The Mother Divine
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By Kinkar Vitthal Ramanuj

Kinkar Vitthal Ramanuj (Right) with his Guru Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath (Left)

Part – II (contd.

Siddha Yoga: The ancient yoga tradition, over time came to be classified into Mantra Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Laya Yoga and Raja Yoga. But subsequently the integral of the four came to be regarded as Kundalini Yoga, which is known also as Mahayoga. An amazing feature of the wonderful spiritual realm is that success in the practice of Kundalini Yoga yields automatic success in the other four. A mystic secret is at the root of another classification of Yoga into Saadhya yoga and Siddha yoga. These two have herewith been explained with illustration, for easy grasp of the reader.

The goal of Yoga is to reach the highest of the seven ‘lotuses’ (saptadal) or chakras (vortices of energy). This goal can be reached by two paths, one which is complex and strewn with difficulties, and the other which is simple and easy. The former, Saadhya yoga, is likened to climbing up the stairs, and the latter, siddha yoga, to going up by an elevator! Saadhya yoga is effortful; it fructifies slowly if inexorably, with many hurdles to be surmounted. Siddha yoga brings about effortless sublimation from the lower to the higher lotuses/chakras; the grace of a Siddha awakens the Kundalini making it rise rapidly.

Sitaramdas Omkarnath has, in the manner of a poet, named this process as the seeking out of the beloved by the pining, love-lorn woman (the beloved here symbolizing Shiva, and the love-lorn woman, Shakti or Kundalini). In ancient India, the seeking out of the beloved by the woman, without expectation of a marriage, was termed in Sanskrit (the language of the gods) as abhisaar. The ardour, and fervent manner, with which a pining woman seeks out her beloved is an apt metaphor for Prakriti/Shakti/Kundalini who seeks out the Ever-Blissful Paramshiva. In his essay, Virahini Abhisaar, Sitaram has depicted the Universal Mother, Kundalini seated in the mooladhara chakra as a divine lover, whose goal is to get past the junctions, by piercing the chakras on her journey (abhisaar) to the magnificent sahasrara chakra, in the crown, wherein she unites with Param Shiva. The form of Kundalini as transcendental light, prosperity and auspiciousness has been described in many texts.
Sitaram draws our attention in particular to the following: All the authoritative texts have described the form of Kundalini as transcendental light or Jyoti. She rests in deep sleep in the form of a baby serpent, engirdling the self-born (swamyambhu) linga in the mooladhara chakra in three and half times. Possessing a luminosity a crore times as powerful as lightning, and draped in splendid lights of manifold colors, this Kundalini is ever eager to savour the supreme amrit (divine elixir) which drips from the sahasrara. This Kundalini is witnessed by the yogi as the danseuse in his heart chakra. In every sentient being, she rests in the mooladhara chakra as the Illuminated One. She is the form of all the Vedas, all the mantras, all the subtle elements. Being subtler than the subtlest, she pervades all and is omnipresent.

When the Kulakundalini awakens in a practitioner, he transcends the sphere of actions and begins to abide in effortless samadhi or sahajavasthaa; he is liberated while in a living state, that is to say, he becomes a Jeevanmukta (Hatha Yoga Pradipika).

In saadhya yoga, the disciple obtains Kriyavati or Saadhaara diksha (initiation) from the Guru with offerings of sandal paste, vermillion powder, fruit, flowers and the like. Meditation (japa), yajna and such practices yield, over a long period, the wish of the yogi. Some practitioners are initiated into asana, pranayama and mudra. After lengthy practice of these, the yogi may succeed in raising the Kundalini.

In the most honoured and venerable siddha yoga, the infinite compassion and grace of the Guru descends on the disciple and awakens the Kundalini in an instant. The Guru has no use for the various objects of worship, nor does he use any instrument or tangible medium for granting diksha. He initiates and stirs the Kundalini in upward direction, by casting a glance on the disciple or through touch, or at a remote distance, by simply making a wish. Formal rites are here redundant. Such initiation is called Jnanavati or Niraadhaara diksha. Depending on the peculiar karmas of the initiate, the Kundalini ascends, and with action resembling the movement of an ant or a monkey or a bird, reaches the sahasraara (thousand-petalled) chakra, there uniting with Param Shiva. Diksha or initiation given by Sitaram belongs to this category. Thousands of his initiates attained the sublime and exalted states in sadhana; they attained Naad, Jyoti, Bindu, and Akash and visions of Gods and Goddesses, Mahapurushas as well as Avatars.

Raja Yoga: The basic principle of Raja yoga is “Still the waves of the mind” (Yoga Sutra 1/2). The aim of Raja yoga is to gather the dissipated mind into a single vibration or to render it free of vibrations. The method par excellence adopted consists of Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama and Pratyahara so as to focus on a single ideal. With the maturing of such practice, sequentially, the steps of Dharana and then Dhyana, and finally the dissolution of the mind in Samadhi, are enabled. We have seen that Sitaram attained the Naad by practicing Samadhi in the environs of a water body. By intense meditation on his heart he could see Shiva-Durga.

Sitaram, through a method of obtaining exclusive refuge in the Lord, dissolved all of   Naturei.e. Prakriti and Her Universe thereby attaining Ishwar. Optionally, he could adopt the method recommended in Gita, wherein one is exhorted to see the Divine in one and all, in everything seen and unseen. He found that Ishwar enveloped and pervaded all that is; he could realize the quality of Omnipresence. As instructed in the Shruti, Sitaram would give up cognizance of all that is material and related to the world, and visualize everything as enveloped in the mantle of Divinity. With such sentiment, he would say, “You have swallowed up everything! You are the man, woman, youth, the young girl, the aged fellow propped up on his walking stick!” (Omkarnath Rachnavali, Kshepa Ki Jholi)

Down the ages, it is You Yourself who is taking all these births! And You have attained such elaborate multiplicity…You are the flying insects, the red- eyed cuckoo, the blue-black bumblebee, the red-eyed parrot, the thundercloud with lightning deeply embedded in it…You are all the oceans…You are the One without a beginning and You are the all-pervading powerful One. You are the One from whom the Universe originates. While the jnanis dissolve everything within the self, I dissolve everything in You and become
liberated from all tensions and fear! By seeing You in the midst of all, the sadhakas are rid of desire and sorrow, and by making You the sole focus of the mind, the mental dissipations are done away with. By firing the ‘cannon’ of Naam incessantly, or 21,600 times, i.e. once for each breath, the sense of self is exploded and thereby, the real nature of the self as You is revealed.

Laya Yoga:  The ancient and first proponent of the science of Yoga, Mahadev (God of the gods) or Shiva, has preached 125,000 practices for sadhana. The Adi Shankaracharya (regarded as the very incarnation of Lord Shiva) has preached that among the 125,000 methods taught by the great Lord, Naadanusandhaana as a method of Laya yoga is the best of all. Sri Shankaracharya, in his verses of praise of Lord Shiva, says that Dakshinamurti (another name for Lord Shiva) Himself meditates on the Naad and attains to the Supreme Bliss!

The Anahata Naad isroused of its own when the naadis or subtle currents and channels are cleansed through long practice of Puraka, Kumbhaka and Rechaka (inhalation, withholding of breath and exhalation respectively). Anahata Naad refers to unstruck sound. The Anahata Naad confers automatic jnana of the tattvas or subtle elements. Purity of diet, virtuous conduct with regular worship, selfless service, japa and meditation, or, the infinite grace of a Siddhayogi, rouses the Naad in the Anahata or ajna or sahasrara chakra. The unstruck sound acts as the medium par excellence for realizing the Parabrahma. At the outset, discontinuous and many varieties of sounds are heard. In a subsequent phase, the unending, continuous unstruck sound is heard.

Sitaram possessed mastery over the technique of Laya yoga through unstruck sound. In manifold texts, speeches and discussions, as also in preaching on one-to-one basis, Sitaram has shed light on such practice. Hence a very large number of his disciples reached the stage wherein the unstruck sound could be heard; some becoming Siddhas in their own right! The text named ‘Sri Naadleelamritlahiri’, penned by Sitaram, treats of Naad as a method of Laya yoga; it proves to be an aid par excellence in sadhana of the highest type. The world-renowned philosopher, Dr. Gopinath Kaviraj, in his foreword to this text, writes, “The writer of this text is a master of Naad-sadhana, and herein he throws light on its importance giving proofs through ample quotations from the ancient scriptural texts. The words of many a saint have dwelt on Naad-sadhana. The writer’s personal experiences relating to Naad-sadhana have enlivened every word that he speaks and writes on the subject.”