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Ātma Pariśodhana Yoga, An Introduction

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Our ancient Rsis were just like Modern Scientists.
They raised questions like:
1. Who am I?
2. Where did I come from?
3. Where was I before I was born?
4. Where will I go after I die?
5. What is the real goal of a human birth?


“A mind which has been purified by selfless work, when that pure mind sits in deep japa and meditation, the bliss that it then experiences is million times greater than the bliss of a billionaire who has enough of 3 W-Wine, Women and Wealth.’’- Taittiriya Upanishad

Brainwave Activity During Meditation

The brain is made up of billions of cells called neurons. They use electricity to communicate with each other. The electrical activity of the brain has a wave-like nature, called brainwave pattern. The mind regulates its activities by means of electrical waves in the brain, emitting electrochemical impulses of varied frequencies, which can be registered by an electroencephalogram.

It has been scientifically proved that during meditation, the brainwaves actually do change! When you meditate the balance of brain wave activity in your brain shifts - there is less Beta, the thinking and stress related brain wave and more Alpha, Theta and Delta - the relaxation and meditation brain waves.

The different categories of these brainwaves:

Techniques of Meditation

In the Atma Parisodhana Sadhana, mind should be made subtle, concentrated, introverted, and pure.Parisodhana means research. In this 7 day camp you will research on atma or soul.

In the Ātma Pariśodhana Yoga Sādhana Saptāha, you will be led through different techniques of meditation. You will be given a chart in which you can monitor your own spiritual progress. You must keep complete silence during these seven days to get maximum benefits.

Following are the different techniques of meditation to introvert and purify the mind so that it can lead one to realize its true divine soul nature.

I Āsana Siddhi      I Pranava Nāda Anusandhāna
III Guru Mantra Japa     IV Pancha Kosha Vishlesana
V Prajňa Pratyaveeksana     VI Brahma Bhāvana
VII Avasthā Traya Vicārana

Now, let us begin our journey into all these techniques of the Ātma Pariśodhana Yoga.

Omkara chanting can be done in 6 ways

1. Vāchikam

Chanting is done aloud. Vachikamomkara should be done in such a way that sound appears as if coming from navel. If doing correctly breathing slows down and ultimately kumbhaka (stopping of breath) is attained.

2. Upāmśu

Repeat the mantra without making an audible sound while making an O shape with your lips.

3. Mānasika or Chit Japa

Chantthe mantra mentally. If your stomach goes inside and breath almost stops, then you have attained natural Kumbhaka, it means you are chanting correctly. Mental chanting or Chit-Japa is considered the best but is the most difficult as the monkey mind tends to wander.

4. Anahata NadaAnusandhana:

Observe and hear inside by doing Shan Mukhi Mudra. You may see lights and colours and hear the Omkara constantly going on inside. Mind is the source… there is light within.There is sound within…What is I AM? Existence+Awareness+Consciousness. Mind has to become pure, subtle, concentrated, and introverted. Observe ‘chitkala’- different colours exist within. Bindu-spot of light exists within. Sounds exist within.

Do Shan Mukhi Mudra - Plug your thumbs in both ears, fore fingers on eyes, middle finger below the nostril and rest on mouth. In this mudra, external noise is totally cut-off and you are able to listen to AnāhataNāda or sound of OM as it is originating from inside. The Upanishads describe that AnāhataNāda is continuously going on from inside but we are not able to listen because our minds are totally extroverted and impure. You may see lights and colors within as mind becomes subtler.

5. Brahma Bhavana Meditation

Expansion of Consciousness- Imagine your body filled with an Awareness of a Circle of Love, Light and Joy. Keep expanding this circle of Love, Light and Joy.Now imagine your whole house filled with this circle of love, light and joy. Keep expanding this circle of Love, Light and joy. Now imagine your whole city filled with this circle of love, light and joy. Keep expanding ……..Now visualise your whole country filled with this circle of love, light and joy.Keep expanding…… Now visualise your whole planet earth floating in this circle of love, light and joy. Keep expanding…..Now visualize the whole solar system floating in this circle of love, light and joy. Keep expanding….. Now it includes the Milky Way Galaxy also. Awareness, Awareness everywhere……Keep expanding Awareness to include Andromeda and other galaxies also. The entire Universe is filled with Awareness…….

Lesson – Your divine father is this circle of love, light and joy in which worlds and galaxies are floating like bubbles. You and your divine father are One. You and the Infinite are One. You are not just this perishable body subject to old age, disease and death but pure Awareness which permeates worlds and galaxies. You are a part of Sat-Chit-AnandaParabrahman.Keep reminding yourself that you are really a divine eternal soul full of bliss, peace and cosmic love……………..

6. PrajňāPratyavĩksana Meditation (Open Eyed Meditation):

The meditation called PrajňāPratyaviksana is an open eyed meditation.

Prajna means consciousness. Pratyavikshana means witness. Pratya means direct.Veekshana means watching. Directly look into own eyes and observe the observer.

Keep your eyes open. But don't look outside. Look within. Observe the Observer.

If you disassociate your mind from the eye, things will be as they are but nothing will be visible to you. If you are seeing something that means your mind is going outside through the eyes. But if you withdraw your mind your eyes will remain open but the object outside will not be visible clearly, it will become hazy. And if the mind gets completely withdrawn the object in front will completely disappear. You will not be able to see anything in front of you. It will become blank. So that's how you can test yourself whether your mind has got centered on your own inner awareness or not.

This is a 3 in 1 technique - the eyes become steady; the breath stops and one goes into kumbhaka state automatically; then the mind gets centred on one's own inner awareness.

IV PaňcaKoshaViśleshana: Source- Taittiriya Upanishad

Yogis say we have three bodies - 1) Sthūla or gross body 2) Sūksma or Subtle body 3) Kārana or causal body and five Koshas or sheaths.

The five Koshas or sheaths are called the PanchaKoshas; they are:

1. AnnamayaKosha, (Physical) 2. PrānamayaKosha, 3. ManomayaKosha,
4. VijnyanamayaKosha,5. ĀnandamayaKosha

The real Divine nature of man can be found if we go beyond these three bodies and five koshas.
The next three techniques of meditation are:
V. PrajňaPratyaviksana = Observing "I am" consciousness or individual consciousness
VI. AvasthāTrāyaVicharana - Analyzing the 3 states of Consciousness

VII. Brahma Bhāvanā-Expansion of Consciousness… While doing all these exercises, centre all your attention on your awareness! … Remember: You are Sat+ Chit+ Ananda

AnnamayaKosha

Body produces chemicals. Police dog can identify you by smell. That's why in criminal investigations they use dogs because each body has a unique smell. Each body also gives out rays the colors of which can be seen thru Kirlian photography. Someone whose aura is red is very materialistic and someone whose aura is purple is deeply spiritual. An enlightened master will have a white aura.

AURA COLOURS

A single cell incorporates your script and the cinema will unfold later. Trillions of cells now but it all started with a single cell. From beginning to end body is an astonishing feat .Skeleton is a wonderful feat in mechanical engineering. Different kinds of engineering principles are used to make this skeleton. Who made this skeleton? Science is only 2000 years old but skeletons are being constructed from millions of years. Who is this great mechanical engineer?

PrānamayaKosha

When the left nostril is more active it is called Chandra nādi in Yogic terminology and when the right nostril is dominant it is called Sūryanādi. If the Chandra nādi (left nostril) is more active, the mind will be more meditative, peaceful and philosophical and sattwic. If Surya nadi (right nostril) is more active, the mind is more argumentative and rājasic. When the breath flows equally through both nostrils that state is called sushumna and is an indication that the mind is peaceful and in deep meditation.

According to Yogis, the number of breaths per minute is limited to 15 or 16. Yogis have found that as the mind becomes purer and subtler the number of breaths per minute decreases.

Meditation - Visualization of blood circulatory system.

Close your eyes and visualize your blood circulatory system. Hundreds of blood vessels are transporting blood to every part of the body. Very great bio-chemical knowledge of physics, chemistry etc. is needed for constructing various organs and make them function.

Circulatory System

Lesson -Cultivate humility and understand that you are not the doer. You are only an instrument of God. Develop akartabhāvana. Destroy your ego. If your heart stops pumping can you attend your next meeting, even if it is with the Prime Minister? You can't. So vanquish your ego with the sword of Self-Knowledge. Mahatma Gandhi shook the entire British empire. But he never said I did it. He always said the Lord's will was done through him. Greatness lies in being humble and simple.

Unique Unity Behind Baffling Diversity

At embryonic stage all living beings look alike.

When they grow they become different due to genes. There is a Universal Law that governs all living beings. Who designed this genetic code language? Who designed millions of species? Who designed the spectacular variety of birds, animals, insects etc.

ManomayaKosha

Spirit of Inquiry

SCIENTISTS are researching on mind and getting new knowledge. Vivekananda says all knowledge comes out of samadhi. Example- Archimedes discovering Law of specific gravity.

A King had a gold crown made.The King was suspicious that blacksmith had put lower base metal in crown.TheKing asked his court to find a solution without destroying crown. Archimedes was famous inventor ofhiscourt. Archimedes tried to find an answer. One fine day he entered a bath tub and water overflowed. He jumped out shouting Eureka (discovered).He got an idea that revealed to him how much base metal was in gold. That day he jumped out of tub and ran naked in joy. He was unaware of the world around him. Yogis call this state Bhava

Samadhi. When he reached Bhava Samadhi state answers automatically came to Archimedes mind.

Siddhartha was a prince and had everything possible materially- he had a palace, a beautiful wife and son and could have spent his whole life partying. But he saw old age, disease and death, questioned life, and did research on sorrow and how to overcome it like a research scientist. He had a great Spirit of Inquiry.

Illusion also could be seen in the following example- What do you see?

2 faces ora flower vase?

Our problem is - WHO AM l? What am I? From where have I come?

Suddenly answer will come from within when mind reaches Samadhi state.

There is a unique unity behind the baffling diversity in this world and the Universe at all levels from micro to macro levels of existence. In physics, biology and other disciples of science there are examples to illustrate this Principle of Unity in Diversity. Various experimental observations of modern western scientists also arrived at this Vedantic Truth. Satchitananda Para Brahman is one without a second but as Chit-Shakti it manifests as the Many- as the visible baffling diversity this ‘Chit-Shakti’’ or intelligent power evolves into nonliving and living matter by gradual stages. This is the great “Discovery’’ of Upanishadic Rishis and Yogis.

ViJnyanamayaKosha

Our great Rsiś also reached this great truth by tapas and purification of mind that the Universe is pervaded by one Supreme intelligent power.

SarvamShaktimayamJagat is a Vedantic dictum which scientists are corroborating saying everything is made of energy.

Since millions of years sun is radiating energy. Earth rotates around sun in exactly the same field.

Who is regulating these Laws? Who is the Law Maker?

If you examine subatomic particles or galaxies everything is governed by mysterious Laws.

Nicola Tesla, the great scientist who specialized in the field of electricity was much impressed to hear from Swami Vivekananda his explanation of the Samkhya cosmogony and the theory of cycles given by the Hindus. He was particularly struck by the resemblance between the Samkhya theory of matter and energy and that of modern physics. Swami Vivekananda was hopeful that Tesla would be able to show that what we call matter is simply potential energy because that would reconcile the teachings of the Vedas with modern science. Tesla apparently failed to show the identity of energy and matter; the mathematical proof of the principle did not come until about 10 years later when Albert Einstein published his paper on Relativity. What had been known in the East for thousands of years was now known to the West.

In 1905, Einstein realized that what we see as mass (matter) is just potential energy. . That is the equation Swami Vivekananda had hoped to get from Tesla.

Scientists like Albert Einstein have also reached the same conclusion that all matter is nothing but Energy. Energy alone is Real.

Example:- Prime Minister Modi is speaking in Delhi. But through TV you can see him anywhere on the planet. His form is reduced to waves and waves can travel everywhere. Thus his form can appear in crores of houses through TV.

VIJNANMAYA KOSHA

1.Scientists like Albert Einstein are corroborating what our rishis said- that all matter is nothing but energy.

2.ROOT CAUSE OF ALL SORROW – is Attachment. 1st attachment starts with the perishable body. My body, then my husband, my son, my money etc. But nothing is yours. Your body is also not yours. It will certainly be taken and burnt in the pyre one day. So what is really yours? If your neighbour’s son dies you are not bothered. But if your son dies you are shattered. So what is the root cause of all sorrow- this “I’ disease- this ahamkara and mamakara – this sense of I ness and Mineness. Destroy this ‘I” disease with the sword of SelfKnowledge.

ĀnandamayaKosha

ĀnandamayaKosha means pure "I Am” state. We are in that state when we are in deep sleep condition. When you wake up in the morning you say you slept very peacefully and happily. From where did you get your peace and happiness? You did not have your bank balance, spouse, house etc in deep sleep, yet you slept peacefully. In deep sleep state all attachment to names and forms is missing. You are pure ātman only. That's why this deep sleep state is compared to Nidrā Jada Samādhi by yogis. “Samādhi is jāgrathsushupti". In deep Samādhi you alone are there and one with the Universal Self. Yogis make all kinds of efforts to attain that state.
We know about so many things but we do not know about our own true Divine nature- that is 'I Amness’ that is the fundamental problem. We superimpose so many things on this pure 'I Amness'. If asked, who you are, you will say I am male or female, husband or wife, father or mother etc. All these are our mental projections. There is no separate object as husband. He is husband only in relationship to a particular individual. It is a temporary relationship. So many superimpositions on your real nature of 'I Amness' makes it very difficult to be aware of our own real Divine nature. To understand your own real nature you have to go deep within your own self transcending all names and forms.

Example- ice when heated can become water and water when heated can become steam and steam when cooled can become water again. SimilarlyEnergy can neither be creatednor destroyed. It can only be changed from l form to another. You think you are this illusory body. But body is changing continuously from baby, youth to old age. I AM will continue as same in all stages. You are that I AM or soul. You have no death. Only body dies.

Just as you change clothes so also soul changes bodies according to karma. Grief is due to wrong identification with the body. Remember this constantly that you are really an eternal soul. Discriminate between ephemeral and eternal.

Scientists explore external nature.
Yogis explore internal nature.
Both come to same conclusion that energy alone is real.

Brahma Bhāvana

Brahma Bhavana -- Arthur Eddington, the great British physicist, gave us this formula – 100 billion stars make a galaxy; 100 billion galaxies make a Universe. Our own galaxy, the milky-way, contains about 100billion stars. It is so vast. It takes light travelling at 300,000 kms per second about 100,000 years to cross the Milky Way. And yet that Milky-way is just a tiny spot in the Universe we know.

Expansion of Consciousness

What do our Rsis mean by the word Brahman?

Brahman literally means very very big or vast. But how big or vast is Brahman? With the help of astronomers, we can understand what real vastness means. Should we say Brahman is the size of the planet Earth? But the Earth is only a small planet and part of the solar system. Is Brahman as big as the Sun? But Sun and solar system are very small compared to a Galaxy. Sun is also a medium sized star and they say there are one lakh million stars in our galaxy called the Milkyway Galaxy. One lakh light years is the diameter of the Galaxy. You know! What is a Light year? Light travels at the speed of 300,000 kms per second. You must travel at that speed for one year to be able to measure a Light Year.

But scientists have discovered other galaxies also other than our Milky Way Galaxy. The nearest Galaxy they say is Andromeda. Andromeda is only two million light years away and it is double the size of our Milky Way Galaxy.

The Hubble telescope seems to be discovering newer and newer Galaxies. So scientists are now concluding that the Universe is expanding. They seem to now understand the term Infinite because they cannot find the end of the Universe.

The Law of Karma

Buddha Bhagwan used to relate this story: there was one millionaire who lived in a very big house but he was a big miser and cheated many people. He never donated a penny to anybody. He buried some of his gold in one corner of the house. He did not even tell his son where he had hidden this gold. One day the miser suddenly died. The son searched everywhere for the gold but could not find it. After some time an ugly boy was born in a poor slum. The ugly boy started begging. One day the boy by chance came in front of the same house in which he was a rich person in his previous life. By God's grace he recollected his past life and went inside the big house and started telling' his son' that the house belonged to him. 'The son' scolded him and asked him to get out. Buddha Bhagwan happened to be passing by and intervened. He asked the slum boy to show "his son" where he had hidden the gold in his previous birth. The slum boy found the gold vessel and handed it over to 'his son' of previous birth.

So it was proved that the slum boy was indeed a millionaire in his past birth. But why was he so poor and wretched in his next birth?

Because he had been very selfish, miserly and mean he had been demoted in his next birth.

No one can escape the Law of Karma - as you sow so shall you reap.

If everyone understand that by harming somebody else he is only harming himself' because one Ātman pervades the entire Universe no one would harm another and all crime and corruption would stop on this planet. But because people are ignorant of the Law of Karma, the Reincarnation theory and Self Knowledge, crime and corruption flourish on this planet.