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DIVINE REMADIES

 Scientific Astrology & Vedic Research Organisation

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YOGA (MARGA)

While one set of Rishis - the sages- were pursuing the path of knowledge to realise god – the bliss- there were others,who having realised the basic truths wanted to explore other methods for the realization of god- because they felt that the path of wisdom is not the cup of tea for everybody.

Therefore in addition to ‘Path of knowledge’-  ‘Jnana marga’  Four other potential routes  were identified

  1. Yoga marga  - of step by step ascension
  2. Bakthi marga – the path of undiluted devotion
  3. Karma marga - of  expectationless  performance of ordained duties- where work is worship
  4. Kundalini yoga

The Jnana Marga

This is a process of relentless questioning until we get the answer..not half answers or may be answers .. the intensive search of ‘not this,not this’… ..’neti..neti’…; until a valid and scientific answer is found.

The Upanishads are the classical example of this marga and have extensively dealt on this metaphysical subject.In fact the Upanishads are the most celebrated jewel in the crown of this marga.

In  recent times Sankara was the greatest proponent of this marga. As Sankara says once wisdom dawns out of Jnana marga he will never swerve the path of bliss even if he is undergoing the hardest of times, because he knows that suffering  is also  the will of the god ; perhaps for some greater purpose which he does not know at that point of time.

This aspect of sufferance for a much bigger cosmic purpose was experienced and echoed by Appar , the great tamil saivaite saint who  when having been put in a burning kiln by the ignorant King  for converting  him out of saivism , he sang  the most famous Song ‘ Masil Veenaiyum , Malai marudamum’ meaning 'amidst the burning fire of the kiln surprisingly he is feeling the coolest day of his life' . The God’s purpose here was to make the king to realize his folly and Appar was an instrument for that.

But pursuing Jnana Marga  requires extraordinary power of  perseverance  and once you have realized the bliss  even god can’t change you.

Yoga Marga

iIn this celeberated marga there are two schools one called ' Kriya Yoga' focussing on meditation and the other 'Hatha Yoga' focussing on mudras and preservation of vital bodily energies.

Pathanjali’s Kriya yoga

We have carefully used the words Pathanjali’s  Kriya yoga because what we see in current day as yoga in the name of asanas are mere physical exercises which forms a very minimal part of the actual yoga.

Yoga means to ‘yoke’ -to unite the mind with the supermind by transcendence .Patanjali teaches us how your mind can become a supermind. He has given 8 steps for a blissful life .

‘Yama’ – the ethical rules to be followed;  ‘Niyama’-the habits and observances to be inculcated; ‘Asana’-a steady and pleasant positioning for meditation; ’Pranayama’-the conscious regulation of breathing; ‘Pratyahara’- the withdrawal of thoughts from external objects;  ‘Dharana’- Fixing of the mind on a one pointed focus; ‘Dhyana’-contemplating and reflecting upon that one focused idea or thought; ‘Samadhi’- achieving the oneness with the subject of meditation.

Essentially it is controlling your mind away from external sensory objects and concentrating  on the indwelling spirit. Subject to your sincerity, commitment, intensity and regularity you will start getting visions of the God’s bliss.

Yagna Valkiyas Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is a branch of yoga involving a system of physical techniques.It involves Asanas- physical postures and Mudras- seals- a type of signage through the fingers as it's focus. The modern day yoga just picked up the physical technique portion of it, and branded and marketed it as yoga and colloquially to day this is being taken to mean yoga.But we have to be clear asanas are a very small part of yoga since yoga in it’s essence is ‘Dhyana’ - meditation and only to facilitate physical comfort during the meditation asanas were introduced. So stopping with asana is not pursuing Yoga but a good- may be spirited- physical exercise.

In it's original form Hatha Yoga involved the principles of Kundalini yoga which we will discuss in the next chapter.While in  Kundalini Yoga the approach was ascension from was from Mooladhara to Sahasrara in Hatha Yoga the focus was top down - ie., from Bindu to Mooladara

Also the Hatha yoga in it's original form included - Shatkarma-self purification,; asanas-postures; pranayama-subtle energy control; chakras-centres of energy; kundalini-instinct; bandhas-muscle force; kriyas-techniques of manifestations of kundalini; sakthi-the sacred force; nadis-channels; mudras-symbolic gestures; dhyana-meditation.

The focus of hatha yoga was preservation of life force and therefore focused to raise and preserve the essence of life, identified in men as semen and in women as the menstrual fluid. The preservation and sublimation of semen was associated with tapas-austerity . This was highly glorified in Ithihasas and Puranas.

This system was also adopted by the Kaula marga a sect of the Kundalini yoga where worship of god and goddess in physical forms of the male linga and female yoni were practiced.

Here also the results were the astanga siddhis. This system of yoga gave significant importance to siddhis- including  for material benefits; which patanjali's yoga marga felt as a hindrance to human evolution towards the super human.

This system since it was fraught with dangers of misuse, was actively dissuaded by well meaning spiritual leaders and  therefore excepting a few sects the rest of the spiritualists avoided it.

But of late this has been propagated mostly in western countries as yoga with the focus on the physical postures as exercise  and the other kaula tachniques for the other carnal attractions. However for God realisation purposes this yoga has not been given much of  importance.

Bhakthi Marga

This is an effort to reach god using the heart rather than the mind. With unadulterated, unremitting love, without expecting anything in return other than the god’s grace one can  surely invoke the nature to bestow vision and bliss on the seeker.

This is perhaps the easiest  marga because any body can follow this method as It does not require the brain straining of the Jnana Marga or the physical discipline of Yoga marga. What is required here is love , love and love to the eternal Godhead, from the depth of the heart who himself is the personification of eternal love- ‘Anbe Sivam’- God is love. Being full of love is the basic nature of human beings. Look at the love of mother to the child and the love of the child towards the mother and therefore possibility of reaching the god head - the bliss-in this marga is ingrained in the beings constitution.

But it will bear fruit if and only if you have not put any preconditions with the god for this love. Your love should be for the sake of love and not for any quid pro quo which then becomes a trade off resulting in nothing.

The greatest examples of this marga are the divine Radha and Andal. Nothing on earth could move them away from “Shyama”- the great Lord Krishna because they knew the cosmic truth and the fact that Lord Krishna was the embodiment of the  absolute , eternal bliss.

That is why Sankara says Bhakthi arising out of  jnana will do wonders.

There are several gurus in this marga from time to time and in almost in all religions –  Shirdi Baba, ,Jesus Christ,Prophet Mohammed, Ramanuja, Madhva, Kabir are some of the well known gurus in bakthi movement.

Karma Marga

People who use their intellect may opt for Jnana marga, who wants to use their mind may choose the Yoga marga and who uses their heart can go for the Bakthi marga. But what about those who are not in a position to choose any of these margas- either out of ignorance,or lack of will or lack of belief or even lack of time.They are all so much engrossed in worldly affairs that they are so busy.

God does not want to leave out even such terribly occupied persons. Why, he does not want to exclude even  an  atheist. Because all of them are also his emanations and he equally resides in them.Just because you have locked your room from all sides the sun shine does not cease to exist.

So the rishis propounded this marga in where you are asked just to carry on with your ordained duties and enjoy all the darmic pleasures. You don’t have to strain your brain or  mind or heart for him. Just by adhering to the natures law and cosmic rule you can realise him and the bliss.

In fact many religions have popularised this marga only, with a bit of bakthi thrown, in because this is what will suit  the majority of human beings in today’s urgent world. But there is caution here that you shall follow your cosmic duties and will enjoy only the permitted pleasures and in no way either fail in your cosmic duties or infringe upon others share of pleasures.

In all these margas mantras play a very crucial and critical role because they are the route for creating the conducive environment both internally and externally as concentration of mind on a single focused thought is trick.

In jnanamarga the very name of the supreme god is the mantra;in Patanjali’s yoga you are advised to choose what suits you; In bakthi marga depending upon the guru you get the relevant  bhajans/nama japas as the sacred sabdas and in Karma Marga the performance of your duties to the nature with utmost sincerity - with no other diversion- acts as that focusing point and  the vibration your heart generates in that process takes care of that.

As they are called, they are only ‘margas’- the routes .They are not the goals.They may be varied. But the goal is the same -‘the eternal god’-the eternal bliss.

KUNDALINI YOGA

Our body looks from outside as one homogenous unit. But in reality it consists of several organs each in turn consisting of several million independent cells integrated through nerves and vessels. Each cell has its memory, life,life span and even will. Each cell needs energy to live healthily – in the form of glucose and oxygen. This is being supplied by what we eat and what we inhale.

Sheaths

But the externally physical body is not the whole truth.There are several sheaths in the body covering the ‘Atman”- the self. Gross body what we all see is just one of it.

The gross body is sustained by food and it is called ‘Annamaya kosha’- the food sheath consisting of skin,flesh,fat,bones and filth.

Then you have a vital body sustained by prana called ‘Pranamaya kosha’. The vital principle – the force that holds together the body and mind.It pervades the entire body organism and only as long as this vital principle exists in the organisms, life continues.This vital force combined with the five organs of action, the vital sheath is formed.

Thirdly you have the ‘ manomaya kosha’-composed of manas-the mind. Mind along with the five sensory organs constitute manomaya kosha. This is truly close to the personolity. This is the cause of diversity- the false ego- the ‘I’ and ‘mine’ arises here.This is the cause of bondage as well as bliss.

Fourthly you have ‘Vijnanamaya kosha’ – the intellectual faculty that discriminates,determines, and wills.It is a combination of intellect with the organs of knowledge,and perception and resulting in ‘Buddhi’-the capacity to discriminate and decide.This sheath forms the cause for transmigration. Yet this sheath is not supreme because –it is also subject to change and is insentient.it is limited and more importantly it is not present always.

Then we come to ‘Ananda maya Kosha’-the sheath of bliss –the seat of God.This is the sheath of causal body. Even in deep sleep when the mind and the senses cease to function it still stands as a link between the finite world and the self.This kosha-sheath composed of supreme bliss is the innermost of all.This blissful sheath is the reflection of the Brahman-Atman complex which is truth,beauty ad bliss absolute.

All the five gross elements like fire,water,earth,akasha and air have their corresponding  subtle connections with the five sensory organs, five organs of knowledge and these five sheaths.

Therefore the sages found that  there are subtle bodies much more than the visible body and the subtle bodies are far more important for upliftment of mind and soul and to be in a blissful state.

Chakras

When they went into deep research of the subtle bodies they figured out that there are invisible subtle energy channels as well as energy points or nodes which were the meeting points of vertical and horizontal subtle energy channels. it is through these channels , which are non physical  the life force and vital energy  flows.

First they found that the ‘spiritual energy force or life energy force ‘ is located at the base of the spine- conceptualized as a coiled serpent because like a serpent it can be awakened to rise and also made to dance as we train.

They further researched and figured out the location,characters and potential  of these nodes. They were called chakras in the tantric system. They identified seven chakras located in our body as under.

1) Above the anus -called ‘mooladara’- which is responsible for the material drive

2)Above/behind genitals called- ‘ Swadistana’-which is responsible for sensual drive and reproduction.

3)Near navel called -‘ Manipura’-which is the seat of will power

4) On the right of the physical heart , called ‘Anahatha’-which takes care of love and compassion

5)Near the throat called -‘ Visuddha’ -which is responsible for the spiritual drive

6)Between the eyebrows called -'Ajna'-which is the seat of intellect

7)On the crown of head called -‘Sahasrara’ -which is the seat of supreme light

They figured out that by channelising the vital energy to these specific chakras they can invoke and uplift the respective faculties. And also by raising the base energy seated in Mooladara slowly to the upper chakras  by mediation and practice they can attain various siddhis-powers, including realisation of god.

Like patanjalis kriya yoga they also have laid down strict do’s and dont's,the required self discipline for meditation and practice .

There are many siddhas particularly in Tamilnadu who have succeefully parcticed this yoga and achieved unbelievable visions.They have left for posterity their terrific experience which are capable of being  emulated and used for uplifting our mind and soul to be  eternally  blissful.

In this yoga system also mantra plays a very very important role.In fact the seekers have identified the constant vibrations being made by each of these chakras and by very concentrated meditation on them  you can raise the primordial energy coiled up in the base for achieving clairaudiance , clairvoyance etc.,

Siddhis

The siddhis that can be achieved by this system are of  eight types viz.,’Anima’-reduce the size of the body even to the size of an atom;’Mahima’-Assuming a gigantic form ie.,becoming larger than the largest as Lord Krishna did in Maha Barata; ‘Garima’-to become extremely heavy; ‘Laghima’-extremely weightless; ‘Prapti’-to acqire anything, anytime ,anywhere at will;’Prakmaya’-to achieve anything desired; ‘Ishvita’-ability to lord over any being and ‘Vasitva’-to have anything under complete control.

There are extensive literature on this marga and several spiritualists and rishis have recommended this. Though the ultimate summit of reaching the sahasrara may be very difficult , raising up to Anahata is possible with deep devotion and rigorous practice.

Practical applications

In the religious practices we pray God putting our hands on the heart because that is where the Anahata chakra is located; gents  apply chandan and ladies kumkum in the throat because that is where the 'visuddha chakra ' is located; we apply kumkum in the forehead between the eyebrows because that is where the 'Ajna chara' is located ( the concept of third eye of Lord Shiva is signifying this chakra only); and we sprinkle abhishekam and holy waters on the top of the head because that is where 'sahasrara' is located. In all these practices scientifically what is happening is by these methods the vital energy knots are activated similar to the principles of acupuncture.