Nowadays we have come to associate yoga with images of knotted limbs and uncomfortable positions with the aim to make our body fit and healthy. But do these practices really achieve yoga? Where are all these stretches and exercises supposed to lead? What does “yoga” really mean? Can we really achieve “yoga”? Can we become a true “yogi”?
The word ‘yoga’ comes from Sanskrit and means ‘union’. It is similar to the word ‘religion’ in its Latin root (religio) which means ‘re-connection’. In all countries and cultures there was this mystic knowledge about a power beyond our comprehension, an acting power, the power of creation. And although our individual spiritual journeys start out in different places – we all have different life experiences and have grown up in different traditions – we essentially move towards the same place and the same condition: to re-connect with this One Power.
But that was never an easy task to achieve, especially for a normal social person because 1) only the awakening of the Inner Energy could make this connection possible and 2) to allow this energy to rise first the inner subtle system had to be cleared. So this state could be achieved only by a few who ventured to the Himalayas, or to a monastery leading a very austere and strict life and clearing themselves relentlessly. One way was the yoga exercises to try to open up the energy centers. Rumi described the purification process poetically:
“Purify your eyes, and see the pure world.
Your life will fill with radiant forms.”
Only when all the energy centers of the subtle body were completely purified would the Inner Energy rise from the Sacrum Bone along the spine and pierce the top of the head to unite the person with the All-Pervading Power. In this union a person would receive the full enlightenment.
We all know the story of Buddha, and we might have read the words of Jesus who said that we have to be born twice, once in the flesh and then in the
It was the big vision of Shri Mataji, the founder of Sahaja Meditation, to find a way to awaken this Inner Energy in the ‘normal human being’ because she thought that if this inner light could be given to each person then they themselves would see their own problems and would be able to solve them, without depending on others. Thus they would become their own masters, or their own guru, knowing for themselves about their own qualities and strengths and also what they need and where to improve. She knew if that could be done and many people could receive this Inner Awakening the world could be transformed into a beautiful place where social behavior would be based on benevolence and compassion rather than greed and aggressiveness, and life could be enjoyed to the fullest.
On the fifth of May in 1970 she found a way, at last, of turning the enlightenment process around. This process now allows the Inner Energy to be awakened as we are, before there has been any work of purification. Thus, only a few strands of this energy are able to rise through our mostly blocked energy centers. But even these few strands are already capable of connecting us with the All-Pervading Power and we start feeling a new awareness that expresses itself in a cool breeze in our hands and over the head. Then these energy strands go back into our subtle body and start purifying our energy centers. So what before could only be achieved through a tremendous effort of asceticism and austerity has now become effortless – as this energy would do all this work for us – we only need to let it happen. The more we meditate, the more strands of this energy can rise and we increasingly start feeling its pleasant and soothing effect on our energy centers. With time we will feel lighter and lighter, and we will realize that even deep-seated problems just dissolve and disappear.
Meditation means nothing else than allowing this Inner Energy to work in us and letting the All-pervading Power provide us with everything that we need. Focusing on the top of the head (where our connection is happening) we become thoughtless, supporting our Inner Energy with our inner silence. In this state we are truly in yoga. That is when we can call ourselves as being ‘a yogi’.
I wish you a wonderful week, enjoying your own Inner Energy!