Sri Ramana used to say that wherever we go, our mind follows. We cannot escape our troubled mind riddled with endless concerns, anxieties, and fears. Even if we run away to a forest or some holy place or sanctuary, the mind is still with us.
Truly, the conflicted and conditioned mind is like our shadow.
If one gains company of pure hearted, good people in life, one gains everything. In yogic psychology, such an association is known as “Satsang”.
At a practical level, Satsang refers to Spiritual Fellowship or company of others on the spiritual path. Satsang is a Sanskrit term and is made of two words, “Sat” and “Sang”.
Sat means “Truth”. Sat also means “Essence”. Sat also means “Existence”. Sang means to “Be With” or “Embraced By” or “In Company of”.
Combining Sat and Sang, we get Satsang, which means “In the company of or embraced by Truth or the Universal Existence”.
The greatest yogis of the day and Shankracharyas came and visited Bhagavan Ramana.
They saw an ordinary frail man, who had nothing, sitting there on the rocks.
Bhagavan Ramana did not try to impress anyone.
The highest yogic adepts and saints instantly saw that they were in the presence of the Eternal Presence ItSelf.
Sri Ramana’s teaching is that the ego/mind merges in the Heart in two ways.
First, we can investigate the nature of the ego and examine the sense of “I” that we naturally feel and see where it arises. To do this, one needs to still the mind and with a purified and subtle intellect trace the “I” back to its source, the Heart. This is the yogic path of Jnana.
The second approach is to simply surrender the ego/mind without reservation to the Lord and accept that it is never our will but the Lord’s will as to what happens. If this attitude of “not my will but thine my Lord” penetrates deeply into our being, then we become accepting of everything. We see that worries and anxieties associated with ego/mind do not belong to us as we have surrendered our individual identity to the Lord. This is the approach of devotion and leads to the ego/mind merging into the Heart where the Lord sits as Eternal Existence.
“If ego rises, all will rise. If the ego merges, all will merge. The more we are humble, the better it is for us”. ~ Sri Ramana in “Gems”, Chapter XIII.
Photo art in this article is from Andreas Farasitis.
It is often said that Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, comprises all systems of yoga. This is meant more in the sense that the result and benefits of other systems of yoga gradually and suddenly emerge into the experience of the Kundalini Yoga practitioner, such that one will notice the emergence of a deep intuition of posture and prana, and awaken to the experiences of shakti, laya, bhakti, and gyan (jnana), which emerge spontaneously into consciousness. While providing all the benefits of physical and mental health, fitness and fortitude, Kundalini Yoga is entirely different in approach, practice, technique, benefit and result than any other system of yoga. Kundalini Yoga is a Path towards direct experience of the non-dual all-pervasive and single Self.
Cut the root of a tree
And the leaves will wither;
Cut the root of your mind
And Samsara falls.
The light of any lamp
Dispels in a moment
The darkness of long kalpas;
The strong light of the mind
In but a flash will burn
The veil of ignorance.
Whoever clings to mind sees not
The truth of what’s
Beyond the mind.
Whoever strives to practice Dharma
Finds not the truth of
To know what is Beyond both mind and practice,
One should cut cleanly through the root of mind
And stare naked.
One should thus break away
From all distinctions and remain at ease.
-From Tilopa’s ‘The Song of Mahamudra’ (translated by Garma C.C. Chang).