What is Yoga

Yoga is the union or yoking of our True Self with the Universal All-Pervasive Being Consciousness. It is not a yoking of a lower self with a higher Self, but a process through which there emerges the recollection of one's Self as the single seer. The emergence of the single "I" is then found to be identical with the All Pervasive Self.

Just as in a movie, the light shines through the focusing mechanism of the reel of film providing a clear picture of the many characters, situations and images, so to the Self Effulgent Light of the Universal Consciousness is the substratum within which appears the images of the body-mind.

Within the body there is a center in which the sensation of this All-Pervasive Consciousness is felt. This is the Center where we point when we say "I." It is the subject to every object, the me to every mine. This Center is the Spiritual Heart, which is also called the Hrdayam.

The Hrdayam is not one of the 7 psychic centers (chakras); rather it is located in that 1/8th portion of the physical heart, which is to the right of the sternum. It is also known as the pacemaker or synod of the heart, as it provides the impulse that results in the beating of the heart.

This is the place that we point to when we say "I." It doesn't make any difference whether we say "I ran, I saw I lifted, I thought, I wrote, I kicked..." when we refer to anything or idea in relation to the sense of identity to anything, we point to the heart.

From this Heart emanates all the nerves of the body, such that the body and the sensations of the body are felt to be "I." One central nerve, known as the nerve of the Self (atma nadi), nerve of Bliss (Amrita nadi) and nerve of That which is Beyond (Para nadi)

rises up from the Hrdayam into the Crown in the brain and beings the sense of "I" consciousness to all the images and impressions and "takes" accumulated in the mind that results in the sense of identity of the All-Pervasive Being Consciousness, felt as "I" with the sensations of the body and images appearing in the mind, such that we think and believe that "I am this body and thoughts in relation to a separate would."

From time to time over the Millenniums certain people have appeared in the world, such as Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Moses, Christ, Nanak and the great Sages and Saints, who explain that the Truth of this sense of "I" is that it is really Universal Being Consciousness - Self-Radiant Light that pervades the Universe - gross, subtle and causal and is their support and existence.

The power of their Word is so vast that if for a moment one hears this single abiding Truth, That alone is sufficient to entirely dissolve the figment of the imagination that there is an identity between the "I" and the images of the mind and sensations of the body, which we call "ego."

For some unknown reason, the message is not heard. The result of this is that the great sages began to teach yoga as a means to balance the body field to the point where "hearing" takes hold.

The purpose of yoga is to isolate the seer, to cause a distillation of the sense of "I" from all other thoughts.

Many yogas have been developed, such as Hatha Yoga (asanas/postures), Pranayama Yoga (the science of breath control), Mantra Yoga, Laya Yoga, Shabad Yoga and Naad Yoga (the science of the sound current), Karma Yoga (Selfless Service), Bhakti Yoga (devotion and surrender to the True Guru), Jnana or Gyan Yoga (direct enquiry and abiding in the Self / Heart), Dhyana and Samadhi Yoga (Self abiding meditation), and Raja Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga, an eight part yoga encompassing a progressive practice of mental and physical purifications asanas, pranayama, and inwardly directed meditation in a monastic or isolated setting. Shaktipad yoga involves the transmission of prana through the expanded field of the Guru that effects automatic kriyas within the students.

Kundalini Yoga:

Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, is a combination of all these in one comprehensive Yoga that goes straight to the heart of the intention of yoga in order to directly and immediately bring about the realization of the Truth, but with an orientation towards the realization coming from within without any apparent assistance or dependency from an outer Guru. As such, when Yogi Bhajan brought this Yoga to the West from India, forming the Happy Healthy holy organization, 3ho, in 1969, he taught the secret sets and Kriyas openly and with a constant and ongoing flow of practices and information representing over 30 years of hundreds of sets and kriyas. The practice of this yoga systematically develops mental, physical and spiritual fitness that results in the sudden and spontaneous isolation of the seer and experience of the "Possible Human."

The body field:

The body is an emanation of the mind and the mind is an emanation of the mind of the Creator. Together these have their appearance in the All Pervasive Self-Light. The name of the Creator is Truth or "I AM."

Because everything that appears is the result of an emanation, we call the body and mind, the "field" or body field.

The chakras:

Within the body field along the spine are a number of psychic centers (chakras/circles). Nerve plexuses come out from the spine and each plexus relates to a group of organs and glands in that sphere or circle. There are 7 along the spine.

The sushumna:

The nerve of the Soul is called the sushumna. The first section is the central canal of the spine, rising from the base of the spine to the center between the eyebrows and through the Passage to the crown of the head. This portion of the sushumna is called the silver cord.

The sushumna extends from the point between the eyebrows to the crown, along which are a number of other centers that relate to the centers of the silver cord, as light to a shadow. This portion is called the gold cord.

The sushumna then curves down to the Spiritual Heart located to the right of the sternum. This portion is called the Atma nadi.

Charging and balancing the body field:

The ancient Sages realized that the within the various centers, the nerve groups within the plexuses were not firing completely for fully, so that their electric (pranic) charge was imbalanced, with the added result that the organs in those areas would not function fully and the glands would not secrete completely. Thus, gradually, the normal voltage of the centers becomes weaker and the centers become imbalanced physically, psychic/emotionally and spiritually.

By spiritual imbalance is meant that the mind, rather than abiding in the pure Light of the Creator in recognition that the single sense of "I" is the same as the "I AM" of the Creator, the Light pervading the conscious mind is so weak that the mind focuses attention from one rising thought and sensation to the next in a constant effort to define an identity.

The phases of Kundalini Yoga practice:

In Kundalini Yoga powerful breathing is combined with postures, movements, body angles, sound and certain locks that put an expanding or contracting pressure in each of the centers, such that blood is caused to saturate an area, and combined with breathing, sound and locks, these capillaries of these areas are expanded, and the electrically charges and vitalized blood flows into those areas causing the accumulated toxins to be discharged, the cells to release their toxins and the glands to secrete and nerves to fire completely. Each yoga exercise takes from 1 minute to several minutes to generate this complete effect.

The unique combination of these yoga exercises are called sets or specialized Kriyas.

As one practices these sets every day and periodically in a group session with a teacher, the centers, which are like batteries, begin to become purified, fully functional and build up a charge. As they charge, their interlinking with all the other centers of the body field becomes stronger, such that one begins to feel the electric sensation of their magnetic field and aura.

One goes through phases of detoxification, where one may feel stiff, tired, numb, headachy, if one does not drink enough liquids after the classes, to coolness in the nerves to heat in the nerves and eventually a kind of etheric sensation, where the feeling of one's self is still, pure and now includes one's aura to some distance from the body, such that the body seems to appear almost transparent within this field of consciousness.

What is happening is that, as the body field becomes charged and balanced, there emerges into one's consciousness a clearer sense of one's sense of identity which is becoming more and more single and clear and bright (satvic), which is to say more and more identified not with the thoughts, images and sensations of the body, but with the ever clearer light of consciousness that illumines the body field. This also means that the focus of attention has shifted more towards the light that illumines the picture of one's self than the images that drew attention previously.

The Kundal:

The area of the body field that regulates the flow of energy consciousness (prana or chi) is located in the Kundal. This can be felt directly when we pull up on the anus and sex organs and pull in on the navel, called the root lock (mulbhand), a point between the navel and 4th vertebra. It is a location that carries a very high voltage. As one practices the Kundalini Yoga sets every day, the charge generated through the blood stream throughout the body field accumulates, becomes pervasive, and an electric current is felt along the spine, as a fiery sensation at the base along the spine, both to the left (ida nadi / moon nerve) and right (pingala nadi / sun nerve) and in the spinal cord itself. At some point there is an electric pressure felt in this Kundal area that causes a locking sensation that triggers a downward motion of voltage that goes directly into the spine through the release of a drop of super charges and vitalized sexual fluid.

The Kundalini:

This fluid passes at once up the spinal cord into the fourth and third ventricle of the brain and causes the glands along the gold cord to secrete. The pituitary directs the flow of energy to the pineal gland, which opens the magnetic field to the air (ether) outside, and a vast archetypal expanse is experienced, as though one has engulfed the universe, and the constellation of stars are ones crown.

The body field has 10 gates, the anus and sex organ, the nostrils, the eyes, the ears and the crown (the soft area in the baby's crown). The triggering of the release of energy in the Kundal is called the Kundalini.

With it's awakening the sense of "I" is like being in the center of the flame of a candle (joti), which candle illumines the entire spectrum of what appears within the conscious field. As the Kundalini Shakti rises the candle within which one is seated becomes brighter and more pervasive. The centers previously charged from the circulation of prana in the blood stream, are now charged with a much greater voltage directly through the spinal nervous system.

When the Tenth Gate opens at the crown all the centers between the center between the eyebrows (the third eye) and the crown begin to secrete, which causes a further transformation of the body field, such that the archetypal causal consciousness is revealed, as though a shroud was lifted from ones vision, and one awakens to the mind of the Creator.

"And the Tenth Door is open to him who truly loves the Guru's Wisdom, and there resounds the Name in myriad form. It is a treasure which none can imagine, sayeth Nanak"

This door that opens is known as the hypothalamus, which is a governor that regulates the flow of infinite energy from blowing apart the body field. But once the body field becomes charged, and the voltage of the Kundalini is triggered and the Third Eye and Crown opens with the secretions of the pituitary and pineal glands and other glands along the gold cord, this governor lets in greater and greater energy levels.

The sudden recollection of the Self and the Hrdayam:

This entire mechanism is just a mechanism, which yogis have given names to. Regardless of what names one uses, as the mind becomes pure for any reason, or if for any reason one "hears" the Truth, regardless of the stage of one's practice, That Truth Itself will automatically cause a dematerialization of the body field and sudden outshining that one abides as Truth Itself, as Consciousness Itself, as Light Itself. The entire mechanism is relinquished and Sat - True Being, is realized.

Such a realization is always present. It is the "I" we always refer to as our self. It is prior to everything proceeding time and the appearance of space. This is the experience of the Hrdayam, the awakening of the Spiritual Heart, the recollection of one's True Self, the emergence of the True Man, the True Woman. One feels the pulsation of the "I" as a Self Manifesting Mantra without beginning nor end. "All is Sat Nam" (Nanak) "I am the Truth." (Dattatraya and Christ) Krishna tells us that He taught Aditya (the Sun) this Truth. Christ says: "Before Abraham was, I AM."

When the Spiritual Heart opens, one finds oneself in the center of a Singularity, like being drawn by the gravitational force of a Black Hole, that at once both dissolves the link of the sense of "I" to the idea of an identity to the images of the mind and sensations of the body, while as Light, It outshines the body field entirely, like looking at a movie in which the projected light becomes so bright that the images fade to white. Drawn into abiding in the seer, attention to images dark or bright is relinquished altogether. All concepts of near and far vanish.

With the emergence of the Singularity of the Heart/Self (or isolation of the seer), the Atma nadi begins to pulsate "I, I, I, I..." with a force that prevents the arising of any images and thoughts whatsoever. An ineffable silence pervades, in which after some time a single thought may arise "uncaused" ... then "unconditioned"

"With a single stroke we are freed from bondage; nothing clings to us, and we hold to nothing. All is empty, clear and self-illuminating, with no exertion of the mind's power. Here thoughts, feelings, knowledge and imagination are of no value

"Emptiness here, Emptiness there, but the infinite universe stands always before your eyes. Infinitely large and infinitely small: no difference, for definitions have vanished and no boundaries are seen." - Heart/Trust (Faith) Mind. Third Zen Patriarch - a 6th Century Buddha

In summary:

The purpose of Yoga is to isolate the seer. Through the practice of Kundalini Yoga (as taught by Yogi Bhajan), the centers begin to charge, the electromagnetic field begins to balance, such that That which lights and denotes the sense of "I" to the field suddenly recollects Itself. Where before we saw with the reflected light of the moon of the mind (brain), we now see with the light of the sun (Spiritual Heart), where even though the moon may appear in the blue sky of the risen sun, it has no more use or value in seeing. Where before we saw in part, we now see with clarity.

What is Kundalini Yoga

Yoga, we are told, apparently means the union between 2 things. But in reality, the Truth is that these 2, which are the individual consciousness and the Universal Consciousness, are "not-two," they are already identical, one and the same. So, what do we mean by Yoga? We mean a practice, method, system and understanding through which the illusion that the individual consciousness is not identical with the Universal Consciousness dissolves, like the morning mist upon the rising of the sun. This illusion is called Maya.

The Truth is that the Universal Consciousness pervades the universe in all its dimensions as the substratum of Being and Light. This Being and Light manifests in the Heart of mankind as the feeling of "I." When the mind is turned towards this self-effulgent light in the Heart, there is a pulsation of a single "I" that reverberates throughout the body-mind field, dissolving the identity and attachment to the idea that "I am the body and these thoughts in relation to a separate world."

The veiling aspect of Maya is that this Truth is not seen and does not shine forth. Thus, what Yoga comes down to is the isolation of the seer, the subject "I." With the practice of Yoga, the illusion is pierced, and we come to realize and experience non-dual, all-pervasive consciousness as our natural state.

Kundalini is simply the Awareness of this Universal Consciousness. In the body, there are various mechanisms that govern or regulate the flow of this universal energy. One of these is located in an area called the Kandal, between the navel and 4th Vertebra; another of these, the Sahasrara, is located in the area of the hypothalamus, between the pituitary and pineal glands, and a third is located in the Hrdayam, 1/8th to the right of the sternum in the synod or pacemaker of the physical heart. The object of Yoga is to open and release the force that is in these governing centers in order that the deluded individual will experience his/her True Self.

There are various kinds of yoga practice that have this objective.

Hatha Yoga Practice, which starts with considerable fasting, internal cleansing, and proceeds with asanas (postures) and then to pranayama, requires considerable solitude to be ultimately effective.

Raja Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga combines Hatha Yoga and long periods of pranayama (breathing exercises) with long hours of solitude, study and meditation.

Bhakti Yoga (the Path of Devotion), without the presence of a Saint or the release of the inner Awareness, often degenerates into dogmatic and rigid beliefs in words without the experience of their meaning, binding the soul rather than releasing it.

Jnana Yoga (the Path of Knowledge), without the presence of a Saint or purity of mind, often becomes pure intellectualism or an inner mental game where discrimination between the Real (the single sense of "I") and unreal (the identity of the sense of "I" with thoughts and sensations) becomes an absorbing trap that binds rather than releases.

Shaktipad Kundalini Yoga requires a Guru and disciples, where the Guru expands prana in his field (aura), which encompasses then releases the flow of prana in the disciples/devotees, causing the manifestation of postures and movements, which over time purify the body towards a deeper inner awareness.

The Kundalini Yoga of Yogi Bhajan is self-initiating, with advancement depending entirely on a regular practice of sets of Kundalini Yoga exercises. While there is the Golden Link to the line of Kundalini Yoga Masters and Saints that ever abide in the non-dual Truth, Yogi Bhajan only seeks that students become linked to their inner identity with the Truth, the One God - Parbrahm-Akal.

Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, is oriented specifically towards the practice of a specialized scientific yoga, where various kinds of powerful breathing that bring about a super charging and vitalizing of the blood, are combined with postures, movements and angles that put pressure on different centers and systems of the body, causing the saturation of blood into these areas. Within a matter of minutes, as the vitalized blood circulates into these areas that are under the contracting or expanding pressure brought about by these postures and movements. The nerves are caused to fire in a balanced and completely electrified manner; the capillaries of the organs and glands open discharging their toxins; cells discharge backed up waste, and energy is absorbed and accumulated. As a result, these centers now begin to carry a greater and greater charge, returning to their natural voltage, and the glands begin to secrete bringing about an all encompassing chemical electric balance.

As the nerves and centers become charged, the body/mind field begins to resonate. Now, the Laya Yoga chants, mantras and Shabad Yoga practices of Kundalini Yoga begin to become completely effective in balancing and releasing the harmonized flow of energy/consciousness (prana) throughout the electromagnetic field and aura.

The result of regular practice of these Kundalini Yoga exercises in specifically designed sets and kriyas, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, is that in a very systematic way the magnetic field and aura become perfectly balanced, both inwardly, as the inner power of discrimination of the Real dawns, drawing the mind inward to abide in one's inner Truth, and in relation to the experience of the all-pervasive Universal Consciousness.

As the aura and magnetic field charge, a pranic pressure builds that turns the mind inward, triggering the opening and releasing of the substratum energy or cosmic force in the Kandal (Evolutionary), Sahasrara (Involutionary) and Hrdayam (Dissolutionary). With this opening and release, the veil of Maya is lifted, and the individual soul begins to experience the gradual and sudden emergence of the Totality of their Being.

<www.kundalini-matashakti.com>

Friday, September 28, 2001; 2:49:19 AM - Bangkok

What differentiates Kundalini Yoga of Yogi Bhajan from other Yogas?

The Kundalini Yoga brought forth and taught by Yogi Bhajan is very ancient science of Awareness. It is the foundation of all yoga, many of which have eventually been taught in their own forms.

Specifically designed sets put alternating contracting and expanding pressure on certain nerve centers and related glands and organs. This pressure increases the flow and saturation of blood to these areas. When combined with powerful long deep breathing and breath of fire in their several variations, including retention on the exhale and / or inhale and in combination with certain body locks to direct the flow of energy, these centers open, discharge their toxins and begin to build a bio-chemical charge and balanced voltage that eventually brings all the centers and the arc of the magnetic field into a terrific balance. This charging of the centers converts their inner sound vibration from a dull thud of clay to an electric vitality, like tightening the strings of a guitar with 8 strings. The mind is now in a static balance, very still.

Now Laya Yoga practice can begin in which one performs certain mudras, angles and inner body locks (bhandas) in conjunction with the sound of mantra that chanted or spoken in a certain tone and manner caused the centers to resonate. This is much like the tuning of the strings of the guitar. The stored up static or kinetic energy generated from the earlier practice is now released so that the whole body and magnetic field vibrate.

The result of this is that the sense of "I" - which is at the substratum of the appearance of all images and sensations that appear to be seen or felt in the mind, Itself begins to resonate and pulsate like a Singularity. Then one experiences the release of the Substratum of Eternal Forces of Pervasive Awareness - Evolutionary, Involutionary and Dissolutionary; the veil of Maya fades, like a morning mist with the rising sun, and the experience the Possible Human promised and foretold by the Founders and Saints of all Religions.

This emergence of the Singularity of the Self starts with Pratyahar (the isolation of the seer), where the inward pulling of the mind and withdrawal of the senses becomes the first glimpse of the experience of the True man and True Woman. Pratyahar is then followed by Dhyana, Dharana and Samadhi.

In the Kundalini Yoga taught by Yogi Bhajan, the entire nervous and glandular system accumulates a charge that circulates freely throughout the arc of the magnetic field, so that as the mind naturally begins to draw inwards. One experiences not just the peace of a still mind, but the advent of true and profound meditation ("Peace such as the world cannot give." Christ)

Moreover, the tremendous voltages that are released, as the Forces of Awareness awaken in the super charged / super consciousness field, flow into channels that have been completely cleansed and centers that have no blockages or resistance, as the systematic practice of the Kundalini Yoga sets and related Laya chants, mudras and angles have progressively opened the entire mechanism of Awareness we call Kundalini. True Devotion and Self Knowledge are its fruits.

With regular practice this experienced begins to emerge into consciousness in a completely balanced and pervasive manner, from internal coolness to heat, from heat to electricity, from electricity to an etheric pervasiveness, where one sees with the mind's eye, to true abiding as space-like all pervasive Being/Consciousness, not over decades, but emerging over months.

This is the Science of Kundalini Yoga, the Yoga of Awareness. Test it for yourself.

pieter@kundalini-matashakti.com

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