It is now widely acknowledged that our life and what happens to us on the outside, in our relationships, at work, at home, depends on the state of our being on the inside, that is, how we think and feel and how we act, whether it be with kindness, selfishness, anger or compassion. This is because all human beings have inside them a “subtle system”, which is a blueprint that incorporates all the ways we should conduct ourselves in our lives. Our lives on the outside are a reflection of the condition of this subtle system. If we live in accordance with this blueprint and are able to balance our subtle system, then our lives will be happier, healthier and more productive.
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, who founded Sahaja Yoga in 1970, has given many public lectures about this subtle system and how it works. The subtle system consists of seven chakras, three channels and the residual life force, which is a dormant energy called the Kundalini which resides in the sacrum bone at the bottom of the spine.
Each of the seven chakras has certain qualities which manifest in our lives when the chakras are clear. For example, if our heart chakra is clear we will show the traits of courage and compassion in our lives. If there is a blockage in a chakra, it manifests in our lives. For example, a blockage in the Nabhi chakra may lead to us having problems with money. When the Nabhi chakra is cleared either the financial difficulties will disappear or we just won’t be worried about them any more and we will find a way to manage.
The three channels need to be in balance. When the left side and the right side are balanced we can operate in the central channel, which is the present. In order to be in the present, we need to achieve our Self-realisation, which occurs when the Kundalini rises up the central channel, through the limbic area in the brain and out of the fontanelle bone area at the top of the head to unite with the All-pervading Power of the universe.
When this happens, we become connected to the universal, Divine power that created us. We become more knowledgeable about ourselves and are able to know the state of our subtle system, our chakras and channels. As we begin to meditate and strengthen this connection after attaining our Self-realisation, we become “thoughtlessly aware” and our Kundalini flows through our chakras, clearing them. As a consequence we become better people, we automatically act in more constructive ways and all our bad habits drop out. We begin to demonstrate the positive characteristics of the chakras in our behaviour, and the positive qualities of the chakras manifest in our lives.
Recent research has shown that people are happiest when they demonstrate the “virtues” in their lives. It is already well-known that people who are happy have stronger immune systems and are healthier than those who are not. Investigation of over 200 religious and philosophical texts including the Upanishads, the Koran, ancient Greek philosophers and Christian texts has demonstrated that there are six universally accepted traits that are regarded as virtues that are revered in every society. They are wisdom, courage, compassion, judgement, self-discipline and forgiveness. The universality of these traits indicates that they are innate and are part of the blueprint of human beings. The fact that people feel happiest when they express these virtues in their behaviour also indicates that they form an innate part of the human experience.
It is time that we looked inside and looked to our roots, in order to find happiness and fulfillment that will be for our good, and for the good of our family, our town, our country and ultimately for the good of the whole world. As Shri Mataji considers it the birthright of every human being to have their Self-realisation and the knowledge of the subtle system, Sahaja Yoga is always taught free of charge.
Sahaja Yoga was founded in1970 by Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi. Shri Mataji developed a method by which people en masse could get their Self-realisation, in which they feel total peace and tranquillity, absolute oneness with nature and the universe and complete psychological integration. Self-realisation has been called “individuation” by Carl Jung, and “self-actualisation” by modern psychologists and psychiatrists. Previously, people wanting to obtain their Self-realisation had to spend many years with a guru in the Himalayas going through many hardships and privations in order to cleanse their chakras to reach this height of spiritual attainment.
Shri Mataji’s method, called “Sahaja” which means “spontaneous” and “born with you” takes just ten minutes and is very joy-giving. Self-realisation takes us into a state of meditation known as “thoughtless awareness” in which we are awake and alert but are not thinking and are not affected by what is happening in our environment.
During Self-realisation the residual life force which resides in every human being in the sacrum bone at the bottom of the spine rises up through the limbic area to the fontanelle bone at the top of the head. The limbic area is the “old” brain which controls our heartbeat, our digestion, our breathing – all the work done by the autonomic nervous system. This limbic area becomes enlightened and works more effectively, calming us down and normalising and slowing down our physical processes, so that everything functions more smoothly and efficiently.
After Self-realisation, in thoughtless awareness, we become more perceptive and are able to feel subtle differences in the state of our own being and in the beings of others. Shri Mataji calls this new awareness “vibratory awareness”. We are able to feel the state of our chakras on our fingertips. Each of the seven chakras corresponds to a different finger or part of the hand. When there is a problem with a particular chakra it manifests as a tingling or heat in the corresponding position on the hand. Problems with the chakras, known as blockages, can be cleared with simple techniques using the five elements. When the chakras are cleared the heat is replaced by a feeling of coolness.
Each chakra has a different sphere of influence in our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual lives. Any imbalance or blockage in a chakra will manifest as a problem in one of those four areas. For example, the chakra at the throat, known as the Vishuddhi chakra, corresponds on a physical level to all the organs governed by the major nerve plexus in the throat, that is, the neck, sound-box, mouth, tongue, teeth, lips, inside the ears and hearing, as well as the shoulders and fingertips, as the nerves from this plexus also travel down the arms to the fingers. So, a problem with this chakra could manifest as a physical problem with any of these organs, or it may manifest as an emotional, mental or spiritual problem.
On the emotional level, this chakra is concerned with feeling connected to others, self-esteem and feeling guilty. On the mental level it is concerned with feeling respect for others and being diplomatic. On the spiritual level it is concerned with maintaining purity in our relationships with others.
In effect, with Sahaja Yoga we are able to feel imbalances in our systems and to correct them before they get to the stage of developing into major illnesses. If we already have an illness Sahaja Yoga is helpful in the treatment of the illness and in alleviating symptoms. Sahaja Yoga also helps us to see ourselves clearly, to see our faults and failings as well as our positive traits, and allows us automatically to become better people, get rid of our bad habits and addictions and resolve our problems.
All of this information is freely available at Sahaja Yoga beginners’ classes. Everyone can achieve Self-realisation and the state of thoughtless awareness, and everyone can start to feel the vibrations on their hands and learn to decode the signals. According to the wishes of the founder, Shri Mataji, Sahaja Yoga is always taught free of charge.
For information about Sahaja Yoga programs, please follow the link below:
When you first attend a Sahaja Yoga public program, you receive your Self-realisation. After this you will be able to meditate immediately. Before you leave the program, you will be shown how to meditate at home each day. Also, you will receive a diagram of the Subtle Body, showing the seven energy centres or chakras, the central channel which goes up the spine, the left and right channels and the places on your hands where the chakras are connected to the nerve endings in your hands.
Self-realisation is the term we give to the initial complete rising of the Kundalini within a person’s spine and out of the top of the head. The Kundalini (a Sanskrit word meaning coils) is the creative power, or energy, which has created this world and everything in it. It is the female energy of the Divine, God, Brahma, Jahweh, or whatever name is used in the great religions to denote the highest spiritual Power.
When a baby is in the womb, it is the Kundalini that creates it. Babies stop growing about two weeks before they are due to be born, and that is when the Kundalini coils up in the sacrum bone at the base of the spine.
So, everyone has his or her own Kundalini coiled up in the sacrum bone. When the time comes in your personal evolution to grow from being a limited human being operating from the level of the brain, to an unlimited spiritual being operating from the level of your own Spirit (the reflection of the Divine), the force that created you, your Kundalini, makes that growth happen. It is your own desire that causes this. Your personal desire to have something more than you have now – some sort of inner peace – will cause your Kundalini to rise up the central channel, inside your spine.
This happens at the Sahaja Yoga program because the person conducting the program is guiding you at this stage. As you are desiring it to happen, your Kundalini will rise through your chakras and out of the top of your head, connecting you to the Collective Unconscious, gently and sweetly. At this point you may feel a cool breeze coming out of the top of your head. This cool breeze is referred to in the scriptures of the world’s major religions, as being the sign of the “twice-born”, i.e. people whose Kundalinis have risen. The cool breeze you can feel is your Kundalini. Thousands of people are now at the stage of their personal evolution where this happens. The founder of Sahaja Yoga, Shri Mataji, calls this mass level of evolution “the blossom time”.
The Collective Unconscious was so named by the psychologist, Dr Carl Jung, because it is the area from which we receive all the wisdom of the Divine. Some of the dreams we receive come from the Collective Unconscious; some do not. The wisdom received by the great souls who wrote the scriptures came to them from the Collective Unconscious when they were in meditation.
When your Kundalini comes up it connects you to the Collective Unconscious. When you learn, at Sahaja Yoga programs, how to keep your Kundalini up all the time, you will receive wisdom from your meditation, which will improve your daily life.
The most important time of your life now is when you receive your Self-realisation. You have it because you deserve it. It is wonderfully exciting to have one’s Self-realisation and be continually growing spiritually.
On a foggy Fourth of July morning, 2007, the San Diego Sahaja Yogis set up a booth at the Standley Park Fair in Clairemont. We finished setting up by 8:30 am and were all set to spread the message of Sahaja Yoga to the crowds that were starting to trickle in. There were only a couple of us, as it was still early in the morning.
At about 9 am, a little girl in a brown dress and a bright, neon-yellow windbreaker walked up to our booth. She couldn’t have been more than eight or nine years old. We observed for a minute or so as she read the poster set up in front of the booth. Then Keona asked her if she would like to try meditating. The little girl said she was open to it. We went through the experience of Self-realisation with her, and she seemed to enjoy it immensely. We asked her what her name was and she said it was Emily.
Emily left the Sahaja Yoga booth, but twenty minutes later she was back. She just stood by our booth, smiled at us and waved as we were giving Realisation to other seekers. She did this about four or five times during the day. Since this was a Fourth of July fair, there were lots of other attractions for the children – face-painting, drawing contests, a balloon parade and many other events. Emily would go away from our booth, but kept returning as if the tremendous vibrations kept pulling her back.
About two hours later, she came back, this time with her mother. And then she came back with two friends, and soon a small crowd started forming in front of our booth. At one point, our entire booth was filled! We had about six children and seven mothers and other ladies crowded into our little tent, and the more the people saw this, the more they were interested in what was going on. We had to borrow extra chairs from our tent neighbours and the organisers, and people were spilling out of our allotted space to get their Realisation.
Everyone got their Realisation, and we had a long list of names of people interested in starting a new Sahaja Yoga meeting in that area. The vibrations were tremendous because the children all had their Kundalinis up in no time! And little Emily joined them a second time to sit down and meditate with us. It was the sweetest experience to see this little Angel with light in her eyes and a big smile on her face enthusiastically telling everyone about the Sahaja Yoga booth. She kept pointing people to our booth even when she was in line for the rock-climbing wall or the face-painting booth.
Towards the end of the day, she came back to the booth, hugged Keona tightly and just smiled. She said she would love to come back to meditate some more. We told her mother that she was a very special child, a Realised soul who recognised the significance of the work we were doing. We asked her mother to please bring her to every meeting once we started.
We haven’t stopped talking about our little Angel whose innocence did Shri Mataji’s great work for us that day like a little Shri Ganesha, Shri Hanumana and all the Shakti powers rolled into one!
Viraj and Keona Talpade
San Diego, USA