Patanjali Yoga Sutras explain the method of awakening the sexual energy - Kundalini Shakti - from Muladhara Chakra through Sushumna Nadi and the six chakras: Swadhisthana Chakra, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha, Ajna to the ultimate Sahasrara Chakra, where the union between soul and super soul (atma and paramatma or Shiva and Shakti) takes place to become one with god. In this practice a person also acquires 64 minor siddhis and 8 special siddhis (ashta siddhis) which are:
- Anima: Ability to be as small as one wants.
- Mahima: Ability to be as big as one may desire.
- Laghima: Ability to become light to any degree.
- Gharima: Ability to become as heavy as desired.
- Prapti: Easy grasping by hand of any object however far it may be.
- Prakamya: To have anything as soon as one desires it.
- Isitva: Power to create and control things.
- Vasitva: Subjugation of everyone and everything, even to conquering death.
I once believed in Kundalini Yoga and had aspirations to master the siddhis. At the age of nineteen I went in search of a guru and travelled around the country till I found a certain yogi in Rishikesh who agreed to teach me Kundalini Yoga. By that time I had mastered about three hundred or so asanas and pranayama through a yoga instructor engaged to teach us yoga at home.
|Patañjali Statue |
(traditional form indicating Kundalini or incarnation of Shesha)
To demonstrate the power of mantras, the yogi asked me to draw "ॐ" on a piece of paper in Sanskrit in double lines. He then took it to his prayer room and closed the door. After about an hour he came out, took a ganja beedi, lit it and touched the portion where I had drawn Aum. Surprisingly, only the part where Aum was drawn burnt with flickering light leaving the rest of the paper intact. He gave me a lecture on the power of the Aum mantra. He said meditation on Aum made everything possible. I was asked to meditate on this mantra and when I could concentrate on it I would also be able to burn the Aum. At that time another person came to learn Kundalini Yoga and he too was asked to draw Aum on a paper in double lines. When the yogi again went to his prayer room, I climbed on a stool and peeped through the ventilator. The yogi was applying some liquid on the drawing. He applied several coatings, waiting for each coating to dry before applying the next. The following experiment explains his secret:
Effect: The Aum symbol burns without the paper getting burnt.
Props: Saturated solution of Potassium Nitrate in water 25 ml. with 5 ml. gum accacia mixed with it. Thick bond paper with Aum drawn in Sanskrit, all the lines connected through double lines. A thin bristle artist's brush to apply the solution on the paper, cigarette and matchbox.
Method: Apply the solution on the Aum four times with the brush allowing each coat to get dry. Light a cigarette and touch the starting point of the symbol with it. Where the potassium nitrate solution is applied the letter will burn in outline, leaving the rest of the paper intact.
Aum – Explanation of the Mantra
According to our scriptures there are two kinds of mantras, one suggestive and the other symbolic. The Upanishads explain them and their powers. We are told that symbolic mantras are not for chanting but are symbols to be practiced. Aum is the most sacred and powerful mantra of the Hindus. It is called the mantra of creation - Srishti Mantra - and it is from practicing Aum that life comes into existence.
Man is the only being who exploits nature. It is only through knowledge gained from nature that has made man exploit it where other life forms survive by it. Without naming things one cannot define anything nor identify or experiment to gain knowledge of nature. Man is the only being who has invented language through which he acquires knowledge and controls nature.
The first language invented by man was "Chitra Lipi" - Picture symbols. He drew in signs, symbols and line drawings on rocks of things which were dangerous to human life and which were helpful to the man. Such symbols can be seen on prehistoric caves where primitive man had his home.
The menace of wild animals, the danger of natural calamities, pestilence and death, made man think of how children were born. The outcome was the Srishti Mantra "AUM", the symbol of creation. It is claimed that if one practices "AUM" he can bring down the mountains and change the flow of the rivers, change sky into earth and earth into sky, and transform hell Into heaven and heaven into hell.
The symbol of AUM is the union between male and female where sperm unites with ova and conception takes place. But it is by technology and manpower that mountains have been levelled and the flow of the rivers changed by building dams and canals, Hell can be transformed into heaven and heaven into hell by one's mental attitude. All the progress made by man has been through his own endeavor, with the help of language through which he gained power to imagine, and to arrive at conclusions through experiments, logic and reasoning. Therefore MAN i.e. the outcome of AUM, is himself the most sacred and powerful mantra, because it is within us to bring in peace and progress, or destruction. But if one recites AUM mantra not even a blade of grass would move. We have devised H2O as the symbol of water, but even If one recites this a million times over, water cannot be manufactured. One must take two parts of hydrogen and one part of oxygen and fuse them together to get water.
Later when I became a member of the Divine Life Society, founded by Swami Shivananda, I started practising Kundalini Yoga under him in right earnest. Along with the practice, I was to read and learn the treatise on Kundalini Yoga authored by the Swami. I reached the portion where it was mentioned that when the Kundalini Shakti is aroused the person becomes healthy and free from all diseases. Swami Shivananda was suffering from asthma, diabetes, a bad heart, rheumatism, over weight and an eye problem. As a guru he should have roused the Kundalini up to sahasrara and cured himself. I wondered why he was sick. His answer was that he was suffering from these ailments as he did not want to wipe out the past Karmas which have caused them. This explanation satisfied me.
The second question which bothered me was why people who had attained Nirvikalpa Samadhi were dying even when they had conquered death. Moreover, it was mentioned in the Patanjali Yoga that Sushumna Nadi, through which one raised the sexual power, was a mental nadi which cannot be seen by the eyes or dissected; it could be visualised by the mind in meditation. Starting from Patanjali Maharishi, author of the yoga thesis, all those have died who claimed to have raised the Kundalini Shakti to Sahasrara. These include Shirdi Sai Baba, Upasani Baba, Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Yogananda, Dayananda Saraswathi, Rama Thirth, Aurobindo and the Mother, Ramana Maharishi, Swami Shivananda, Swami Ramdas, Swami Nityananda, Datta Bal, Muktananda, Prabhupada, Rajneesh and recently Pandit Gopi Krishna and Ananda Murthi. Could it be that they never experienced Nirvikalpa Samadhi at all? We know these saints also suffered from incurable diseases.
Now, how can one raise sexual energy i.e. semen, through a mental nadi? When 1 asked these questions I was told to stop questioning, have faith and practise. Regarding death of these saints, I was told that they are not dead, their souls still lived. What they had done was to discard this body as one might take off one's clothes. If that be so, since all souls are said to be immortal, then there is no need to practise Kundalini Yoga. Unprepared to waste my life pursuing idle fantasies, I lost my faith. During this time I had seen Babas walking on water, sleeping on beds of nails, thorns and glass, walking on fire, doing penance on one leg, piercing themselves with tridents, and much more which were tricks.
From the practice of meditation, pranayama and Kundalini Yoga, I found all this to be nothing but Self-hypnosis. By meditation with Pranayama and reciting AUM through the mouth, the body system is supersaturated with carbon dioxide and deprived of oxygen. This tires the brain and the person goes into drowsiness, which is thought to be Samadhi. In such drowsiness, one imagines the sexual power rising through the mental Sushumna nadi upto sahasrara. The state of samadhi is nothing but a hypnotic sleep. In hypnosis one can be made to see god, go to heaven or hell or any place, recall past births and other fantasies which are nothing but our beliefs, our past and other information stored in the sub-conscious.
If we read Ramakrishna's life story authored by his disciple "M", we can discern that he was in such a condition mentally when he claimed to see Kali. His hallucinations were such that he could not even go for nature's call, nor eat food or sleep. When Ramakrishna explained this to Totapuri, an Advaitin, Totapuri gave him a sword and asked him to cut off Kali's head when she appeared in his meditation. Ramakrishna in hypnotic trance killed Kali when she appeared and from that time onwards he was free from such hallucinations. Now if Ramakrishna was really seeing Kali, those around him who had eyes ought to have seen her too. But his vision of Kali was only in meditation through the alleged sixth sense, the mind.
Now let us examine some Yogic Siddhis.