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Pujya Dr. K.C. Varadachari - Volume -1

Discourses on The Philosophy of Sri Ramchandra's Rajayoga -

Lecture -17

The topic which is dealt with in the final chapter of the book is on 'the stages of the spiritual progress' in this path. Master has given an illustrated diagram consisting of about twenty-three concentric circles and the first outer five circles are the sphere of Maya and then the eleven circles following it are called the circles of Egoism and then seven circles or rings of splendour and lastly a vacant space which leads you to the Centre itself. This is merely a diagrammatic representation of the stages which every abhyasi will have to pass through till he attains oneness with the Ultimate Godness. That is the centre.

The circles of Maya start in the heart, the Human heart and they gather momentum till we reach a stage somewhere about, what is called, the Ajna Chakra. Above it, you have the sphere of egoism, and these egoisms are eleven by the circles, but actually they are infinite. They are more and more rarified till finally you cross over to the higher regions of splendour, what is called, the regions of Light. Most people in the past have not gone, according to Shri Ram Chandraji, beyond these sixteen circles, and the 16th circle ends up near somewhere the Sahashra Dala, which is said to be the highest point capable of being reached according to the Kundalini Yoga. Beyond that one gets out of the body. There is what is called the Brahma Randhra through which an individual passes out of the body. The physical existence is impossible according to those previous thinkers when we reach the Sahashra Dala.

But according to Raja Yoga of Shri Ram Chandraji, we can pass on even when we are in this body, through the seven circles of splendour or rings of splendour. Here is the great truth investigated so far, and this is the discovery of Shri Ram Chandraji. And even beyond the seven rings of splendour, there is a vast Ocean in which the souls go on swimming till they reach the Ultimate Godness.

Now this shows a very big prospect before an Abhyasi. That it could be achieved even in his own life time is another great fact about this system. He further states that every abhyasi from the first centre onwards will have to pass through four stages. These four stages are described by him in this way.

The first stage is when we feel that the Divine Force pervades all over in the body. The second stage is when we have constant remembrance of its pervading our entire body. The third stage is when we have neither the pervasion nor its remembrance, and the fourth stage is when we feel everything dropping. It is a stage of beyond negation. Now, these four stages we have to pass through at every point. I believe in another work called "Towards Infinity", he describes three states at each point - Saralatha or spontaneity or the free move of Energy of the Divine which is introduced into the heart through Pranahuti. The second stage is Sayujyatha, when we feel, oneness and the third stage is Laya when we are so merged in it that we are not aware of it. Even the awareness passes away and at that stage, we gather sufficient power to move towards the next centre. So, the fourth stage is when we feel that we are leaving the point which we have now experienced and move towards the next. The 'gone-ness-feeling' is due to this leaving the previous point and we can go to the next one. This is what he has now added in the latest volume. It was not mentioned so clearly in the work "Towards Infinity".

These four stages occur at each point. That is why the Abhyasis feel that they are progressing and suddenly everything seems to be lost. They feel, as it were, they are going backwards. Or, what they have got, has been lost. Now it is not so, if we understand these four stages, it only shows that we are moving towards the next point, and at the next point we find the same feeling or sensation of Divine Force entering and pervading as from that point. Each point has a particular and peculiar experience about it. We find gradually that we become lighter and lighter. Sometimes we do feel colours about the place. The first one like yellowish and second one as white, the third one as red, the fourth one as black or dark. Now Master says we feel a kind of shadowy darkness just before we go to the Ajna Chakra or when we pass from the world of Maya or the sphere of Maya to the world of Brahma or Brahmanda or Mind. The Mind Region then is called Brahmanda. Mind becomes wider at this stage. Mind which is particularized at the earlier stage becomes vaster at this stage. We become expanded. In other words, the sense of expansion only will be felt at the stage and many people think that this stage is the stage of Liberation and when you enter Brahmanda, we do not come back to the Physical world of Maya. But that is not so, according to the Master. Beyond this, we have got to go a very long way.

Now at the point which is about the sphere of head, you find a peculiar difficulty with some of the other factors. At the Ajna Chakra, there is the power capable of spreading downwards to all the parts of your body. This power gives many Siddhis to people and that is why many people want to call it Ajna Chakra, where we order anything. But personally, I call it Ajna Chakra. That is, the place of ignorance, where we are likely to misuse the power for ordering and doing things which are not intended for. So we have to go onwards.

Then starts what we call the great endeavours to conquer our ego. Egoism comes to us. The body consciousness is gone. But the Ego consciousness is on. We do not feel very much about the body. We have got rid of "Dehatma brama". But the Atma brama goes on, that we are the self and we have got substantiality and individuality to protect but at that stage we do not feel that the ego is a mistake. And, therefore we try to become selfless. We practise selflessness. That is, we must go above Ego. And this kind of giving up ego through selflessness or renunciation of self is a very very gradual process and has many forms. It becomes subtler and subtler till finally when it is pushed into the Central Region when it almost loses its original shape. At that stage, I believe we have neither self nor selflessness. We reach a stage where there is neither self nor selflessness. The contradiction is over. Now at this stage there is just expansion. No doubt, there is the Central Region, which everybody now in this system is expected to aspire for. But it is not easy except with the help of a Master who tries to hold both the heart and the entire system so that we can reach in, to the Central Region without breaking up our physical body.

Master speaks about this aspect when even the whole constitution of the physical body will have to be changed by breaking up the particles within the body and releasing the energy for the whole system. It is a very great work, and I believe, hardly any one, except the Master, now knows to do it and many times it requires the actual presence of the disciple with the Master for considerable time, and that is why, at that stage, Master wants the disciple or Abhyasi with him. It is very very difficult and unknowable work because no preceptor normally I think knows to do that work. Now this peculiar experience of the Central Region is one of Negation. One does not feel that he exists. That is the ego is gone. And he says that such an experience is not usually aspired after by people who clamour for experience. Because there is nothing. But it has its own charm. It is the world of infinity.

I was yesterday reading an article in the American Review where the author believes in what is called Clark's law, which states, 'the only way to know the limits of the possible is to go beyond to the Impossible'. Now that particular Law attracted me very much, as any other law normally attracts me. I felt it is something that we have felt that the only way to know the limited Atman is to go to the impossible, unknowable Brahman. Now, we are going beyond Brahman in this system. Brahman Himself is a condition. We have got to go to the Infinity, which is beyond Brahman or Para Brahman even. That is why, in this system, the Para Brahman is considered to be possible because it is within the range of human possibility. We are now going to understand this mystery which was not cleared up. If it was cleared up, we would have had passage to the Infinity long ago, and the experience of infinity and the vastness and unconditionedness is something that is transcendent to all that we want. So, no adequate description can be given. But this much can be said. That we are passing, expanding and expanding till finally even those things are gone, and a stage of changelessness occurs. At this stage also Master says, the Master is necessary, because that the individual himself, the Ego swimming in that particular place in the Vastness, can create certain waves which impede his further progress. I do not know, possibly I can describe it, because I am no swimmer. But I think swimmers know that they can create by keeping certain rings of water which prevent them from moving further. It must be like floating with substance and it might not be merely floating. Our aspiration must be there, to reach the Very Centre.

Now the Master says, perhaps in order that we could identify, that the Divine, even at the place, has a ring round him which does not permit Him to enter into us. Now this distinction is kept on. This individuality is kept on between the individual self and the Divine, even at the point of Ultimate Realization. But it may be withdrawn and everything can be withdrawn into Him when the great Pralaya occurs. Now there are many theories about the matters. But I believe it is all very speculative. Theories about trying to preserve oneself and speak about all the laws of causality and applying to God or that condition of infinity, are meaningless to me, when we have known these laws have been discovered within limits, and the limits of the Divine are not limits at all. They are infinite. So, I do not think we can intelligibly think of God in His infinity though we can certainly speak about God in his finiteness. May be, that God appears to us finite, but it is merely to induce us to go into His infinity. And I think, most people try to call God infinite though they actually believe in the finite. That is why our religion is full of contradictions. Real spirituality goes beyond and wants to live in Infinity and for Infinity, till we reach God and know God in his infinity. That would be Realization. Liberation is a very small thing. As I said, even crossing into the Brahmanda might be considered to be liberation. According to our system, getting into the Central Region may be considered to be Liberation. That is because we reach into the stage and go on expanding and there are no forces which can bind us. The causes of that condition which bring forth bondages or limitations are utterly removed at the Central Region, but I may personally say even at that state one could carry on certain very subtle difficulties which only a Master who is aware of that particular area in the subtlest form can remove and that is a very hard job. That is why we have, in this system very good promises, not merely ideals which can be realized but could be demonstrated within the life time of an abhyasi. What takes millions of years or many lives in other systems or in the natural course of centuries could be made possible in a life time, and Yoga is this concentration of Energy evolution within a lifetime. And that is why Yoga is a special process which contracts time and space and number of lives by bringing God's own energy in His ultimate form and making it do the work of taking us into the Ultimate State. It must be the Will of God that mankind is given the opportunity to achieve this end. Therefore, it is said, "To be born a man is a great boon" and it is very difficult to be born a man. It is perhaps the Grace of God alone that makes a person be born a man. And that is why, man becomes the vessel of God's Grace. That is why, God can and does, take up the work of taking up man to the Ultimate stage.

I have given just a general summary and perhaps a little elucidation on the many points in this most important work, which Master has given to us in his "Philosophy of Sri Ramchandra's Raja Yoga".