it is really an integrated experience beyond formal description. Such a
transcendent state of consciousness is alone called Samadhi. This book
analyses in detail the nature of Samadhi Experience. The term
"Experience" is perhaps inaccurate, because in this state of Samadhi,
there is no relation between subject and object, the experiencer and the
experienced. It is the fulfilment of life as described in the Yogasutras.
The Yogi who comes back from Samadhi may not have attained Kaivalya
or Moksha, but he is illuminated by his experience. If he assumes the
role of a teacher or preacher, he gives expression ta his experience in
such forms as may be easily intelligible to the people at large. Gorakhnath
was a MahS-Yogi. He did not indulge in controversial metaphysics.
As pointed out in this book, the Sampradaya associated with the name of
Gorakhnath is embodied in a great body of literature in Sanskrit and
other languages. It is further stated that the Metaphysical doctrine
which Gorakhnath preached and the discipline of his Yoga rested upon
his experience which lay beyond the domain of mind and intellect.
Chapter II of the book deals with the sources of the Sage's
philosophical views and this volume is mainly based upon the Siddha
Siddhftnta Paddhati. This book is written partly in the form of Sutras or
aphorisms and partly in the form of discourses and seeks to
explain the philosophy and yoga-discipline of the Siddha
Sampradaya. In the introductory verse, the name of Siva is
invoked as the greatest of Yogis and Gorakhnath (also called by
the names of Srinath and Nityanath) discusses various philosophical
topics under several heads called UpadeSas or lessons. His
theory is that the Supreme Spirit, though essentially above time and
space, manifests itself as a diversified Universe in the form of countless
orders of individual bodies and also as the Indwelling Soul. The various
Yogic centres in the physical form and other aspects of the Yoga
Philosophy are elucidated and it is shown how the human body can be
spiritualised and obtain Kaya Siddhi./ The discussion then proceeds to
identify the individual body with the cosmic body and thereafter, the
function of Sakti or the Supreme Spiritual Power is explained and
expounded. The Unification of the individual body with the cosmic body
and the process by which it is achieved is then dealt with and finally, the
conduct, behaviour and outlook of the Avadhuta Yogi are recounted. The
conception of Ultimate Reality is perfected by Super-conscious experience
and a whole chapter is devoted to what is termed Para-Sambit. A most
suggestive account is given in this book of the manifestation of the
power of the Supreme Spirit and the development of the cosmic system.
Chapter XI deals with the evolution of world systems, including in
this expression, not only the world of animal bodies and manifestations,
but the world of mind, the world of reason or Buddhi and the world of
Dharma or moral order, which is described as a special manifestation in
the moral consciousness. It is then explained how the Absolute Spirit
seems to hide its essential character behind phenomenon. Through the
VimarSa Sakti of the Supreme Spirit, various forms of knowledge, wisdom,
desire, actions and feelings emerge. In fact, the problems of the existence
of evil can be solved only by a complete realisation of the Vedic maxim
An outline of Lord Buddha's teachings as well as of the Sankhya
system forms an important part of the book. Discussion then turns on the
philosophy of action as compared and contrasted with the philosophy of
renunciation (namely, Pravrttimarga, Nivrttmarga and Bhakti marga).
Discussions on the Sankbya Darsana of Kapila, the doctrine of cycles and
the explanation of the various Gunas form the subject of a complete chain
of arguments. The significance of the Bhagavat Gita, from the point of
view above stated, is followed by a general disquisition on the works of
Vyasa, Valmiki and the Puranakartas. The Siva-Sakti-Vada and the
Brahma-Sakti-Vada end up with the assertion that the Supreme Spirit may
be conceived and represented in the form of a Divine Couple associated
by union. In other words, Brahman is one in two and two in one, the
dynamic aspect of the Absolute Spirit being represented by Sakti. The
description of the Aspects of Narayana and Lakshmi, Krishna and Radha,
Ram and Sita and the process of worship of various names and forms
of Siva and Sakti end up with a full discussion of the objectives and
rationale of image worship.
The last Chapter of the book deals with Modern Hinduism and the
impact on Modern India of Western culture and ideas. It is emphasised
that a comprehensive synthesis of Karma, Jfiana, Yoga and Bhakti are
essential, as well as the implementation of the harmony of religious faiths
and the recognition of the spiritual efficacy of all modes of discipline
following upon the discovery of the underlying unity of all forms of true
This volume is the result of profound research and contains a
closely-reasoned and logically-constructed analysis of Bhakti Yoga which
is not irreconcilable and can be coordinated with the Yoga of wisdom
An attempt has been made in the following pages to present a systematic
and consistent account of the philosophical background of the
spiritual culture associated with the names of Yogi Goraksha NSth and
other adepts of the Natha Brotherhood. The account is mainly based on
an original Sanskrit Text of the school attributed to Goraksha Nath or
Nitya Nath. It is difficult to say how far this account reflects the actual
teachings of Goraksha Nath, but it is believed that it faithfully records
some of the traditional views of the school. I congratulate the author on
the great ability with which he has accomplished his self-imposed task, a
task which is difficult not only for the great depth of Yogic wisdom
implied in the teachings, but also for the great paucity of necessary
The writer has said almost everything worth knowing for a beginner
in regard to the philosophical outlook of Ndthism. The Ultimate Reality
Brahman and Para-Samvit; the inter-relation of Siva and Sakti; the
gradual unfoldment of the Supreme akti and the origin of the universe
consisting of an infinite series of world-systems; the appearance of the
individual souls and their relation to the Cosmic Purusha; the Supreme
ideal of human life; the relation between macrocosm and microcosm; the
Universe Body of the Transcendent; these are some of the topics on
which the learned author has tried to throw light. As Nathism represents
a particular aspect of Hindu spiritual life, the writer has done well in
dealing at some length with the ideal of Hindu spirituality in general.
The Supreme Ideal of Yoga-Sddhana as conceived in this school
seems to differ essentially from the conceptions of Patanjali, of the earlier
and some later Buddhistic systems and even to a great extent of Sankara's
Vedanta. Nevertheless we must observe that the Natha ideal is analogous
to what we find in the Agamic systems of non-dualistic thought in
ancient and medieval India.
This Ideal is described in one word as Sdmarasya, which implies
obliteration of traces of all kinds of existing differences, not by a process
of transcendence as in Sankhya, or of sublation as in Vedantic MayavSda,
t>ut by a positive process of what may be described as mutual interpenetrqXXVI
tion. This ideal underlies the principle of unification between Purusha and
Prakriti, or between Siva and Sakti./ The attainment of this ideal is the
Supreme Unity of Parama Siva, where Siva and Sakti are one undivided
and indivisible Whole. It is called Mahd Sakti in the language of the
Saktas and represents the Absolute of the Sakta Agamas. It stands for
the Samatd of the Avadhuta Yogins, which is really a unification from the
logical point of view of Tattwa and Tattwdtlta, i.e. the One and the
A cursory glance at the ancient spiritual literature of India would
reveal the fact that in almost all the systems associated with Agamic
culture we find a strong insistence on the ideal of Sdmarasya in some form
or other. By way of illustration I may refer to the Tdntric Buddhism of
the Kdlachakra school, in which the union of Prajnd and Updya, technically
known as Vajrayoga, is strongly emphasized.
Thus the Hevajra Tantra says:
The Vajrayoga which is the ideal of Kdlachakra Buddhism represents
in fact the state of Supreme Oneness.
The Vira Saivas of the Jangam School also recognise this ideal in
their own way. A brilliant exposition in the form of Sdmarasya Bhakti
representing the self-luminous Unity of Delight realised after a course of
continued sddhana is to be found in Mayideva's Anubhava-Sutra and in
Prabhudeva's works.
The Swacchanda-Tantra which is one of the earliest Agamas available
to us furnishes a detailed account of the several stages in the process of the
unification which ends in Supreme Sdmarasya. In this process seven
grades are mentioned and described.
Swatantrananda Natha, the author of Mdtrikd Cakra Viveka, was a
brilliant exponent of the Siddha School. He explains this doctrine in his
own inimitable manner. He says,
Here in this context the Sdmarasya referred to is between Git
i. e. between Consciousness and Unconsciousness, which neutralise
each other and appear as One. He illustrates this with an interesting
example of a pictorial representation, which in reality is one, but which
appears to one onlooker as representing an elephant and to another as
representing a bull according to the view-point taken.
In the yogic sddhana of certain Tdntric schools, especially those
affiliated to the Ardhakdli line, we are told that the two twelve-syllabled
Mantras constituting the complete Pddukd-MantTa of Sri Gurudeva represent
Unmani and Samam aspects of the Absolute respectively. The
former suggests the upward motion in the direction of the Supreme
Purusha (f) with the Supreme Prakriti (s). The latter suggests that the
Supreme Prakriti fa) which descends from the glance (t^tir) of Para-Brahma
or Unmani Siva floods with Delight the Supreme Purusha (f) in the course
of its descent. These symbolize in the undivided Absolute Consciousness
(fa?U both the upward and downward movements of the Divine. Behind
Unmand and Samand there is only one single Essence, for Purusha and
Prakriti are ultimately one and the same Brahman, one symbolized by the
triangle with its vertex upwards and the other by the triangle with its vertex
downwards. The familiar diagram of Shatkona as an interlaced figure
signifies this union which is represented (they say) by the twelve-petalled
lotus above the pericarp of the Sahasradala Lotus. In fact the conception
of Guru-Pddukd in its highest expression is the conception of Sdmarasya
par excellence.
It is said,
This indicates that the Divine Guru or Para Siva has three Pfidukds,
two being lower and one higher. The two lower Pddukds symbolise Selfluminous
Siva on one hand and His Self-reflecting Sakti on the other.
The higher Pddukd is the integration in the form of Sdmarasya of the two
in the Supreme Unity.
It may be noted in passing that even the realisation of Christian
Trinity is only a partial manifestation of the truth of Sdmarasya. The
great Spanish saint Teressa through Divine Grace once realised this and
tried to express it in her own language, in course of which she said that at
first an illumination shining like a most dazzling cloud of Light appeared
her followed by the emergence of the three Persons of Trinity. She
felt that the three Persons were all of one Substance, Power and
Knowledge and were one God. This vision was not the result of the function
of the bodily eye nor even of the eye of the soul. It was an intellectual
vision of an intimate kind. Henry Suso, the disciple of the great
German mystic Meister Eckhart referred to the union of the soul and God.
She spoke of God as saying, "I will kiss them (the suffering saints)
affectionately and embrace them so lovingly that I shall be they and they
shall be I and the two shall be united in one for ever". Elsewhere it is
said, "The essence of the soul is united with the essence of the Nothing
and the powers of the one with the activities of the Nothing". (The
Little Book of the Truth, edited by J. M. Clark, Page 196). This is
exactly like the union (Samyoga) of Linga or Paramdtmd with Atma of
the Vlra Saiva School.
From what has been said above it is abundantly clear that in some
form or- other Sdmarasya is the ideal, not only of the Agamic Culture, but
also of many other spiritual sadhanas.
It now remains to be seen how the Natha Yogins conceived this
highest consummation of Oneness. It is said that the true process of
Sdmarasya begins only when the Sadguru's grace has succeeded in effecting
Mental Quiet (ftrM^rrfo). The real sddhana cannot commence until the
mind is rendered quiet and free from disturbances incident on a sense of
identity with the body. The mind being at rest, the Divine Bliss and an
experience of Pure Infinite Glory dawn on the soul which is awakened from
its age-long slumber. The sense of duality disappears in the serene Light
of Undifferentiated Unity. This Light, unbounded and one, brings
out the powers of Consciousness. The Universal Consciousness being once
awakened produces in the yogin a perfect knowledge of his own Body,
which results in the illumination and stabilization of the Body concerned
In other words this Body becomes immortal and immune from the
ravaging effects of Time. The Yogi is now an adept (fog). This Luminous
Form which is the essence of Caitanya has to be made, as a further step,
one with the Universal Uncreated Light of Paramapada already revealed.
This is done through a continuous process of investigation into the real
nature of Atmd. It is to be remembered that Sdmarasya should not be a
momentary attainment, but a permanent possession, in the sense that no
reversal (*gH&) may ever occur. Before this state (fw-qn) is made permanent
after Sdmarasya is once attained, some successive moments in the Supreme
Experience are noted :
(I) The Transcendental Reality is revealed as the Universe. In other
words, the difference between what is Formless and what has Form
disappears for ever and it is co-eternal with the vision of the Universe in
(II) In the transitional stage there is a tendency in the Powers to
move out. This has to be restrained and the Powers kept as contained
within the Atma.
(III) The Atm& is realised as a continuum of unbroken Prakafa with
Supreme Dynamism.
(IV) As a result of all this there is a unique Vision of Being which
is unborn. This is the Supreme Integral Vision which marks the stage of
Nirutthdna. It is a Vision of Eternity when infinite varieties are seen as an
expression of the One and when the One reveals Itself in every point of the
It seems true that the Natha-Yogin's view of ffag ftfe and Patanjali's
idea ofw*^ are not exactly the same, though it is true that in each the
control of the elements is the result. The ideal of fa^f) was behind both
and dominated the Tantric Buddhist also. In 'Nathism' the fact that
ft*!3 fefe results from a vision of Paramapada and is an antecedent of the
unification of the two indicates that, though Patanjali's 3^^ aims at
physical purification to its utmost extent, it can never be equated to the
natural purity of Purusha and continues to remain an inalienable property
In this light it may be presumed that the criticism of Goraksha Nflth'i
ideal of fo^s %fs by Prabhudeva, as found in legends current in some South
India Saiva schools, has to be explained as the outcome of sheer
The Natha ideal is first to realise Jivanmukti through ffas ftfo which
secures an Immaculate Body of Light free from the influence of Time, i.e.
a deathless undecaying spiritual body and then to realise Para-Mukti or th
Highest Perfection through the process of mutual integration (s*Rtfi <^). The Bengali Natha work, entitled *IWMI, a comparatively late work of the * For Deha-Siddhi the reader is referred to the following :- (1) The Doctrinal Culture and Tradition of the Siddhas, by V. V. Raman Sastri, in the Cultural Heritage of India, Vol. II. Pages 303319. (2) M. M. Gopinath Kaviraj's Series of articles in Bengali on the Process oj effecting physical immortality, published in the Bengali Weekly Paper Himadri. ^ (3) M. M. Gopinath Kaviraj's article in Sanskrit on the subject, in the Saraswati SushamS Journal' of the Varanasi Sanskrit University, 1961, Pages 63-87. XXX Natha School of Bengal and published by Shri Prafulla Chandra Chakravarty in his book on 'Natha Dharma and Sahitya\ also points out that the complete course of Ntha spiritual culture did not end with the attainment of Siddha-Deha through drinking of nectar after the completion of the process technically known as transcendence of the Moon ; it was only a state of Jlvanmukti as free from death. It is only a prelude to the realisation of the highest ideal of Perfection through the culture of Omkara. I have nothing more to add to this brief foreword. I have only to thank the revered author for the honour he has shown me in asking me to write a few lines by way of an introductory note to his work. I h#ve tried even on my sickbed to comply with his request as briefly as possible. The learned author has laboured hard and long in a more or less untrodden field and as a result of his labours has presented us with a brilliant work on an important medieval school of philosophical thought. He is a pioneer worker in this field. I hope, however, that young scholars interested in the subject will follow him and try to utilise all the resources accessible to us in the different libraries of the country. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS I welcome the publication of this book to which I have been invited to write a foreword. It is not for me to assess the worth of the labour and scholarship which the author has brought to bear upon his work. ^ What is of more interest to me is that such a book has been brought out at all. The need has been felt for long by students of the religious and spiritual history of India. It stands to reason that Goraksha, Gorakhnath as he is popularly known, had a most powerful personality which profoundly impressed those who came in contact with him. He probably travelled wide; in any case, his fame travelled wider. There are a number of places spread all over northern India associated with him and his disciples. There are legends, some of them of very doubtful historical authenticity, which have now become part of the traditional folk-lore of the people. Evidence of the place which Goraksha occupied in popular estimation comes from another and rather unexpected quarter. The followers of some of the Saints who followed him centuries later apparently felt that the reputatation of their Master would not be placed at a sound footing unless he was shown to have been a greater man than Goraksha. Stories were, therefore, invented of disputations between Goraksha and the founder of their own school. The discussions were generally verbal, but they were not unoften accompanied by an overt or veiled display of occult power. Goraksha was, of course, invariably worsted in all such contests. There are many references to such contests in works attributed to Kabir and Nanak. Of course these great men had no hand in the authorship of these compositions, which are obviously the work of their followers, remarkable more for their devotion than coramonsense. The contemptuous disregard of time which they display is breath-taking. The philosophical content of such compositions is elementary and their reference to Yogic experience not at all profound. But while they do not enhance the reputation of men like Kabir and Nanak, who, by the way, do not stand in need of such spurious support, they certainly indicate the esteem in which Goraksha's memory was held by the people several centuries after his disappearance; no one could easily be accepted as a great saint unless he was proved to be superior to Goraksha. The story of the Nath School, of which Goraksha was such a XXX11 distinguished representative, is an important chapter in the history of India's spiritual development. The Tantriks were followed in course of time by the Sadhs (*TN), the Siddhas (f*re) and the Naths faro) and the succession was taken up later by the Sant-mat (^ *ra). In a sense, none of these schools brought any absolutely new message. What they preached and practised were simply variations and derivatives of lessons which have been handed down from the most ancient times. There were apparently two schools of religion and spirituality in Vedic times which may roughly be called the orthodox and heterodox. The orthodox school, further, functioned in two forms which may be called the exoteric and the esoteric. Karma Kanda, the performance o Vedic sacrifices, was the concern of the former, while the latter concerned itself with Yoga and philosophy. There was no conflict between the two ; they complemented and supplemented each other. Those who belonged to the unorthodox school were called Vratyas. They spurned ritual, did not follow many of the conventions of the Vedic society and were given to esoteric disciplines. All medieval and present-day Hindu religious and philosophical thought and spiritual discipline stemmed from these ancient schools. The Veda declares "Ekam Sat, Vipra bahudhd vadanti", The Absolute Reality is One, the wise call It by many names ; and "Sarvam khulu idam Brahma", all this is verily Brahma. It is difficult for philosophy to go beyond Absolute Monism. The only possible alternative is Absolute Negation, and this pas posited by Buddhism. Almost all prominent schools of Hindu thought are variants of the theme of Monism. As for spiritual discipline, the ancient word is Yoga, and all the various forms of spiritual practice adopted at different times are really forms of Yoga. Even Bhakti which prides itself on being something utterly unique and different and claims to offer a straighter road to the ultimate goal of human existence is, in reality, to the extent that it is a genuine spiritual discipline, only Yoga with a new name. The various schools to which I have referred, the Tantra, Sddha, Siddha, Nath and Santmat, disown all connection with one another or with anything that historically preceded them. Such a position is untenable or, is the product of ignorance and blind prejudice. Each new school has not received a new commission directly from God in one of His manifestations : each, in fact, learnt much from its predecessors and passed on the torch to its successors. The core of truth, which each cherishes, is sanatana, old as time itself. What is new is the expression of it which varies with place and time and circumstances, created by political and other external factors. XXX111 The founders of the Ndth Samparadaya did not propound a new system of philosophy. In this they were at one with the Sadhs and the Siddhas who had preceded them and the Santmat which may be considered to have succeeded them. The Tantriks had a philosophical doctrine worked out in great detail ; the others seem to me, from the study of their available literature, to have covered the whole gamut from the Absolute Monism of Shankaracharya to the Vishishtadvaita of Rarnanuja with Shuddhadvaita of Vallabha, somewhere in between, according to personal taste and inclination. But while they did not bother themselves much about a clear exposition of philosophical theory and engage in hairsplitting discussion about subjects which really transcend reason, they paid the greatest attention to spiritual discipline, the practice of Yoga. Success in Yoga demands an unblemished character, continence and denial of all pleasures of flesh, withdrawal from the distractions of the world, and no one can deny that the fathers of the Nath school practised these virtues to an extraordinary degree. They were recognised as great adepts in Yoga and credited with the development of those so-called occult powers which the practice of Yoga unfolds. They were objects of universal reverence coupled with awe. A school of this kind could command respect, but it could not become popular. Its doctrines and disciplines would naturally be confined to an elite ; the people at large could not be expected to live that life of austerity and self-denial which the practice of Yoga demands. It would not be inopportune to say a few words here about Yoga. The Naths are generally reputed to be exponents of Hatha-Yoga, about which a good deal of misconception prevails. We hear to-day about different kinds of Yoga : Raja-Yoga, Hath-Yoga, Jndna-Yoga, Laya-Yoga, Bhakti-Yoga and Karma-Yoga. These are all modern terms. They were not known to ancient Yogis and, if some of them occur at all in old literature, their use is purely incidental and not indicative of a separate and exclusive technique. The standard text-book on Yoga, Patanjali's Yoga -Sutra, makes no mention of them. Certain aspects of the practice of Yoga have been needlessly apotheosized and elevated to the false dignity of separate sciences, without paying heed to their inter-relations. The object of the practice of Yoga as defined by Patanjali is f^ if% ftd*n (Cittavritti-nirodha) which automatically result in ^^ SW*IR*^ (Swarupe avasthanam) of the z$i (Drasta). The Ego having realised itself becomes established in its own true nature, when the cessation of that ceaseless flux of stages of consciousness is brought about, which relates the T to the *not-F. Any technique, any spiritual discipline, which aims at any other objective, is not Yoga, whatever else it may be. Goraksha or any of the other Naths did not posit any other objectives ; the whole aim of what XXXIV they practised was Moksha, release from nescience, realisation by the Self of its true nature. This, they knew could come only by passing through the three highest stages of Yogic practice: Dhdrand, Dhydna and Samadhi. These are purely mental stages and after all it is the mind that has to be controlled. But they realised the absolute correctness of the procedure laid down by Patanjali. A healthy body is necessary, so is the control of the psychic and nervous currents and the emotions. Fidgettiness and hankering after the pleasures of the flesh are not conducive to concentration and mental peace. All these things classed by Patanjali under Asana and Prdndydma are generally associated with the modern term of Hatha-Yoga. As so understood, Hatha-Yoga is a necessary stage in Yoga, which leads directly to the higher stages of purely mental practice. It was not that he believed that the practice of bodily contortions or the control of bodily functions was the final goal of Yoga, nor was he under the delusion that such control of the body would, in and by itself, produce Samadhi and self-realisation. What he did, and quite rightly, was to emphasise the irrevocable necessity of going through the lower stages, which are apt to be neglected and ignored because they seem so difficult and, by a process of wishful thinking, so unnecessary. I hope this book will succeed in stimulating attention in Goraksha and his school, which represents a notable chapter in our country's spiritual history. The works attributed to Goraksha are available in Sanskrit and Hindi. The Hindi contains some words of foreign origin here and there, indicating that the influence of the arrival of Muslims in India had already reached the part of the country in which he mostly lived. It would be interesting to study if any Sufi influence is traceable in his writings. Again, some of the technical terms he uses have been taken over by Kabir and the nirguna saints who came after him and are also to be found in the works of the Sddhs. It would be useful to find out when they first began to come into use and what the corresponding terms are in Sanskrit and Pali Yogic literature. There are so many other fields of possible research, to which a study of Nath literature would open the doors. I hope that such work will be earnestly taken up. A YOGI AND A PHILOSOPHER BOTH HAVE THE SAME END IN VIEW THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH A Yogi and a Philosopher have the same ultimate end in view. They are inspired by the same inherent urge of the innermost consciousness of man. Both of them are seekers of the Absolute Truth. Both of them refuse to remain content with the knowledge of the finite transitory relative truths of the world of normal human experience. They feel within themselves a deep yearning for the discovery of the infinite eternal Absolute Reality behind and beyond them. They devote themselves to the quest of the ultimate root of all existence, the ultimate Cause and Ground of this world-order, the ultimate solution of all the problems of human knowledge and experience. The human consciousness is ordinarily imprisoned in the closed domain of space, time and relativity. It is as it were condemned to live and move under spatial and temporal limitations, to think and know in terms of relativity, causalty and reciprocity. It is given opportunities to develop and expand and enrich itself within the compound of this prison; but it is not permitted to go beyond the walls of this prison. It seems that human knowledge and experience must necessarily be finite and relative, and the world of space, time and relativity must be all in all to the human mind. The Yogi as well as the Philosopher revolts against this bondage of the human mind. Both of them aspire to break through the walls of this prison. They want to transcend the limitations, under which the ordinary human consciousness is placed by nature. For the satisfaction of the innermost craving of their souls, they attempt to penetrate into the innermost meaning of this cosmic order. However bewilderingly complex the constitution of the world of our normal experience may appear to be, it cannot be a meaningless and purposeless process, going on by chance or accident. The wonderful order and harmony perceptible in all the departments of this complicated system of the Universe point to some dynamic Centre or Soul of this system, some obviously inscrutable Governing Principle or Power regulating its intricate operations, some Supreme Ideal which is being realised in and through this continuous phenomenal process. A Yogi and a Philosopher are both inspired by some such faith, and both of them devote their energy to the discovery of that Centre or Soul of the Universe, that Governing Principle or Power, that Supreme Ideal, which may furnish a rational explanation of this world-order and give a meaning to it. THEY DIFFER IN THEIR MODES OF APPROACH While the ultimate object of search is the same for a Yogi and a Philosopher, their modes of approach appear to be widely different. A Philosopher's approach is intellectual, and a Yogi's approach may be said to be spiritual. A Philosopher advances in the path of rational logic, a Yogi advances in the path of moral and psychical self-discipline. A Philosopher aims at a logically unassailable conception of the Absolute Truth, a Yogi aims at a direct spiritual experience of the Absolute Truth. A Philosopher's interest in the pursuit of the Truth is chiefly theoretical, he being chiefly concerned with the satisfaction of the demand of his intellect; a Yogi's interest is thoroughly practical, in as much as he is predominantly concerned with the satisfaction of the fundamental demand of his soul. A Philosopher does not cease to be a philosopher, even if his practical life is not in tune with his conception of the Truth, but a Yogi ceases to be a Yogi, if his entire life is not disciplined in strict accordance with his idea of the Truth. The knowledge which a Philosopher attains and can possibly attain by the most careful applications of the principles and rules of Logic is indirect or mediate knowledge (Paroksha Jndna); while the knowledge which a Yogi seeks and expects to attain through the purification and refinement and illumination of his entire consciousness is direct or immediate knowledge (Aparoksha Jndna). An earnest Philosopher makes serious attempts to purify and refine and enlighten his reason and to liberate it from all kinds of logical fallacies and imperfections, so that it may form the most valid and most comprehensive conception of the Absolute Truth. An earnest Yogi undergoes a systematic course of self-discipline for the purification of his body and senses and mind, for the suppression of his desires and passions and worldly tendencies, for the liberation of his thought from the bondage of all preconceived ideas and notions, for the concentration of his attention upon the unknown but yearned-for object of his search and for the elevation of his entire consciousness to higher spiritual planes, so that the self-luminous Absolute Truth may perfectly illumine this consciousness and directly reveal Itself to it. A Philosopher is an aspirant for understanding the Absolute Truth by making it an object of his refined logical conception, while a Yogi is an aspirant for realising the Truth by elevating his consciousness to the highest spiritual plane, in which the subject-object-relativity also vanishes and the consciousness becomes practically one with the Absolute Truth. A PHILOSOPHER'S METHOD In his quest of the Absolute Truth, a Philosopher has to rely chiefly on speculation (Yukti). He has to form theories and hypotheses and to put them to logical tests. He has to keep one eye upon the facts of normal human experience, which are all finite and relative, ancThe has to be careful that the conjectural opinion he forms about the Absolute Reality may not be inconsistent with the established facts of this world of finitude and relativity and ,may on the other hand offer the most adequate rational explanation for all these facts. His consciousness habitually dwells in the plane of the finite, the temporal and the relative, and his intellect and imagination, led by some inner urge, jump or fly from the finite to the infinite, from the temporal to the eternal, from the relative to the absolute. The Infinite Eternal Absolute, i.e., what he conceives to be the Ultimate Reality above and beyond the limitations of space, time and relativity, remains to his normal consciousness an unwarranted conjecture or undue assumption, until and unless it is logically demonstrated that the essential demand of the human intellect for a rational explanation of this world-order is not possible without the assumption of such an Absolute Reality and that the Reality as conceived by him is alone capable of supplying the most adequate rational explanation of the system of facts constituting this world. Thus a Philosopher has to take his stand on the phenomenal relative world of normal human experience, and the Absolute Truth he arrives at by the exercise of his imaginative insight and logical intellect is a theory, the validity of which is measured by its necessity and adequacy for the rational explanation of this world. The conclusion of philosophy, however wellreasoned, cannot rise above the status of a theory (Vdda). Another serious difficulty which arises in the path of the philosophical quest of the Absolute Truth is, that for the purpose of the intellectual comprehension or apprehension of the Absolute, a Philosopher has to think of It and ^define It in terms of the concepts of his understanding, of which the legitimate scope of application is the relative phenomenal objective world. The logical principles and methods which he has to rely upon for the establishment of the validity of his conception about the Absolute Reality are also primarily meant for the proof of the relative truth of our empirical and discursive understanding. When these principles and categories are applied to the Absolute Truth, the Absolute is unconsciously brought down within the realm of the relative. Existent and non-existent, conscious and unconscious, active and inactive, changeless and changing, unity and plurality, substance and attribute, cause and effect, simple and complex, dynamic and static, personal and impersonal all such concepts are applied by our intellect in the field of our normal relative knowledge, and their generally accepted meanings have reference to the relative phenomena of this objective world. A Philosopher, while attempting to determine the nature of the Absolute Reality and to form an intellectual conception of it, cannot help making use of the same concepts. Confusion arises as a matter of course. He has not unoften to radically change the meanings of these fundamental concepts of our normal understanding. In spite of all his earnest efforts he cannot liberate his intellect from the bondage of the elementary concepts of his rational understanding, which are by their very nature concerned with the world of relativity. A Philosopher has sometimes to manufacture new terms and concepts, the exact significance of which becomes incomprehensible to the normal understanding of a common man. He thinks of 'transcendent existence' above and behind 'phenomenal existence,' 'transcendent activity' as distinguished from 'phenomenal activity', 'transcendent consciousness' above 'phenomenal consciousness', and so on. Sometimes he thinks of the Absolute Reality as neither existent nor non-existent or as above both existence and non-existence. Sometimes he thinks of It as neither conscious nor unconscious or as having an order of consciousness which is above consciousness and unconsciousness of our normal experience. Sometimes Inexplicableness or Inscrutableness is used as a category of understanding. In this way, Philosophers find themselves compelled to introduce many conceptions which are inconceivable to the common logical intellect. When they try to expound and establish these metaphysical conceptions, they have necessarily to argue on the basis of generally accepted logical principles. They cannot defy the Principles of Identity, Contradiction and Excluded-Middle, which are fundamental principles of logical thought. They cannot disregard the Principles of Causation and Sufficient Ground, which rnle over their intellect in its search for Truth in this world. But all these principles of our common empirical thought and understanding cannot help them to convincingly prove the validity of their supra-logical supra-intellectual metaphysical conceptions about the Absolute Truth. It seems that they try to prove by means of logic what is above the sphere of logic. A WAR OF THEORIES The history of the philosophical quest of the Absolute Truth in the human race shows that there have been thousands and thousands of theories or intellectual conceptions about the nature of the Ultimate Reality, and there has not been a single one which could satisfy the intellect of all. The philosophical literature has been developing from the earliest times, and it is still progressing. No philosophical view has been found to be logically unassailable. The history of philosophy has become a history of a continuous warfare on the intellectual plane among the greatest and wisest rational truth-seekers of the world. A sincere and earnest Philosopher, even to satisfy himself that his conception truly represents the character of the Absolute Reality, has not only to be convinced that his theory is free from. all possible logical fallacies and is capable of offering an adequate rational explanation for the world-order, but has also to be convinced that no other rival theory is or can possibly be so free from defects and can furnish such a satisfactory explanation. He therefore feels impelled to put to test not only his own conception, but also the conceptions arrived at by other philosophers. This leads him to seek and find defects in the arguments and conclusions of all other truth-seekers who differ from him and thereby to demonstrate the exclusive validity of the conception which he himself adopts. As Philosophers differ from one another in their modes of approach and the conclusions they intellectually arrive at, every system of philosophy becomes an object of attack from all sides, from the exponents of all other systems of philosophy. This intellectual warfare amongst the Philosophers, age after age, has been tremendously enriching the philosophical literature. But no philosopher can have the inner assurance and satisfaction that he has found out the Truth, that he has been blessed with the true knowledge of the Absolute Reality. Every Philosopher is afraid, unless he becomes dogmatic and arrogant, that the idea which he cherishes about the Supreme Object of his life-long search may not be the correct one and that it may be proved to be false by other philosophers. In fact, it is the fate of every philosophical theory that it is supported with logical arguments by philosophers of one school and refuted with counter-arguments by philosophers of many other schools. The Absolute Truth has been conceived by illustrious philosophers in amazingly various ways, such as, Pure Void (Sunya), or Non-Being or Non- Existence (Asat), Pure Being or Existence (Sat). Pure Transcendent Consciousness (Cit-matra), Pure Unconscious Matter (Acit Prakriti), Pure Primordial Energy or Power (Maha-sakti)] Pure Consciousness with Power (Saktimatcaitanya), Creative Will, Absolute Idea, Absolute Spirit, Supreme Personality (Parama Purusha) with infinite Power and Wisdom, Morally and Aesthetically Perfect Personality (possessing not only infinite power and wisdom and bliss, but also the most lovable and adorable excellences), Satya-Siva-Sundara PurushottamaPremdnandaghana Parameswara, and so on and so forth. The world of phenomenal diversities is conceived by some as an illusory appearance, by others as self-manifestation of the Ultimate Reality, by others again as created by the Ultimate Reality, by others again as the Sole Reality having no noumenal Reality behind it, and so on. The finite spirits are conceived by some as uncreated and eternal and by others as created and destructible, by some as atomic in nature, and by others as all-pervading, by some as different from the Ultimate Reality and by some as essentially non-different from the Ultimate Reality, by some as essentially pure and free and incorruptible and by others as subject to degradation and development, by some as essentially different from and independent of the physical bodies and by others as evolved out of them, and so on. The Ultimate Ideal of human life is also variously conceived by various philosophers. There seems to be no end of differences among the views of philosophers, (Nasau munlr yasya matam na bhinnam). Each view is splendidly supported by its exponents with strong and elaborate logical arguments, which carry conviction to certain classes of truth -seekers. Every strongly supported view has given birth to a patricular school of philosophy. But it seems that every strong logical argument has its weak points. Critics discover these weak points in the arguments of a philosophical school and lay special emphasis upon them to repudiate the whole system propounded by it. Thus every system of philosophy is ably supported by its advocates and most cruelly refuted by its opponents. If a particular view is found to be satisfactory to one class of truth- seekers, it is proved to be unacceptable by many classes of truth-seekers. Every apparently wellreasoned theory about the Ultimate Truth is thus reduced merely into a particular view-point from which the Truth is sought to be approached, and no theory can evidently reach It. The intellectual path adopted by a Philosopher fails to lead him to the realisation of the Absolute Truth, for which he feels within himself a persistent demand. THE PATH OF YOGA A good many philosophers, having realised the inherent weakness of the method of logical reasoning and intellectual theorising as a means to the perfect satisfaction of the innermost demand of the soul for the attainment of the Absolute Truth, have turned towards the method of spiritual selfdiscipline. One great Western philosopher has said that "Learned ignorance is the end of philosophy and the beginning of religion". Religion here does not of course mean blind submission to any particular dogma or creed or performance of certain prescribed rites and ceremonies; but it means systematic discipline of the body, the senses, the mind, the intellect and the heart, under expert guidance, for the purification and refinement of the entire being of a man and the elevation of the empirical consciousness to higher and higher spiritual planes, so as ultimately to make it fit for being perfectly illumined by the light of the Absolute Truth. This is the path of Yoga. The most illustrious philosopher of ancient Greece, who was proclaimed by the Oracle of Delphi as the wisest man of the age, gravely said that his wisdom perhaps lay in the fact that "I know that I know nothing". This great Guru of many great philosophers frankly confessed that with all his philosophical reflections he could not reach the Ultimate Truth which his heart craved for. The terra Philosophy itself is very significant in this connection; it carries the sense of its own inherent limitation with it. It means love of wisdom, and not the perfect attainment of wisdom. It implies sincere and earnest pursuit of Truth, and not the direct realisation of Truth. A Philosopher, so long as he relies solely upon logical reasoning and intellectual argumentation, may continually advance towards the Truth with all the earnestness of his heart, but will never reach it. In his very attempt to make the Absolute Truth an object of his logical conception and intellectual comprehension, the Absolute Truth eludes his grasp. He always searches and misses. His Eternal Beloved never unveils Himself to his logical intellect. He has to transcend his logical intellect in order to be united with the Transcendent Truth. His consciousness has to rise above the domain of Space, Time and Relativity in order to be in the closest embrace of the Infinite Eternal Absolute Truth. This is the path of True Religion. This is the path of Yoga. After a good deal of deep thinking, the Upanishadic Rivhi also came to the conclusion that Atmd is not attainable by means of philosophical dissertation (pravacana) or intellectual acumen (medha) or extensive study (vahu sruta); It is attainable only by him to whom It reveals itself (Yameva esha brinute tena labhyah). A truth-seeker has however to make his consciousness fit for the self-relevation of Alma. It does not reveal itself to the consciousness of a person, howsoever intellectually gifted he may be, unless he is free from all vices and evil propensities, unless his mind is pure and steady and calm and tranquil, unless his entire consciousness is with intense longing directed towards the Divine Light. So long as the sense of Ego predominates in the consciousness of a person, so long as he thinks that by dint of his own intellectual power he will unveil the true nature of Ittna, the veil will remain in the form of his egoistic vanity. For the attainment of fitness for the self-revelation of Atmd, the consciousness must be freed from the sense of Ego as well as all egoistic desires and attachments and inclinations of the mind. It is upon moral and spiritual self-preparation of the truth-seeker that fitness for Truth-realisation depends. This means the systematic practice of Yoga. This is the conclusion at which the Upanishadic Rishi arrived. It is to be noted that by the term Atmd the Rishi meant the True Self of all existences the True Self of every individual as well as of tbe Universe -i.e., the Absolute Truth. The Upanishadic Rishi uses the term Brahma also in the same sense. Though the term Atmd primarily means the True Self of an individual and the term Brahma means the Supreme, the Greatest, the Infinite and Eternal, i.e., the True Self of the Universe, the essential identity of the True Self of the Individual and the True Self of the Universe was revealed to the illumined consciousness of the Rishii hence 8 Atmd and Brahma are often used synonymously in the Upanishads, meaning the Absolute Truth. The Seers of the Upanishads have sometimes described all the Vedas and Veddngas, and as a matter of fact all intellectual knowledge, as Avidyd (Ignorance) or Apard Vidyd (Lower knowledge). Para Vidyd (True knowledge) is that by which the Absolute Truth is directly realised (Yayd tad aksharam adhigamyate) . This Para-Vidyd is Yoga-Vidyd the spiritual approach to the Absolute Truth, The Vedanta-Darsan, which is the most widely accepted philosophical system of India, and in fact almost all the principal philosophical systems of India, frankly confessed that the method of logical argumentation was incapable of independently leading a truth-seeker to the final Truth (Tarka-apratisthdndt). They all practically admitted that there could be no such logical argument as could not be refuted by counter-arguments. They therefore had to accept the spiritual experiences of enlightened seers (Agama or Iptavacana or Srutis) as much more reliable evidence with regard to the nature of the Ultimate Truth. Many great sages spoke of the Ultimate Truth as beyond the range of thought and speech (Avdng-manasagocaram), and they warned the truth-seekers against the application of logical categories for the ascertainment of the character of transcendental realities (Acintydh khalu ye bhdvd na tan tarkena yojayet). They advised the earnest seekers of Truth to have faith in the spiritual experiences of enlightened saints and to practically follow their instructions for the personal realisation of the Same. Philosophers, while expounding their particular views about the Ultimate Truth, often cite as evidence the spiritual experiences of universally adored saints and make them the bases of their logical argumentation. But, in doing so, they have necessarily to rely upon the verbal expressions given by the saints of their inner spiritual experiences, which are according to their own confessions beyond the scope of verbal expressions and logical argumentations. Naturally, the advocates of different systems of philosophy put different interpretations to these verbal expressions and try to strengthen their own views with their help. The Vedantic System of Philosophy has been divided into a number of separate philosophical sub-systems, holding separate views with regard to the nature of the Ultimate Reality and strongly refuting each other's conceptions and arguments, though they are all based upon the sayings of the Upanishads and the Bhagavat-Gitd, which all of them believe to be the verbal embodiments of the Truth of the supra-intellectual spiritual plane. Each of them tries to establish logically that its own interpretation of the sayings is the only correct one and that the interpretations given by other schools are wrong. Similarly, the Buddhist philosophers became divided into different schools, though they all claimed to expound rationally the spiritual experiences of Lord Buddha, as expressed in his words. This has been the fate of all earnest attempts at the philosophical interpretations of the spiritual experiences of enlightened saints. Logical argumentations almost invariably lead to differences of views. The path of Yoga does not require any such intellectual speculation. It does not necessitate the framing of hypotheses and theories and their testing by logical argumentations. A truth-seeker in this path is not involved in academic controversies with the advocates of divergent philosophical views. He is not interested in the logical establishment of any particular theory or dogma, and hence he does not feel impelled to refute the rival theories or dogmas upheld by other schools of thinkers. His aim is not to acquire an objective knowledge of the Absolute Truth and to form a logically valid intellectual conception of the supra-logical supra-intellectual Reality. He aims at the direct spiritual experience of the Truth on a supralogical supra-intellectual plane of consciousness. He advances in his path with an indomitable faith in the possibility of such experience. He does not create confusion in his mind by an attempt at an intellectual ascertainment of the nature of such experience, which is expected to be attained in the supra-intellectual plane, or of the possibility of any such transcendent experience. It is as a matter of course impossible to demonstrate in any lower plane of existence and consciousness what is or is not possible in the higher and higher planes of existence and consciousness. What may be quite natural in a higher plane of existence and consciousness would appear unnatural or supernatural or logically untenable in a lower plane. A child cannot form any idea of the aesthetic and emotional experiences which are most natural to young men and women, though the objects stimulating such experiences may be present before the eyes of the child. A person, whose artistic faculty is not sufficiently developed, fails to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of a sweet song or a nice poem or a fine picture, though these may be the spontaneous expressions of the inner sentiments of a musician or a poet or a painter. Similarly, the nature of the direct inner experiences of an enlightened Yogi cannot be an object of intellectual conception to any person, whose consciousness has not been sufficiently refined and has not ascended to the higher spiritual plane through the systematic practice of Yoga. Even an enlightened Yogi himself fails to give an accurate linguistic expression to his deeper spiritual experiences. He can guide a Truth-seeker in the path of advancement towards his truthful and blissful experiences, but he cannot give him a correct idea of his own experience of Truth by means of language or prove to him the possibility of such Truth-realisation by means of logical reasoning. to The Yogi's method of search for the Absolute Truth is based on the idea that though the Absolute Truth may not be an object of intellectual comprehension and logical reasoning, It unveils Itself to the human consciousness, when this consciousness is adequately purified and refined and concentrated and thus becomes perfectly free from the impediments in the way of the self-revelation of the Truth to it. A Yogi, therefore, instead of making futile attempts to form a perfect logical conception of the nature of the Absolute in the lower empirical planes of his consciousness, directs his attention and energy to the progressive purification, refinement and concentration of his empirical consciousness and its elevation to higher and higher spiritual planes, until the supreme transcendent plane is reached, in which the veil between the Ultimate Truth and the consciousness vanishes altogether and the consciousness is absolutely united with the Truth. In the normal nature of a man, his empirical consciousness is related to and conditioned by his physical body, his senses and nervous system and brain, his mind and intellect and heart and his individual ego. All these together constitute the embodiment of his self-conscious soul. The soul appears to be imprisoned in this complex psycho-physical embodiment. A man's perceptions and inferences, imaginations and reasonings, feelings and sentiments, desires and aspirations, thoughts and ideas, are all conditioned and determined by the characters and limitations of this embodiment. Hence they are all confined within the world of finitude and relativity. A man, however, feels within his innermost consciousness, a persistent urge for transcending all limitations and bondages of this psychophysical organism and attaining and enjoying the Absolute Truth, the Absolute Beauty, the Absolute Goodness, the Absolute Bliss of which, under his normal conditions, he cannot even form any positive conception. It is this inner urge of his soul which does not allow him to get permanent satisfaction from any achievement, however glorious, in this world of finite transient relative phenomena, and always prompts him to seek for more and more. Tatah kirn, tatah him what after this, what after this? It is this inherent spiritual urge of his innermost consciousness which assures him (though not in an argumentative way) of the possibility of the apparently natural limitations of his psycho-physical embodiment being transcended by him by means of some appropriate form of self-discipline, and of the Absolute Truth-Beauty-Goodness-Bliss, which his soul craves for, being directly realised. With the ultimate object of the attainment of this supreme spiritual experience, a Yogi devotes himself to the practice of such courses of selfdiscipline as may free his consciousness from the limitations which the psycho-physical embodiment imposes upon it. He holds before himself as the practical object of his pursuit an ideal state of his own consciousness, perfectly free from all impurities and distractions and doubts and perplexities, perfectly free from all desires and attachments and passions and propensities, perfectly free from all argumentative thought and preconceived notions, perfectly free from the sense of individual ego and the sense of distinction between the subject and the object, the internal and the external, the self and the not-self. It is in such a perfectly pure and refined, calm and tranquil, desireless and thoughtless, egoless and subject-object-less, transcendent state of the consciousness that the Absolute Truth-Beauty- Goodness-Bliss is expected to unconditionally reveal Itself, not as an object of the consciousness, but as the true Soul or Essence of the consciousness. The consciousness is in that state perfectly illumined by this Soul, and no difference exists between the consciousness and the Absolute Soul of all existences and experiences. In that transcendent experience no time or space exists, no relativity or causality exists, no distinction between Truth and Beauty and Goodness and Bliss exists. It is one absolute integrated experience, which cannot be described in terms of the analytical and synthetical categories of our normal intellectual understanding. The experience carries its certitude within itself, and it does not require any extraneous proof. Logical reasoning can neither deny its possibility, nor furnish any proof of its validity. But a Yogi, who is blessed with this experience, is free from all doubts. His yearning for the Absolute is perfectly satisfied. An earnest aspirant for Truth-realisation advances in the path of Yoga under the guidance of such a Truth-realiser with, faith and perseverance. In the Yoga-Sastras, this transcendent state of the consciousness is called Samadhi. The whole course of self-discipline in the path of Yoga is directed towards the attainment of this Samadhi, in which alone the direct and perfect experience of the Absolute Reality is possible. Samadhi is a thoroughly practicable ideal. Every step of progress in the direction of the realisation of this ideal can be practically tested and verified. Hence Yoga is regarded as the most practical path to the realisation of the ultimate Ideal of human life. As Bhisma says in the Mahabharat Direct experience is the basis of Yoga (Pratyaksha-hetavo yogdh). Samadhi is not a static condition of the consciousness. There are higher and higher stages of Samadhi, and in each higher stage there is a deeper realisation of Truth. THE NATURE OF SAMADHI-EXPERIENCE The experience which is attained in the highest state of Samadhi cannot be regarded either as purely subjective experience or as objective experience or as negation of experience. It is not of the nature of subjective experience like that in the dream-state of consciousness or in the state of reverie or imagination or illusion or hallucination, in which the 12 experiencing subject projects itself as the objects of experience under the influence of some internal or external stimulation. Such experiences are not accepted as forms of valid knowledge. They occur only in the impure and restless states of the empirical consciousness. In them, there is no correspondence between the objects pf experience and the actual realities. In the Samadhi state, the consciousness is pure and calm and tranquil, free from the influences of all external and internal stimuli. In it there is no room for imagination or error or self-projection. In it there is no functioning of the mind or the intellect. The sense of the ego as the experiencing subject disappears, and hence this also does not condition the experience and make it an affair of a particular egoistic mind. In the deepest Samadhi, what is experienced does not appear as an object of experience, as distinct from and related to the experiencing subject. The individual consciousness ascends in that state to the transcendent universal plane, and the Reality as experienced in this plane cannot be merely a subjective reality real to a particular individual and unreal to others. Every individual consciousness that rises to this plane should be blessed with the same transcendent experience. Hence the Reality as revealed in the highest state of Samadhi must be recognised as the Absolute Reality. It is also clear that Samadhi-experience is not of the nature of objective experience like that of the normal waking- state of the consciousness, in which the experience is conditioned by the natural limitation of the psycho-physical embodiment, and in which the objects of experience are as a matter of course finite relative phenomenal realities. In the state of Samadhi, the consciousness, though not unrelated to the psycho-physical organism, transcends its i imitations, rises above the plane of finite egohood and the relativity of subject and object and becomes perfectly pure and tranquil and refined and illumined. The Reality revealed in the experience of this transcendent consciousness does not appear as a phenomenal object, distinct from the experiencing subject, but as one with it. It may be questioned whether there is any real experience at all in this Samadhi-state of the consciousness. From the standpoint of the plane of our normal objective and subjective experiences, the question is not irrelevant. How can ' there be any real experience in the state in which there is no distinction and mutual relation between the subject and the object, the experiencer and the experienced? Can it be called any real experience, if only pure consciousness exists and nothing is present before it as its object? No only that. It may also be questioned if consciousness can at all exist as consciousness, when there is neither any subjective experience nor any objective experience in it. How can consciousness exist without any functions or phenomena of consciousness? May not what is Called Somftftf-state be really the suicide of the consciousness? Or, may it 13 not be a state analogous to the state of deep sleep (sushupati) or swoon (moorchha), in which there is no real experience, in which the consciousness is in a state of absolute ignorance, in which it is ignorant of the psychophysical embodiment, ignorant of the objective world, and even ignorant of its own existence ? May not the Samadhi state be a state of absolute ignorance or an absolutely unconscious state? Such doubts may naturally arise in the fickle minds and speculative intellects of those who had never got the beatific experience of the Samadhi state. The enlightened Yogi, whose consciousness has risen to the highest spiritual plane and had an actual taste of this state, is free from all such doubts. To him this state of Samadhi is not a vacant state, but a state of fulness, not a state of darkness, but a state of perfect illumination, which is never experienced by the mind in the normal conditions. In this state, the consciousness does not commit suicide, it is not reduced into a state of unconsciousness or absolute ignorance; but it elevates itself into a state of absolute knowledge (purnagnana or kevalagMna), in which the knower and the knowable become perfectly united with each other, in which no difference remains between the Reality and the Consciousness and nothing more remains to be known, in which the entire universe of the apparent plurality of existences unveils its essential spiritual unity to the consciousness as well as its identity with the consciousness itself. The all-unifying truthrevealing transcendent experience of the highest spiritual plane of the consciousness, though indescribable and even inconceivable in terms of the normal objective and subjective experiences, is to the Yogi the most real experience. Normally, we live and move and have our being in a world of plurality a world of differences and inter-relations. Differences among the various kinds of realities appear to be fundamental, and at the same time mutual relations among them also appear as inherent in their very nature. Spirit and matter are, so far as our normal experience goes, essentially different from each other; neither can be proved to be the cause or the effect of the other. But the inter-relation between them is so rooted in their nature, that we cannot even form any definite conception of the one except in relation to the other. In the world of living beings, matter constitutes the embodiment of the spirit and the spirit is the soul of the material body. We conceive matter as unconscious and inanimate and inert and it cannot by itself be conscious and living and moving; it is the conscious spirit which, entering into every particle of matter, converts it into a living and moving and self-organising conscious body, and it is this body which becomes the medium and instrument of all self-expressions of the spirit. What we experience as inorganic material things are also what they are as objects of experiences of the conscious spirit; apart from relation to the 14 conscious subject, i.e. the spirit, they seem to have no characters they are as good as nothing. The spirit also appears to be contentless and characterless, except in relation to the material body and material objects. Thus, in our normal experience, spirit and matter are essentially distinct as well as essentially related. Again, in this world of plurality of our normal experience, spirits appear to be innumerable and essentially distinct from one another; different spirits are embodied in and conditioned by different psychophysical organisms, having different kinds of experiences and different kinds of hopes and aspirations. But inter-communications and interdependences among them are also quite obvious. Similarly, the elementary material things which constitute the objective material world appear to be essentially different from one another; but they are all inter-related. It is the plurality of inter-related phenomenal realities which constitute the contents of our normal experience and knowledge. Our empirical consciousness cannot transcend this plurality. But, there is always a feeling in the depth of our consciouness that this knowledge is not perfect. It mysteriously feels within itself that there must be some underlying Unity, holding together the plurality, harmonising and unifying all the phenomenal diversities, and that that Unity must be the real Truth of the plurality. It is the inherent demand of the consciousness for the discovery of One Absolute Reality as the Ultimate Truth of the inter-related plurality of existences, that is at the root of all sciences and philosophy. Every science makes serious efforts through the methods of keen and careful observation and experiment as well as logical reasoning and theorising to discover some principle of Unity behind the plurality of phenomena within the scope of its investigation. The ambition of every philosophical system is to discover some Unity as the Truth of all existences. Since their methods of approach are inherently incapable of giving any sure knowledge of this Unity, they invariably fail to reach their goal. Whatever theories they may form, they can never grasp the Unity of Spirit and Matter, the unity of the conscious subject and the Objective Universe, the Unity of the knower and the knowable. The knowledge which is attainable through the scientific and philosophical methods is phenomenal and objective knowledge; while the Unity that underlies and unifies all kinds of phenomena of the past, the present and the future and is the Infinite and Eternal Ground of all cannot be a phenomenal reality and cannot therefore be an object of scientific or philosophical knowledge. The Reality, which is the Supreme Ground of the relations among all conscious subjects and all objects of consciousness, cannot itself appear as a particular object of the empirical consciousness of a particular knowing subject. Thus the Ultimate Unity of all existences, 15 for which there is an inherent demand of the consciousness, remains beyond the reach of all scientific and philosophical knowledge. The Samadhi experience of an enlightened Yogi at the highest spiritual plane of the consciousness is the direct knowledge of this Unity of all existences. It is distinct from all scientific and philosophical knowledge. It is distinct from knowledge of sense-perception and inference and logical reasoning. In it the consciousness transcends the difference between Spirit and Matter, the difference between the Subject and the Object, between the Internal and the External, between the One and the Many. In it the consciousness becomes perfectly one with the Truth of all existences. The inherent demand of the consciousness for the Absolute Truth is in this experience perfectly satisfied. It is transcendent experience. A Yogi who is blessed with this spiritual experience in the state of Samadhi has not merely the intellectual satisfaction of having discovered the Ultimate Truth, but also attains the perfect satisfation of the fulfilment of life. He becomes free from all sorts of bondage and sorrow, from all kinds of weakness and infirmity, from all senses of imperfections and limitations. Having in the transcendent plane of his consciousness experienced the perfect character of his innermost Self and its identity with the Infinite Eternal Self of the Universe, he becomes free from all fears, all cares and anxieties, all attractions for and attachments to, as well as all disgusts against and repugnance to the 'finite and transitory things of the world. What he feels is so described by the illustrious commentator of the Yoga Sutras: ~ Jnatam jnatavyam, praptam prapaniyam, kshindh ksheiavya klesah, karma-bandhanani sithilani. What is worth knowing has been known, what is worth getting has been got, all the Klesas (imperfections) which are fit to be destroyed have been destroyed, all the bondages of Karma (actions virtues and vices) have become infructuous. The Yoga-Sutras enumerate five kinds of Klesas i.e. fundamental imperfections and sources of sorrows and bondages, viz., Avidya (ignorance or false knowledge), Asmita (egohood I-am-ness) Raga (attachment), Dvesha (aversion) and Abhinivesa (lust of life and the consequent fear of death). It is these which determine all our worldly activities, virtuous as well as vicious; and it is these which place us under subjection to the Law ofKarma and compel us to reap the pleasurable and painful fruits of our actions in repeated births and in various forms of living existence. All these Klesas, to which our consciousness is subject in the normal planes, and by which all our actions as well as enjoyments and sufferings in the worldly life are determined, are destroyed, when the 16 consciousness is illumined by the Transcendent Experience. An enlightened Yogi thus attains perfect freedom from all bondages of individual life. This is called Mukti or Moksha. In his enlightened experience, he virtually ceases to be a finite individual and the world also ceases to exist as a reality external to him. The lamp of his life as a finite changing mortal individual is extinguished. This is therefore spoken of as Nirvana. The individual then attains the character of the Absolute the one without a second. He is therefore said to attain Kaivalya. ENLIGHTENING INFLUENCE OF SAMADHI-EXPERIENCE UPON NORMAL LIFE The individual psycho-physical life of a Yogi does not however end with the experience of Kaivalya or Nirvana or Moksha. The consciousness again comes down from the transcendent plane to the normal plane, from the state of Samadhi to the state of Vyutthdna (the normal waking state), from the perfectly illumined state to the state of conditioned knowledge. The enlightened Yogi again becomes conscious of himself as an embodied being, conscious of the objective world of plurality as external to himself. His knowledge of the world as well as of himself is again conditioned by his senses, mind, intellect and ego. He again apparently becomes one of innumerable finite individuals of the world. Though outwardly he appears to become the same individual as he had been before the attainment of the Transcendent Experience of the Samadhi-siate, yet inwardly this is not the case. The Truth-experience which illumines his consciouness in the supramental supra-intellectual supra-egoistic transcendent state exercises a great enlightening influence upon his normal mind and intellect and ego. His entire outlook on himself, his fellow-beings and the world of inter-related diversities undergoes a radical transformation as the result of that experience. Before he Was blessed with that experience, the Spiritual Unity of all existences had been veiled from his empirical consciousness. He used to see the plurality as plurality, but he had not the eyes to see the Unity that shone in and through them. The Absolute One, that manifests Itself in the diverse forms of relative plurality, that sustains their existence, regulates their movements, links them with one another and constitutes them into a magnificent cosmic order, had been concealed from his view, though he had felt a deep craving within his consciousness for having a glimpse of that Absolute One. Now, that Absolute One has revealed Itself to his consciousness; the veil has been removed; the consciousness has been illumined. This illumination is transmitted to the intellect, the ego and the mind and even to the senses. They do not now experience merely what they used to experience before the illumination descended upon them, but 17 also the Absolute One along with and as the real essence of the objects of their normal experience. The ego now feels the Absolute One as its True Self and feels itself as an individualised self-expression of the Absolute One. The intellect now no longer theorises, but finds in the Absolute One the ultimate rational explanation of all the problems that may appear before it. All the thoughts, feelings and volitions of the illumined mind now revolve round the Absolute One as the centre. All the diverse kinds of objects of sense-perception are experiences as diversified appearances or manifestations of the One. In the transcendent experience of the Samadhi-state, the objective world of plurality and the experiencing ego are both completely merged in one Absolute Consciousness (or Super-consciousness), which is the Absolute Truth or Reality of both; while in the enlightened experience of the Yogi in the normal plane of his empirical consciousness the ego and the objective world of plurality are both present, both appear as pervaded by the One, as having their being in the One, as the two-fold manifestations of the One. The One being the Truth of both, the Yogi sees himself in all and all in himself. He looks upon all the diversities from the standpoint of Unity; he sees the Infinite in the finite, the Eternal in the temporal, the Changeless in all changes, and the spirit in all material things. He thinks and feels all as essentially non-different from himself, and hence he loves all and hates and fears none. In the Samddhi-experience, a Yogi transcends time and space. The beginningless and endless flow of time is in this ultimate Truth-experience merged in one changeless Eternity. The boundless space is also merged in one differenceless Infinity. In the enlightened normal experience, the Yogi sees the timeless Eternity manifested in the flow of time, the extensionless Infinity pervading all parts of space. In the SawaJ/H-state, his senses, mind and intellect are all functionless; they do not condition and diversify the experiences of the consciousness. He then does not perceive any external objects; he does not feel any pleasure or pain, any hunger or thirst, any affection or compassion, any duty or obligation; he has no process of thinking, no conception or judgment or reasoning; at that stage, he has no behaviour at all. His consciousness then shines in its unconditioned undifferentiated unveiled fulness, in which the Reality and the consciousness are one. When the Yogi comes down to the normal plane with the memory or illumination of his transcendent experience, his senses, mind and intellect perform their normal functions, but with some new enlightenment. His senses appear to perceive some supersensuous Reality behind the ordinary objects of perception; his mind, even in course of its normal operations, seems to dwell in some supramental plane, and an attitude of unconcern and disinterestedness towards 18 all affairs of the world prevails in his mind under all circumstances. He remains under all conditions free from cares and anxieties, desires and attachments, confusions and perplexities. All his intellectual thinking also appears to have as its centre the Truth of the super-intellectual experience. An enlightened Yogi in his normal life lives and moves in the domain of the senses, the mind and the intellect, but has his inner being in the peaceful and blissful realm of the super-sensuous super-mental superintellectual Reality. As the result of systematic discipline, his body, senses, mental functions and intellectual reflections are of course much more refined and tranquillized than those of ordinary men whose lives are almost wholly governed by worldly interests and worldly forces. Not only that. By means of appropriate Yogic practices, he often acquires such extraordinary powers and visions even with regard to the relative realities of the world as appear miraculous and superhuman to others. He acquires the powers of seeing and hearing things beyond the range of normal occular and auditory perceptions and of seeing without eyes and hearing without ears. He acquires the powers of knowing the events of the past and the future just as those of the present. He acquires the powers of entering into the minds of others and reading their thoughts and feelings and often exercising control over them. He may acquire the power of making his gross material body lighter than air and rising high up in the air and moving to distant places by the aerial path. He can often make his body invisible to the people present before him and can make his way through thick walls. He can acquire the power of assuming many bodies at the same time, making himself visible to people of different places and performing different actions with the different bodies. He may acquire the power of exerting control over the forces of nature and of transforming one natural thing into another. He may acquire the power of creating new things by the mere exercise of his will and of changing the natural characters of things; and so on, and so forth. According to the Yoga-Sastras, an enlightened Yogi may develop in himself even the power of creating a new world. Truly enlightened Yogis seldom make any display of their Yogic powers, which appear miraculous or superhuman to ordinary people. But, some Yogi teachers give occasional expressions of their minor occult powers, perhaps in order to demonstrate to the self-diffident people of the world what great powers lie hidden and dormant in them and to inspire them with the faith that they also can become masters of the forces of nature, if they undergo a systematic course of self-discipline under expert guidance in the path of Yoga and thereby become masters of themselves, Although in the plane of transcendent spiritual experience no difference exists between one Yogi and another, nevertheless when enligh19 tened Yogis come down to the normal planes of practical life, their behaviours are often found to be different. These differences are generally due to the natural differences of their psycho-physical embodiments, their habits and modes of training in the pre-enlightenment period, as well as their environmental conditions. Different Yogis are found to have temperamental differences. Some Yogis are found to cut off all connections with the affairs of the external world and to pass their time in solitude in a constantly meditative mood and in continuous enjoyment of the bliss of &*//*&//-experience. They seldom allow their consciousness to come down to the lower planes. Other enlightened Yogis are moved by love and compassion for the people of the world, whom they see suffering various kinds of sorrows on account of their ignorance of the Eternal Truth and their hankering for and attachment to the petty transitory things of this earth. They come in close contact with these people and adopt various means to give them True Light and emancipate them from sorrows and bondages. Inwardly, they also dwell in the plane of the Infinite and Eternal; but outwardly love and compassion make them active. It is these Yogis who become Gums or spiritual guides in the society. It is through them that spiritual light comes down to the people of the world and awakens in their consciousness the yearning for the Infinite Eternal Absolute Reality, which otherwise remains dormant in it. The enlightened Yogis, who look upon all human beings and all the affairs of the world from the spiritual point of view and move among the the people on account of their deep-seated love and compassion for them, have in all ages been the true teachers of humanity and the true leaders of culture and civilization. It is from their lives and teachings that the people living and moving normally in the physical, vital, sensuous, mental and intellectual planes, get glimpses of the Supreme Truth underlying and pervading and transcending the world of ordinary experience and some ideas about the Highest Ideal of their lives. It is these saints who present before their fellow-beings the noblest ideals of their intellectual pursuits and social activities, the highest standards of values, the deepest meanings of life and its aspirations, the innermost significance of the wonderful order and harmony in all the departments of this most complicated cosmic process. They are the permanent sources of inspiration to men and women of all grades of the society. The ideas of Universal Brotherhood, Universal Love and Sympathy, Equality of all men, Sacredness of the lives of all creatures, Inherent Right to Liberty and Justice of all people, Respect for Truth for Truth's sake, Selfless and Disinterested Service to all fellow-beings, Unity of mankind and Unity of the world-order, all such lofty ideas, which have 20 been pushing mankind to higher and higher types of civilization, have been obtained from enlightened Yogis, who have been instilling these ideas into the minds and hearts of the people from time immemorial. All the noblest and most dynamic ideas, which have been progressively refining the human civilization, have been based upon the spiritual experiences of enlightened Saints, who have been preaching them in all parts of this earth for hundreds of years. It is from them that the people learn that the cultivation of their social virtues and their sense of duty and obligation should not be confined within certain territorial boundaries or within certain racial or communal or national limits. We learn from them that our morality does not become truly human morality, until and unless it transcends the narrow domestic and communal and racial and national limits and recognises the entire mankind as one grand and beautiful family, and that our religion does not become truly spiritual religion, until and unless it rises above all sectarian and communal exclusiveness and bigotry and dogmatism and fanaticism and inspires us to feel in our heart of hearts the unity of all men and all creatures. It is these saints who have taught the human society to value self-control as superior to self-gratification, self-sacrifice as superior to self-aggrandisement, self-conquest as superior to the conquest of other people, spiritual self-fulfilment as superior to materalistic advancement, all-embracing love as superior to all-vanquishing brute-force, renunciation of all earthly goods for the sake of the eternal good of the soul as superior to ambition for and attainment of even the greatest possible power and prosperity and pleasure in this physical world. The examples they set up through their own character and conduct and the precepts they preach by words of mouth elevate the sense of dignity of man to a higher spiritual level, awaken in man the consciousness of his inner spiritual possibilities and of the true seat of his glory as the crown of the creation, and practically lead him in the path of his perfect self-realisation. These Yogis are the true makers of civilization. When a Yogi, out of deep sympathy and compassion for the ignorant and distressed people of the world, feels prompted to assume the role of a public teacher and preacher, he is required to give expression to his inner experiences in such intellectual and emotional forms as may be easily intelligible and appealing to those people of the lower planes. Knowing fully well that the truth of the higher planes of spiritual experience cannot be adequately expressed in the language and concepts of the lower planes, he takes the help of various kinds of figures of speech, poetic imageries, suggestive parables, imperfect analogies, mystic formulas, inspiring exhortations, etc., in order to awaken the deeper consciousness of the people and to raise their thoughts: and imaginations forcefully to the higher 21 planes. The instructions of an enlightened Yogi, coming out of his heart with the force of his inner experience, carry conviction to the hearts of the listeners and often bring about a radical change in their outlook and mode of thought. Sometimes a Yogi does not require any word of mouth or movement of limbs for the purpose of exercising his spiritual influence upon the minds and hearts of people; his presence is enough. His very presence as a living embodiment of Truth, Beauty, Goodness, Love and Bliss, exerts a mysterious influence upon the consciousness of those who come to learn from him, and even upon the cultural atmosphere of the society in which he lives. But usually the enlightened Yogis, who compassionately undertake the work of bringing down spiritual light to the people of the Society suffering from ignorance and earthly desires and attachments, adopt the usual means of imparting true knowledge to them. Though inwardly dwelling in the supra-mental supra-intellecual spiritual plane, they practically adjust their modes of teaching and preaching to the mental and intellectual and even the social and physical needs of the people whom they want to serve. While in their teaching life, they primarily concern themselves with inspiring the people with spiritual ideas and ideals on the basis of their deeper experiences, they often attempt to bridge over the chasm between the practical experiences and intellectual conceptions of the ordinary people and their own spiritual realisations in the higher planes of consciousness, by means of suitable logical arguments and philosophical speculations which may appeal to the intellects and imaginations of those people. Thus the Yogis convert themselves into Philosophers to suit the purpose of their teaching. Very few among the truly enlightened Yogi teachers built up any regular system of philosophy. They usually give suggestive hints with regard to the Ultimate Truth, which they have realised in the plane of transcendent consciousness and which they instruct the truth-seekers to realise themselves by means of proper self-discipline, and they teach them the path in which they should proceed. Systems of philosophy are generally built up by their disciples and admirers who dwell in the intellectual plane, on the basis of the inspiring formulas and aphorisms uttered by those adorable teachers. Even those enlightened Yogis who happen to present a system of philosophy to the intellectualist truth-seekers do not lay undue emphasis upon the concepts in terms of which they describe the Ultimate Truth and the logical arguments leading to these concepts. To them all such intellectual concepts are necessarily imperfect expressions of the Ultimate Truth realised in the supra-intellectual plane of the consciousness and no logical arguments can possibly lead to that Supreme Truth. Nevertheless they recognise the value of philosophy as*a 22 mode of search for the Truth and as a mode of discipline of the mind and the intellect. The mind and the intellect are greatly purified and refined and emancipated from irrational ideas and superstitious beliefs and earthbound dispositions through a regular course of philosophical discipline. The systematic study of philosophy under the guidance of enlightened teachers can very well raise a sincere and earnest Truth-seeker from the physical, vital, sensuous and mental planes to the plane of refined intellect and lead him very near to the realisation of the Ultimate Truth. The enlightened Yogi-teachers therefore encourage their intellectualist disciples and truth-seekers to take to the systematic study of philosophy with an unbiassed mind as a very suitable method of self-discipline and selfenlightenment. They accordingly sometimes present before them a system of philosophy for the proper regulation of their reasoning faculty and their mode of approach to Truth. These Yogi-philosophers seldom entangle themselves in polemical controvesies with the advocates of other systems of philosophy. To these enlightened teachers every well-reasoned system of philosophy is a particular mode of intellectual approach to the same supra-intellectual Truth and a particular form of effective discipline of the intellect. When the intellect is properly disciplined and refined, it becomes much easier to transcend the domain of the intellect. GORAKHNATH A MAHAYOGI Gorakhnath was a Mahayogi. He was not essentially a philosopher in the commonly accepted meaning of the term. He did not seek for the Absolute Truth in the path of speculation and logical argumentation. He was not much interested in logically proving or disproving the existence of any Ultimate Noumenal Reality beyond or behind or immanent in the phenomenal world of our normal experience or intellectually ascertaining the nature of any such Reality. He never entangled himself seriously in controversial metaphysical discussions. He never made a display of his intellectual capacities as the upholder of any particular metaphysical theory in opposition to other rival theories. He knew that in the intellectual plane differences of views were inevitable, specially with regard to the Supreme Truth, which was beyond the realm of the normal intellect. He did not attach any primary importance to philosophical speculations and controversies as a means to the realisation of the Ultimate Truth. But he considered them valuable as modes of intellectual discipline and helpful in the path of search for Truth, provided that they were carried on with sincerity and earnestness and humility, and without any bigotry or arrogance or prejudice or blind partiality to particular schools of thought. Unbiassed pursuit of Truth in the path of philosophical reflection was according to him a very effective way to the progressive refinement of the intellect and its elevation to the higher and higher planes, leading gradually to the emancipation of the consciousness from the bondage of all intellectual theories and sentimental attachments. Philosophical reflection (Tattva-Vicdrd) was therefore regarded as a valuable part of yogic self-discipline. Its principal aim should be to make the individual phenomenal consciousness free from all kinds of bias and prejudice, all forms of narrowness and bigotry, all sorts of pre-conceived notions and emotional clingings, and to raise it to the pure supra-mental supraintellectual spiritual plane, in which it may be blessed with the direct experience of the Absolute Truth by becoming perfectly united with it. It was with this object in view that Yogi Guru Gorakhnath taught what might be called a system of philosophy for the guidance of the truthseekers in the path of intellectual self- discipline. The Sampraddya associated with the name of Gorakhnath has a 24 vast literature, in Sanskrit as well as in many of the provincial dialects of India. The authorship of a good many Sanskrit treatises is attributed to Gorakhnath himself. Numerous instructive and inspiring short poems in the oldest forms of some of the regional popular languages, such as Hindi and Rajasthani and Bengali, are directly connected with his name. Which of the books ascribed to him, or bearing his holy name, were really written by the Mahayogi himself is however a matter of controversy. The region in which he was born and the regional language in which he usually spoke are as yet unascertained. Here we are to assume that the old sacred literature which passes in his name and which has long been recognised as authoritative or reliable by his long line of followers was either produced by him or based on his teachings and hence faithfully represents his views. We should attach greater value to the Sanskrit works, which are regarded as more authoritative by all sections of his sampraddya as well as by other earnest scholars. Now, what is particularly noteworthy in connection with the subjectmatter of our present discourse is that, though there are so many wellwritten Sanskrit works which are highly valued by the sampraddya and which are believed to embody the teachings of the Great Master, there is scarcely a single book available, which is exclusively or even ^principally devoted to metaphysical discussion. All the standard works are chiefly concerned with the exposition of the principles and practices of Yoga. Yoga is a method of systematic discipline of all the external and internal organs of the physical body, of all the senses and vital forces and nerves and muscles, of all the psychical functions and natural propensities and subtle desires and passions and of all the intellectual ideas and judgments and reasonings, with a view to the establishment of perfect control over and harmony among all of them and the refinement and spiritualisation of the entire psycho-physiological organism and with the ultimate object of the realisation of Absolute Truth in the most tranquil and integral and illumined state of consciousness. Hence the exposition of Yoga necessarily presupposes a profound knowledge of the structure and operations of the various parts of the organism and a clear conception of the Supreme Ideal towards which the whole course of discipline is to be directed. The Art of Yoga must have a scientific and philosophic background. Hence books on Yoga incidentally discuss relevant scientific and metaphysical topics. The metaphysical doctrine, which Gorakhnath preached along with his instructions on yogic discipline, was not purely the result of any logical reasoning, nor did he attempt to put his doctrine in exact logical forms. The ultimate basis of his philosophy was his supra-mental and 25 supra-intellectual experience in the samadhi-st&te of his consciousness. It was an intellectual expression of his transcendent experience, with due regard for the valid experiences of the normal life, and an attempt to link them together. He presented it as an enlightening way of thinking and meditation to the seekers of truth and peace and freedom from bondage and sorrow. He generally adopted the terminology and modes of linguistic expression which were current among the Siddha-Mahayogis for hundreds of years and which were commonly found in the old Saiva and Sakta Agamas and Tantras. He never dogmatically declared that all truth-seekers must adopt the same terminology in their methods of thinking or even the same way of thinking for the refinement of their thoughts. He would teach the people that Truth was the same, in whatever forms of language It might be expressed and in whatever paths the intellect might approach It. The mind must seek for the Truth with sincerity and earnestness and must not be led away by undue attachment to particular forms of language or particular methods of thinking. It should be remembered that the Ultimate Truth reveals Itself in a plane of consciousness higher than those in which these speeches and thoughts move, and that the methods of philosophical thinking and the expressions of thoughts in appropriate linguistic forms are only means to the purification and enlightenment and concentration of the empirical consciousness and its elevation to the higher planes. Gorakhnath himself freely made use of the terminology and nomenclature current among other schools of philosophical thinking and religious discipline as well and pointed out that their inner significance and purpose were the same. He would often make use of poetic imageries, similes, metaphors and figures of speech and analogical arguments for giving expression to his inner thoughts and experiences, which really belonged to higher planes. Nevertheless, Gorakhnath preached a system of philosophy which has a special place among the philosophical systems of India and a special distinctive character and value of its own. LITERARY SOURCES OF GORAKHNATH'S PHILOSOPHICAL VIEWS It has already been noted that the authorship of a good many books in Sanskrit as well as in several old regional dialects is traditionally attributed to Mahayogi Gorakhnath and that it is very difficult at the present age to ascertain definitely which of them were really written by the Mah5yogi himself. We may however mention here the names of several Sanskrit treatises which are traditionally believed to have been composed by Gorakhnath Goraksha Samhita, Goraksha Sataka, Siddha Siddhdnta Paddhati, Yoga Siddhdnta Paddhati, Viveka Mdrtanda, Yoga Mdrtanda, Yoga Chintdmani, Jndndmrita, Amanaska, Atmabodha, Goraksha Sahasra Ndma, Yoga-bija, Amaraugha Prabodha, Goraksha Pistika, Goraksha Gitd, etc. etc. Many other books were current in his name. Gorakhnath's Guru Matsyendra Nath is said to have been the author of a good many treatises, such as, Matsyendra Samhitdy Kaula Jhdna Nirnaya, Kuldnanda Tantra, Jndna Kdrikd, Akula Vira-Tantra, etc. There is a number of later Upanishads, the names of whose authors are not available but which elaborately deal with the yogic concepts and yogic methods as taught by Matsyendranath, Gorakhnath and other Siddha Yogi teachers. For examples, Ndda-Bindu Upanishad, Dhydna-Bindu Upanishad, Tejo- Bindu Upanishad, Yoga-Tattwa Upanishad, Yoga-Chuddmani Upanishad, Yoga-Sikhd Upanishad, Yoga-Kundall Upanishad, Mandala-Brdhmana Upanishad^ Sdndilya Upanishad, Jdbdla Upanishady etc. There is one Upanishad, which is known as Goraksha Upanishad. Ndtha Sutra, Siva Gitd, Avadhuta Gitd, Siva Samhitd, Suta Samhita, Dattdtreya Samhita, Sdvara Tantra, Gheranda Samhita, Hatha-Yoga Pradipika, and many such Sanskrit treatises are definitely connected with the Yogi Sampraddya of Gorakhnath, and they are authoritative guide-books for spiritual aspirants in the path of Yoga. Most of these books give valuable informations about the philosophical concepts and principles, on which the yogic methods of discipline are based, but very few of them attach primary importance to philosophical discussions on controversial topics. Many old poetical works have been discovered in Bengali, Hindi, Raiasthani and other regional languages of India, as well as of the bordering countries, like Nepal and Tibet, which were based on the lives and teachings of Matsyendranath, Gorakhnath and other illustrious saints of the Nath-Yogi sect. The authorship of some of them is ascribed to 27 those great founders of the sect. Matsyendranath is regarded as the earliest poet in the Bengali language. Many great Ndth-Acharyas or Siddha- Achdryas were writers of Bengali poems. The earliest poems in Hindi and Rajasthani were those, which are believed to have been composed by Gorakhnath. There were many poets among their followers also, who preached their ideas through literature. All these literary works are valuable sources of information about the Great Master's philosophical ideas. Among these books, Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati occupies a special position. This Sanskrit treatise gives a systematic exposition in a rather abridged form of the metaphysical ideas and the way of thinking of the Siddha-Yogi Sampraddya as well as of the Supreme Ideal which the Yogis seek to realise in their life through the practice of Yoga. This book is cited as an authority in many other books of the Sampraddya. No other book of this Sampraddya has as yet been discovered, which presents to us such a clear account of the philosophy and religion of this great school. The book itself proclaims Gorakhnath as its author, though some modern scholars gravely doubt the genuineness of this declaration. Like many other standard works of this Sampraddya, Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati had been in manuscript form for so many centuries and had been available for study only to the initiated members and specially inquisitive scholars of this Sampraddya. It was for the first time published in printed form from Hardwar by Yogindra Purnanath with a Sanskrit commentary by Pundit DravyeSa Jha Sastri and a Hindi commentary by Yogi Bhishmanath, in the year 1996 Vikram Sambat (1940 A. D.). Quite recently, Dr. (Mrs.) Kalyani Mullik, M. A., Ph. D., of the Calcutta University, has published another edition of this book with an English summary of her own. There is a poetical work, named Siddha Siddhanta Sangraha, which is a summary in "'erse of Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati. This book was published in printed form in 1925 by Mahamahopadhyaya Gopinath Kaviraj. The date of the composition of this book also could not be ascertained. One verse in the book indicates that it was written by some person, named Balbhadra, at the bidding of Krishnaraja, in the sacred city of Kashi. It is certainly an old book and it ably summarises the contents of the original, often reproducing the language of the original. It was available to the general readers before the publication of the original work. Goraksha Siddhanta Sangraha is another important Sanskrit treatise in prose, which briefly expounds the philosophical and religious views of 28 Gorakhnath. This book makes profuse quotations from the sayings of old Mahayogis like Matsyendranath, Gorakhnath, Jalandharnath, Bhartrihari and others as well as from a good many older texts on Yoga. But Siddha Siddhdnta Paddhati appears to be the main basis of this treatise. This book also was first edited and published with a short Prefatory Note by Mahamahopadhyaya Gopinath Kaviraj in 1925. The name of the author of this book is not definitely known, but he must have been a highly learned yogi-teacher of Gorakhnath's school a few centuries back. Another edition of the book was published from Hardwar. The present discourse on the philosophy of Gorakhnath will be mainly based upon Siddha Siddhdnta Paddhati, in as much as it is among all the works of the school discovered so far, the most systematic and comprehensive presentation of his philosophical doctrines and it claims to be and is generally accepted as a genuine work of the Master himself. Help will of course be taken from other authoritative works. The specific characteristic of this book is that it is purely a constructive work and does not enter into any logical disputation with other systems of philosophy and religion. It is written partly in the form of aphorisms (Sutras) and partly in the form of verses (Slokas). It presents in a methodical way the Siddha Sampraddya's conception of the Ultimate Spiritual Ground of the Universe, the process of the evolution of the diversities of the world from One Absolute Dynamic Spirit, the true nature of the individual souls and their psycho-physical embodiments as well as their essential relation to the cosmic order, the highest ideal to be realised by the individual souls for their perfect self-fulfilment, the systematic course of discipline of the body and the senses and the vital forces and the mind and the intellect for the realisation of this Supreme Ideal, and other relevant problems. It emphasises that the systematic course of self-discipline for the attainment of perfect self-illumination and self-fulfilment must be learnt from a competent Guru or Natha or Avadhuta, who has himself realised the supreme ideal and attained direct experience of the Absolute Truth in the transcendent Samddhi-state of his consciousness. Without the enlightened guidance of such a Guru, real progress in the path of spirituality can scarcely be expected. CHAPTER III CONTENTS OF SIDDHA SIDDHANTA PADDHATI The book introduces itself to the truth-seekers thus : Adindtham namaskritya saktiyuktam jagadgurum Vakshye Gorakshandthoham Siddha-Siddhdnta-Paddhatim. Having bowed down to Adinatha (Siva, the Supreme Spirit), Who is eternally possessed of Supreme Power and is the eternal Guru (Source of True Knowledge) of the world (i.e. all conscious beings of all times and all places), I, Gorakshanatha, will expound Siddha Siddhdnta Paddhati (i.e. the way of thinking of the Siddha-sampraddya or the long time of enlightened Yogis). (S.S.P.I.I.). This introduction (if its authenticity be not questioned) shows that Gorakhnath himself was the author of the book. There are other statements also within the book, which corroborate this introductory declaration. Goraksha Siddhdnta Sangraha, while making quotations from this authoritative work, refers to the author sometimes as ri-Natha and sometimes (at least once) as Nitya-Ndtha. In his discussions, this compiler of the philosophical and religious doctrines of Gorakshanath (i.e. the writer of this Sangraha) leaves no doubt that by Sri-Ndtha and Nitya- Ndtha he meant Goraksha-Natha, whom he believed to be the Incarnation of ISwara, Adi-Ndtha, Mahd-Yogiswara Siva, the eternal Master of all Yogis. There was however another great yogi of the name of Nityanatha who also was a celebrated author of many important works on Yoga and Medicine. In Hatha Yoga Pradlpikd the name of one Nitya-Natha is mentioned as one of the great Mahdsiddha Yogis who having conquered death moved freely in the world. The name of Nitya-Natha is also found in other old Sanskrit treatises, particularly in treatises on the science of medicine. He is regarded as the author of the famous book, named Rasa Ratndkara, which bears the name of Pdrvati-putra (son of Parvati), Nitya-Ndtha Siddha. He was a great chemist. His name is mentioned with respect by Bagbhat in his Rasa Ratna Samuccaya. Nitya-Natha is also reputed to be the author of a book, named Indra-jdla Tattwa (science of magic). He is sometimes referred to as Nityananda, Nitya-pada and Dhyani-Natha. That Nitya-Natha was a 30 celebrated Siddha-Yogi and a great scientist and philosopher and author is beyond doubt. But there is no strong ground for attributing to him the authorship of Siddha Siddhdnta Paddhati. The time of Nitya-Natha also it is difficult to surmise. We may assume that Gorakhnath was the author of this most authoritative philosophical work of Gorakhnath's sampraddya or that it truly represents his views. In Siddha Siddhdnta Paddhati, the great Acharya discusses various important topics under six principal heads, called Upadefa (lessons). The first lesson is on Pindotpatti (i.e. origin of the body, cosmic as well as individual). In this lesson, he explains briefly the nature of the Absolute Reality and exhibits how and through what gradual stages the diversified cosmic system with the various orders of material organisms in it evolves out of the dynamic spiritual character of One Supreme Reality. He shows how the Supreme Spirit, though essentially above time and space and relativity and eternally differenceless and changeless in His transcendent nature, manifests Himself by virtue of His unique Power as a diversified universe (Samasti-pinda or Brahmdnda) in time and space with countless orders of individual bodies (Vyasti-pinda) and as the Indwelling Soul in each of them. This is one of the fundamental metaphysical conceptions of the Siddha Yogi Sampraddya. The second lesson is on Pinda-Vicdra (i.e. contemplation on the constitution of the body). In this lesson, the Acharya gives instruction about some of the special conceptions of the school with regard to the inner constitution of the individual body, such as Cakra, Adhdra, Lakshya and Vyoma or Akdsa. Nine Cakras, sixteen Adhdras, three Lakshyas, and five Vyomas are enumerated, their locations within the particular parts of the body are indicated and the methods of contemplation upon them are suggested. Such contemplations arc of practical importance from the standpoint of self-discipline in this path and the elevation of the mind to the higher and higher planes and the progressive dematerialisation and spiritualisation of the physical body (Kdya-siddhi). Gorakhnath attached special value to the knowledge of these Cakras, etc., and contemplation on them in conformity with the instruction of the Guru. This is evident from his other treatises also, such as Goraksha Sataka, Goraksha Samhitd, Viveka- Mdrtanda, etc. The third lesson is on Pinda Sambitti (i.e. true insight into the body). In this lesson, the Acharya points out clearly the identity of the individual body with the Cosmic Body, the identity of the Microcosm with the Macrocosm. He shows in a detailed way that whatever exists in the vast world outside exists also within this individual body. The realisation of the identity of this apparently finite and mortal body with the beginningless 31 and endless universe is a unique and magnificent ideal placed before the spiritual aspirants by Gorakhnath and his school. The yogi has to realise, not only the unity of the individual soul with the Cosmic Soul, but also the unity of the individual body with the Cosmic Body. The Yogi attains perfect freedom and bliss in the universe by becoming one with the universe. The fourth lesson is on Pindddhdra (i.e. Container and Sustainer of the body). In this lesson, the Acharya reveals that all the bodies are ultimately contained in and sustained and held together by one Sakti, or Supreme Spiritual Power, Who is in Her essential character identical with and non-different from Siva, the Non-dual Supreme Spirit. All the bodies are the self-manifestations of one self-evolving Divine Sakti One Supreme Spiritual Power ; they are contained in and sustained by the same Power (Sakti) ; the same Power is immanent in and pervades them and regulates all their relations and changes ; they have really no existence apart from the existence of that Sakti. This Sakti, again, is non-different from Siva the Power is identical with the Spirit. The same self-conscious self-enjoying non-dual Spirit, when conceived as existing in and by Himself in His transcendent character, is called Siva, and when conceived as actively transforming Himself into a Cosmic Body and creating and developing and regulating and destroying innumerable finite bodies in time and space and revealing Himself in various forms and various ways, is called Sakti. The Absolute Reality in Its transcendent aspect is Siva and in Its dynamic aspect is Sakti. When a Siddha-Yogi ascends to the plane of Samadhi, to him there is no difference between Siva and Sakti, and he enjoys the bliss of the perfect union of Siva and Sakti. The fifth lesson is devoted to the discussion on the Supreme Ideal of Samarasa Karana (perfect unification) of the individual body with the Cosmic Body, of the bodies with the Supreme Power, and of the Power with the Absolute Spirit, as well as on the way of the realisation of this Ideal. When this Ideal of Samarasa is truly realised, the difference between Matter and Spirit vanishes, the difference between the Finite and the Infinite disappears, the difference between Jeeva and Siva passes away, the difference between the Self and the World ceases to exist. The Yogi then sees the world within himself and himself in all the existences of the world. He sees Siva in himself and all and sees himself and the whole world as unified in Siva. In his experience, his own body is spiritualised and the whole universe is spiritualised. To his illumined consciousness, the Absolute Spirit, Siva, alone exists in all these names and forms, and nothing but Him really exists. He sees and enjoys the most beautiful and blissful Unity in all apparent diversities. 32 The sixth lesson gives a fine description of the character and conduct of an Avadhuta Yogi, i.e. a Yogi who has perfectly realised the Ideal of Samarasa Karana as explained in the fifth lesson and attained perfect freedom from all ignorance and ego-consciousness, all bondage and narrowness of outlook, all desires and attachments, all cares and fears and sorrows, ail sense of difference and plurality. An Avadhuta Yogi is one who has not only been blessed with the direct experience of the Absolute Truth in the state of Samddhi, but who has also been able to bring down the light of that transcendent experience to the intellectual and mental and vital planes of his consciousness and whose normal life is always illumined by that Divine Light. His state of Samddhi seems to continue undisturbed and unclouded even in the midst of his outer activities in relation to various sorts of people under various kinds of circumstances. It is such an Avadhuta Yogi, who is called a Ndtha in the true sense of the term. He is a perfect master of himself, a perfect master of the circumstances in which he may dwell in his outer life. It is such a Ndtha who is truly worthy of being Sad-Guru, because he is capable of destroying the darkness of ignorance which prevails in the minds of ordinary people and of awakening the spiritual wisdom and the spiritual power which normally lie asleep in the human consciousness. Now, it is the experience of a perfect Ndtha or Avadhuta-Yogi, which is the real basis of the philosophy of the Yogi-Sampraddya. Gorakhnath, himself a Ndtha or Avadhuta-Yogi, proceeds with his philosophical discourses on the basis of his own spiritual experiences as well as those of the other Avadhuta Yogis, who preceded him in this path. His philosophy practically consists in the explanation of the facts of the lower planes of normal human experience in the light of the Truth realised by himself and the other Siddha-Mahdyogis in the perfectly illumined state of their consciousness as well as the relative occult truths experienced in the supernormal states of consciousness intermediate between the normal sensuous plane and the perfectly illumined state. CHAPTER IV CONCEPTION OF THE ULTIMATE REALITY It has been observed that MaMyogi Gorakhnath's conception of the Ultimate Reality is not merely the result of any process of logical reasoning from data supplied by normal sense-experience of ordinary people. It is not to him a theory or hypothesis conceived for the purpose of offering rational causal explanation of the world of common experience, as it is the case with purely intellectualist philosophers. The basis of his intellectual conception about the Ultimate Reality is super-sensuous super-mental super-intellectual direct experience in the state of Samadhi, i.e., in the perfectly illumined and perfectly universalised and unconditioned state of the consciousness. Conception, however, is an affair of the intellect. In the field of direct experience, whether sensuous or super-sensuous, mental or super-mental, there is no room for conception. Conception comes in, when the necessity is felt for the rational interpretation and intellectual understanding of such experience. It is the function of the intellect (buddhi) to operate upon the direct experiences and to interpret them in terms of conceptions in order to constitute a system of valid knowledge out of them. The necessity for such interpretation is inherent in the nature of sensuous experience, since the isolated sense-perceptions cannot by themselves constitute any real knowledge to the full satisfaction of the rational human mind. It is through the formation of conceptions that our knowledge of the phenomenal world of sensuous and mental experiences develops and expands, and with the development and expansion of knowledge the necessity for the formation of deeper and deeper, higher and higher, more and more comprehensive conceptions increases. Finally, the necessity is felt for the formation of an all-comprehending all-integrating all-illumining conception, which may fully satisfy the rational mind by furnishing an adequate explanation for the entire world of sensuous and mental experiences and may link together all experiences into one integral knowledge. Such a conception is regarded as the conception of the Absolute Ultimate Reality. Nevertheless, the conception is and will be in the domain of the intellect, in the domain of theory, and it can never amount to nor can it have the certitude of the direct experience of the Absolute Truth. A Mahayogi who attains the direct transcendental experience of the 34 Reality in the Samadhi state does not for his own satisfaction feel any necessity for the formation of any intellectual conception, since to him this experience is the most perfectly integrated knowledge of all possible existences in the universe and beyond it and this experience carries its certainty within itself. He enjoys the bliss of this experience, for herein he feels the fulfilment of his knowledge, the fulfilment of his life, the fulfilment of his mind and heart and intellect. Herein he becomes perfectly united with the Absolute Truth. But, when a Mahayogi becomes a teacher and comes in contact with the truth-seeking people, living and moving in the sensuous and mental planes of experience and knowledge, he is required to give glimpses of his transcendental experience in terms of intellectual concepts and to demonstrate (as far as practicable) by means of logical reasoning that the Truth realised in that experience can furnish the most adequate rational explanation for all the phenomena of the sensuous and mental planes of human experience. He has to show for the satisfaction of the intellectual demand of these people that the diversified objective world of phenomenal realities of the lower planes of human experience derives its existence from, is sustained and regulated and harmonised by and is again dissolved in the Absolute Reality, the true nature of which is revealed to the human consciousness in its perfectly purified and concentrated and illumined transcendent state. He has somehow to rationally account for the diversified self-expressions of the Absolute Reality in the form of the spatio-temporal cosmic order and again the unification of all these diversities in Its undifferentiated supra-temporal and supra-spatial spiritual nature. He has to explain how the plurality of material realities can originate from the one Supreme Spiritual Reality, how the Reality above time and space can manifest Itself in a temporal and spatial order, how the One can become many and remain One all the same. Many such questions arise in the minds of the intellectualist people, and the Mahayogi Teacher has to offer answers to them for removing their doubts and bringing them to the path of Truth, though to his own enlightened consciousness all such questions and answers are of little value. Mahayogi Acharya Gorakhnath begins his discourse on the philosophical conception of the Ultimate Reality with an important statement : Ndsti satya-vicdre smin nutpattis cdnda-pindayoh Tathdpi loka-vrittyanham vakshye sat-sampraddyatah. (S. S. P. I. 2). [From the standpoint of the Absolute Truth, there is really no origina35 tion of the cosmic order and the plurality of individual existences within it; nevertheless I shall explain (the origination, etc., of this world-system from the nature of the Ultimate Reality) in accordance with the way of thinking of the enlightened Yogi-Sampradaya with a view to the satisfaction of the normal rational demands of people in general.] The view-point of the Absolute Truth is the view-point of transcendent experience in Samadhi, in which the Truth reveals itself in its perfect self-shining nature and in which the individual consciousness is fully identified with the Truth. This plane of experience is above time and space, above change and plurality, above causality and relativity. The world of space and time, the world of finite and changing and causally related existences, is in this plane of experience merged in one infinite eternal changeless differenceless self-luminous Existence. From the view-point of this plane of experience, there is no real origination of the diversified and changing world-order in space and time, and hence no real destruction or dissolution of it. What appears as such a world-order to individual consciousness in the lower planes of its experience reveals itself in the highest plane of its experience as nothing but the infinite eternal self-shining Supreme Spirit, in which its own individuality also is merged. Hence the question of its origination or destruction does not arise at all. Origination means a temporal process of the coming into existence of something which did not previously exist as such. It also implies the pre-existence of a reality from which it comes into being and a temporal process of causation and change in that reality. Nothing can be originated without some cause and without some sort of temporal change or modification in the cause. Now, can we conceive of any time when the phenomenal world-order, whether in a gross or a subtle form, whether in a manifested or an unmanifested state, did not exist ? Time implies a change, a process, a succession, and every kind of change or process or succession must be within the phenomenal world-order. The changes or processes may be of the forms of gross transformations or subtle modifications, may be outwardly manifested or may remain outwardly unmanifested, but they are all included in the cosmic order. Thus the cosmic order cannot be conceived as having any temporal beginning or origination. Again, if there be any Reality behind or beyond this world-order, that Reality must be above time, free from all possible temporal changes or modifications, and cannot therefore be the cause of the production of this world-order in the phenomenal sense. Thus, on the one hand, in the plane of transcendent experience, in which all temporal relations cease to exist and all plurality are unified in 36 the nature of one infinite eternal Spiritual Reality, the question of the origination of the world-order as an entity separate from that Supreme Spirit does not arise at all ; on the other hand, in the plane of normal phenomenal experience, this spatio-temporal order cannot be thought of as having had any absolute beginning in time or as produced by any causal process of modification or transformation of some Reality existing above time and space, and hence its origination at any point of time is unthinkable. Nevertheless, it is quite obvious that our normal intellect can neither deny or ignore the objective existence of this world-order, consisting of the plurality of phenomena in time and space perceived by our normal senses and minds, nor can it think of this spatio-temporal phenomenal world as a self-existent, self-revealing, self-evolving, self-regulating and self-harmonising Absolute Reality. The intellect demands an explanation in terms of the a priori categories of our rational understanding for this objective world of our sensuous and mental perception, in relation to the Absolute Reality Which unveils Its true nature in the transcendent experience and Which comprehends and unifies this world in Its transcendent non-duality. The world of our normal experience is obviously of a derivative contingent relative conditional and composite nature, and our reason demands that it must have the ground and source and support of its existence and continuity and harmonious operations in some self-existent self-conditioned self-revealing dynamic and transcendent Absolute Reality, which is necessarily beyond the scope of our senses and mind, beyond the scope of the phenomenal conditioned and relative knowledge of our finite understanding. This Absolute Reality unveils Itself to our consciousness in its super-sensuous super-mental super-intellectual transcendent state, in which the subject- object relation vanishes and the consciousness realises itself as perfectly identified with the Absolute Reality. The Absolute Reality is thus experienced as the Absolute Consciousness, in which all time and space and all existences in time and space are merged in perfect unity, and the One Infinite Eternal Undifferentiated Changeless Self-Effulgent Consciousness shines as the Ultimate Reality. As this Absolute Consciousness is above the plane of the normal intellect, the intellect cannot form any true conception of It and cannot describe Its nature except in negative terms ; but still it tries to conceive It in relation to and as the ground of this world-order. Gorakhnath, in pursuance of the earlier Siddha-Yogis, designates this Absolute Consciousness as Pard-Sambit. This Para-Sambiit is the Absolute Reality. This Para-Sambit is also spoken of by Yogis as the Perfect Union of Siva-Sakti. From the view-point of the Para-Sambit, there is no world-order having any separate existence, and hence the 37 question of Its origination does not arise. Nevertheless, as in the intellectual plane the phenomenal existence of the world-order is undeniable and as this world-order cannot be conceived as self-existent, its origin must be traced to the Absolute Consciousness, and the character of this Ultimate Reality also has to be relatively so conceived from the intellectual viewpoint that the evolution of this world of harmoniously related finite and transitory phenomenal realities may be adequately explained. Thus, Gorakhnath, in his philosophical system, makes the attempt to link together the transcendent experience of an enlightened Mohayogi and the intellectual demand of a common man, with the practical purpose of refining and elevating the consciousness of the truth-seeking people and disciplining their thoughts in the proper direction. Gorakhnath thus describes the pure character of the Ultimate Reality of transcendent experience : Yadd ndsti swayam harta karanam na kuldkulam Avyaktam ca param brahnm andmd vidyate tadd. (S. S. P. I. 4). [When there is no active doer (creator), no causality (or process of causation), no distinction between power and reality (i.e., the dynamic and the static aspects of the Spirit), when the Supreme Spirit is wholly without any self-manifestation (in finite and changing phenomenal forms), He then exists purely as the Nameless One.] He adds : Andmeti swayam anadisiddham ekam eva anddinidhanam Siddha-siddhdnta-prasiddham. Tasya icchd-mdtra-dharmd dharminl nijd saktih prasiddhd. (S. S. P. I. 5). [That nameless (and formless and manifestationless) Supreme Spirit is eternally self-existent, absolutely one (i.e. differenceless), without any birth or death (or modification). This is the well-known conception (about Reality) of the Siddhas (enlightened seers). His unique Power, which is eternally inherent in His nature and one with Him and which is of the character of Pure Will (i.e. without any manifestation or any object of will or process of willing in the transcendent plane) is also well-known.] Thus, according to the Siddha-Mahayogis, the Ultimate Reality, though revealing Itself in the Samddhi state as pure changeless infinite eternal Consciousness, is not a static, but a dynamic Spirit with will. The Transcendent Spirit is eternally endowed with Sakti. Siva with akti nondifferent from Hiiji is the Reality. SAT-CID-ANANDA BRAHMA The Ultimate Reality as realised in the transcendent state, of consciousness is described in this way by Mahayogis: Na brahmd vtihnu-rudrau na surapati-surah naiva prithwi na cdpah Naivdgnirndpi vdyur na ca gaganatalam no disc naiva kdlah No vedd naiva yajnd nz. ca rabi-sasinau no bidhir naiva kalpah Swa-jyotih satyam ekom jayali tava padam sacciddnanda-murte. (Quoted from Siddha-Siddhanta-Paddhati in Goraksha-Siddhdnta-Sangraha) No distinctive existence of Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra and Indra and other Deities is there; nor is there any existence of earth or water or fire or air or sky; time and the directions (which imply space) do not exist; the vedas and the yajnas, the sun and the moon, the laws and the cyclic order are all absent; Your true Self alone shines as the sole self-luminous Absolute Reality, O You, who reveal Yourself as pure and perfect Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. This is the Ultimate Reality according to the Siddha-Yogi Sampraddya. But the elightened Mahayogis were conscious that this conception, based as it was on transcendent experience, did not fully represent the entire nature of the Absolute Reality and could not satisfy the rational demand of the empirical intellect. It may be noted that this conception of the Ultimate Reality appears to be in perfect agreement with the view of Adwaita-Veddnta, which also is based upon the transcendent experience of Mahayogis as verbally expressed in the texts of the Upanishads. It is the conception of Nirguna Brahma, above time, space, relativity and causality, untouched by all kinds of differences external and internal, and devoid of any power or will or action. The Ultimate Reality is according to this view one timeless and spaceless, infinite and eternal, changeless, differenceless and processless, transcendent non-dual self-luminous Consciousness. It is described as pure Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. Now, this conception of the Absolute cannot give perfect satisfaction to the rational intellect. First, it appears to be purely a negative and abstract idea, not giving any positive knowledge about the nature of the Absolute Reality. It merely informs us that the Absolute Reality is Something altogether of a different and distinct character from whatever 39 we know and can possibly know, but fails to give us any intelligible positive idea as to what Its character truly is. Pure Existence-Consciousness- Bliss also does not appear to be an intelligible positive Reality. Secondly, the perfect nature of the Absolute Spirit must also have a dynamic element, which can furnish an adequate ground for the appearance or evolution of the cosmic system. This dynamic aspect of the Absolute Reality finds no mention in the above description. (a) Conception of Pure Existence: It is contended by intellectualists that Pure Existence without Something existent cannot be rationally conceived as a real entity. It i$ as good as non-existence. It is meaningless to say that Existence exists. Existence is meaningful, when it is affirmed or denied of something. Something may exist or may not exist; affirmation of existence means the reality of a thing, and denial of existence means its unreality. The category of existence may be variously qualified. Something that exists may have self-existence or derivative existence, unconditional or conditional existence, eternal or temporary existence, infinite or finite existence, changeless or changeable existence, real existence or illusory existence, But in every case existence, in order to have an intelligible meaning, must be predicated of some subject or entity. Without some subject of which it is affirmed, existence is merely an abstract idea without any content and has therefore no real difference from non-existence. If, however, Pure Existence implies a Reality having eternal infinite changeless differenceless absolute self-existence, then of course the term acquires a distinctive meaning, rich in contents. It is, in truth, in this sense that the Mahdyogis and the Rishis of the Upanishads use this term, and it certainly conveys some positive idea about the Absolute Reality. Pure Existence as the characteristic of the Ultimate Reality means Perfect Existence, It does not indicate merely the negation of non existence, but also the negation of all forms of imperfect existence. This negation of imperfect existence, again, does not imply that there are numerous kinds of realities having different forms of imperfect existences, separate from the Ultimate Reality, and that the Ultimate Reality is distinguished from them by Its attribute of perfect existence; for in that case Perfect Existence would be limited and relative existence and therefore not perfect in the true sense. The Absolute Reality is characterised by Perfect Existence, in as much as It is the sole non-dual Reality and nothing exists in any form either within or beside Itself. Negation of imperfect existence implies that all kinds of temporal and spatial, derivative and conditional, mental and material existences, which are or may be objects of internal or external experience in the lower 40 planes of consciousness, are absolutely merged in and unified with the Perfect Existence, and there is no plurality or duality therein. A Mahayogi experiences this Perfect Existence by elevating his empirical consciousness to the super-empirical plane, the plane above duality and plurality, above time and space, above all empirical imperfect conditional existences. Those who hold that existence necessarily means empirical existence of the normal planes of experience or that 'practical efficiency' is the sole criterion of existence, this Perfect Existence may appear to be as good as non-existence, the transcendent experience may seem to be negation of experience and annihilation of existence. They speak of what is above phenomenal experience as Asat (non-existent) or Sunya (Void), and the phenomenal reality as the only Sat (Existent) and phenomental experience as the one source of real knowledge. To them all real existences have origination and destruction. They cannot explain wherefrom they are originated and wherein they are lost. They ignore that empirical existences having origination and destruction necessarily imply some self-existent Reality, for the satisfaction of the reason's demand for a causal explanation of these existences. In the Yoga-Sdstras the transcendent experience in the state of nirvikalpa or asamprajnata samadhi is found to be described in terms of sunya (void or vacancy or negation of everything) as well as puma (fullness or perfection or unification of all). It is a state of Antah-sunyo vahih-sunyah sunya-kumbha ivamvare Antah-purno vahih-purnah purna-kumbha ivarnave. void within and void without, like an empty vessel in the sky; fulness within and fulness without, like a vessel full of water immersed in the ocean. Since in that experience there is nothing which is experienced as its object, there is no subject-object relation and no process of experience, there is no consciousness of any inside and outside or any before and after, it may quite appropriately be spoken of as a state of absolute Void, (sunya), absolute negation of existence and consciousness in the empirical sense. On the other hand, as it is the state of the perfect fulfilment of all earnest and systematic endeavours for liberation from all limitations and realisation of the Absolute Truth, as it gives the sense of complete satisfaction to the human consciousness seeking for Truth and Freedom and thus results in perfect calmness and tranquility and bliss, as after the attainment of this blessed state nothing else appears to remain to be known and enjoyed, it is rightly described as the state of absolute fulness 41 and perfection, the state of the realisation of Perfect Existence, in which all orders of phenomenal existences are not simply negated, but realised as resolved into Absolute Unity. What appears to be Sunya or Asat (negation of all existences) from the empirical view-point is really the Puma-Sat (Perfect Existence), in which the ultimate character of all orders of existences is unveiled as One Self-luminous Differeneeless Non-dual Spiritual Existence. This Perfect Existence is immanent in all empirical realities, which are only partial imperfect conditioned self-manifestations of It in the spatio-temporal order. Gorakhnath and his school do not seem to be fanatically infatuated with any of such categories of intellectual understanding, as Sat or Asat, Puma or Sunya, Duality or Non-duality (Dwaita or Adwaita), etc., with regard to the Absolute Truth, since in their view the Absolute Truth is beyond the scope of such categories and directly realisable in absolute transcendent experience. Hence they refer to this Ultimate Reality as Sat in some contexts and Asat in others, Puma in some and Sunya in others, Adwaita in some and Dwaita in others, and often as above and beyond Sat and Asat, Sunya and Asunya, Dwaita and Adwaita. Hatha-Yoga- Pradipikd, a standard work of this school, written by Swatmarama Yogindra, writes, fiunya-asunya-vilakshanaw sphurati tat tattwam param sambhavam. That Ultimate Truth realised in the highest Samadhi through the practice of Sambhavi-Mudra shines as distinct from Sunya and Asunya. In the very next sentence it speaks of the bliss of the dissolution of the mind in &unya9 which is of the character of Consciousness-Bliss, "Bhavet citta-layanandah Sunye cit-sukha-rupini." Sunya and Brahma are often used synonymously. (b) Conception of Pure Consciousness: Similar difficulties arise, when we try to form an intellectual conception of Pure Consciousness (Cit or Cetana). In the domain of our phenomenal knowledge we distinguish between conscious and unconscious beings, and consciousness appears to us as an attribute of the conscious beings, and not as a being or substance or reality by itself. Secondly, conscious beings also are not always found to be conscious, as in the state of deep sleep or swoon; in such cases though the psycho-physical organism exists and the mind may be supposed to be existent, there is no indication of the presence of any consciousness. Thirdly, there are many mental operations which seem to take place in the subconscious and the unconscious levels of the mind, and these are evident from our memories and dreams and other phenomena. Fourthly, we get no evidence of the existence of 42 consciousness, except in relation to and as a quality of a living psychophysical organism, and hence we cannot conceive of any unembodied Pure Consciousness existing by Itself. Fifthly, even in a psycho-physical organism consciousness does not appear to be a permanent inalienable changeless feature; but it seems to originate from and continue to exist under certain favourable conditions. It thus appears to be a temporal process, having origination, continuity, development, degradation and destruction, and not a permanent reality. Sixthly, consciousness in our normal experience invariably involves a subject-object relation. Even a subject having the capacity for consciousness remains unconscious, unless there is present before it an object of which it becomes conscious and unless there is a mental process establishing a relation between the subject and the object. The subject does not become conscious even of itself without relating itself to and distinguishing itself from its objects. On account of all these conditions on which our normal consciousness depends, it becomes almost impossible for us to form an idea of Pure Consciousness as a self-existent and self-shining Reality-in-itself, transcending any subject-object relation or any temporal process, independent of any psycho-physical organism and without any origination and modification and destruction, a timeless spaceless eternal infinite non-dual Absolute Reality. Standing on the plane of normal human experience, an ordinary intellectualist thinker may very well ask, even if there be any such Absolute Reality beyond space and time and plurality and relativity, how can It be conceived as conscious, when there is no object of which It can be conscious and when It cannot even possibly make Itself an object of Its consciousness? In the absence of any other objective reality within or without Itself, Its self-shining or self-luminous character appears to be meaningless. It may have pure existence, but how can It be conceived as having a conscious or self-conscious existence? Enlightened Yogis and philosophers point out that though it may be difficult to form a clear conception of Pure Transcendent Consciousness as a self-existent reality in the normal plane of experience, a deeper analysis of and reflection upon our phenomenal experience reveals the presence of this self-existent and self-shining, infinite and eternal, Pure Consciousness as the background of all our experience and knowledge. First, when a distinction is known between conscious and unconscious beings, does it not imply that phenomenal consciousness and unconscionsness are both objects of the same Consciousness, that the affirmation and the negation of empirical consciousness are witnessed and asserted by one self-illumining subject lying behind both? Would there be any knowledge of the diverse kinds of conscious and unconscious beings, if 43 there had not been One Consciousness witnessing them and distinguishing them from one another and at the same time distinguishing Itself from them? There must be one self-luminous Consciousness underlying and illumining consciousness as well as unconsciousness. Secondly, what is the proof of the existence of the objective world, which is a magnificent organisation of countless diversities of finite and transitory phenomenal realities? Can there be any valid conception of such an objective world except with reference to One Universal Subiect- Consciousness, to Which it appears as such an object, by Which it is organised and illumined and experienced as a composite objective reality, Which without Itself undergoing any change and losing Its unity along with the various changes within this world links together all the temporal and spatial changes and harmonises and unifies them into one vast complex and continuous Cosmic System? In truth, we can think of this beginningless and endless, ever-changing and ever-complicated, ever-diversified and everunified system of the universe, only as existing to and by and for One Infinite Eternal Self-luminous and All-illumining Universal Consciousness. Otherwise what we call the world-order or the cosmic system would be altogether meaningless. Our individual empirical consciousnesses gain only partial and imperfect experiences of this world-order, in so far as they are illuminated by that Universal Consciousness, and they partially and imperfectly participate in Its infinite experience under the limiting psychophysical conditions. Our individual experiences must be harmonised by some Universal Consciousness, otherwise they would have no objective validity. If and when the individual consciousness can get rid of these limiting conditions in Nirbikalpa Samddhi, it may be perfectly illumined by that Infinite Eternal Consciousness and may then be blessed with a perfect experience of the Cosmic System. In that experience, however, the Cosmic system will be merged in and unified with that Absolute Consciousness. Thirdly, with regard to the unconscious states of the mind in deep sleep (Sushupti) and swoon (murccha) and the mental functions in the unconscious and subconscious levels, it may be asked, who is witness to these unconscious states and the unconscious or subconscious operations of the mind? Do they not imply the presence of a consciousness of these unconscious states, distinct from the mental act of awareness? It is quite evident that if what is called the mind had been self-illumined, i.e., if self-consciousness had been its essential characteristic, it could not have any unconscious state. The mind, as it is experienced, passes through various states, such as waking, dream, sleep and swoon; in every state it passes through various modifications and changes, which are as a matter of course 44 temporal processes; in the waking state it passes through various sensations and perceptions, thoughts and imaginations, feelings and emotions, passions and propensions, desires and wills; in the unconscious or subconscious state also it passes through various modifications and changes, the effects of which are experienced in the conscious state; in the mind numerous phenomena occur, of which it is not at all conscious at the time of occurrence, but which it becomes conscious of or recollects afterwards. The very existence of the mind appears to consist in its continuity in the midst of various modifications and changes. Every act or process of the mind is a mental modification. Now, what is it that witnesses all these various states and changes and modifications of the mind, links them together, relates them with one another and maintains and reveals the unity and continuity of the mind in and through them? As the mind, which is sometimes conscious and sometimes unconscious and undergoes all these changes in time, cannot rationally be conceived as a conscious reality by its own essential nature, there must be some self-existent changeless Consciousness illumining and unifying all the states and processes of the mind in all the levels of its phenomenal existence and preserving and exhibiting its unity and continuity. Its conditions of awareness and unawareness, waking and dream and sleep, are equally revealed to and by that Consciousness. Without assuming the existence of such an underlying Witness-Consciousness (Sakshi-Caitanya), the phenomena of the conscious and sub-conscious and unconscious mind and what is called the empirical consciousness (Vrini-Caitanyd) cannot be rationally accounted for. The Witness-Consciousness is a self-illumined reality and is witness to all the conscious and unconscious states of the empirical mind, witness to all processes of knowledge and feeling and will as well as the negation of all such processes and operations of the mind and intellect. It may be regarded as a Changeless Mind behind as well as immanent in the changing mind, a Super-empirical Mind illumining and unifying all the states and processes of the empirical mind. It is the Soul of the psycho-physical organism. Fourthly, after awaking from deep sleep every person has a mental awareness of this sort, 'I slept soundly and in perfect peace, I did not know anything, I was unconscious'. This awareness is of the nature of remembrance. Now, how can there be such a remembrance, if there had been absolutely no experience in that state of deep sleep? It is reasonable to assume that the state of deep sleep is not a state of absolute negation of all experience, all consciousness. Though the empirical mind is then unconscious and ignorant and senseless and inactive, there must be some sort of non-mental or supermental experience and consciousness of that unconsciousness and ignorance and senselessness and inactivity of the mind; otherwise this remembrance would not have been possible. This is an evidence of the presence of one everawake ever-vigilant self-shining Witness-Consciousness, which is witness to all the changing states of the mind, witness to our knowledge as well as ignorance, awareness as well as unawareness, all the functions of the waking and dreaming mind as well as the inactive senseless peaceful unconscious condition of the mind in deep sleep, and also the subtle operations and modifications of the mind in the subconscious and unconscious levels. In the apparently unconscious state the mind remains unified with that Witne^s-Consciusness, without losing its Sanskdras (impressions of previous experiences). It is this Consciousness which is the real ground of the unity of our mental life and is the true Soul of our phenomenal existence. All the mental states and processes are like waves and ripples on the surface of the sea of Consciousness. Consciousness is immanent in them as their real substance and also transcends them as their disinterested witness. Consciousness is truly the changeless self-luminous substance, appearing in all the diverse forms of states and functions of the mind (including those of the intellect, the ego and the heart) and at the same time distinguishing itself from them as their knower or seer. When the empirical mind remains in an apparently functionless and unconscious and unmanifested state or when it functions in a subtle way below the levels of empirical consciousness, even then it exists as merged in and undifferentiated from the Witness-Consciousness and it is present to that Consciousness with all its dormant impressions (sanskara) and individual characteristics, and it is from that state of unification with this Consciousness that it reappears to the levels of differentiated and conscious functions. The self-luminous permanent Consciousness is the unerring witness to empirical consciousness as well as empirical unconsciousness. Fifthly, this Witness-Consciousness, underlying and witnessing all the conscious and semi-conscious and sub-conscious and unconscious states and processes of the empirical mind and illumining and unifying all its temporal changes and modifications, cannot reasonably be regarded as itself a temporal process, undergoing successive changes; for in that case our reason would demand the presence of another self-luminous and illuminating changeless Consciousness to illuminate and witness and unify these changes. Time itself has its existence only with reference to the changeless Witness-Consciousness. The past, the present and the future, the before and the after, the moments appearing to be related by way of succession, must be equally present to the Consciousness, an4 46 must be linked with and distinguished from each other, in order that there may be idea of time. This implies that there must be a Consciousness, which without itself undergoing changes along with the succession of moments would witness this succession, which is the essence of time. The. knower of time must transcend time. The Consciousness which witnesses all temporal processes and changes and sees them together as arranged in time cannot itself be regarded as one of the temporal processes. It must be conceived to be a supra-temporal experiencer of time, a changeless seer of changes. It must be regarded as a transcendent iliuminer, and not an empirical process. Its knowledge or experience is not of the nature of mental modification, but of the nature of illumination from above or behind. It throws light on all temporal phenomena, without itself being subject to any temporal change. Similarly, this Consciousness is the seer and knower, i.e. iliuminer , of all the plurality in space and unifier of them into one harmonious system; but It is not itself a relative reality in space; It is not one of the plurality constituting the objective world-system; It does not occupy any portion of space either within the individual psycho-physical organism or outside. It is iliuminer of the body and not a dweller within it: It is iliuminer of space and not a occupier of it. It has neither any temporal nor any spatial limitation. Time and space have their continuous and boundless existence only for and to this all-immanent and all-transcendent and all-illumining Witness-Consciousness. It is this Witness-Consciousness that perfectly reveals Its true character to the empirical consciousness of a Yogi in the state of Samddhi, when this empirical consciousness becomes absolutely pure and calm and tranquil and liberated from the limiting conditions of the psycho-physical organism and the sense of ego. Now, it is evident that Pure 'Consciousness and Pure Existence are the same. Pure Consciousness alone appears to be the sole-existent selfluminous infinite eternal absolute Reality. It is above and beyond and behind time, space, causality and relativity. It is necessarily implied in all derivative contingent conditional non-self-luminous phenomenal realities in the spatio-temporal cosmic order. They are what they are as revealed by and to this Consciousness. They may rationally be regarded as deriving their phenomenal existence from this self-existent Reality. They are manifested by the self-shining light of this self-luminous Reality. Space and time, co-existence and succession, causality and relativity, are real only so far as they are illuminated and revealed by this differenceless and changeless and limitationless self-shining Consciousness. All differences, ajl relations, all unities, are revealed by It. They are as it were the diver47 sified forms in which this One Infinite Eternal Absolute Consciousness unfolds and manifests Itself to Itself in a spatial and temporal order. Nothing can be rationally conceived as having any existence and character without reference to this underlying Reality. But it is quite obvious that in our normal experience we are conscious only of our empirical consciousness. Empirical consciousness is dependent upon mental modification. It involves a distinction of the self from its objects. It is of the nature of a temporal process. It is conditioned by time, space and relativity. Hence in the state of deep sleep, in which the mind is apparently inactive and there is no duality or plurality, no distinction between the knowing subject and the knowable objects and between one object and another, we seem to be devoid of empirical consciousness, though the vital functions go on continuously as in the waking state and the psycho-physical organism gets refreshed. Now, the highest state of samddhi is called nirvikalpa, i.e. devoid] of any form of difference and change. Can there be any empirical consciousness in that state? The Yoga-Sastras speak of this state as asamprajnata, i.e. without any empirical knowledge or consciousness. It is a supra-mental state and in it there can obviously be no such knowledge or experience as arises from mental modification. If there had been in that state any such knowledge or experience, it would be relative and conditioned knowledge and in that case the realisation of the Absolute Truth would have been impossible. Hence it must be admitted that in the highest state of Samddhi the empirical consciousness with all its conditions and limitations is absent or is transcended. But on that account it must not be regarded as empirically an unconscious state. It is a state of the perfect unification of the empirical consciousness and its perfect identification with and illumination by the Absolute Existence- Consciousness. Hence it is a state of the perfect fulfilment of empirical consciousness and empirical individuality. In the following Sloka Gorakhnath gives a beautiful and sublime description of Pard-Sambit (Pure consciousness), emphasising that It is the Reality of all realities, the Truth of all existences, the Illuminer and Unifier of all phenomenal experiences and the Builder of the Cosmic System. Sattwe Sattwe Sakala-racand rdjate Sambid ekd Tattwe tattwe parama-mahimd Sambit evd-vabhdti Bhdve bhdve bahula-tarald lampatd Sambid ekd Bhdse bhdse bhajana-caturd brimhitd Sambid eva. S. S. P. IV. 28. In all orders of substances it is One Sambit that reigns as the unifier of their parts and attributes; in all orders of realities (the basic elements 48 of substances) it is all-glorious Sarnbit alone that reveals itself; in all orders of phenomenal existences it is this One Sambit that manifests itself in finite changing and diversified objective forms; in all kinds of mental experiences it is this One Sambit that appears in manifold subjective forms and skilfully assumes various limiting characteristics. (c) Conception of Pure Bliss: Thus One Differenceless Changeless Self-existent Self-luminous Consciousness or Spirit (Sambit or cit) is conceived by the Siddha-Yogis as the Ultimate Reality and the Sole Source and Soul and Sustainer of all orders of finite temporal relative phenomenal realities (conscious and unconscious, living and non-living, organic and inorganic, gross and subtle) constituting the cosmic system. Besides Perfect Existence and Perfect Consciousness, another idea is attached to the Absolute Reality, and this is the idea of Perfect Bliss (Ananda). It is equally, if not more, difficult to form an adequate conception of Perfect Bliss as the Absolute Reality in the normal plane of our phenomenal experience. In our normal life we have experiences of pleasure or happiness, which is an agreeable state of the phenomenal body or vital organs or senses or mind, which is necessarily imperfect and limited and temporary and relative, and which is always conditional upon contacts with objects of enjoyment and other external and internal circumstances. Of unconditioned unlimited permanent absolute self-enjoyment we have no experience in our actual life, and we cannot even think of it. We are constitutionally incapable of thinking of any pleasure or happiness apart from relation to the objects (whether real or ideal, actual or imaginary, external or internal) which may produce or stimulate it. Pleasure or happiness does not appear to belong inherently to the nature of the empirical consciousness. It is occasionally produced and has generally to be attained through efforts. Sorrow rather seems to be a more permanent characteristic in our psycho-physical life, though sorrows also are produced from external and internal conditions. How can we conceive of Perfect Bliss, and that as an essential character of Pure Consciousness and Ultimate Reality ? Perfect Bliss may however be conceived as the highest Ideal of our conscious life. By nature we seek for more and more happiness. In our normal life we aspire for more and more intense, more and more durable, more and more intoxicating, more and more qualitatively superior happiness. Ordinarily the happiness we enjoy is found to be alloyed with and to be preceded and followed by pain or sorrow. Even at the time of enjoyment our happiness is often marred by desires for greater happiness and other kinds of happiness and fears of losing what we have gained. Not to speak x>f the positive distresses and calamities which overwhelm most of
us so often, no worldly man is at any time fortunate enough to enjoy unmixed
happiness. Pure happiness, in which there is neither any alloy of
actual sorrow nor any fear of possible sorrow nor any pain of want or
craving for more nor any sense of imperfection or limitation, seems always
to be an ideal, and never an actual fact in the normal planes of human
experience. It is at every stage of human life something yearned for and
hoped for, and never practically attained. The highest ideal of human life
is generally conceived in terms of perfect happiness or bliss (Ananda).
Perfect happiness accordingly implies the consciousness of the perfect
fulfilment of human life, in which there should be no sense of imperfection
in any respect, no sense of bondage or limitation, no want, no desire, no
fear, no sense of dependence upon other forces or conditions for the enjoyment
of fulness within. So long as there is any sense of imperfection in the
empirical consciousness of man whether imperfection of knowledge or
imperfection of power or imperfection of goodness or beauty or imperfection
of life (implying the possibility of death), this ideal of perfect happiness
or bliss cannot be realised. Nevertheless, the human consciousness
can never abandon this ideal as altogether impracticable to be realised.
The idea of the possibility of the realisation of this supreme perfection is
inherentjn the essential nature of our consciousness. The Mahayogis,
having reached the highest stage of their spiritual self-discipline,
and self-illumination, discovered that this supreme Happiness
or Bliss (Ananda), this ideal perfection of existence and life, knowledge
and power, goodness and beauty, eternally pertains to the essential
character of the Pure Transcendent Consciousness, which is the Source
and the True Self of the empirical consciousnesses as well as of the world
of their subjective and objective experiences, and that every empirical
consciousness is endowed with the inherent potentiality and capacity to
realise this perfection and hence this Ananda, by being identified with and
illumined by the Transcendent Consciousness. What is the Supreme Ideal
of our practical life is the Essential Character of our Soul, i.e. the Supreme
Spirit. Hence Self-realisation means the attainment of perfect Bliss.
But to our logical intellect the question remains, how can there be
any positive Ananda in the nature of Transcendent Consciousness, in which
there can be no distinction and therefore no relation between the enjoyer
and the enjoyable, no process of enjoyment, no feeling or emotion or sentiment,
no psychological process whatsoever? We may no doubt speak of
Ananda in the sense of the complete absence of all actual and possible
sorrows, absence of all feeling of bondage and limitation and imperfection.
But in that negative sense Ananda may be said to pertain to the nature of
inanimate things as well, and every conscious being may be said to be in
the enjoyment of Ananda in the unconscious state, in the state of deep
sleep or swoon. This certainly cannot be and ought not to be the supreme
ideal of our conscious life. Ananda can be thought of as the ideal of our
conscious life, if it means not merely the absence of the consciousness of
all sorrow, all imperfection and limitation, but also the presence of the
consciousness of blissfulness, the presence of the feeling of perfection,
infinity, immortality and sweetness within the self, the presence of positive
and unrestricted self-enjoyment. But such positive and really meaningful
Ananda does not seem to be compatible with the character of differenceless
modificationless subject-object-less Transcendent Consciousness.
Mahdyogins however assert with certainty on the strength of their
supersensuous supermental superintellectual experience that Ananda in the
highest positive sense pertains to the character of Transcendent
Consciousness, and that this is definitely realised \vhen the empirical
consciousness shakes off all its impurities and ficklenesses and relativities,
rises above the spatio-temporal limitations imposed by the psycho-physical
organism and becomes inwardly identified with Transcendent Consciousness.
Ananda is the fulfilment of the empirical consciousness and is the
nature of Transcendent Consciousness, Which is the true Self of the
empirical consciousness. The realisation of absolute Ananda means the
perfect Self-realisation of the empirical consciousness.
Perfect Existence, Perfect Consciousness and Perfect Bliss, which are
in essence one, are the supreme Ideals immanent in the nature of all
existences, all conditioned individual consciousnesses, all
imperfect living beings subject to joys and sorrows. These are all moved
by an inherent urge for the realisation of those Ideals. In truth, the whole
process of evolution in the cosmic system is governed from within by these
Ideals. The reason is that these Ideals constitute the essential and ultimate
nature of the true Self of all phenomonal existences, all phenomenal lives
and consciousnesses, in this evolutionary cosmic order. It is the character
of all to seek for self-realisation.
Our normal experience as well as our logical thought based upon it
is confined to the phenomenal world. Here we have experience only of
imperfect existence, imperfect life, imperfect consciousness, imperfect
happiness. All these are subject to the conditions and limitations of time,
space, relativity and causality. Here all existences are of a derivative
conditional changing and destructible nature. Here life is found to be
necessarily associated with a finite and mortal material body; and struggle
for the preservation and development of the material body amidst
favourable and hostile conditions and struggle for the adjustment of the
empirical self with the environments appear to be the inalienable
character of life. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for us to
conceive of life without a material body, gross or subtle, or with an
unborn undecayable infinite and eternal body, or free from any kind of
effort for self-preservation i.e. struggle against death. This means that
life which we experience and think of is always imperfect life, life shadowed
by death. All progress of life is towards perfection. Perfect life may be
the ultimate Ideal, the urge of which is at the root of all struggles in actual
life. But when we try to conceive of Perfect Life, i.e. Life which is
infinite eternal absolute, which has no fear of decay or death and no scope
or necessity for further development, in which there is no distinction
between soul and body and there is perfect self-illumination and selfenjoyment,
and in which therefore there is no struggle or effort or activity
whatsoever, we find no indication of real life in this Ideal Perfect Life.
Thus our conception of Perfect Life appears to involve an obvious
Similar is the case with our conceptions of Perfect Consciousness
and Perfect Joy or Bliss. Consciousness which we experience and which we
can actually conceive seems to necessarily involve a distinction between
subject and object and a process of knowing or feeling or willing. But this
is the imperfect manifestation of Consciousness under psycho-physical
conditions. Again, we never experience and therefore can never think of
consciousness except as associated with and dependent upon some psychophysical
embodiment. Under these conditions our empirical consciousness
appears to be always restless. Our consciousness inwardly seeks for
getting rid of the limitations imposed by the psycho-physical embodiment
apparently different from itself. It aspires after transcending all relations
of externality, assimilating all objects within itself and thus
liberating itself
from the subject-object distinction and the necessity of any process (i.e.
effort) for bridging over the distinction. The ultimate Ideal which urges
every individual consciousness from within for self-development, selfexpansion,
self-refinement and self- fulfilment, is Perfect Consciousness,
Which transcends all spatio-temporal and subject-object relations, and
Which is the true Soul of every individual phenomenal consciousness. But
in the lower planes Perfect Consciousness without subject-object relation
and process appears to involve obvious self-contradiction.
Similarly the idea of Perfect Ananda, in which there is no distinction
and relation between the enjoyer and any object of enjoyment and no
psychological process, appears to be self-contradictory; but this is the
ultimate Ideal of our joy-seeking life and we can never rest fully satisfied
till this Ideal is realised Thus, we are unable to form a logically
consistent conception of
Perfect Existence, Perfect Life, Perfect Consciousness and Perfect Bliss on
the basis of our imperfect experiences in the psycho-physical planes of our
phenomenal existence, struggling life, empirical consciousness and sorrowridden
pleasure; but still we cannot altogether deny the ideal-reality of such
Perfect Existence Life Consciousness Bliss and the possibility of Its
being experienced, in as much as This is at the root of our phenomenal
evolutionary conscious living existence and seems to irresistibly urge us
on towards self-transcendence at every stage till perfection is reached.
Philosophical speculation of the intellectualist truth-seekers cannot
reach any certainty ,with regard to the positive reality of this infinite
eternal differenceless relationless supra-mental supra-intellectual Absolute
Existence-Life-Consciousness-Bliss. They generally grope in the dark and
arrive at various mutually-conflicting conclusions. Some become agnostic,
holding that the Absolute must exist, but can never be known or even
conceived. They even refuse to apply the concepts of life, consciousness
and bliss to the Absolute Reality, since these are all borrowed from our
phenomenal experience and necessarily imply relativity and limitation and
change. Some even refuse to app)y the category of existence to the
Absolute, since the concepts of existence and non-existence also are
mutually related and they also are borrowed from phenomenal experience.
Hence the Absolute is negatively conceived by many acute thinkers as
indefinable in terms of existence and non-existence, as above all intellectual
conceptions, as beyond tbe possibility of all positive experience and mental
imagination; but this absolutely indefinable and inconceivable Absolute is
nevertheless presupposed necessarily as the background of all phenomenal
existence, all empirical life and consciousness, all duality and plurality and
relativity and causality, all our experience and thought. Living and moving
and having our actual being in the phenomenal world-order, within which
all our experiences and thoughts are as a matter of course confined, we can
never say or know or even think what the character of the Absolute
Reality is.
(d) Above logical conception :
Enlightened Mahdyogis are not much interested in the question as to
whether Absolute Sat-Cid-Ananda Perfect Existence-Consciousness-
Bliss is a logically self-consistent intellectual conception or not. They do
not entangle themselves in any tarka or logical argumentation with other
schools of philosophers with regard to the precise definition of the nature
of the Absolute Reality. They readily admit that the Absolute Reality is
beyond the scope of formal and empirical logic beyond the range of our
speech and thought. (Yato Vfao nibartante aprapya manasd saha). They
are fully aware that whenever people will try to form an intellectual idea
about the nature of the Absolute Reality on the basis of their normal
experience and logical reasoning and with the help of common language,
they are sure to miss the Reality, arrive at mutually conflicting opinions
and quarrel with one another. (Anye bhedaratd vivdda-vikald Sattatwato
vancitdh}. They know that what is above space and time, above
duality and relativity, above subject-object relation, cannot be a direct
object of thought to any thinking subject and cannot therefore be truly
described in terms of any qualifying attributes or distinguishing
or any of the common concepts of the understanding.
While admitting the futility of our empirical thought and speech and
logical understanding as means to the true knowledge of the Absolute
Reality, the enlightened Mahdyogis do not accept the agnostic view, the
view of despair. They take their stand on illumined experience, the
direct experience of the transcendent plane. They speak with authority
about the Absolute Reality on the strength of supersensous supermental
superintellectual super-empirical spiritual experience attained in the highest
state of Samddhi, in which the character of the empirical consciousness is
completely transformed, in which the empirical mind and intellect are
perfectly purified and refined and unified and liberated from all the
limitations of the psycho-physical organism, in which the whole being of
the conscious subject transcends the empirical plane and becomes perfectly
free from all spatio-temporal conditions, all subject-object relations, all
duality and plurality and relativity. It is in this transcendent plane that
the Absolute Reality is directly experienced, not as object of experience,
but as perfectly self-luminous Experience Itself. The true Soul of all
experience is unveiled in this Absolute Experience.
As the result of the all-round discipline and purification and refinement
of the body, the senses, the vital forces, the mind and the intellect,
and the continued practice of deep concentration and meditation, as well
as the subtle operation of the Immanent Spiritual Ideal, the empirical
consciousness gets rid of all limitations and rises to the plane of Absolute
Experience and realises the Absolute Truth. But so long as the psychophysical
organism continues, the forces of the lower planes which are
suppressed during the period of the practice of Samddhi, but are not
totally destroyed or radically assimilated, bring the empirical consciousness
down again and again to the mental and intellectual and sensuous planes,
the planes of time, space, causality, and relativity. From Nirutthdnada&
a the consciousness comes down to Byutthdna-dasd. In these lower
planes, however, the light of the. SamSdhi-Experiece is clouded, but not
Jost. The empirical consciousness, while descending to the plane of
relativity, carries with it some sweet and blissful memory of the Absolute
Experience and the spiritual enlightenment attained therein. As a
consequence the enlightened Yogi's outlook on the world of objective
experiences is thoroughly transformed. He looks upon everything, within
and without, from the standpoint of the Truth of the Absolute Experience.
He cannot of course give any accurate description of the Absolute
Experience or the Absolute Truth realised in that transcendent plane, nor
can he form any perfect mental or intellectual conception of that
Experience or Truth. But still he is absolutely certain that that Experience
is the all-comprehending all-uniting all-explaining perfect Experience and
that the Truth realised therein is the Absolute Truth.
Enlightened Mahayogis, while authoritatively asserting the Absolute
Truth on the strength of their Experience (Anubhava), never try to
dogmatise the Truth in terms of the categories of mental understanding or
intellectual reflection. As it has been noted, they do not often attach
much importance even to the most fundamental categories, such as
existence and unity. The Absolute Truth is spoken of by Mahayogis sometimes
as Sat, sometimes as Asat, sometimes as Sunya, sometimes as neither
Sat nor Asat. Sometimes they decry those who quarrel about unity and
duality as ignorant.
Adwaitam kecld icchanti dweltam icchanti capare
Param tattwam na bindanti dwaitd-dwaita-bilakshnam
(Avadhuta Gita)
Some uphold adwaha (non-duality) and others uphold dwaita
(duality); they do not realise the Ultimate Truth, Which is distinct from
and transcends both dwaita and adwaita.
In the book Amanaska Gorakhnath says,
Bhava-bhdva-vinirmuktam nasotpatti-vivarjitam
Sarva-samkalpanatltam para-brahma taducyate.
Gorakhnath says that the Absolute Truth Which is realised in the
highest spiritual experience is above the concepts of bhava (existence) and
abhava (negation of existence), absolutely devoid of origination and
destruction, and beyond the reach of all speculations and imaginations,
and That is called Para-Brahma. In the fourth verse of the first lesson of
Siddha-Siddhanta-Paddhati (already quoted) the great Yogdcharya has
described Para-Brahma as without any name, without any form, without
any ego, without any causality or activity, without any self-manifestation
or any internal or external difference. Gorakhnath along with other
enlightened saints asserts th^t Para-Brahma or the Absolute Spirit,
though empirically indescribable, unknowable and even unthinkable, is
perfectly realisable in the state of Samadhi, in which the empirical
consciousness rises above all relativity and becomes one with Brahma.
Pakshapdta-binirmuktam Brahma sampadyate tadd, -the enlightened Yogi
then becomes perfectly identified with Brahma and free from all pakshapdta
(partisanship, meaning adherence to any particular intellectual view).
He then ceases to be an exponent of any particular philosophical viewpoint
in opposition to other rival view-points based on the experiences of
the lower planes. Thus the philosophy of Gorakhnath and the Siddha-
Yogi-Sampraddya came to be known as Dwaitd-dwaita-vilakshana-vdda and
Pakshapata-binirmukta- vdda .
For the guidance of truth-seekers however the adoption of intellectual
concepts is inevitable. Sat, Cit and Ananda, being the most fundamental
concepts for indicating the nature of the Reality sought for
by all truth-seekers, are adopted by the Mahayogis, while imparting
lessons to them. Though Sat, Cit and Ananda are not experienced
as distinct characteristics of the Absolute Reality (Pafa- Brahma) in the
Absolute Experience; it is in these terms that the superempirical
self-existent self-luminous self- fulfil led nature of the Absolute
Reality can be most approximately indicated in the mental and intellectual
planes. In the intellectual plane the concepts of Sat, Cit and Ananda
appear to be distinct from each other, indicating different aspects or
qualifications of Reality; in our normal experience we find things which
exist without Caitanya or dnanda and conscious beings without dnanda;
but perfect existence involves perfect consciousness and bliss, and in the
transcendent Experience there is really no distinction between Sat, Cit and
Ananda. The Yogi-Guru has beautifully addressed the Absolute Reality
as Sat-Cit-Ananda-Murti, i.e. One Who reveals Himself as Sat, Cit and
Ananda. He cautions the truth-seekers against misconceiving that
Existence, Consciousness and Bliss are revealed in the transcendent state
as separate and distinct glorious characteristics of the Supreme Spirit.
The perfect Character of the Supreme Spirit, as transcendentally realised
in the highest Samddhi-experience, is interpreted as Perfect Existence,
Perfect Consciousness and Perfect Bliss, though there is no distinction
among them in the nature of the Absolute Spirit. Sat-Cit-Ananda is
regarded as the highest form of self-manifestation of the Formless and
Manifestationless One, as Brahma, Siva, Paramdtmd, Parameswara, etc. are
the holiest names of the Nameless One.


Thus the Absolute Reality is described by Gorakhnath and all
Siddha-Yogi philosophers as the Absolute Union of Perfect Existence,
Perfect Consciousness and Perfect Bliss (which also implies Perfect Purity,
Perfect Beauty, Perfect Goodness and Perfect Love) above time, space,
duality and relativity. This Reality is unveiled to the super-conscious
transcendent Experience of a perfectly enlightened Mahayogi in the highest
state of Samadhi, in which there is no subject-object relation and the
experiencing consciousness becomes absolutely united with the Reality.
This Absolute Experience identified with Absolute Reality is Para-Sambit.
To this Experience the phenomenal world-order of time, space, duality,
plurality and relativity does not exist at all and hence the question of any
causal and rational explanation for this world-system does not arise. But
to our normal experience this cosmic system with all its diversities and
complexities and changes and relations and all the phenomenal individualities
and limitations within it does surely exist.
Gorakhnath and the Siddhz-Yogis do not, like some metaphysical
schools, discard the phenomenal cosmic system as false or illusory, or as
having only subjective reality. Illusion or error necessarily pre-supposes
the existence of imperfect and finite observing and knowing consciousnesses
liable to malobservation and erroneous thinking. There is obviously no
such imperfect consciousness outside the cosmic system, which may
possibly be deluded by the false or illusory appearance of this world of
plurality. Nor can we conceive of the existence of any such imperfect
experiencing consciousness, either within or outside the Absolute Reality,
to which this Absolute Reality may falsely or illusorily appear as a system
of phenomenal realities in time and space or which may super-impose such
a phenomenal cosmic order upon the Absolute Reality. All imperfect
conscipusnesses, capable of valid phenomenal knowledge as well as liable
to error and illusion, are within this cosmic system, of which they are
integral parts and apart from which they have no existence. It is therefore
most unreasonable to think that the entire phenomenal cosmic order owes
its origin to the imperfection and ignorance of the individual consciousnesses
to which it appears as a system of objective realities. In fact, the
cosmic system essentially consists of the plurality of phenomenal
consciousnesses and the diverse orders of objective realities related to them.
The phenomenal existence of the whole system, including phenomenal
subjects as well as phenomenal objects, has to be recognised as such from
the standpoint of our normal experience. A rational explanation for this
cosmic system, which is real so far as our normal experience is concerned,
must be obtained from the nature of the Absolute Reality.
Gorakhnath and the Siddha-Yogi school maintain that the Self-
Existent Self- Shining Self-Perfect Infinite and Eternal Consciousness, which
is the Absolute Reality above time-space-relativity, reveals Itself as a
spatio-temporal cosmic system, wherein It originates and develops and
sustains and destroys diverse orders of derivative and finite phenomenal
existences with various kinds of forms and attributes, and a plurality of
imperfect and changing phenomenal consciousnesses embodied in various
kinds of physical and vital organisms and playing their parts in this cosmic
system. While manifesting Itself in this phenomenal pluralistic cosmic
system, the Absolute Reality never loses Its transcendent unity and perfection.
It shines as the changeless self-luminous Soul of the whole system
and of all individual realities within it. This process of self-manifestation
of the Absolute Reality in the spatio-temporal order is without beginning
and without end in time; but Its eternally transcendent non-dual character
is in no way affected by this phenomenal self-manifestation.
But how is this possible? Gorakhnath and the
enlightened Yogis
reply that this is the Unique Power (Nijd-Sakti) of the Absolute Reality,
the Supreme Consciousness or Spirit, Brahma. According to them, this
Unique Power must be conceived as pertaining to the essential character
of Perfect Sat-Cid-Ananda-Brahma, since this is evident from the presence
of the cosmic system to our normal phenomenal experience. Power (Sakti)
is a reality which can be known only from its action (kriyd) or product
(kdrya). Even within the domain of our normal experience, the power of
a thing remains non-differentiated from and therefore hidden in the
essential nature of the thing until and unless it exhibits itself in the forms
of actions or effects. Apparently the same thing may have a variety of
powers which are manifested in the forms of different kinds of actions or
effects under different conditions and in relation to different other things.
But all these powers remain unknown and unknowable (at least to our
common understanding) till their manifestations are observed. Their
existence in the nature of the thing, even when unmanifested, must however
be assumed, though by mere abstract analysis of the essential nature
of the thing we may not discover them. Now, if we speak of the power
of a thing, it ought to include all the possibilities of its actions and
self-expressions under all possible conditions. This can obviously never be
fully known. The power of a thing gradually reveals itself to us in course
of the development of our experience about it. It is however clear that the
power of a thing (including all possibilities) is essentially identical with the
nature of the thing and has also differentiated self-manifestations. We
cannot create any new power in a thing; we can however help the expressions
of the power already existing in the nature of a thing, through the
creation of suitable sets of circumstances.
Powers arc indeed the most amazing and bewildering mysteries in the
nature of things. Diverse kinds of material things, diverse orders of
living organisms, diverge grades of minds and intellects, all are repositories
of wonderful powers, the presence of which could not even be
dreamt of before they revealed themselves under special sets of circumstances.
Modern sciences are engaged in the discovery of powers, which
have been hidden in and identified with the nature of things since their
creation. Different branches of physical and chemical sciences, sciences
of heat, light, electricity and magnetism, biological sciences, medical
sciences, psychological sciences and so on, all are expanding the sphere
of human knowledge and influence by progressively discovering and making
use of the wonderful powers, which had been previously unknown and
undreamt of, though present in the nature of things not unfamiliar to
ordinary people. A good many great thinkers of the past and the present,
of the east and the west, came to the conclusion, and not without reason,
that a thing is nothing but a seat or centre of powers, and the entire
world is constituted of powers (condensed into material forms), which are
ultimately diversified manifestations of One Supreme Power or Energy.
Gorakhnath and the Yogi school hold the view that all the harmonised
diversities of phenomenal existences constituting the cosmic system are
the self-manifestations in time and space of the Unique Power of the
Supreme Spirit, Brahma, Whose essential character is Perfect Sat-Cid-
Ananda. Apart from the phenomenal self-manifestations, the Power is
absolutely identical with the Supreme Spirit, but the truth that the power
is inherent in the transcendent nature of the Supreme Spirit is evident
from the spatio-temporal cosmic system in which It is manifested. The
Power, according to them, is the eternal dynamic aspect of the Supreme
Spirit, Brahma. The Absolute Reality, i.e, the Supreme Spirit,
has, in their philosophic view, an eternal transcendent aspect and an eternal
dynamic aspect. In the transcendent aspect the Absolute Reality is
eternally pure changeless Sat-Cid-nanda, and in the dynamic aspect It is
eternally manifesting Itself in the ever-changing ever-old and ever-new
spatio-temporal cosmic system. Or it may be said that by virtue of the
dynamic aspect, i.e. the Unique Power, the super-temporal super-spatial
super -personal Absolute Existence-Consciousness-Bliss freely and eternally
comes down to the spatio-temporal plane and manifests and enjoys Itself
as the Personal Creator and Governor and Destroyer erf diverse kinds of
phenomenal existences and phenomenal consciousnesses and endows Itself
with one continuous cosmic body and innumerable individual bodies.
Thus according to the Yogi-sampraddya the Absolute Reality is
eternally both a changeless differenceless transcendent super-personal
Sat'Cid-Ananda and an ever- self-evolving ever-self-differentiating
ever-self-embodying active personal Sat-Cid-Ananda. In
the highest state of samadhi the consciousness of the Yogi is perfectly
illumined by and unified with the transcendent Sat-Cid-Ananda, and the
dynamic aspect of Sat-Cid-Ananda with the cosmic system evolved out of
it does not appear to exist in this subject-object less experience. But
when from tnat timeless spaceless egoless relationless transcendent plane of
experience, the consciousness of the Yogi, illumined by that experience,
descends to the plane of the ego and the mind and the senses and time
and space and relativity, the cosmic system with its diversities and changes
reappears before it; but the entire system with all orders of existences in
it is revealed as pervaded and illuminated by Sat-Cid-Ananda; all objects
of phenomenal experience, though apparently diversified, appear to the
enlightened consciousness of the Yogi as self-expressions of one selfexistent
self-enjoying Perfect Consciousness. He sees one Existence in ail
existences, one Consciousness in all consciousnesses, the play of the Ananda
amidst all joys and sorrows of the world.
Thus in the Vyutthana (reawakened) state of the empirical consciousness
after Samadhi-expcrience, the Power-aspect of the Supreme Spirit
becomes revealed to the Yogi with all its glories and beauties and
splendours. He finds expressions of the absolute Goodness of the Supreme
Spirit in all the apparent evils of the world, expressions of Its transcendent
Beauty in all the apparent deformities and horrors. Like other men he
has sensuous perception of diverse kinds of worldly phenomena and his
normal heart often responds to them in different ways, but at the same
time he perceives with his enlightened insight one Sat-Cid-Ananda
immanent in and revealed through all of them and hence remains calm
and tranquil under all apparently catastrophic changes of our circumstances.
He sees with his inner eyes the Infinite in the finite, the Eternal
in the temporal, the Absolute in the relative, the Perfect in the imperfect,
the Blissful in the sorrowful, the Supreme Spirit in all material realities.
Through the most intensive practice of Yoga, his empirical consciousness
may be so refined and illumined that he may at the same time enjoy
transcendent experience of Samadhi and the diversified experience of the
normal plane. The Yogi philosophers do not speak of the varieties of
sensuous and mental experiences as altogether false or illusory and the
whole spatio-temporal order as metaphysically non-existent; but regard
these as the evidences of the dynamic aspect of the Absolute, the Unique
Power (Nija-Sakti) of the Supreme Spirit.
(a) Conception of Pure Will:
With regard to the ultimate character of this Unique Power of the
Supreme Spirit, Gorakhnath says, as it has been already mentioned, that
this power is of the nature of Pure Will (Icchd-mdtra-dharmd) and that
this Will is eternally and essentially inherent in the nature of the Supreme
Spirit, Brahma. It is through the operation of this inscrutable and omnipotent
Will immanent in Its nature that transcendent Sat-Cid-Ananda,
while eternally existing and shining by Itself above time and space and
relativity, eternally manifests Itself in time and space as a phenomenal
order of existences and consciousnesses with various kinds of characteristics.
Now, what is meant by Pure Will, and how can Will be consistent
with the nature of Perfect Sat-Cid-Ananda? Ordinarily by will or icchd we
mean desire, which is associated with the feelings of want and imperfection
and dissatisfaction and sorrow. It implies a craving and effort for
certain things or certain changes for the removal of felt wants and
imperfections and sorrows and for the attainment of a sense of temporary
satisfaction. How can Perfect Sat-Cid-Ananda be conceived to have any
such desire? Desires and efforts can pertain only to the nature of
imperfect consciousnesses in this world of limitations and changes. How
can there possibly be any desire or effort in the transcendent nature of the
Supreme Spirit? What can possibly be the motive force impelling the
timeless and spaceless Supreme Spirit to manifest Itself in a plurality of
imperfect existences and imperfect consciousnesses in a world of time and
space? How can there be any place for motive or intention in the transcendent
character of Perfect Existence, Perfect Consciousness and Perfect
Bliss? This appears to be obviously absurd.
The Yogi philosophers do not certainly attribute any want or desire
or motive or intention in the empirical sense to the Supreme Spirit. They
do not use the term icchd or will in this sense. Icchd-mdtra or Pure Will
means the immanent urge for self-expression, which is inherent in the
perfect transcendent nature of the Supreme Spirit. Will in this sense is
associated with perfection and not with imperfection, with consciousness
of fulness and not with consciousness of want. Desires originate from
sorrow, while Pure Will is inherent in Ananda. Perfect Existence has an
immanent urge for self-expression in diverse orders of existences; Perfect
Consciousness has an immanent urge for self-expression in diverse orders
of consciousnesses; Perfect Ananda seeks self-expression in diverse kinds of
joys. This is the dynamic character of Perfect Existence-Consciousness-
Bliss. Self-expressions must inevitably be through thej processes of
evolution and involution, expansion and contraction, diversification and
unification (vikdsa and sankoca). What is eternally unified in transcendent
perfection is temporally manifested through diverse orders of empirical
Mahayogi Gorakhnath has given a very interesting account of the
gradual manifestation of the Unique Power of the Supreme Spirit and the
origination and development of the cosmic system and the diverse orders
of material bodies and conscious beings within it. This will be discussed
later on. But what he has specially emphasised in all his dissertations is
that the entire spatio-temporal order and all kinds of empirical realities
within it should be looked upon as the self-expressions of the Divine
Power, Which is essentially identical with the Divine Spirit. He has paid
equal homage to the transcendent and the dynamic aspects of the Absolute
Reality. He has drawn pointed attention to the truth that the dynamic
nature (Sakti) of the Supreme Spirit (Brahma or Siva) is immanent in Its
transcendent nature, and the transcendent nature also is immanent in the
dynamic nature and all its spatio-temporal self-expressions. He has shown
that as the Divine Sakti is non-different from the Divine Spirit, and as all
the products or self-manifestations of Sakti are essentially non-different
from Sakti, an enlightened person should learn to see and appreciate the
Divinity of the world and all existences in it, he should see God in all
and all in God. In the samddhi-experience all the changing diversities of
the world-order are merged in the changeless transcendent Unity of the
Absolute Spirit, and in the enlightened waking experience the Unity of the
Absolute Spirit is perceived as unfolded in various names and forms in the
cosmic system.
The Siddha-Yogi teachers, while forming a philosophical conception
of the Absolute Reality, do not base their conclusion purely on transcendent
experience in the highest state of Samadhi, but also take due note of
the phenomenal experiences in the normal planes of practical life. Thus
they try to present before the truth-seekers a most comprehensive conception
(as far as practicable) of the Absolute Reality. The Absolute Reality
is conceived as the Supreme Spirit (Adwaya Sat-Cid Ananda) realised in
transcendent experience as well as the Spiritual Source of all relative
realities of phenomenal experience, Pure Spirit as well as Spirit revealed
through Power. To the Yogi The Absolute Spirit is thus Nirguna as well
as Saguna, Niskriya (actionless) as well as Sakriya (active), Impersonal w
well as Personal, Transcendent as well as Immanent,

Since time immemorial in all the sacred literature of the Yogi
Sampradaya the Supreme Spirit, the Ultimate Spiritual Reality behind
all phenomenal existences, - the Changeless Differenceless Nameless Formless
Self-luminous Non-dual One, has been designated as Siva, and the
Self-modifying Self-differentiating Self-multiplying Dynamic Source of all
spatio-temporal relative phenomenal existences has been designated as
Sakti. The world of diversities and changes is the self-manifestation of
Sakti, and in our worldly experiences the true transcendent character of
Siva remains veiled from our view and we see only the multiform selfexpressions
(vildsa) of Sakti. Even the true nature of Sakti is not
revealed to us, since we do not actually experience all the forces and
phenomena of the world as the self-expressions of One Self-unfolding
Sakti. We neither perceive One Self-existent Self-shining Reality behind
all derivative relative realities, nor do we perceive One Self-revealing Free
Ultimate Power behind all changing phenomena and secondary forces. We
live and move and have our being apparently in a world of plurality and
changes, but we do not know how and wherefrom this world has come
into being and how and by what power it is sustained and regulated and
systematised and towards what goal it is ceaselessly moving on. But our
rational consciousness is impelled by an inner urge to discover Unity
behind all plurality, One Supreme Reality behind all realities of our
experience, One Supreme Power originating, controlling and harmonising
all forces and phenomena, and One Supreme Law behind all the laws of
nature. All scientific and philosophical efforts are governed by this urge and
aspiration immanent in the human consciousness.
The universally adored enlightened Yogis claim to have discovered
some methods of spiritual self-discipline for the perfect satisfaction of this
urge and aspiration. Through the most earnest practice of these processes
of self-discipline they ultimately attain to a state of perfectly illumined
consciousness, in which that One Reality behind all relative realities is
directly experienced and the true character of the Ultimate Power behind
all phenomena and forces is also fully unveiled. In the foregoing discourses
we have sought to give a general idea of the nature of that
Ultimate Experience, the nature of the Reality experienced therein and the
nature of the Power pertaining to that Reality. The Siddha-Ybgl
Sampradaya, to which Gorakhnath belonged and whose religious and
philosophical terminology and nomenclature he usually adopted in his
teachings, referred to that Supreme Transcendent Reality as Siva and that
Supreme all-originating all-embracing Power as Sakti. Siva with Sakti
eternally and essentially immanent in His nature, or Sakti in eternal
union with Siva, is, according to this Sampradaya, the Absolute Reality.
In Siddha-Siddhdnta-Paddhati Yogi-Guru Gorakhnath has variously
described this eternal and essential union between Siva and Sakti, the
Supreme Transcendent Spirit and the Supreme All-originating Power. He
Sivasya abhyantare Saktih Sakter abhyantare Sivah
Antaram naivajdnlyat candra-candrikayor iva.
Sakti is immanent in Siva, and Siva is immanent in Sakiii see no
difference between the two, as between the moon and the moon-light.
Here in the illustration the Mahayogi conceives the moon as the serene
light in the most concentrated form shining by itself and within itself, and
the moon-light as the self-expression of the moon in the form of rays
radiated in all directions round about the centre. Evidently in accordance
with this conception of the moon there is no essential difference between
the moon and the moon-light, just as between a flame of light and the
light diffused from it (between dipa-Sikha and dipdloka). The moon-light
has no existence apart from and independently of the moon, and the
moon also, though (figuratively speaking) self-existing and self-shining has
no self-manifestation except through the moon-light inherent in its nature.
In the same way, says Gorakhnath, Siva is the eternal and infinite
(above the plane of time and space) Soul and Seat of Sakti; He is, so to
say, Sakti in the most concentrated self-centred self-conscious self-enjoying
transcendent form without any self-expression or self-unfoldment in the
shape of actions or phenomena; Sakti again is the infinite and eternal
dynamic Power inherent in and pervading the transcendent nature of Siva
and She is the self-manifestation of Siva in the form of the continuous
evolution and involution of the cosmic system. Siva may be described as
the Spirit or Soul of Sakti, and Sakti as the Body of Siva, there being
essentially no difference between the Soul and the Body, since the Body
is nothing but the self-expression of the Soul. Siva may be spoken of as
Sakti in the transcendent plane, and Sakti as Siva in the phenomenal plane.
Apart from and independently of Siva, Sakti has no existence, and if
Sakti is negated, Siva has no self-expression, no manifold self-manifestation)
and even no self-conscious personality. It is by virtue of His Sakti,
that Siva becomes conscious of Himself as omnipotent omniscient and
perfectly blisssul Personal God, and as the Creator and Governor and
Enjoyer of the cosmic order. In His transcendent nature His Sakti is
hidden (avyaktd) in Him, and in the cosmic self-unfoldment of His Sakti,
He is Indweller (antaryami) in His Sakti and in all Her diversified
phenomenal self-manifestations and wonderful plays. In His cosmic selfexpression
Siva appears to keep Himself concealed behind the sportive
operations of His Sakti and to enjoy them as the Innermost Soul of a whole
order, and in His supra-cosmic transcendent nature Sakti remains concealed
in Him, (Antarllnct-Vimarsah).
Gorakhnath says in clear terms,
Sivopi Sakti-rahitah saktah kartum na kincana
Swa-saktyd sahitah Sopi Sarvasya Abhdsako bhavet
Siva, bereft of His Power, is not able to do a single thing; but with
His own Power He becomes the absolute revealer (creator and illuminer)
of all orders of existences.
It is said that Siva, the Supreme Spirit, does not even experience
Himself as the Supreme Spirit without being reflected on His Sakti, Which
serves as the spiritual mirror to His nature.
He continues,
Ala eva parama-kdranam pararntswarah pardtparah Sivah,
Swa-swarupatayd sarvatomukhah sarvdkdratayd sphuritum saknoti,
Jiyatah Saktimdn.
By Himself Supreme above the Supreme (transcendent above the
highest phenomenal realities and above time and space and action), Siva,
by virtue of the infinite Power inherent in His nature, becomes the
Supreme Cause of all phenomenal existences and the Supreme ISwara
(Personal God), and with His essential self-luminous self-perfect character
not in the least affected, becomes many-faced (paying attention to all
directions) and manifests Himself in the forms of all kinds of phenomenal
The unique capacity of Siva (the Supreme Spirit) to remain eternally
absorbed in the enjoyment of His changeless differenceless self-luminous
transcendent existence and just the same to reveal and enjoy Himself as
the Personal God creating and governing and destroying countless orders
of conscious and unconscious phenomenal existences and pervading them
all as their Indwelling Self, is, according to the Siddha-Yogis, the sure
evidence of the Infinite Power inherent in His nature. Iti atah saktimdn,
thus He must be possessed of Power, asserts Siddha-Yogi Gorakhnath
in an argumentative way. Further he makes the clear statement,
Ata eva ekdkdrah ananta-saktimdn nijdnandatayd avasthitah api
ndndkdratwena bilasan swa-pratisthdm swayam eva bhajaii iti byavahdrah,
Alupta-saktimdn nltyam sarvdktiratayd sphuran, punah swenaiva rupena
eka eva avasishyate.
(S.S.P.1V. 12)
Hence, Siva, though essentially dwelling in His own perfectly blissful
ditferenceless and changeless nature with His infinite Power immanent in
Him, playfully (without any effort and out of the fulness of His nature)
manifests and enjoys Himself in manifold forms (ndndkdratwena bilasan),
and thus practically appears in the dual aspects of the enjoyer and the
enjoyable, the creator and the created, the supporter and the supported,
the soul and the body, the self and its expressions, etc. He never
abandons His Sakti and His Sakti is never alienated from Him (aluptasaktimdn
nityam). Thus though by virtue of His Sakti He eternally (in
time) manifests Himself in all kinds of forms, (sarvdkdratayd sphuran), He
in His own Self eternally (timelcssiy) exists as one without a second (eka
eva avasishyate) y as the changeless differenceless non-dual Reality as
Nirguna Brahma.
Gorakhnath, as a philosopher, takes a most comprehensive view of
the Absolute Reality and attaches almost equal value to the transcendent
experience of Samddhi and the enlightened phenomenal experience of the
normal waking state. He equilibrates (samarasa-karana) the two planes
of experience. He brings down the Light of the transcendent experience
to the plane of the phenomenal experience, and raises up the contents of
the phenomenal experience to the supra-phenomenal plane for the fullest
conception of the Absolute Reality. In the transcendent experience of
Nirbikalpa Samadhi there is no room for difference and change, no room
for duality and relativity, no definite indication of any Power or the
Dynamic Nature of the Supreme Spirit; in this experience time and space
are concentrated in the supra-temporal supra-spatial absolute self-luminous
unity of the Supreme Spirit, all duality and relativity are merged in nondual
Unity, the entire cosmic system is assimilated in one subject-objectless
self-existent blissful supra-personal Consciousness. This might appear
to be the experience of Siva Without Sakti, Nirguna Brahma Kevala
Siva, the Absolute Non-dual Spirit. There is no doubt that this is the
Ultimate Truth, since this experience is the ultimate fulfilment of the
truth-seeker's life-long search for Truth. It is in this Experience that the
search for Truth reaches its goal.
But the world of phenomenal experiences, which is transcended and
unified in this Experience, can not be disregarded as absolutely false;
because in that case there would be no real individuality of the truthseeker
and the truth-seer, no real spiritual urge and spiritual discipline
for the realisation of the Truth, no attainment of the transcendent
experience, no ascertainment of the character of the Absolute Reality.
The denial of the phenomenal world or the phenomenal experience would
be a self-contradictory proposition. All affirmations and denials belong
to the domain of phenomenal experience. The denial of duality and
relativity would itself imply the existence of duality and relativity. The
transcendent experience of the Mahayogi being the final fulfilment of
phenomenal experience, the absolute falsity of the latter would render the
former meaningless.
On the other hand, this world of duality and relativity revealed to
phenomenal experience cannot be conceived either as self-existent and
self-revealing or as having some other independent source of existence
and revelation; for in that case the intensive search for the Ultimate
Truth of this world would not end in the discovery of Siva, the changeless
differenceless self-existent self-luminous non-dual Spirit, and the
phenomenal consciousness would not have its ultimate self-fulfilment in
the super-phenomenal subject-object-less Transcendent Experience. Siva,
therefore, must be the Ultimate Truth of this phenomenal world, and
He must have in his nature the Ground and Source of this world, the
Dynamic Urge and Power for manifesting Himself phenomenally in a
spatio-temporal order of ever-changing relative diversities and enjoying
the infinity of His transcendent nature in infinite forms of phenomenal
Accordingly the Siddha-Yogis proclaim that !iva, the Supreme
Spirit, has eternally a non-dual (adwaita) nature and a dual (dwaita) nature,
a transcendent nature and a phenomenal nature, a self-absorbed nature
and a self-active nature, a self-concentrated nature and a self-diversifying
nature, an inwardly self-enjoying nature and an outwardly self-enjoying
nature, a nameless formless changeless differenceless absolute nature and
also a nature of perfectly free self-manifestation in innumerable names
and forms and wonderful varieties of changes and differences constituting
the cosmic system. Siva is eternally above and beyond the world,
untouched by the worldly activities and changes and diversities, and
He also eternally manifests Himself as the world of ceaseless changes
and endless diversities, as the omnipotent and omniscient Lord of
this world, and as the innermost Soul of all the beings that are
appearing in and disappearing from this world. He is transcendent of as
well as immanent in the cosmos.
An enlightened Maha-Yogi sees and recognises and makes selfoffering
to Siva in both these aspects, in both His transcendent and
dynamic aspects, in His non-manifested and manifested aspects, and does
not disown or disregard either of these eternal characteristics of the
Divine Spirit. It is the dynamic aspect of the nature of Siva, that is
conceived and described as His Sakti, His eternal infinite unique Power
of revealing and enjoying Himself in infinitely diverse ways, in a phenomenal
world of plurality and changes. This Sakti is not conceived as any
distinct attribute or quality or any special feature of the character of Siva.
Siva's Sakti is no other than Siva Himself. To the Yogis Siva is Sakti
and Sakti is Siva. In His transcendent nature Siva appears as if without
Sakti, since Sakti has no outer expression in that state. But in reality
Sakti is not then altogether absent. The dynamic aspect of Siva is
then perfectly identified with and indistinguishable from His transcendent
aspect. In His phenomenal self-expression the dynamic aspect
is more predominant; Siva then reveals Himself as Sakti. He then appears
as the Cosmic Player, the Cosmic Dancer. This dynamic self-manifestation
in changeable diversified forms in the temporal plane does not
however create any duality or plurality or transformation in His supratemporal
transcendent nature. Sakti exists in the nature of Siva not as
a second reality, but as one with Him. The manifold self-expressions of
Sakti in the spatio-temporal order are also essentially non-different from
Sakti and hence from Siva. Thus, according to the Siddha-Yogis, Siva,
though always with Sakti and eternally manifesting Himself through His
Sakti-aspect in the plurality of changing phenomenal forms, is eternally
the One without a second, the non-dual change-less self-shining selfenjoying
Brahma, the absolute Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. Though
eternally playing various games and eternally dancing in various rhythms,
Siva is eternally in the state of perfect Samddhi. He is thus worshipped
as Maha-yogiswareswara, the eternal Guru and Ideal of all Mahayogis.
Gorakhnath, in pursuance of the long line of enlightened Siddha-
Yogis, explains the spiritual identity of Siva and Sakti and describes
Sakti as revealing the unity of the transcendent and phenomenal aspects
of Siva. He says,
Saiva Saktir yadd sahajena swasmin unmllinydm nirutthdna-dasdydm
vartate, tadd Sivah sa eva bhavati. Ata eva kula-akula-swarupd sdmarasyanija-
bhumikd nigadyate.
(S.S.P. IV. 1,2)
That same Sakti (Which is the Ground and Cause and Sustainer of
the multitude of phenomenal forms), when existing in Her essential selfillumined
transcendent character in Siva, remains as absolutely Identical
with Siva. Hence She is described as equally of the nature of Kula and
Akula, as of phenomenal as well as transcendent nature,- and as revealing
the perfect harmony and unity of both these aspects in the state of
spiritual illumination.
Kula and Akula represent the two aspects of Reality. Akula implies
Eternal Being, and Kula implies Eternal Becoming. Akula means the
noumenal essence of Reality, and Kula means the phenomenal self-expression
of Reality. Akula refers to the Infinite Eternal Absolute Self-existent
One, and Kula refers to the self-manifestation of the One in the forms of
finite temporal relative derivative existences. Akula points to Changeless
Differenceless Transcendent Existence-Consciousness-Bliss (Sat-Cid-
Ananda), and Kula the self-revelation of this Transcendent Existence in
various orders of phenomenal existences, the self-revelation of this Infinite
Self-luminous Consciousness in diverse orders of finite conditioned
phenomenal consciousnesses, the self-revelation of this perfect non-empirical
limitless Ananda in numerous forms of limited empirical enjoyments.
Kula exhibits Akula under various kinds of limitations and makes these
limitations also materials for the self-enjoyment of Akula. In the phenomenal
self-manifestations of Transcendent Sat -Cid-Ananda, all existences
are limited by births and deaths and transformations, all consciousnesses
are limited by ignorance and error and processes and subject-objectrelations
and psycho-physical conditions, all joys are limited by sorrows
and wants and necessary objects and conditions for enjoyment. In the
Kula-aspect Akula freely and delightfully manifests and realises and enjoys
Himself in the phenomenal planes in and through various forms of selfimposed
limitations, while in His ^/:///a-aspect He eternally exists and
shines in His blissful undifferentiated transcendent Self, above and untouched
by all these phenomenal self-manifestations. This is the Unique
Power (Nijd-Sakti) of Siva. His Sakti, pervading His whole nature,
eternally links together His transcendent and dynamic characters and is
therefore called Kula-Akula-Swarupa.
It has been noted that in the sfate of Nirutthana or Samadhi, Sakti
is revealed as Siva, and in the state of Vyutthana or reawakenment from
Sam&dhi, Siva appears as Sakti, and that there is really no difference
between the two aspects of the Absolute Reality. The empirical consciousness
of the Yogi, when it transcends the conditioned phenomenal plane of
experience and ascends to the transcendent plane, becomes transformed, as
it were, into differenceless changeless effortless Transcendent Consciousness
and wholly identified with the Akuta-aspect of the Absolute Reality. When
it descends back to the phenomenal plane with the illumination obtained
in the higher plane, it experiences Akula as embodied in Kula, Siva as mani69
fested through Sakti, the Transcendent Existence-Consciousness-Bliss as
assuming various forms of phenomenal existences, consciousnesses and
imperfections and playing various parts in the ever-changing cosmic
system. In the highest plane it experiences pure Adwaita^ Unity without
difference and change, and in the lower planes it experiences
Dwaita-Adwaita, Unity with differences and changes, the Absolute playing
freely and delightfully in the world of relativity. In the transcendent "plane
it becomes Absolute Experience without any distinction between the experiencer
and the experienced Truth, and in the phenomenal planes it becomes
the experiencer and the Reality appears to it as an objective Truth embodied
in varieties of forms. In the super-empirical plane its sense of individuality
is merged in the all-embracing all unifying all -transcending Pure
Experience, and in the empirical planes its sense of individualistic ego is at
the centre of all its experiences. An enlightened Maha-Yogi, expert in the
practice of Samadhi, easily passes from one plane of experience to the
other by the concentration of his attention. He therefore feels an inner
harmony and unity of both the planes of experiences. He feels the
presence of the Dynamic Ground and Source of phenomenal experiences
in the nature of the Reality of transcendent experience and feels the
presence of the Reality of transcendent experience in the midst of
his phenomenal experiences. Thus he feels the presence of Sakti in the
transcendent non-dual nature of Siva, and the presence of Sat-Cid-
Ananda Siva in all the evolutions of Sakti, he feels the presence of
Kula in Akitla and Akula in Kula. Kula and Akula are in the closest and
most delightful embrace with each other in the spiritual experience of a
Mahd-Yogi He sees the infinite in the finite and the finite in the infinite,
Spirit in Matter and Matter in Spirit.
Akuhtm kulam ddhatte kulam cakulam icchati
jula-hudbuda-bat nydytit ekdkdrah Parah Sivah
(S.S.P.IV. 11)
Akula embraces Kula, and Kula yearns for Akula. The relation is
analogous to that between water and water-bubbles. In reality Para-Siva
(Supreme Spirit) is absolutely One.
The idea is that it is the inherent nature of Akula (non-dual Spirit)
to manifest and enjoy Himself in the form of Kula (the system of phenomenal
dualities), and that it is the inherent nature of all dualities to seek for
union with the Non-dual Spirit, since they are in truth one and the same.
To illustrate the relation between the Adwaita and the Dwaita, Gorakhnath
takes the example of water and bubbles. Water remains in its
essential character as water and at the same time appears in the forms of
bubbles. Outwardly the bubbles appear to be different things, born froni
water, dancing on the surface of water, playing distinct parts and holding
distinct relations with one another, and again being destroyed or
losing their identity in the mass of water. Water becomes bubbles and
bubbles become water. We witness these phenomena. We can not deny
them as false. But still when we deeply look into the phenomena, we are
convinced that even in the forms of bubbles water does not become anything
other than water. In the changing multiplicity of bubbles water
remains the same water all along, it does not really undergo any change
and does not really become many. Similar is the case with the relation
between Akula and Kula, between the Transcendent One Siva and the
varieties of His phenomenal self-manifestations in the spatio-temporal
order through the operation of His Dynamic Power, Sakti. The varieties
appear to come into particularised existence from the Universal Existence
of Siva, play particular parts in this phenomenal cosmic system, hold
different relations with one another and the whole system, and in the end
lose their differentiated existences in the undifferentiated existence of
Akula Siva. But even in these spatio-temporal self-manifestations Siva
does not become some reality or realities other than Himself, does not
substantially transform Himself into someting distinct from Himself, does
not lose His Universal Existence in the particularised existences; His
akhanda-satta remains eternally the same in and through the appearance
and disappearance of all forms of khanda-satta. Hence amidst all cosmic
manifestations a Mahd-Yogi experiences Ekakarah-Parah-Sivah, the One
undifferentiated self-shining Supreme Spirit. He sees Akula in Kula,
Adwaita in Dwaitct, the Changeless Infinite in all changing finites, the
perfect Sat-Cid-Ananda in all phenomena of nature. There is perfect
samarasya of the Transcendent and the Dynamic in his experience.
Thus the essential identity of Siva and Sakti is an important truth
in the philosophy of the Siddha-Yogi school. Sakti is no other than Siva
Himself, viewed as mainfesting and enjoying Himself in the spatiotemporal
cosmic system. The Supreme Spirit, Siva, is Himself the Efficientcum-
Material Cause of the universe, and in this aspect He is called Sakti.
This Sakti, i.e. Siva in this aspect is eternally devoted to the service of
Siva in His transcendent aspect. Thus Siva and Sakti. i.e. the Supreme
Spirit as the transcendentally infinite and eternal self-existent selfluminous
self-enjoying Soul and the same Spirit as the phenomenally
infinite and eternal self-active self-evolving self-multiplying Power,
are as it were eternally wedded to each other, eternally in loving embrace
with each other, eternally in inseparable union with each other. Siva
eternally illumines and spiritualises Sakti and all Her evolutions in the
phenomenal system, and Sakti eternally reveals the infinite existence and
consciousness and beauty and goodness of Siva in an infinite variety of
phenomenal names and forms and contributes to the eternal enjoyment
of Siva. Transcendent Siva is the Soul of the cosmic system and of all
the diverse orders of existences within it; Dynamic Siva, i.e. Sakti,
the body of the system and all individual bodies within it.
Siva is looked upon as the Father, and Sakti as the Mother of the
universe, though there is essentially no distinction between the Father
and the Mother, and there is no question of gender in the sensuous
sense in that plane. Siva as the transcendent efficient Cause of all
phenomenal realities is conceived as the Father, and Sakti as the dynamic
material Cause actively assuming diverse forms and sustaining and nursing
them and again assimilating them within Herself is conceived as the Mother.
Siva shines and reigns as the Soul in all, and Sakti builds up the body
and the life and the mind and the intellect for Him and contributes to
His self-expression and self-enjoyment through their various functions in
various stages of their developments. In this phenomenal order of
Sakti has a diversifying tendency (prasarana) as well as a
unifying tendency (Sankocana). She diversifies the One and unifies the
many. She creates many existences out of One Existence, and again
unveils the essential Unity of all existences through a process of illumination.
She materialises the Spirit and again spiritualises matter. She
furnishes the Spirit with various kinds of physical and vital and mental
bodies and fields of self-expression and self-enjoyment, and reveals the
essential spiritual character of all these bodies and the entire
cosmic playfield.
She finitises the Infinite and again exhibits the One Changeless
Infinite in all changing finites. This two-fold play of Sakti is ceaselessly
going on.
It is evident that the Siddha-Yogi school does not conceive of the
Ultimate Cause of the phenomenal cosmic system as one non-spiritual nonconscious
Primordial Matter or Energy, called Prakriti, eternally associated
with an infinite number of inactive self-luminous spiritual souls, called
Purusha, and spontaneously modifying itself according to a process of evolution
into this world of diverse orders of existences, as the Sankhya school
of Kapila does. Nor does it conceive of this Ultimate Dynamic Source
of phenomenal existences as of the nature of some inscrutable Cosmic
Ignorance or some inexplicable neither-real-nor- unreal Principle or Power
(called Maya) somehow veiling the essential transcendent Sat-Cid-Inanda
character of the Absolute Spirit (Brahma) and creating (with Brahma as
the changeless differenceless self-luminous Substratum) an illusory world
of bewildering diversities, as the orthodox Adwaita school of Sankara
does. Nor does it support the view of those advocates of Dwatia-vdda,
who hold that the Material Cause of the world of plurality is of the nature
of a non-spiritual Reality or a Power or Energy, which is eternally and
existentially different from the Supreme Spirit, but is eternally associated
with, related to and dependent upon the Supreme Spirit, and which transforms
itself into and sustains the world of phenomenal diversities under
the supervision and direction and governance of the Supreme Spirit. Nor
does it agree that this Power is merely an attribute or quality of the
Supreme Spirit and is related to the Spirit just as an abstract quality to a
According to the Siddha-Yogis, the Source of this world is not a material
substance, but a Spiritual Reality, not an Acit-Sakti, but a Cit-Sakti, not
of the nature of Avidyd or Maya (an illusion-producing inexplicable Ignorance),
but of the nature of Vidya or Sambit (knowledge or Consciousness), not
essentially dvarana-vikshepdtmikd (of the character of a Power for veiling
the Truth and falsely superimposing illusory diversities upon It), but
prakdsa-vimarsatmikd (of the character of a Divine Power for revealing
the Supreme Spirit and bringing out in a variety of forms the infinite
glories and beauties of His transcendent nature). Gorakhnath describes
the Power thus, "Pctrdpara-Vimarsa-rupinT Sambit ndnd-sakti-mpena
nikhila-pindddhdratwena vartate Iti siddhdntah?' One Dynamic Consciousness-
Power, whose character is to unfold in various higher and lower
(collective and individual) forms the nature of the Absolute Spirit, manifests
Herself in the forms of diverse kinds of forces and countless species of
pindas (bodies) and holds them together in Herself by the living unity of
Her all-pervading spiritual existence. She is conceived as self manifesting
self-diversifying all-harmonising all-unifying ever-active Dynamic Sat-Cid-
Ananda. The Supreme Power, the Divine Mother and Nurse of the
universe, is Sat-Cid-Ananda-mayee i.e. of the nature of perfect Existencc-
The view of the Siddha-Yogi school with regard to the Dynamic
Source of the cosmic system is found to be generally akin to that of the
Tdntrik school. According to both the schools, the Power (Sakti) from
Which this phenomenal world of our normal experience is originated and
by Which it is sustained and regulated and in Which it is ultimately
merged and unified, is the Divine Power, the self-conscious and self-active
Power of the Supreme Spirit (Cit-Sakti), the Power Whose essential nature
is self-unfolding self-multiplying self-delighting Perfect Existence-
Bliss (Atma-bildsim Sat-Cid-Ananda-Swarupinl Sivam-Sakti) and
Which is inwardly in eternal union with and non-different from Siva, the
Supreme Spirit, the Transcendent Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. Both the
schools maintain that this sublime and beautiful cosmic order (in which
we as finite conscious beings play our allotted parts and obtain scope for
self-enlightenment and elevation to
$Ji$ super-empirical plane of Absolute
Experience) is the product, not of a Power of Darkness, but of a Power
of Light, not of a Power of Evil, but of a Power of Supreme Goodness,
not of a Power that veils and distorts the Face of Truth, but of a Power
that reveals in a spatio-temporal order the infinite Goodness and Richness
and Bliss inherent in the nature of Truth, not of a Power antagonistic to
the Transcendent Supreme Spirit, but of a Power delightfully devoted to the
loving service of the Spirit and participating in His infinite joy. The
enlightened persons of both the schools see the Transcendent Spirit revealed
in the Power, see in the cosmic play of Sakti the play of Cit, see in all the
waves of the world the reflections of Brahma.
The cosmic system with all its apparently bewildering complexities
and catastrophes is often described by them as Cid-Vilasa, i.e. the luxuries
as it were of the Spirit, the delightful self-expressions of the transcendent
perfection of the Spirit. Matter also is looked upon as a form of selfexpression
of the Spirit. They see the play of the Spirit in all material
phenomena. To them matter, life, mind, intellect, all these appear as
forms in which the Supreme Spirit is playing various delightful games
through the medium of His unique Sakti, His Power of diversified
Which is non-different from Himself. Thus they look upon
the whole world as Spiritual, they look upon their own bodies also as
spiritual, they enjoy all phenomena of mundane experiences as the joyful
play of Siva- Sakti.
It is generally known that from time immemorial the Siddha-Yogis
have been upholders of the Path of Renunciation (Nibritti-Marga) and the
Ideal of Perfect Self-Illumination in Sa?nddhi,~ihQ Ideal of Kaivalya or
Moksha or Nirvana, the Ideal of Absolute Sivahood. The enlightened
teachers of this Sampraddya have always scrupulously practised and
preached abstinence, calmness and tranquillity, mastery over the body, the
senses, the vital forces and the mind, freedom from all worldly desires
and passions and attachments, unconcernedness with all outer affairs of
the world and deeper and deeper concentration into the innermost spiritual
self-shining nature of the Soul. But nevertheless they did not entertain or
preach any pessimistic view about the cosmic order or phenomenal
existence. They never taught the spiritual aspirants or seekers for liberation
from worldly sorrows and bondages to cultivate the feeling that all
(mundane existence) is sorrow, all is evil, all is ugly and repulsive in this
phenomenal world, that this world had its origin in some sort of Ignorance
or Illusion or some sort of Deceptive Power veiling and distorting the
nature of Truth, that the existing order of things is devilish or the whole
plan of the world is satanic, or that the world is the chance-product of
some Wind Material Energy and man in his conscious life has always and
inevitably to struggle against the forces of the world, which are by nature
hostile to the aspirations of the human consciousness. Many religiophilosophical
schools, advocating the Ideal of Moksha or Nirvdna or
Perfect Liberation and the Path of Renunciation and Deep Meditation,
deliberately teach their followers to cultivate such views and feelings about
the world and the worldly life. Such views and feelings, whatever may be
their practical .values in the path of spiritual self-discipline, appear to be
repugnant to the spiritual philosophy of the Siddha-Yogi school, to which
Gorakhnath belonged.
According to this school, this world originated not from Ignorance,
but from Fullness of Knowledge which is characteristic of iva-Sakti, not
from any Deceptive Power veiling transcendent nature of the Supreme
Spirit, but from the Nija-Sakti of the Supreme Spirit, through Which the
Spirit reveals His transcendent Sat-Cid-Ananda character in various forms
of phenomenal existences, consciousnesses, activities, beauties and enjoyments
under various kinds of freely self-imposed spatio-temporal limitations.
The enlightened saints of this school teach the truth-seekers to see
in this world-order not the sorrows and evils and repulsive scenes created
by any hostile Satanic Force, but the delightful plays of One Supremely
Loving Motherly Power, Who is eternally full of affection and mercy for
Her children, Who is leading Her children (Her own self-expressions) in
this cosmic system through various stages and various circumstances
towards perfect illumination and realisation of Siva in themselves. They
teach us to appreciate and enjoy the world as Cid-Vilasa, as saundaryalahari,
as ananda-lahari, as the Spirit in various playful garbs, as the
waves of the Ocean of Beauty and Bliss.


The first chapter of Gorakhnath's Siddha-Siddhdnta-Paddhati is
devoted to the exposition of the gradual self-unfoldment of Sakti,
immanent in the transcendent nature of Siva, the Supreme Spirit, leading
step by step to the manifestation of the magnificent Cosmic Body of Siva
and the diverse orders of individual bodies within it.
From our foregoing discussions it must have been evident that
Gorakhnath and his school are supporters of what is generally called
Satkdrya-vdda. They maintain that the world of effects exists before its
actual production in an unmanifested (avyakta) state in its Material
Cause (Upadana-Kdrana), and they hold that the Spiritual Power of Siva
or the Supreme Spirit in His dynamic aspect is the Material Cause (as
well as the Efficient Cause) of this cosmic system, which appears to our
phenomenal experience as a vast material world. From the view-point of
Sat-Kdrya-Vdda they assert that all the diverse orders of realities of this
material world exist, before their manifestation in the effect-forms, as
undifferentiated from one another and hence altogether unified in the
nature of their ultimate Material Cause, viz. the Divine Power, Which also
being then -actionless exists as perfectly identified with the Supreme Spirit,
Siva. Siva-Sakti has then no outer self-manifestation. Siva does not in
that state even experience Himself as the Owner of Sakti or as a Dynamic
Personality. Siva, with Sakti absolutely immanent in and identified with
Him, exists as differenceless and changeless Pard-Sambit or Pure Sat-Cid-
Ananda. From the metaphysical stand-point this is conceived as the
eternal transcendent nature of the Ultimate Reality, the Supreme Spirit,
and from the phenomenal empirical or temporal stand-point this is conceived
as the pre-creational (Sristeh prdk) state or the state of Mahd-
Pralaya (absolute dissolution) of the cosmic order. Creation and Dissolution
have reference to the phenomenal world of diversities; 'before'
and 'after* have reference to time and change. Before creation and after
dissolution of the phenomenal world, only the Ultimate Reality, i.e. the
Supreme Spirit, exists in His own self, in His transcendent nature. Nothing
else exists. There is no evidence of even space and time. But the facts
of creation and dissolution indicate that the vija (seed) of this world must
exist in the nature of that Non-dual Spirit even before creation and after
dissolution and that this vija must exist in the form of the Power of the
Spirit, the Power Which has no self-expression in that state and is
therefore absolutely identical with the Spirit.
Now, when we look at the relation between the Cause and the
series of effects from the phenomenal or temporal view-point, we find that
what remains folded in the cause becomes unfolded in the effects, what is
potentially existent in the cause becomes actually existent in the effects
through the causal operations, what is involved in the cause is gradually
evolved in time in the forms of the effects. From this point of view the
process of causation or evolution or becoming apparently shows some
progress or advance from unity to plurality, from simplicity to complexity,
from homogeneity to heterogeneity, from potentiality to actuality, from an
unmanifested state to more and more manifested states; and the process
of dissolution or destruction again shows a regress or backward movement
from plurality to unity, from complexity to simplicity, from heterogeneity
to homogeneity, from actuality to potentiality, from the gross manifested
states to some subtle unmanifested state. The pre-creational state of being
and the state of being after total destruction or dissolution appear to be
exactly similar or the same. Temporally the state of being before the
beginning of the actual cosmic process and after the end of the actual
cosmic process must be*conceived as a state of being which is as good as
non-being, an absolutely unmanifested state of being (avyakta), a state of
absolute void (sunya). From the view-point of the temporal process there
is nothing improper in the statement that the cosmic system starts from
Sunya and ends in Sunya, or that it starts from Avyakta and ends in
Avyakta, or even that it starts from Nothing and ends in Nothing.
But it must be remembered that this temporal process cannot have
any absolute beginning or absolute end, since Time cannot have any
beginning in time or end in time. The state of Dissolution preceding the
beginning of the current creative process must itself have been preceded
by a state of Creation, and the state of Dissolution which will follow the
present state of Creation will again be followed by another order of Creation,
and so on. From the phenomenal view-point there is a continuous cycle
of Dissolution followed by Creation and Creation followed by Dissolution
without any absolute starting point or absolute termination. Every Dissolution,
though apparently a state of Void, contains in undifferentiated
unity the seed or the material cause of the future Creation, and every
Creation also contains in its nature the ground of its destruction and goes
ahead inevitably in course of time towards Dissolution. This
cakra is temporally an eternal order, and this is the Cosmic
System. Gorakhnath and Siddha-Yogis also accept this view from the
phenomenal standpoint.
From the metaphysical view-point the Cause is not to be conceived
as temporally antecedent to the effects or as being transformed into the
77effects through any process of change. The Ultimate Cause of the world
of plurality and change must be conceived as above time and space and
as having no spatio-temporal relation with the cosmic system which is Its
effect. It cannot be thought of as passing through any spatio-temporal
process in order to produce this effect. All spatio-temporal processes and
relations are within this cosmic system, which originates from the Ultimate
Cause. The origination of the cosmic system from the differenceless
changeless self-existent self-luminous Supreme Spirit (with infinite Power
immanent in His nature) cannot be compared to 'the origination
of the tree from the seed or to the originsation of milk-products
from milk or to the origination of cloth from thread or to the
origination of earthen vessels from earth or to any other case of real
origination within the world of our experience. In all such cases the
cause and the effect belong to the same plane of experience, they are
equally subject to spatio-temporal conditions, they are similarly governed
by forces and laws of nature, and some changes take place in the cause
for the production of the effect. No such case can possibly bear comparison
with the causal relation, in which the Cause belongs to the supratemporal
supra-spatial supra-phenomenal spiritual plane and the Effect
consists of all existences in the temporal spatial phenomenal plane, in
which the Cause is One Infinite Eternal Unconditioned Non-dual Spirit
and the Effect comprises all possible differences and diversities and
changes and conditions, in which the Cause is absolutely free,
perfectly selffulfilled,
infinitely good and beautiful and blissful in His transcendent nature,
and the Effect consists of various kinds of creatures suffering from bondages
and sorrows, natural and moral evils, deformities and imperfections, etc.
The Cause is unique and the Effect also is unique. The beginningless
and endless cycle of Creations and Continuities and Dissolutions is
within the phenomenal Cosmic Order and as such is related to the alltranscending
Supreme Spirit as His effect. The Supreme Spirit must be
conceived as the Absolute Cause of this beginningless and endless order,
without any change or modification or Transformation in His transcendent
nature and without any effort on His part. What can be nature of
this unique causal relation?
It has already been noticed that Siddha-Yogi philosophers conceive
of this unique causal relation as Cid-vilasa or Siva-Sakti-vilasa, which means
perfectly free and delightful sportive self- manifestation of the Transcendent
Spirit in the phenomenal plane. This view implies that in the nature
of the Spirit there is immanent some unique Power or Sakti, by virtue of
which the Spirit (Caitanya) without any change or modification in His
transcendent spiritual character and without any desire or effort, manifests
and enjoys the infinite glory of His nature in the phenomenal plane, in
the plane of time and space and relativity, in the plane of succession and
co-existence and varieties of relations and limitations, in the forms of
numerous conscious and unconscious, living and non-living, mental and
material, finite and changing phenomenal realities. This is what is called the
free unfoldment of His Sakti. It is not unfoldment in the same plane, like
the unfoldment of a bud into a flower or a fruit or that of a seed into a
plant or that of an embryo into an animal-body. In the super-temporal
super-spatial super-relative transcendent plane of pure Existence-Consciousness-
Bliss there is no question of folding and unfolding, no question of
contraction and expansion, no question of involution and evolution. All
these conceptions pertain to the phenomenal plane.
According to the view of the enlightened Maha-Yogis, the Truth that
is absolutely realised in Itself above time, space and relativity in
the transcendent
plane, is always in the process of realisation under conditions of
time, space and relativity in the phenomenal plane. It is a sort of
progressive realisation of the perfect One as imperfect many, of the
absolute One as the conditioned relative many, of the changeless
noumenal One as the changing phenomenal many, of the spiritual One
as psycho-physical many. This is of the nature of the free play and
of one self- fulfilled Spirit in many names and forms under a
variety of self-imposed conditions and limitations in time and space. It
is the delightful self-expression of a Reality of a higher plane in the forms
of many realities in a lower plane and enjoyment in innumerable instalments
as it were of the infinite riches of Its nature enjoyed as one undifferentiated
whole in the higher plane. This is described as Cid-Vilasa
and self-unfoldment of the Power of the Absolute Spirit.
The Vedantists of Sankara's school describe this self-manifestation of
the transcendent Absolute Spirit in the phenomenal plane as Cid-Vivarta
and hence they are called Vivarta-Vadi. Vivarta is distinguished from
Parindma, since the latter implies a kind of transformation of a Cause
(partly or wholly) into effects of the same order of reality as the Cause,
while the former means the appearance of a Cause in the forms of effects
of a lower order of reality without involving any change or modification
in the Cause. Vivarta-Vadis hold that as the Supreme Spirit is above all
changes and modifications, He cannot be regarded as a real cause of a
real world-order, but only an illusory cause of an illusory world-order. He
falsely appears as the world of plurality. For the illustration of such
illusory causal relation, i.e. the false appearance of a cause in the form
of an effect which it neither becomes nor actually produces, they often cite
the examples of a rope appearing as a snake, an oyster appearing as a
piece of silver, the appearance of mirage in the desert, and so on. These
are generally examples of invalid or defective perception, the perception
of some object as something which it is not (adhydsa), under certain
conditions, on account of the imperfections in the powers of the senses
and the mind of the perceiver. When the true knowledge of the object
is attained by the perceiver through more careful observation under better
conditions, the illusion disappears and it becomes evident that the thing
as wrongly perceived was never produced at all. These are regarded as
cases of Vivarta, and on the analogy of such examples all cases of Vivarta
are regarded as cases of illusion (adhydsa) by the aforesaid Vivarta-Vadis.
Accordingly they come to the conclusion that the phenomenal world of
plurality and change is nothing but an illusory appearance of the Supreme
Spirit to the people suffering from positive Ignorance (avidya) or erroneous
knowledge, and that when the true knowledge of the Supreme Spirit is
attained by them it becomes evident that the world was never created
and never really exists as such. The orthodox Vedantists of Sankara's
school take great pains to prove the illusory character of the phenomenal
world, and in order to make this illusory appearance logically compatible
with the non-dual character of the Supreme Spirit they have conceived the
idea of one mysterious Mdyd, which they do not regard as the real unique
Power of the Supreme Spirit, but which they conceive as a neither-realnor-
unreal positive entity somehow mysteriously existing with Him and
revealing Him eternally in illusory names and forms in an illusory world.
The Yogis agree with the Vedantists in holding that the Supreme
Spirit is the One Changeless Non-dual Reality and that this beginningless
and endless phenomenal cosmic order is neither a product of His wishful
creation \Arambha-\ada) nor a product of His self-modification or
(Parindnu-Vdda). The Vivarta-Vdda of the Vedantists is
not unacceptable to the Yogis, if Vivarta means the self-manifestation of
a Reality of a higher order in the forms of realities of a lower order,
i.e. the self-manifestation of One Transcendent Spirit in the forms of a
plurality of phenomenal existences. But the enlightened Yogis find no
reason why such self-manifestation should be regarded as illusory appearance,
nor do they see any necessity for recognising such an inexplicable
extraneous entity or power, called Maya, essentially unrelated to the
Supreme Spirit, for explaining this self-manifestation of the Supreme Spirit
in the forms of phenomenal realities. What the Vedantists conceive as
Maya is given a much more exalted position by the Yogis, who regard this
Maya as the Cit-Sakti (the unique and incrutable, eternal and infinite
Power of the Spirit for free self-expression in infinite ways), immanent in the
essential nature of the Supreme Spirit, Who by virtue of this Power freely
and delightfully manifests the transcendent glory of His nature in the forms
of manifold phenomenal realities. This Maya is adored by them as
Mahdmdyd or Yogamdyd. They do not accept the analogy of rope-snake,
oyster- silver, mirage, etc. for explaining this wonderful world-order, since
such analogy would irrationally pre-suppose the existence of imperfect
observers before the appearance of this phenomenal system. Mdyd, if
conceived as the Mother of the Cosmic order, must be regarded as the
real Power of Brahma.
Yogi-Guru Gorakhnath, in his Siddha-Siddhdnta-Paddhati, gives an
interesting account of the gradual self-unfoldment of the Divine Sakti
Mahdmdyd or Yogamdyd, towards the creation of the phenomenal cosmic
system. The exposition starts from the conception of the Absolute One,
the Transcendent Sat-Cit-Ananda,m Whom the Power is absolutely unmanifested
and undifferentiated from the essential nature of the Spirit.
The Power is then of the nature of Pure Will (Icchd-mdtra-Dharmd)a
Will which wills nothing and as such is altogether indistinguishable from
the Wilier (Dharminl). The Will is immanent in the Non-dual Spirit, but
it has no manner of manifestation, not even a subtle impulse to manifest
itself in duality or plurality. The presence of the Absolute Will-Power in
the transcendent nature of the Absolute Spirit indicates His absolute freedom
of self-manifestation and self-enjoyment in all planes of existences. There
is no second Power to limit His freedom or to offer any resistance to His
Will-Power, and there is again no necessity or determining force for His
self-manifestation in any particular form at any particular time. By
recognising the presence of the absolute Will-Power in the transcendent
nature of the Absolute Spirit, the Yogi school gives recognition to the
perfect-freedom of the Spirit to reveal and enjoy His infinite and eternal
Existence-Consciousness-Bliss in the forms of various orders of existences
and consciousnesses in diverse planes at all times. The unfoldment of His
Sakti is perfectly free and is therefore appropriately described as the
expression of His infinite joy (dnanda-vildsa),
In his exposition of the gradual self-unfoldment of the Divine Sakti,
Gorakhnath first describes five stages of Her progressive self-manifestation
and characterises each of the stages in terms of five attributes (guna). The
Nijd-Sakti, i.e. the Divine Power in Her original form, in which She is
of the nature of Pure Will and is wholly indistinguishable from the transcendent
character of the Supreme Spirit, is mentioned as the first stage
and is described as possessing these five attributes, viz., Nityatd,
Nishpar.datd, Nirdbhdsatd, and Nirutthdnatd. (I. 10). Nytatd means
eternity, which implies that this Sakti is eternally and inalienably present
in the nature of the Spirit. Niranjanatd means stainlessness, which implies
that She is absolutely pure and participates in the perfect self-luminosity of
the Spirit. Nishpandatd means vibrationlessness, which implies that there
is as yet no internal change nor even any positive urge for change in tier
nature. She is perfectly calm and tranquil and enjoying sound sleep as it
were within the bosom of Siva. Nirdbhdsatd means unreflectingness,
which implies that as the existence of Sakti is not yet distinguishable
from that of Siva, the character of Siva is not reflected upon Her. Lastly,
Nirutthdnatd means unawakenedness of Her own character as distinct
from the transcendent character of Siva. At this stage Siva is Sakti and
Sakti is Siva. This is pure Pard-Sambit.
At the second stage there arises within the self-radiant Divine Will
(Nijd-Sakti) a very subtle impulse or tendency (unmukhatwa) to activate
Herself, to unfold Her dynamic character. The apparently sleeping Will
becomes as it were characterised by an inner awakening about Her infinite
phenomenal possibilities together with an inner urge for their gradual
realisation in the phenomenal plane. The Power Which was wholly
unmanifested in and identified with the transcendent spiritual nature of
Siva is now slightly manifested as a distinct aspect within His nature.
Siva appears to be dimly conscious of Himself as the Possessor of this
infinite Sakti and to experience Her as His own dynamic nature. Some
sort of distinction without difference arises between Siva as the changeless
differenceless self-existent self-luminous self-enjoying Supreme Spirit and
His Infinite Power of self-manifestation. The Power seems to become an
Object of delightful experience to Him within Himself. Sakti then exists
no longer perfectly as Siva, but in and for Siva At this stage Sakti is
spoken of as Pard-Sakti. Says Gorakhnath,
Tasya unmukhatwa-mdtrena Pard-Sakti rutthitd. (I. I. 6).
This Pard-Sakti is the first slightly unfolded form of the eternal
Nijd-Sakti of the Absolute Spirit, Brahma or Siva. She is the Supreme
Mother of all Powers, all orders of existences, all orders of individualised
consciousnesses, the whole phenomenal universe. There is as yet no actual
movement or action in Her. From Nimtihdna-dasd this is the first
utthdna-dasd of Sakti. Gorakhnath describes this Pard-Sakti also in terms
of five attributes ( Pancu Gundh), viz., Astita, Aprameyaw, Abhinnatd,
Anantatd, Avyaktatd. (I. I. 11). The first attribute predicable of Pard-
Sakti is spoken of as Astita, which means the quality of existing. The
intention obviously is that prior to the self-unfoldment of Sakti as Para-
Sakti, even existence as an attribute could not be predicated of Her, in as
much as Nijd-Sakti was absolutely identified with Pure Existence-Consciousness-
Bliss and could not be said to have the quality of existence of
Her own. Pure Existence conceived as the character of the Supreme Spirit
should not also be confused with the quality of existing, there being no
subject-predicate or substance-quality relation in His essential transcendent
The second quality by which Para-Sakti is characterised Is Aprameyatd,
which means immeasurableness. Being free from all kinds of determinations
or limitations, being the Supreme Mother or Originator of all kinds of
and limitations, spatial, temporal, etc., Her nature is evidently
incapable of being measured, i.e. spatially or temporally, quantitatively or
qualitatively, or in any other way determined or limited.
The third attribute is Abhinnata, which means
undifferentiatedness.There is nothing, whether outside or within
Herself, from which She can
be differentiated as a separate entity, nor is She differentiated from the
Supreme Spirit, in and for Whom She exists.
The fourth attribute is Anantata, which means infinitude or inexhaustibleness.
Pard-Sakti, though as yet undifferentiated from the transcendent
nature of Siva, contains within Herself infinite contents, which are
inexhaustible in temporal, spatial and phenomenal manifestations. She
may continue to manifest Herself in infinite ways through eternity, but Her
possibilities will never be exhausted; there will continue to be ever-new
creation from within Herself. The richness which is immanent in the
transcendent dynamic nature of the Supreme Spirit can never be exhausted
through manifestation in the phenomenal plane, in the plane of time, space
and relativity.
The fifth attribute is Avyaktatd, which means unmanifestedness. This
implies that all the inexhaustible richness of Her nature, though present
eternally, is up to this stage wholly unmanifested.
Pard-Sakti has within Herself infinite wisdom, infinite beauty, infinite
goodness, infinite splendour, infinite power, infinite life, infinite love,
infinite happiness, She has within Herself all the supreme ideals of
conscious existence perfectly realised, but all these remain unmanifested,
undifferentiated, unified in Her supra-temporal supra-spatial supra-phenomenal
nature. The dynamic aspect of the essential nature of the
Supreme Spirit is at this stage at the junction, as it were, of the transcendent
and the phenomenal planes, the plane of absolute Existence-Consciousness-
Bliss and the plane of His relative spatio-temporal self-expressions.
Siva, qualified by this infinitely rich and powerful Creative Will,
as yet unmanifested, but tending towards manifestation, seems to advance
one step in the direction of revealing and enjoying Himself as a self-conscious
self-determining Creative Personality.
The self-unfoldment of the immanent Divine Power as Pard-Sakti, as
expounded by Gorakhnath, may remind one of the Upanishadic conception,
"Tad aikshata, vahu sydm, prajdyeya", That (Non-dual Brahman) witnessed,
I will become many, I will become phenomenally born. The absolutely
indeterminate Being (Sat) the One without a second (Ekam eva adwitiyarn),
willed to be born in the plane of time and space as determinate
many, to manifest Himself as a cosmic system and as Indwelling Spirit of
this system. It should be noted that to the Transcendent Spirit willing and
witnessing are the same, and this involves no change in His perfectly calm
and tranquil self-luminous nature. It may also remind one of the mantra
of Ndsadiya-Suktay "Kdmas tad agre samavartatddhi", Will to create first
came into existence, and this will was the first seed of mind, (manaso
retah prathamam yad dsit.
At the third stage some sort of vibration (spandana) or internal
agitation arises in the infinite spiritual bosom of this Pard- Sakti. The
Divine Will is then characterised by some internal push for external
though not by any outward transformation. Sakti somewhat
activated by such spandana within Herself is designated as Apard-Sakti.
Tctsya spandana-mdtrena Apard-Sakti rutthitd. (I. I. 7).
The five attributes of Apard-Sakti are, Sphuratd, Sphutatd, Sphdratd,
Sphotatd and Sphurtitd. (I. I. 12). It is difficult to bring out the exact
significance of each of these attributes. Sphuratd seems to imply that
Sakti at this stage has not merely the quality of existence, but somewhat
agitated existence, existence agitated with an inner movement for
Sphutatd seems to imply that Sakti has now a more manifested
presence in and before the consciousness of Siva, a more explicit presence
in His self-experience. Sphdratd seems to mean that this Sakti has a
tendency for further self-unfoldment or self-expansion, that there is in Her
an incessant pull for progressive self-manifestation or self-externalisation.
Sphotatd seems to indicate that the realities which remain ideally present,
but actually unmanifested, in Her nature, are seeking for realisation in the
phenomenal plane. Sphurtitd seems to imply that there is an inner delight
and enthusiasm in Her nature for the gradual unfoldment of Her inner
glories in the phenomenal plane. Thus what is called Apard-Sakti is one
step forward towards the outward self-manifestation in the spatio-temporal
plane of the transcendent glories of the Divine nature. The dynamic
aspect of the character of the Supreme Spirit is somewhat more explicitly
manifested at this stage. Brahma or Siva as the sole Owner, Illuminer,
Seer, Enjoyer and Soul of the Creative Will appears at this stage somewhat
like an active Self-revealer through His dynamic nature, though He in
Himself transcends all forms of actions and dwells in the realm above
time, Sparsa, Rupa and
Rasa, and Prithwi is characterised by all the five ultimate sensible properties,
Sabda, Sparsa, Rupa, Rasat and Gandha. Some sort of evolution
among these ultimate constituents of physical nature is also generally
recognised. Sometimes the process is described as the process of Pancika108
rana, by which the character of each of the five partially enters into all of
them. Besides the generally recognised essential sensible qualities, Gorakhnath
mentions, as it has been already shown, several other characteristics
of each of them. He seems to attach more primary importance to such
attributes, as vacuity of Akdfa, Motion of Vayu, Heat of Tejas, Fluidity of
Saltia and Solidity of Prithwi.
While there is a general agreement among the Indian philosophical
schools about the Panca-Mahabhutas being the ultimate material constituents
(jada updddna) of the physical world, there are fundamental differences
among them with regard to the question of the origin of this wonderfully
harmonious cosmic system (with various orders of living and conscious
beings within it) out of them. There are materialist schools (e.g. Lokdyata
or Carvdka) which stubbornly maintain that they are the ultimate realities
out of which this cosmic system with all its law and order and all its living
and conscious and rational beings has gradually come into existence in
course of time through various processes of integration and disintegration
by nature (swabhdva) or by chance (Yadricchd or niyati) and into which all
the bodies, whether inanimate or animate, unconscious or conscious,
are dissolved in course of time. They hold that Caitanya (spirit or
is nothing but a quality or attribute of certain classes of organised
material bodies constituted of the five, (according to some, four,
leaving out AkaSa as no physical reality), material elements and never
exists apart from and independently of these gross material bodies. It is
needless to say that they feel no rational or spiritual necessity for
admitting the existence of God or Supreme Spirit to explain this Cosmic
There are strongly argumentative schools (such as Nydya and Vaiteshika)
which like the former maintain that these Panca-Mahdbhutas are
nitya dravya (eternal substances) eternally existing by themselves in inert
atomic (paramdnu) forms, but unlike the former hold that these ultimate
material elements being essentially inert cannot by themselves move and
combine together and arrange and organise themselves in a planned manner
so as to produce such a wonderful cosmic system and that they being jada
can never originate Caitanya (consciousness) through any kind of organisation
in themselves. Alma (Spirit) and Manas (instrument of empirical
consciousness) are also recognised by them as eternal substances. They
recognise the eternal existence of innumerable individual souls (jivdtmd) and
of one Supreme Spirit (Paramdtmd), Who is ttwara (God). They hold that
Iswara, by the exercise of His innate infinite wisdom and power, creates in
a planned manner this cosmic order out of the five kinds of material atoms,
which are however not created by Him. According to them, the Panca109
Mahdbhutas are the material cause and I&wara is the efficient cause of this
objective world, and ttwara is also the Supreme Ruler of all the phenomena
of this world. The world is not however any part or self-manifestation or
body of the Supreme Spirit, and the individual souls also are not spiritual
parts or self-manifestations of the Supreme Spirit. The Naiydyika philosophers
adduce many logical and moral and cosmological arguments to prove
the existence of Iswara as the Efficient Cause of the cosmic system and the
Moral Governor of all individual souls. It is through His Grace that individual
souls devoted to His worship can attain Mukti or Apavarga. In mukti
these souls are not only released from all bondage and sorrow, but also
from phenomenal consciousness, which cannot remain without the soul's
contact with Manas.
According to the Sankhya system, Panca-Mahdbhutas are evolved
from Panca-Tanmatras, which are the same Mahdbhutas in their pure and
subtle states (apancikrita sukshma mahdbhuta) and characterised by the
purest and simplest sensible qualities ; these Tanmdtras are evolved from
Aham-tattwa (One Ego-Principle), which is also the source of the empirical
mind (manas], the five senses of knowledge (mdnendriya) and the five senses
of action (karmendriya . Thus, according to this view, the ultimate constituents
of the objective physical world (including our individual physical
bodies) and the primary instruments of our knowledge of and action upon
this objective world originate from or are the mutually related manifestations
of one higher reality (tattwa), viz , Ego-Principle, which is conceived
as the meeting-ground or the ground of union of the subjective and the
objective aspects of our experience, of the instruments of knowledge and
action and all objects of knowledge and action. The Ego-Principle is therefore
also called Bhutddi, the Source of the Bhutas and of the whole world
of physical realities. The Ego-Principle is however not an individual ego,
which is always manifested in relation to the individual mind and senses
and the objective realities. It is a principle, a reality, a tattwa, which is
manifested in the two-fold ways of the plurality of individual subjects with
the individual minds and senses on the one side and the diversified objective
physical world constituted of material elements on the other. This Ego-Principle
again is conceived as evolved from Mahat-tattwa, which is the first
(vyaktu-rupa) of Muld-Prakriti or Avyakta* tattwa the Ultimate
Material Cause of the subjective-objective phenomenal world in space and
time. The Sankhya system does not however hold that the plurality of
individual souls or spirits are evolved from Prakrit i. It asserts that an
infinite number of souls or spirits (called Purusha), the essential character
of which is pure changeless transcendent consciousness, are eternally associated
(sanjukta) with Prakriti and all its evolutes and only apparently or
illusorily participate in their qualities and functions and limitations. When
it is perfectly realised by any individual soul, through the refinement and
illumination of the mind and intelligence related to it, that it is essentially
pure and changeless and limitationless Caitanya and in no way really connected
with the affairs of Prakriti and the cosmic order, it becomes emancipated
from the apparent bondage of this phenomenal world and exists in
its transcendent character. Thus the Mahdbhutas, according to Sankhya, are
not ultimate realities, though they are the ultimate material constituents of
the objective world. This objective world is not conceived as created by or
evolved from any Supreme Spirit or Iswara, but as evolved from Muld-
Prakriti, from which all phenomenal knowledge and action and all instruments
of knowledge and action also are evolved, without any supervision
and control of any eternal Supreme Lord of this Prakriti.
The Up^nishadic thinkers, like the Siddha Yogi Sampraddya, trace the
origin of the Panca-Mahdbhutas from the Supreme Spirit, Brahma or
Atmd. The Rishi of the Brahmdnanda-Valli of Taittiriya Upanishad
Tasmdd vd etasmdd dtmana dkdsah sambhutah. dkdsdd vdyuh, vdyor
agnih, agner dpah, adbhyah prithivL
From that Supreme Spirit (Brahma, the changeless transcendent
Satyam Jndnam Anantam) Who is also Alma or the True Self of every
being, Akdsa is born. From Akdsa Vdyu is evolved, from Vdyu Agni, from
Agni Ap, and from Ap Prithivi.
This view is supported by other Rishis. All the Upanishads hold the
view that one changeless differenceless transcendent Supreme Spirit*
(Brahma, Atmd. Siva) with infinite power and intelligence inherent in His
nature is the Sole Cause (Material and Efficient as well as Final Cause) of
the entire Spatio-temporal Cosmic Order. Brahma is described as a-sabda
a-sparsa a-rupa a-rasa a-gandha (without sound, without touch, without
form, without taste, without scent) and at the same time Bhuta-Yoni (the
Origin of all the bhutas). He is a-prdna a-manah (without life and mind in
the empirical sense) and at the same time the Sole Source of all life and
mind, all vital and mental phenomena, in the Cosmic System, and the
Indwelling Spirit (Antarydmi Atmd) in them all. The Upanishads clearly
proclaim that from Brahma all these Bhutas are born, by Brahma all of
them are sustained and enlivened, towards Brahma they are all moving on,
and into Brahma again they enter and merge and lose their differences. This
is exactly the view of the Mahd-Yogis.
The Vedantic schools of philosophy base their speculations on the
authoritative texts of the Upanishads. But some of them are so much under
the influence of the idea of the fundamental difference between Spirit and
Matter, between Pure Changeless Transcendent Consciousness above all
spatio-temporal relations and the diverse orders of ever-changing physical
phenomena in the world of time and space, that they fail to logically
conceive how the latter can really originate from or be a real
of the former. Hence they regard the world of Mahd-bhutas as having
only an illusory existence born of some inexplicable mysterious Power,
called Maya or Avidyd, and the Supreme Spirit, Brahma, as nothing but a
substratum (adhisthdna) of this illusion. Of the vedantist philosophers
Ramanuja and Srikantha and some others follow the Mahd-Yogis in interpreting
the cosmic system or the phenomenal world of Mahdbhutas as a
self-manifestation and embodiment of the Supreme Spirit, by virtue of the
real Power (Sakti) inherent in the Spirit.
Origination of Matter from Spirit and dissolution of Matter in Spirit,
origination of spatio-temporal phenomenal realities from one infinite
eternal changeless Transcendent Consciousness and absolute, unification of
the former in the Latter, free playful self-manifestation of one non-dual
Cit in the complex relative multiplicity of Jada and merging of this
in the perfect blissful unity of Cit, do not present insurmountable
conceptual difficulties to the enlightened Mahdyogis, because through the
systematic discipline and refinement of their body and mind and intellect
and the practice of deep meditation they easily pass from one plane of
experience to another, from the'plane of phenomenal Matter to the plane
of Transcendent Spirit and back from the latter to the former, from the
plane of changing diversities to the plane of absolute unity and back from
the latter to the former, and the transition becomes quite natural to them.
They directly experience the Transcendent as well as Dynamic character of
the Non-dual Spirit. Matter also is experienced by them as ultimately a
spiritual entity.
In Swetdswatara Upanishad and also in other Upanishads there is
eloquent testimony to such spiritual experiences of enlightened Mahdyogis.
It is said in the Upanishad, Te dhydna-yogdnugatd apasyan devdtma-faktim
swagunair nigudhdm: They (the enlightened Mahdyogis) through the most
intensive practice of dhydna-yoga saw the Supreme Spirit's own Sakti,
Whose essential character is concealed by Her own self-manifestations.
They see this Sakti (Which is essentially non-different from the Supreme
Spirit) manifested in various phenomenal forms in various planes of
experience. Jhdna (knowledge), Vala (force) and Kriyd (action) are quite
natural self-expressions of this Pard-Sakti of the Supreme Spirit, Pardsya
Saktir Bibidhaiva sruyate swdbhdbikljndna-vala-kriyd ca. All expressions of
intelligence, all expressions of power or force, all expressions of ...


Having given a general description of the constitution of the Cosmic
Body and of the individual bodies as the phenomenal sfclf-manifestations of
Siva-Sakti (the Dynamic Supreme Spirit), Mahayogi Gorakhnath teaches
the truth-seekers to make a still deeper reflection (vicara) on the inner
structure of this bodily system in the light of the experience of the
Siddha-Yogis. He calls it Pinda-Vicara. Here he presents a doctrine
which is rather esoteric and meant for those who are or wish to be initiated
into the path of yogic discipline and which an ordinary intellectualist
student of philosophy or physiology or psychology would naturally find it
difficult to comprehend and appreciate. It is not based on ordinary
observation and experiment, but on yogic introspection and meditation.
But the spiritual influence of the yogi school upon the general culture of
the vast country was so wide-spread and so deeply inspiring that many of
these esoteric ideas are found to be familiar even to common religiously
minded people of all parts of Bharatavarsha.
Gorakhnath says that for the purpose of attaining true enlightenment
about the inner nature of this sacred body which is a wonderful
of Siva-Sakti, familiarity with these concepts and deep contemplation
in this line are essential. He says,
Nava-cakram kald-dhdram tri-lakshyam vyoma-pancakam
Samyag etat najdndti sa yogi ndma-dhdrakah.
If a yogi is not perfectly acquainted with the nine cakras, sixteen (kald)
ddhdras, three lakshyas, and five vyomas, he is only a bearer of the name of
a yogi (but not a yogi in a true sense).
A. Nine Cakras!
The nine cakias are conceived (or perceived by the yogis) as different
stations in the central Sushumnd-Nddi, which has been called the Brahmamdrga
(the path for the realisation of the Supreme Spirit within the body
or for the realisation of the perfect Existence-Consciousness-Bliss in
one's own self). They are really different planes of esoteric experience
through which a sincere and earnest seeker of perfect self-realisation in the
path of yogic self-discipline passes in course of his systematic endeavour
for ascending to the highest plane of spiritual experience and enjoying
therein the blissful absolute unity of Siva and Sakti and his own self.
As it has been mentioned in course of the discussion on the nervous
system, the Sushumna-Nadi is the finest and most brilliant and sensitive
nerve which passes through the spinal column and links the lowest centre
of vital and psychical energy (muladhara) with the highest (sahasrara).
Though it is evolved in and forms a part of the individual physical body, it
is conceived as the most efficient channel for the continuous flow of the
vital and psychical energy between the lowest and the highest planes. It
appears to be of the nature of an ever-flowing current (having in normal
life both an upward and a downward direction), which carries the energy
upward and downward. When viewed in a gross way, the Nadi seems to be
almost straight and the current practically smooth and even. But to
deeper insight it is revealed that there are certain divisions and turning
points in the current and at certain centres there are wheels or whirls which
are called by the yogis Cakras. These Cakras exercise considerable
influence upon the velocity as well as the direction of the flow of energy in
the inner life of an individual. Sometimes they create revolutions in the
vital propensities and mental dispositions of individuals.
They act sometimes as hurdles and sometimes as steps in the path
of spiritual progress. Spiritual aspirants have to be acquainted with them
and their specific characteristics in order to cross through the hurdles and
also to make the best use of them for ascending to higher and higher steps
of spiritual power and enlightenment. These Cakras also represent particular
planes of spiritual experience. When a person's vital and mental
energy moves in the domain of a lower Cakra, he looks upon things from
a lower point of view, from a sensuous or materialstic point of view or
from the view point of his lustful or desireful mind. As his energy ascends
to the domains of higher and higher Cakras, his outlook becomes more
and more refined and enlightened, his interests become more and more
spiritualised, he learns to appreciate more and more deeply the spiritual
and divine character of his own self and of the cosmic system. According
to the yogis, spiritual progress essentially consists in piercing through
all the lower Cakras (Cakra-bheda) and ascending to the highest Cakra for
being ultimately united with the transcendent character of Siva-Sakti.
When the Cakras are crossed, the Sushumnd-cunent becomes straightened,
and the yogi can easily rise from the normal state of empirical consciousness
to Samadhi, to the state of perfect spiritual illumination and liberation
from all bondage and limitation.
The spiritual urge is inherent in the nature of every individual living
being, in as much as every individual is a self-manifestation of the Supreme
Spirit and he is immanently meant for passing through various planes of
conditioned and variegated mundane experiences to the ultimate blissful
supra-mundane experience of perfect unity with the Supreme Spirit. The
fulfilment of individual existence lies in the attainment of this ultimate
experience and deliverance from the sense of individuality and its limitations.
This ultimate ideal is immanent in the inner nature of all individuals
and imperceptibly determines the most intricate courses of their development.
In the lives of the lower (i.e. sub-human) orders of living beings,
this spiritual urge never rises to the surface of distinct empirical
though it is present in their inner nature. Their psycho-physical
organism is unfit for their actually feeling this urge. But they also are
unknowingly inspired by it and the development of their nature is inwardly
determined by it.
The human life too passes through many stages of development,
man's psycho-physical embodiment too is developed in a gradual process.
In the lower stages of development there is no actual feeling of the immanent
spiritual urge. Even when a man rises to comparatively higher
stages of physical, vital and mental development, and even when his moral
and intellectual consciousness is considerably developed and refined, he
may not have a clear perception of the spiritual urge immanent in his inner
nature. In the normal course this spiritual urge rises upon the surface of
the empirical consciousness of a man through contact with spiritually
enlightened persons whose empirical consciousness had already been
awakened to and inspired by this spiritual urge. Before this spiritual
awakenment of the empirical consciousness the inherent spiritual urge
appears to remain in what may be regarded as a sleeping condition and to
exert its influence upon the course of development of the life of the individual
from below the threshold of the empirical consciousness. When this
awakenment comes, the individual consciously feels that he is essentially a
spiritual being and that the fulfilment of his life lies in the
realisation of the
ultimate spiritual ideal. He then directs consciously and voluntarily and
enthusiastically all his vital and mental energy towards the blissful
experience of the identity of the individual soul with Siva, the Supreme
Spirit, as well as the eternal union of the Maha-Sakti manifested in this
cosmic order with the same spirit.
This awakenment of dynamic spiritual consciousness in the individual
mind is described by Gorakhnath and the yogi school as the awakenment
of the apparently sleeping Divine Power in man, the awakenment
(bodhana or jagarana) of Kundalini-Sakti. This Divine Power with infinite
potentiality is conceived to be existing in every individual, but in a sleeping
or dormant state, as if in the form of a coiled serpent, closely embracing
the lowest or the most initial centre of physical, vital and psychical energy.
This Sakti is present as the immanent power even in the most subtle and
minute body which is first born in the mother's womb in the form of a
Vindu, and it is the primal energy from which all forms of energy are
evolved, all powers and capacities are developed, all tissues and organs and
limbs are produced, mind and intellect also are manifested. It is essentially
a Conscious Power (Cinmayee Sakti), Pure Consciousness or Siva
being the Soul of this Sakti. But it does not reveal itself as such a Conscious
Power till the time of the spiritual awakenment, referred to above.
This sleeping Divine Power is imagined as existing in the form of a
sleeping serpent coiling itself thrice round one Siva-linga and deeply embracing
it in the lowest centre of psycho-vital energy. In some texts eight
coils also are mentioned. When this Divine Power is awakened in a man,
his spiritual yearning becomes intense; his vital and mental energy is easily
and almost spontaneously concentrated in the central Sushumna-Nadi and
strives to rise above in this spiritual path. The vital impulses and the
mental inclinations which in normal life are diverted towards outward and
downward directions come easily under the control of the spiritual urge
and the disciplined will, the power of determination is therefore immensely
increased, the internal and external obstacles in the path of spiritual progress
are easily conquered, and there is steady and rapid ascent of the
psycho-vital energy in the Sushumna-Mdrga towards the Supreme Ideal.
This is often described as the sacred Ydtrd (journey) of awakened Kundalini-
Sakti for the most blissful union with Her eternal Beloved, Siva, in the
highest region of spiritual experience, Sahasrdra-Cakra. In course of this
gradual ascent of the psycho-vital energy along the path of Sushumna,
yogis meet with a number of subtle Cakras, at particular stages and
particular centres, in which they are required to perform particular forms
of meditation for particular yogic achievements, and which they have to
pierce through in order to reach the highest plane of transcendent spiritual
Yogiguru Gorakhnath mentions (in Siddha-Siddhanta-Paddhati) nine
such Cakras. Yoga-sdstras and Tantra-sastras are however not dogmatic
with regard to the number of Cakras. Cakras are enumerated generally as
six, and sometimes as seven or eight or nine. This perhaps indicates that
no undue importance need be attached to the exact number. Experiences
of yogis may sometimes differ on such minor points. Yogigurus, while
imparting lessons to their disciplies and guiding their methods of contemplation
and meditation, are often found to voluntarily omit certain steps and
lay stress upon others. However, older yogic literature often speaks of
nine Cakras. It is said, "Nava-cakramayam vapuh" (the body consists of
nine cakras). Gorakhnath also says, Pinde rtava cakrdni (there are nine
cakras in the body).
The first, according to Siddha-Siddhdnta-Paddhati, is Brahma Cakra
in Mulddhara. MuJddhdra is defined thus:
"Vindu-rupa-kundaUmsakteh, prathamd-virbhdva-sthdnam Muld-dhdrah,
Mulddhara is the seat of the first self-manifestation of Kundalini-Sakti
(the self-concealing Divine Power) in the form of Vindu. This Kundalini-
Sakti in the form of the Vindu may be called the material as well as
efficient cause of the individual body. When the body with its diversified
parts and its complex structure is formed, the Sakti is revealed as the
source of all psycho vital energy and has its primary seat in a dynamic
centre of the body located in an intermediate position between the region
of the rectum and the region of the generating organ. This is the point of
the lowest termination of the Spinal Cord and of the Sushumnd-Nddi.
Near about it is located what has been called the Mula-kanda, from
which all the nddls spread out in all directions. This is the primary seat
of the psycho- vital energy, from which the living body originates and by
which it is supported and sustained. Hence it is named Mulddhara.
Herein Kundalini-Sakti lies in a spiritually sleeping condition and herein
She is first awakened and pushes the psycho-vital energy (manha-prdnasakti)
upward in the path of Sushumnd (Brahma-mdrga). In this
Mulddhara a yogi meets with the first Cakra which is called by Gorakhnath
Brahma-Cakra (Adhdre Brahma-Cakram),
Gorakhnath describes this Brahma-Cakra in Mulddhara as conical in
shape with the apex downward and as having three coils with the Vindu at
the centre. It is to be remembered that neither the Vindu nor the Cakra is
physically visible even with a powerful microscope. It is open only to
yogic perception. From the view-point of gross sensible physical reality it
would appear only as a knotty centre, and the description would appear to
be figurative. But a yogi with his internal vision actually perceives it.
The Cakra with its conical and coiled shape is a phenomenal manifestation
of the Vindu. The three aspects of a phenomenal reality which remain
unified in the Vindu (it being of the size and shape of a mere point) become
manifested in the form of the three sides of a triangle. These three
aspects may be designated in general terms as Subject (vishayi), Object
(vishaya) and the Process relating them to each other (sambandha). This
triangularity of evolving and revolving phenomenal realities assumes
various forms, such as, jndtd (knower), jneya (knowable) and jndna (profess
of knowing), kartd (doer), kdrya (deed) and karma (the process of
doing), bhoktd (enjoyer), bhogya (enjoyable) and bhoga (the process 3
enjoyment), and so on. All evolutions occur in such a triangular way
and all phenomenal realities are accordingly relative and triangular in
nature. What is called a cone is a conglomeration of numerous triangles
with a common apex.
Brahma Cakra in the Mulddhara is conceived as of such a conical
shape, and it appears to be the dynamic source of all triangular developments
in the psycho-physical organism. It has three coils, because Sakti,
of which it is a manifestation, is trigunamayce, i.e. a complex of three
gunas, viz, Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas. But this Sakti also transcends the
three gunas, since in its essential nature it is identical with Siva, the
Supreme Spirit. The coils are therefore often described as three and a
half, the half pointing to its transcendent aspect. It is sometimes described
as having eight coils, which probably refer to eightfold evolutions (unified
here) of Prakriti, viz, five Mahabhutas and Manas, Buddhl, Ahankdra.
When there is spiritual awakenment, this Divine Power is perceived in this
Cakra to be shining very brilliantly like a blazing fire (pavakdkdra) or like
a steady flash of lightning (vidyut-vilasa-vapuh), self-luminous and
This is also described as the place of the mutual union of Siva
as Kdmeswara (the Lord of all desires) and Kcimeswaree (the Devee fulfilling
all desires). It is therefore spoken of as Kamarupa-pitha. When a
zadhaka's psycho-vital energy is concentrated in this Cakra and he meditates
on Siva-Sakti in this aspect, whatever desires arise in his mind are
fulfilled (sarva-kdma-prada). Hence in order to ascend to the higher
spiritual planes, a yogi has to be very cautious in this plane, so that no
worldly desires may arise in his mind and retard his progress.
The conception of Sakti'm this Cakra is beautifully expressed in this
Vidyud-vildsa-vapushah sriyam dvahanteem
Ydnteem swa-vdsa-bhavandt Siva-rdjadhdneem
Saushumna-mdrge kamaldni vikdsayanteem
Deveem bhajed hridi pardmrita-sikta-gdtrdm.
A yogi should worship at heart the self-shining Goddess (awakened
Kundalim-Sakti), Whose entire body is saturated with spiritual nectar and
displays the brilliant beauty of a steady flash of lightning, Who is on her
delightful journey from her own home (at Mulddhara) to the capital-city of
her eternal Beloved, Siva, (at Sahasrdra), and Who on her way through
Sushumnd unfolds upwards the lotuses at the different centres of this
spiritual path. (In normal worldly life the lotuses in the different cakras
are described as blooming downward; in spiritually awakened life these
lotuses bloom upward.)
An aspirant for abater and greater spiritual enlightenment in the
higher and higher planes has to cultivate a deeply devotional attitude
towards the Divine Sakti and to pray for Her mercy for conquering all the
temptations of worldly power and prosperity and enjoyment, which may
present themselves to him at this early stage of spiritual progress in the
yogic path. It is Sakti that offers these temptations, it is Sakti that fulfils
all the desires which ma> arise in the mind of the yogi, and it is Sakti
again that delivers him mercifully from all such temptations and desires if
lie has an earnest spiritual aspiration and a humble and worshipful attitude
of mind. If he is addicted to and infatuated with the powers and prosperities
and enjoyments which may come to him (sometimes even without his
wishing and seeking for them), the path of his ascent to higher spiritual
planes is likely to be blocked for the time being, and even a downfall from
this position is possible. FL may however be rescued again, if he gets the
help and guidance of a merciful enlightened Guru and is again actuated by
the spirit of renunciation and earnest aspiration for Truth-realisation.
Thus, the Cakra at Mulddhara is the starting station of Kundalim in
her sacred journey to the abode of Siva in Sahasrdra and likewise the starting
station of the concentrated psycho-vital energy of SL yogi in its spiritual
ascent in the path of Sushumna towards the same goal.
The second Cakra mentioned by Gorakhnath, is called Swddhisthdna-
Cakra. It is located within the Sushumna-nadi at a centre close to the
origin of the generating organ. Within this Cakra there is, as the yogis
experience with their penetrating vision, a very fine and bright red-coloured
Siva-linga facing towards the back (pasclmdbhimukhd). Kundalim-Sakti in
Her upward journey, having first crossed through the Mulddhdra-Cakra,
ascends to the Swddhisthdna-Cakra and is united with her Beloved Siva,
the Supreme Spirit, in this special form. This special form of manifestation
of the union of Sakti with Siva is so very beautiful and fascinating
that itiis revealed as the source of attraction to all phenomenal existences
of the universe. A yogi, practised in the art of concentration and deep
meditation, having renounced al! worldly desires and conquered all worldly
temptations and having thus crossed the hurdle of Mulddhdra-Cakra,
raises his psycho-vital energy to this plane of Swddhtsthdna-Cakra. When
his energy is concentrated upon and charmed by this fascinating expression
of the union of Siva and Sakti, he himself becomes thereby a most attractive
personality and the whole world seems to be attracted towards him
tjagad-akarshanam bhavati).
Though he may not have any attraction for the honour and adorav
tion and affection of the people of the world, the beauty and splendour of
his yogic attainments and the Divine Power manifested in and through him
naturally attract them towards him. This is also a great hindrance in the
way of higher spiritual progress. Moreover, besides his personality becoming
unusually attractive, his aesthetic ideas and artistic and creative
faculties also are often extraordinarily developed at this stage. A yogi
must not remain contented with these attainments. He must exert himself
to ascend to higher planes of spiritual experience. For this purpose he
should with a prayerful attitude deeply meditate upon Siva with His Sakti
united with Him, and pray to Siva-Sakti for revealing to his consciousness
higher and higher manifestations of Their holy union. He should never be
elated with joy and pride at the charming experiences he has already
gained. He should never cherish any sense of ego and never attribute the
credit for these experiences to his individual self. He should value them as
the merciful self-revelations of Siva-Sakti, but should never be intoxicated
with them. He should earnestly seek for and pray for higher orders of
experience. In this way he should cross the whirl of the Swadhisthdna-Cakra.
The third Cakra is called by Gorakhnath Nabhi-Cakra, because it is
experienced within the Sushumnd-Nddi at a centre in the region of the navel
It is generally known as Manipura-Cakra. The concentrated and upwarddriving
psycho-vital energy of an earnest and prayerful yogi, having crossed
Mulddhdra-Cakra and Swddhisthdna-Cakra, arrives at this Manlpura-Cakra,
which is a dynamic centre of various kinds of Yogic Siddhis or miraculous
powers. This Cakra is described as having five fold whirls (pancd-varta)
and appearing in the form of a five-times-coiled serpent (sarpa-vat
Within this Cakra, Kundalini-Sakli reveals Herself with the
brilliance of a crore of morning suns (bdldrka-koti-sadrisee) and enjoys a
special bliss of union with Siva. This is a higher plane of spiritual union
between Siva and Sakti than Mulddhdra and Swadliisthana.
The difference between the nature and the degree of the spiritual
enjoyment of one plane and those of another can not of course be understood
by any person living and moving and having his being in the normal
physical and sensuous plane of experience by means of any amount of
subtle intellectual reasoning or any stretch of imagination. Yogis who
attain experiences of those higher planes can not also make them intelligible
to the men of the lower planes by means of verbal descriptions.
Nevertheless, many yogi-teachers have, with the help of various kinds of
similes and metaphors and poetic imageries, made some attempts to give
vague and inadequate ideas about their inner experiences for the benefit of
earnest truth-seekers, who might in the light of these descriptions feel the
urge to advance in this path and subject themselves to the necessary
discipline under proper guidance with the purpose of being blessed with
similar experiences.
Kundalim-Sakti as revealed in Manipura-Cakra is also named by
Gorakhnath as Madhvamd-Sakti, indicating that this also is only an intermediate
stage of the self-revelation of the essential character of Siva-Saktl.
But even at this madhyamd-stagQ, Kundalinl-Sakti confer^ all kinds of
supernatural powers (sarva-siddhidd bhavati) upon the devoted yogi, whose
psycho-vital energy is concentrated upon Her in this plane. The yogi
then acquires the power of changing his physical body into any form at his
pleasure, of transforming one material thing into another, of making his
existing body lighter than air or heavier than a mountain or invisible to
others' eyes or capable of passing from one place to another on the aerial
path by the mere exercise of his will, and so on. But the acquisition of
such supernatural powers is not the ideal of yoga. It is only a passing
stage. A yogi must transcend this stage and ascend to higher planes.
Intoxication with such powers is a formidable hindrance in the way of
further progress to higher stages of enlightenment.
The fourth Cakra is Hridaya-Cakra, also called Andhata-Cakra. Like
the other Cakras, it is also located in the Sushumnd nadl within the spinal
column and it is experienced near about the region of the heart. Within
this Cakra there is, says Gorakhnath, a fine lustrous lotus with eight petals
facing downward (asta-dala- kamalam adhomukham). In the middle of this
lotus Sakti reveals Herself as shining in the form of an extraordinarily
brilliant and beautiful and steady light (jyoti-rupa) of the shape of a Siva-
Linga (Itngd kdra). Kundalinl-Sakti appearing in this self-luminous form,
almost identified with Siva and deeply enjoying the bliss of union with Him,
is named Hamsa-Kald. This Hamsa-Kald is also spoken of as Sree-Sakti.
When a yogi attains the ability to concentrate his refined and purified
psycho-vital energy in this Cakra, he becomes the master of all his senses
(sarven-driydni vasydnf bhavanti). His senses being perfectly under his
control, and his mind being free from all worldly desires, free from the
egoistic sense of his own superiority and also free from attachment even to
his supernatural powers and grandeurs, he becomes an embodiment of
calmness and tranquillity even in the normal state of his existence.
Through deep meditation on the pure self-luminous jyoti in this
Cakra, the yogi not only experiences the unity of Sakti and Siva, but also
experiences the identity of his own self with Siva-Sakti. Sakti in this
plane unveils to his individual empirical consciousness that kald (aspect)
of herself, by the light of which his aham (self) is so illumined that it is
experienced as non-different (abhinna) from Sa (He, iva). It is in this
Cakra that true spiritual enlightenment of a yogi really begins. But there
are still higher and higher stages of enlightenment, which a yogi has to
attain through deeper and deeper reflection and meditation.
It may be noted in this connection that Samddhi, which is the most
concentrated state of the empirical consciousness, a state in which ail
differences apparently vanish, may be attained in every plane of the
specially in each of the Cakras mentioned by the enlightened
yogi*. But the results of the Samadhi in the different planes, in the
different Cakras, are not the same. The samddhi-stzte of the consciousness
may superficially appear to be similar in every case; but the realisations
depend upon the nature of the planes and the nature of the objects or
ideals upon which the mind is concentrated. Samadhi in every plane and
upon every object of meditation does not lead to spiritual illumination.
The psycho-vital energy has to be purified and refined and raised to higher
and higher planes for higher and higher orders of spiritual experience;
perfect illumination is attainable in the highest plane, -in the highest
The fifth Cakra is called Kantha-Cakra. It is also known as Visuddha-
Cakra. It is located in the Sushumna in the region of the throat (Kantha).
Here the Sushumna nddi shines most distinctly and brilliantly and beautifully
with the Candra-nddi (Ida) on its left and the Surya-nddi (PingaJa)
on its right. The Sushumna as so revealed in this Cakra is conceived as
the Anahata-Kala of the Kundalini-Sakti, Who here deeply enjoys the bliss
of union with Siva. The psycho vital energy of the Yogi, having passed
through the Hridaya Cakra and become fully refined and profoundly
concentrated, ascends to this Cakra and identifies itself with this Andhata-
Kald for the most profound and steady enjoyment of Siva-Sakti-union. The
yogi is at this stage blessed with a spiritual realisation which Gorakhnath
calls Andhata-Siddhi. He then transcends all the forces of the world. No
worldly forces (which are also manifestations of the same Divine Power,
but in lower planes) can strike him or bring him under their subjection.
Andhata-Siddhi may also mean that he perfectly realises the all-pervading
Andhata-Ndda (the eternal unbroken undifferentiated unuttered Sound-OM),
which is the first self-expression of Siva-Sakti in the form of Ndda or
Sound and which underlies all kinds of sound-waves in the phenomenal
universe. The yogi at this stage transcends the domain of the plurality of
produced sounds, becomes absorbed with the undisturbed experience of
the unity and sweetness of the Eternal Sound and realises the oneness of
this Sound with Siva-Sakti.
The sixth Cakra is described by Gorakhnath as located at the root
of the palate (talu-mula) and is called Talu-Cakra. In this Cakra there is
a continuous flow of ambrosia (amrita-dhdrd-pravdha) from the Sahasrdra-
Cakra. The yogi can become absorbed with the taste of this amrita
through the appropriate process of concentration of his psycho-vital energy
in this Cakra and can thereby become perfectly free from hunger and thirst
and attain even physical immortality. But Gorakhnath instructs the earnest
spiritual aspirant to concentrate the attention on Sunya or absolute void in
this Cakra, so that he may attain the state of Citta-laya (the dissolution of
the empirical consciousness). Citta-laya is a very important step to perfect
spiritual illumination and ascent to the plane of transcendent consciousness.
Gorakhnath says that in the tdlu-mula there is a ghantikd-linga, at
the root of which there is a very small hole, a perfect vacuum, which is
called Sankhim-vivara and also DaSama-dwdra (tenth door). It is within
this vacuum that the attention should be concentrated and Sunya should
be deeply meditated on. As the result of this meditation, Citta will lose
itself. Unlike the commonly known nine doors of the body open towards
objects of mundane experience, here lies the tenth door open towards the
realisation and enjoyment of spiritual truth and here the empirical
should die, as it were, to be perfectly illumined by Transcendent
The seventh Cakra is located at a nerve-centre between the two eyebrows
and is called by Gorakhnath Bhru Cakra. Here the Smhumnd takes
the form of a steadily burning lamp-light (deepa-sikhd-kdra) of the size of
a thumb (amgustha-mdtra). This is called Jhdna-netra,i\\Q eye of enlightenment.
This is really an inner light which illumines the consciousness of
a yogi whose whole attention is concentrated upon it. Through deep
concentration the yogi becomes one with the light. When he comes down
from this plane to the normal plane of experience, he looks upon all
worldly objects and events with the illumined outlook. Besides, says
Gorakhnath, he attains Vdk~Siddhi\ whatever he speaks turns out to be
true. His whole being becomes full of Truth and his utterances also
spontaneously reflect Truth.
The eighth Cakra is called by Gorakhnath Nirvdna-Cakra, and it is
located in Brahma-randhra within a part of Sahasrdra. This is the finest
centre for the realisation of the Infinite and Eternal Spirit (Brahma) by the
individual consciousness. The individual consciousness is in this plane
merged in the Transcendent Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. Kundalini-Sakti
is here perfectly united with Siva, the Supreme Spirit. In this plane the
difference between light and darkness, between motion and rest, between
finite and infinite, between phenomena and noumenon, vanishes altogether.
Yogis often give it the poetic name of Jdlandhara-Pitha, because this is the
place of the perfect self revelation ( pitha) of the Supreme Holder of the
magnificent net-work of the phenomenal cosmic order (Jalandhara), the
Supreme Spirit from Whom this cosmic net (jdla ) originates, by Whom
this net is sustained and governed and harmonised, of Whom it is the
playful self manifestation and Who is its infinite and eternal self luminous
and all-illumining Soul. An individual remains jdla-baddha (bound in and
suffering from thisjala or net), so long as he does not realise Jalandhara
(the Supreme 'Net-holder) in himself and the cosmic system. When he
perfectly realises his oneness with Jalandhara, he feels full freedom in this
very world, he becomes free from all sense of bondage and limitation and
sorrow. He attains Moksha or Nirvana.
Above the Nirvana-Cakra in the Brahma-randhra, which is the seat of
the attainment of Moksha (liberation from all possible bondage and
sorrow), Gorakhnath mentions the existence of the ninth Cakra, which he
names Akasa-Cakra. This last Cakra is located at the highest point of
Sahasrara. It is described as of the nature of a fine self-luminous lotus with
sixteen petals, facing upward. At the centre of this lotus the trikutakara
(manifested in a threefold form, in the form of a self-luminous Experience
holding within itself the experiencer and the experienced and the process of
experience) Sat-Cid-^nanda-mayee Maha-Sakt! in perfect union with the
Supreme Spirit, Siva, has Her highest and most glorious self-manifestation
and self-realisation. This centre of experience is further described as Purna-
Giri-Pitha (i. e. the seat of the highest mountain of Absolute Experience).
Here the phenomenal consciousness is perfectly transformed into and fully
realises itself as all-absorbing all-unifying all-transcending
Absolute Consciousness.
The holy journey of Kundalim-Sakti from Muladhara-Cakra for
the most blissful re-union with Her most beloved Soul and Lord, Siva,
reaches here its most successful end.
Sakti had separated Herself, as it were, from Siva in course of Her
world-ward journey, had put on veils over veils and concealed Her Sat-
Cid-Ananda-mayee Swarupa-Prakriti in course of Her cosmic journey to
lower and lower planes of phenomenal existence and consciousness and
enjoyment, and with Her face outward and downward had seemed to see
Her Lord and Soul only as reflected upon Her diversified and ever-changing
cosmic self-manifestations. Though never out of touch with Siva, She
seemed to have been bearing at heart a painful feeling of the want of direct
and perfect spiritual union with Him, which meant the want of selfrealisation
on Her part. She appeared to have gone to a long distance from
Siva, i.e. Her own true Self, in the material plane. In course of Her
phenomenal self-manifestation, She created the human body as the most
suitable channel for Her return-journey to Her beloved Lord, i.e. Her own
true Spiritual Self. This return-journey is completed, when Saki reaches
what has been called Aktisa-Cakra in the human body, and She appears to
become one with Siva again. The yogi attains perfect self-fulfilment, when
he can firmly establish himself in this plane of existence and consciousness
and blissfulness. This is the plane of Pard-Sambit. Gorakhnath also calls
it Parama unya, because all objectivity and individuality vanish in this
Experience, and there remains only one infinite eternal differenceless
changeless Absolute Experience. Sunya does not mean abserrce of existence,
but perfect subject-object-less space-time less unconditioned Existence.*
*The above exposition of the Nine Cakras is like that of other topics in this
book chiefly based on Siddha-Siddh&nta-PadMiati. In Goraksha-Sataka,
which also is
regarded as an authentic work of Yogiraj Gorakhnath, the Cakras are
enumerated as
six. He says
Shat-cakram shotfasadharam tri-lakshyam vynma-pancakam
Swa-dehe ye na jananti katham sidhyanti yoginah.
Six Cakras, sixteen Adharas, three Lakshyas and five Vyomas, how can those
yogis, who do not know these in their own body, attain perfection? (G. S. 13)
He adds
Ekastanibhum nava-dwaram griham pancadhidaivatom
Swodeham ye na jananti katham sidhyanti yoginah. (G S. 14)
A house with one pillar, nine doors, and presided over by live
Deities, how can yogis,
who do not know their own body as such a house, attain perfection?
Caturdalam tyad ddharah swadhisthanam ca shad-dalam
Ndbfiau dasa-dalam padmam sur \a-samkhya-dalam hndi.
Kanthe sydt shodasa-dalam bhru-madhye dwidalam tathd
Sahasra-dalam-akhydtam brahma-randhre mohd-patne. (G. S. 15-16)
The first Cakra is Muladhara which has in it a lotus of four petals;
the second is
Snadhisthana with a lotus of six petals; the third is in the navel
with a lotus of ten
petals; the fourth is in the heart with a lotus of twelve petals; the
fifth is in the region
of the throat with a lotus of sixteen petals; and the sixth is in
between the two eyebrows
with a lotus of two petals. Above all these six Cakras there is in
Brahmarandhra, the
supreme path, the highest Cokra which is a lotus of a thousand petals.
Here as well as in all other authoritative texts, Shat-Cakro mean six
cakras in the
Sushumnat exclusive of Sahasrara. These six have to be transcended
and the ultimate ideal has to be realised through the deepest
concentration of the psychovital
energy in the seventh and highest Cakra, viz. Sahasrara. Jin S. S. P. Gorakhnath
speaks of two Cahas in Sahasrara, viz. Nirvana-Cakra and Akdsd-Cakra. Moreover
he speaks of another Cakra, viz. Talu-Cakra, at the root of the
palate. Thus the total
number becomes nine. Further, in S. S. P. he does not make special
mention of the
lotuses with definite numbers of petals in the different cakras,
except in the cases of
Hndaya-Cakra and Akasa-Cakra\ in the former he mentions the presence of a
downward-looking eight-petalled lotus and in the latter an
upward-looking sixteenpetalled
lotus. In G. S. however he speaks of a twelve-petalled lotus in Hridaya-
Cakra, and Akdsa-cakra is not mentioned at all.
In Goraksha-Sataka as well as in many other books Gorakhnath instructs every
truth-seeker to contemplate his own body as a house (griha) in which
&iva dwells as the
individual soul (jeeva). This house is said to stand on one pillar.
The pillar obviously
refers to the spinal column (containing Sushumna with its Cakras and
supporting the
whole bodily system) with Sahasrara as its roof. The nine doois of
this house indicate
the two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, one mouth, one generating organ and one
excretive organ, which are linked with the centre of vitality by the
nine principal Nadls
(excluding Sushumna) and which are the openings of this bodily house
for contact with
the outer world, A tenth door (dasama dwdra) is mentioned at the root
of the palate
(in talu-cakra), which is an opening to the higher spiritual region.
The five presiding
Deities may mean according to the yogic view-point Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Iswara
(Continued on next page)
B. Sixteen Adhdras:
Having given lessons on the Nine-Cakras, Gorakhnath indicates the
locations of the Sixteen Adhdras, and gives some general hints as to how
they should be utilized in the practice of yoga. Adhdra literally means
'that which holds or contains.' Probably by the enumeration of the
Adharas Gorakhnath refers to the principal seats of the vital and psychic
functions, which have to be brought under voluntary control and then
transcended by means of appropriate methods of yogic discipline.
The first Adhdra he mentions is Pdddmgusthddhdra, i. e. the seat of
the vital functions in each of the big toes. Gorakhnath instructs the
aspirant for yoga to imagine this adhdra at the extremity of the toe as a
luminous (tejomaya) circle and fix his eyes steadily upon it. This practice
is of great help for the concentration of the eyesight and the steadiness of
attention. It is believed that there is a vital connection between the tissues
in the big toes and the optical nerves.
The second is Mulddhdra. This is the primary seat of Kundalini
Sakti and the starting point of Sushumnd-Nddi. It is at this ddhdra that
the psycho-vital energy should be first concentrated and then pushed upward
in the path of Sushumnd. Gorakhnath instructs that a practitioner in
yoga should deeply press the mulddhdra-sutra with the ankle of the left foot
and sit erect in a steady posture (dsana), so that the energy may not move
downward. Through this practice there is, says Gorakhnath, a kindling of
Foot-note: (Continued )
and SadtiSiv , who are special spiritual self-manifestations of
Siva-Sabti for governing
different planes of the Cosmic System as well as of the individual
bodies. A yogi is to
realise these Cosmic Divine Personalities within his own body as the
glorious self-manifestations
of his own true Soul, i. e. Siva.
In yoga-literature this body is sometimes described as a seven-storied building,
each of the seven Cakras (including Sahasrfira) being imagined as
representing a storey
or a plane of existence and experience under the supervision and governance of a
Divine Personality. From Muladhara to_Kantha the five storeys are
governed by the
five Divinities mentioned above, while Ajna and Sahasrara are under
Sri-Kantha and
Bhairava. Siva is the Soul of them all. A perfectly enlightened yogi,
having realised
the identity of his individual soul with Siva, the Supreme Spirit and
Universal Soul,
attains the power to move freely in all the storeys to ascend from Muiadhara to
Sahawara and to descend from Sahasrara to Muladhara and to enjoy the experiences
of any of the planes, as he pleases, and to identify himself
occasionally with any of the
Deities. Through the mere concentration of his will, he can
participate in the delightful
play of Siva-Sakti in all the planes of existence and experience in
this very embodied
state. He may at his sweet will take leave of this house and embrace
death, which
is as good as immortality to him, and thereby absolutely merge his
individuality in the
perfect Existence-Consciousness- Bliss of Siva. Or he may retain this
physical body as
long as he likes, since his body is inwardly spiritualised and
liberated from the bondage
of the ph>sical and the moral laws, to which the ordinary living
bodies are subject.
He conquers nature by the power of his yogic discipline and by his
with iva.
fire (agni-deepana) there, which pushes the energy upward in the spiritual
The third is called Gudddhdra in the rectum. This is the passage
through which the Apdna-Vdyu clears out the impurities and the rejected
materials from the abdomen. A yogi is instructed to practise in a
methodical way the expansion and contraction (vikdsa-samkocana) of this
gudd-dhdra, and thereby to regulate and steady the function of Apdna.
This contributes to the union of Apdna with Prdna, which is very important
in the practice of yoga. It considerably helps the cure of all the
diseases of the abdomen, which are great obstacles in the way of the
successful practice of Yoga.
The fourth is called Medhrddhdra, located at the root of the
sex-organ. This is evidently a very important seat of vital functions. This
is the passage through which the most substantial elements of the physical
body, viz. Vindu or Virya, passes out at the time of sexual intercourse and
sometimes even involuntarily due to sexual excitement. Vindu or Vlrya is
and the most vital substance in the body. It is saturated with Prdna-Sakti
hence the source of vital strength. The development of mental powers also
greatly depends upon the preservation and assimilation of Vindu within the
body. Without preservation and assimilation of Vindu, no body can
attain success in the practice of yoga. But any kind of indulgence to lustful
propensities, any form of sexual excitement (even in dreams) dislocates
it from its proper place in the bodily system and tends to drive it out
through the channel of the sexual organ. Preservation of Vindu is spoken
of as Jife, and loss of it as death. 'Maranam vindu-pdtena jivanam
Hence not only yogis, but all decent men with moral and spiritual
aspirations and even men with earnest yearning for physical and
mental and intellectual development, attach the utmost importance to the
preservation and assimilation of Vindu.
It has already been noticed that Medhrddhdra is generally known as
Swddhisthdna. This means that it is regarded as the adhisthdna or the
dwelling place of Swa (i. e. the self). Swa here denotes Prdna or the vital
self. Prdnasakti is conserved here, and if it is not well-protected, it is lost
also through this channel. Ptdna-sakti principally lies in Vindu or Virya,
also called Retas, and in Medhiddhdra strict guard has to be kept against
its waste. It is incumbent on every spiritual aspirant, not only to carefully
refrain from gratifying the sexual appetites and lustful propensities,
but also to exercise the utmost control over the sexual organ and the nerves
connected with it. For the purpose of bringing the sexual organ under
control and suppressing all excitements of the sexual nerves, Gorakhnath
instructs the sddhakas to learn the art of shrinking the sexual organ
(linga-sankocana), which is a kind of effective yogfc mudrd. Through the
successful practice of this mudrd the outward or downward passage of
Vindu is blocked and its inward or upward passage is opened. By this
process the waste of vital energy (vindu-ksharana) is stopped and the
of vital energy (vindu-stambhana) is accomplished. Gradually
the vital energy transcends the three knots (granthi}, which are called
Brahma-granthi, Vishnu granthi and Rudra granthi, and rises upward and
contributes to the strength and vigour and brilliance and beauty of the
whole system. Yogis speak of the presence of a bhramara-guhd (literally,
bee- cave) somewhere at the uppermost end of the spinal column and in the
lower region of Sahasrdra. Gorakhnath says that Vindu being successfully
drawn upward goes to this guhd and thereafter becomes perfectly assimilated
and makes the body invincible. Bhramara-guhd is regarded as the true
seat of virya (virya-sthana). Being dislocated from there, it comes down
and is accumulated in Meddhra. This dislocation has to be stopped.
The fifth ddhdra mentioned by Gorakhnath is Vddydna and it is
located in an intermediate position between linga-mula and ndbhi-mula.
Gorakhnath says that by means of appropriate practice this ddhdra also
can be brought under control. Its direct result is that the yogi can exercise
control over the intestines and the urinary organs and there is diminution
of the quantity of faeces and urine as well as cure of the intestinal and
urinary ailments. The control of these is of great help in the purification
of the body and in raising the vital energy to higher planes.
The sixth is called Ndbhyddhdra, located at the root of Ndbhi (navel).
This is, as it has been already observed, the seat of Ndbhi-Cakra or
Manipura-Cakra. It is regarded as a very important centre of the vital
functions, Gorakhnath specially refers to the manifestation of subtle Ndda
(sound) in this Adhdra. Ndda (Sound) is conceived by yogis as ultimately
identical with Brahma, the Supreme Spirit of Whom it is a glorious
As Yoga-Sikha- Upanished says,
Aksharam paramo nddah sabda-brahmeti kathyate.
Ndda in its ultimate essence is Akshara or Brahma, i.e. the Changeless
Transcendent Supreme Consciousness. It is called Sabda-Brahma. It is
manifested as Ndda in a very subtle form in Mulddhdra, but there it is
from Sakti. Thereafter it appears as identified with Vindu
or Vlja, which is the undifferentiated essence of the psycho-physical body
as well as of sound, of form (rupa) as well as name (ndma). Yoga-Sikha-
Upanishad says,
Mulddhdra-gatd saktih swddhdrd vindu-rupini
Tasydm ufpadyate nddah sukshma-vijdd ivdnkurah.
In Mulddhdra Ndda is identified with Sakti, in Swddhisthdna it is identified
with Vindu or Vija9 and in Manipura or Ndbhi-ddhdra it is revealed as
the first subtle continuous Sound, which is perceptible to the refined sense
ofa>'0/. This is called Pranava, the sweet and undiversified and ceaseless
sound of OM. In Andhata or Hridaya-ddhdra this Ndda becomes quite
distinct, but still monotonous and unbroken. Thereafter in. and through
the vocal organs Ndda becomes diversified into innumerable sounds. Here
Gorakhnath instructs a practitioner in yoga to withdraw his attention from
the diversities of sounds and concentrate it upon pure Ndda in Nabhiddhdra.
This concentration may be practised by a novice with the
prolonged utterance of OM with the mouth and the closing of ears. As a
result of continued practice, the mind is merged in Ndda. (This is called
Ndda-laya). In this way this important vital centre may be controlled and
The seventh is Hridaya-ddhdra* This is also a very important centre
of vital functions. This is the seat of Andhata-Cakra, where, according to
Siddha-Siddhdnta-Paddhati, there is the eight-petalled lotus, and according
to the general view, there is the twelve-petalled lotus. It is the centre of
the union between Prdna and Apdna. It is here that the Andhata- Ndda can
be most distinctly perceived, if attention is withdrawn from all produced
sounds and concentrated in it. Gorakhnath instructs those who are under
training in yoga to practise the concentration of Prdna at this centre by
means of Kumbhaka (suppression of breath) and says that as the result of
this concentration the petals of the lotus are opened upwards. This
implies that the psycho-vital energy is not then dragged downward or
world -ward, but spontaneously moves upward in the spiritual path for
in the higher planes. A yogi is thereafter blessed with an enlighttened
spiritual outlook.
The eighth is called Kanthddhdra. This contains the Visuddha-Cakra,
and according to the general view a bright sixteen-petalled lotus. Here
Gorakhnath instructs a trainee to practise what is called Jdlandhara-Bandha,
in which Kantha (throat) has to be very cautiously contracted and the chin
has to be placed on the chest. Through the systematic practice of
Jdlandhara-Randha a yogi can bring under control the movement of Prdna-
Vdyu in Ida and Pingald and push the psycho-vital energy upward through
It may be noted here by the way that each of the yogic processes, of
which Gorakhnath has made only a passing mention in connection with
the different ddhdras in Siddha-Siddhdnta-Paddhati, has far-reaching importance
for giving deeper and deeper knowledge of the bodily system and
bringing the entire bodily system under the voluntary control of the yogi.
The processes and their results are dealt with more elaborately in other
books by Gorakhnath and other teachers. But everywhere they have
emphasised that without the guidance of competent Gurus it is very difficult
and often unsafe to venture to practise these yogic methods merely in
reliance upon the study of books. Gorakhnath has mentioned here
several processes of Bandha and their consequences, such as Mulabandha,
Uddydnabandha, and Jalandharabandha, in the simplest possible forms.
But they have very far-reaching consequences in the acquisition of mastery
over the psycho-physical organism and the attainment of spiritual perfection.
This is not the place for discussing them, because we are here mainly
concerned with the enumeration of ddhdras. Gorakhnath has in a general
way made mention of some forms of Mudrd and Bandha and Dhydna in
connection with his emumeration of Nddls, Cakras and Adhdras within the
body, because it is by means of these methods that a truth-seeker can penetrate
into the true nature of them and can be firmly convinced of their
existence in the organism. True knowledge leads to the establishment of
mastery over them.
The ninth is called GhantikddHdra, which is located at the root of the
soft palate. Within it there is a minute channel through! which nectar
(amrita-kald) flows gently from what is called Candra-maifdala in Sahasrdra.
Normally it is not perceptible and it is wasted, because it passes down
to the lower regions through the channels of I
instructs the trainee to turn the tip of the tongue inward and to put it
carefully in touch with this channel in this Ghantikddhdra, so that amrita
may not pass down untasted and undetected. This process enables the yogi
to enjoy the most delightful taste of the amrita, which cures him of many
of the bodily evils and attracts his attention inward for the enjoyment of
spiritual bliss. It demonstrates that the real source of joy is in the higher
regions and not in the lower regions, in the higher planes of Hfe and not
in the lower sensuous planes.
The tenth is called Tdlu-ddhdra, which is in a still deeper region of
the palate. It is inwardly connected with Ajnd-Cakra and Sahasrdra. Here
a yogi is instructed to practise what is called Khecari-Mudrd, which is
greatly efficacious for the attainment of SamdJHl, (though this Samddhi
does not mean the highest state of spiritual experience). The process is
apparently simple, though practically not so very easy. The tongue has to
be methodically softened and drawn out and lengthened, and then it has to
be turned and gently pushed inward. Then the tip of the tongue has to be
led into the small hole within the soft root of the palate and gently pushed
into the innermost aperture. If the practice is quite successful, the yogi
becomes free from all fickleness, all movement and all outer consciousness
and appears like a piece of wood (kdsthl bhavati). This is often called
Jada-Samddhi. His innermost consciousness, however, is full of joy and
intoxicated with the nectar which is absorbed by the tip of the tongue. All
yoga sdstras testify to the most wonderful and far-reaching consequences of
this Khecari-Mudrd. Tdlu-ddhdra has also been pointed out as the seat of
Tdlu-cakrat of Dasama-dwdra and Sankhini-vivara and Amrita-dhdrapravdha,
as noted already.
The eleventh is called Jihvddhdra, which is at the root of the tongue.
A trainee is instructed to fix the tip of the tongue at this root. If this
practice is methodically undergone, a person may be relieved from various
kinds of diseases.
The twelfth in called Bhru-madhyddhdra, inside at the meeting place
of the two eye-brows. Here the trainee has to focus his vision and contemplate
on the luminous disc of the moon emitting pure white and cool and
tranquil rays. By this practice his entire body is made cool and calm and
peaceful. The process is very helpful in steadying the attention and cooling
down all kinds of excitements in the body and the mind. Here an extraordinarily
bright and cool Joyti is experienced, which illumines the
consciousness. It is the seat of Ajnd-Cakra or Bhru-Cakra.
The thirteenth is called Ndsddhdra, which is in the nose. The nose is
an important centre of vital functions. The trainee is advised to focus his
vision on the tip of the nose and concentrate his attention upon this one
point. If this practice is continued for some time, the mind becomes free
from restlessness and fit for deep meditation.
The fourteenth is called Kapdtddhdra, which is at the root of the nose
(ndsa-mula). At this point also the trainee is instructed to practise focussing
his vision and attention. Gorakhnath says that the systematic practice
of this mode of concentration of vision and attention for a period of six
months results in the actual seeing of a mass of serene and soothing light
(jyotih-punja) illumining the mental atmosphere. It is evidently very close
to Ajnd-Cakra or Bhru-Cakra.
The fifteenth is called Laldtddhdra, which is at the centre of the
forehead. The trainee has to fix his attention upon this ddhdra and deeply
contemplate on a mass of self-shining light ( jyotih-punja) therein. The
practice of contemplation of Joyti at this centre immensely develops the
vital and mental strength of the practitioner and adds to the brightness and
vigour of his bodily system (Tejaswi bhavati).
The sixteenth, the last and highest, adhdra is Brahma-randhra,
which is the seat of Akdsa-Cakro. It is here that perfect spiritual
is to be experienced. Gorakhnath suggests that a yogi, having
through the practice of higher and higher and deeper and deeper forms of
meditation raised his purified and refined psycho vital energy to this
highest plane of Akdsa-Cakra in Brahma-randhra should meditate on and
realise the lotus-feet of Sree-Guru (Sree-Guru-Carandmbuja-dvayam sadd
avalokayet). Thereby he should become perfect like Akdsa (Akdsavat
purno bhavati). By Sree-Guru he evidently implies the Holy Spiritual
Personality in whom the yogi has found the Union of Siva and
Sakii. the Supreme Spirit and His Power of self- manifestation in countless
orders of phenomenal existences and phenomenal consciousnesses,
perfectly realised, and who has been the source of his inspiration and
wisdom and strength all along in the difficult path of his spiritual elevation
and enlightenment. In the eyes of an earnest disciple Sree-Guru is
identical with Siva-Sakti, and meditation on Sree-Guru signifies the full
concentration of the psycho vital energy upon the union of the Supreme
Spirit and His Infinite Power in the most concrete personal form. The
depth of this meditation culminates in the highest spiritual Samddhi and
the illumination of the whole being, in which the yogi realises himself and
the whole universe as identical with Guru and Siva-Sakti. He becomes
infinite and eternal, diflferenceless and changeless, perfectly illumined and
spiritualised, perfectly calm and tranquil, like Akdsa. It has been found
that Gorakhnath has spoken of this Akdsa-Cakra as Puma giri-pitha (the
realm of the most perfect spiritual self-fulfilment) and has instructed the
yogi to be absorbed in the meditation of Parama-Sunya, i.e. the Absolute
Differenceless Changeless One, the unity of Siva and Sakti and Sddhaka.
C. Three Lakshyas:
By Lakshya Gorakhnath obviously means the objects upon which
attention should be temporarily fixed for the purpose of practising the
concentration of psycho-vital energy with the ultimate view of raising it to
the highest spiritual plane and realising the Supreme Spirit (with His unique
Power) everywhere within the individual body and the cosmic order.
Lakshya literally means that which specially deserves to be attended to.
The Lakshyas mentioned by Gorakhnath have no special importance for
giving any knowledge of the internal or external features of the individual
body or of the functions of any of the organs or centres of the psychophysical
organism. But they have their practical value from the standpoint
of yogic discipline.
Though Gorakhnath speaks of Tri-lakshya or Lakshya-traya (literally
meaning three lakshyas), he does not specifically mention only three
particular objects of concentrated attention. He mentions three kinds of
lakshyas, some inside the body, some outside the body, and some in a
general way without any special reference to the body. In accordance with
the locations of the chosen objects of meditation, the lakshyas are classified
into three, viz. Antar-lakshya, Vahir-lakshya and Madhya-lakshya.
(I) Antar-lakshya: Gorakhnath gives directions about several processes
of contemplation and meditation upon internal objects. He attaches
primary importance to the concentration of attention upon Kundalini-
Sakti in Sushumnd. Snshumnd-Nddi, as it has been already described, is the
finest and brightest nerve passing from Mulakanda (the source of all the
nadis) in Mulddhdra, the place of Kundalini, to Brahma-randhra in Sahasrdra,
the place of Siva, and is the royal passage for Kundalini's spiritual
journey upward to be united with Her beloved Soul and Lord, Siva, in
Siva-sthdna (Sahasrdra). A yogi, having by the power of his determination
withdrawn his attention from all other things, should concentrate it upon
this Mahd-Sakti Kundalini rising in the path of Sushumnd with Her subtle
self-luminous and all-illumining spiritual body. It is this Mahd-Sakti
Kundalini Who reveals Herself in the forms of Maheswari, Mahd-Kdll,
Mahd-Lakshmi and Mahd-Saraswati and in other effulgent forms to the
yogi in course of his deeper and deeper meditation and bestows various
kinds of spiritual and earthly blessings upon him, till She is absolutely
identified with Siva in Sahasrdra, i.e. in the state of perfect Samddhi and
perfect illumination, in which the yogi loses his consciousness of individuality
in the enjoyment of the bliss of the perfect union of Sakti with Siva.
The return-journey of Sakti to Siva ultimately means the return of the
individual soul to his own true Self, i.e. the infinite eternal absolute
Spirit. Gorakhnath says that Sakti so meditated upon becomes to the yogi
Sarva-siddhi-dd, i.e. the bestower of all kinds of perfection. Siva-Saktiis the
true essence or self not only of an individual's life and mind, but also of
what appears as his material body. The material body is as much a playful
self-revelation of the Supreme Spirit (with Sakti) as life and mind and has
no really separate non-spiritual existence. The body is perceived as a
reality, so long as the mind is concentrated upon its material
spatio-temporal character. When the mind is concentrated upon the Spirii
within it, not only the mind, but the body also is spiritualised, i.e. its
spiritual nature is unveiled.
Gorakhnath points to several other centres within the head for the
practice of the concentration of attention upon the deeper spiritual
aspect of the body by a spiritual aspirant. A disciple under the
guidance of a competent Guru may choose any one of them, as may be
suited to his taste and capacity, and fix his attention thereon. Gorakhnath
mentions a centre which he calls Golldta-mandapa. It is just above the
forehead (laldta-urdhe) and in the front-part of Sahasrdra. Within it a
steady and br illiant light is burning. A yogi, having driven out all other
thoughts and desires from his mind and being seated in a suitable posture
(dsana), should imagine the presence of the light there and concentrate his
whole attention upon it He should try to forget all his environments and
even his own .body and to be wholly absorbed with the light. Light is
the most important symbol of the manifestation of the self-luminous
Spirit. As the result of continued practice, his consciousness will be illumined
by the Divine Light. Long practice of concentration upon this serene
light greatly helps the spiritualisation of the whole being of the yogi.
Secondly, Gorakhnath speaks of Bhramara-guhd, which has been
already mentioned. It is above the spinal cord and in a rather back-part of
Sahasrdra. Yogis conceive of it as Vlryya-sthdna (the seat of Viryya or Vindu
or Vital Energy), and adopt such effective means that Viryya may not
be dislodged
from this centre and cause excitements in the lower nerves and move
downward towards the sexual organ. They adopt suitable methods for drawing
even dislodged Viryya also upward and restoring it to its source, so that
the energy immanent in it may contribute to the well-being of the whole
system and be re- transformed into spiritual energy. For this purpose special
care must of course be taken for keeping the mind and the body free from
all forms of sensual excitements. Mastery over the sexual appetites and
conservation of Viryya is of utmost importance, according to yogis, for
advancement in the spiritual path and spiritualisation of the body and
mind. Gorakhnath accordingly draws special attention to Bhramara-guhd
for the practice of deep concentration upon it. Life-power is to be imagined
as existing at this centre in the form of a red-coloured bee (draktabhramard-
kdra) and attention is to be fixed upon it. This life-power is to
be conceived as representing Siva-Sakti. In comparison with the pure
tranquil ecstatic joy felt in this form of meditation, all pleasures
of sensegratification
would appear to be insipid and trifling, and sheer waste of
physical and vital and psychical energy. Thus the mind would have contempt
for all kinds of sensuous enjoyments and the whole energy would be
devoted to the enjoyment of spiritual bliss within. Vindu-stambhana (perfect
preservation and assimilation of the vital energy) and Brahmacaryya
(perfect self-control) become almost natural with a yogi who becomes an
adept in this practice. Through perfect conservation and spiritualisation of
Vindu or Viryya a yogi attains immortality and realises unity with Siva-
Sakti. Waste, of energy gives momentary pleasure, while conservation of
energy is the source of permanent joy and strength.
Thirdly, Gorakhnath instructs a yogi to practise concentration upon
what he calls Dhum-dhum-kdra Ndda within the head (siro-madhye). For
the practice of listening to this internal sound, he advises the ) ogi in the
initial stage to close firmly both the ears with the fore-fingers, so that no
external sound may distract the attention. He would then hear a continuous
sound like dhum-dhum within some centre of his brain. He should fix
his attention upon this internal sound and become absorbed with it. The
sound would gradually take the monotonous form of OM. 9 His mind will
then be filled with ecstatic joy and he would not like to attend to the
various kinds of sounds outside. When concentration will be sufficiently
deep, there will be realisation of the Spirit in the Ndda. It has already been
mentioned that Ndda is the pure self-revelation of Siva-Sakti in Soundform.
Fourthly, Gorakhnath advises a yogi to concentrate his attention
upon Nlla-Jyoti (blue self-luminous light) at the inner centre of the eyes.
Deep concentration of the whole consciousness upon this Jyoti would
gradually lead to the spiritual illumination of the consciousness and
of his being.
(2) Vahir-lakshya:
Gorakhnath then makes mention of several outer objects for the
practice of concentration of attention. A trainee may imagine the presence
of a red bright light in front of his eyes at a distance of only two fingers
(H inches) from the tip of his nose and fix his attention steadily on that
light. Or he may think of a white sheet of water at a distance of ten fingers
(7^ inches) from his nose and concentrate his attention thereon. Or he
may imagine the presence of a yellow metal at a distance of twelve fingers
(9 inches) from his nose and practise concentration on it. Or he may with
steady eyes look towards any part of the blue and tranquil sky and be
absorbed with the exclusive thought of this pure sky. Or looking upward
he may fix his attention upon some intermediate position between himself
and the sky and see there steadily a mass of brilliant rays. Or wherever
the eyes may fall and whatever objects may be there, big or small, animate
or inanimate, moving or motionless, the yogi may turn away his attention
from all those objects and see nothing but dkdsa or empty space or sunya
therein. Thus even with open eyes he may make his mind free from all
the diversities of the objective world and by the power of his abstraction
and concentration may see only one differenceless sky before his eyes.
Similarly, with open ears he may withdraw his attention from all particular
sounds and listen to one differenceless Ndda or perfect stillness in this
noisy world. Or he may extend his look to the furthest limit of his eye192
sight and see there a vast expanse of land of bright golden colour. There
are various such processes of concentration of perception and thought,
with attention directed outward. (Anekabidham vahirlakshyam). The sun,
the moon, any particular star or planet, any burning lamp or blazing fire,
any Divine image or the holy figure of an adorable person, any such
thing may be chosen for the practice of concentration. Fixing his attention
upon any particular outer object, a yogi should try to see the
manifestation of the Supreme Spirit or Siva-Sakti in that form. The
ultimate purpose should be to see the Supreme Spirit manifested in all
(3) Madhyama-lakthya:
By Madhyama-lakshya Gorakhnath obviously means any object of
special attention, which is not to be conceived as either within the body 01
outside the body, upon which the mind is to be concentrated without any
direct reference to any particular location (sthdna-barjitam) The idea of a
particular object has to be formed in the mind and the whole attention has
to be concentrated upon it. The choice of the object entirely lies with the
sddhaka. He should choose it as he likes (yathestarn), as it may suit his
taste or disposition. The purpose should be the practice of concentration,
-the development of the power of withdrawing attention from all
other objects and fixing it exclusively upon the one object of his choice,
so that he may gradually become the perfect master of his attention and
overcome all the internal and external forces which may draw his attention
even against his will to different directions and make his mind fickle and
unbalanced and restless.
The object chosen for the practice of concentration for the time being
may be real or imaginary, material or ideal, very small or very big,
dazzlingly bright or soothingly cool, of any colour or shape or size, of any
form or without any form. Gorakhnath says that this lakshya may be of
white or red or black colour, it may be of the form of a flame of fire or of
the form of a bright light or of the form of a flash of lightning or of the
form of the solar corona or of the form of the crescent moon or of any
form which the sddhaka may choose (yathesta, yathdbhimata, yathdruci).
Hence Madhyama-Lakshya also may be of various forms (aneka-bidham
madhyamam lakshyam). The fundamental point is that whatever object
may be chosen, the mind should be wholly occupied with it during the
period of practice. The sddhaka has to forget his body, forget his environments,
forget even his ego, he has to keep under suppression all other
thoughts and desires and passions and emotions and memories, he has to
keep his body motionless in a definite posture and all his senses in a state
of perfect rest, and he has to keep his mind fully occupied with one thing
Or one idea, whatever it may be. By the strength of his determination he
has to be, as it were, fast asleep with regard to all other objects within and
outside himself and wide awake with regard to the one particular object
(real or imaginary) which he chooses for developing his power of concentration.
When by such means his power of concentration is considerably
developed, he can easily raise his concentrated mind to higher and higher
planes of spiritual experience and enjoy higher and higher orders of
of the union of Siva-Sakti. In course of the practice of concentration
the psychical and vital powers of a yogi are immensely developed in
many directions and they appear to be supernatural. But the yogi must
not be intoxicated with them, for then further progress would be obstructed.
It is quite natural that the more the power of concentration is developed
in the mind, the more refined and powerful it becomes. But a yogi
should never forget the ideal that he has to realise and enjoy the perfect
blissful union of Siva and His Sakti in his own being as well as in all orders
of phenomenal existences in the cosmic system.
D. Five Vyomas:
According to Gorakhnath and the yogi-sampradaya, the concentration
of the mind upon Vyoma or Akasa or what may be called Sunya or
Void or empty space is a very effective method for the purification and
refinement of the individual empirical consciousness and its liberation from
unsteadiness and restlessness and the bondage of spatio-temporal limitations.
It makes the mind fit for ascending to the higher and higher planes of
spiritual experience, for being illumined by the Divine Light and for
realising the ultimate Truth of the individual organism and the cosmic
system, i.e. the eternal union of Siva and His Sakti. Vyoma or Akasa is
really one, pervading and underlying all diversities of physical existences,
all sounds and touches and visions and tastes and smells, all objects of
sensuous experiences and imaginations. Attention has to be withdrawn
from all the diversities, all the particulars and their names and forms and
specific features and limitations, and to be directed to and fixed upon the
all-pervading and all-underlying, infinite and undifferentiated space. It is
the Adhdra of all ddhdras. The individual consciousness which is fully
concentrated upon such Akasa or Vyoma is elevated and transformed into
pure and refined Universal Consciousness (vyoma-sadriso bhavati).
Though Vyoma is essentially one, for the sake of the convenience
and effectiveness of meditation it is conceived in five different ways and
designated by five different names, Akasa, Pardkdsa, Mahdkdsa, Tattwdkdsa,
and Suryydkdsa. Akasa is conceived as one perfectly pure (atyanta*
nirmala) and formless (nirdkdra) empty space pervading and unifying the
outer and the inner worlds. Parakasa is conceived as one absolute
imdifferentiated darkness (atyanta-andhakdra-nibha) pervading the inner
and the outer worlds and obliterating all diversities. Mahdkdsa is to be
conceived as one infinite contentless fiery space like that in Pralaya or total
cosmic destruction (kdldnala-samkdsam). Suryydkdsa is to be conceived
as one infinite all-absorbing sun shining perfectly alone with the brilliance
of a crore of suns (suryya-koti-nibham). Tattwdkdsa, which is also known
as Ciddkasa or Atmdkdsa, is to be conceived as one infinite eternal
changeless self luminous Soul or Spirit or Witness-Consciousness.
In this meditation the meditator himself becomes one with the Object of
meditation; he himself becomes this Akdsa. The ultimate stage of each
meditation is Samddhi, in which the individual consciousness is wholly
absorbed in and identified with the object of meditation. But each Samddhi
does not lead to the spiritual goal. In every Samddhi the empirical
is not blessed with perfect spiritual illumination. The fruit of
meditation greatly depends upon the chosen object of meditation. When
the empirical consciousness attains samddhi in the Absolute Consciousness
or the Supreme Spirit, then only there is perfect illumination and absolute
bliss. All other forms of meditation are prescribed for making the mind
fit for this. If there is any upddhi (conditioned character) in the object of
meditation, the individual consciousness cannot attain the nirupddhika
(unconditioned) Transcendent state.


In the foregoing discourses it has been found that Yogi-Guru
Gorakhnath regards a thorough knowledge of the Cakras, the Adharas, the
Lakshyas, the Vyomas, or Akasas, as well as of the Nadis and the Vayus,
as essential for all-round success in the path of yogic discipline and the
attainment of perfect freedom from all forms of apparent bondage and
limitation and sorrow and perfect mastery over all the phenomenal forces
governing the individual body and the cosmic system. He instructs the
truth-seekers in the path of yoga to discover these within their own bodies,
to concentrate their attention upon them and to practise particular forms
of discipline in relation to them, with the ultimate view of realising the
self-revelation of Siva and His Sakti in each and all of them. But it is
quite evident from the mode of his instruction that he does not conceive
them as merely physical or even vital parts of the physical body. They are
not to him purely physiological concepts based on what are ordinarily
recognised as scientific proofs. He is not here concerned with the science
of physiology, but with the science and philosophy of ) oga. The individual
body is not conceived by him as a purely material body (as physiological
sciences ordinarily conceive it), but as a spiritual entity revealed in a
material form, and as capable of being liberated from its material
These materialistic sciences cannot rationally account for the appearance
of life and mind and reason in this material body, nor can they properly
explain the nature of the relation of the material body with life and
mind and reason which are empirically found to evolve from it and then
to exercise a regulative and controlling influence upon its phenomena.
Assuming matter as some reality essentially distinct from and independent
of life and mind and spirit, these physical and physiological sciences can
discover no rational ground, consistently with their conception of matter,
for the production or emergence or evolution of life, mind, intellect, moral
consciousness, aesthetic consciousness, spiritual consciousness, etc. from
the nature of pure matter. On the basis of the manifold data supplied by
sensuous observation (however marvellously the powers of observation may
be magnified by the invention of fine scientific instruments), the sciences
try to trace the history of the growth of this cosmic order and they find
that the appearance of lifeless inorganic matter in this world precedes the
appearance of living beings and that mind, intellect, etc., appear in gradual
courses long afterwards. Hence they are led to infer that matter is an
original substance and that life, mind, etc., are products of matter.
Matter is earlier in appearance in the world-process than life, mind, etc.;
therefore, they argue, matter must be the sole cause of them. But they
fail to explain how these higher orders of realities (or even phenomena)
can originate from lifeless inert insensate matter, unless there is in the inner
nature of matter some active conscious living Principle, which gradually
unfolds itself by transforming matter and realises itself as the higher orders
of realities.
In the view of the enlightened yogis there is no pure and simple
matter (as conceived by the scientists) anywhere in the universe. Even
Akasa, which is the ultimate form of matter and which appears as pure
void or as contentless space, has evolved from and exists as an embodiment
of Siva-Sakti (the Absolute Spirit with infinite Power immanent in His
nature). Akafa, being ensouled by Siva-Sakti, is not absolutely lifeless and
inert matter, but is charged with a creative urge and filled with immense
possibilities. Hence from Akasa evolves Vdyu, which also is ensouled by
Siva-Sakti and is similarly charged with a creative urge for further diversified
self-manifestation of Siva-Sakti, and so the process of the evolution of
newer and newer tattwas (realities) continues. Every material element,
as known to the scientists, is a particular form of the product of the
of the five mahdbhutas and a particular form of the embodiment of
Siva-Sakti. Though there is no manifestation of life, mind, etc., in these
material elements or their compounds, Siva-Sakti, the Source of all life,
mind, etc., is present in every one of them as its Soul and inspires every one
of them with a creative urge from within for further evolution.
All causal activities of all material things and all processes of evolution
and emergence of apparently newer and newer orders of things in the
universe are thus governed by the free Creative Will or the Will for
phenomenal self-manifestation and self-diversification and self-enjoyment,
in an infinite variety of forms, of the eternal and infinite Spiritual Power of
the Absolute Spirit, Who is essentially transcendent of time and space and
is also the indwelling Soul of all orders of self-expressions of His Power
in time and space. It is on account of the immanent presence of the
Supreme Spirit with His Supreme Power (Siva with His Sakti) in all matter
that life (which represents a higher order of the Spirit's phenomenal
than matter) is found in the process of spatio-temporal
evolution to emerge from matter and to vitalize matter as its body. It is
for the same reason that mind with empirical consciousness, which represents
a still higher order of Siva-SaktVs phenomenal self-manifestation than
life or purely living matter, is found to emerge from life in living organisms,
Jn the s^me way and due to the same immanent presence of Siva-Sakti
there is in phenomenal nature the gradual elevation of mind into intellect
or rational mind and there is the emergence of moral consciousness and
aesthetic consciousness in the rational mind. The process of evolution in
the spatio-temporal order reaches its final stage when the spiritual
is awakened in the individual bodies and minds and enlightened and
illumined by the transcendent self-luminosity of Siva-Sakti. The process
of the phenomenal self-manifestation of &iva-$akti\n cosmic and individual
forms ends with the appearance of the blissful spiritual consciousness in
individuals of the unity and spirituality of all orders of existences, and this
is accomplished in the lives of enlightened yogis.
Accordingly, to the enlightened spiritual experience of a yogi, the
diffejences between the living and the non-living, the conscious and the
unconscious, the rational and the non-rational, are not fundamental and
insurmountable. They are only different grades of phenomenal self-manifestation
of the Supreme Spirit with His Supreme Power. The different
orders of existences are only different forms of phenomenal embodiments
of the same Spirit. The same Spirit appears in and plays through all these
varieties of forms by virtue of His infinite Spiritual Power. He is the Soul
of them all, the Mover of them all, the Knower of them all, the Enjoyer of
them all, and He transcends them all. The Soul and the embodiments are
also not essentially different realities. The bodies are not distinct from the
Soul. All His embodiments arc His own phenomenal self-manifestations.
He, as the Soul and Lord of these phenomenal bodies, is transcendent. All
forms of embodiments, in which He manifests and enjoys Himself in His
cosmic play, are apparently subject to limitations in quality and power,
relations in space and the modifications and transformations in time, while
He, the Soul of them, transcends all limitations and relations, all
and transformations. The enlightened yogi, with his illumined
spiritual consciousness, experiences in all orders of existences the One
Spirit as embodied in the plurality of forms, the One Transcendent as manifested
in a plurality of phenomena, the One Supreme Being above time and
space as assuming various phenomenal appearances in time and space. To
him time and space have reality only in relation to the phenomenal
of the Supreme Spirit, the Spirit Himself being timeless
and spaceless. He sees the Timeless in time, the Spaceless in space, the
Changeless in all changes, the Infinite in all finites.
Hence to a yogi the evolution of life from apparently lifeless matter,
the evolution of mind from life, the emergence of higher and higher types
of existences from apparently lower types, in this world of sensuous experience,
are no miraculous or inexplicable phenomena. What reveals Itself
in Its ultimate character in our highest supersensuous and supermentaj
plane of experience is immanent as the Soul or Indwelling Spirit in all
levels of phenomenal existences and raises them to higher and higher levels
for more and more adequate phenomenal self-expression through them.
The self-conscious self-luminous Spirit with His self-active Power is
more expressed in life than in matter, more expressed in animalmind
than in plant-life, still more expressed in human mind and intellect,
and He has still higher self-expressions in man's moral and aesthetic and
religious conspiousness. In this phenomenal cosmic order, that level of
existence is regarded as relatively higher, in which the essential nature of
the Spirit is comparatively more unveiled. What is known by the name of
evolution in the present age follows the course of the urge (immanent in the
nature of all orders of existences) for more and more unveiling of the
Spirit in the world of His phenomenal self- manifestations. But both selfveiling
and self-unveiling are equally prominent aspects of His cosmic
It is the aim of a truth-seeker in the path of yogic discipline to
regulate most methodically and efficiently the relative and limited freedom
of thought and will and action which has been developed in him in course
of the natural (or rather divine) process of evolution, so as to penetrate
through the veils of forms or embodiments in every level of the phenomenal
self-manifestations of the Supreme Spirit (with His Sakti) and thereby to
experience directly the delightful play of Siva-Sakti in all orders of
existences, material, vital, mental, intellectual, etc. The veils also
are not externally superimposed upon the Spirit by any foreign power. The
forms or embodiments which appear to conceal the essential nature of the
Soul within them are not produced from any foreign element (any Primordial
Matter or Prakriti or Maya, distinct from the Spirit) somehow
associated with the Spirit and conditioning His existence. Nor can they be
reasonably conceived as mere illusory appearances to finite human minds,
which are themselves their products and therefore presuppose them. Since
the Spirit is the sole Ultimate Reality, all forms or embodiments of the
Spirit in all levels of phenomenal existences, all kinds of veils within
which He appears to have concealed Himself in this cosmic system, must
be His own free self-manifestations, and hence they are also essentially
spiritual. Hence to an enlightened person matter, life, mind, etc., all
orders of phenomenal realities, are essentially spiritual realities. The
bodies are essentially no less spiritual than the Soul. The yogi aims at seeing
the One Spirit in all kinds of bodies, and realising the essentially
spiritual nature of all phenomenal realities. This is regarded as the true
knowledge of the bodies, the phenomenal realities and the cosmic system.
The living human body with adequately developed external and
internal organs and mental and intellectual faculties being from the empirical
view-point the highest product of phenomenal evolution, a yogi first
tries to discover the Supreme Spirit (with His Divine Power) within his own
body. He undergoes a systematic course of moral and spiritual discipline
for the enlightenment of his empirical consciousness and the experience of
Siva-Sakti in his whole being. He tries to realise his psycho-physical body
as a spiritual body, to realise the distinctive functions of his diverse
physical and vital and psychical organs as particular forms of self-revelation
and self-enjoyment of Siva-Sakti in different planes of experience. The
physical and physiological and psychical concepts are gradually transformed
in his consciousness into spiritual concepts; the different centres of the
bodily organism are revealed as dynamic centres of diverse orders of spiritual
experience and spiritual enjoyment. Through special forms of meditation
in special centres he acquires newer acquaintance of more and more
marvellous powers and glories normally hidden and dormant in his body
and mind. Wonderful knowledge and insight, wonderful powers and
capacities, are developed in him as the result of the dynamisation and
spiritual unfolding of particular vital and psychic centres. The spiritual
character of the body is revealed.
A yogi teacher, accordingly, while giving lessons to the learners on
the constitution and the important physiological centres of the body, draws
special attention to their significance from the spiritual point of view and
takes special care to teach how the greatest spiritual benefits can be derived
from their discipline and control and concentrated attention upon their
spiritual aspects. The learners are instructed to be closely and practically
acquainted with the nature of Cakras, Adharas, Nadls, Vayus, etc., within
the body, not only as centres of physical and vital functions, but also as
pentres of psychical and spiritual experiences. They are described in the
yogic scriptures from the physiological, psychical as well as
spiritual viewpoints.
Greater emphasis is laid upon the ways and means, by which they
can be brought under voluntary control and converted into efficient instruments
for the development of higher psychical powers, for the attainment
of supernormal knowledge and wisdom, for ascending to higher and higher
planes of spiritual consciousness and enjoyment of the blessings of more
and more enlightened spiritual experiences.
Just as expert scientists invent various kinds of fine instruments and
adopt various kinds of experimental methods for closer study of the inner
structure and constitution of material bodies, plant-bodies, animal-bodies,
human bodies, etc., and for deeper acquaintance with normally imperceptible
physical, chemical, electrical, biological and other phenomena of the
objective world, so the expert yogis of different ages adopted experiment200
ally various kinds of technical devices and invented various processes of
Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandho, Bedha, Neti, Dhouti, etc., and also
various modes of Pratyahara, Dharand, Dhydna and Samadhi,for the most
intimate acquaintance with the subtle operations of the various factors
within their own bodies and the establishment of control over all of them.
The knowledge, which is acquired through the intensive application of
these methods of yoga, of the inner structure of the bodily organism and
of the deeper potentialities of its different parts as well as of the
of each vital centre in relation to the whole organism and particularly in
relation to the spiritual energy and the spiritual ideal immanent in it, can
not be expected to be attained by any other scientific method. The science
of yoga is a special science, based on special types of observation and
experiment. It enables a truth-seeker to penetrate into the innermost
secrets of the living human body and to attain perfect mastery over all the
parts of the body. It" demonstrates such capabilities of the organs of this
body, as are normally regarded as supernatural. It destroys the deepseated
notion about the fundamental difference between spirit and matter
and shows how spirit is materialised and matter is spiritualised. It enables
a man to realise the infinite in the finite body.
As a yogi-scientist draws upward in a systematic way his psychovital
energy to higher and higher ddhdras and cakras and concentrates his
consciousness upon higher and higher spiritual truths revealed therein, the
individual body appears to his elevated and refined consciousness as being
gradually liberated from the grossness and impurity and spatio-temporal
limitations of its normal material nature and unveiling more and more
brilliantly its inner spiritual character. Just as the modern physical science,
having split up material atoms, has practically dematerialised matter and
proved it to be a form of Energy, so this old yogic science enabled a
spiritual aspirant to dematerialise his material body and to transform it so
to say into a spiritual body, a seat of infinite powers and spiritual
In our normal experience conditioned by spatio-temporal relations,
differences between parts and the whole, between distinct parts of the same
whole, between the small finite individual body and the infinitely vast
cosmic system and among the innumerable individual bodies within this
system, are quite natural and inevitable. The differences among matter,
life, mind and spirit also appear to be insurmountable. In our sensuous
experience and sense-ridden thought we can never transcend these differences.
But as our experience and thought ascend to higher and higher planes,
these differences gradually lose their importance and their essential identity
becomes more and more clearly unveiled. When the empirical conscious201
ness is sufficiently refined and illumined, the whole is experienced in every
part, the entire cosmic system is experienced in every individual body, the
essential unity of all individual bodies is clearly revealed.
This experience is attained as the result of the systematic yogic discipline
of the body, the senses, the mind and the intellect and the deepest
concentration of attention upon the Supreme Spirit (with His Sakti) Who
manifests Himself in the Cosmic Body and all forms of 'phenomenal
existences within it. Differences among matter, life, mind and spirit also
appear to be differences only in outer forms of phenomenal self- manifestation
of the Supreme Spirit. The unity of the One Spirit pervades perceptibly
all the diverse forms of derivative contingent impermanent phenomenal
existences. The One becomes visible in all. In and through all kinds of
limitations, the Infinite and Eternal is distinctly experienced by the Yogi
with his enlightened spiritual consciousness. His vision does not turn back
from the surface of things, as is the case with all normal experiences,
(including scientific observations and experiments), but enters into the spirit
of all things. The differences on the surfaces do not obstruct his vision of
the unity of the reality.
Gorakhnath says,
Pinda-madhye caracaram yojandti, sa yogi pinda-2ambittir bhavati.
The yogi who experiences the whole cosmic system (comprising all
animate and inanimate existences) within the individual body is the perfect
knower (truth-realiser) of the body (pinda). Thus the complete and perfect
knowledge of the individual body consists in rising above the spatial and
temporal limitations of this body and identifying it with the whole universe,
which is boundless in space and time and which comprises all the diversities
in space and time. The complete truth of the individual body lies in
or is revealed in the whole universe, in the infinitely diversified and
organised Cosmic Body of Siva, and the real glory of the human body
(endowed with the most developed psycho- vital organism) lies in the possibility
of realising the presence of this whole universe in it. The phenomenally
infinite and eternal Cosmic Order is realisable in this obviously
finite and transient body, the macrocosm is realisable in the microcosm.
When theyogic vision is attained, the indiyidml feels himself as Viswar ipa
or Virdt-Purusha (Cosmic Personality) and sees all the worlds and all
orders of phenomenal realities as comprehended within this all-pervading
existence and as illumined by his universal consciousness Just as a person
in the lower planes of experience feels all the internal and external phenomena
of his individual psycho-physical organism as the multiform expressions
of his own personal self, so a yogi in the higher and higher spiritual
planes of experience feels all the phenomena of the Cosmic system, those
which are apparently magnificent and beneficent as well as those which arc
apparently terrible and cataclysmic or loathsome, those which are apparently
indicative of forces of creation and preservation and harmonious development
as well as those which are apparently indicative of forces of
discord and disintegration and destruction, as the variegated expressions
of his own Cosmic Self. There is not only perfect adjustment of the
individual body with the Cosmic System, but perfect spiritual identification
of the one with the other.
As Yogeswara Sri Krishna proclaims in the Gita,
Atmdnam sarva-bhuteshu sarva-bhutdni cdtmani
Ikshate yoga-yuktdtmd sarvatra sama-darsanah.
A person who has attained true yogic experience sees himself in all beings
and all beings in himself and thus becomes a true seer of perfect unity in
all diversities.
In Siva-Samhita, which is an authoritative treatise on Yoga, Yogiswara
Siva gives to Mother Parvati a brilliant discourse on the cosmic
character of the individual body. He describes that an enlightened yogi
can experience within his own body the presence of all the Lokas (all the
planes of phenomenal existences), all the suns and stars and planets and
satellites, all the Devas and Asuras and Yakshas and Rdkshasas, all Rishis
and Munis and Siddhas and Gandharvas, all men and beasts and birds and
reptiles, all seas and mountains and rivers and forests, i.e. whatever exist in
the Cosmic Body of the Cosmic Purusha.
Siddha-Siddhdnta-Paddhati, in its discourse on Pinda-Sambitti, describes
the presence of the entire Brahmdnda in the Pinda in an elaborate
manner. Karma, Who is a special self-manifestation of &iva-$akli and is
conceived as lying beneath and supporting the Cosmic Body, is perceived
by the enlightened yogi as lying under his feet and supporting his body.
The seven lower worlds,- namely, Pdtdla, Taldtala, Mahdtala, Rasdtala,
Sutala, Bitala and Atala, are perceived as constituting the lower parts of
the body, from the toes of the feet up to the thighs. It is added that Rudra
is the Presiding Deity and Governing Power of the seven lower worlds
(Sapta- Pdtdla).
' He is a special sejf- manifestation of the Soul of the whole
Cosmic Body, i.e. Siva with His infinite Power. He is also known as
Kdldgni-Rudra. It is this Rudra that dwells within the individual body in
the form of Krodha (wrath or violent indignation).
The three worlds (Triloka) namely Bhuh, Bhuvah and Swah, are
located respectively in Guhya-sthdna, Linga-sthdna and Ndbhi-sthdna
(regions of Muladhdra, Swadhisthana and Manipura). Indra, Who is
another glorious self-manifestation of Siva with Sakti, is conceived as ruling
over these three worlds, and this Indra is also conceived as dwelling in the
individual body and ruling over all the senses (indriyas).
Similarly, the four higher worlds, -namely, Mahah, Jana, Tapah and
Satya, are conceived as located in the higher and deeper regions of the
spinal cord within the individual body. As a man rises to higher and
higher stages of contemplation and enters more and more deeply into the
inner and inner essence of the body, he experiences these higher and higher
lokas (finer and finer, subtler and subtler worlds) within himself. Brahma
and other majestic and glorious Deities, Who are all adorable
of Siva with Sakti and Who dwell in and govern these worlds, are
also perceived as in-dwellers and rulers in the individual body.
Besides, Gorakhnath mentions Vishnuloka with Vishnu as its Deity,
Rudra-loko with Rudra as its Deity, Iswara-loka with Iswara as its Deity,
Nilakantha-loka with Nilakantha as its Deity, Siva-loka with Siva as its
Deity, Bhairava-loka with Bhairava as its Deity, Anadi-loka with Anadi
as its Deity, Kula-loka with Kuleswara as its Deity, Akula-loka with Akuleswara
as the Deity, Para Brahma-loka with Para-Brahma as the Deity,
Parapara-loka with Parameswara as the Deity, Sakti loka with Para-Sakti
as the Deity. All these lokas are conceived as different planes of phenomenal
existences within the Cosmic Body of the Supreme Spirit. These
higher lokas are above the regions of normal and even supernormal
and some of them are even above the range of our ordinary
mental and intellectual conceptions. But when the individual phenomenal
consciousness is enlightened and the capacity for yogic experience is
adequately developed through appropriate concentrated meditation in
pursuance of the teachings of competent Gurus, the consciousness can
inwardly rise to those planes and vividly experience the truths pertaining
to them within the body.
The Deities are experienced as the Lords and Souls of these lokas
with special spiritual characteristics and recognised by the enlightened Yogis
as self-revelations of the Supreme Spirit, Siva, the Soul of the Cosmic Body,
enjoying Himself in the special ways in relation to these special realms of
His Cosmic Body. In one plane He appears as perfectly calm and tran
quil without any activity and without any joy or sorrow and without any
compassion or sternness; in another loka, He appears as ever-active with
waves of activities manifested all round Him; in another He appears as a
stern God dispensing justice with stern hands; in still another He appears
as an ever-joyful Deity radiating joys in all directions; in one plane He
may appear as a pure abstract Principle, and in another as a perfectly good
and beautiful and majestic Personality; in one plane He may appear as
pure Sunya and in another as perfectly Purna\ and so on. He reveals Himself
in quite a variety of ways to the contemplative Yogi in different planes
of his yogic experience, and the enlightened Yogi accepts all His glorious
self-revelations as phenomenally real and enjoys Him in all these forms in
his contemplation and meditation. The Yogi actually experiences all these
lokas and all these Devatds within himself. He transcends the spatiotemporal
limitations of his normal self and sees and enjoys the whole
cosmos with all the apparently bewildering varieties in it within his own
Gorakhnath further elaborates his experience of the all-pervading
character of every individual. Ultimately there is no essential
difference between the individual and the cosmos. An enlightened
Yogi experiences all men and women and children of all classes and castes
and races and tribes within himself or as diversified manifestations of himself.
He is therefore completely free from hatred and fear, competition
and rivalry, selfishness and hostility, casteism and communalism and
racialism and nationalism. In his practical behaviour he becomes an
embodiment of love and sympathy to all. He experiences that all the
seven divisions of the earth (sapta-dwipa), all the seven oceans (sapta-samudra,
viz. Kshdra-samudra, Kshira-samudra, Dadhi-samudra, Ghnta-samudra,
Madhu-samudra, Ikshu-samudra and Amrita-samudra), all the nine regions
(nava-khanda, viz., Bharata-khanda, etc.), all the eight great mountains
(Kula-parvata) and the numerous small hills (upaparvata), all the nine big
rivers and their tributaries and branches, are within his body, that
they constitute
the different parts of his own body. Likewise, the twenty-seven Nakshatras
(constellations of stars), the twelve Rdsis (signs of the zodiac), nine
Grahas (planets), the fifteen tithi...


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