In the Western world it is not considered very important to be guided by the heart. We would all like to be more able to love and be loved, but we have learned to trust our heads. We have been educated, not only in our educational system, but also in our society as a whole to use our heads. It has brought us a certain degree of material success, but it has not succeeded in giving us the happiness, the peace, the consciousness, and the love that we all want.
The teaching of Natural Yoga is the way of natural union with God. From my spiritual teacher Master Kripalvananda, I learned a method of opening my heart, a method of surrender. This is not to say that knowledge is a bad thing, because it is not. But it is not enough; nor is just opening your heart. We are so much more advanced in our heads than in our hearts. What we need is to learn to open the heart and surrender.
But surrender to what? In Natural Yoga one surrenders only to the Truth. Another name for the Truth is God. God is the Absolute; the Absolute is Perfection; and Perfection is Truth. Natural Yoga is about knowing God not just intellectually, but consciously and directly; it is about surrender to God.
It is necessary to re-release the energy captured by the closed heart. The heart, in turn, has been captured by the mind; and the mind controls it. It is not possible to figure out how to re-release or to liberate the life energy that has been entrapped. The more you use your will to make it happen, the more life energy gets captured. But when the heart is re-opened, the mind loses its grip on the previously captured energy, and life begins to flow again.
If you surrender to anything and everything, your life becomes a complete waste. Your desires run wild and you run into incredible difficulties. In Natural Yoga, by surrendering to God, by surrendering to the Truth, the suppressed energy is released and transformed. Then liberation is achieved.
Once you surrender the body, feelings and mind to God, the purification process begins. But the ego resists it. It says, “Oh, no, you don’t. This surrender business is not for me!”
If you have a lot of toxins in your body, there will be a strong reaction. If you are sickly, overweight, use drugs, smoke cigarettes, or drink coffee or alcohol, the body will react very strongly and make it very difficult for you to continue surrendering. If you sincerely want to do Natural Meditation, you need to work through these difficulties and prepare for the process of full surrender, of completely giving over your body, feelings and mind to God. Then as you continue to surrender, your mind begins to purify spontaneously.
There are four ways to awaken or liberate the life energy. One of them is by physical exercise; another is by understanding the Truth; the third is through devotion; and the fourth is through the transmission of divine energy form teacher to student.
If you do a lot of exercise, stop using drugs and eat a pure diet, your body will become purer. And when it purifies, the life energy will be liberated.
My life energy was liberated by understanding the Truth. I had a realization of the Truth of life. As a result, the life energy in my body went “whoooosh.” I rolled all over the floor and acted crazy. I didn’t know what to do with it! I tried to figure out what it was all about. For years I tried to find out what to do with it and how to handle it.
I did not succeed until I met Master Kripalvananda, affectionately called Kripalu. He is the only one I ever met who really knew what to do with the vital energy. He was a great yogi from the great tradition of Natural Yoga. Something led me to his feet. He had the knowledge, method, and power to transform the life energy; and he could teach and transmit it to others.
And finally, if you devote yourself to whatever is divine to you and open your heart and serve it, through great love, your life energy will be liberated.
In Natural Yoga, the life energy is awakened through the transmission of divine energy from teacher to student. The transference is a gift of life energy from the teacher to the student. The great advantage of transmission of divine energy from teacher to student is that you know what is happening; you how it has come about; and you know you have someone to guide you. Once the divine energy is transferred, the rest happens spontaneously and automatically as you continue to surrender.
1. You begin to treat people better, not because you are forcing yourself, but just because you want to.
2. The body performs purifying actions, moving spontaneously into yoga postures whether you have ever heard of them or not. The postures occur in the exact way necessary for your body to purify.
3. The life energy becomes restrained and elevated.
4. The attention withdraws from the senses.
5. You go into deep concentration.
6. You go into spontaneous meditation.
7. You go into equanimity or union with God.
This does not happen in two or three seconds; it takes a while. It may take days, weeks, months or years; but it happens according to the grace of God and Truth, according to the wisdom of the divine energy that guides you.
The process of Natural Yoga proceeds according to your degree of surrender, the previous work that you have done in this life and others, and the wisdom of your spiritual teacher. Divine union is the ultimate outcome of Natural Yoga. Your own true, divine nature comes into union with God or Truth.
Natural Yoga brings not only bliss, but also consciousness, Truth, health and happiness. It brings natural humility and saintly behavior. Impurities are transformed into Divine Love for others. Eventually a complete and permanent transformation of one’s human nature takes place. This is a long-term project; yet it is the promise of Natural Yoga.
The key to Natural Yoga is surrender. By surrendering in meditation you achieve union with God or Truth. There are many names and ways of thinking about the Ultimate. Choose the way that has meaning for you, then surrender and go into union with it.
Natural Yoga is natural union, a union that happens naturally without the use of willful direction or guidance. Natural Meditation means following the natural path, the path that is automatic and spontaneous. But this can only come through surrender. This is why surrender is the key. Without surrender, the will is involved. When the will is involved, nothing happens naturally.
There are a lot of advantages to meditating naturally. You might say that surrender is “letting it be.” Letting things be the way they are, is a form of surrender.
The dictionary defines surrender as the opposite of victory; surrender is yielding or giving in. It implies being forced to give in, to give in against your will. In Natural Yoga surrender means giving in by your own choice and letting the will of something other than you have its way.
In Natural Yoga, you not only surrender, but you also surrender to the Truth; you surrender to Perfection; you surrender to the Absolute; you surrender to the Ultimate. You surrender to the cosmic finality. Call it whatever you like.
You don’t just surrender. You surrender to an Ultimate. You have the choice to surrender or not. In Natural Yoga you choose to give in to the Divine. This is the key principle of Natural Yoga. You don’t need to know anything else. Everything else supports this key principle. So you need to understand it well.
It is not easy to surrender, but it is the key to spiritual growth. If you surrender to the Divine, then automatically and spontaneously, you are on the path to the Truth, to the feet of the Lord, to Divine Love, without having to plan, to know, to force or to concern yourself in any way.
The difficulty is that when you choose to surrender, there is a reaction. Therefore, you can only surrender to a certain degree. If you could surrender to the Truth totally, all at once, you would experience the Truth and you would have complete union with the Truth.
Some people refuse to surrender at all. They say, “I’m using my will and that’s it. I’m not surrendering at all!” A few have surrendered totally. We call them God. Most of us are in between with some degree of surrender.
When you have a reaction to surrender, don’t stop surrendering. Simply surrender more. Even if you don’t want to, go ahead and do it anyway. Perhaps you pull back your surrender to some degree. But if you do surrender, a little bit of purification takes place. Not only do concerns go away, but also the body and the mind purify to some degree. So when you surrender that much again, the reaction is not so strong. And as you continue, your capacity to surrender grows deeper and deeper because the reactions are less.
It would take a lifetime to sort out the best way to have a supremely happy life, achieve complete liberation, attain absolute freedom, and reach total union with God. By the time I found Natural Yoga, my life had been spent trying to work this out.
I had assembled about fifty different, quite excellent methods of dealing with the body and mind, like massage, Polarity Therapy, Rolfing, Feldenkreis, Hatha Yoga, breath restraint, good diet, Gestalt Therapy, Mind Clearing, Emotional Trauma Release, praying to God, and many others.
I was trying to design an assessment method to test every person who came to our spiritual growth center and then direct them to the techniques they needed. I had an elaborate plan worked out with a marvelous testing system so that each person’s plan could be adjusted to just the combination they needed and varied as their needs changed. I was excited by all of this and was beginning to make some sense out of it even though it was a fairly complex subject.
Then one day I met my beloved spiritual teacher, Kripalu. He taught me Natural Meditation. With Natural Yoga all you have to do is surrender to God. And the perfect thing happens to you at just the right time with the correct intensity to do exactly what is necessary for you whether it be in your mind, your body or your feelings. It brings about the exact degree of purification you need. And then the process continues naturally without any need to ask questions or make plans! What a relief! What a Godsend!
Unfortunately not everyone can surrender to God. First of all, many have not found God. Others have no absolute anywhere in their life. It’s difficult for them to find anything to surrender to.
Secondly, many are so impure and toxified that if they do surrender even a little bit, their ego can’t stand it. They clamp their will down with all their might. These people must find Truth, through some other method, through Enlightenment Intensives, for example. They need techniques to remove their mental and communicative obstacles. Once their minds become purer as a result of techniques such as the Enlightenment Intensive, then surrender is possible for them.
For those who are ready, for those who have prepared themselves, the path of Natural Yoga is open. Natural Yoga is an option if they so choose! Many have had deep experiences of God, Truth or Divine Love. But these experiences fade with time.
All willful techniques are limited because you can only know God in a surrendered state. As soon as the will is re-activated by arising desire, the deep experience lost. Many people are sincerely driven time and time again into the realm of peak experiences only to fall back again when desire arises.
Some have sought experiences using drugs, only to crash again. Taking drugs is certainly willful; and you cannot willfully maintain union. Only in the state of surrender to the Truth can the Ultimate goal be continually experienced.
It’s a gradual process. Where willful techniques leave off, surrender begins. This is not to say that willful techniques have no value. They do! It is necessary for almost everyone to participate in them to get themselves to the place where they can surrender meaningfully to the Truth. To do Natural Yoga, one must be able to surrender and let the will another be done. It is God who is the doer in Natural Yoga.
In Natural Yoga you release the body from willful acts. You allow the life energy in the body to do what it wants instead of willfully trying to do something.
If your body gets tired, let it fall over or just collapse on the floor. Once the body rests for awhile, it wants to move again. Whereas ordinary meditation uses the will, in Natural Yoga you let the life energy, guided by the divine, move the body in whatever way it sees fit.
Do not try to concentrate your mind or attention on any particular thing. In willful meditation you concentrate on one subject or willfully try to maintain a state of openness.
In the case of Natural Yoga, you let the attention go wherever it wants. It might go onto anything. You surrender the control of your attention to the divine and letting it do what it wants. The divine directs the energy that guides the attention. It will go where it needs to go in order for you to make the most rapid progress in your meditation.
Meditation may not always be what you want; and often, it is not. Sometimes it is boring. Sometimes it does seemingly pointless things like the grocery list. But that is what needs to be done. The energy is trying to release your attention from the “grocery list” so it can go on to other things.
You say, “Oh, I shouldn’t be thinking about the grocery list; so I’m not going to think about it. I should be thinking about God.”
You are using your will. It is all very well to think about God; but if you are using your will to direct your attention, then you are defeating the method of natural union with God. If you surrender your attention to God, the life energy in the body and mind will be guided appropriately.
In meditation you go through what you need to go through. No one has to tell you anything. God is the only therapist. If you have God or the Truth as your therapist, you can not do better. The only fee God wants is surrender to Him.
You can say Her if you prefer. The Goddess is Truth. Truth is the way things actually are no matter what perspective you take. You just let meditation happen whatever way it wants. Let His will be done, not yours.
Surrender, then, is to choose to let God, the Truth, or whatever you want to call it, guide your body, feelings, and mind, your thoughts and attention. You will be lead you through the most fascinating, exciting, sometimes boring and even terrifying journey to to union with the Truth.
By surrendering to the life energy, the body can naturally go through what it needs to go through in Natural Yoga. It does not become tired. The mind goes through what it needs to go through so it does not become stuck or frustrated trying to control the attention. And the feelings can flow when they are ready; when they are not ready, nothing happens. So just let it be.
One can do many hours of Natural Yoga over long periods of months and years. The serious aspirant can devote his or her whole life to this activity. Four to eight hours a day spent in meditation is not unusual for a serious practitioner of Natural Yoga.
Generally, the energy in meditation moves a lot at first, then slows down to nothing and the aspirant goes into yogic sleep. You may think that you should be alert and busy. Your will tells you, “I think I should be awake, active and busy.” And there is God’s will.
Sleep is coming on naturally. If you have truly surrendered, you let sleep come. If a hand wants to move, let it move. Whatever happens let it happen! There is only one condition, surrender your body, mind and feelings to the Truth,. If you have done that, there is no error. Whatever occurs, including sleep or anything else, happens properly and automatically.
Why doesn’t everybody do Natural Yoga? It’s so easy! I mentioned the obstacle of reaction. Many people are attached to the ego; that is, their ego wants to be in charge. It wants to be the doer and wants to cause things to happen. “If I do this, then I want that result. And I want the fruits of my actions.”
Following the ego is the ordinary Western way of proceeding. It is also the Oriental way of proceeding to some extent. When you willfully act, God responds to a degree, if you have acted ethically.
You can get bound to the ego and get stuck in the role of the doer. You are the one who is doing it, rather than surrendering. Following the ego can only take you so far. But most people are not ready to give up the role of “doership.” They are not ready to go on to Natural Yoga.
God is the doer of all things. Imagine a slave master who has many slaves and who wants to build himself a nice house. He sits up on his dais and says, “Slave, you come over here and you carry these stones. And you slaves there, you pile them up. And you mix the mortar. And you design it. Come on, jump!”
And they start jumping and carrying stones and they build the palace. When the palace is finished, the slave master invites his neighbor over. And he says, “Look! See the palace I built! See what I did!”
The slave master is the ego and the slaves are God.
God is the doer of all things that appear in the form of nature. God in the form of nature does all things. The ego sits back and says, “Look what I’m doing! See what I did!” The ego thinks it is the doer. But the ego does not create anything; it does nothing!
The body is part of nature; the mind, feelings and thoughts are part of nature. The entire physical universe is part of nature. All that happens is done by God working in and through nature. Surrender releases the divine energy that makes everything work. The divine energy is what guides your body, mind and feelings in Natural Yoga.
If you are strongly identified with doership, surrender will not occur. But you can give up the ego and say, “God, I surrender to you.” It would be like the slave master saying, “Slave, I surrender to you. I realize that you have been doing the work anyway and I’ve just been taking credit for it.”
It is not just a matter of stopping what you were doing; it is a matter of realizing that you never were and are not the doer. God in the form of nature does all things. The act of surrender is simply the gradual realization of the Truth.
As long as you are attached to the fruits of action, you are held in a trap. You hold on to the idea that you are the doer. “I did it. I worked all day. I want my pay.”
So if you are attached to the fruits, you are automatically the doer. But it is not true. The fruits do not belong to you. They are all God’s. You are not the doer. God does it all.
So what are you? You are the one who either surrenders to that fact, or resists it. You are the one who can make the choice. You can either surrender to the natural way which brings about union with Truth or you can fight it, saying, “No! No! No! I’m going to do it the way I want!”
Sometimes people feel that if they decide to stop doing something, nothing will happen. They think that not doing anything is surrender. This is not true. They think, “I won’t think any thought; I won’t move a finger; I won’t breathe.” There is a very simple way to test this.
“ Well since I’m the breather, I’ll stop breathing.” But it is not you who starts breathing again because it was not you who was breathing in the first place. God in the form of nature is causing the body to breathe, not you. And in the same way, nature causes the brain to think, the hunger to come, the sexual urge to arise. All these things happen by the will of nature.
Thus it is the ego that stops people from doing Natural Meditation. Everyone has an ego. However, if you can just yield some of your doership, some of your attachment to the fruits of action, then you can open the door to Natural Yoga.
Natural Yoga liberates you from both pleasure and pain. You protest, “Wait a minute, don’t you take my pleasure away! I’ll put up with some pain as long as I get some pleasure.”
By surrendering to the Truth, you gradually get over the suffering of pain and the enjoyment of pleasure. In life, pain is the payment, pleasure is the reward. It is the fruit. Getting caught in this endless cycle of pain and pleasure is ordinary human life.
An individual who wants liberation seeks to transcend this cycle. A practitioner of Natural Yoga, instead of pursuing pleasure and avoiding pain, seeks only union with Truth, perfect awareness of the way things really are. He or she becomes more and more detached. Both pleasure and pain become the same. A sincere meditator seeks pure consciousness of the way it is. The ‘way it is’ is often called ‘That’ in yogic scripture. Pure consciousness of ‘That’ is bliss.
Pure consciousness of the “way it is” (‘that’) may be called direct knowledge. When you have direct knowledge of ‘That’ which is true, you are in bliss. This is union with God. A liberated individual having transcended pleasure and pain comes to know God directly. If someone just talks to you about Truth, it tends to be dry. If someone just talks about God, you may feel belittled. But when you are the one that ends up knowing the Truth directly, you are in the state of bliss.
Bliss is not the same as pleasure. Bliss is pure consciousness of Truth. The state you are in when you go into union is bliss. Bliss is not the titillation of a nerve ending; that is pleasure.
If that nerve is not titillated, then it is painful. “Oh I feel so lonesome and left out. I feel depressed and hurt.”
This happens because the nerve fiber did not get its electrical stimulus. But if you have pure consciousness of God or Truth, it is bliss. It is union with God.
How do you to reach bliss? By the realizing that you are not the doer. By surrendering to the Truth. This leads to pure consciousness of the Truth and you have bliss.
I speak not from theory, but from experience that this is the case. Surrender even in the early stages of the process of union with God, leads to bliss and to God. By the grace of my spiritual teacher it has happened to me. I can say that direct knowledge of Truth is God, beyond doubt, beyond certainty.
There are many schools of thought, many religions and teachers who teach surrender to God in the form of the divine energy. The Christians on the day of the Pentecost were invested with the Holy Spirit which is the same thing as divine energy. They spoke in tongues and rolled on the floor, called out to God, cried, and laughed with joy. The purification had begun. The Holy Spirit had descended upon them.
Chi is another name for the divine energy. Tai Chi tries directs this energy. The name is ‘Orgone’ to the Reichians. They permit the energy to flow and to surrender to it. These are all steps in the right direction. They are all excellent techniques. In Natural Mediation, we deal with the same energy. In yogic tradition, the guru gives Shaktipat initiation awakening the divine energy in his or her students.
My spiritual teacher has provided us with a broad perspective of the spiritual growth process based on his experience in Natural Yoga. He practiced ten hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year for over thirty years.
His life was Natural Yoga. He understood and practiced Natural Yoga in the context of ancient scripture. He was taught by his teacher, Lord Lakulisha, who achieved divine body through Natural Yoga.
Natural Yoga has a history of thousands of years of sincere meditators experimenting, going up blind alleys, finding the way and then staying on course. They continued until they achieved the highest state of union with God, the development of the divine body, and the fulfillment of life.
There are many names for this meditation. When I was in India, Swami Kripalvananda called me back into his room and wrote something his chalkboard in Hindi. I had to ask the translator to come back. Kripalu wrote, “The name of this yoga is love.”
I did not know what he meant at the time. Now I have a good idea. Love and surrender are the same. One’s most outstanding quality is love. And God is love. So when you surrender to God, to Perfection, to Truth, you love Him so He can love you. This is what leads to union. Without love none of it is possible.
Love does not mean surrendering to people’s personalities, weaknesses, inabilities, failures, or impurities. You surrender to the Divine, the Divine that is everywhere and in everything. You should not surrender to imperfections, disease, insanity and false knowledge. Surrender only to the Divine Truth which is in the heart of everyone. This is the act of love.
Kripalu told me that for thousands of years, it has been the custom in India when greeting or parting to say, “Victory to God!” Jai Bhagawan
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All of existence can be understood in terms of the male principle and the female principle. The male factor is the Being, an individual being conscious. The female factor is Nature. Nature is all the world. When I say, “all the world,” I mean not only all the things and all matter in the world, but also all space, time energy, events, thoughts, and bodies. Everything that is and everything that takes place is what I mean by Nature.
The aspect of Nature which moves and empowers is divine energy. Divine energy is power or directed energy. If a motion or an event has some direction or intelligence guiding it, then it is power. is divine energy.
Divine energy is not something mysterious. It is something ordinary. It is that aspect of nature that empowers movement and gives energy and direction.
The concept of divine energy applies to the entirety of nature, realms, life forms, space, and time, forever and ever. It is universal divine energy. From the very beginning of the universe to the very end, including the present, everything is empowered by universal divine energy.
In Christianity, this is also discussed. The Bible speaks of God, and the Word of God. The Word of God is Nature and is the same as divine energy. The empowering factor in Christian theology is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit makes everything function. Without it nothing takes place. The Holy Spirit, on the most universal level, is identical to the divine energy.
The Holy Spirit is the empowering force, the energy from God, directed by His intelligence. The entire forming of the physical world of matter and the evolution of the suns and galaxies, the stars and their interaction in galactic forms, the formation of planets, all have been empowered by divine energy. Without this energy creation would not take place. Without the energy and intelligence of the Holy Spirit, the physical world would not form. There would not be coalescence of matter or substance. Nor would matter form into intelligent patterns like the spiral form of the galaxy or the roundness of stars.
The intelligence contained in the laws of nature, acting by the energy of God, makes the world the way it is. Just as planets are formed by the direction of intelligent energy, life forms on the planets and biological forms, simple viruses, bacteria, simple plants, and one-celled animals evolve. Divine energy is at work to make life, whether it is plant or animal. When divine energy is operational in a life form, we call it the life energy. But it is still the same divine energy that forms the universe.
Consider the intelligence factor also, a guiding hand of divine energy within the form of the DNA. It guides the form, pattern, structure and activities in of the biological form in the final analysis. The divine energy is in the very structure of the cell itself. Without it, a cell cannot live. Divine energy is also the energy that motivates and binds the molecules.
The material world and the divine are not two separate things. The divine pervades every aspect of the living form. The intelligence that makes the organism the way it is, is divine. As cells combine and relate through the intelligence that is contained in the structure of the DNA molecules, life forms become more and more complex.
The same principle guides the evolutionary formation of the human body. When the intelligent divine energy, this power, drives evolution on towards a more complex and perfect organism, it is called the evolutionary force. The overall empowering force of a body form is called life energy. The force contained in the DNA molecule that is the driving power of evolution, is called the evolutionary force. It has a goal in mind, a place to arrive at. It drives the body toward more and more complexity and perfection in its biological form,.
In Sanskrit the evolutionary force is known as kundalini. Kundalini literally means ‘the female coiled one’. Yogis think of the evolutionary force as a she-snake The giant male snake that fills the universe and makes it go, is the life energy, a giant cobra. And the little female snake is kundalini – the female coiled one, which is contained in each and every body, in each and every plant, in each and every animal, in each and every cell.
The physical form of the evolutionary force is in the DNA molecule. The energy form of it in the lower part of the body is the sexual urge. The sexual urge gets you to reproduce, driving you into contact with another body. This brings about further evolution of the species. The sexual urge is not some sort of a casual thing; it is inherent in every cell of the body. It is the evolutionary force that drives bodies towards the perfect state.
When the human body is conceived, two parts of the evolutionary force’s pattern, the DNA pattern, combine in union. One half is from the ovum of the mother and one half is from the sperm of the father. These two patterns come together and form a new pattern, optimally more perfect than the one before. The evolutionary force is released at this point of conception when the sperm and the ovum come together.
The force starts driving hard. It has been encapsulated temporarily in each one of the sperm and the ovum half-cells. The half cells are incapable of sustaining life on their own; but when they come together, the dormant evolutionary force is released. It starts out with tremendous power, guiding, empowering, and directing the multiplication of the cell into a human zygote within the womb of the female.
As it grows, it passes through the evolutionary stages rapidly. The zygote of a human first looks like that of any other animal. Then it begins to resemble the zygote of a fish and then of a reptile. It goes through the various monkey-like stages, and finally evolves into the human form, the human fetus, the human baby.
The tremendous trauma of birth puts a damper on the rate of evolution. The evolutionary force has to start coping with the world; it has to start digesting milk and breathing air. It has to deal with being neglected and getting cold and hot. The evolutionary pattern, normally associated with the breath, is battered. Because of the interaction of the evolutionary force with the environmental forces, evolution is somewhat frustrated.
You, as an individual associated with a body, use your ‘will’, as you grow year by year for your own purposes and ends. By using your will, as you respond socially to your parents, the evolutionary force is further constrained, perverted and distorted. By the time you are four, five or six, the will in the form of the mind, has started to capture the energy to behave, to stay out of no-no’s, and to get a piece of candy.
And so you make the body sit still and do what it is supposed to do according to you and according to society instead of just letting it do what the evolutionary force keeps wanting it to do. It wants to fidget, run around, jump up and down, and yell, because it is trying to make the body evolve the way it wants it to evolve. But you direct it through your will, to not urinate or defecate, to eat when the time is right, to sit still, and to learn to read.
And so the evolutionary force is constrained and constricted to social necessities. We are not to blame for this. This is the kind of world in which we live. We are battered by the environment, physically and socially. We continue for the next few years with the energy somewhat captured. It tries to break out again, tries to express itself. But because it is captured, it tries to express itself through sexual reproduction, beginning at or around eleven, twelve, thirteen or fourteen. The sexual urge breaks out at puberty.
You try to have intercourse with a member of the opposite sex. The energy is essentially saying, “If I can’t make this evolution perfection in this body, I’ll make a new body. I’ll try it that way, and see if it can make it.” But because of social circumstances, even that is constrained. Sexual expression is held in by social pattern, by social necessity, by lack of money, by lack of education. You cannot get married; you cannot have sex; you cannot let this energy express itself in just any way or any time it sees a member of the opposite sex. It cannot have sex immediately and instantly as in the case of animals.
So you use your will again under social pressure to constrain the evolutionary force which has broken out in the form of sexual drive. It is held down and suppressed again out of necessity. No one is to be blamed. But this is what happens. When this energy is constrained in this manner, it leads to tension, headaches, unhappiness, and disease. Neurotic behavior begins. After puberty, comes neurotic behavior. And teenagers start to get more and more neurotic. They fight against it, they struggle against it; but because of social pressure and necessity, gradually the evolutionary force is forced to yield to social patterns.
By your late teens, you have learned enough about life to encourage independence. You say, “I’m going to let this energy do what it wants,” thinking that is what you want to do, which is all right, I suppose. And you may think, “I’m going to live independently. I don’t need my parents, and I don’t need society. To heck with it! I’m going to go my own way.”
You pull out of the household, and find that you have to make a living. You have to work at a job or study at school or else you will be left out in the cold, hungry, without support. And so the necessity of maintaining the survival of the body causes you to use your will again. This time it is to grind by the hour over books in college, or grind by the hour, day in and day out, at some wage job, trying to make a living.
This completes the job of enslaving the evolutionary force. With a final gasp the power of the evolutionary force is lost. The evolution of your body stops. It quits growing in size and the nervous system stops refining. At this point, around seventeen, eighteen, nineteen or twenty, further growth of your capacity and creative powers is suppressed. Your intelligence ceases to grow any more, and the process of death begins. You slowly start to die right at about that age. You may not notice it at first. It may take you ten years before you notice it. But it starts right at that age. Life loses some of its glow. And you begin to give up.
But the evolutionary force has not given up. It is still there and it still tries. It never quits. The evolutionary force is so captured by the will, through the agency of the mind and is so enslaved by the ego that evolution stops, A few of us develop some outstanding talents up to the age of about twenty-seven or twenty-eight. By that time the suppression of growth is complete – and we feel like saying, “What’s the use?” The process of decay begins more rapidly.
As you can see, the evolutionary force is no mystery at all. It is an every-day thing. It is suppressed and held at the base of the spine, captured and enslaved by the mind for social and survival purposes.
Liberation of the evolutionary force takes place in the context of purity. It can be released in one of four ways:
1. by exercise and pure diet
2. by deep sincere love
3. by profound concentration
4. by the Divine grace of God either directly or by a spiritual teacher.
1. Exercise and pure diet: Physical impurities hold the energy down. They are created by bad diet, cola, doughnuts, coffee, bad air, and diseases that have battered the body and accumulated in it. Through exercise like swimming, through deep breathing and pure diet, you can purify the accumulations of toxins and traumas of childhood diseases. Then the evolutionary force will break out again. This often happens in outstanding athletes and dancers.
2. Deep sincere love: The toxic accumulation of emotional hurts, disappointments, suppressions and frustrations of the evolutionary force have captured the emotional energy and held it down. The impurities are accumulated in your emotional aura. Also, a person who has the capacity for deep, sincere love, who does not care about hurt feelings, can have a heart opening. They cry. Tears run down their cheeks, but they don’t care because their love is so strong either for another being or for God. And the evolutionary force will break forth, and poetry and song will spontaneously flow from them. They are in love. This is true devotion. This can awaken the evolutionary force that releases the emotional hurt and purifies all the past traumas.
3. Profound concentration: Mental attitudes about how you must be and act trap the energy. The construct of the ego itself, of personality, of image, of what attitudes you must have about life--all these have accumulated in the mind and act as impurities.
Through tremendous concentration, the artist, the pianist or the writer practicing their art-- eight, ten, twelve hours a day-- focusing acutely his or her attention – brings about a degree of purification of the mind and freedom of attitude; and the creative energy of evolution is released.
It is the same way with the scientist seeking Truth. He concentrates, sees through misconceptions, and begins to see how the world is put together. This process releases fixed ideas that he or she has accumulated, and the mind is freed. The evolutionary force breaks out in the form of exceptional mental activity. Creative genius may blossom like Einstein’s.
The Zen aspirant sitting in meditation hour after hour focusing on the Truth, can break through the mind and directly know the Truth. “Ah!” and the evolutionary force rushes in the purified the mind.
Physical, emotional and mental impurities all act to hold the evolutionary force down. They are supported by the power of the will. By exercise and pure diet, deep sincere love, and profound concentration, the body, feelings and mind are able to purify enough so that the evolutionary force can be released in ordinary life. The removal of toxins and traumas whether physical, emotional or mental, set the stage for the release of the force of evolution. Unfortunately, most people do not know what to do with this powerful force when it arises. They are lost because the power is so great. They think they are crazy, eccentric, or weird.
Their creative power is unleashed along with the sexual form of the energy. They are driven by a great sexual power and urge. Not knowing how to deal with it or transform it, their lives are often destroyed. If anything goes wrong, which it usually does in a social situation, they are made fun of, rejected, called crazy or weird.
Perhaps they try to re-suppress the energy by drinking or taking drugs or tranquilizers, exhibiting more neurotic behavior, busy-busy-busy running around doing all kinds of things. They may try to sublimate the energy; but they often fail. So the evolutionary force goes back to sleep again after a few months or years, back to its dormant state at the bottom of the spine.
There is a knot, a complex of energy, at the base of the spine that includes the sexual and naval centers or chakras. It is the first of three energy plexus in the body and is called the Creative plexus or brahmagranthi in yogic terminology. The knot binds the energy plexus so tightly and is so complex that it is practically impossible to undo, to evolve out of existence, especially due to our social situation and our ignorance.
Divine grace of God
4. Divine grace of God either directly or through the agency of a spiritual teacher who takes one from the darkness to the light: So that leaves us with the fourth form of awakening the evolutionary force--through the divine grace of God either directly or through the agency of a spiritual teacher. By the grace of God or guru, the trapped and dormant evolutionary force at the base of the spine is released and activated. When this takes place, you receive the knowledge to handle and transform this energy in the purification process.
Purification takes place spontaneously through surrendered action and automatic suspension of the life energy in meditation. For this to occur, you must have adopted ethical standards to guide your actions in life. Eventually through the purification process of Natural Yoga you will act in an ethical manner.
As the process of Natural Yoga continues, you will de-identify from the sense faculties, concentrate more deeply in the practice, increase your ability to practice, and finally achieve union with God. This all happens spontaneously because the evolutionary force has been awakened and the divine grace and knowledge of the spiritual teacher is activated through your connection to the lineage.
The evolutionary activity goes on not only to purify the body, mind and feelings, but also to bring about their further evolution. First, you reach genius-level capacity seeing everything the way it actually is. Then a saintly level follows where you become a glowing manifestation of love, kindness and Truth. In the final stages of evolution, you evolve the perfect bodily form called the divine body. Jesus achieved divine body, as did my teacher’s teacher, Lord Lakulisha. It is a perfect body, an immortal body that has not only purified but also has evolved to the final state.
This is the goal that drives the evolutionary force. It is possible to achieve it – the final evolutionary perfected body form. The divine body is mentioned in The Autobiography of a Yogi. Babaji, the teacher of Yogananda’s teacher, achieved it. This final form is Divinity itself; it is God in form.
It is true that not everyone who practices Natural Yoga is going to complete this project in this lifetime. Indeed, it is said that on earth a great one attains a divine body every five hundred to a thousand years. But every degree of progress that you make through surrender in Natural Yoga takes you to liberation. While everyone will not complete the evolutionary process in one lifetime, the progress you make in this lifetime moves you forward in the next life.
The path of renunciation of all desire involves full reawakening of the evolutionary force. Technically speaking the teacher’s initiation into Natural Yoga awakens the life energy and releases it so that the purification can take place. Then, for a person taking the renunciate’s path, God awakens the evolutionary force. Due to the linkage with the spiritual teacher, the proper understanding of the process can occur allowing the evolutionary force to take over and eventually finish the final phases of the divine form.
Kripalu, my teacher, was in the final phases of this path when he died. One sign that the evolutionary force was well advanced in his body was the appearance of a vertical white streak in the middle of his the forehead, like the one seen on drawings and paintings of Krishna and other gods.
Actually, at one time, Krishna and the other gods were just ordinary people like you and me. Through the technique of Natural Meditation in ancient India, they brought about the full evolution and perfection of the divine body and became what are now known as gods and goddesses. They were just ordinary people in the beginning. Krishna has a streak down the middle of his forehead. The female has a red dot in the middle of her forehead, the signature of the female divine body. This is caused by the upward flow of the evolutionary force or the sexual energy – the sexual fluids, actually. The fluids, flowing upward, appear on the forehead in the final stage of the evolutionary path.
So you see, divine energy is not abstract. The Holy Spirit is not abstract. When Jesus’ disciples received the Holy Spirit from Heaven on the day of Pentecost, their evolution and purification began immediately, right there in the public square. They began talking in tongues, twisting, singing, and rolling. This is the purification. The disciples eventually became outstanding geniuses and saints because of the evolutionary force. We are dealing with knowledge that was known in the West and was integral in Christianity. The divine energy is present every day of our lives and makes every breath take place. Guided by the knowledge passed down to us, the divine energy can take us to the highest levels of union with God.
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On Natural Yoga Science
Although the surrender technique is not scientific in that one can predict when particular events will occur, it is exact in that one knows what is going to happen. The same things happen to everybody more or less. The remedies for typical problems that come up apply in every case. This is not to say that there are not miracles. There are some. There is the scientific precision in Natural Yoga. The course of events in meditation is a progression.
In the beginning, when one first receives initiation, the aspirant will experience at least some period of nothing happening at all. This may be two or three seconds, two or three minutes, two or three hours, two or three days or it might be two or three months. Very few people will continue to meditate an hour or two a day for three months without anything happening, but some have.
By continuing, eventually something starts to happen. But generally something happens within a few minutes. It may be that the body collapses on the floor and stays there. That is something. When you remove the will from the body, it slips down. When the energy starts to move, then the body starts to move.
The body will go through purifying actions or assume postures. Willful hatha yoga postures came from observing yogis do postures in the state of surrender. Then a formal willful technique was organized.
In Natural Yoga these things happen automatically. At first they often happen in a sloppy fashion depending upon the nature of the impurities in the person. Perhaps their feet go out and they reach for their toes and cannot get there. They cannot do the posture properly, nor could they if they were doing it willfully.
Perhaps the back is stiff, the belly fat, and the legs tense so it cannot be done properly. It is the particular situation of the impurities that causes the variation in how they do the posture. If they are going to do one where the spine is twisted, how are they going to do it if they have to push? Is the leg supposed to be out or is it supposed to be in and how far are they supposed to twist and what is the hand doing the whole time? This is the whole science of hatha yoga.
But in Natural Yoga the proper thing happens, the proper variant, depending upon the need of their bodily situation and their impurities. So it does not matter what one does. It is adjusted for you. After movement has happened for a while and you have done a lot of postures, the variation goes away and the motion becomes a more precise.
Around the same time, energy seals begin to occur. There are many energy seals that take place. Sometimes they are called purifying motions. A purifying motion is a motion that brings about greater purity whether it is done willfully or automatically. In Natural Yoga it happens automatically.
There may be a motion with the hands for example. It may be very floppy to begin with. That may be the entirety of the energy seal. People will go through various positions. They are all purifying motions and poses.
Various breathing patterns may occur. The moving of the life energy causes this. At first the patterns are ragged, but as time goes on they become more precise. The variation between one person and another becomes less with time. In the final stages, every posture and every energy seal are all essentially the same.
For example, the lotus pose is a very common pose; but it is not complete until the hands are in the proper position. Kripalu has been photographed demonstrating the final stages of the postures. They have been published in a book called Asana and Mudra (Postures and Energy Seals). It is significant that eventually you come to do the postures in the same way that everyone else does.
Even though an aspirant may have never known anything about yoga, he or she will sing the original syllables in the end. At first it comes out garbled with nonsense English. The brain is being purified. Perhaps one goes from one sound pattern to the next, yet it always ends up with the basic pattern: da, ba, ma, da, sa, etc.
When it has gone through the ancient set of sounds, the process ends up with one sound: OM. That is always the final sound. Then even that vanishes. This pattern happens for everybody. In the meantime, perhaps you will dance around the room. For some the head will go up and down, or perhaps someone else will do a Native American dance. Perhaps later on they will sound like a cantor in a Jewish synagogue. They may call out and sound like a Muslim standing at the top of a minaret calling the people to prayer. These are spontaneous sounds on the way to the basic ones. These are purifying actions that lead to the basic ancient sounds and finally to OM – and then only God.
Some people go through phases faster than others. It depends on the degree of surrender, the degree of impurity, how much time per day is spent meditating, how well one follows ethical behavior, how deeply one surrenders to the spiritual teacher, how wise the teacher is, how impure the environment is in where one lives. There are many factors that determine the rate of progress. But no matter how variable, it all eventually converges at the end. Everyone does the same postures and the same energy seals.
It is an inherent pattern with a built-in structure. It is a pattern that knows where it is going. When you surrender to God, you are led to it automatically and spontaneously. When I saw some of those pictures of Kripalu, I said, “My body is never going to do some of those poses.”
But one day I was meditating and the body just wanted to move into this position or that position and there I was there for a long time. It must have been fifteen or twenty minutes. I was feeling very blissful. I noticed willfully that nothing was happening. “Why isn’t something happening? The body is calm. I’m just sitting here!” The body was in an incredible posture and I was paying no attention to it at all. It just seemed perfectly natural. This is Natural Yoga.
First you go through the more active movements. They are variable and quite different from one person to another. You may roll around, do variations of breath control, jump up and down, bang your head on the floor, or swear in Russian. As time goes on, the energy purifies and the evolutionary force is awakened.
Then the evolutionary force starts to pierce the energy centers in serial order. At this juncture the second phase, the intermediate form of postures and the suspension of the life energy begin.
At a certain place in an aspirant’s practice, a teacher can predict almost exactly what will be reported, what questions will be asked. He/She will give the answer that is appropriate to that stage of practice. Specific helpful information is given at the correct time.
Based on the teacher’s experience he or she knows a particular person’s progress in Natural Yoga and responds accordingly. It is amazing that the pattern is so predictable. It is much more detailed than you might imagine. The same progression happens with everybody.
We have been talking mainly about the body, but what about the mind? The mind at first is loaded with doubt. It does not know whether the will is doing it or the energy as a result of surrender. Is God doing it, is it me or is it my ego? Everyone experiences a degree of confusion and doubt. This happens until the energy is released. The release can be like a dam breaking and the energy exploding. After that there is no doubt about what is moving the body around. Then you know. The doubt then tends to disappear and the movement calms down. But the life energy is flowing all around the body.
The stages proceed and the energy eventually becomes steady in the throat, then in the mind. Perhaps you will wonder what will happen next. You should let whatever is going to happen, happen. Surrender your attention and do not try to make it go any place. “Uh, but I think I’ll listen to the ringing in my ears. Maybe that’s what I’ll do. No, no, he said to surrender and let it come out any way.
Here I am having all these thoughts. Maybe I ought to stop having these thoughts? Is this me? Is this my thought or is my thinking God thinking? Who’s thinking? How can it be thinking?” And as if that is not enough, maybe you will be thinking about the movie you saw last week.
The movie starts playing in your head, and you think, “You know I forgot to balance up my check book. You know, I don’t think Suzy loves me anymore.” You may get five or six of these thoughts going simultaneously. Babble, noise, chatter. It may seem intolerable. But this is only purification. It happens to everybody after a fashion. You may complain that all that is happening in your meditation is that you are lying there thinking. This is the passionate state of the mind. It is a predictable occurrence. What follows the passionate state is tranquil power.
This mind pattern reminds me of a movie I once saw about colonists in Africa. They were going inland in their covered wagons to settle the land. They had been trekking for a number of days. They unhitched the wagons on the slope of a hill to feed and rest the horses. Some of the children were sitting and playing in one of the wagons. One of the children bumped the brake and released it. They started rolling down the hill. The people started running after them. The men got on horses and were chasing them. The wagon was making a lot of noise and the action was getting louder and wilder. Everyone was shouting; the mothers were screaming panic-stricken, running after them. And they went off the edge of a cliff!
This is like the mind. It gets busier and busier and goes to a frantic peak; and finally it goes: fffsssssst...peak...death. Yes...and peace also. Something dies at this point. It is not you, but the frantic mind trying to keep itself busy and entertained. Eventually the mind gets so pure it just goes to nothing. You may strain; you may find you can still think, but it is just a thought.
Then a new phase of an entirely different nature arrives: the life energy awakens. When this happens, both physical and mental purifying actions occur. The mind goes through an entirely different exercise digging out the deepest, darkest, most perverted desires that could ever exist. It brings them up and purifies them until every desire is purified, until there is just nothing left. If you look for desires, there are none. You may be tempted to use your will to test it. Your mind is no longer busy; there are no desires.
Now, there is only one thing left to do – that is to keep surrendering to God. You may experience that the dawn of pink love is finally coming to you beautifully and slowly. Everything turns to love and to God automatically. You do not have to make it that way. You do not have to evaluate the experience. This love does not happen by chance; nor is it temporary; it stays.
Then the next step is a whole new cycle. Singing starts, spontaneous singing from the heart. There is no mind or thought involved at all because there is no way to structure the words or the language. It is pure incredible sound. There is a tape of Kripalu in that state. When I first heard it I was so startled that I could not believe what I was hearing. It was so powerful. This was happening automatically and spontaneously; it was not a willful act.
After this state had been occurring for some time, someone made recording. This spontaneous singing is called unstruck divine sound, heart sound. When it is formalized it sounds like a Brahmin priest chanting formal chants. Why? Because this is how the chanting originated.
Ancient yogis, practitioners of Natural Yoga who had achieved union with God, sang spontaneously from their hearts. These songs were memorized and passed down to the modern Brahmin priesthood. Analogous things have happened in Western culture, Gregorian chants, for example.
Unstruck divine sound illustrates the precision and the exactness of the science of Natural Yoga. Divine patterns are uncovered by the purification in Natural Yoga and produce universal experiences that have been occurring in the same way for thirty thousand years. It would be a mistake to confuse Natural Yoga with the latest fad in the personal growth market.
At a certain point, equanimity, union with God, begins. There are two stages and sub stages of equanimity. The first general stage is ‘with-seed’ equanimity; the second is ‘seed-free’ equanimity. In with-seed equanimity, there is union with God but one still has a mind. The seeds of desire still remain. It has four sub stages.
Equanimity is impossible to describe. It is the result of the activity of joining with God. In with-seed equanimity the process is not finished. In the first general stage of union with God, a joining together between you as a divine individual and divine otherness occurs, but the mind remains.
Equanimity is beyond the senses and the mind; however, it may be helpful to understand that in equanimity one comes to know directly that what one is, is the same as what God is. Yet at this stage in meditation the mind is active. Reasoning accompanies union, which leads to the substages of doubt and uncertainty. Then automatically the next substage, self-inspection, begins. Later one surrenders not only one’s brain but also one’s judgment. When surrendering my judgment came up in meditation, I put the brakes right on. It came to surrendering, to giving into God’s hands, my ability to discriminate between right and wrong, good and bad, up and down, and who and what.
Putting on the brakes happens to everyone to some degree. However, for me it was especially hard because I had an ego attachment to being able to tell what was happening in life. Would I lose this power? Perhaps I would become an idiot if I turned my judgment faculty over to God. And when I did, it was true that some days I could hardly speak.
But when I turned over my power of discrimination to God, it proved to be my greatest gain in meditation up until that point. Since then I have been willing to be a happy idiot who does not know anything. I do not know anything; I cannot decide anything. People say, “What are you going to do?” I do not know. It is up to God.
The final substage of with-seed equanimity has the quality of non-judgementalness because the judgment faculty has been transcended. This is true equanimity: all is the same, and all is divine.
The second general stage of union with God is called seed-free equanimity. The mind itself (the desires and the willful activities to satisfy them) is dissolved away through surrender to God. You may think, “What will I do then?” However, you need not worry; for by this time you will be truly in God’s hands.
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What is Surrender?
Surrender is so central to Natural Yoga that it deserves further clarification. Natural Yoga, that is, the natural way of union with Truth, comes about by surrender to God. The question is what is that? Who is doing it; who is surrendering what, to whom?
In the dictionary, surrender is awarding victory to one side. The choice has been made. There is some truth to that. Some people think that surrender means defeat; and in a way they are correct. Surrender is the defeat of the ego.
I you have been trying very hard to have life your own way. You try to make it come out the way that you want. People do not like life the way it is, so it seems logical that they would try to change it to something else. If you do not like it, well, do something about it! That is the willful Western way.
Therefore, to surrender has not been socially approved, even though Christ taught surrender to God; and the West is primarily a Christian culture. Somehow, we have wandered away.This is understandable, because it is not easy to surrender.
To give up control of your life, to work hard and have no attachment to the fruits of your labor is not easy. It is not natural for the body to surrender anything, to anyone, ever, under any circumstances. Yes, it will do what it is told when it is threatened. When it gets hungry enough, it will do what it has to do to eat. When somebody threatens it with a gun, the body will back off. It is a total coward. But if it does not have to give anything, it gives nothing. Such is the body.
If one is going to live the life of the body, “never surrender” is the correct philosophy. But in humankind’s four or five-million-year tenure on earth, this approach has not produced anything more than temporary pleasure. By using your will, you can only go so far in elevating your consciousness and seeking union with Truth.
The people, who are serious about growth and want to continue past a certain point, must entertain the concept of surrender. Willful methods and techniques are beneficial and should be done; they will take you partway. But when you have yourself together physically, mentally and emotionally, what then?
I would like to make an appeal to the dedicated people who have spent long hard hours willfully improving their lives, to all the sincere students and participants in personal growth. I want to say, “You have done well. Now what? How do you get past the limitations of the temporary peak experience? How do you continue to improve your life?” The answer is surrender to Truth.
Entertain this answer seriously. I used to be one of you. If anyone worked hard at personal growth, night and day, for over twenty-five years, it was I. I used willful technique after willful technique, this way and that, crossways and into the center. I grew a lot from it, learned at lot, realized a lot, and even touched the Truth many times. I even stopped calling it Truth, after a while, and started calling it God, when I had deeper experiences. But finally, I found myself stymied. Try as I would, I was only slowly crawling forward, inch by inch.
Then one day I met a swami, a master, in India. I had met practitioners of yoga before, Rinpoches, mullahs. But this master knew the answers to my questions. He knew why I was stymied and could not grow rapidly anymore. He instantly opened me up. I sat down, and I was gone. I started crying. I did not know why, and I did not care. He had been there, and I wanted to know what he knew. That is it, very simply. Master Kripalu, the ‘master of compassionate grace’. He taught me surrender.
I had read about surrender, and I had done Reichian work, Primal Therapy; I had studied the Holy Rollers; I knew the teachings of Christ; and I knew the principle of surrender. But I did not understand it. It seemed to me to be an avoidance of responsibility, a giving up, and a weak place for the defeated.
But Kripalu was the living Truth, and contradicted my assumptions. He was not defeated; he was victorious. He had won over life. He had won over anger. And most of all, he had won over passion and lust. He had danced on the head of lust and made a fool of it.
I said, “Master, how does this work?” I will share with you what he taught me. There is that which is other than you. If there is nothing other than you, there is nothing to surrender to. Then the whole principle of surrender is nonsense. Jesus was wrong; Krishna was wrong. All the messiahs, teachers and saints have said the same thing. There must be something other than you; or there is nothing to surrender to.
You could say, “I could surrender to myself,” but that is illogical gibberish. There may be something that you think is you that is actually other than you, but then it would not be you. If it is other than you, it cannot be you. “There’s my hand, and I will surrender to it. I am surrendering to myself.” But that would not be true; it is other than you. Your hand is not you. That is merely your hand. Whose hand? That is the question. As I said earlier, who is surrendering what, to whom?
If you surrender your body, feelings and mind to nature, you will get into trouble. This is the way of Dionysianism. The Dionysians in Greece and the Near East surrendered to natural forces. This leads to wild, uncontrolled, anti-social behavior. It ends up with things like Jim Morrison and even Charles Manson. This is not correct.
On the other hand, if you take the body, the mind and the feelings and crush them with your will, what will you have left? A crushed body, mind and feelings. Who wants that? Therefore, in Natural Meditation, the teaching is that one surrenders the body, the heart or the feelings, and the mind to Truth, to God, to Divine Love, to the Absolute, to Perfection, whatever you prefer to call it. These are different names for the same thing.
By your surrender, the body is taken out of your hands. So it is no longer your body. It is as if you say, “Here Truth, here God, it is yours. You do with it what you want” This is the act of surrender. In Natural Yoga you quit using your will. You quit controlling the body’s actions. And you give control over to the divine. This is proper surrender.
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Freedom of Choice and Mutual Surrender
In spiritual life, we are set in an apparent contradiction between surrender to something other than ourselves and total freedom. All spiritual paths of any importance require that the individual have freedom. The ancient yogis went into the forest. There they could have freedom. They yelled and screamed, did not have to work, came and went as they pleased, and owed nothing to anyone. They could do anything they felt like doing. They usually spent the whole day in contemplation because they felt like it.
Much of the meaning of renunciation is summed up by freedom. You are not tied down. You are free of requirements, yet you are held fast through your own choice by the arms of the Lord. The key is that it is by your own choice.
In order to prevent people from thinking that union is just a psychological trick, yogis, who are individuals who have achieved union, do not make much of this point although they themselves know it is all-important. They know that at all times, whether we know it or not, we are in the hands of the Lord. Yogis know that it is by one’s own choice that one gives over his or her life to the Lord. It is a conscious and free choice.
Your life is run by God whether you have given it over to Him or not. But the fact that you have surrendered your life to God consciously and of your own free choice makes the difference. Instead of accumulating more and more mental impressions in the activities of life, the undigested experiences and the psychological impressions dissipate. These impressions are, in essence, what impurity is. They are experiences from the past that were resisted and thereby suspended in your mind, body and feelings.
Note that I said experiences that were resisted. When you freely give your life to the Lord, the resistance disappears. When you give it to Him or Her, there is no action done by you and no action being done to you. That is the truth of the matter anyway; so you are not deluded. You are not under a veil of illusion. Things are as they are. There is no more accumulation of mental impressions.
In modern times, this approach could easily be misunderstood and casually thought of as being just another psychological attitude. Perhaps it would be dismissed as a form of self-hypnosis or autosuggestion. In our culture, it is not known that the essence of life is the relationship between one divine entity and another divine entity. It is not known that the choice of relating is absolute. You can relate, or not. Therefore the fact of choice is all-important, and not just a psychological trick. At the very root of what is happening in life is whether you choose to relate, or not.
That freedom must be given and acknowledged by teachers and others or it is a denial of the truth. The truth is that we have choice. It is a free choice; and it is not in anyone else’s hands other than the individual who chooses. So any teacher who does not acknowledge student’s freedom of choice is denying the truth; and the teaching is bound to fail. Students will spend their time trying to prove to the teacher that they have a choice.
I remember when I discovered this principle in the early days of my teaching. Then by being totally permissive, I made an error in the other direction. Once the student has given himself or herself by his or her free choice, he or she needs guidance and a firm loving hand. Surrender must come first; then the teacher can guide properly and firmly.
Any good teacher knows that the student is completely free to do as he or she wishes. When a student chooses and surrenders, he has accepted the teacher’s power of choice, and then accepts the teacher’s guidance. The teacher has surrendered to the student in advance, by choosing to be a teacher. He or she says, “I will teach you.” Then he or she will give his or her life on behalf of the student; and the student will give his or her life on behalf of the teacher. Then it is mutual surrender.
Exercises discipline every day to do a good job of teaching
Speaks only the truth to his or her students and does not delude them
Acknowledges the freedom of the student
Exercises discipline to keep the teaching free from his/her own impurities
Commits to removing his/her own impurities
Does his/her own spiritual practice
Accepts proceeding without the presence of his/her own guru if necessary
Some students do not like to acknowledge the authority of the teacher.
They say, “I own you. I’ve have come all the way to be with you, so you’ve got to do what I say.”
Swami Shivananda laid down rules for his ashram. Sometimes the young bucks, who at the time were Venkateshananda, Vishnudevananda, Satchitananda, Chitananda and others, would not recognize that the ashram code of ethical conduct was important. So they would wake up, and the Master would be gone. They would look all over Rishikesha, and they could not find him.
A neighbor would say, “We saw Master go down the road.” They would pursue him and find him fifteen or twenty miles down the road.
“Master, what has happened? Where are you going?” they asked.
He replied, “I am going some place where the students will follow the ashram code.”
“But you have started this ashram,; you are required to stay,.” they insisted. And he continued off down the road.
Finally they threw themselves at his feet and said, “We will do what you say, no questions asked.”
The master also has freedom. Every individual, by his true nature, has complete freedom. But you do not have freedom to enslave others because each of us has freedom. Most people spend their lives not to allowing others to have freedom. Then others have to prove that they do. A great part of the conflict between parents and children is about acknowledging each other’s freedom. It is the same in marriage.
Spiritual progress in a teacher-student relationship begins when freedom is mutually acknowledged and then voluntarily given up. It is at this point that the teacher and student relationship is established and teaching can begin. Spiritual progress is made in an atmosphere of the acknowledgement of the freedom of the student and the teacher and the acknowledgement of the bond to each other by free choice. When mutual surrender exists, real spiritual progress is possible.
What we are is the ability to choose. We do in fact have absolute choice. We are divine; God is not enslaved. As an individual entity with divine qualities, nothing can happen to you. Since you are involved in life anyway by your own ancient choice, you might as well make it conscious and say, “All right, I am participating in life by my own free choice."
You can stop participating in life, totally, at any moment. Remember Harry? Harry quit participating; he is gone now. He is in a sea of pure knowledge, no consciousness, no relationship, no activity, no manifestation in life in any way, shape or form. Who is to say how many non-participators there are? We are the ones not doing that, the ones who have chosen to participate. The error is not to participate fully.
The process of surrender in Natural Yoga is just a matter of increasing the degree of participation, surrendering more and more and more, until you are totally consumed by otherness – God. Since that was your original intention, you are just following what you started out to do in the beginning of your participation in life.
You are contacting others. Since that is the original purpose of life, the union of Natural Yoga fulfills that purpose. How can you have union with others without surrender? It cannot be done. How can you have it without freely choosing to recognize the other’s freedom of choice by surrender to them?
Of course, you can stop anytime; but then you are out of contact. Life is a play of percentages of how much you are giving over your freedom of choice to others in order for contact to take place and how much you refuse to do so. The God or gods are the ones who have gone ahead and surrendered to us totally. We are playing around, trying to get ready to surrender a little bit more.
Meditation periods are formal times to say, “All right, I’ll surrender a little more.”
The changes that take place on the spiritual path are side effects of your increased choice to surrender. When you surrender, all the rest happens spontaneously. You go through postures, energy seals, breathing patterns, withdrawal of the senses, concentration, true meditation and finally union. These are really side effects of your choice to surrender. You cannot cause any of these things to happen.
People doing willful spiritual practice are deluded in thinking they are doing anything but surrendering. You surrender and then these things happen by themselves. They are done by God; they do not belong to you. All power belongs to the Lord.
Although we live in an apparent contradiction of freedom and enslavement, the contradiction is an illusion. We are both free and enslaved.
We are so self-centered always thinking about what others are to us. Basically, others are that which we are surrendered to or trying to surrender to. But to others we are another. we are that which they are trying to surrender to. We are their God. We are the divine nature that others are seeking to have union with.
And what we are, our nature, automatically determines what unfolds to them when they surrender to us. What we are, our divine nature, when surrendered to another, automatically appears to them as the natural happenings in meditation, the purifying actions, energy seals, breath restraints and the rest.
When others surrender to us, their gradual experience of us in meditation is what happens in their meditation. We are the power that brings all things to others when they surrender. It is a good thing we do not have to do this willfully. It is already established. What we are is what makes it come out the way it is. It is fait accompli.
The illusion of time is your unfolding to another step by step. You exist independently of time. The Truth already is; what you are already is. Others are choosing to accept that you have choice; yet you do have choice independently of their choice. What God is, is already determined for them. What their experiences will be are already set forth because you are what you are.
It is valuable to see the situation from both sides. It gives you a different perspective and makes it clearer. You can look at it as the Supreme Being because to them you are the Supreme Being. There isn’t anything other than you.
You can say, “Well, there are others; there are ones like me.” Yes, but their nature is identical, so it doesn’t matter who they surrender to: one, all or any combination. It is the all the same. Therefore, when surrendering, it does not matter who you surrender to as long as it is to the divine nature and not to your own illusions about what others are.
Do you see how a metaphysical approach to surrender works? If you have the patience to stay with it, you will gradually be able to understand Natural Yoga from all perspectives. And some day by the Grace of God your understanding will be complete, not because of my words, but because I pointed to the truth enough times; and you experienced it for yourself. A teacher can only point at the Truth, and say, “It is over there.” The student must choose to look, to see.
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Bodies, the Evolutionary Force, and Evolution
I first heard about holistic health from a Dr. Everts Loomis. He had been involved in medicine of the whole person for about fifty years. But health and medicine are not the same thing. I am no expert on either medicine of the whole person or holistic health. But I do know a few things about the body and the relationship of divine energy to the body and to health.
In order to do anything about the health of the body, you need to know something about the body. Most people do not even raise the questions, “What is a body? What is it for? Where did it come from? Why is it the way it is? And what is the role of illness in the cosmic plan?”
A human body is often thought of as an animal, a naked ape that has some level of intelligence. While the intelligence may be superior to other life forms, the overall capacity for life may or may not be. It depends upon your viewpoint.
Is a body just an animal trying to survive? Is that what it is for? A lot of people think that the whole object and purpose of life is to survive, to simply keep going. In India, for example, this would be true for most people. Their object is just to live long enough to have some offspring. It is a struggle just to sustain the body pattern, the human species.
Is this its purpose, to just survive? Maybe. Some people take that approach. Some people think the body is a happy accident. There is no real purpose to it; it just happened. Here it is, so why not make the best of it. Not too bad an approach, but it’s a bit hollow.
Those who deal with evolution consider what has been happening with the body over a long period of time. Evolutionary scientists would say, “Well, there is some kind of life force that is interacting with the environment; and this life force is bringing about life forms. It structures the body to fit the environment.”
As bodies evolve, they gain more mobility, intelligence, and ability to respond and affect the environment. This gives us our opening tips about what bodies are for, what they are, and what they do. There is an evolutionary pattern that seems to be going someplace. It is not entirely arbitrary.
A tree grows out of minerals in the ground, carbon dioxide in the air, and water, making a very orderly tree. Then animals come along and eat the apple off the tree and they restructure it. It is as if one were taking disorder and putting it into more order.
Some scientists say that in the non-living part of the physical world there is a constant increase in disorder, whereas in the living part of the world, there is a constant increase in order. Brains get more and more patterned.
Matter is ordered according to a pattern.
Some of the most advanced thinkers of modern times have said, “Aha, we have found the answer! This is what life is for.” They have noted what is called in physics an increase in entropy. The universe gradually gets more and more chaotic and less and less orderly.
You could say, “Life is going to consume the entire physical world and make it nice and orderly so there will be one big body. The whole universe will be a nicely ordered crawling organism.” Somehow this idea of orderliness has an appeal. There is an inherent sense that order is better than disorder. We are making a step in a direction that is useful. The evolutionary force is bringing this about by gradually converting the physical world into a living world.
There is one problem, however. What is this life force? Where did it come from? Where does the intelligence come from to convert a random physical world into highly intelligent, patterned body forms that continue to survive? From what has this sprung? Has it always been here? Is it inherent in the physical world?
Is it that atoms just got together in a certain pattern that had superior qualities of survival? This is the best response that the physical scientists have been able to come up with: that life and its force were a random accident.
According to the yogis who achieved union with God in ancient times, all this has all sprung from God. It is not a new theory that everything is based on God, and that God has no existence or lack of existence. According to them there are two aspects of God: nature (matter) and consciousness factor (the individual who would be conscious of matter).
Let us take this one step further. What we are really talking about here is two aspects of God. One way of looking at it is that one part of God is setting out to regain union with the other part. And in trying to reach union, all of life unfolds.
Life is the process of unifying one part of God with another. That is the process of life, in the wider sense. Stars, space, time, energy, the planets, everything that happens and everything that is, is a result of the process of one part of God coming into union with another part of God.
This is a difficult task. Imagine you are one of the parts. What you truly are is the consciousness factor, one of those parts. Everything else is the other part of God; and you are seeking union with nature, with “that everything else,” with God.
How does this come about? Is this some kind of abstract, metaphysical, remote cosmic occurrence that has nothing to do with life? I am suggesting that this union of two parts has everything to do with life and with evolution. That is what all of this is. Here we are on this planet with bodies. Something is happening. This is the very same process.
Now perhaps we can come up with an answer about what role bodies play, what their purpose is. Your body is a very centralized point of contact between you and God. Where you and God make contact, or are attempting to fulfill that contact, the body comes into being.
There is you and God. If you were to draw a line representing the possibility of contact between you and God, the line would represent the notochord in embryology. When the cell gets fertilized, it begins to divide. It continues dividing and eventually makes a ball. Then a fold occurs in the ball like a rubber ball that is pushed in. Between one end of the ball and the other is the notochord. God is on one end and you are on the other.
The body continues to develop around that central line of the notochord. That central line is the spinal column, the central plane that goes through the body, the first acupuncture meridian, zone one. The yogis call it the very-kind-flow energy channel, the central energy channel. The notochord is the very-kind-flow energy channel that goes from the base of the spine to the top of the skull.
You are on one end, the top, and God is at the other end, the bottom. The body has evolved and formed from those two terminals, you and God seeking union.
Around the central tube, the body pattern has formed. The potential or difference between you and God is what makes the life force. Energy always has to have a difference between one end and the other, between positive and negative, up and down, and here and there.
The difference makes it possible for things to act, to flow and move. The yogis call the life force between you (a conscious entity) and God (divine power) the divine energy. The Christians call it the Holy Spirit. The scientist calls it the universal energy. Because there are two ends to the very-kind-flow energy channel, the process of the energy flowing from God to you brings about evolution, the direction of the development of the body.
For billions of years life forms have been evolving. It is this interplay between the conscious entity (the individual) and God that makes order out of matter and mud. Energy streams from God to the individual. The streaming energy takes the mud and puts it into a pattern that makes the body. The streaming energy flows in a definite direction for a definite purpose. It is to reach union between the two, between God and the individual.
The pattern of the body is gradually evolving. The divine energy made the DNA, the genetic pattern in each cell. It has a central pattern with a double helix around it. Those two helixes are bound together by hydrogen bonds. The divine energy that supplies all forms of energy is the flow from God to the conscious individual.
Can this be proved? Not a chance. I could not prove any of it and I would not try. I am giving you what has come to me as direct knowledge in my own experiences of union. I speak as a practitioner of meditation who has combined those experiences with my formal scientific training. It is an explanation that makes sense to me. Perhaps your own experiences in meditation will help settle for you the validity of the evolutionary perspective presented here.
The energy flowing through the central channel from the base of the spine into the skull is called the evolutionary force, kundalini. When the energy is running through the peripheral part of the body, it is called the life energy or prana. The life energy sustains the energy in the rest of the body. It tends the body’s survival and keeps trying to purify it.
When the energy flows in the central chord, it is called the evolutionary force. That force, in flowing through the central energy channel, does not just try to keep the body surviving. Its job is to evolve the body so that it reaches a more perfect state of orderliness and organization. When the body becomes perfectly ordered, through a long, long chain of evolution, it has reached its final goal; it is absolute order. God is absolute order. Then the passageway is fully opened between God and you and union can take place.
According to the yogis, this must happen in physical form. If it only happens on a remote plane, then it is off on a remote plane. For it to happen in what you would call your manifest life, it has to happen with the body, flesh and blood.
What hope do we have of achieving that as individuals? Normally this would not be possible because it would take another twenty million years of evolution before that state could be achieved. So one has sex and makes more bodies which are a little more evolved. They have sex with other bodies and their children have children, and so on. So the evolutionary force gets directed into sexual activities. We call it sexual energy, when it operates through the second energy center. Then the evolutionary force is called sex. And this brings about children and evolution of the usual kind.
In Natural Meditation, instead of using that energy, that evolutionary power, for reproduction, the energy is drawn on up the central chord. Then the process of evolution in the body takes off again; the body starts to evolve. Pulling that energy up is not easy. One can try to suck it up by breath control. But if you try to force it willfully, you will find yourself in all kinds of difficulties.
I practiced willful breath control myself in earlier days. It brings about a good deal of purification especially in the peripheral part of the body. But when the energy starts to move up the central channel, you cannot direct it by your own intelligence. You make mistakes because it is the divine energy coming from God; therefore, it cannot be directed successfully by the will. It, not you, has the intelligence to do what is needed. It flows up the very-kind-flow energy channel, or the spinal chord, and with its divine wisdom brings about evolution.
In this view of evolution, then, the body is an inevitable step in the process of union between you and God. You are not the body; but the body is a flower of consciousness. It is a central focus of the play between you and God. It is not an animal that we have to get rid of in order to get spiritual.
A lot of people have taken that approach to spirituality, but not a yogi. The first thing he or she does is to purify the body by letting the energy flow through the peripheral energy channels of the body. As soon as that job is done well, the evolutionary force will awaken. “She is lying quiescent at the base of the spine like a serpent, coiled three and one half times. She will strike from her place when disturbed like a bolt of lightning.”
That is from scripture. Her evolutionary powers are released. Then one’s relationship to God starts to evolve. You say, “My God, what is happening to me? It is happening whether I like it or not.”
You are swept down the path that ordinarily would take hundreds of millions of years of evolution. It will take place in a few years, or a few lifetimes, as the case may be. If one keeps releasing the energy through sexual expression, then the process stops and ordinary evolution resumes. Through Natural Meditation or by other means, purification sets the stage for the release of the evolutionary force.
The practitioner of Natural Yoga should begin the purification process in practice in an already reasonably pure state. Preparation should have been done by stopping the intake of drugs, nicotine, and alcohol, by eating healthy food, and by clearing the mind and emotions through growth techniques.
If this is not done before one starts to Natural Yoga, the purification may become so intense that the individual will not be able to tolerate it and will stop. If you begin practicing in a relatively pure state, the initiation will be like throwing a match into dry tinder. The purification process will blaze up and burn away the remaining impurities.
Sometimes the purification process is completed by people through exercise. When that happens, the evolutionary force awakens and people do not know what to do with it. It takes off again. Suddenly the sexual urge surges and most people go find someplace to try to get rid of it. People do not like to hear that in order for this evolutionary force to do its work, it has to be kept in the central tube and pulled up. They say, “it takes away all my fun. What do I want to evolve for if I can’t have any sex?”
There is a big argument about whether health is improved by continence or by an active sex life. This debate has been going on for a long time. If one had to choose between remaining celibate and having a healthy sex life, there is not much of a choice. But the practitioner of Natural Yoga is given another opportunity, the transformation of that energy.
Being pulled up the very-kind-flow energy channel through surrender, the energy leaves the sex center and no longer gives you the difficulty of lust. Then the evolutionary process is focused internally instead of externally through offspring.
This is not to say that having and raising children is a misdirected activity. I have had seven of my own. It plays a very important role providing bodies through which we can evolve our relationship to God. Without bodies, fulfillment of the evolutionary project is not possible. So one way that the evolutionary force does its evolutionary work is through the procreative process. This is a valuable endeavor. Fortunately, it provides the opportunity for the rest of the project to be completed.
When one practices Natural Yoga, the evolutionary process resumes moving the body towards perfection. Jesus achieved this state, a divine body, a perfect body. Those of you who have read Autobiography of a Yogi know that Bapuji had an immortal body. He looked nineteen or twenty years old; but he was eight to nine hundred years old.
The people in holistic health might be interested in this view of evolution if it were not just a fairy tale. But maybe it is a fairy tale. Perhaps there is no purpose to all of this. Maybe it is not going anywhere. Maybe there is no God. Maybe life is just an accident. If that is the case, we do not have to worry about it. But if there is a divine plan, a purpose to life, a purpose to having a body, and a role for the body to perform, perhaps it is the one suggested here
How could the concept of the evolutionary process be used in health? I think Reich put it very well. He discovered that when the life energy he called orgone energy was not flowing well in the body, the person was likely to be ill. When the energy was flowing in the body, then the person was healthier, happier, more relaxed, and with less tension.
He discovered that if they would allow the energy flow, they would go through a crisis. Then the crisis would pass and they would feel better. This principle is correct. The yogis discovered this principle thousands of years ago and applied it to its limit. They discovered that the energy was coming from God.
Just before Reich died, he said the same thing. Unfortunately everyone thought he was crazy. Actually he was mentally unstable because his energy was flowing up towards his brain and mental impurities were activated by it. That is what makes people paranoid and crazy. They may have delusions or hallucinations; but they may also know many things as well. They may have powers; they may see things that are often correct. But they are likely to be unstable, and often depressed.
The ancient yogis discovered all of this and they found out how to purify the divine energy so that it could flow upward without any negative side effects. Reich had trouble treating patients when he taught them to let their energy flow. When he had a successful case, the person would feel better; but this lasted only for six or eight months and then the person would start to become paranoid like Reich himself.
A few of the Reichian therapists have been quite successful. They have worked out a kind of compromise. They have a moderate sex life so that the energy does not become too intense. Yet they have learned to surrender a lot and their lives have been relatively successful. I think this compromise is a good way to approach the problem in terms of health.
One learns to surrender and let this energy flow. There are many names for it. I have read about South Africans who call it ‘num.’ The energy flows by surrender, by not using the will. Of course there are yogic techniques by which one learns to forcefully direct this energy around the body. This can be dangerous, and I do not recommend it. When one surrenders and lets the energy flow by itself, it is guided by divine intelligence and does the right thing at the right time. One’s limited knowledge and willful direction of the life energy usually interfere with the natural process.
Reich found out correctly that when one lets the energy flow naturally, a crisis will occur. The person may shake, scream, cry, or jump around. I think the people who are involved in healing know that for healing to take place, there is always a healing crisis.
Allopathic medicine does not permit a healing crisis. In that system they tend to suppress the symptoms to avoid discomfort. This is a so-called ‘cure’. However, this approach leads to chronic degeneration and death. Unfortunately this has been the standard Western medical practice.
But those who are really dedicated to healing and to real natural health know that you go through a crisis when you finally let something start to happen. If you start to fast a little, by the third day you are in a crisis. You tend to go through a crisis on the first day, the third day, the seventh day, the fourteenth and twenty-first day. Finally if you keep on fasting, the crisis becomes so traumatic that the body dies.
The same dynamic happens by letting the divine energy flow. The divine energy flows through causing a kind of purification crisis. Also by letting the evolutionary force flow through the central energy channel, you enter into a crisis of even greater magnitude. The more central the energy flow, the greater the magnitude of the crisis that will occur and the more intense the energy will be. Sometimes there are mental crises; sometimes they are physical or emotional. They can last a few seconds, a few hours, a few days, a few weeks, or even a few months. But in order to attain this more purified, more evolved state, one has to be prepared to go through crises.
Childhood illness will recur. Herron’s Law of Healing says the healing will occur in reverse order to that in which the illnesses or the toxification took place. So if you ate a lot of doughnuts and coffee yesterday and you go on a fast today, the first crisis you will have is this craving for doughnuts and coffee, not for the lollipop you had when you were five years old. That will come back eventually as the purification proceeds backwards.
The purification keeps reaching back earlier and earlier in your life. Finally a very pure state is reached. When that happens, the evolutionary force that was at work in the womb when your body was being evolved from a single cell up to the human form, will take off again. Then you will run into even greater crises. So there is no smooth way to a healthy physical, emotional and mental state because it always involves the healing crisis, the purification crisis, and the evolutionary crisis at least to some extent.
One of my students came to me recently. She was detached and was getting over jealousy, anger and possessiveness.
She said, “I’m thinking about quitting this practice.”
I said, “What has happened?”
She said, “If I keep going I’m going to become a saint.”
She had an intuitive sense that the next crisis was about to come up would pertain to the early stages of becoming a saint, the heart opening and experiencing love for everyone. This is part of the evolutionary process.
How far you progresses in meditation depends on how much you can take. How many mental, physical and emotional crises can you put up with? These are resolved by the grace of whatever divine power there is. I don’t think it is in our hands. About the only thing we can do is choose to surrender or to fight it.
The body is an unfolding, evolving, divine living flower that is the inevitable result of the slow process of union between you and whatever else there is. The central chord that connects you and That is the central energy channel of the body. The rest of the body is built around it in interaction with whatever environment it happens to be in.
The DNA molecule can adjust to just about any environment there is, hot, cold, dry, wet, dark, or light. Inherent in the nucleus of the cell containing the genetic information is the outward manifestation of the divine form.
There is a final divine form, and it has five fingers and five toes, two eyes, two arms, two legs, and looks like the perfect human being. There are all sorts of life forms, birds, animals and trees. Is the human being more divine than they are? Well, there is some evidence to that effect. If God had a form, the form would be the perfected human form.
God does seem to have a form; and that is the divine body. The etheric body is this form on the etheric plane. It tries to pull along and evolve the physical body to match it. But it is beaten down by the mind and the will.
What happens is this. You are at one end of the relationship; you are on one end of the chord, one end of the channel between you and God.
It is as if you are saying, “I know better, and I’m going to make this be a certain way. I know what I have to do. I have to take care of things; and I have to use my will to make this body operate the way it’s supposed to do. I’ve got to keep my nose to the grindstone, get my grades, and earn my money. I must do this, I can’t surrender.”
You are using your will, imposing it upon the body, making it do what you say. This creates tension because you are trying to have it one way and God is trying to have it another. Who is going to win in the end? In the meantime, you can fight a pitched battle.
The body may die in this fight between your will and the Divine Truth. You may get headaches or cancer, have heart attacks and all kinds of side effects trying to have it your way. You try to do the right thing and be conscientious, thinking that you know the best way.
The body will eventually die, and you will be born again, and go at it again. And so on. Somewhere along the line, you may begin to wonder about the wisdom of your own powers of decision.
You may think, “Wouldn’t it be better if I just surrender to the way things are?” That is God. God is Truth, and Truth is the way things are. Let God’s will be done. If you stop using your will on the body, relaxation comes. The energy flows, purification comes, and the evolutionary force does its work. And the whole process happens by the hand of God.
When one quits trying to force life to be other than it is, energy flows and health improves, following the inevitable crisis, that is. If surrender is then continued, evolution actually occurs. I think that this principle has some use in holistic health. Certainly if it is a correct principle, it would have an application.
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Question 1: Would you clarify the relationship between sex and the evolutionary force?
All sex is an expression of the evolutionary force, the energy of the female coiled one. When it is done for procreation, you get future bodies that continue to reproduce. When it is done for one’s own pleasure, trying to fulfill one’s desires, then the energy goes into that and there is some fulfilling of one’s desires and some frustration in about equal balance.
So in procreation or sex for pleasure, the energy is going into that rather than into the further evolution of this form that you have. It depends what you want. If you want pleasure, then you should go for it. If you want children, you should go for that. And if you want this body to evolve, then you let that happen.
Question 2: Do you think that there is a clear-cut choice between spiritual evolution and sexuality?
No, it’s between spiritual evolution and pleasure. A practitioner of Natural Yoga who has surrendered has tremendous sexuality. But what is he/she using it for? The sexuality is being used for evolution rather than being for satisfying desires. It is sexuality in both cases, but the question is what it is being used for.
A practitioner of Natural Yoga does not suppress the energy. If he suppresses it he stops the evolution. He or she even lets that energy increase and becomes like a maniac. That is the crisis; and then it blows all that impurity out, and the energy just flows. Then he or she loves everybody, and eventually becomes saintly. And beyond that, when the body becomes divine, he or she has become a god or goddess. So the sexuality is not suppressed; it is just directed through a different channel. Instead of down, it goes up. In Sanskrit, when the energy goes down it is called bhoga, pleasure, and when it goes up it is called yoga.
Question 3: What is it if you are not willing to give up pleasure?
The best thing to do is to have moderate sexual activity and be satisfied with that. Leave Natural Yoga alone. Otherwise you are going to go through an awesome crisis. If you do not have sexual activity, if you maintain celibacy and you surrender at the same time, then you will go through the awesome crisis of the awakening of the evolutionary force.
Without the guidance of God or a knowledgeable teacher, you will not make it. You will quit. The accomplished yogis have found how to transform that energy. Before that process begins, just have moderate sexual activity and do your best to surrender in life. Then things will be very nice. But leave the evolutionary force alone; otherwise you will go through an evolutionary crisis. That crisis is based on attachment to lust. “I have to fulfill my sexual desires.”
That is a certain stage of evolution, a stage where you find most of humankind. There is another stage of evolution that comes right after that. A huge crisis arises in this stage. This is why the yogis talk about celibacy all the time. They want to force you into that crisis; otherwise you would keep avoiding it.
Vivekananda was practicing celibacy and he could not make it. He was sitting beside the fire in the evening, and his hands got out of control. He grabbed the genitals and down came the energy. He felt so bad that he leapt onto the fire, forced his genitals into the hot coals and burnt himself severely. That was because he did not know how to transform the energy.
This is the key that only God or teacher can give. One can not manage this on one’s own. It is impossible; you cannot do it yourself. If you try to use your will, you cannot transform the sexual energy into the next level of evolution. It has to be done by God. And no matter how you think and how you try, you cannot do it. After a certain point the will cannot be effective. I tried every possible way to get around this problem; only by the grace of my teacher was I able to continue.
Question 4: What effect does surrender have on the life energy?
There are two types of life energy, the downtending life energy and the uptending life energy. The downtending life energy, the life energy in the lower part of the body, has to do with urinating, ejaculating and defecating; it likes to throw things out. The uptending life energy, in the upper part of the body, has to do with breathing, discipline and mental activity; it likes to carry things up.
Through surrender to the divine, the uptending life energy comes down and unites with the downtending life energy. When they unite, this is yoga; and they become the evolutionary force. The evolutionary force enters the very-kind-flow energy channel, the central energy channel, rushes up to the crown of the head. When the evolutionary force reaches the crown of the head, there is union between you and God.
You go into equanimity, the transcendental state. But in order for equanimity to become stable, this rushing up of the evolutionary force has to happen many times. The uptending life energy and the downtending life energy are the peripheral energy that runs bodily functions. Instead of evolving, it is surviving. That is the trouble with having a strong attachment to wanting to live. You will then try to take all the energy to sustain the life of the body. Ironically, that leads to death.
Being attached to living, leads to death. When you let go of living and just surrender and say, “God, let your will be done, not mine,” the energy unites, goes into the central energy channel, and eventually brings immortality. The world is backwards! The more you try to make it be your way, the less likely it is that it is going to be your way. In fact, it becomes more likely that you will get the opposite.
Question 5: In Natural Yoga is one not using the will to surrender?
In the meditation that I teach you do not use the will. You choose independently of the will to do one thing only, and that is to surrender. You choose not to use the will. So in this meditation, you do not use the will. The divine energy charts the course, not your mind. Purifying actions occur, breaths occur, the body movements occur, chanting occurs, and all this is spontaneous by the divine force. It is not by your will. Willful meditation is successful up to a point. After that point, you cannot get any further. After you have purified, you cannot get any further. Willful spiritual practices will bring about purification but not evolution because you cannot evolve by the use of the will.
Question 6: If I want to do Natural Yoga, what happens next?
You should choose what you really want in your life. People who are following the teachings that my teacher has passed on to me, meditate from one to eight hours a day in a room with the door locked so they do not have to worry about the rest of the world.
When they come out, they use their will again and behave ethically. Eventually surrender will pervade their lives completely. This is nirvana, freedom from engagement, contrivance-free equanimity, the permanent state: permanent union with God. Then they are one with Truth.
If this is what you want, the question is, “What are you really willing to give up?”
This is because we all have our attachments. We have the rent to pay, the color television to watch, and our desires to be fulfilled; so we use our will to try to get those things. I am not expecting everyone who hears this message to follow it; but some will. I do not choose for you. But the door is already open to you should you choose. I just point to the door; it is my duty.
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On Natural Yoga Science
Natural Yoga is a love affair between you and God and, as with all love affairs, should take place in private. Practice in a room with the door locked and curtains drawn so that you will not feel that you are going to be interrupted or ridiculed for wild actions. This will allow you to go deeply into meditative states without reservation.
It is preferable to have a place where you are free to make noise, not mandatory, but preferable. The important thing is that you feel that your space is private and secure.Practice alone, so that you will not be tempted into ego interactions with anyone else in the room. You can not reach the higher levels of Natural Yoga with other people around.
Group practice is all right for beginners. Sometimes groups are initiated into Natural Yoga. But after five, six, or seven sessions together, each person should meditate alone in a private space. Some teachers of this technique have people meditate in groups all the time. But there are certain limitations to meditating in a group. You do not have total freedom. Kripalu taught total freedom! And that is what I teach. Surrender to whatever God wants in your meditation. It is up to the Divine. Therefore practice alone.
Try to meditate at the same time every day. Normally you can do your practicein at the beginning of the day. Get up one hour earlier; take a shower or bath. Have an empty stomach. Sit down in your room with a locked door at the same time every day. After the first few weeks, it becomes easy.
If possible meditate every day for at least one hour. At first, don’t go over or under that time allotment. If you meditate less you will not feel the full benefit of the technique. As the practice progresses the one who initiated you into Natural Yoga may increase your meditation time.
You may or may not have an altar in your room. This is up to you. If you happen to be weak in the devotional realm, it is probably a good idea to have an altar. Westerners are sometimes a little shy about having an altar. Put on the altar what is meaningful to you as a representation of the Divine, something that reminds you or focuses your attention on God, theTruth or Divine Love.
You might have one, two, three, even four things. Settle on something and keep it that way. Otherwise you may be saying to Go, “I don’t like you today. I’m throwing you out. You haven’t been performing the last few days. Something is wrong with you, what is the matter? What kind of a God are you?”
Once you decide, resist the temptation to change your altar. Keep whatever you have choosen. If you want to develop your devotionality and express your love of God, bring flowers, light incense, bring a leaf, anything. It is symbolic. Symbolic action keeps the heart open and the sense of God fresh in your consciousness. It may not seem much at first, but after the weeks and months roll by your devotionality pays off in a very powerful way.
Give a prayer dedicating the session to God. “I surrender this body, this mind and feelings to you” – whatever is meaningful to you. Sit straight, eyes closed, and keep your eyes closed, willfully if necessary, for at least the first six months after starting to meditate. After that let them do what they want.
Keep the back straight and begin with either the partially closed throat breath or the alternate nostril breath. Keep the breathing up until the energy starts to move or the body starts to get tired. At that point let go completely of the will over your body, feelings and mind.
Let the mind, body and feelings do what they do or do not do by the Divine hand. After the pre-determined period of time is up, come out of your practice; give thanks to the Divine for the session; take a few minutes to readjust and then leave the room.
If you have to go to the toilet very badly in the middle of meditation go ahead. But if it is mild it is often advisable to ignore it. If during practice, you feel like you have come up out of the practice, do not be fooled by the mind! It is just a change of state: you have left one land and are moving into another.
If you think, “Well, it feels like the practice is over; it is time to leave,” do not believe it. You will go through varying levels of contact with the environment with your senses. Complete the pre-determined time of practice even if it seems like you are just sitting there waiting for the time to end.
You will find out as time goes on that you are not really coming up out of the practice; you are just changing from one state to another. Meditation continues for the pre-determined period of time.
If you miss a day of meditation or even two or three, it’s all right. Just go right back to it.
Do your best to surrender to God. If you have some vagueness about it, so be that. But do not surrender to anything but God. This will keep you out of trouble.
People who surrender to spirits and lights and things that go bump in the night face possible danger, including craziness. Do not surrender to guides, spirits and space people. Perhaps you think, “Dalcor from the planet Ushma is giving me guidance. I have messages that I have to take.”
Some people are prone to falling into this trap. If such phenomena come up in your practice, well and good, let them, but do not surrender to them. Surrender only to the Lord, only to Absolute Perfection, only to the highest, not to a being in the spirit world, not to your father’s money, nor to your girlfriend’s lustful desires. Surrender only to God. This will keep you out of trouble.
This is one of the primary things to remember. The only person I have ever seen get in trouble, seriously in trouble, in Natural Yoga is one who insisted on surrendering to spirits. She had a psychotic break; I pulled her out of it two or three times. But she insisted on going back to surrendering to things that were imperfect.
This is not Natural Yoga. In the The Exorcist, a little girl surrenders to an entity who is running her ouija board. She ends up with the devil in place. I personally do not think there is any such thing as the devil himself. However, if other people do, if you think there is something less than perfection and less than God, do not surrender to it; otherwise, you will get into difficulties.
This one principle will save you pain beyond measure: Surrender only to God. Do not surrender to things in your mind. Do not surrender to paranoia. Do not surrender saying, “Well, I have this pain; I should surrender to this pain.” No, do not surrender to the pain. Surrender the pain to God. Do you see the difference? “But I had this resistance, I should surrender to resistance.” No, do not surrender to the resistance. Surrender the resistance to the Divine. “I have all these impurities.” Do not surrender to the impurities. Surrender the impurities to the Divine and let Him do, or Her do (however you think of it), do what It sees fit with these impurities.
Do not surrender to impurities. Surrender only to God, only to God, only to God. Surrender your body, mind, and emotions to God. Remember the principle: Surrender only to God.
Kripalu says, “Do not believe any messages in your meditation for the first four and a half years. These messages all have an element of truth, but how can you sort out one thing from the other?”
They may have some truth, but they are filtered through the impurities of the ego, the mind and the subconscious. These three will pervert the message to their own ends. So do not believe them.
The ego is always trying to get its way, “I’ve got a message that you should take me to the movies tonight, take me to Disneyland, give me $10,000! “I am the new Messiah that has returned to earth and I need a temple.”
How often does this sort of nonsense happen? When you start doing this meditation six or eight hours a day and get deeply involved, people come to you wishing or believing that you are the new savior that has come to earth. Do not be led astray.
Do not fall prey to a sense of grandiosity. It happens to everybody after a fashion. This is just part of the madness that occurs. It is just a stage you go through; let it go on by. After four or five years then you can begin to trust what is coming through your meditation.
You can tell who your spiritual teacher is and what is divine for you by whom and what you follow. When someone tells you to do something and you do it, that one is your teacher. If money says, “Do so-and-so,” and you do it, we know what God is to you. If the doctor says to take certain medicines and you do what he or she says, then he or she is your teacher. If your guilty conscience says something and you do what it says, it is your teacher. If God tells you to do something and you do it, God is your teacher. It is easy to tell who your teacher is and your source of spiritual guidance.
If you start to get irritable, I mean really irritable, mentally unstable, or really intolerant or paranoid, suspect that the energy is flowing upward carrying impurities into your brain. In which case, you should cut back on your meditation; you are doing too much. Speak to the person who initiated you into Natural Meditation. Ask, “How do I transform this energy and purify it?”
You should give Natural Yoga at least three weeks. Do it every day for one hour and see what happens. If at the end of three weeks you have not gotten some feedback, some sort of encouragement, you may choose not to go on. But give it at least that much time before you make a decision about whether it has any use or not.
Follow the instructions I have given you. Most importantly, do not do willful actions in your meditation. If you do, your doubt will not resolve. Every time the divine energy starts to move, you will not recognize that it is in fact divine energy, you will probably think, “Oh, I want to move it, so I move it.”
As long as you use your will, things will not resolve. The doubt of who is doing what will not go away. You will probably think something like, “Ah, there is no divine energy here; this is a bunch of nonsense.”
And you will stop your practice. And you will be disappointed. It is better to lie there without a finger moving hour after hour than it is to willfully move. My instruction is not to do willful actions in Natural Yoga. So do not do them. To give this technique a fair trial, do not do willful actions, nor prevent things willfully from happening.
For example, if your environment is such that you have a mat that is not wide enough and all your meditation has got to be in that inadequate space, you may try to stop actions that would take you off the mat. These would be willful actions; they should not be done. So try to arrange your meditation area so that the willful actions can be kept to a minimum. It is not that it stops the meditation, but it keeps it shallow and you cannot go deeply into meditation. Optimally you would have a room about three by four meters, completely soundproof, warm and dry with a nice thick but firm pad, with nobody around. You sit for meditation in the middle and just let go. But if you have to restrict yourself, that makes surrender more difficult.
Differentiate between surrendering to the body’s urges to do things and surrendering the body to God and let God, the divine energy, do what it wants with the body. It is worthwhile for you to go to a little trouble to arrange your meditation area so you can have some space, some quiet if possible, and where you can make noise. Tell your family and whoever is around: “Don’t pay any attention to the noises coming out of the room, I’m just doing my meditation.” Tell the neighbors that they should not be alarmed. Better still, arrange to live a simple, self-sufficient lifestyle away from the city, so that you can meditate in peace.
Inevitably some people having some success with Natural Yoga, perhaps a touch of bliss, will exaggerate or dramatize the practice. They may proselytize. This is typical of the neophyte. If people are drawn naturally to this practice, let them come. If they ask you questions, answer honestly, but try not to upset people. Some people are not ready for this practice and no one should be forced into it. Do not disturb those who do not want to know. People who are interested will be obviously and easily interested; let them be attracted naturally to Natural Yoga.
If you take up the practice of Natural Yoga seriously, you will come upon a period of disturbance mentally, emotionally and physically. Childhood diseases will come up and you will think that you are ill. Indeed you may be ill. The mistake at this point would be to not do your daily practice. If you choose to consult a medical practitioner, do so, but do your practice too. And if you do your practice, you will probably be healed within a few days and all the symptoms will be gone.
If an illness has not resolved within this period, suspect that you are not fully surrendering and talk to your teacher. You may break out in a rash. You may have intestinal disturbances, diarrhea or cramps. You may think that you are temporarily crazy. It will not last long. You might feel weepy, want to cry and not know what you want to cry about, but you want to cry. It may go on for a day or two, maybe three. Do not worry about it. For those who are doing more hours of Natural Yoga, it may be more intense and may last for a longer period. This is all part of the purification. Do not panic. Just keep on with your practice.
After I had spent some months with Master Kripalu
I went to our final meeting and asked him: “Is there anything else you should tell me before I leave?” I had not asked any question of him for three weeks, but I asked him just in case I had missed one.
He said, “No, there is nothing, only this.”
Once there was a true seeker on his long journey. It became night and he lost his way in the darkness. He saw in the distance in his despair a light glowing. He made his way to the light, knocked on the door of the hut that he had found, and a holy man came to the door.
He said, said, “What is it, my son?”
“ I’ve lost my way,” said the seeker, “could you help me?”
“ I cannot go with you,” said the holy man, “but I will give you my lantern.”
Then he gave the seeker the lantern. The seeker held up the lantern and said, “But I cannot find my way with this. I can only see for ten feet on this dark night with this lantern.”
The holy man replied, “That is all right; you walk ten feet and you will be able to see another ten and when you have gone that ten you will be able to see clearly for another ten feet. So ten feet by ten feet, you will find your way.” Then he closed the door.
Having completed the story, Kripalu said that this meditation was the lantern. As long as I kept doing it I would keep finding my way. And I have found this to be correct.
The first time something happens to you in your practice, do not panic. Keep practicing and in three, four, five, six days, it will change; it will straighten out. Only three things will give you trouble: the solution to the creative plexus, the solution to the sustaining plexus, and the solution to the dissolving plexus. The creative plexus is the knot I mentioned earlier that’s made up of the first three energy centers. The sustaining and dissolving plexuses are knots that are higher up in the body. In solving these three plexuses, you need God, the spiritual teacher, or scripture. Otherwise, just keep doing your practice. Keep at it and you will find your way. You do not need to have constant contact with the teacher.
I have given you here what you need to know. The rest is up to you. I recommend that you follow the path of moderation. You may choose to stay in the world but be not of the world. Do your work, get your education, get married, have a family, have a house if you will but limit your possessions, eat moderately, be good to people, do no injury, be kind to others, and limit your practice by agreement with your spouse.
When you feel you have had enough of worldly life, enough of the endless cycle of fulfilling desires, then continue on the path, the path of renunciation of all desire. But do not be premature. Let it come by God’s hand. Kripalu had more faith in me than I had in myself.
I said to myself, “I’ll never be able to be a renunciate. I will never be able to give up sex.”
Eventually he said to me, “Give it up.”
I said, “Okay. It is in your hands, Kripalu, whether I can make it or not.”
Then he went on to tell me, “Yogeshwar, you will be a great saint and you will save your country and the world.”
And I said, “Oh, my God!” which turned out to be the right comment.
“Ahh, ahh, somebody else please do it. All I want to do is meditate. All I want is union with God.”
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The Evolutionary Force According to the Ancients
In the spiritual community of the West, some incomplete ideas about the evolutionary force have developed. Using the ancient yogic scriptures, a more accurate and complete picture is obtained. In the past one hundred and fifty years, the West has imported many fragments of knowledge about the evolutionary force, the Golden Goddess, the kundalini. Because of her nature, several errors about the evolutionary force have been misleading us. I, too, was an unknowing victim of these errors until, by the Grace of my spiritual teacher Master Kripalu, as well as yogic scripture, and later the confirmation of my own experiences in Natural Yoga, I realized how mistaken I had been.
Firstly, I thought that the evolutionary force had primarily to do with suspension of the life energy or ‘breath restraint’, for example, the ‘breath of fire’. Secondly, in my innocence, I believed that a spiritual teacher could directly awaken the evolutionary force through the transference of divine energy. Thirdly, and most seriously, I thought that trance was equanimity – samadhi, union with God. An investigation of what some of the ancient yogis who completed natural meditation have written on the evolutionary force offers a more accurate picture.
The Shiva Samhita states:
“The evolutionary force is the Supreme Goddess, of the form of electricity, in three and a half coils, and is in the mouth of the very-kind-flow energy channel (the central energy channel).”
In the Hathayoga Pradipika, Svatmarama says:
“The great Goddess Kundalini sleeps, closing with her mouth the entrance to the seat of Brahman, where there is no pain, which is to be reached.”
In his song-sermon on the Bhagavad Gita, Jnaneshvari writes:
“As the brood of a she-serpent bathed in turmeric lies curled up in sleep, so lies this evolutionary force, very small and curled in three and a half circles, like a female serpent with her head turned downwards. It is like a ring of lightning, or folds of flaming fire, or a bar of pure gold.” Chapter VI, Verse 222.
Yes, it is true that suspension of the life energy, properly supervised by a spiritual teacher, does purify the energy channels in the body thereby helping to set the stage for the evolutionary force’s work; however, suspension of the life energy is not kundalini yoga, the yoga of the evolutionary force.
In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali explains:
“Restraints, observances, postures, suspension of the life energy, withdrawal of the senses from their objects, concentration, meditation and equanimity are the eight steps.”
Suspension of the life energy is the fourth step of yoga and the evolutionary force begins its work after the fifth step, withdrawal of the senses.
In the Shiva Samhita is written:
“ In the body of man there are three hundred fifty thousand energy channels of which fourteen are principal. Among these fourteen, the cooling-flow energy channel (on the left side), the fiery-flow energy channel (on the right side) and the very-kind-flow energy channel (running up the center of the spine) are chief.”
As we saw earlier, the sleeping evolutionary force is blocking the entrance to the very-kind-flow energy channel; therefore, the life energy cannot flow in that channel until the evolutionary force is awakened. Suspension of the life energy can clear only the minor energy channels, including the cooling flow and the fiery flow. The very-kind-flow energy channel, the central energy channel, is the exclusive domain of the evolutionary force. For these reasons, it should be clear that evolutionary force yoga and suspension of the life energy are not the same. But both are stages of Natural Meditation.
Now, the second point. When one receives the transmission of divine energy from a spiritual teacher, the life energy, which has been captured by the will, is released. This is the beginning of the life energy’s journey toward the upper part of the body. This journey continues, in practice, for a number of weeks, months, or even years before both the uptending life energy and the downtending life energy, the energy below the diaphragm, are fully released from the slavery of the will.
This full flowing of the uptending and downtending life energies is called the arousal of the life energy. With knowledge from the spiritual teacher and the Grace of God, the energy seals then bring about the union between the uptending life energy and the downtending life energy. This union forces the awakening of the dormant evolutionary force.
The Hathayoga Pradipika speaks clearly on the subject:
“The various energy seals should be practiced to awaken the powerful Goddess Kundalini, who sleeps at the mouth of the very-kind-flow energy channel.”
About great-penetration energy seal:
“The sun (the uptending life energy) and moon (the downtending life energy) leave the two energy channels, the cooling flow and the fiery flow, and unite with the fire (the evolutionary force in the very kind flow energy channel); this definitely leads to immortality.”
About root-lock energy seal:
“By its constant practice, the uptending life energy and the downtending life energy unite.”
“When the downtending life energy and the uptending life energy join with the fire (the evolutionary force), which is by nature hot, then the heat of the body is greatly intensified.”
About divine-power-moving energy seal:
“By this, the evolutionary force certainly leaves the mouth of the very-kind-flow energy channel.”
These energy seals are learned properly only from a knowledgeable teacher. Jnanadeva says of his teacher:
“Niviritti has laid his hands on my head and the seeds of knowledge have been sown.”
The Shiva Samhita states:
“ The yogi should always practice this best divine-power-moving energy seal according to the instructions of his guru.”
The point is then that through the practice of the ten energy seals, as instructed by the teacher, the evolutionary force awakens and opens the doorway to liberation. Initiation starts the process off, but only a determined aspirant of yoga will continue following an ethical code, postures, suspension of the life energy and energy seals long enough so that the evolutionary force will awaken on its own. Even then, the guidance of a teacher is necessary to understand what has happened.
Most aspirants, upon receiving initiation into Natural Meditation, experience automatic purifying actions within a week or two. These are caused by the life energy flowing through the front middle path activating the various energy centers and triggering the nerves and thereby causing the limbs to move and the breath to be controlled. Aspirants should not think that this is the evolutionary force – the kundalini; it is the life energy. The evolutionary force works only in the back middle path – the very-kind-flow energy channel, the dorsal central energy channel. The life energy’s job is to purify; the evolutionary force’s work is evolutionary.
From the foregoing, it is clear that a teacher does not awaken the evolutionary force by initiation alone, but that it awakens only by the purifying action of postures, breath restraint and especially the energy seals.
The third point is that trance is not equanimity (samadhi, union with God). By the life energy rising through the body, causing postures, suspension of the life energy, and energy seals, it, the life energy, eventually becomes steady at the throat energy center. It can go no higher because the front middle path (the pathway for the life energy) ends at the throat. If one tries to continue at this point without awakening the evolutionary force to flow through the back middle path, transfixion – yogic ‘swoon’, or yogic sleep, results.
The Hathayoga Pradipika says:
“Transfixion reduces the mind to a state of inactivity. In this trance state, the body becomes wooden-like and cannot move because all the life energy has been withdrawn from it up to the throat. This is a restful state but is not union with God. Equanimity is the eighth and last step of yoga and is a state of full consciousness.”
Patanjali states in the Yoga Sutras:
“Equanimity is when that which is meditated upon shines only in its true form, as if in a void.”
Transfixion, or trance, follows the first stage of the withdrawal of the attention from the sense organs. It is an unconscious state.
Patanjali also says:
“Undifferentiated consciousness is attained beyond body consciousness (because of being) absorbed in nature.”
This is what happens in transfixion - absorption in nature. Thus, there is no consciousness. Transfixion, trance or swoon, results in the inactivity of the still existing mind.
In equanimity, on the other hand, there is direct divine knowledge. Equanimity can only be reached through the union of the uptending life energy and the downtending life energy, which is accomplished by means of energy seals. Only then is the evolutionary force activated. The word yoga means union. In the microcosm of the aspirant’s body, that union takes place between the uptending life energy and the downtending life energy. The uptending life energy is the energy representation of your own living soul, your divine self, and the downtending life energy is the energy form of the Ultimate Soul, God. The union of the uptending life energy and the downtending life energy is yoga.
Patanjali’s definition of yoga is:
“Yoga is the cessation of modifications in the mind.”
He also says:
“A fusion of the cognizer, cognition, and the cognized, as in a transparent crystal, takes place for one whose mind is nearly annihilated.”
This yoga awakens the evolutionary force and causes it to flow up the very-kind-flow energy channel, the central energy channel. At the moment of union, the mind (temporarily, at first) is annihilated and equanimity results. The mind is caused by duality; the union of the uptending life energy and the downtending life energy removes this duality and, thereby, the mind.
When, through energy seals, the evolutionary force pierces the sustaining plexus, the throat knot, the divine energy can enter the head energy centers and equanimity is achieved. Equanimity is a result of union and is a conscious state.
Svatmarama, in the Hathayoga Pradipika, says:
“ Then, in the second stage, the uptending life energy unites with the downtending life energy and enters the throat energy center. The yogi then becomes firm in ‘posture’ (asana - the first stage of yoga), wise and comparable to the Gods.”
This more complete picture of the evolutionary force should clarify some of the confusion that has surrounded the subject. If scholars of yogic scripture and others would compare their theories about the true meaning of these great truths to their own actual experiences in extensive meditation, then they too could share in the divine union through the practice of surrender to God.
Who Should Be Initiated Into Natural Yoga?
The first requirement is that the aspirant has to want to grow, evolve, get closer to God, experience for himself/herself the Absolute Truth. He/she must want that through the process of surrender.
The second requirement is that the aspirant has to want the Absolute more than he/she wants success, wealth and acknowledgment. He may still be caught up to some degree in the world, but what he wants is to get out of it. The aspirant does not have to renounce the world and put on a white robe. Even if he did, he still would be caught up in it in spite of himself.
It is not a matter of joining a spiritual growth order. It is a matter of the honest heartfelt intention that puts the God first. The aspirant does not have to be a renunciate who has actually left the world. But he has to be willing to let his attachment, desires, goals and purposes in life be dissolved away and be replaced by the desirelessness of union with God.
The third requirement is that the aspirant should have one of these three qualities: superior intelligence, superior determination or exceptional devotion.
The fourth requirement is that the aspirant must be old enough to make choices on his own. Normally, that would be eighteen or twenty-one or older. But there might be a rare exception to the rule.
A twelve-year-old may say, “Well, I’ve made this decision for myself. I’m old enough now.” However, if the parents say no, the answer is no. A twelve-year-old is not old enough to make the decision for himself. In addition, the law does not permit it; and I agree with the law. Most twelve-year-olds are not qualified to make the decision. There might be one twelve-year-old out of all the people born on earth every thousand years that has that ability. If God wants him to be initiated into Natural Yoga, He will do it.
The fifth requirement is that a husband or a wife should not be initiated without the permission of their spouse. The spouse does not necessarily have to do Natural Meditation. But he/she has to understand that sooner or later if his spouse does meditation, it will lead to the dissolution of their marriage.
The purpose of marriage is to have and raise children. The purpose of initiation into Natural Yoga is to seek union with God. If the couple are not both going to be initiated into meditation, then the one who is not initiated has to understand that the other one will eventually lose his/her ambition, goals and aims in life. He/she will not be raising a family or into having 'a relationship' as they say in California, but instead will be seeking union with God.
Does the aspirant have to have been married and have had children in order to qualify for Natural Yoga? No, only the singular desire to have union with God, Truth or Divine Love through surrender to the Divine qualifies an aspirant.
The sixth requirement is that you should not initiate someone you do not feel you have a connection with. You need to know that when you give guidance, the aspirant will at least try to follow it.
There are those who think they want to be initiated. They say, “Well, everyone is doing this technique. If I did it, I could get over my asthma.” People who want help with their problems should not be initiated into Natural Meditation. It is for those who want to evolve, to grow toward the Absolute Truth, God, and Divine Love through the process of surrender.
People who want only pleasure and material success should not be initiated into Natural Yoga. They want initiation because they have heard that the evolutionary force will give them more creative power (to fulfill their desires). This is not the purpose of Natural Yoga.
Question: In the past, you have indicated that the person ought to have had an experience of himself. He should know who he is and have some sense of the Absolute.
Response: Well, I wouldn’t require that. I don’t think it’s necessary. The meditation itself eventually straightens that out.
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