Kundalini Shakti in the West: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Kundalini Yoga in the West

Luthar.com

The notion of Kundalini Shakti is at the heart of yoga and is embedded in virtually all Eastern traditions regardless of the name or label that is given. If we carefully examine any school of yoga, tantra, or various traditions (Shakti, Shaivite, Kashmiri Shaivism), there will usually be some descriptions of Hatha Yoga, Pranayama, Kriyas, Mudras, Mantras, and different types of meditations on the Chakras (energy centers).

In the Shakti traditions, detailed descriptions are given of the various aspects of the visions of the Goddess that arise in meditation. Even in the school of Advaita Vedanta, which does not depend on the practices associated with Shakti Yoga, we see that the great scholar/saint Adi Shankracharya has written hymns to the Goddess who represents Shakti, the divine power.

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The Gospel of Jesus Decoded: Christ and Kundalini, Part 1 by Michael Bowes

Although it is referred to in many different ways the Kundalini Shakti plays a key role in all spiritual traditions.  The principles are the same, the effects are the same; but the words and symbols used to express Kundalini differ.  In the Judeo/Christian tradition Kundalini is known as the Holy Spirit, Living Water, Christ, the Anointing, the Word and by other terms as well.

But before exploring the details of Kundalini in the Judeo/Christian scriptures, I would like to introduce the subject by examining the authentic and original message of Jesus.  Continue reading

Kundalini Shakti and Enlightenment: By Dr. Harsh K. Luthar

Dear Friends:

Over the last three decades, I have seen the words Kundalini and Chakras (Energy Centers) become popular and enter the mainstream of conversations about spirituality. There is much hype surrounding these concepts and often people without much experience pose as experts and masters. If one can find a genuine teacher and the pure teaching, it helps a lot. Continue reading

Maya, Heart, Self and Nondualism: By Pieter Schoonheim Samara

The Self, Maya, and the Heart: The Fundamentals of Non-Dualism

Maya Samara

November 28, 1993

Maya mirrored (or reflecting on itself) = ayam or “I AM”

“Who is in my temple?

Who is in my temple?

All the doors open themselves.

All the lights light themselves.

Darkness like a dark bird

Flies away, Oh flies away.”

Summary:

The concepts of the Self, Maya, and the Heart are the central themes or tenets of the Katha Upanishad and the Bhagavad Gita. Out of these and similar books (or scriptures) comes the philosophy of non-dualism or Vedanta.

Part I: Considering the concepts of Self, Maya, and Heart, as viewed from the sages

The Self:

According to the ancient sages of India, the Self is neither the body, thoughts, feelings, nor intellect, but rather all pervasive Being/Consciousness manifesting as the Heart in all beings, from which emanates the awareness of “I” and Knowledge of the Self, which includes the realization that all knowledge is in and from the subject-“I”, the seer, not the object.

“The individual self, which is Brahman mistakenly identified with Maya, experiences the gunas* which proceed from Maya. He, who has experienced Brahman directly and known it to be other than Maya and the gunas, will not be reborn, no matter how he has lived his life.” Bhagavad Gita, p. 103

“That in which the sun rises and in which it sets, that which is the source of all the powers of nature and of the senses, that which nothing can transcend – that is the immortal Self”

Katha Upanishad, p. 21

“The Self-Existent made the senses turn outward. Accordingly, man looks toward what is without, and sees not what is within. Rare is he, longing for immortality, shuts his eyes to what is without and beholds the Self.” Katha Upanishad, p. 20

Maya is the self-existent beginningless power of Brahman, the Self, which makes us imagine that the sense of “I” felt in the body and the related thoughts and feelings are the Self. In the Bhagavad Gita (P. 59), this imagining or delusion is stated like a dream:

“You dream you are the doer

You dream the action bears fruit

It is your ignorance

It is the world’s delusion

That gives you those dreams.”

“Every action is really performed by the gunas*. Man deluded by his egoism thinks ‘I am the doer.’ But he who has the true insight into the operations of the gunas and their various functions, knows that when the senses attach themselves to objects, gunas are merely attaching themselves to gunas, knowing this he does not become attached to his actions.” Bhagavad Gita, p. 47

“Maya” – The deluding potency of the Self

What I was able to grasp from this is that, as long as the mind is turned outward, the Self, which is all pervasive, is sensed only as an “I”-awareness in and limited to the body with its thoughts and impressions revolving continuously around a perceived and separate world. But when the mind is purified or made to enquire where the source of seeing, which is to say, the subject “I”, arises from, then the mind reflects the Self. The moment the Self is reflected in the mind at once the idea of subject-object and knowledge vanishes like a mirage. This vanishing is why the perceived world, the “I am the body” idea or “I am the doer” is called Maya, because the sense of being a doer in the world is apparently real to the outgoing mind, but when the Real Light of the mind is realized, the use of the mind has no more value, just as the use of the moon seen in the daylight sky of the risen sun, is of no value.

* gunas: The three gunas are: Sattva – purity; rajas – action; tamas – sloth or dullness

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Again, as long as the mind is outward bent, the individual soul takes itself for the body/mind and accumulates impressions about itself in relation to a perceived and separate world. The mind then tries to coordinate and correlate all it sees into a cohesive composite of impressions it holds to be its identity. At a certain point, though, it begins to become apparent that knowing, comprehension, understanding, or knowledge about one’s world, be it within one’s mind or apparently outside, is coming from within and is not separate, as one is otherwise conditioned to believe. This insight into how we actually know or perceive leads to the conclusion that the impressions we’ve made of the world are actually each individual’s projected idea about it, and not one universally accepted truth. The question arises, “Can these changing thoughts, impressions be all there is, all that I am, all that the world is?” The sages of the Upanishads are asked this question by those seeking permanence in their otherwise “transient” lives.

“To many it is not given to hear of the Self. Many, though they hear it, do not understand it. Wonderful is he who speaks of it. Intelligent is he who learns of it. Blessed is he, who taught by a good teacher is able to understand it” Katha Upanishad, p. 17

“Veiled in my Maya, I am not shown to many. How shall this world bewildered by delusion recognize me, who am not born and change not.” Bhagavad Gita, p. 73

“The Heart” – Hridayam

The Heart is the Self. The sages of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and several other Gitas I found all refer constantly to the identity of the Heart and its location with the all pervading Self.

Significantly, the location of the Heart is intuited or inferred by everyone, as it is the very place we all point to when we say “I”. The realization of the Self in or as the Heart is said to sever the relationship between the Self and the out going mind forever, such that the relationship between the “I” and the thoughts and actions of the body are realized never to have been. At once, attention to the waking state of consciousness ceases, and the enquirer remains egoless, abiding in and as the Heart, observing impartially all states of consciousness as one emanation, as stated below:

“The ancient, effulgent being, the indwelling spirit, subtle, deep-hidden in the lotus of the Heart, is hard to know. But the wise man following the path of meditation, knows him and is freed alike from pleasures and pain.” Katha Upanishad, p. 17-18

“Smaller than the smallest, greater than the greatest, this Self forever dwells within the hearts of all.” Katha Upanishad, p. 18

“I am the Atman (Self) that dwells in the heart of every mortal creature. I am the beginning, the life span, and the end of all.” (Krishna to Arjuna)

Bhagavad Gita, p. 88

“The devoted dwell with Him

They know Him always

There in the Heart

Where action is not” Bhagavad Gita, p.59

“Both the individual self and the Universal Self have entered in the cave of the heart, the abode of the Most High, but the knowers of Brahman and the householders who perform the fire sacrifices see a difference between them, as between sunshine and shadow.”

Katha Upanishad, p. 19

“That being, who is the power of all powers and is born as such, who embodies himself in the elements and in them exists, and who has entered the lotus of the heart, is the immortal Self.” Katha Upanishad, p. 21

“That being, of the size of a thumb, dwells deep within the heart. He is the lord of time, past and future. Having attained him, one fears no more. He, verily, is the immortal Self.”

Katha Upanishad, p. 21

“Radiating from the lotus of the heart, there are a hundred and one nerves. One of these ascends towards the thousand petalled lotus in the brain.”

Katha Upanishad, p. 24

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These quotes state that the all pervading Self, as Brahman, is situated in the Heart, and from there light the body and the mind. To gain some clarification about the relationship between the Heart, the Self, and Maya, I’ve also quoted from the Sri Ramana Gita, which focuses on jnana or enquiry into the Self. (As an analogy, the Heart is to the body like the singularity of a Black Hole in the Universe. It represents the substratum, ground or basis behind all appearances.)

“The ‘I’-thought is said to be the root of all thoughts. In brief, that from which the ‘I’-thought” springs forth is the heart. (verse 3)

“The heart is different from the blood circulating organ. ‘Hridayam‘ stands for Hird ‘the center which sucks in everything’, and ayam, ‘this’, and it thus stands for the Self. (v 5)

The location of the Heart is on the right side of the chest, not at all on the left. The light (of awareness) flows from the heart through the sushumna (para nadi*) to Sahasrara (thousand petalled lotus in the brain). (verse 6)

“From there it flows to the entire body, and then all experiences of the world arise. Viewing them as different from the Light, one gets caught up in samsara. (verse 7)

“The Sahasrara of one who abides in the Self is nothing but pure Light. Any thought that approaches it cannot survive. (verse 8)

“The universe is nothing but the mind, and the mind is nothing but the heart. Thus, the entire story of the universe culminates in the heart. (verse 12)

“The notion that the seer is different from the seen is only in the mind. For those that abide in the Heart, the seer and the seen are one. (verse 19)

Sri Ramana Gita, Ch V, p. 26-27

It becomes apparent from reading all these Gitas that they all state that it is only due to lack of enquiry into the nature of the “I”-sense in the body and mind that the True identity of one’s self as the Self, with the all pervading, causeless, Brahman is not realizes. Once this enquiry is made the (para nadi) nerve referred to in the above quote from the Katha Upanishad, begins to resonate or pulsate “I as I” or “I, I, I, I, …” versus the constant grasping of attention to “I-this”, “I-that”, and so forth with each rising thought.

To paraphrase, when the sense of “I” becomes localized through single enquiry, the nerve referred to begins to radiate incandescently, and the whole body is outshined in a blaze of living Light, having no more separation from the all pervasive Brahman. (This is similar to matter that blazes when sucked into a Black Hole.)

In the chapter concerning the vision of God in His Universal Form, Krishna tells Arjuna, after revealing to him essentially what He, as the Self of all, Witnesses, states:

“Neither by study of the scriptures, nor by austerities, nor by alms giving, can I be seen….

But by single minded and intense devotion, that Form of Mine may be completely known, and seen, and entered into…”

Bhagavad Gita, p. 97

Krishna further states concerning the various methods of devotion that:

“Certainly, all these are noble: But the man of discrimination [between Self and not self*], I see as my very Self. For he alone loves me because I am Myself: The last and only goal of his devoted heart.” Bhagavad Gita, p. 72 [*my italics]

In the Sri Ramana Gita the points regarding this subject – the knot between the Self and the body/mind, and their final break were made in the most concisely to the point manner, as follows:

“The nexus of the body and the Self is called the granthi (knot). It is only by this connection with the Self that one is aware of the body. (verse 3)

“This body is insentient. The Self is pure awareness. The connection between the two is deduced through intellect. (verse 4)

“Enveloped by the defused light of pure awareness, the body functions. Owing to non-apprehension (of the world) in sleep, (swoon) and so on, the location of the Self has to be inferred. (verse 5)

“Even as the subtle forces like the electric current pass through visible wires, the light of awareness flows through a nadi (nerve) in the body. (verse 6)

“The effulgent light of pure awareness, taking hold of a center, lights up the entire body as the Sun illumines the world. (verse 7)

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“Owing to the diffusion of light in the body, one has experiences in the body. That center of radiation, the sages say, is the Heart. verse 8

“From the play of the forces in the body, one infers the flow of the light of awareness. The forces course through the body, each hugging their own special nadi. (verse 9)

“The particular nadi through which pure awareness flows is called sushumna*. It is also called atma nadi, para nadi, and amrita nadi. (verse 10) [*between the Heart and the brain]

“As the light pervades the entire body, one gets attached to the body, mistakes the body for the Self and regards the world as different from oneself. (verse 11)

“When the discerning one renounces attachment and the identification of himself with the body and pursues one-pointed enquiry, a churning starts in the nadis. (verse 12)

“With this churning of the nadis, the Self gets separated from the other nadis and, clinging to one nadi alone, shines forth.

“When the effulgent light of awareness shines in atma nadi alone, nothing else shines except the Self. (verse 14)

“He for whom the Atman (Self) alone shines within, without, and everywhere, as (clearly as) objects to the ignorant, is called one who has cut the nexus. (verse 16)

“When the light, withdrawn from all other nadis, dwells in one nadi alone, the bond (between awareness and the body) is sundered and the light abides as the Self. verse. 18

“Since such a one has no sense of doership, his karma, it is said, is completely destroyed. As nothing but the Self exists, no doubts arise for him. (verse 21)

“Once the knot is cut, one is never bound again. This is considered the state of power and peace supreme.” (verse 22)

Sri Ramana Gita, Ch:IX, p. 49-55

Another well known Gita is the Avadhut Gita, the only known work of the Rishi Dattatreya, who lived sometime after Krishna. Avadhut means high Renunciate or Perfected Man. To get an idea of the state of one who ever abides as his Self, with no awareness of the body, I’ve included a couple of stanzas of this Gita here, as well:

“Atman is not the Knower, Nor is It the known. It is not accessible to inference. Words cannot describe This Consciousness Absolute. The mind is lost in Its majesty. How can it be explained to thee? Space-like immortality-giving knowledge am I. (verse 11)

“I am the eternal principle. Free from attachment and aversion, free from imperfections am I, Fate and providence exist not in me. Eternally free from the sufferings of the world, Verily, space-like immortality-giving Knowledge am I. (verse 13)

“Maya is not my modification. Nor is its glamour mine. Deceit, hypocrisy, truth and untruth Have no place in me. Space-like, immortality-giving knowledge am I.” verse 18

Avadhut Gita, Ch III, p 25-27

The following are extracts from the Yoga Vashishta Sara, a condensed version of the Yoga Vashishta, the spiritual instructions of Vashishta to Rama, very similar to Krishna’s instructions to Arjuna, which also helps to get a feeling for the meaning of non-dualism:

“Nothing whatsoever is born or dies anywhere at any time. It is Brahman alone appearing illusorily in the form of the world.” Ch I: 23

“The Self is more extensive than space; it is pure, subtle, un-decaying, and auspicious. As such how could it be born and how can it die?” Ch I: 24

“O Rama, there is no intellect, no nescience, no mind and no individual soul (jiva). They are all imagined in Brahman.” Ch III: 25

“O Rama, the mind has by its own activity bound itself; when it is calm it is free.” Ch III 27

“O Rama, this enquiry into the Self of the nature “Who am I?’ is the fire which burns up the seeds of the evil tree which is the mind.” Ch V: 1

“How wonderful that in me, the infinite ocean of Consciousness, waves of jivas (individual souls) rise, sport for a while, and disappear according to their nature.” Ch VI: 8

“Knowledge is not separate from you and that which is known is not separate from knowledge. Hence there is nothing other than the Self, nothing separate (from it).” ChVIII:6

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Part II: Setting aside preconceptions and basic Western assumptions about the world

In order to be able to have some idea of what the concepts of Self, Maya, and Heart mean in relation to the philosophy of non-dualism, I’ve had to set aside several central preconceptions or basic views about life, myself and the world.

In the West we are brought up to believe, as Descartes, after locking himself in a secluded mountain chalet for two weeks, that “I think, therefore I am.” This is to say that who I am completely depends upon my thoughts in relation to my body and the impressions I make about it in relation to each specific thing (or person) in a separate world. In other words in the West, the conditioning from birth is that “I am this body and the mind’s thoughts, etc.”

This means that I am conditioned to accept my self as always viewing the world in terms of judging, comparing, categorizing, separating, distinguishing, organizing everything as something separate from me. The whole way of thinking and perceiving in the West is one of collecting empirical data, so to speak, and analyzing it in relation to other things.

Thus, the whole idea of analyzing the analyzer, seeing the seer, hearing the hearer, or simply to put aside one’s identity and attention to thoughts and things and abiding as the part that sees, in order to “enter into” a perspective that has no basis in thought related identity, seemed like an impossible task. It was a task that required believing such a view possible, that others had realized it, and to somehow discard all the “truths” or impressions I was brought up to take for granted, in order to suddenly discover that there is another point of view, which in itself may be even more valid than the one I had accepted without question before.

In the West, we have taken Descartes’ idea to its fullest extent, as the basis for all scientific study, intellectual thought, even religious belief, where everything is considered and examined as being “apart”. We take “dualism” as being obvious. Even analysis of the mind is done by considering the thought content, the emotions, the behavior, each to be categorized, codified, classified and so on. In fact, the inner mind to the Western mind is still what the non-dualist calls the out going mind. Even the Western Mystics and New Age spiritualists are categorizing planes and stages and levels of consciousness, which to the non-dualist are all experiences of the out going mind, having no relation to the Reality they try to convey. In their Reality, all this perceived world of inner thoughts, feelings and impressions and outer sensory experiences is only “Maya”, a mirage, non-existent, like a reflection in a diamond. The diamond represents the ever present rock solid reality, unchanging, while the images, however real they may feel, because of their superimposition on the jewel are only that, images.

Thus, when I am forced to consider a whole new “way” (Tao) of perceiving, requiring the consideration of an “I” without a ‘me’ or ‘mine’, I find myself experiencing a pause, a space, as it were, between thoughts. The idea that one might be able to think and act with no sense of being the thinker, the actor, the doer – that one could simply abide as impartial egoless Being, free of thought, was a completely revolutionary idea. That all action occurs by itself perfectly, required, and still requires a sense of radical turnabout in all my preconceptions.

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Part III: The Philosophy of Non-Dualism

Dualism supposes that there is a subject-“I” and an object, the individual self versus the world, man versus God, a thinker versus the thoughts he thinks, and so on. But in the philosophy of non-dualism, these are all only concepts, ideas, or imaginings, which we hold to be real, only because of attention to them as they arise in the waking consciousness. According to the philosophy of non-dualism, as soon as the Self is enquired into, these “ideas” of a separate self just vanish. The ideas of a conscious mind, subconscious mind, unconscious mind, even superconscious mind to one who has enquired into the Self, are only that, ideas (concepts-images-impressions), having no real existence, apart from attention to them in the waking state. The idea of a waking state, dream state, and deep sleep, even the idea of a fourth state beyond, impartially “Witnessing” those three, again, to the non-dualist, are only concepts or ideas of the waking mind with its need for a fixated attention, or need to identify and organize itself around some idea, to establish an identity.

The non-dualist will state that this is the nature of the outgoing mind, but that when this mind is stilled, purified, and made to enquire of its source, the Self shines forth, the True Man emerges, these ideas become ruthlessly disregarded within oneself, and one remains abiding as Self only.

When someone asks how this can be, that the entire world and all one sees and believes about it are just a fiction of the mind, the non-dualist gives the following comparison:

To paraphrase p. 5-7 of Jewel Garland of Enquiry (Vichara Mani Malai), the non-dualist will say that just as in a dream one finds one’s self to be the subject of one’s dream thinking about and relating to all sorts of persons and events over what may seem to be a long period of time, but in reality, both the subject and the objectified world one sees have all been created by the mind in the dream, so too this waking world is all a projection of the Self. The non-dualist states that we seem to believe that we are a subject seeing a world and making impressions and reactions to what we think we are seeing only due to non-enquiry into that Self. Therefore, he states, as soon as we enquire into the Self, the subject-“I”, we take ourselves to be, with all its dilemmas, and the objectified world we project our relationship with, will all just vanish, like the dream, and we remain abiding as Self only, impartially witnessing all the states and planes and levels of consciousness, unattached, unconditioned.

There seem to be 2 paths, both which lead to one path:

One path one might call a path of purification of the mind, a path of the separate soul seeking Union with its Creator. As an outset this would involve a focus on virtuous acts, involving giving, caring, and unconditioned love, with an attitude that avoids selfishly motivated acts, or acts, where one is seeking reward or advantage, as found in greed, lust or hate. This is called Karma Yoga.

These virtuous acts then lead to a giving up of desires, giving way to a sense of longing for the feeling of stillness and purity of the mind, a sense of surrender to that feeling of totally placid, thoughtlessly alert brightness, which many may call the Spirit of God, a state absolutely free from all thought. With this is said to come a feeling of neither an inside nor an outside regarding the body, of beauty/perfection- beatitude. This is called Bhakti Yoga.

The mind becomes so still or pure that when one goes to sleep, the body is seen to go to sleep, and one remains a still witness. Apparently, this purity leads to one becoming awake at, what the Western world would call, the subconscious or unconscious states. The non-dualists also have a name for this – jagat-sushupti, which means waking-sleep, or one who is awake in or to his unconscious all the time, asleep or awake. They see the world within a field of pervasive consciousness from the perspective of the atoms that form it.

Yogis approach this purification similarly, but adding various physical and mental forms of purification, such as cleaning out their intestines, stomach, and nasal passages with water and special exercises, fasting and strict vegetarian diet controls, certain postures – called asanas, postures with movement combined with breathing – called kryias, exercises in concentrating the mind – called meditation, and various types of breathing regulation – called Pranayama.

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The idea is that with breath regulation, combined with a focus on certain nerves in the spine, gradually there will come a profound stillness leading to deeper states of awareness of the unconscious mind. This process is said to have its physiological equivalent of a bio-energy (prana) withdrawing from the outer nerves to the central nerve of the spine, the yogis call sushumna, and entering at its base rising through the spinal cord, uniting the individual soul with higher planes of consciousness, until the highest state in the “thousand petalled lotus” or Sahasrara in the brain is reached, and the soul experiences the Light of a million suns. The yogis say this is Liberation.

The other approach is called the Path of Self Knowledge of the Jnani. The Jnani says that all the planes of consciousness are always already lit by the Self only. He will say that the Self is always realized, but for the idea that it is not. He will state that while some purification of the mind is necessary to bring about stillness, once the Self, which is ever awake, is enquired into, all planes of consciousness vanish like a mirage, and only Self is seen. The nerve here referred to is not the sushumna, which rises from the base of the spine to the top of the head, but the para nadi (amrita nadi) rising from the Heart to the top of the head. This para nadi, jnani’s say, is an extension of the sushumna, which yogis will eventually enter to realize the Heart, when the question dawns, “Who experiences?”

The vision of the Jnani, when the Heart knot is cut, is of a light in the nerve between the Heart (Hridayam) and the crown of the brain (Sahasrara), and that these two radiate, while a flame is seen rising through the spine and through the top of the head. He sees the world, but there is no sense of someone looking or giving attention to it. He observes without attention or interest the thoughts rising up from of the Heart, appearing in the waking consciousness, like bubbles rising from the depths of the ocean appearing on its surface. He sees the world, as the Totality of Existence, neither inside or outside, yet apart from his Self. There is no longer a sense of doer, person, or “I” localized in the body or related to the world. There is no body. The mind is severed from attention, and thinking and acting continue motivelessly by themselves. The world appears as a film in a movie, where the projected light brightens, and the picture is “outshined”. (Spiritual Instruction, p. 10) The picture is there, but only Self is seen, abiding as Self, as Heart, radiating brightness everywhere within Itself. Because thoughts and actions relate to vibrations in time, he, beyond thought, realizes himself to be forever timeless, space‑like, the Heart, the Self of all beings, the Heart of Being Itself, Consciousness Itself.

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Part IV: Could the Teachings of Christ Really Be in the Same Tradition as the Ancient sages, Krishna, and others? Are the Teachings of Christ Actually Centered in the Philosophy of Non-Dualism? Is Christ in reality the all pervasive timeless unconditioned Self, abiding as the Heart of everyone, as Consciousness Itself? If Christ IS the Truth, as He says, shouldn’t His Teachings be examined to discover Who and What That Truth is and abide as That, rather than to seek out for remedies in this world? – as in “Go first to God (“I AM”) and all things will be added unto you.” Luke 12:31

There are many passages in the New (and Old) Testament, where, when the notion of the West, that we are all separate beings, centered in our identities as thinking bodies, is put aside, one is surprised to find that most passages are apparently referring to Christ as being the Self, and likewise He speaks from the perspective of an Avadhut, or as Krishna might speak, or another sage from the non-dualist tradition.

While in the Old Testament God states the Truth as “I AM THAT I AM”, in the West we have built Christianity around Descartes’ dictum: “I think therefore I am.” From, the point of view of a non-dualist, the first two of the Ten Commandments (Ex 20: 1-7) are extremely powerful statements. So, it is no wonder that in reading the words of Christ, as a non-dualist, the statements come out as being also very powerful.

The following are several quotes about Christ as the Self, in terms that are identical to those of the ancient eastern sages:

“All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.”

John I: 3

‘In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

John I: 4

“And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it not.”

John I: 5

“That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that is born into this world.”

John I: 9

Basically, these are descriptions very similar to how Krishna describes himself. Here the creation is not only created by Christ, but also all creation throughout all time, as “without him was not anything made that was made”. Who Christ is said to be is Life, and that Life was the Light (Consciousness) of “every man that is born into this world.” The darkness described is the mind, which cannot know the Self, the All Knower, and cannot see the seer, which lights it.

From these quotes and the quotes to follow, we will see that Christ is defined clearly as the Self of all, and that his teachings are to redirect each listener that can “hear” him, to purify the mind, or directly to enquire into and abide as the Self, or to admonish them to take their stand in the Truth and “abide in me”, the Self. Quoting a few passages, it will become clear that these are statements from the perspective of Krishna, or an Avadhut, or someone, who, having realized their Self, no longer has a sense of “I” in relation to the body or mind, but abides as and is “Consciousness Itself”.

“No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.”John 3: 13

Here Christ states essentially that the Self is always realized. In John 3: 14-21 Christ elaborates on this theme of the “Light” further, as do many other of his passages. When seen from the perspective of a non-dualist, His passages are intensely strong, giving no ground for alternate ideas that there may be some reality to the world or some basis to the world or some alternate “Ways” or approaches. For example:

“I am the Light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life.” John 8: 12

One might think from reading these passages that Christ always speaks as the Atman and of the Father as Brahman, or as the Self realized being One in relation to the All pervasive and timeless Self. Just as Krishna tells Arjuna that he taught Aditia (the Sun), Christ states:

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I AM.” John 8: 58

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One can see from the way Christ always refers to the Father, as the doer of the miracles and all that He says, that regardless of His apparent actions, that He has no sense of being a doer, that all He says and does just happens, because He abides in the Father. Consider the following passage, where Jesus is speaking to the Apostles in John Ch 14:

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: No man cometh to the Father but by Me. (verse 6)

If you had known me, you should have known my Father also: and from hence forth you know him and have seen him. (verse 7)

“Philip said to Jesus, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’ verse 8

“To which Jesus replied:

“Have I been so long with you, yet you have still not known me, Philip? He that has seen me has seen the Father; therefore, how do you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (verse 9)

“Believe you not that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me he does the works. (verse 11)

“Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, or else believe me for the very works’ sake.” (verse 12)

Again:

“I and my Father are one.” John 10: 30

Explaining how his Truth is in fact the Truth of all, Christ states in John Ch 15:

“Abide in me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me. (verse 4)

“I am the vine, you are the branches…apart from me you can do nothing.” (verse 5)

In John Chapter 17, Christ prays to the Father on behalf of the Apostles, that He sanctify them by His Truth, and that they might be one with the Father, just as He (Jesus) is. Here, one can see that His state is always one with the Father. One is quite clear that Christ’s permanent abiding state, when He says “where I am“, is unrelated to the world. He asks:

“Father, I will that they also, whom thou has given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory, which you have given me: For you have loved me from before the foundation of the world.” (verse 24)

The notion of Spirit, that He (Christ) and God (the Father) are one in Spirit also conveys the sense of the formlessness of Brahman (the Father), as well as our own Truth as spirit versus body:

“God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

(John 4: 24)

Apart from all Christ’s statements and parables about non-judgment (Mat Ch 7: 1-2; Luke 6: 37-42; John 8: 6-11), non-attachment (Mat 6: 40), non-anxiety (Mat 6: 25-34; Luke 12: 22-32), perpetual forgiveness (Luke 17: 4; Mat 19: 21-22; Mark 11:25), compassion (Mat 25: 34-40), humility (Mat 18: 4), and so on, which all relate to a discarding of attention to the world (“Take no thought for your life.” Mat 6: 25), probably the most profoundly direct instruction Christ gave concerning the teaching of non-dualism is from Luke 11:

“The light of the body is the eye: Therefore, when thine eye is single, your whole body will be filled with light….” (verse 34)

To a non-dualist, this is easily paraphrased as follows: The part of you that sees (the seer, one’s Self) is your true light. Therefore, if you hold the seer (subject-“I”) singly or exclusively (versus giving attention to thoughts) you will have illumination – or what some call the “enlightenment of the whole body”. This is the exact instruction of the non-dualists of the Vedanta tradition, with the same described outcome, as related above. (As if God’s First and Second Commandments weren’t clear enough in terms of having no images before the “I AM.”)

And as to the Heart: “The wise man’s heart is at his right hand, but the fool’s heart at his left.” Ecclesiastics 10: 2. And: “The pure in heart shall see God (“I AM”).” Matt 3: 8.

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Anyone in the east, coming to a similar conclusion about Christ, might call the approach of Christ the path of “sudden realization”, because his teachings are often in the form of commandments or statements giving no ground (room to maneuver). His approach permits no delays, no second chance, no outs, no remedy, no alternatives to the tribulations of the world. His way to God (the “I AM” of the Old Testament) is full of beatitudes and purity (Mat 5: 2-11), blessedness and love (Mat 6: 38-48). But those that oppose the Spirit “will never be forgiven” (Luke 12: 10, Mat 12: 32; Mark 3: 29) and “will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there is great suffering and gnashing of teeth.” (Mat 8: 12;14: 50; 22: 13; 24: 51)

In considering Christ as a non-dualist, like Krishna, or the Avadhut, the Rishis of the Upanishads, or one of the Buddhas, the approach might be stated as “radical” or “ruthless”. The reading of the New Testament requires a constant coming to terms with Christ’s life: His all knowingness of each person close or far away, now and in the future, how they will act, what will happen, when, and why; the constant ceaseless flow of power, where miracles fall from him, undirected. In the non-dualist texts, these are the powers described as God’s, to be all knowing, all powerful, and so forth. In Revelations, Ch I: 8, Christ tells John:

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending” sayeth the Lord, “which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”

Many of the stories about Christ and the words He spoke are similar to stories we might read of Saints and sages in India, Tibet, and China, as found in “The Tibetan Book of Great Liberation” and Tibet’s Great Yogi Milarepa” by Evens-Wentz, “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Yogananda, “Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self Knowledge” by Arthur Osborn, “The Ramayana” by Tulsidas, books about the lives of different Buddhas, or the 10 Sikh Sat (Truth) Gurus, and many other books one can find about the miraculous lives of these sages, Saints, Avatars, Jnanis, and so on. But what was special about Christ was the sense of awe-inspiring fierceness, the intensity of rock hard Reality that packed each moment, demanding … commanding perfection of everyone, now. For example:

“Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

“I give you a commandment: Love one another.” John 15: 12, 17

“For I have not spoken of myself, but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know his commandment is life everlasting.” John 12: 49

As Christ repeatedly stated “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark Ch 4: 23, again Mark 7: 16, etc.. This “hearing” is central to the entire teaching process of the non-dualist. In the “Lamp of Non-Dual Knowledge” (Advaita Bodha Deepika), Jewel Garland of Enquiry” (Vichara Mani Malai), “The Cream of Emancipation” (Kaivalya Navaneeta), “The Essence of Yoga Vashishta” (Yoga Vashishta Sara) – instructions of the Saint Vashishta to Rama, Shankara’s “Crest-Jewel of Discrimination”, and others, over and over again we see that the three necessities to realizing the Self, apart from the prerequisite of a “still mind”*, are “hearing”, “consideration”, and “perfect abiding”. Hearing is to understand the concept of the non-dual Self; “consideration”, to reflect inwardly: “From where do the thoughts arise?” or “Who sees?”, which includes a steady, even ruthless disregard of all rising thoughts, as “not this, not this,..” (“neti, neti,..”); and finally “perfect abiding” in the form of “objectless abiding as the seer” or as Ground (asraya) is to a Lightningbolt (Vajra Siddhi), until the Self flashes forth, as in “I say unto all, Watch!” Mk 13: 37. *“Stillness of mind” means “Be still and know that I am God (‘I AM’ Ex 3: 14).” (David, Ps).

Probably the best summation of the possibility, potential, or promise that Christ represents to the Western world is in his following statement from John 16: 33.

“These things I have spoken to you that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulations: But be of good cheer; I have overcome (conquered) the world.”

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Actually, not to see Christ as the personification of non-dualism is to turn all He says into demagoguery, to make him into another “zealot” of the time, the founder of a bizarre cult, of strange rituals based in fanatical superstition and myth, a revamping of paganism in monistic form. It seems quite obvious though in reading the first three parts (above) concerning Part I, the subject of the Self, Maya, and the Heart, as they relate to the philosophy of non-dualism; Part II, the nature of (Western) preconceptions that needed to be set aside in order to “enter into” the subject; and Part III, a discussion of the nature and experience of non-dualism, as a philosophical reality, that if we can “hear” Him Christ (the Vajra Siddhi Guru), ever abiding in and as the Father, may be one of the most profound Teachers of the non-dual nature of Reality and proof of its philosophy in terms of realizing the Truth of our own Reality as all pervasive Self!

Blessed am I

In freedom am I

I am the infinite

in my soul

I can find no beginning

no end

All is my Self

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Dissolving the Accumulated Blockages in the Subconscious Mind: By Pieter Schoonheim Samara

This is a yoga where numerous means have been developed and preserved over thousands of years to release and free up energy blockages. You may have heard the phrase from the Third Zen Patriarch, “When thought is in bondage, the Truth is hidden.” The Truth is that our individual consciousness is not different from the Universal Consciousness, which is the support and substratum of the entire manifestation of the apparent diversified universe in all its planes.

The accumulation of subconscious blockages:

The mind is like a movie film running frame by frame through the focusing lens of attention through which the undifferentiated light of the Universal Consciousness passes projecting the images onto the single, uncaused, unconditioned, screen of pure Being.

What has happened is that the sense of “I” (which is the seer) which pervades the body and lights the mind and the universe has become focused through attention to the images that appear in the mind, such that an idea or notion of an identity merges between the all pervasive single non-dual “I” and these images, with the result that the images are bound, and the mind fills up with, what we might call “takes” (using the cinematography term) of impressions of who we think we are, and we become bound by those thoughts and we come to believe we are those thought. The bondage becomes a habit of thought patterns that plays like a record over and over.

These impressions then locate themselves throughout the body and its magnetic field creating a weakness in the natural flowing voltage and sound current of the several centers along the spine, and, as a whole, in the brain and magnetic field or aura – each center related to nerve plexus, glands and organs. The result of this weakness is that the nerve groups in these centers don’t fire fully, such that some of the nerves atrophy and fire weakly. The related glands and organs,
loosing their natural voltage, then begin to accumulate toxins that crystallize in their capillaries, so that the voltage of these organs also becomes weak, the glands no longer secrete properly, and there is an overall mental and eventually physical loss of natural or inherent balance that becomes in the weakened light of consciousness what we take to be our identity.

An example of the manner in which impressions are stored throughout the body can be experienced when you sit quietly for a while, and you begin to notice thoughts immerging and with them related twitches or stresses in various parts of the body.

This illusory or contrived identity defines itself continuously in our daily thought patterns, through a kind of a self-talk just at and under the surface of our waking consciousness, constantly commenting on the events of our lives. There is a whole new psychology involved in simply changing this self-talk in order to change ones life, through planning, repeating and mentally imaging affirmations, called self-image psychology. This self-talk further influences the dreams we have related to the building of the identity around the mind’s ongoing attempts to bring all these images and takes into a unified identity. This process all happens at what we call the subconscious level.

Releasing blockages and dissolving the subconscious mind:

The purpose of yoga, from the psychological point of view, especially as it relates to the emergence of the True Man and True Woman, is simply to dissolve these subconscious blockages that have been stored throughout the body, with the result that the subconscious mind simply vanishes like a mirage, energy is released and flows freely once again, and only the single all-pervasive Truth is seen, again to quote the Third Zen Patriarch, “Infinitely large and infinitely small, no difference for definitions have vanished and no boundaries are seen.”

In order to sunder this bondage between the sense of “I” to thoughts and impressions, many postures and movements have been designed by ancient self realized beings to put expanding and contracting pressures from all conceivable angles and positions in systematic yogic sets that focus on specific centers and systems in the body field. These are combined with a number of powerful breathing techniques that purify and supercharge the bloodstream with oxygen, electricity and the other vital chemicals in the air. The charged and purified blood then flows into the areas are saturated with blood due to the pressure of the positions and movements, with the result that the nerves begin to charge and fire completely, the capillaries in the related organs and glands open and discharge their toxins, the cells discharge accumulated waste and vitality and life force begins to flow back into these centers.

Systematic practice:

Systematically, as one continues to come to the classes and eventually begins a daily Sadhana of ones own, these centers begin to build up a charge towards the natural voltage of these centers themselves, much like a battery of a car, but our physical vehicle has a number of batteries and the destination is always homeward bound to the source of Being. As the charge builds in the centers, heat is felt in the nerves as they purify, and then electricity and eventually the whole body and magnetic field become etheric, seen and experienced in the mind’s eye.

But it is not enough to simply build a charge, as these centers resonate with different frequencies that need to be tuned, brought into balance and harmonized in a process that completely releases the charge built up and stored through the practice of these yoga sets, which opens not only the higher centers, but also brings about the regeneration of the nerve of the soul – the sushumna. The sushumna starts at the base of the spine and goes to the neck, then through the passage to the crown and to the point between the eyebrows, called the silver cord, then from the point between the eyebrows to the crown, called the gold cord, and from the crown to the heart (where we point when we say “I” located the point 1/8th to the right of the sternum) – called the atma or para nadi, because, when regenerated, it resonates with the pulsation of “I.”

This harmonic resonation of the centers is accomplished through the practice of many different kriyas or specialized yogic actions that direct and channel the flow of energy, and Laya Yoga, which involves very specific techniques using sacred sound (mantra) to vibrate and open and release the stored energy in the centers. The charging of the centers, nerve channels and magnetic field (aura) is like tightening the strings on an 8-string guitar. The Laya yoga chants are like the tuning, playing and releasing of the spiritual music of the guitar, until the soundless sound of the pulsation of the “I” resonates everywhere and one experiences pervading light and being.

Ultimately the mind becomes very pure and clear as blockages related to thought patterns and images are simply dissolved, and the balanced resonance of the unified mind in harmony with the universal consciousness becomes ones prevailing pattern.

At a certain point, the energy flow and balance comes under pressure and this pranic pressure results in the mind being drawn inwards. As the mind is draw inwards, the heart (to the right of sternum) begins to pulsate like a graviton, and the feeling of the Singularity of the “I” begins to pulsate throughout the body field. At this time three force centers in the mechanism of the body begin to open. One of these is at the Kandal, between the navel and 4th vertebra, the center of chi, which regulates the prana throughout the body. The body has three major locks, and with the opening of the Kandal the lower lock pulls up and energy is released downward to the base of the spine from where it flows upwards directly opening the centers along the spine. At the same time, the centers in the brain also open, in particular the area of the hypothalamus, which opening allows the increasing flow of pervasive energy in through the crown, like the opening of the top of a jar so that the inner air and outer air become one.

The causal center that triggers these other force centers to open is the seat of the “I” sense Itself, in the heart (to the right of sternum). It is not the same as the heart chakra, but that place through which the sense of Being Awareness or “I” consciousness originates and permeates all the nerves of the body and through the atma nadi lights the images in the brain with the feeling of “I” consciousness. With this causal center opening the sense of “I” related to any images dissolves completely, as all images are “sucked into” the heart in a process that releases the realization of ever abiding single universal consciousness, wherein all other energy flows seem dim and inconsequential by comparison. This awakening experience is like going through the night seeing with the light of the moon. Then, as the sun of the heart begins to rise, even though the moon of the mind can still be seen, it is no longer needed for seeing, as “everything is clear and
self-illuminating with no exertion of the mind’s power.” (Third Zen Patriarch)

Kundalini Yoga

The entire systematic process of purifying and charging the centers (chakras), channeling the energy (prana) and awakening to the opening of the force centers is called Kundalini Yoga – an ancient yoga, or spiritual technology, that was traditionally taught in secret, but which Yogi Bhajan, Master of Kundalini Yoga and head of the Sikh Dharma of the West, began to teach openly in 1968, so that people of all religions and backgrounds could purify their minds in a completely dynamic and balanced manner, have an enhanced experience and finally “hear” the Truth their religion teaches regarding the One God, which hearing results in the sudden abiding in That Incandescent Truth.

The awakening of the generative, organizational and dissolusionary force is known as Kundalini, which is simply another word for Awareness. The mechanism of the chakras, channels and force centers that is innate and inherent in every human being is designed to automatically resolve the individual consciousness into its universal Truth as soon as that individual consciousness begins to seek its source.

There is nothing mystical or secret about this yoga. It is a completely practical and scientific spiritual technology based entirely on experience. One’s initiation is accomplished by one’s self through one’s own sincerity, honesty and adherence to the practice, through Sadhana, through experience and the satsang or the ardent practice in a community of like-minded. The practice and teaching recognizes only one universal Truth consciousness within the heart of each person
and not any person or place or event as an initiating factor. The True Guru is, therefore, the Truth which is revealed inwardly through a systematic practice that is powerful and complete enough in itself that very quickly the Generative, Organizational and Dissolutionary force manifests and one awakens and abides as the True Man and True Woman.

While anyone that practices this yoga will naturally begin to have spiritual experiences and the dawning of Self-Knowledge (the discrimination between the Real and unreal) and True Faith and Devotion, there is nothing held as secret or hidden or mystical, as everything is taught and made available openly and presented in a clear, practical and scientific manner.

All this to say that one needs to come to the classes on a regular basis until one is able to develop a Sadhana on ones own. Better yet, if one comes to regular classes to gain some practical experience with the yoga and then comes to the Teacher’s Training course, when it is offered, then through teaching the yoga one will also be able to master it, while becoming directly linked into an organization of thousands of people around the world that practice and teach this yoga
and the spiritual line and source of these teachings.

“I have come to create Teachers, not to gather disciples.” Yogi Bhajan on teaching: “If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.”

The Right Path: Akal Purkh Illuminates Me: By Pieter Schoonheim Samara

Regarding what some call kundalini experiences: Actually, Kundalini and isolated Awareness (the experience of self-effulgent Awareness), are the same. There are movements of prana that have all sorts of phenomenal effects, but these movements, even when they move the body, are only effects of prana and not Kundalini, which is singularly different.

Here is an example of Kundalini: In the summer of 1973, the center on Pruess Road in LA was converted into a Gurdwara, and we were all dressed in white with our turbans waiting for Yogi Bhajan to arrive. When he did, some 45 minutes after the schedule, as he came through the doorway, he stopped and said that that morning God had taken away his vision and that now all he could see was the light of a million suns, and yet, there he was talking to us. This is the experience of abiding as That All-Pervasive Light, which sustains and supports the universe, which gives life and animates all living creatures. In effect he was saying: “Akal
Purkh illuminates me.”

(Listen to Liv Singh’s rendition of Yogi Bhajan’s 1968 poem: Adorned with Honor” from http://www.invinciblemusic.com, or go to: http://www.adityahrdayam.com/songtext.html. This poem is a good guidance regarding the right path.)

In summarizing the e-mail postings I sent, which referenced the radiant series: https://luthar.com/kundalini-yoga/, as you begin the practice and take up a Sadhana of the Kundalini Yoga that Yogi Bhajan taught, there is a process of awareness of the expansion and deepening of the experience of this radiance that is eventually felt throughout the body, until the pervading voltage becomes so penetrative and even that it exceeds the frequency of thoughts. Then you will notice that the focusing mechanism of the mind disengages and you feel the entire body within and to some expanse outside at once without focusing. With this comes a special knowledge that who you are is a “unit of consciousness” and not the mind and body, which, because there are no thoughts or reactive emotions surging through the body, becomes clearer and clearer. In effect the disengagement of the focusing mechanism effects a decoding of the impressions that make us think “I am the body” or “I am my thoughts, emotions and sensations related to a body separate from the world.” You experience: “I am the Light of my Soul.”

A kind of a Singularity begins to form, a Polarization of the magnetic field, and with that a unique awareness of an innate Intelligence reflected in the mind (Akal Takht – the Holy Spirit). This Intelligence has the sensation of Remembrance and pulses soundlessly without limitation “I” as “I.” The mind is completely gripped by this and inverts in a way that reflects the all pervasive Self, which “lights each one born in the world,” located in the Spiritual Heart (Harimandr – Temple of the Holy Spirit), what in Kundalini Yoga Yogi Bhajan calls the “Ik Tar” or “One Star.” This is because you have an experience of abiding singly in the Spiritual Heart as “I AM, I AM.” Thoughts cannot penetrate this. Physically, the major power centers of the body illuminate by themselves:

  • At the base of the spine is a piercing light.
  • At the crown an expansion of radiance and inward turning reflective consciousness,
    meaning that the purity is beyond the vibration of the reflection of thought
    impressions that we previously mistook to be “I.”
  • The Spiritual Heart (not the chakra) irradiates, as well the sushumna and paranadi
    (mind nerve) extension between these.

You might say that this experience within the body is like the movement of mercury in a barometer when the atmospheric pressure increases.

In this case, what has happened is that, through your sustained Sadhana, the awareness, frequency and voltage of one’s Self, experienced as a unit of consciousness (Atman), suddenly “impacts” the Awareness, Frequency and Voltage of the Universal Consciousness (Akal Purkh – Infinite Being – Brahman), and you abide as pure Spirit, which is the substratum of the appearance of the Universe, the same as the light in a TV (or movie projector) is the basis for the appearance of images projected on the screen.

The experience has a unique sensation (the Singularity of unconditioned Being) in which your first words might be Sat Nam or “I am the Truth” – an experience of Transfiguration of the Body and Mind into Pure Singular Pervasive, Unconditioned, Uncaused Spirit, That alone which is Real.

All this to say that, when you take up a Sadhana, and also read the holy scriptures of the Saviors Saints and Sages, who express this experience of abiding as Truth in their words and actions, then there arises a Remembrance that causes the discarding of attention to thoughts and images and results in singular abiding.
The practice of Kundalini Yoga speeds up the transformation from “I am the body and its thoughts” to “I am a unit of consciousness” to “I am the indwelling single pervasive Spirit.”

The various experiences of energy, visions and so forth that one might have along the way are just movements of prana, however purifying. It’s when the mind inverts and turns inward, beyond thought, impressions and images, when the mind is consumed by the Truth of your Awareness as Self, the Ground of Being, that you are experiencing Kundalini.

If this isn’t clear now, it will become clear as you continue to practice every day and this transformational process and this experience dawns on you. “Keep Up! regardless of circumstances.”

So, when you talk about activating the Kundalini, you are really talking about isolating and abiding as the Singularity of the all pervasive Self, which is who and what you always are.

This means that you now experience directly through and as consciousness itself and not the senses, which are always illumined by that consciousness, like the lens in a movie projector is illumined by the light within it. In you, the light, which is single and all-pervasive, emanates from the Spiritual Heart and lights the  body, mind and senses. When you are drawn to the source of that light, which, as described above, follows inexorably from the sustained practice of Sadhana, you pierce through the Heart and now abide as the Substratum of all.

Then your mantra or experience of vastness and solitude is:

Blessed am I
In freedom am I
I am the infinite
In my Soul
I can find no beginning
No end
All is my Self
All is my Self

What is the One Star, the Hrdayam?: By Pieter Schoonheim Samara

This Center in the Heart is that point within the body through which the Infinite Being animates the body with the light of consciousness and the sense of being, as “I.” Where the chakras can be compared to prism-like lenses of a movie projector providing interpretation of gross, subtle and spiritual images, the Heart Center is the pure light, like a self-effulgent screen, in that projector that gives the sense of identity and reality to the projected images appearing on its surface.

The Hrdayam / One Star is located in the heart itself. The physical heart is 7/8 to the left of the sternum and 1/th to the right. In that 1/8th portion is located the pacemaker or synod of the heart, which give the pulse or beat to the heart. It is the place where we point when we say “I.” In Ayurvedic medicine it is mentioned as the seat of consciousness. in the Katha Upanishad (and others), it is said to be that place from which all the nerves of the body have their origin, as well as a major nerve (the right Vegas nerve), which rind from this location to the crown center (the Sahasrara or thousand pedaled lotus).

It is not the same as the anahata chakra, which is the nexus of nerves and related glands and organs located directly behind the sternum, between the bottom of the sternum and nape of the neck.

The awakening of this Heart Center is the purpose of all religious teachings and the focus of all religious experience, where that experience relates purely to the spiritual, i.e., the purpose of yoga – to isolate the “seer” – the subject “I” through the relinquishment / dissolving of the limited idea that our identity is bound to sensations of the body and the tyranny of thoughts, impressions and images in the mind.

In the Bible: Ecclesiastics: 10:3, is stated “The wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, the fool’s to the left” In the New Testament, Christ says: “The Pure in heart shall see God (“I AM THAT I AM)”

The Hrdayam is called the One Star (Ik Tar), because it has a pulling force, like gravity, that sucks in and dissolves all thoughts and images from the mind, while at the same time, like the sun, It radiates living light that outshines all images. “Hrd” means literally “That which sucks in everything” and “ayam” – “This” and “Expansion” – together meaning the core of ones being or “Heart.” The Heart is the place out of which everything expands and is withdrawn. In terms of the realized experience, it is similar to a concept of a Black Hole, wherein one experiences the pulsing incandescent radiance of Being in the atma nadi between the Hrdayam (Heart) and Sahasrara (Crown), while attention is disengaged, so that no objects can be seen in association to the pulsing pervasive sense of “I” – felt as a radical force one might call spaghettification, as physicists describe the dissolution of particles and atoms being sucked into a Black Hole. Nothing remains, not time nor space.

In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali there are 2 areas recommended to focus ones awareness in meditation. One of these is the crown center and the other, the self-effulgent light in the heart. While some mistakenly assume that heart means the anahata chakra, in fact, only the Hrdayam is self-effulgent. All other centers have their light from this one center, similar to the light in a movie projector (the Self), that animates (lights) the images through the lenses (chakras) onto the screen (of consciousness).

The Hrdayam is called the Solar Orb, because it is the source of being and consciousness (gravitation and light), and the Sahasrara is called the Lunar Orb, because it is the reflected consciousness in which the dimensions of the gross, subtle and spiritual universe appears.

When the sun in the heart awakens, the experience is like coming out of a stupor or amnesia. The sense of “I” – the seer, abides in Itself without attachment, clinging or attention to objects. Even attention to silence, stillness or a blank is relinquished, along with the identity to the sensations of the body and images, impressions and thoughts of the mind.

You experience a sense of single pervasiveness, timelessness, and unconditioned, uncaused being. “Nothing is separate and you cling to nothing. Everything is empty, clear, selfilluminating…” (from the 3rd Zen Patriarch: Faith Mind”)

The 2 poles of the heart (Hrdayam) and Crown (Sahasrara) blaze with light, and the nerve between (called atma, amrita or para nadi) radiates incandescently, vibrating with unstruck soundless sound. Simultaneously, you may see a flame, sometimes multi-colored, rising through the spine and the crown of the head. In Kundalini Yoga, the Mind Nerve. In Physiology, the Vagus Nerve that runs from the Spiritual Heart to the Crown.

Yoga is the union of the individual unit of consciousness with the all-pervasive universal consciousness – the infinite being. But this union is not of 2 separate things that have to be united, as the ever present Reality and Truth is that the infinite being lights each of us born in the world in the heart as the Light of our light, the “I” of our “i.”

As the mind begins to become electromagnetically still and balanced, there is an automatic inversion of the mind from outgoing reflecting images, to pure reflection of the Heart. We call this the discriminate facility (budhi), but it is the pulling force of the Heart that turns the mind inward. There is nothing outside of the Self, and when the mind reflects the Self in the Heart, there is a “hearing” – recognition (sravana/sunia), “remembrance” (manna) and “abiding” (niddidyasana) that resonates in a manner that attunes all the nerves of the body to the Heart, resulting in awareness of one’s Self as undifferentiated consciousness, where “inside – outside” simply dissolve and vanish like a mirage, “…everything is whole.” (Yogi Bhajan)