There is a tremendous intensity of dedication requested to those who are taking this path. This path is for stark souls who have had enough of dragging their feet and are willing and dedicated to gradually give more and more to transform themselves. There are some misconceptions on the subject of pranayama and strategy. As explained so clearly in the eastern scriptures the Bhagavad-Gita there is an endless war that wages between the body Kurukshetra with its whole army of old veteran warriors the ego consciousness and the other side, the soul battling for supremacy called The Battlefield of Life.
The Battle of Supremacy Between The Ego and The Soul
This is a war between two generals facing each other known as Behma the soul verses Bhisma the ego consciousness. The two opposing generals are the forces of good and evil. The purpose of Bhisma or ego is to keep the souls attention continuously busy with countless enticements and sensations. Instead of throwing the searchlight on God the pseudo soul keeps the soul reflected on the senses keeping the soul in bondage in the slums of the body. That is why the master says the love of your body is nothing but the love of your own jail. Not that we should reject it but do not be attached to your body.
It is found that Bhima the soul guides the vital force of breath control (pranayama) leading to soul consciousness. For this reason the soul guided vital force is spoken of as the greatest enemy of Bhisma or the body identified ego. The technique of pranayama or the art of breath control is responsible for cutting off the nerve forces or the sense impulses which reach the brain with all the data of material desires. Therefore Bhima or the soul guided life force is the principal enemy of ego consciousness or Bhisma.
By proper breathing exercises as taught in Self-Realization the heart is rested and controls the life force moving to the five senses. Bhima or the proper regulation of breath and the strong soldiers of concentration, intuition, calmness, self-control and inner perception can be awakened to fight the forces of the pseudo soul Bhisma or ego. Here is a great lesson on the comparison of nutrition, the purer the nutrition the less destruction into your cells, the less work for your heart and the more calm your heart begins to beat and automatically you become calmer and calmer into your mind.
If you can remember your history about the war in Africa in 1943 there were two other generals, one was General Montgomery who confronted the other general Field Marshal Irving Rommel, General Rommel was a far greater strategist than Montgomery, but only because General Montgomery had in his possession the actual code machine called the enigma, Montgomery was able to know every move that Rommel was making. How would you like to play chess with someone who knew every single move that you were going to make before you made them? You see the whole idea of developing wisdom is to be able to decipher the inner moves of cunning evil. If you don’t control your thoughts and feelings you will be will totally manipulated to the point where you will become a puppet of destiny.
The key word here is strategy. Do you know what made General Rommel so powerful? He was fearless and was always putting his life constantly in danger inserting himself in the front lines to observe every move the enemy made and was able to counteract their strategies. There is always a new opportunity to show heroism in every situation by meeting everyone and every situation with the courage of a hero and smile of a conqueror.
It is the ego and the diluted flesh-bound consciousness of the soul that is to blame for arousing all the numerous soldiers of temptation embedded within the human body. Now we can see that this ego consciousness is a graft and we have been hypnotized that we are the ego. The master says “never were you in the body nor are you now and never will you be, but you have been hypnotized experiencing those five senses making you believe you have a body” and he said further “now you are dreaming you are alive and you will dream that you are dead.
All motions of consciousness are on the screen of the mind.” You are not a man or a woman, you are nothing else but pure spirit however because of karmic inclinations the soul is forced to reincarnate over and over but not as a male or female but either with the body of a man or a woman. Your body identified ego surrenders to the hypnosis of what your bodily home labels you to be. Do you call yourself a border if you live in a boarding house? No, your real name is “Sat-Chit-Ananda” ever blissfully conscious of your eternal existence.
Without the graft of ego consciousness the entire army of evil temptations would vanish like a quickly forgotten dream. If the soul could reside in the body without being identified with it as the soul of saints do, then no temptation could keep you tied to the body. Today the real battle, the great enemy you find facing your soul is breath and emotions, the greatest enemy of the yogi. We will learn how we can alter our states of consciousness by the way we breathe. How through the science of pranayama the regulating motion of inhalation and exhalation will gradually let you experience different states of consciousness which the rest of the world cannot perceive.
The science of pranayama has been miss-translated countless times as holding the breath. Prana means energy and yama means control, that means control of our alternating breath, inhalation and exhalation to become perfectly rhythmic and once they become rhythmic you can slow them down through the science of pranayama. What the Chinese call yin and yang are when the negative and positive currents are harmonized within you, then you begin to have proper equilibrium in your mind. Those two currents are responsible for the harmonious vibrations in you thirty thousand billion cells. Therefore unregulated breath caused by emotional current is the main culprit for inharmonious vibrations.
When you begin to become like steel and refuse to be affected by negative emotions you have learned one of the main foundations of yoga, even-mindedness. In yoga you are never taught not to feel but are asked to shield yourself completely from destructive emotions and that consists of changing your programming in television and movies. Unless you begin to remove everything that triggers in your subconscious mind past memories of violence, horror, rape and murder you will never have harmonious breathing within you. All those destructive emotions affect your patterns of breathing which affect your moods. In making a deep study of music you cannot even conceive what the western music of our day is doing upon our emotions.
Breathlessness is the technique which makes you immortal and until we realize our own immortality we will have to reincarnate again and again. That is why the through breathlessness a new world of perceptions open, the soul is released from its bodily cage and one can enter the astral world at will, not to accomplish astral travel but to meet the cosmic guru and be in the company of highly advanced beings and above all enter into the chakras of the spine. Our great guru has said “get your consciousness into the spine with Kriya Yoga and once you are there I can take mountains of your karma away from you.”
Only by pratyahara where the mind goes within is it possible to completely concentrate on God in meditation otherwise the mind will experience sensations and thoughts arising from them. To control the breath is to control the mind. The mind cannot control the mind. We are trying to teach through meditation about the periods of time where you are not breathing and caution you not to become panicky. When doing the breathing technique of Hong-Sau you systematically begin to slow down the breath and it becomes shorter, gradually shorter and then periods of where there is no breathing at all. That is the breathless state. As you begin to stop breathing the body becomes relaxed but you can become tense, the heart will begin to beat faster and then you have brought yourself back from the state of breathlessness because of fear. You see, says Sri Daya Mata you can’t advance to quickly with the science of yoga without enough devotion. Therefore you need the hypodermic of devotion for God that will calm down the lunatic mind. All of those techniques have to work side by side with devotion for God.
During the struggle of meditation you constantly hear the complaints “I hear nothing, feel nothing and I have no experience in meditation,” that’s because the meditation efforts are to shallow. Rhythmic inhalations and exhalations are the basics for attaining breathlessness. When the yogi can disconnect his mind from the troubling activities of breath from his twenty one thousand daily inhalations and exhalations by quieting his heart with the practice of Kriya Yoga or the Hong-Sau technique he learns to disconnect his mind and breath form his five senses and dissolves his ego in the awareness of the soul. The Hong-Sau technique enables the practitioners to solve the mysteries of breath by doing away with it as the intervals become longer and longer without discomfort. Only when the mind is absolutely certain that nothing will happen to it, it gets easier.
In doing this you have to have a lot of faith as you are entering a world which is actually more than any science fiction you can watch unless you are anesthetized then you enter into it and you do not know your into it and you become joy, you become bliss and you become love. There is no more you, me or ego experiencing this, you become love and joy in various degrees. When you practice the meditation technique of Hong-Sau you think you are just practicing relaxation, you are very very mistaken. When you obtain even a little calmness of breath the lid is open and trillions of specks of energy fill you from the ether, you become so powerful you can’t imagine. This is what you will feel by the depth of intensity in your meditation. For you in the world with so short of time to meditate put intensity, develop intensity, if you have fifteen minutes put in everything you’ve got and then you will find that patience will not be necessary.
However there are four related forces which must be harmonized before you can harmonize your breathing rhythm that coincides with the main obstruction in your life. In the practice of concentration the relation between the following four related forces must be known, life force, breath, vital fluids or sexual energy and mind. A control and balance between these four bodily forces will bring fast results without any down-fall. Students who meditate regularly without striving to calm the restless breath or control the life force or vital essence often find insurmountable difficulties on the spiritual path.
It’s like a chain reaction if one life force is restless he is nervous and keeps his body in constant motion, if his mind is restless than vitality or sexual energy is restless than breath is restless but if one controls life force with the practice of calmness at all levels his mind and vital power are in his control. To sum up if breath is made calm and rhythmic by the practice of Hong-Sau the life-force, mind and sexual instinct will gradually come under control. Calmness is a positive state of mental expansion and that leads to intuition when guided by meditation. This is the quality you want to attain from expansion. The more you meditate in a calm state the more intuition you will have no matter how spiritual you are you may be still a child in you spiritual realization. In the development of intuition one cannot outgrow the laws of cause and effect in his own life. With a calm neutralized mind all the events of the future will appear vividly. When through breathlessness you attain intuition then you will have your decoding machine and you are going to see in the future not through reading the palm, astrological or the tarot but to see directly concerning you what is coming in the future.
You must understand that meditation is the inner war drum to make good habits willing to increase their forces in order to attain victory over the consciousness of the devotee on the slumber of indifference. Do you know what that means? A woman said to me “I’m on the spiritual path and it’s worse than ever. All hell is breaking loose in my life and I’m having more problems than I ever had.” That’s because you have accepted the challenge you are now facing evil and you are no longer indifferent you are being challenged and you are going to be kicked to the ground ten times, a hundred times, a thousand times and that’s why Swami Vivakananda say’s fight fight fight and fight even though you are in defeat. The one who fights to the last step is the one who makes it. The ego has to be demolished. For more information on the Hong-Sau and Kriya Yoga techniques go to the Self-Realization Fellowship website. From The Talks of Turiyananda
For The Spiritually Advanced Are You Disappointed Because God Is Not Showing Himself To You?
Don’t think because you are feeling a dry state that one hasn’t enough devotion. Why should you bother yourself because He is not showing Himself to you? When you feel this way think how long you have ignored Him! Remember God chooses those who choose Him. You must meditate more and go much deeper. In changing your habits in the way you meditate you will consciously awaken your memory of knowing him.
What does that really mean? Still, some people stop meditating because they cannot go deep enough to achieve any results and they lose interest. With them their cross is their heavy burden of bad habits. They too have been crucified, through their bad habits and ignorance.
Second, what should be your goal, to meditate? No, your goal should be to succeed in finding God. There are those who refuse to meditate without proof of God. To them “God is not proved”. It is irony that a rational man will go in a vicious circle by demanding proof of God before he will believe in Him and give his precious time to meditation. Therefore the unenlightened man, dependent on his senses for all final judgments is denied for that reason proof of the existence of God and to him God must remain non-existent and unknown.
The Master tells us that even though God is invisible and silent to the majority of people, still, as we meditate we ceaselessly knock on the gates of heaven, we will increasingly convince His silence to penetrate the haze of our unknowing.
In following the rules by meditating deeper you will then be able recognize the response from God. God is infinite and formless and since God is spirit He will not talk in words but he will manifest His awareness as divine perceptions within and understandable vibratory sounds realized only by disciples with heightened intuition during deep meditation. Remember God chooses those who choose Him.
The Ultimate Way To Know God and Get His Attention
Brother Bhaktananda, a Self-Realization Fellowship monk from 1939 until his passing in 2005 said, (excerpts from a talk he gave in 1980, at Self Realization International Headquarters) Love Makes Us One With God by Brother Bhaktananda, excerpts from the SRF Mag. Summer 1982, Page 30. From the SRF letter.
“Love is the ultimate way to God. As Master (Paramahansa Yogananda) said, without devotion you cannot touch God; you keep Him at a distance.” But real love is not simple to cultivate; you have to work at it. Many people say, “I know I’ll be with God when I die, because I believe in Him.” But it isn’t that easy; there is a lot more to it than mere belief.”
“Some time ago, a survey was taken among college students and one of the questions was. “Do you believe in God?” One girl replied, “Yes, I believe in God, but I’m not crazy about Him!” The world is crazy about money, crazy about human love, crazy about everything except God. But our Guru used to say, “Why can’t we be crazy about God?”
“The Bible says, “God is a jealous God.” This does not mean that God is jealous in the human way, but He will not give Himself to us until we surrender one hundred percent of ourselves to Him. “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” “All” means one hundred percent, nothing less. Paramahansaji said that God will not accept just ninety-nine percent.”
“So how do we develop the consciousness of God’s presence, the love of God? We should realize the importance of scientific techniques of meditation. If we regularly practice the techniques taught in the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons we cannot fail to find God. The techniques prepare the body and mind to know God; they interiorize and expand our consciousness so that we can feel the Divine Presence in meditation. They awaken subtle currents in the spine, which gives us great peace and joy. When joy is percolating in your heart all the time, you cannot help but love God.”
“The techniques take us to the door of God, by scientific application of the law; but God is above the law, and to get his attention and ultimately commune with Him, we have to call to Him with all the love of our hearts. That love is the only thing that reaches Him. When we are full of divine love, we completely melt in God. “Love makes us one with God,” the Guru said. And that is a very important statement to remember: Love makes us one with God – nothing else does.” SRF Magazine, Summer 1982, Page 23.
“Saturate yourself with Spirit. When you pray, churn the ether with your prayer. Pray not for material things, but for Him. When you have Him you have everything. He will never deny you anything.” Paramahansa Yogananda