Shri Datta Swami

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THE TRUE ESSENCE OF YOGA

Posted on: 19 Nov 2003
O Learned and Devoted Servants of God,

Imaginary Chakras and Lotus flowers: Yoga is the most prestigious field of spirituality. People think that there are six wheels (chakras) or lotus flowers present in the spinal cord, which are not seen by the eyes[1]. [Actually] the wheels are imaginary and so the term ‘wheel’ must carry some inner meaning. When you say someone’s face is the moon itself [metaphorically], only fools search for the moon in that face. But wise people see the similarity between the person’s face and the moon. Similarly, wheels and lotus flowers should not be searched in the spinal cord. The spinal cord is the main nerve, representing the mind, which is the basis of love. All these wheels or lotus flowers are the bonds of love towards various relatives like parents, wife or husband, children etc. They are compared to wheels or revolving whirlpools in the ocean, which attract a swimmer and drown him. Similarly, these love-wheels are compared to lotus flowers, since lotus flowers attract the bee by their sweet fragrance and bind it. Similarly, these love-flowers attract any a person and bind him. Kundalini is the mind, which is the energy traveling in the form of waves like a serpent. The mind (kundalini) should cross all these love-wheels to connect to the seventh lotus flower in the head called as Sahasrara. The Sahasrara is the Buddhi or intelligence that takes decisions. It represents the firm love for God.

The Bhagavad Gita is called as the main scripture of yoga (Yoga Shastra). Why is there not even a single reference to these wheels or lotus flowers anywhere in the Gita or even in the Upanishads? Since they are not real, they are not even mentioned. The author of the Gita is Lord Krishna, who is called the Master of yoga (Yogeshwara). Lord Krishna also says that the real yoga was lost since a long period of time (Sa kaleneha mahata…). This means that in the beginning, the sages in India knew the real yoga and loved God alone after crossing all their family bonds. In due course of time, this true yoga was lost. Why? Indians in the middle ages were unable to cross their family bonds and so they failed to succeed in yoga. They wanted to cover their inability by twisting the very concept of yoga. The family bonds were removed from the concept and only wheels or lotus flowers were left. So nowadays people close their eyes and say that they have seen the lotus flowers or wheels, which are only imaginary! They even cross these wheels by their imaginary Kundalini and say that they have succeeded in yoga. These blind teachers are also not to be blamed, because they were trained like that by their blind teachers. This misinterpretation was done a long time back and hence, even at the time of Krishna, He said that [the real] yoga had been lost for a long time. We cannot catch those original culprits, who were the topmost masters in twisting concepts and so the present tradition cannot be blamed either. Rectification [of the misunderstanding of the concept] is the only way left out. Some say that they see light, which is only an imagination. After all, the mind is a form of energy and upon concentrating the mind, imaginary light can be imagined. Instead of seeing that imaginary dim light, it is better to look at a bright light with your open eyes! What is the use of these imaginary lights and colours? The real achievement is achieving the Lord through your true love, which exceeds all the various worldly loves.

I pity the foreigners, who are trapped in this false and imaginary line of yoga, and who are wasting their precious lifetime and energy. In fact, they are the best [candidates] to succeed in yoga, if the reality of yoga is revealed to them. Their family bonds are very weak and their love towards God is real, which is proved by their huge sacrifice of money for the sake of God’s work. Money is the fruit of work and its sacrifice for God’s work is karma phala tyaga as mentioned in the Gita. Again, in the middle ages, Indians twisted the meaning of this word karma phala tyaga to mean the sacrifice of the fruit of work like praying to God, instead of the sacrifice of money. The reason was that these Indians were unable to sacrifice money to God due to their strong love for their children. Foreigners ask their children to earn on their own after a certain age. Indians continue to store their money even if they have already accumulated enough money to last ten generations. Since Indians divert their prayers, meditation and knowledge to God, India was blessed by God with good language, good mind and good knowledge. Since foreigners are good in sacrifice, God blessed them with good wealth. Even Indian spiritual centers have been generously funded by foreigners. Swami Vivekananda cried, “Why is my India, with such rich spiritual knowledge, suffering with poverty?” Sacrifice of money (karma phala tyaga) and sacrifice of work (karma samnyasa) put together constitute God’s service, which is the real yoga (real proof of love) called karma yoga in the Gita. Foreigners are the best in this karma yoga and so they easily succeed in yoga. Throughout the Gita, this karma yoga was explained as yoga and wheels or lotus flowers are not at all mentioned.

True Interpretation of Sahasrara

Kundalini represents life-energy. When it passes through [each of the six] wheels, it is in the state of mind[2]. Mind (manas) means the state of doubt or wavering i.e., it doubts whether to do something this way or that way (samkalpa and vikalpa). For example when the mind thinks whether one should love God in human form more than one’s children or not, it means that the person’s life-energy (Kundalini) is [trapped] in the Anahata wheel. When one finally decides that one’s highest love should be for God in human form alone, it means that the person’s life-energy (Kundalini) has reached the Sahasrara, which is the state of intelligence (buddhi). Even after taking that decision, the decision is split[3] when that God in human form starts testing the person by exhibiting negative qualities (Maya). The various petals of the Sahasrara lotus represent the splitting of one’s decision. When the splitting disappears[4], you reach the central part of the lotus i.e., a single firm decision to believe that the human form of God is the ultimate truth. The whole essence of yoga is like this: You pass from mind (doubting, wavering) to spilt-free intelligence (doubtless firm decision). i.e., you leave all the doubts about the human form of God and dedicate all your firm love to Him even if He tests you. Finally, you associate with him. If you never fall from this state, it is called Nirvikalpa Samadhi, which is the 8th state of yoga[5]. The Gopikas, who were the real yogis, reached this state and [hence] Lord Krishna in human form was called Yogishwara [the Lord of the Yogis]. The association of the Gopikas with the Lord was yoga [union].

Sahasrara is the lotus with many petals, which represents intelligence (buddhi) and the petals represent the various decisions taken by the intelligence. This shows that the buddhi, which is nothing but decision, is divided in several ways. At the centre of Sahasrara, is Datta or the real God. The central part of the lotus flower is joined with all the petals. It means that all the different decisions combine to become a single central decision at this place. The real God exists there at that central point. That single central region of the lotus indicates deciding [i.e. correctly recognizing, who is] the human form of the one God. But in order to reach this decision regarding the the human form of God, the intelligence splits[6] and takes various decisions at various times, which are represented by the various petals. To decide [who is] the Human Incarnation of God [and stick to that decision], is a very complicated matter, and is called as ‘the knowledge of God’ (Brahma Jnana). Therefore, Brahma Jnana (Brahma Vidya) is said to be very difficult. If we say that God has no form and is pervading all over the world, like cosmic energy, there is no trace of difficulty in understanding it. If you say that a particular statue is God, again there is no trace of difficulty in understanding it. But when we say that a particular man is God, there will be various splits in our decisions, because that particular human body also follows the usual laws of nature. That particular human body further complicates the topic by showing some misleading negative actions to test our faith.

Hanuman worshipped the Rama, who was in human form and who was present in his time. Radha too worshipped Krishna who was in a human form and who was present in her time. Jesus was also in human form and Mohammad was also in human form. The love that we have for other human beings can become an obstacle in reaching God only when God in human form competes with them[7]. The love that we have for human beings [our loved ones] cannot be obstacles in the path of reaching formless God or in the case when a statue is considered to be God. This is because these forms of God cannot compete with human beings. Krishna, who was in human form, competed with the family bonds of the Gopikas. This is the true interpretation of Sahasrara.

Raja Yoga and Samnyasa

Yoga means to recognize and reach the real human form of God. Actually the word yoga means ‘to meet’. If your association with Him is permanent then it is called eternal yoga. For this purpose, you should love that human form of God and your love for Him should exceed all your other bonds of love in the world. Your love in the world is for non-living things like wealth and for living beings like your relatives such as parents, wife, husband, children etc. The non-living wealth is meant only for the living beings. So, if your love for those living beings is cut, then naturally your love for the non-living things is also cut. These bonds of love with your relatives are the obstacles in the path of your pure love towards God. This clearly means that you should not love anything or anybody except God. These worldly bonds of love are revolving whirlpools that are present in the ocean of this world. When you are swimming to cross this world-ocean (samsara), these whirlpools will attract, turn you round-and-round and drown you. Hence, you should not swim in a straight line (directly). You should swim in a curved manner like a serpent [in order to avoid these whirlpools of wordly bonds]. This point has again an inner meaning. It means that you should not be straightforward in the case of your love for your family members. You should only act as if you love them, because all your love is for God alone. Such behaviour is not cheating or a sin because you are doing so only to avoid hurting them. Therefore, you are called as ‘Anagha’. Anagha means ‘sinless’. She alone attained [yoga or union with God] and hence she is seen by the side of Lord Datta. Anagha is the wife of Datta. This means that Anagha is that human being, who reaches Datta. Anybody irrespective of being a male or a female can be Anagha because God is the husband of all human beings. Therefore, Anagha does not mean only a lady.

Why is cheating one’s family bonds not a sin? You might think that instead of cheating one’s family members, it is better to just cut one’s family bonds and leave the family for the sake of God. But no, you should not do that. If you do so, you get sin for hurting them. Then you cannot be Anagha and you cannot reach Datta. Cheating them is not a sin but hurting them is a sin. Actually, if we analyse, your cheating is not cheating at all. Actually, this type of cheating is justified because the family bonds themselves are temporary; they are valid only for this birth. Hence, they are unreal. Adi Shankara has proved in His commentary that anything that is temporary is unreal. For example, a temporary mother–son bond in a cinema is unreal even during the shooting of the cinema. Therefore, cheating these unreal bonds is not a sin.

Cheating of one’s family bonds is not at all a sin, even from another angle. The family bond itself is a cheating bond. The reason is that your relatives love you for their own happiness and not for your happiness. A wife loves her husband because her husband gives happiness to her. Similarly, the husband too loves his wife for the same reason. Similar is the case in all our bonds of love in the world. When sage Yajnavalkya was taking samnyasa [renunciation], his two wives followed him stating that they love him. But Yajnavalkya told them “One loves anybody only for his or her own selfish happiness (Atmanah tu kamaya sarvam priyam bhavati—Veda). He told them that if they left him, he would be happy and only then then would their love for him be proved to be real. Both the wives, who were scholars understood the truth and left him. So, all these worldly bonds of love are cheating bonds. Cheating of a cheating bond is not cheating! This is called Raja Yoga[8], which is greater than Samnyasa Yoga[9] in which you leave the family and hurt them. In Raja Yoga you reach your goal and also make the family happy. Therefore, king Janaka a Raja Yogi was greater than sage Shuka who was a samnyasi and the former was the examiner of the latter[10].

Kundalini is your mind, which is the base of your love. The Kundalini is depicted as a serpent, which moves in a curved manner. Generally, the minds of people are curved [devious, serpentine] by nature. Mind is energy and energy propagates in the form of waves according to science. These wheels are the family bonds and crossing them in a curved [serpent-like] way is cheating those cheating bonds. This justifies the saying that Maya [deception] can be crossed by Maya alone or that a thorn can be removed by another thorn alone.

Interpretation of Different Chakras

The first wheel is related to the element earth. This wheel is the bond with one’s mother and is called as Muladhara. Only from earth are living beings like plants etc. (life) born. The Kundalini sleeps in the Muladhara wheel. This indicates the sleeping state of your mind in the womb of your mother. The awakening of the Kundalini means that you are delivered (born).  You come into the world and get trapped in the various bonds as your mind grows. So there is no need of awakening the Kundalini. It is already awakened![11] By closing your eyes, you are in fact encouraging the Kundalini (mind) to sleep[12]. [The real meaning of crossing the first wheel is that] You have to cut your bond of love with your mother for the sake of God.

The second wheel is Manipura, which is related to the element water. It represents the father. The sky which has clouds, is said to be the father in the Veda. When water falls from the sky and unites with earth, life is produced. The bond with the father should also be cut as Prahlada left his father for the sake of God. Now, you may argue that the Veda says the mother and the father are God (Matru devah, pitru devah). These words have two meanings as per the grammar. The first meaning is that the mother and the father are God. This interpretation is correct because in the world among all people, our parents should be most greatly respected and loved. But the second meaning of the Vedic statement is that God is our mother and our father. This is the meaning that should be taken, when God comes into your life and competes with your mother and father.

The third wheel is Swadhistana (fire) representing the bond between the wife and the husband. The union of a couple takes place only due to heat (fire)[13]. Buddha left his wife and Meera left her husband for the sake of God. The fourth wheel is Anahata (air), representing the bond you’re your children. The Veda says that air is the strongest. This wheel is said to be located in the heart, which means that this is the heart or the essence of all the bonds. Buddha left his one year-old son for the sake of God. The fifth wheel is Vishuddha (space), which is said to be located in the throat. It represents the bond with false gurus (preachers). A fraud guru preaches only nonsense, which is nothing—like space. To reach God who is the Sadguru, you must leave all other gurus. Prahlada thus left all his teachers.

The final wheel is Aajna, which is located in between the two eyebrows. It represents the Jnana Netra i.e., the vision of knowledge. This wheel is of the mind-element[14]. With the help of knowledge i.e., the Vedas and Shastras, you must decide that the real form of God is Lord Datta and all other forms are only His various dresses. The Vedas say that Datta is the only ultimate and real God (Brahman). The Veda says that God should be one and that the one God creates, rules and destroys the universe. Datta is only one and does these three tasks through His three divine faces. But such ultimate God cannot be reached because the Vedas say that words, mind, intelligence, logic and even imagination cannot touch Him. But He comes in the human form and then only can you see, touch, talk and even spend your whole life with Him. This human form of God is called DATTA. Datta means the God who is ‘given’ to devotees. You can meet Him in this world in the human form alone. The Gita says that God comes in human form alone (Manusheem…). The Gita also says that if one worships the Formless, he or she only gets sorrow (Avyaktahi…). The Gita also says that if you worship a statue, you are re-born as a stone (Bhutejyah…). A statue only has a limited use of being seen by devotees (darshanam) and is not meant for worship. A human form alone gives full satisfaction to devotees during worship.

Krishna is called Yogishwara. He is Datta because the unattainable God is given to the world in that attainable human form. The Gopikas crossed all the family bonds and reached Him. In fact, they were sages who were doing a lot of sadhana[15] for attaining God for the past several births. Nobody else has reached God except the Gopikas or let Me say that those who reached God are called as Gopikas. A Gopika only means a human being who stores his or her love for God secretly, so that the relatives are not hurt. A person who is doing his job and studying in the evening college is greater than a full-time student, when both attain the same degree with the same rank. The word Gopi means ‘storing one’s love secretly’ (Gopayati…).

Yoga means joining with God after cutting all the family bonds through cheating, so as to avoid hurting them as explained above. The bonds can only be cut when a new bond with God is formed. Without the new bond, the old bond cannot be cut. First, attachment to God (bhakti) should come and then detachment from one’s relatives (vairagya) is a natural consequence, for which no effort is needed. Once you taste the divine nectar, you will naturally stop drinking coffee. Without tasting the divine nectar it is impossible to leave coffee, because we always desire to drink something. So without bhakti, viragya is impossible and meaningless. It is meaningless because a stone having no bond at all is not granted salvation.

Attaining Spiritual Powers

Only Lord Datta, who is called Yogi Raja (Master of yoga), can bring out the real essence of yoga. He has given the true explanation today to show the real path to ignorant people. Truth is the strength of this discourse and hence it will pierce into the heart of anyone having an open mind in this world. The targets of this discourse of Mine are all foreigners and those Indians who have open minds without blind conservatism. Dr. Khurana could not even get the post of a teacher in India. But when he got a Nobel Prize in a foreign country, Indians become proud of him! Indians appreciated Swami Vivekananda only after foreigners appreciated him. This is a historical fact. This means that foreigners grasp the truth very easily and quickly.

There are two lines (paths). One is the line of science in which human effort yields results. The other line is the supernatural line in which powers are attained by God’s grace only. Even demons did penance and got powers by the grace of God alone. Now middle age-scholars mixed these two lines and developed a (false) third line in between i.e., by human effort, you can get powers. People are fooled by this. By human effort, like controlling your breath, you can only get health, which is not a (divine) power. It is completely part of the first line alone. This is how people are attracted [to these modern yoga centers] in the name of yoga. To get powers, Ravana should have joined a yoga centre. Why did he do so much penance for God Brahma? Yoga means the achievement of God’s grace by which alone powers are attained.


[1] The names of the six wheels (whirlpools) or love-lotuses and the particular bond that each one represents, is described later.

[2] Mind or ‘manas’ is said to be the wavering mental faculty and the intellect (buddhi) is said to be the mental faculty that takes a decision or makes a firm resolve.

[3] Numerous doubts arise, that try to shake one’s firm faith or conviction.

[4] All doubts are resolved and a firm conviction is restored again.

[5] Sage Patanjali describes eight steps in yoga. His explanation of yoga is called as Ashtanga Yoga or the eight-step Yoga. The eight and final step is Samadhi (Nirvikalpa Samadhi), which is unwavering association or union.

[6] The splitting refers to the various lines of thinking or analysis.

[7] The state of yoga (permanent association or union with God) means to love God more than anything and everything and everyone in the world. The only way to verify whether a person loves God more than someone—say his son, is to put the person in a situation where He has to choose between his son and God. God puts the person in such situations. Thus, in these situations God competes with the person’s love for his son. In that situation, the person’s love for his son becomes an obstacle in his path to reach God. But this competing with a person’s loved ones, or making the loved one’s as obstacles in the person’s path to reach God, is possible only when God comes in Human Form. Since no interaction is possible with formless God, or with statutes or with energetic forms of God, they do not compete with our loved ones.

[8] The King of yogas.

[9] The yoga of renunciation.

[10] The child-sage Shuka was the son of the great sage Vyasa. Shuka was a spiritual prodigy but Vyasa sent him to king Janaka to be tested and certified for his spiritual achievement. Thus, Vyasa was aware that Janaka was completely detached from the world and attached to God, even though Janaka was the king of a country and lived like any other king. Moreover, Vyasa believed Janaka to be greater than Shuka and in a position to test and evaluate Shuka.

[11] A number of followers of yoga take tremendous effort to awaken the Kundalini (life energy) that is supposed to be lying dormant at the base of the spine.

[12] In order to awaken the Kundalini, they close their eyes and meditate.

[13] In the Vedic marriage ceremony, the ceremonial fire is the most essential component.

[14] The five elements constituting the inert creation are earth, water, air, fire and space. In addition, the mind-element (awareness) represents the living part of creation. Of course, the mind-element is created from the fundamental five elements alone, but it is given a special status.

[15] Sadhana is the spiritual effort to reach God.

   

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