12/12, Hawaii – Fifth Class: Kundalini Yoga with Babaji
Upanisads, Brahma Sutras - these came out of the Vedas, and are strong moorings, posts that you can tie your philosophical horse to. The orthodox darshanas have this benefit of relying on these statements of perennial Truth. There are certain maxims, principles, tattvas that do not change over time. And this is really the Advaita. Changelessness is the foundation: If it changes, it isn't perfectly True.
Tantra is like the flavor running through the Vedic Way. Basically, it is Deity Worship. You cannot extract Tantra from the Vedic path. If you take deity worship out, it will just end up sterile. Kundalini Yoga is the mystic side of India.
Practice starts with food. Just as hatha yogis jump to asana without studying the yamas and niyamas first, in Kundalini Yoga misguided seekers skip the essential foundation of reverence around food and jump to pranayama. This stirs the Kundalini too soon, prematurely, and the result is an imbalanced mind.
What one does with the energy one gets from food is the real act of purification, not what one eats. If one studies in the Upanisads, such as the Taittiriya, Prasnopanisad, etc, one sees that the rishis are encouraging us to worship food. We (Westerners) are not doing this. Everything is food - air, water, knowledge, our bodies - it is all food. What we eat through our mouths is also food. But what matters most is the quality of our consciousness when or as we eat. Sri Krishna says to eat sattvic food and not tamasic. But an illumined person can eat tamasic food if he has to and it will not harm him.
The Prasno Upanisad states: Prana comes from the Atman and enters the mind through an act of will. Prana is stretched out on the Atman like its shadow. No wonder, then, that so many ignorantly follow the prana and overlook the Atman.....
The problem with the way Kundalini Yoga has been taught over the past 50 years in the West is that the prana it has not been connected to the subtle and causal bodies, nor the chakras. So the usual course goes something like this: the beginner receives from the master the teaching of observing the breath. Then the teacher observes the student watching his breath and waits. Now, just when the student is ready, and the teacher is about to give him the teaching to connect the breath to the deities or to Om, what happens? The student gets bored or tired, stands up and leaves to find another teacher. And thus we have a whole nation of practitioners who have not made these connections between the gross, subtle and causal bodies and are completely disconnected. It is doubtful that they are even aware of the two subtle bodies at all. So, perseverance on the part of the student is crucial. Stay with your path, your practice, your teacher. Make sure he or she is a good teacher. You will develop a great foundation if you hold steady, despite your own opinions. You will see how all is connected, how Prakriti contains everything. How Purusha is the one Sentient Principle and Prakriti is all name and form only. If you get this teaching early on, then when you have profound experiences you will not be overwhelmed or fall into confusion. "All this has come out of me." This is the primary connection to make.
[Babaji presented the chart, The Seven Causes & Ten Impediments in Kundalini Yoga. In this chart, each of the six chakras has listed particular poisons and nectars associated with it. For instance, in the Vishuddha chakra at the throat, the nectars include capacities relating to communication, balance, mentation, and freedom. The poisons relate to domination, deceit, projection and falsehood. A premature and temporary/forced rise of the Kundalini to the vishuddha chakra could find power congealing egoically around the poisons and energizing them, whereas a well-guided and qualified approach will avoid this.]
At every chakra (state of consciousness) and with the challenge to gaining the next chakra, one needs to observe carefully. That is, one must coordinate their experiences and reactions with their original intention - the resolve to realize the Atman. This careful checking in is to be done at each chakra, and this will help one overcome the poisons connected with each chakra.
[Babaji presented the chart Tantra's Siva & Shakti. In this chart many teachings about Siva, as both Ultimate Reality as well as gradated cosmological and philosophical aspects are given. A few of these are offered below:]
Siva in His Sakala aspect represents Kula - the aspiring family guided by a living spiritual tradition.
Siva is Satya Sankalpa - all His projections are true - and apta kama - all His desires are fulfilled.
Siva's Four Main Works:
Jnana pada - Maintaining philosophical systems. Without these, the wise cannot teach and religion has no basis. There is no reference point for Truth in relativity. With philosophical systems present, we all can see the hypocrisy that is being perpetrated in the world and reject it outright. Jai Siva!
Yoga pada - Encouraging spiritual disciplines. What can I say? Would you skim just one book on Quantum Physics and then go argue with Stephen Hawkings? Success is gained by Ishta nishtha, one-pointed devotion to a single Ideal. Dig one well until you get water. Then go dig another well and see if the water there is the same. Then draw your conclusions. In other words, master one system and then see what Divine Mother intends next for you. Maybe one is enough for you to get Samadhi. Spiritual discipline, not speculation, is what makes you spiritual. Do not wait for grace, otherwise you may need to wait for 2,000 years, and still God does not re-embody. After all, Grace is Divine Mother telling you to "do that practice."
Charya pada - Qualification and duties. Qualification makes you ready to understand the teachings. Otherwise you are just hoping, casting about. Are you hoping that a hug will get you illumined? It may be true, but only if you have qualified yourself. Maybe you need to study what a hug really means. A "bear hug" can be great. But if a real bear is doing the hugging, well, let's just say that you will enter a regimen of enforced pranayama, to be sure. It will be a true "Kodiak moment!"
Kriya pada - Fructification. All facets of existence, even those which are considered problematic, will mature. The negative will naturally drop away, the positive get taken up for utilization. All will come close to Siva by the fructification of their karmas and desires.
Siva's Five Essential Functions:
Sristhi - projection of the universe, the realms of name and form
Sthiti - sustenance of the universe
Samhara - dissolution of all realms of name and form
Tirodhana - self-limitation. Siva takes on these limitations purposefully
Anugraha - self-expression.
In Tantra, Siva's projection, preservation and dissolution get combined with tirodhana and self-expression. In essence and reality, "Sivoham” - "I am Siva." On the relative plane this means that we are actually pulling matter from unmanifest prakriti, combining it with our karma, and manifesting it by the power of mind. Now we know what we are doing. God, the Absolute, only stands back and witnesses these acts until the soul gives them up and merges in "That" - Paramasiva.