This is a transcript of the lecture given at the Spirituality Centre of the Medical Faculty of the University of Minneosta. Delivered at Mayo Auditorium, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA, on 20th July 2011.
Benevolent divinity ever at rest within ourselves.
Tat twam asi.
That thou art.
Know that self with affirmation
I am that,
I am that,
I am that.
This self, atman, I, am pure consciousness.
In the infinite ocean of life force and consciousness force, know yourself to be an oceanic wave.
You are in the infinite ocean of fullness from which a wave flows and identifies itself as you and you say
I am that,
I am that,
I am that.
Contemplate that being of yourself.
A wave from the infinite ocean of bliss that now you are,
flowing through a finite time-space frame that you name yourself to be the person.
In this you-person the consciousness wave touches the mind --- a field of energy called the mind.
This consciousness-generated mind-field receives the waves of revealed wisdom; supreme enlightened realizations,
diversifies them in the processes of mentation and sensualization.
You mentate and send the mind waves to generate prana and the senses.
This prana energy field of life force sends forth impulses of aliveness into your internal organs.
Observe the consciousness, mind, prana, sending forth these waves, impulses, whereby your internal organs begin to move in a melodic rhythm.
Observe the prana-infused wave-like impulses and thus generated melodic rhythms harmonize all your internal organs.
Ah this melodic rhythm makes the airs flow that become your breathing process.
Thus forms a person every moment; every nano-second a new person is being formed by these impulses, waves beginning from the oceanic wave of consciousness that you truly are.
Observe the entire spectral process from the consciousness to the breathing. This eternal life force and consciousness wave from the fullness of infinity find the mind infused by your mantra revelation.
the sense awareness,
rhythms of all internal organs and the cells,
the very breath---
in the time-space of the finitude of your person
Infusing your entire being.
Know this rhythm, the wave passing through your whole body from the seat of the mind to the soles of the feet.
From the soles of the feet to the seat of the mind.
The light of infinitude merging in the shadows of the finitude and giving them light, life, consciousness.
Feel this entire melodic rhythmic person flowing.
Sense this breath of infinitude perfuming your person-finitude from soles of the feet to the seat of the mind.
From seat of the mind to the soles of the feet.
The waves of consciousness, mind, prana, breath, mantra
Let this flow of awareness continue
through your entire finitude-person.
Your mantra or the chosen sacred sound, prayer word,
filling the entire space-time frame of your person.
Now gather all of this awareness and the sense of your breath in the seat of your prana,
the navel center of consciousness from where a mother infuses a foetus with her mind and prana.
Dwell in the awareness of that center,
sensing the melodic rhythm of the internal organs that makes your navel
and stomach area to extend and pull back with each breath.
Observe that rhythm and maintain the mantra or the sacred sound.
A continuous flow.
Without a jerk.
Feel a subtle wave of the breath consciousness infused from the navel center of consciousness
to the center between the eyebrows in the area of the sinuses
from that third eye center down to the navel center---
feel a smooth flow, gentle, subtle, slim.
Observe the ascent and descent of this breath consciousness
with the mantra or the sacred sound.
On this channel of the centers of consciousness as your awareness, breath awareness, touches
the navel center,
the heart center,
the throat center,
the third eye center,
third eye center,
let the flow continue unimpeded,
just barely noting that, yes, indeed, that center is being touched.
Unimpeded flow continues just barely marking the centers through which the flow passes.
Now mark as you pass through these centers as to which center draws your attention the most.
Where it is that the mind wishes to settle.
Let the breath flow continue.
Let the mind settle in that center,
as though your mantra, your sacred sound, is arising as an impulse in that center.
If the mind wanders, come back into that center with the mantra impulse.
Now feel the breath again through the entire channel.
Now feel the flow and the touch of your breath in your nostrilswith the mantra or sacred sound of soham.
Remaining inwardly tuned to the oceanic wave of infinitude,
slowly open your eyes but let the flow of consciousness, mantra, mind, prana, breath continue.
To return to the space-time-mind-frame-finitude,
gently bring your palms to cup your eyes.
Become aware of your cognitive and active senses.
Gently rub around your brows, temples.
Look at your palms joined sideways
and looking at the palms,
bring the palms down.
If it feels that the meditation was too long I’m helpless. Yatha niyukto’smi tatha karomi. As I’m impelled, so I do.
Those who identify their being as a time-space-mind frame of finitude,those who identify themselves with the time-space-mind-frame of finitude
begin the meditation as a process from the surfaces of that frame, from the surfaces of that body. Muscles, nerves, breath. Slowly seeking the channels of inward pathways.
How long will you stay skimming the surfaces?
The yogi begins from the infinitude and simply observes how the oceanic fullness Infinitude in which we are all swimming, at all times, how the wave of that consciousness becomes infused into this frame and starts, triggers its processes.
A wave, a wave, a wave, that’s what you are.
Fellow waves in the ocean of infinitude.
You can write a textbook of philosophy on that. Some people will study that textbook and a few will get Ph.D.’s, or, you can enjoy. Learn to enjoy this fullness.
Do not suffer the emptiness you suffer so often.
That joy rises from within you.
The great mystic poets of all cultures, literate cultures, pre-literate, non-literate cultures, all have burst out singing of this fullness. We read it as poetry. Analyze its rhyme, rhythm, and diction and we get a doctorate in literature or in anthropology!
Enjoy the ecstasy. The word ‘ecstasy’ is used in all different levels of senses. Some people seek ecstasy by bursting their neurons with the infusion of chemical drugs, leaving their minds helter skelter, confused, made unable to concentrate on anything, unproductive, uncreative, addicted.
Then there are some drops of the cosmic goblet of ecstasy we enjoy. Drops we enjoy of the whole goblet. Sometimes that delicious taste in the mouth sends us into ecstasy, the touch of a lover, the site of a little drop dripping of morning dew from the rose.
In the system of yoga we have a spiritual anatomy. I cannot go into that whole subject today, the whole spiritual anatomy. Layers upon layers of our consciousness.
One part of this spiritual anatomy is called the system of koshas. The word kosha is a Sanskrit word from which the English word case, like a ‘pillow case’ is derived; casings, casings of consciousness, layers.
In the tradition, the yogis speak of five casings:
This ‘maya’ in these words is not to be confused with the word maya that is pronounced maayaa. It is a different word. Annamaya, Pranamaya, manomaya, vijnanamaya, and anandamaya.
Annamaya is consciousness of the food-body. The body made of food. The body made of nutrients, our most external consciousness. Most of us just remain on the surface of that annamaya kosha, the nutrient-casing. They think that we are nothing but all the pies we have eaten heaped together --- that is what I am! The annamaya consciousness.
Even that is a wave of divinity.
This whole universe is God’s food. At the end of a cycle of creation, at the moment of dissolution, He gathers it all together and consumes it back into Himself, by Herself, or Itself. So in the ancient Upanishads one of the names of Brahman is annam, annam-Brahman, Food that is Brahman.
Annamaya, your consciousness of the body made of the nutrients.
Now, pranamaya, the layer of consciousness which then identifies with prana. In your practicing, doing your asanas, postures, movements, on the surface you are doing the exercises of the annamaya kosha and nowadays that is what people think yoga is, no more, because people do not wish to go to deeper layers of consciousness.
In the process of asanas and other yoga movements, the subtler pranamaya infuses the annamaya.
There is a principle in the cosmic sciences that the subtler energies infuse into grosser energy forms. So prana infuses the annamaya.
This prana is also the name of Brahman. There is a hymn to prana in the Atharvaveda.
praaNaaya namo yasya sarvam idam vashe
yo bhootah sarvasyeshvaro yasmin sarvam prati-ShThitam
My homage to that prana under whose control is this entire universe; Who is the Lord of it all. The one in whom all of this universe is sustained, a living energy passing through all of us.
So, the wave of annamaya is infused with the wave of prana.
Next level of yoga practices then deals with the pranamaya kosha. Motionless exercise. Motionless movement of the energy. That is the next level in the practice of yoga.
Manomaya, who moves this prana? The mind. Mind again has many layers. Each layer is given a word, a name. There is a whole taxonomy of the mind.
The ego-identifying mind.
The naming mind.
That is, the ego-identifying and naming mind.
The wisdom mind.
The active mind that activates the senses and thinks neuronal thoughts which most people nowadays consider to be the only mind there is, and the totality of the energy field called the mind which is also the vehicle of reincarnation.
This is manomaya kosha, the mind casing.
As you penetrate from casing to casing the practices differ, change, become subtler; greater and yet greater stillness is obtained.
The wave becomes serene. Such a serene one can sit in meditation motionless for eighteen hours or eighteen days. That is manomaya kosha.
Now to Vijnanamaya kosha.
We speak of divinity as omniscient. In Sanskrit sarvajna, all-knowing. A drop of that ultra-cosmic transcendental knowledge has been very miserly gifted to us. All the knowledge in all the computers and in all the libraries, it is all a tiny drop. Was it not Sir Isaac Newton who was a great explorer of spirituality that many people do not realize, like Einstein much later, trying to fathom the secrets of how God operates this universe. He said something like : on the vast ocean beach of knowledge I’m only holding a few specks of sand.
There is a story in the ancient epics in Sanskrit language called the Puranas.
We speak of knowledge of the three Vedas or four Vedas and one sage spent his entire one life exploring one Veda. Spent his second life exploring the second Veda. Spent his third life exploring the third Veda, one compendium of knowledge. He thought of himself as greatly wisdom-endowed but a sage of high realization came to him and said, “You have the knowledge of all the three Vedas?” So the greater sage created for him a vision of three tallest mountains in front of him. Do you see these mountains? Yes. He asked: how many grains of dirt in these mountains? Then he picks three grains of dirt from the ground, puts them into the wisdom-seeking sage’s hand and said: compared to those mountains this, three dust grains worth is the wisdom you have.
But in its own miserly measure we have this vijnanamaya kosha, the casing of knowledge. That is the fourth stage.
And the fifth, anandamaya kosha, the casing of ecstasy and bliss.
Just like this miserly drop of knowledge in vijnanamaya kosha, also from the ultra-cosmic transcendent bliss, ananda, we have been give one tiny miserly drop of ecstasy.
All your bursts of genius compared to that infinitude, mine too, all specks of dust.
Take all the pleasures that make you ecstatic. Any pleasures that you have had, any pleasures that you wish to have in their utmost intensity, and,
all the pleasures, all the living beings that have ever been on this earth from dinosaurs to tiny mites --- gather them all together, all the pleasures they have ever had, put them all together -- then you have a tiny drop that the divinity has conferred to us in which we revel and enjoy our ecstasies.
I assure you of that but it is because of that drop of vijnana and ananda that all the bursts of genius occur, that all the pleasant sensations of your body and exhilarating thoughts of your mind arise.
What is the bliss like that is of Brahman? As I said if you gather all the pleasures all the living beings have ever had and will ever have, put them all together; in comparison to the transcendent infinitude of divinity they are tiny drops but it is those tiny drops that give you the capacity to create the works of genius and to enjoy whatever it is that you enjoy.
Then we come to mystic ecstasy, next level. When you make love there comes a moment between the two lovers when the male and the female [ here the speaker pointed to his left and right nostril ] perfectly unite. The left and the right nostril, the yin and the yang flow in absolute total balance for a few seconds. Those are the moments of shushumna breath that all lovers seek in their pursuits of sexual exploration. This here [the speaker points to nasagra, the point between the nostrils].
The yogi turns on that shushumna breath anytime without going through all the trouble. Both nostril breaths become equal. No male, no female; no moon, no sun.
That is why the spiritual paths recommend celibacy. Not as a controlling but as an enjoying. That is true celibacy. All the rest is repression, not workable.
So, then, comes the mystic ecstasy. When you know your linkage with the infinite and the infinite comes gushing into you, ah, it is that of which the saintly poets have written and sung. In the early stages that mystic ecstasy is an up and a down. Sometimes it gushes, sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t gush then Rumi cries in separation because he remembers that moment of the gush of infinity passing through every particle of the delimited space-time-identity frame.
So that mystic ecstasy goes through ups and downs. So much of the spiritual poetry is often this kind of ‘up’ and ‘down’ poetry. Great bursts of joy, great tears in separation. That stage gives way to the next, the highest where there are no more ‘ups’ and ‘downs’.
The final ecstasy, fullness forever, absorbed, assimilated. Those in such state won’t show it off. They use particles of it for the benefit of the world.
That, my friend, is a very brief charting of the path of yoga.
God bless you.
You can start with a two minute balancing of the breath.
Just free your hands.
Balance the body.
Relax your forehead. In the annamaya kosha, start back from there.
Feel the flow and the touch of your breath in your nostrils.
If you have no mantra use the word soham, I am that.
Balance the left and the right nostril breath.
Exhale and without a break inhale feeling the flow and the touch in the nostrils.
Maintain the flow.
Maintaining the flow gently open your eyes and resolve ever to be full.
Om sham, peace to you.