Laya is the state of mind when one forgets all the objects of senses and gets absorbed in the object of meditation. Laya enables one to have perfect control over the five Tattvas, mind and Indriyas. The fluctuations of mind will stop. The mind, body and Prana will be entirely subdued.
For Laya Yoga, Sambhavi Mudra is an effective method, in which one intently concentrates on any one of the Shat Chakras. Trataka exercise plays a vital part in getting success in Laya. In due course of practice, the Yogin gets established in Samadhi. He becomes a Jivanmukta.
Anahata sounds are the mystic sounds heard by the Yogin during his meditation. It is a sign of the purification of Nadis. Some students can clearly hear it through any one of the ears and some by both the ears. There are loud as well as subtle sounds. From the loud, one will have to contemplate on the subtle and from the subtle to the subtler. Beginners can hear the sound only when the ears are closed. Advanced students can concentrate on the Anahata sound even without closing the ears. Anahata sound is also termed Omkara Dhvani. They proceed from the Anahata centre of the Sushumna Nadi.
Sit in your usual Asana. Close the ears with the thumbs. Hear and minutely observe the internal sound through the ears. The sound that you hear from within will make you deaf to all external sounds. Close the eyes also. In the beginning of your practice, you will hear many loud sounds. Later on they are heard in a mild way. The mind having at first concentrated itself on any one sound fixes firmly to that and is absorbed in it. The mind becoming insensible to the external impressions, becomes one with the sound as milk with water and then becomes rapidly absorbed in Chidakasa. Just as the bee drinking the honey alone does not care for the odour so also the Chitta, which is always absorbed in the inner sound, does not long for sensual objects, as it is bound by the sweet smell or Nada and has abandoned its flitting nature.
The sound proceeding from Pranava Nada, which is Brahman, is of the nature of effulgence. The mind gets absorbed in it. The mind exists so long as there is sound, but with its cessation, there is that state termed Turiya. It is the supreme state. It is the Unmani state. The mind gets absorbed along with Prana by constant concentration upon Nada. The body appears to be a log of wood and it does not feel heat or cold, joy or sorrow. Different kinds of sounds proceed from the heart (Anahata sounds).
Nada that is heard through the ears is of ten kinds. The first is the sound Chini (like the pronunciation of the word); the second is Chini-chini; the third is the sound of a bell; the fourth is that of a conch; the fifth is that of a lute; the sixth is the sound of cymbals; the seventh is the tune of a flute; the eighth is the voice of a drum (Bheri); the ninth is the sound of a double-drum (Mridanga); and the tenth is the sound of thunder.
You cannot expect the sound immediately after you close your ears. You should concentrate and keep your mind one-pointed. The particular sound that you hear today, you may not hear every day. But you will hear any one of the ten Anahata sounds.
The description given above is Laya through Nada, Anahata sound. In the same manner, Laya can be effected by concentration at the tip of the nose (Nasikagra Drishti), at the space between the two eyebrows (Bhrumadhya Drishti), meditation on the five Tattvas, on Soham Mantra, Aham Brahma Asmi, Tat Tvam Asi Mahavakyas and other methods also.
Bhakti YogaClasses Of Worship
At the lowest rung of the ladder of Bhakti Yoga comes the worship of elements and departed spirits. This is the lowest form of worship. Next comes the worship of Rishis, Devas and Pitris. The faith of each is shaped according to his own nature. The man consists of that which his faith is, he is even that. The third class includes those followers who worship Avataras like Sri Rama, Krishna, Narasimha. The above four classes of Bhaktas have the Saguna form of worship. Next comes the class of Bhaktas who do Nirguna Upasana on Brahman devoid of attributes. This is the highest form of worship that is suitable for the intelligent people who have strong will and bold understanding. This is known as Ahamgraha Upasana or Jnana Yoga Sadhana.
Bhakti can be acquired and cultivated. Practice of the Nava Vidha Bhakti (nine methods of devotion) will infuse Bhakti. Constant Satsanga, Japa, Prayer, meditation, Svadhyaya, Bhajan, service to saints, Dana, Yatra, etc., will develop Bhakti. The following are the nine methods of developing Bhakti:
Sravana:hearing of the Lilas of God
Sri Ramanuja recommends the following measures of developing Bhakti:
Namdev, Ramdas, Tulsidas and others were a few blessed souls to whom God gave His Darshan. These Bhaktas were Yoga-Bhrashtas. They came into this world with a great asset of spiritual Samskaras. They worshipped God in several births with sincere devotion. They did not do much Sadhana in their final incarnation. This devotion was natural and spontaneous in them on account of the force of previous Samskaras of Bhakti. Ordinary people should adopt drastic, special measures and do special Sadhana for developing Bhakti rapidly. New grooves, new channels have to be cut in the old stony, devotionless heart to a maximum degree. Through constant prayer, Japa, Kirtan, service to Bhaktas, charity, Vrata, Tapas, Dhyana and Samadhi a Bhakta should raise his consciousness to a high degree and acquire Para Bhakti, highest knowledge and Supreme peace. In the advanced stages of meditation, the meditator and the meditated, the worshipper and the worshipped, the Upasaka and the Upasya will become one. Dhyana will terminate in Samadhi. Constant and regular practice is necessary.
A Hatha Yogi reaches the highest stage by the practice of various Mudras, Bandhas, Asanas and other exercises; a Jnani by the practice of Sravana, Manana and Nididhyasana; a Karma Yogin by the selfless works (Nishkama Seva); a Bhakta by developing Bhakti and self-surrender, and a Raja Yogi by deep concentration and manipulation of the mind. The Goal is the same in all cases but the methods are different.
Concentration and meditation on the primordial energy, Shakti, is only a modification of Jnana Yogic Sadhana. Concentration and meditation on the different centres of energy belongs to Raja Yoga. Concentration at the different Chakras and Nadis and awakening the Shakti through physical methods belong to Hatha Yoga. Concentration and meditation on the Devata, presiding deity of the different inner Chakras, may be taken as an advanced course in Bhakti Yoga. For quick success, different methods of Sadhana should be combined.
The Bhakta when he meditates on the presiding deity or Devata, imagines a particular form of God at each Chakra. In books of Mantra Shastra, elaborate descriptions of God and the Devatas are given for each Chakra. According to the temperament of the students they take the form of God in a different way. The experiences and feelings of the aspirants vary in all cases. Therefore I am not giving the descriptions of all the Devas and Devatas. When a man closes his eyes and meditates on the inner Chakras, he gets various visions and sees the different forms of God. That is the best to which he should cling. Then only real growth is possible. The general information that is given in the theoretical portion of this Kundalini Yoga will surely help a lot in concentration and meditation on the Chakras.
Awakening Kundalini is effected by Mantra also. It is a portion of Bhakti Yoga. Some aspirants should repeat the Mantra given by their Guru even lakhs of times. During the time of Diksha of an Uttama Adhikari, the Guru utters a particular Mantra and Kundalini is awakened immediately. The consciousness of the student is raised to a very high degree. This depends upon the faith of the student in his Guru and in the Mantra. Mantras, when received from the Guru in person, are very powerful. Aspirants in Kundalini Yoga should take to this Mantra Sadhana only after getting a proper Mantra from a Guru. Therefore I am not touching this point in detail. Mantras when learnt through ordinary friends or through books cannot produce any benefit at all. Mantras are numerous and the Guru should select a particular Mantra by which the consciousness of a particular student can be awakened.
Eight Major Siddhis
An accomplished, Purnayogi in the path of Kundalini Yoga is in possession of eight major Siddhis, viz., Anima, Mahima, Laghima, Garima, Prapti, Prakamya, Vasitvam and Ishitvam.
1. Anima: The Yogi can become as minute as he pleases.
2. Mahima: This is the opposite of Anima. He can become as big as he likes. He can make his body assume a very large size. He can fill up the whole universe. He can assume a Virat Svarupa.
3. Laghima: He can make his body as light as cotton or feather. Vayustambhanam is done through this Siddhi. In Jalastambhanam also the power is exercised to a very small degree. The body is rendered light by Plavini Pranayama. The Yogi produces a diminution of his specific gravity by swallowing large draughts of air. The Yogi travels in the sky with the help of this Siddhi. He can travel thousands of miles in a minute.
4. Garima: This is the opposite of Laghima. In this the Yogi acquires an increase of specific gravity. He can make the body as heavy as a mountain by swallowing draughts of air.
5. Prapti: The Yogi standing on the earth can touch the highest things. He can touch the sun or the moon or the sky. Through this Siddhi the Yogi attains his desired objects and supernatural powers. He acquires the power of predicting future events, the power of clairvoyance, clairaudience, telepathy, thought-reading, etc. He can understand the languages of the beasts and birds. He can understand unknown languages also. He can cure all diseases.
6. Prakamya: He can dive into the water and can come out at any time he likes. The late Trilinga Swami of Benares used to live for six months underneath the Ganges. It is the process by which a Yogi makes himself invisible sometimes. By some writers it is defined to be the power of entering body of another (Parakaya Pravesh). Sri Sankara entered the body of Raja Amaruka of Benares. Tirumular in Southern India entered the body of a shepherd. Raja Vikramaditya also did this. It is also the power of keeping a youth-like appearance for any length of time. Raja Yayati had this power.
7. Vashitvam: This is the power of taming wild animals and bringing them under control. It is the power of mesmerising persons by the exercise of will and of making them obedient to ones own wishes and orders. It is the restraint of passions and emotions. It is the power to bring men, women and the elements under subjection.
8. Ishitvam: It is the attainment of divine power. The Yogi becomes the Lord of the universe. The Yogi who has this power can restore life to the dead. Kabir, Tulsidas, Akalkot Swami and others had this power of bringing back life to the dead.
The Yogi acquires the following minor Siddhis also:
1. Freedom from hunger and thirst.
2. Freedom from the effects of heat and cold.
3. Freedom from Raga-Dvesha.
4. Doora Darshan, clairvoyance or Dooradrishti.
5. Doora Sravan, clairaudience or Doora Sruti and Doora Pravachana.
6. Mano-Jaya, control of mind.
7. Kama Rupa: The Yogi can take any form he likes.
8. Parakaya Pravesha: He can enter into another body, can animate a dead body and enter into it by transferring his soul.
9. Iccha-Mrityu: Death at his will.
10. Devanam Saha Kreeda and Darshana: Playing with the gods after seeing them.
11. Yatha Sankalpa: Can get whatever he likes.
12. Trikala-Jnana: Knowledge of past, present and future.
13. Advandva: Beyond the pairs of opposites.
14. Vak-Siddhi: Whatever the Yogi predicts will come to pass by the practice of Satya, Prophecy.
15. The Yogi can turn base metal into gold.
16. Kaya-Vyuha: Taking as many bodies as the Yogi likes to exhaust all his Karmas in one life.
17. Darduri-Siddhi: The jumping power of a frog.
18. Patala-Siddhi: Yogi becomes Lord of desire, destroys sorrows and diseases.
19. He gets knowledge of his past life.
20. He gets knowledge of the cluster of stars and planets.
21. He gets the power of perceiving the Siddhas.
22. He gets mastery of the elements (Bhuta Jaya), mastery of Prana (Prana Jaya).
23. Kamachari: He can move to any place he likes.
24. He gets omnipotence and omniscience.
25. Vayu-Siddhi: The Yogi rises in the air and leaves the ground.
26. He can point out the place where a hidden treasure lies.
Power Of A Yogi
A Yogi forgets the body in order to concentrate the mind on the Lord. He conquers heat and cold by mastering breath-control and by controlling his nervous system.
A Yogi generates psychic heat in the body through the practice of Bhastrika Pranayama.
He can bear extremes of climates without discomfort.
He sits on the snow and melts it by the warmth generated in his body.
A Yogi covers his body with a sheet dipped in very cold water and dries it by the Yoga heat given off from his body. A few adepts have dried as many as thirty sheets in a single night.
A perfect Yogi cremates his body in the end by the Yogic heat generated by his power of Yoga.
Instructions On Siddhis
1. By the process of Hatha Yoga, the Yogi attains perfect physical bodyRupalavanya Bala Vajrasam-hanana Kaya Sampat. The perfection of the body consists in beauty, grace, strength and adamantine hardness. The power to bear extreme cold and heat (Titiksha), the power to live without water and food and other powers come under the category of Kaya Sampat (perfection of body).
2. Since the body of the Hatha Yogi is perfect and firm, his mind also is firm and one-pointed. By the practices of Dharana and Dhyana, he reaches the highest rung in the Yogic ladder and attains Immortality through Yogic Samadhi. The Yogi who has reached the highest stage, will have the 8 major and all the minor Siddhis.
3. Attainment of powers depends upon the amount of concentration at different Chakras and Tattvas and awakening of Kundalini. The practice of Mudras, Bandhas, Asanas and Pranayamas will also help a lot in acquiring Siddhis.
4. The Siddhis that are obtained by the practice of Mudras can be obtained by the practice of Bandhas, Asanas, Pranayamas and also by the concentration on different Chakras. That depends upon the temperament and capacity of the aspirants. One can obtain the desired goal by one exercise and others by different methods. Therefore if one is not able to get success by a particular exercise, he will have to have recourse to other exercises.
5. Many of the 8 major Siddhis are not possible at all at the present age (Kali Yuga), when the body and mind of the vast majority are not fit enough. Even today there are several Siddhas who have the power to perform some of the Siddhis. When people approach them to do this and that, they hide themselves or generally say:I do not know. They are not much particular about these Siddhis. Their aim is to ignore these as unreal and aspire to reach the highest. They are the only real Yogins. Many are able to use some powers and they do not know how they are able to do them.
6. One can read the thoughts of others. A man in London hears the spiritual message of sages in India. You have seen several persons removing the poison of cobras by chanting some Mantras or by mere touch. By giving some sort of leaves, incurable diseases are cured. There are men who will very accurately tell your past, present and future. Some are able to see astral entities. Stopping the functions of the heart and changing the mind of others and other powers are due to Yogic practices.
7. Nowadays you cannot find a man who has developed all the powers. When one gets certain powers, he stops there by the influence of Maya and false Tushti (satisfaction) and uses the powers for his livelihood or for fame. Therefore he is not able to proceed further and attain perfection. It is not the mistake of the Yogic Kriyas. You should not lose faith. Faith, attention, sincerity and earnestness will lead you to success.
1. Fix the mind on some object either within the body or outside. Keep it there steady for some time. This is Dharana. You will have to practise this daily. Laya-Yoga has its basis on Dharana.
2. Purify the mind first through the practice of Yama, Niyama and then take to the practice of Dharana. Concentration without purity is of no use. There are some occultists who have concentration. But they have no good character. That is the reason why they do not make any progress in the spiritual line.
3. He who has a steady Asana and has purified the Yoga Nadis will be able to concentrate easily. Concentration will be intense if you remove all distractions. A true Brahmachari, who has preserved his Veerya, will have wonderful concentration.
4. Some foolish, impatient students take to Dharana at once without undergoing the preliminary ethical training. This is a serious blunder. Ethical perfection is of paramount importance.
5. You can concentrate internally on any one of the seven Chakras and externally on any Devata, Hari, Krishna or Devi.
6. Attention plays a prominent part in concentration. He who has developed his power of attention will have good concentration. A man who is filled with passion and all sorts of fantastic desires, can hardly concentrate on any object even for a second. His mind will be jumping like a monkey.
7. He who has gained Pratyahara (withdrawing the senses from the objects) will have a good concentration. You will have to march in the spiritual path step by step, stage by stage. Lay the foundation of Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama and Pratyahara to start with. The super-structure of Dharana and Dhyana will be successful only then.
8. You should be able to visualise very clearly the object of concentration even in its absence. You must call up the mental picture at a moments notice. If you have good practice in concentration, you can do this without much difficulty.
9. In the beginning stage of practice, you can concentrate on the tick-tick sound of a watch or on the flame of the candle or on any other object that is pleasing to the mind. This is concrete concentration. There can be no concentration without something upon which the mind may rest. The mind can be fixed on a pleasant object. It is very difficult in the beginning to fix the mind on any object which it dislikes.
10. If you want to increase your power of concentration you will have to reduce your worldly activities. You will have to observe Mouna everyday for two hours or even more.
11. Practise concentration till the mind is well established on the object of concentration. When the mind runs away from the object, bring it back again.
12. When concentration is deep and intense, all other senses cannot operate. He who practises concentration for one hour daily has tremendous psychic powers. He will have a strong will-power.
13. Vedantins try to fix the mind on Atman. This is their Dharana. Hatha Yogins and Raja Yogins concentrate their mind on the six Chakras. Bhaktas concentrate on their Ishta Devata. Other objects of meditation are described under Trataka and Laya Yoga. Concentration is necessary for all the aspirants.
14. Those who practise concentration evolve quickly. They can do any work with greater efficiency in no time. What others can do in six hours can be done easily in half an hour by one who has a concentrated mind. Concentration purifies and calms the surging emotions, strengthens the current of thought and clarifies the ideas. Concentration keeps a man in his material progress also. He will turn out very good work in his office or business-house. What was cloudy and hazy before, becomes clearer and definite; What was very difficult before becomes easy now; and what was complex, bewildering and confusing before, comes easily within the mental grasp. You can achieve anything by concentration. Nothing is impossible for one who regularly practises concentration. Clairvoyance, clairaudience, mesmerism, hypnotism, thought-reading, music, mathematics and other sciences depend upon concentration.
15. Retire into a quiet room. Close your eyes. See what happens when you think of an apple. You may think of its colour, shape, size, different parts such as skin, pulp, seeds, etc. You may think of the places, Australia or Kashmir, wherefrom it is imported. You may think of its acidic or sweet taste and its effects on the digestive system and blood. Through the law of association, ideas of some other fruits also may try to enter. The mind may begin to entertain some other extraneous ideas. It may begin to wander. It may think of meeting a friend at the Railway Station at 4 p.m. It may think of purchasing a towel or a tin of tea or biscuits. You should try to have a definite line of thought. There should not be any break in the line of thinking. You must not entertain any other thought which is not connected with the subject on hand. The mind will try its level best to run in its old grooves. You will have to struggle hard in the beginning. The attempt is somewhat like going up a steep hill. You will rejoice and feel immense happiness when you get success in concentration.
16. Just as laws of gravitation, cohesion, etc., operate in the physical plane, so also definite laws of thought such as laws of association, relativity, contiguity, etc., operate in the mental plane or thought-world. Those who practise concentration should thoroughly understand these laws. When the mind thinks of an object, it may think of its qualities and its parts also. When it thinks of a cause it may think of its effect also.
17. If you read with concentration Bhagavad Gita or the Vicar of Wakefield several times, you can get new ideas each time. Through concentration you will get insight. Subtle esoteric meanings will flash out in the field of mental consciousness. You will understand the inner depth of philosophical significance.
18. When you concentrate on an object do not wrestle with the mind. Avoid tension anywhere in the body. Think gently of the object in a continuous manner. It is very difficult to practise concentration when one is very hungry and when one is suffering from an acute disease.
19. If emotions disturb you during concentration, do not mind them. They will pass away soon. If you try to drive them away you will have to tax your will-force. Have an indifferent attitude. To drive the emotions away, the Vedantin uses the formula: I am a Sakshi of the mental modifications. I dont care. Get out. The Bhakta simply prays, and help comes from God.
20. Train the mind in concentrating on various objects, gross and subtle, of various sizes. In course of time a strong habit will be formed. The moment you sit for concentration, the mood will come at once, quite easily.
21. When you read a book you must read with concentration. There is no use of skipping over the pages in a hurried manner. Read one page. Close the book. Concentrate on what you have read. Find out parallel lines in Gita, Upanishads, etc.
22. For a neophyte the practice of concentration is disgusting and tiring in the beginning. He has to cut new grooves in the mind and brain. After some time, say two or three months, he gets great interest. He enjoys a new kind of happiness. Concentration is the only way to get rid of the miseries and tribulations. Your only duty is to achieve concentration and through concentration to attain the final beatitude, Self-realisation. Charity and Rajasuya Yajna are nothing when compared with concentration.
23. When desires arise in the mind, do not try to fulfil them. Reject them as soon as they arise. Thus by gradual practice the desires can be reduced. The modifications of the mind will also diminish a lot.
24. You must get rid of all sorts of mental weakness, superstitions, false and wrong Samskaras. Then only you will be able to concentrate your mind.
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