“Before we proceed with our next session, raise your kundalini up to svadhisthana chakra” Maharaj said.

I took my lotus posture and lifted my kundalini with ease to svadhisthana chakra and brought it down.  Now I understand why Maharaj made me to meet Nalini. 

“Next to svadhisthana chakra is the manipura chakra or the navel chakra. When you have fully activated svadhisthana chakra, fear of water recedes. You exercise control over your sexual desires. You can transform sexual energy to heal others.  The procreative energy has the capacity to cure the ailment of others. 

“From svadhisthana, kundalini moves to manipura chakra with ease.  By simply concentrating on the movement, you can move this from svadhisthana to manipura. The navel chakra is the transition point between humanity and divinity.  You begin to attain the traces of divinity here.  The orange colour of svadhisthana fades away and becomes yellow at the navel chakra. You must also understand that though kundalini moves through the spine, its movement is clearly visible in our anterior side also.  When kundalini is fully active in the navel chakra, you can also feel the pulsation in the navel area.  Your apathetic attitude now transforms into positive attitude.  Due to the fuelling digestive fire in the navel chakra, you tend to consume more water.  This in turn reduces the intake of solids, maintaining an ideal weight for practice.  From the navel chakra, kundalini will ascend to the higher chakras forcefully, mainly because of lesser gravitational pull by the lower chakras.  In every chakra, kundalini becomes more and more potent, because it draws cosmic energy known as prana, through the pores of your skin.  Depending upon the chakras and its associated prana, your mind also undergoes transformation.  The mind totally gets purified at ajna chakra. When your navel chakra is fully activated, you will be able to exercise your authority over fire.  You must always remember that movement of kundalini predominantly depends upon your mind’s ability to visualize. 

“You can use different techniques to move the kundalini from one chakra to another chakra.  The best practice is to do spinal breathing, which was practiced in ancient times.  As I told you earlier, movement of kundalini depends upon your capacity to concentrate and visualise. By spinal breathing you can cleanse citrini in the spinal cord.  Spinal breathing can be done when you are in the midway of kundalini meditation.  First, you should convert your regular breathing into abdominal breathing. When you inhale slightly push your head backwards. While pushing your head backwards, inhalation and inflation of your abdomen should synchronise.  While inhaling, visualize that you are inhaling through your spine terminating it at your lower chakras.  Ideally, you can visualize that your inhalation terminates at your coccyx or the base chakra.  Concentrate on your base chakra by holding your breath for a few seconds and begin to exhale by contracting your abdomen, again through your spine. While doing so, slightly lift your shoulders and slightly lower your chin towards your chest.  Now visualize ascending of kundalini during exhalation.  When you become conversant with this practice, you will notice vibrations and pulsations in your spine. 

“Apart from this, you should try to stretch your body, particularly your spine.  Bending your back and rotating of your hip will be of great help.  Stretching will remove the blocks and untangle the granthis or the knots.  This makes the movement of kundalini easier.  It is equally important to bring back the kundalini to the perineum.  Once you have fully activated your navel chakra, you have to pierce you Visnhu granthi and proceed to the next higher and the most important chakra, the heart chakra or Anahat. Now bring your kundalini to your navel chakra” Maharaj concluded with instructions.

I was able to bring the kundalini with ease to the navel chakra.  I used the technique of spinal breathing.  After a few rounds of spinal breathing, I could make my kundalini ascend with ease.  I could feel her movement deep inside my spine.  When she reached the navel chakra, I felt as if something is spinning within my stomach around my navel. I almost developed vomiting sensation.  Since I could not hold my kundalini for long in my manipura chakra, I brought her down without Maharaj’s consent. When I finished, Maharaj appreciated my thinking of not waiting for his instructions.  He said that many spiritual masters cannot observe the movement of kundalini in their disciples’ bodies. In such instances, disciples have to decide on their own. 

“Now let us learn about breaking Vishnu granthi, which is between the navel chakra and the heart chakra.  The best exercise to open the Vishnu granthi is forceful exhalation through mouth.  As long as you practice kundalini, you should continue to practice bandhas and breathing exercises along with body stretching.  You cannot allow your body to develop stiffness in any part of your body. You must also remember that in order to fix the kundalini in a chakra, you have to fix your consciousness in that chakra along with holding your breath in that chakra.

“Whenever I mention breathing, I mean only the abdominal breathing.  You should convert your regular breathing into abdominal breathing.  Now inhale slowly but deeply and exhale through your mouth forcefully, by giving a small jerk to your abdominal area. When you do this, there will a forceful contraction of your duodenum and stomach muscles.  In the initial stages you may develop cough, but with practice you get over this problem.  You may have pain in stomach muscles. You will know the breaking of the Vishnu granthi when kundalini ascends from your navel chakra to heart chakra with ease. When you close your eyes, you will feel the pervasion of green colour. The pale green in the beginning becomes dark green with practice.  When your kundalini moves from the navel chakra to the heart chakra, the yellow colour of the navel chakra gradually transforms into green. 

“Heart chakra is known as anahat chakra. This chakra represents universal love. When you activate this chakra, your limited love paves way for universal love. You begin to give a serious thought to universal brotherhood. In the first two chakras you experienced inertia. In the navel chakra you began to experience active state of mind.  In anahat chakra your active state begins its purification process.  Your thoughts are purified by your love and concern for others.  Kundalini, when it was present in the navel chakra was fuelled by the fire prevailing there and in the heart chakra the fire is further conflagrated by the air prevailing in the heart chakra. Out of the five elements, you have now been purified by four elements, earth, water, fire and air.  A person’s soul resides in the centre of the heart chakra, though it is now argued that the soul is seated in the pineal gland and not in the heart chakra.  I agree that the soul resides in the pineal gland and the reasoning for which I will explain later.  I assume that you are aware of the difference between the soul and the Soul.  The fact is that there is no difference between these two.  Both are Shiva.  You need not search for Shiva elsewhere.  He is there right within you and only you have to realize Him. 

“You can realise that the heart chakra is activated by knowing the level of your concentration.  During meditation, your level of concentration phenomenally increases.  This is the beginning of the process of uniting your individual consciousness with universal consciousness. Since the universal consciousness is the purest form of consciousness, your individual consciousness needs to be purified and this purification process happens at the first five chakras through the five basic elements.  You are not able to realize the universal consciousness because of your ego.  Your ego begins to get dissolved in the love you develop at the heart chakra. Love is always very powerful.

“You can mentally recite OM from anahat chakra. You can focus your awareness by focusing your attention within, at the heart chakra. You develop abilities to look for your soul from this chakra.  You must always remember that when a chakra is activated, you develop all the qualities associated with this chakra. Kundalini meditation is not merely a yogic technique, but also a tool to purify your consciousness.  Unless your individual consciousness is totally purified and is on par with the level of Supreme Consciousness, the summit of spirituality will not be attained.  You begin to realize the initial symptoms of bliss in a fully activated heart chakra.  You develop goose bumps, you become emotional frequently, you develop radiance in your face, others begin to love you and the animals are not scared of you. 

“At the heart chakra, your subconscious mind begins to work independently with your mediative skills. When your conscious mind is busy with your worldly activities, your subconscious mind takes care of your spiritual connectivity.  It is important that you should learn to stay at heart chakra for longer duration.  There are two reasons for this.  One, by expanding your heart chakra, your love for humanity grows multi fold and second, your ego gets reduced.  When your universal love expands your ego contracts, and when your ego expands, your universal love contracts.  Both your ego and universal love cannot expand together, as they are foes. I am confident that you can reach your heart chakra with ease and stay there for a long time. You can now relax and we will discuss again in the evening” Maharaj wound up the morning session.

Surprisingly, he did not ask me to perform in his presence.  I think he has developed confidence in my abilities.  Maharaj and guruji began to discuss about jivanmukta.  Jivanmukta means the one who is liberated during his present life and awaiting his death to merge with the Brahman.  The topic was beyond my understanding and hence with their permission, I left the ashram and reached the other side of the road to watch the Ganges.  The very flow of water soothes your mind.  The sound of water, the breeze, the stillness around is the right place for deep meditation.  I am happy with the progress I made and I am confident that both Maharaj and guruji should also be happy with me.  I am sure that Baba should also be aware of my progress.  In spite of their exclusive attention, I never thought why they are doing this for me.  The thought about the rocky bench came to me occasionally. I had grown and lived with that bench for the past twenty years.  But now I am able to brush aside my thought.  I am able to live in the present moment.  I never think about my past life nor do I think about my future.  I wanted to continue with my kundalini meditation and I started liking this.  I sat under the shadow of a tree and began to meditate.  My kundalini ascended to my heart chakra in no time.  There was a scene unfolding in my mind where I could see huge green balloon hanging in the air within which the world is seen with all happy faces.  My kundalini was trying to move up further from my heart chakra.  I should have stayed in the heart chakra for more than half an hour.  I did not want to make any errors and decided to bring down the kundalini to the base chakra.

A strange thought came to my mind suddenly.  I meditated on my mother and wanted to find out the result.  Though I struggled in the initial stages, I could fix my attention on her after sometime.  I saw her taking a nap.  Mangalam was sitting in our veranda, sorting our vegetables procured from our land.  I have now decided that I need not worry about my mother, as Mangalam is taking better care of my mother than me.  I did some stretching exercises and returned to the ashram.  Still Maharaj and guruji were talking to each other.  Maharaj called me and told me that all the three of us are going to Neelakanth Mahadev temple, an ancient Shiva temple situated about 25 KMs away from here. I thought that we need to have a conveyance and there should be buses.  But neither guruji nor I have any money to pay for our travel.  It appears that Maharaj also does not own cash.  Their attitude about money is strange in contrast to those who make money with spiritualism.  After sometime, an old ambassador car arrived with the chauffer. He told Maharaj that one Mr. Narayana Gupta had sent the vehicle for his use.  There was no change in Maharja’s expression.  He got up.   Maharaj took his bag and both of us also carried our bags.  The bags have become our trademark. We commenced our journey and reached the temple in 95 minutes.  The scenic beauty on both sides was awesome.  On one side the Ganges flows and the other side mountain ranges. The road was calm without much traffic. 

At the entrance of the temple, Ganges water is being sold.  Some old man gave three bags of Ganges water.  With the bags of water, we entered the temple.  There was a small queue.  The temple priest who saw Maharaj going towards the sanctum sanctorum got up and walked towards Maharaj and took him by hands to the Shiva Linga within the sanctum Sanctorum. He asked guruji and me to come in the queue. There were only two families before us.  After they had worshipped Lord Shiva in His Linga form, guruji asked me to sit near the Linga and pour water over the Linga.  I was so happy in doing this, as no temple in South India allows devotees to go anywhere near the presiding deity.  You are not even allowed to stand more than fraction of a second.  You are either pushed or pulled by the security.  By the time you begin to have the darshan of the deity you are thrown out of the place.  Your connection with the temple deities is limited, restricted mostly to a few seconds, for which you may have to spend several hours standing in a queue.  But still people tolerate the inhuman treatment meted out to them and return with happiness of having seen the God.  For most of them, the devotion begins and ends there.

But this temple was different.  I was allowed to pour the Ganges water on the Linga, place flowers and even touch the Linga.  I had a feeling that I was in the world of Shiva.  There was none behind us.  We were the last one to enter.  Now guruji did the puja that I have done and finally, it was Maharaj’s turn. He got up and started chanting Om Namashivaya.  He closed his eyes and stood before the Linga for a minute.  The Linga began to disappear and instead there was a blinding light emanating from the place of Linga.  Maharaj increased the speed of his chant with a louder tone.  The Light faded away and there appeared the Lord Shiva.  The priest gave him a conch and he poured his water into the conch and began pouring water on Shiva’s head.  The water was continuously flowing from the conch.  After some time, in the matted hair of Shiva, Mother Ganges appeared and still the water was flowing from the conch, now on the head of Mother Ganges.  She raised her right hand and blessed us and disappeared into the matted hair of Shiva. Still water was coming out of the conch.  Shiva opened His eyes.  The whole place became very hot with the brilliance of Light coming out of His two eyes.  Now the priest took another conch and gave it to Maharaj who blowed it and there came the heavenly sound of the conch, unheard of by me till now, roaring in all the directions.  The priest gave aarti plate to Maharaj.  Apart from Maharaj, we also joined in reciting Om Namashivaya.  Shiva, who was in the sitting posture till now, appeared in the standing posture with Shakti on His left.  I had the opportunity of physically seeing Shiva and Shakti for the second time.  But this time, Shiva was more radiating and more vibrating.  When Maharaj completed his aarti, the Linga form appeared again leaving no traces of Shiva, Shakti and Ganga.  Now a few tourists were entering the temple.  Maharaj took leave of the priest and we returned to the ashram.  It hardly took three hours for us to return. 

“Have you seen Shiva and His Shakti in the temple?” Maharaj asked me.

“Yes Maharaj” I could not complete the full sentence.

“Neither this nor what you had seen in your place is not a miracle.  It is the ability to create through actualizing thought process, which is possible only if the mind does not have any other impressions other than the one that you conceive.  Though I know that God is omnipresent and formless, still I have conceived a form within me in order to focus my concentration.  When I repeatedly comprehend the same form, they get deeply embedded in my mind.  What I have to do is to project my thought as an object. Though it is simple to explain, it is nearly impossible in practice.  When you become Shiva, you derive the powers of Shiva.  When this is not happening, then you are not a realized person.  You have to unite your mind, body and soul while creating.  This will explain to you the difference between Shiva and Shakti.  That is why Shiva has given all the powers to Shakti, His own creation.  Both Shiva and Shakti are in your body.  They are inseparable from your body.  Shiva is the soul and Shakti is present in the form of your mind, making it afflicted with maya or illusion.  She induces you to indulge in worldly activities.  She will distract you to the maximum possible extent and will make you to believe what is not real as real.  It is like mistaking a rope in the night for snake. It is only your fear that makes you to consider rope as a snake.  You are afraid of snake because you consider your life precious. If you do not care for your life, rope and snake does not make any difference to you.   All such illusionary aspects of life are caused by Her effect called maya.  Maya makes you to believe the unreal as the real.  She conceals the real and projects the unreal as real. If you have adequate knowledge, you can differentiate between the real and unreal. If someone shows you synthetic diamonds as original diamonds, you will believe synthetic diamonds as original diamond because you do not have knowledge about diamonds. If you have knowledge about diamonds, you will easily differentiate between the original and duplicate diamonds.

“She needs to do all these acts, as She has to ascertain your capability and capacity to merge with Shiva, the end of your transmigratory life.  She cozens you with Her magical spell and find out how you react.  It is like a guru testing his disciple. But She is the most compassionate force in the universe with motherly touch. Remember that She is in no way different from Shiva.  She is Shiva Herself as She is vested with all the powers of Shiva.  In your life, your guru is the most important person and next to him is Shakti, the feminine kinetic force behind creation.  We have given a shape and form to this force and we call this as Shakti.  We need to have some figure to concentrate.  When you progress, She Herself will ensure that your well conceived figure in your mind is dissolved to appear as a divine luminance.  That is Shiva, the eternal Light in all of us. When you are able to project Shiva and Shakti within you, you have attained siddhi or complete perfection.  But you should not misuse your power.  If you misuse, your own power will overpower you and push you to unfathomable depths. It will be several transmigrations before you come back to your normal state, leave alone the spiritual progress.  You should never play with your divine power. You can use this power in case of exigencies.  When and where to use your spiritual powers, will be made known to you by the Lord. God never acts directly.  He acts only through His emissaries. Hence we say that God only stands as a witness and does not partake in any of our activities.  You can become one with the Divine but cannot become the Divine itself. When it comes to direct experience, philosophies go amiss. Your own experience is your philosophy.  A few write their experiences as philosophy and many others do not.” Maharaj completed a long lecture about consequences of misusing divine power.

(to be continued)