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.
The Agnya Chakra, sometimes called the Third Eye, is situated at the centre of the brain. This is the level of the mind. Our mind has two lobes: the ego, which gives us our sense of separateness; and our superego, which has our conditionings and memory. The goal in Sahaja Yoga is to bring the light of the Spirit to the brain and so achieve enlightenment, Self-realisation. The Sahaja Yoga affirmations for the Agnya Chakra are, “I forgive everyone, including myself,” “Mother, by your grace I am forgiven,” “Mother, please make me a forgiving person,” and “Mother, verily You are the forgiveness.”
When the Kundalini passes through this chakra, the thought waves elongate so that the space between the thoughts grows longer. The present moment begins to fill the attention and we enter the state of meditation in thoughtless awareness. Then we can see without colouring or projecting – simply, innocently, like a child.
Jesus Christ, the personification or Deity of the Agnya Chakra is said to have explained, “Unless you be as little children, you cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.” This entry point is “the narrow gate” between the ego (ahankara) and superego (manas). This is the “now” point that remains clear and unpressured, beyond the mind’s remembrances of the past, and beyond the ego’s mental projections about the future.
The mind, like the body, gives us fairly convincing ideas of our existence. However, with an enlightened mind we find, as Shri Mataji has said, that we are not the body, the mind, ego and conditionings, but we are the Spirit. This was the essential revelation of Jesus Christ who fully manifested the Divine qualities of the Agnya Chakra – compassion and forgiveness. His testimony, of undoubted Oneness with His Father, is the Nirvikalpa experience of the Yogi, who has been cleansed and prepared by the Divine Mother, Kundalini. His assertion, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Light,” is the ultimate expression of this enlightened Agnya.
It is through deep meditation, forgiveness and humility that the process of crossing the Agnya Chakra is worked out. The left and right channels cross just below the Agnya. If either of these channels is overly active they create a burden and an imbalance in the subtle body that pressures and closes the narrow gate and has us again feeling alone and unconnected. The right channel is easily inflated with the idea, “I do.” Too much thinking, planning, projecting, over-activity, anger, competitiveness or superiority will cause blockage and also deplete the left side of the essential ability to feel and love. Becoming too “right-sided” means we can enter the hot realm of the supra-conscious, the realm of the future. The left channel can catch if we are overly emotional, too expressive, feeling victimised, wishing harm to ourselves, becoming immersed in the past, and too involved in unhealthy habits, subconscious images or dead ideas. This is the realm where everything from the past is placed, including dead spirits and the Collective Sub-conscious.
A central idea in spiritual evolution is the idea of being “born again”. This is not a process of self- or group-certification. It is the process of Self-realisation in which we break through, surrender the lesser senses of ego and conditioning, and become resurrected, identified with the eternal awareness, the Spirit. Here we go beyond the mind and often humorously witness the play of the ego and conditionings as they battle to have their way. We are still in the world, yet in a detached, joy-filled and loving way. We easily forgive, for not to forgive causes problems. We know and enjoy our own Spirit, the same Spirit in all, and witness the play of the Creation. We are humble before the ultimate majesty of the Creator and also spontaneously experience true love and compassion for the human condition.
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.
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The following is a beautiful talk by Baba Mama, Shri Mataji’s beloved brother who brought the creative arts, especially music, to the forefront in Sahaja Yoga. He encouraged and inspired Sahaja Yogis to greater and greater creative heights.
You believe that God is omnipresent, omnipotent and all-pervading. In fact, you believe that He is in every atom. As natural corollary of this belief, you must also know that God knows what you want or what your need is. If the first proposition is true, then second proposition has to be true. It would follow, therefore, that those who know that God is omnipotent and all-pervading are bound to accept that God is all-knowledgeable and therefore is aware of all your problems.
In spite of this fact, we always go to God with certain expectations. Expectations can be of various types, but are basically self-centred or are pertaining to people or relations you are attached to, and then you pray to God that He should grant you a particular relief, or a job promotion, or some benefit to you or your near ones, etc. When you go with this frame of mind, then most of the time you are disappointed. Hypothetically speaking, if your expectations are symbolised in A and what you get is, let us say, B; then A minus B is your disappointment. And then you have to attribute this disappointment to someone. The pessimists will attribute it to their bad luck and will always curse themselves for not being worthy of God’s favour.
The optimists will straight away blame God Himself, and they say that this God is not good and that we should shift to some other God. In this way you keep on shifting from God to God, but disappointment is always there. This may even make you anti-God and an atheist, ultimately. Now take a case where you do not go to God with any expectations. Therefore, the expectations are zero, and let us say that you get B as the reward. Therefore, B minus zero is B which is always surplus.
You should also distinguish between your expectations and desires, and pure desires. Pure desire is always for the benefit of the other, and therefore you are entitled to carry pure desires to the Divinity. I once remember, I was travelling with Shri Mataji from Sydney to Canberra, and it was very hot and the air-conditioning of the car was thoroughly inadequate. Shri Mataji was sweating and I was fanning Her with a newspaper, but I somehow felt that the heat was oppressive and that the weather should give some respite to Her. Reading my mind, She asked me a question as to what I was thinking, to which I told Her frankly that I was unable to see Her suffer because of heat. So She told me that I should make a pure desire and the weather would change. So I closed my eyes and made a pure desire that the weather should change.
Within five minutes, dark clouds gathered from nowhere and it started raining, and the intensity of heat was thus reduced and Shri Mataji said, “See, if you make a pure desire then it will always be fulfilled.”
Coming back to expectations, I may mention here that once you are connected to your Divinity through your Self Realisation, you should feel assured that you have been admitted into the Kingdom of God, that you are His subject and therefore He is duty-bound to look after you, irrespective of what you expect of Him. So please do not expect… Only pray to Shri Mataji that She should make you what She wants you to be.
Baba Mama, 1999