The purpose of Yoga, in general, and in this instance Kriya Yoga, in particular, we could say, is to comprehend ‘God’ in a final state called Samadhi. A God who is often said to be beyond comprehension!
So how do we comprehend a God who is incomprehensible through the practice of Yoga?
What seems like an impossible dichotomy to the mind is to the realised masters very achievable through the tried and tested of practice of Yoga.
In yoga, the first stage of this comprehension begins from the body. Preparing the body to be healthy, to be fit, have no aches and pains, have a healthy digestive system, a healthy circulatory system, a healthy endocrine system, a healthy respiratory system, and a healthy nervous system achieved by the practice of asana.
As a leaking vessel (diseased body/mind) never can fill
The waters of life so pure and still
So distracted mind fails to retain
Wisdom’s nectar in its brain.*
For the practicing Yogi, a healthy process of circulation, assimilation and elimination is also the power of god working in the body.
In the next level of comprehending God through Yoga, the practitioner finds that the balsam of yogic breath soothes turbulent emotions, the hurt, and the suffering, refining and transforming them to devotion and love. All the insults that the person has borne, all the hardships, the treacheries that the near and dear ones have committed, all these are healed by the rhythmic devotional breath of Kundalini Pranayama.
In the mental process, the same pranayama, the practice of a systematic rhythmic breathing, cures psychosomatic disorders, like ulcers and asthma and sclerosis by calming the mind.
To ease disease of random mind
A remedy suitable we must find.
A rhythmic breathing tension free
With Kriya Yog the sovereign key.*
Then moving to the next stage, the emotions that are hurt are transformed into devotion and life becomes a flowing stream towards God in pratyahar; which gives rise to Love. This manifests in devotional chanting, singing Christmas carols, singing God’s praise, bhajans and hymns. The process of refining carries on step by step through consistent Yoga practice.
Then as the Yogi begins to concentrate (dharana) and meditate (dhyan) the mind gradually becomes a placid crystal pool. The undisturbed crystal mind is a beautiful mind.
Steady poise the arrow of your will
And shoot the fleeting mind to still
The deer of thoughts hinds and harts
Felled by your concentrated darts.
As one by one they die away
Mind opens up to new day
Where streams run tranquil and willows sway
Here tame and gentle deer do play.*
Then begins the journey through various states of Samadhi. This thought-free state becomes the constant state of the Yogi’s mind. With additional practice of special techniques given by the Satguru, the mind is gradually transcended leading to an internal glow.
Then tamed and tuned to nature’s flow
Mind melts into an opal glow
Which radiates from the soul within
Where wisdom’s mystic fire is king.*
Mind you, the practitioner has still not yet reached the stage of comprehending an incomprehensible God but step-by-step through the practice of Yoga, the Yogi is getting there.
Continuing the journey of Yog, the Yogi gets into states of mysticism, from an unkempt, disheveled and disorderly mind, the Yogi has organised the mind and the mind dissolves into the opal glow of divinity and becoming one with it, the Yogi gradually transforms to light.
The refinement of the mind continues further, the Consciousness expands, and intuition sharpens. The Yogis get visions of gods and saints and goddesses. A vision of the beautiful Krishna, of Christ; walking with Jesus transported way back 3000 years walking along the sea of Galilee and the Yogi may or may not realise himself or herself to be a disciple, Simon, Peter or Paul or connected to other masters from before. From this state of Sarvikalpa Samadhi, the constantly striving Yogi is ready to move into more profound states.
After getting these deep intuitions and finishing with them, the Yogi gets to the Mount of Olives, contacting the higher portion of Jesus, the son of man, and Christ, the Son of God. The Christ state of temporary Nirvikalpa Samadhi is a radiant aura of electric blue. The Yogi merges into that aura, and here there’s no form or figure, just an eternal bliss called the Christ Consciousness, Krishna Consciousness.
This is what the persistent gradual practice of Yoga does; from curing a practitioner’s anklebones of pain and ulcers and headache to getting into the state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. And in the transfiguration, the Yogi not only sees Elijah and Moses and Christ- the trinity on earth- the trinity in creation-Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh- but is transformed into this state.
Finally moving further from the Christ state, the Yogi gets into the ineffable state of the Christos, Shiv Goraksha Babaji, the Babaji state of comprehending God.
But this, my dear souls, is not the final stage yet because the Yogi not only has to comprehend the God who is incomprehensible but also the God who is complete and therefore also comprehensible, complete and incomplete. All dualities have to dissolve and merge for the Yogi to achieve this state.
The Yogi then in this ultimate leap merges into the finality of the comprehensible and the not comprehensible, the zero and the not zero, whose centre is everywhere and circumference nowhere, the state of Niranjan Nirvan, Kaivalya. I address this Consciousness simply as the Isness.
That’s where the finality of Yog takes one, to the true innermost being who is one with the Supreme Being.
“Composed of nothing yet of which all else is sure composed
It stands Supreme beyond all dreams Eternally reposed.”*
*From Yogiraj Siddhanath’s poem, “Mind Transformation”
Note: This is a reprint of an article published March 8, 2019, in the online publication, The Pioneer.