Monday, August 26, 2013

Is Sahasrar The Final Destination?

The Sahasrar, or the thousand rayed lotus, of life and light is situated four finger’s width above the top of the head, with all the petals directed downwards. It is also called the Crown Chakra and has always been considered the level to be achieved spiritually. It shines like a thousand suns in its power and glory and is also called the Brahmarandra or Brahma’s Door, the gateway to the Absolute. It is said that it is closed to the ‘ordinary’ individual but when one is highly advanced, this door opens and one ascends through it into the Beyond. It is commonly known that the fifty letters or sounds of the Sanskrit alphabet are on the petals of the Sahasrar. The fifty letters or sounds, in multiples of twenty, equal the one thousand petals of the Sahasrar. Each alphabetical vibration is connected with a specific petal on the lotuses in the spinal chakras .Petals are actually rays or vibrations, which, singularly and in combination, along with the five tattvas and other principles of Nature are responsible for the various psychological and physiological activities in our physical and astral bodies. The rishis realized the potencies of these vibratory “bija” or “seed” sounds and devised the various mantras based on them. The Mantra for the Sahasrar chakra is “Aum”. (If you wish, you may kindly refer to my earlier blog ) Genesis: As we are aware, the human soul is encased in three coverings or bodies, namely the ideational or the causal, the subtle or astral, and the gross physical body. The physical body is both created and sustained by the astral body, which mainly consists of prana. The creative life energy of the astral body descends into the physical body through the seven chakras situated in the spine and the brain. (Kindly refer to my blog, if you so desire for more details about the chakras) Our physical body is structured on similar lines as the astral. Just as the physical body has a brain, spinal cord, nerves and nerve plexuses so also the astral body has an astral brain of a thousand rays…the thousand-petaled lotus along with an astral spine with its chakras of light and energy and an astral nervous system with its “nadis’. Through the Astral nervous system flows “prana” which gets differentiated in the physical body into the various currents which carry on the function of crystallization, circulation, assimilation, metabolism and elimination ( Vyana, Udana, Prana, Samana and Apana Vayus). The Sushumana is the main astral channel and has two other astral nadis on either side, the “Ida” on the left and the ‘Pingala” on the right. There are about 72000 such nadis which constitute the Astral Sympathetic nervous System. The Ida, Pingala and Sushumana reach only as far as the Agya Chakra or the Third Eye and not any further. The Sushumana also has another astral spine called ‘vajra’, within which is present is another one called ‘chitra’, which controls our spiritual activities. All three of these spines are controlled by the Sahasrar. Specific rays and intelligence emanating from the Sahasrar are reflected to the various spinal chakras giving each its characteristic activities and consciousness. (Sri Paramhans Yoganandaji …’God talks To Arjun……”) At the sacral centre or the Muladhara chakra lies the nadi which is coiled like a serpent and is called the Kundalini, which ends its journey at the Sahasrar chakra from where it arises. Similarly the third covering, the Causal Body is pure consciousness, which has a spiritual brain and a spiritual spine called ‘Brahmanadi’. Consciouness flows from the causal to the astral body and finally into the physical body and becomes increasingly deluded due to sense pleasures. It is, therefore, clear from the above that the Sahasrar is related to the Astral body and the Causal still needs to be negotiated. The Kundalini and Consciousness: As has been clarified above, systems in which the kundalini is made to rise by various methods of meditation, it is possible to raise one’s consciousness only upto the Sahasrar chakra and not beyond since the kundalini ends at that point. Similarly by various methods of Pranayam, consciousness can be raised only up to the Third Eye since the Ida , Pingala and Sushumanana end there and do not go beyond. When we withdraw our consciuousness from our surroundings by meditation, the sushumana becomes active and helps in channeling our consciousness upwards but cannot take it beyond the Third Eye or the Sahasrar chakra. All systems of yoga, therefore, have this limitation. Thus if our Consciousness reaches up to the Sahasrar by any spiritual method we can reach only up to the Astral body (since the sahasrar is part of the Astral) and cannot go beyond the Causal. At this juncture it would be worthwhile to mention a little about the Third Eye since it plays such an important role in spiritual evolution….. what does it look like? There is a dark opal-blue globe within a quivering ring of flame. By deep meditation, an extremely brilliant star may be seen in the centre of the blue. The star is the gateway to Spirit. (Sri Paramhans Yoganndaji).When one travels through the golden disc one reaches the astral plane but to reach the Spirit beyond the causal pane one needs to travel through this star. It has also been described like the flame of a candle. This is what Sant Kabir Dasji has to say about it: ‘Between the two eyes is the Master, the messenger of the Lord. Between the black and white moles is the shining star, and within that star dwells the unknown and unseen Lord. Between the eyes is the Master, the Messenger of God. Between the eyes shines a tiny petal and within the petal is the hidden door. On that door adjust your telescope. Thus with ease go across the world’s deadly sea. Between the eyes is the Master, the Messenger of God. In the City of sunn I reside o friend where resounds the melody in its all pervading force. Now the Master and Kabir are eternal companions. And he leads Kabir to the mansion of shabd. Between the eyes is the Master.” The Sahasrar chakra, therefore, is not the last but actually the first step to union with Spirit. The reason is quite obvious. Merging with God means merging with Spirit which is beyond the Astral and Causal realms. Since the Sahasrar is a part of the Astral only in order to evolve further we need to go beyond it. This creation was brought about by a vibration, called ‘shabd’ or “Aum” which is in the form of sound and light .This is the Divine melody which is the direct connection between human Consciousness and Divine Consciousness and is forever present. How Does Union With Spirit Take Place? Saints achieve this through their connection with the Shabd (known variously as Naam. Anhad Shabd, Aum, Kalma etc). ‘This force originates from the highest realm of consciousness and descends till our Eye Centre”. When a realized guru blesses a sadhak with Naam Daan or initiation, he brings about the sadhak’s Consciousness to rise to the Third Eye(kindly refer to my earlier blog if you wish ) Where he connects with the shabd through which he rises to higher realms. “The Master initiates a disciple into the mystic path he or she attaches our soul currents to shabd or naam and turns our soul currents from their usual tendencies of outwards and downwards to inwards and upwards.” (The Mystic Way)During initiation the Master also teaches a mantra to be chanted during meditation on the sound current and to focus one’s mind on his “swaroop” at the eye centre and to “follow” his swaroop. . The Guru then “leads” the sadhak so that his Atma then travels through various stages or “Khands” , namely, Dharam Khand, Karam Khand, Gyan Khand, Saram Kahand and finally Sach Khand. The Dharam Khand corresponds to the ‘Sahasra Dal Kawal” or the sahasrar chakra and has its own characteristic sound and the vision as seen in the form of light of a specific colour.(My Guruji). It is now clear that we actually have 12 chakras instead of 7 as described in Yoga but this number becomes 22 when subdivided. The Sach Khand is the abode of the Supreme Being and this khand has four more stages called, Alakh, Agami and Anami or the Nameless One. (The Way of Mystics) Hence the sadhak’s journey actually commences from the sahasrar. As the Atma progresses, it travels through these various stages, each being recognized by its specific sound and the colour of the light. It should be noted that the sounds, visions and colours are different from those associated with ascent through the spinal chakrsas when the kundalini rises up the spine towards the sahasrar.All these stages are associated with tremendous changes in the sadhak’s personality along with progressive improvement in intuition and wisdom. Sant Kabir has described each and every stage in great detail. They may have other names too and each has its own number of petals , not unlike the petals of the Astral chakras. For example ‘Bhanwar Gupha” has two petals, Mahasunn (great darkness) has 16, Achint Deep has 12… and so forth. (The Way of Mystics). It is said that when ‘maha pralaya’ takes place, all the regions up to the gate of Sat Lok ie below Sach Khand get destroyed. We should, therefore make Sach Khand our destination, so that we never come down. Let us, therefore, strive to actually connect with the Shabd/Aum so that we can travel through the astral and causal realms and merge with the Spirit beyond Creation. Sources: “God Talks To Arjun….The Bhagwada Gita” and “The Second Coming Of Christ’ by Sri Pramahans Yoganandaji. ‘The Mystic Way”

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Volumes and volumes have been written on this mystical subject but it still remains an enigma. With great humility i wish to share my understanding of this ubiquitous entity called Consciousness. There has always been a debate as to whether the brain came first or Consciousness? What do we mean by the term Consciousness? Many attempts have been made to define it. What Does Physics have to say about it? Looking at it from the Scientific perspective, it is the very “ground of being” says Amit Goswami, the famous physicist, and this “being” includes both mind and matter. He further adds that ‘consciousness is the mediator of the interaction between mind and body.”According to Schrodinger it is a “singular without a plural”. It was with the advent of Quantum Physics that Consciousness received its due and we need to go into some detail. Nick Herbert in 1993 said ‘The world exists not as a solid actuality but only as shimmering waves of possibility…….Whenever someone chooses to look at it, the atom ceases its fuzzy dance and seems to ‘freeze’ into a tiny object with definite attributes, only to dissolve once more into a quivering pool of possibilities as soon as the observer withdraws his attention from it. This apparent observer induced change in an atom’s mode of existence is called the collapse of the wave function or simply the quantum jump.’ It then became clear that something new must be added to ‘collapse the wave function’. John von Neumann concluded that the only known entity fit for this task was consciousness. He said that ‘the world remains everywhere in a state of pure possibility except where some conscious mind decides to promote a portion of the world from its usual state of indefiniteness into a condition of actual existence.” The term ‘collapse’ basically means the change from possibility into actuality. Our Sages concept of Consciousness: Our sages have called it “existence-awareness-bliss” which we know as ‘Sat-Chit-Anand”. Here ‘Chit” stands for Consciousness. As we are aware there are three states of Consciousness…..Jagrat, or Conscious, awake or wakeful state, Supta or Subconscious or sleeping state and the Sushupta state, also called the Superconscious state, Krishna Consciousness or Christ Consciousness. According to Swami Jnaneshwar Bharat, the Aum Mantra denotes four levels of Consciousness and three transition levels. Each of the three sounds of the Aum Mantra (A, U and M) symbolize specific states of Consciousness after which there is silence which is the Fourth State and is Consciousness or awareness itself, while in between are the transition states. (Kindly refer to my earlier blog for more details Sri Paramhans Yoganandaji has called it ‘primordial awareness” Consciousness basically arises from God. ‘God the Father and Cosmic Consciousness are synonymous; Christ, the Son and Christ Consciousness are one and the same. God the Father emanated from Him His son, Christ Intelligence and Cosmic Energy, the Holy Ghost.”As we are aware Holy Ghost and the word “Aum” are one and the same. Holy Ghost , Aum or Shabd is the vehicle for union with God the Father. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj feels that “awareness is primordial, which is the original state , beginningless, endless, unsupported, without parts, and without change.” According to him “Consciousness is on contact, a reflection against a surface, a state of duality. There can be no consciousness without awareness, but there can be awareness without consciousness as in deep sleep. Awareness is absolute ,while consciousness is relative to its content” he further says that Consciousness is partial and changeful while awareness is total, changeless, calm and silent and is the common matrix of every experience. According to Yoga, God Consciousness is called ‘Kaivalya”, which means touching Ultimate Reality. Samadhi is the technique to achieve it. In this state God is seen differently at different times and in different “forms” depending upon the karma of the person seeking Him. How has Cosmic Consciousness ‘descended’ to permeate all matter? Sri Paramhans Yogananda has given a beautiful narration….’As a mighty river that brings fertility to the plains has its source in the mountains high above, so the source of the river of consciousness is Cosmic Consciousness, Spirit, the ever existing, ever conscious ever-new Bliss that transcends creation. Descending into creation –into every particle of thought, life energy, and matter constituting the causal, astral and physical realms-Cosmic Consciousness is called Christ Consciousness. Flowing into the soul and pure mind of man, it is called superconsciousness. Carried on the current of life energy down through the subtle spinal centres (chakras), losing its divine awareness in body in body identification, it is called subconsciousness, operating the body-mechanism through the life energy in the physical brain, spine, and viscera. Descending further, out into the muscles and senses, the river of consciousness settles in the level of the ordinary waking state ,enlivening the muscular and sensory activities of the body, and creating desires for and attachments to material experiences.’ As long as consciousness is identified with the senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch it makes us conscious of matter. But when we meditate, we withdraw our consciousness from the five senses and gradually attain superconsciousness. The internal consciousness of ordinary people operates only from the lumbar, sacral and coccygeal centres. Those who love the Divine work from the heart centre, but the calm, unshaken yogi operates from the cervical centre. Someone who can feel his presence in the entire vibratory creation has awakened his medullary and Christ centres, while the illumined yogi functions in the cerebral centre of Cosmic Consciousness. (Sri Paramahans Yogananda). What this translates into is that those whose consciousness is focused on the lower three centres are predominantly tamasic, when related to the Anahat Chakra, Rajasic. When, however, people whose consciousness is focused on the higher centres are either Sattvic …or have moved beyond. How Does Consciousness Manifest? Consciousness is the ground of reality, of the reality which connects one reality to another… pervades everything in the universe, the link between ‘matter” and what is unmanifest, between the various sheaths or the five koshas, body, prana, mind, intelligence and bliss. It is the driving force which initiates all processes……acts as the ignition for all chemical processes in our body, initiates all thoughts and thoughts into action, it is the ‘primordial awareness” and if i may say, it is the “awareness of being aware”…it is always present even when ‘unconscious’ as that stage is the stage when we are not aware of being aware…but all functions continue as if by remote. It is the very foundation…’mula-adhar’ of not only our being but also of the entire Universe…remember the Muladhar chakra, the four petals of which denote ‘Mana’, ‘Budhi:, ‘Chita” Ahankar”? Consciousness is that subtle reality which is present between all of us…present in all beings and links us all by merging into each other….i am you and you are me at the same time being him/her….it is like a loving mother whose love is always enveloping us whether we are in her physical presence or not. It is that Divine Light permeating all of the manifest or unmanifest worlds, it is the vibration which initiated all of creation… is the Aum/Shabd/Amen….continuously creating, maintaining and ‘destroying’……changing form and recreating the same into another form…the moisture in the cloud…the rain drop….which drops on the ground, loses its individuality as the drop, merges with the earth …..only to change form again as it is the energy which cannot be destroyed nor created. It is that ‘prana’ which is present in all, the energy responsible for keeping us alive. It is consciousness, the energy which changes form to carry out the myriad functions required for the functioning of the entire Universe. When the One became conscious of itself it gave rise to the entire created and manifest or umanifest universe (s). It is the very thought which comes in our mind, initiates an action, seemingly disappearing but remaining in the ether only to initiate another action elsewhere or in someone else’s mind and the process goes, on ad infinitum. It is the initiator of the thought, the thought itself, the action culminating from the thought, the after effect of the action, the consequence…it is the feeling i have whether of love, kindness, compassion, forgiveness or dislike, jealousy….. It is what makes us ‘see’ a sound, as it is what initiates it, is present in it and still remains when the sound has disappeared….so also with our hearing…….it is consciousness which makes us “see,” “hear” , “talk”…….the external organs for these being essential only till we retain the body …after which we can still continue to do so without these ‘appliances’…all because of consciousness. During advanced stages of meditation as described by sages, consciousness is ‘felt’ as the divine light descending down into one’s being from the head going down to each and every cell and atom of the body in its brilliant silvery sheen or golden splendor, perfusing every nook and cranny of the body, emanating out, expanding the body aura multifold, going out in to the Universe to merge with all its surroundings…..the Universe and I become one. Sri Paranmhans Yoganadaji has described it ever so beautifully ‘The yogi learns to expand his being into Spirit and Its cosmic consciousness……the yogi’s soul not only feels the cosmic consciousness in all creation, but beyond it, to the farthest reaches of the vibrationless sphere.” The yogi being one with God, beholds His consciousness appearing as the sapidity in waters, the luminescence of the moon and the sun, the cosmic sound and light roaming in the universes and the eternal ether, the perception of all sentient beings and saintly souls, and the Aum or truth vibrations of the Vedic Scriptures …… How can we experience it? As is obvious Consciousness is is in front if us, behind us, above us, below us, it is both inside us as well as outside us…… fact we are totally immersed in it but are not aware of it. We need a teacher, a realized Guru to first make us aware of its existence and then to help us experience it and to finally merge with it completely. A Guru does this by making us learn to open our Third Eye at the centre of the eyebrows after which we come face to face with our atma and our ‘Nij ‘mind disengages us from our bonds with our ‘Pindi’ mind, which is keeping us stuck to the dictates of our senses…takes us higher and higher finally dropping off itself and bringing about a merger of the Atma with the Paramatama. The three components of Consciousness namely knower, knowing and known become one! Sources: God Talks to Arjun …The Bhagavad Gita” and “The Second Coming Of Christ” by Sri Paramhans Yogananda “Quantum Doctor” by Amit Goswami “The Spiritual Science of Kriya Yoga” by Goswami Kriyananda