Skip to main content |

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

Talks and Lectures on the System of Sri Ramchandra's Rajayoga

Rajayoga - A New Interpretation and Practice

Rajayoga is the name given to the yoga, which utilizes the dhyana-samadhi as the means to union with the Divine. Yoga means union or connection of a thing with another; but in the mystical meaning it means union or connection with God or the Ultimate Reality. The astanga-yoga refers to the preparation for the yoga -such as yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. The preparations are of the nature of control of the body, control of desires and instincts, and their contraries which produce contra (or vicious) habits, the control of the mind in respect of the objects of desire, for the mind has the nature of wandering from one object to another, from one wish to another, or from pleasure to pain and so on. Therefore, the first step in yoga is said to be control or restraint of mental modifications, which may well be described to be the real meaning of pratyahara. If the mind is given an object which will hold it, then the control of the mind is most easy; if not, it would wander. We see that Patanjali states the first definition of yoga as the control of mental modifications (yogah citta-vritti nirodhah) but it is seen that it is not an exhaustive definition at all. It is true that this definition is given also in the Katha Up.. Tanm yogamiti manyante sthiram indriyadharanam. The Mahapanishad states, Manahprasamanopayoyoga ityabhidhiyate. To quieten the mind, to hold the indriyas steadily without permitting them to run amok even as the horses are being kept under rein, are obviously the first steps in Yoga. The anga is called by the name of the angi even as the body is named and designated by the individual who uses the name for the soul within the body.

Thus scholars have always linked up the two meanings of the word Yoga derived from yuj: to connect, to yoke or control the senses, the mind and the ego or soul finally.

Rajayoga tried to link the individual with the divine or yoke it with the divine by means of the thought (dhi) which is expounded in the Vedic Gayatri mantra: dhiyo yo nah pracodayat. Dhimahi is the expressive verb that has made the divine thought the force by which the union can be effected. This is known later as Suraji or solar sabda (Vedic mantra) with which the ancient gurus used to initiate seekers after realisation or Yoga. Thus one became a twice born (dvija).

Revered Babuji has propounded a purified and simplified version of the ancient Rajayoga and has given a new method of initiation into the Yoga that leads to ultimate realization or Union with the Ultimate (para), the true other. He calls his system Rajayoga, because he utilizes the divine thought (cit-sakti or prana) for the purpose of bringing about union with the divine almost at the very start of the practice of Yoga. This is much more important that the preliminary preparations which have tended to be made ends in themselves. Thus the yamas, though basic and fundamental as the essentials of ethical conduct have been made ends in themselves and it was said that they are sufficient to make one attain liberation. As we know, the Upanishads also have said that they are preparations. Even for attaining perfection in them, the grace of God is necessary. Similarly niyamas are observances which are really useful, but even here we know that the variations are many and the practice of the same difficult without the grace of God. As for pranayama as mere breathing exercises and technique of inspiration and retention and expiration, they hardly help anything more than cleansing of the nadis or breath pipes than the mind. The control exercised hardly leads to the higher levels of consciousness.

The Rajayoga that starts with dhyana places before itself the Idea of the goal, which is, firstly, liberation from misery, secondly, liberation from the cycle of birth and death, and thirdly, the most important of all, the Union with the Ultimate which will bring about the other two as well. Thus one aims at Yoga by means of ideal or goal fixing. This is the dharana keeping before one's mind, as will and purpose, the ideal of Union with the Ultimate Reality.

The second step would be to try by one's own efforts whether this could be attained. Though one knows the goal, what one wants, one does not know how to attain it. He has to get one who knows the Goal or is a siddha, and who knows also how to make others attain that. This is the Isvara or God who is the Guru on the path, for He is the ever-attained (nityasiddha) and sarvajna (all knowing). God alone can be the real ultimate Guru, and to worship God as Guru is to make it possible to reach the goal more easily than if one considered God as the creator, sustainer and destroyer etc. of the Universe as the Vedanta says. For the Agama as for Yoga, the Guru is absolutely necessary, more so as it involves kriya (practical training) which is not fulfilled fully by mere discussion (mere bodha).

Further, once the Guru is chosen, one has to follow his directions, and this can only be known when the Guru works on the individual, through the power of initiation or infilling him with the divine force (cit-sakti or dhi or prana), which alone makes everything live, move and have being, and restores physical, psychological and spiritual growth and evolution. This has been one thing that has been lacking in all the forms of yoga propounded. The Yoga-sutras seem to be silent on this most important factor. Indeed it is because the yoga has been left to be taught by those who could not or did not have the power or ability or sanction and permission of the Divine to do it or has been left to the individual's own efforts or self-effort, it has not been able to fulfil even the initial attainment of the samadhi or dhyana (meditation itself). Concentration, of course, had become a strenuous nerve racking task. So, Master counsels that the first thing in Yoga is to get the process started with being connected with the Divine by the introduction into the heart of the divine-thought-breath, even like an offering into the fire of aspiration of the heart. This principle has been called by him Pranahuti (breath or life offering). This means that the Yoga starts with Yoga and culminates in the realisation of the Ultimate Reality Consciousness with the help of the same. Thus Guru comes early and stays till the final step is attained. By God force God union is attained or simply God is the means (upaya); sadhaka, sadhana and siddhi are all God in the form of the Guru. The Yoga-sutras hardly reveal this role except under the niyama as Isvara-pranidhana and the nature of the Isvara. Of course, if we wish to see more, the name Patanjali, one whose anjali is to surrender, is to fall down, at the feet of the Isvara: that is his Mudra-nama.

The Agamas have insisted upon this aspect of the Guru and the Kriya and no wonder the Samkhya was also known as an Agama-sastra.

The third step on this path of Rajayoga is to gain the transmission of the Divine thought-force or prana (pranasya pranah of the Upanishad) into the heart where the meditation should be directed. In Yogas many persons counsel the meditation at the nasikagra or bhru-madhya. According to revered Babuji, the meditation is most efficacious when it is made on the heart, wherein alone the transmission is made, and also because it is said to be the place of the Isvara in the human body (Isvarah sarvabhutanam hrddese tisthati). The meditation is an effortless observation of the inflow of the Divine force or prana from the Divine Master or the preceptor who is a siddha in this regard. A siddha is not one who is possessed of all the miraculous powers which come to every practicant when he performs samyama (concentric control) over the element or plane or time or space etc. A siddhi is the attainment of the goal; here the goal of yoga-kriya is attainment of the Union with the Ultimate Reality. Thus meditation on the heart leads to the natural power of concentration when one begins to perceive the flow of the Divine prana within oneself.

A fourth point is that the prana introduced into the system by the process of transmission also cleans and loosens the entire system of all tied up conditions. The Guru has to clean the adhara of all dirt (perceived astrally as black spots) and make them leave the system. This leads to the feeling of lightness and clearness and calmness. The second process is that it also prevents the entry into the system of all dirt and heavy thought of the lower level. The purification (shuddhi) of the system is attained with the help of this transmission to which must wholly surrender oneself. Lightness, detensioning of the entire system of mind, the loosening of the knots of attachment, viveka, vairagya, uparati, titiksa and sraddha naturally result and one gets established in the sattvaika buddhi, which is characterized by jnana, sakti, vairagya and isvaratva. One begins to grow into the condition of the Guru, the Divine.

The Yoga-sutras hardly mention any knots (granthis) and the sat-chakra theory is not mentioned in it. The Tantras, however, speak about it. The Upanishads also mention the hrdaya-granthi (the knot of the heart) which has more often been interpreted symbolically as referring to the attachment or desire for objects of sense and pleasure. Babuji affirms that there are knots, which are really batteries of power, or brackets which have been useful in the materialization and grossening of the force and led to solid condition. These have to be now reversed in their functions and help us to become more subtle and receptive to the Divine force and lead to nivrtti-the return to the primal condition of ksobha (the first thought force stir). Instead of the spiritual chakras, the Tantrikas had concentrated on perfecting the siddhi or miracle potential chakras and so the progress on the spiritual path has been most illusory. Therefore, the concentration or meditation (samyama) on the sat-chakras had led to degenerate developments in the direction of power mongering and miracle mongering siddhis. The Yoga-sutras have definitely ruled out the siddhi-path if one wishes for Yoga or real union with the Ultimate and attainment of Liberation or freedom from all materiality however subtle up to the limit of prakrti-laya (avyakta-pradhana or triguni). Further the chakras are all placed in the Spinal cord (vina-danda) visible to the astral vision, whereas the knots as discovered by Master are outside it and of course visible to the astral vision developed by the pranahuti (transmission). The fundamental knots are those which start with the heart (physical heart) on the left side of the chest (the location is given by Master) and moving to the right side just below the right nipple we have the second knot (this is what is called the atma-point). The points further enumerated are the point of devotion, the point of fire and the point of vayu, near the throat corresponding to the visuddha of the Tantrikas. Revered Babuji enumerates 13 points in his work Anant Ki Or (Towards Infinity), which covers the knots in the Heart Region, Mind Region and the Central Regions.

He mentions another set of points numbering nine (in three rows of three each) near the sacral region which govern the desires, passions and thoughts pertaining to sex. In addition he has also shown that the Kundalini is not as important for spiritual purposes as it is for miracle powers and material powers. This is very important because the dangers inherent in rousing the Kundalini from below (i.e. Muladhara) are great and in fact impede rather than increase the spiritual. This view is confirmed by the GURDJIEFF-OUSPENSKY school also, who call Kundalini, Kundabuffer. But Revered Babuji shows that the awakening of the Kundalini from above happens when the aspirant abhyasi reaches a level in the Mind region like the Sahasrara.

The samadhi state in the real Yoga of this type is always naturally induced and is equivalent to the 'thoughtless condition'.

It is always sahaja, natural and comes about naturally during dhyana. These are not the extraordinary manifestations incidental to the samadhi induced by means of self-effort. It is a gift of the Divine or Guru, and does not produce any abnormal physical or physiological processes. The samadhi is asamprajnata - the higher condition than the samprajnata, and it is not sleep or a simulacrum of it, but the yogic prajna and the yogic turiya conditions. In fact one goes beyond the prakritilaya to the laya with the Self or the Ultimate Reality which is beyond the turiya, Turiyatita.

The spiritual condition resulting from this attainement is inexpressible peace, shanti that goes beyond all mere cessations, beyond all that go by the name of experience even. Most properly one reaches the Dawn of Reality, the original Root condition, beyond thought-force-prana. The Prasna Upanishad has mentioned this condition of the Prajapati as the person who brought out prana and rayi. But Master calls this Bhooma (Bhuma), the Ultimate State of which all other states are bhumikas or lesser states, of consciousness, the lowest being the personal individuated limited consciousness and below it the unconscious and the subconscious. Reality-consciousness can only be arrived at when one goes beyond thought (thought consciousness or truth). This is the goal and the perfection which man aims at whether it is in Vedanta or Yoga. But it is clear that without Yoga there is no verification of the Vedanta which yearns after just jnana which is a category of thought.

The liberation is possible only when one reaches this Reality-Centre though many consider that liberation can be of grades or only when one gives up this body (or rather all bodies physical, astral, mental, prakrtic) and not when one is yet remaining in the body. The Jivanmukti theory speaks about the release from sense of bondage though the prior effects of karma would hold on the body till the exhaustion (bhoga) takes place. According to Revered Babuji the Prarabdha and sancita karmas could be enjoyed even when going through the process of yogic union through transmission as they get destroyed even as it is said that they get destroyed by jnanagni in the Gita. The thought - pranic force destroys them by bringing them to bhoga in a variety of ways and cleans the system completely, so much so that the real jivanmukti, living freedom or freedom even within this body, can be enjoyed through the divine grace. The pranasya prana (pranahuti) indeed makes it possible for man to experience yogically the Ultimate even when having this body, for there are subtlest points or knots within the body which have not yet been roused into correspondential illumination-action by the other yogas which have not been able to have a firm grip over the heart and psycho-physical organism. Their pessimism had led to the abandonment of any effort to discover the real correspondential relation between the pinda and the Brahmanda and the Centre of Reality. The mystic truth to which reference has already been made affirms that the structure of the atom or cell is repeated (directly and inversely) in the cosmos and supercosmos as also in the living reality. Babuji's researches and painstaking exploration of the un-traversed domain of psycho-physical parallelism and correspondential inter-relationships between the supercosmos, cosmos, the human organism and the atom reveals a range of possibilities of this Transmissional Yogic Power of the Ultimate Prana (Cit-sakti).

These are some of the most important modifications made by Revered Babuji Maharaj which is not only instructive but also has opened up some of the lost tracks of Yoga which the Rishis knew and acted and lived by.