“You should know something about the concept of karma. Karma is nothing but the impressions of cause and effect of all our relationships that get embedded in our soul.  The soul does not move alone.  It carries with it, the karmic embedment and the impressions of our subconscious mind. Karma and subconscious mind are almost the same, still not the same. Both cannot act on their own and have to necessarily act through conscious mind.  Karma is the sum total of our thoughts and actions, not only of this life, but also previous lives.  Karma also transmigrates along with soul. Your quality of life is determined only by the quality of your karma.  If the sum total of your past thoughts and actions are good, you are bound to be comfortable and enjoy the life. If your karmic account is bad, you have no choice except to suffer.  Any amount of prayer does not absolve you from the adversity of your karmic account. Law of karma is the law of the Lord and the Lord never violates His own laws. Law of karma is the natural justice system delivered by the Lord.  After all, what you sow, so you reap.  You can freeze your karmic account by surrendering the effects of your actions to the Lord.  From that time onwards, you do not accrue further karmic accounts.  But you have to spend the balance in your karmic account according to its quality which could manifest as either pleasure or pain. 

“Every soul has three types of bodies, gross, subtle and causal.  These inner bodies hold the karmic embedment and also the impressions of the subconscious mind.  Subtle and causal bodies and your soul are not formed afresh in each birth.  They always remain the same through innumerable births.  The impressions of the subconscious mind and karmas mature at the appropriate time to manifest and as a result of which, one undergoes pleasure or pain.  The impressions of the subconscious mind pave the way for karmas to manifest.  If you become devoid of desires and attachments, you do not leave impressions in your subconscious mind. Ungratified desires form potent impressions in your subconscious mind. When you come into contact with the matters associated with these impressions, the impressions of the subconscious mind squeeze themselves into your mind and make your karmas manifest.  Karmas alone cannot manifest.  They have to manifest in conjunction with your subconscious and conscious minds.

“Broadly karmas are caused due to the following five activities and they are spiritual ignorance, egoism, attachment, aversion and desire to live. These are the five factors that generally cause karmas.  There are other factors, but only these five are the predominant causal agencies that cause karmas.  These five are known as the seeds of karmas and if the seeds are burnt, obviously they cannot sprout. It is not necessary that karmas should cause only miseries and pains.  Karmas can also accelerate your spiritual liberation or can make you rich overnight.  The highest benefit that karma can endow on you is your liberation. It is the quality of karma that matters.

“Karmas are of three types - sanchita karma, prarabdha karma and agami karma.  Sanchita karma is the sum total of karmas accumulated in all the previous lives and latently present in this birth. This continues to be inactive through the present life.  Prarabdha karma is that portion of sanchita karma carved out to manifest in the present life.  Agami karma is the sum of total of sanchita karma +/- karmas accumulated during this life time.  Therefore, at the beginning of your next life, your sanchita karma could be more or less depending upon the karmas that you accumulate during the present life.

“There is no connection between soul and karma.  An individual soul, deluded by illusion (maya) and ignorance considers itself as the doer, forgetting its inherent nature. The illusion and ignorance arises because of ego. When actions are performed with ego, obviously there are some motives behind your actions.  These motives are the results of desires and attachments. Karma, ego and subconscious mind are interrelated and interdependent.  The one without the other cannot act on their own.  Your karma cannot manifest if you have dissolved your ego. Apart from the individual karma, there is also a concept called group karma. Group karma is where many individual karmas together manifest at one point of time. Typical examples are accidents and nature’s fury like earth quakes. In such circumstances, many people die at the same time. 

“Realisation of the Self is possible only if it is permitted by your karmic account.  If your karmic account is too bad, you cannot attain liberation in this birth.  But, at the same time, by pursuing spiritual path, you can lay the foundation for liberation in this life.  Realisation is different from liberation.  Realisation is the penultimate step to liberation.  Liberation means the cessation of transmigrations. In spite of the traces of karmic account, realisation of the Self is possible.  But the liberation has to wait till all your karmas are exhausted.  If you are going to be liberated during this birth, your body has to necessarily exhaust all the traces of karmas.  The moment traces of karmas are totally wiped out, you will be liberated without any further delay and your soul merges into Shiva to become one with Him.  You are not going to be born again” Maharaj gave a detailed interpretation of karmic theory, by which the whole universe is administered.

“When your ajna chakra is fully activated, your kundalini races towards your crown chakra.  Shakti is reluctant to wait any longer. She wants to be with Shiva, not only Her consort, but also Her creator.  Without Shiva, Shakti is not there.  If you chant OM aloud, your kundalini can reach your crown chakra. From ajna chakra kundalini moves up to the sahasrara, where Shiva resides.  Shiva and Shakti are the general names that signify masculine and feminine energies or static and kinetic energies.  There are certain small yet powerful chakras between ajna and sahasrara.  When kundalini traverses beyond ajna, She controls every activity of yours before She conjoins Shiva.   She gives you the boon of controlling your mind.  She also transforms you into a great human being and gives you authority to bless others.   When kundalini reaches the sahasrara, you are out of your physical body for all practical purposes as you are now guided by higher energy levels into cosmos, where you experience the consciousness of the Divine. 

“From this point onwards, the meditation should happen perpetually.  You will be able to make the kundalini ascend and descend at your will.  The most important thing is that the kundalini cannot remain in sahasrara for ever.  She has to descend and go back to the perineum.   The one exercise you can use is to rotate your shoulders front-up-back and down.  This will enable the kundalini to ascend and descend easily.  You can also take your consciousness beyond sahasrara to explore the cosmos. They are known as fourth and fifth stages of consciousness turiya and turyatita. You will be taught about these highest levels of consciousness at Rudraprayag.  When you are through those final stages you will not search for Shiva, but you will become Shiva Himself.  You will not recite Om Namashivaya.  You will only say Shivoham or I am Shiva. You are the God.

“We will go to the town in the evening and will participate in Ganga aarti.  We will have bath in the Ganges and then I will formally initiate you into kundalini.  After initiation, you have to take your kundalini to sahasrara and stay there for some time and later make her descend back to the perineum.  Generally, it takes about an hour to take the kundalini from the base chakra to crown chakra and bring Her back to the base chakra. Be ready and we will leave in an hour’s time.” Maharaj completed his teaching on kundalini.  Normally he will ask me to practice once the verbal teaching is over.  But this time, he has not asked me to do so.  He always ensures that both theory and practice are taught concurrently.

We left the ashram. The ashram is not locked whenever we leave.  There is nothing inside the ashram, except some buckets, jars, glasses and plates.  There are no photos or idols of gods. Maharaj was walking a little ahead and guruji was on one side and I was on his other side.  Maharaj was generally talking about the way of life one should lead.  He said love and compassion are the most important aspects of human life.  He advised that we should reduce our intake of food and duration of sleep. 

We reached the town and had bath in the Ganges.  It was the first time that I am taking bath with Maharaj.  Baba of Haridwar never accompanied me to Ganges. We then sat on the banks for sometime.  Preparatory arrangements were being made for the aarti, which will commence at 5.30 in the evening. There were many people who paid respects to Maharaj.  Almost, everyone, except the tourists sought blessings from him.  The aarti participants sought his permission before they commenced.  I was blessed to witness Ganga aarti for the second time.  The whole area was vibrating and illuminating. 

Once the aarti was over, Maharaj went to a small temple a few yards away from the main place. This temple does not have much crowd.  Mother Kali is the presiding deity there.  Maharaj worshipped the Holy Mother and prayed for a minute.  He went to a corner of the temple and sat down.  He asked me to sit opposite to him.  He asked me to close my eyes and concentrate on my ajna chakra.  I began my meditation.  He has placed his right palm on my forehead.  The moment he placed his palm, there were blasts of lights of different colours in my forehead.  He took off his hands in less than ten seconds.  Though he had taken his hands off, the flash of lights continued and outside sound was totally blocked.  I thought that I had become deaf. After a few minutes he placed his right palm on the top of head.  My skull had almost broken to pieces.  I felt that my spine is burning from the bottom.  I saw my whole spine illuminated.  All the flashes of light suddenly stopped and merged into a single light of deep red in colour.  It began to swirl in my forehead and at last came to rest.  There appeared a bight white light, surpassing the sun’s illumination.  The moment the bright light appeared, the red light became more powerful and after going around the bright white light, it entered the white light and gradually waned away and the bright white light alone was visible.  I was in that state keeping my entire attention on the white light.  After some time, the white light began to wane exposing the red light again.  Once the white light totally vanished, the red light began to ascend to the base of my chakra.  I became conscious when kundalini reached the base chakra.  I was sweating profusely.  I saw Maharaj was chatting with my guruji opposite to the Sanctum Sanctorum.  I prostrated before Maharaj.  He took some vermilion and placed it on my forehead.  He chided me for having prostrated him in a temple.  He said that in temples, one should prostrate only before Gods and not before human beings.

Maharaj walked towards Nalini’s house.  Nalini was singing a melodious bajan song.  She was not aware about our arrival.  The song says that she does not have any problems whatsoever and she is happy all the time.  Tears were rolling down her eyes.  When she finished the song, she saw all the three of us standing at the entrance.  She immediately fell at the feet of Maharaj.

“It is a beautiful song. When a song is sung with such devotion, God will come in person and enjoy the song. That is the way one should sing a devotional song. Rolling down tears is an indication of your mind at that time. Tears will roll down when your mind is totally pervaded by His thought.  Why can’t you give something hot to him?” Maharaj wanted to find out whether any thing was available for me to eat at her place.

“Yes Maharaj, I can prepare uppuma in five minutes”

“Good, prepare for all the three of us.  I know you can cook well.”

I was surprised when Maharaj said that. First he does not eat anything except fruits and second he does not eat anything outside.  She first served hot uppuma to Maharaj in a leaf plate, then to guruji and finally to me.  The preparation was delicious.  

She took some banana and guava fruits and cut them to pieces and placed them on two stitched leaves and offered one to Maharaj and another to guruji.  Both began to eat those pieces of fruits.  Maharaj told her that I have been initiated into kundalini this evening.  She smiled at me.  Maharaj was ready to go, but stopped for a minute. 

He turned towards me and asked “would you like to stay here for the night?”

I know he is testing me.  I firmly said “No Maharaj.”

“Alright, let us go” and Maharaj began to walk towards his ashram.  He walked at great speed and I have to literally run after him. I found the running difficult particularly after eating more or less a sumptuous dinner.  We reached the ashram around nine in the night. 

Maharaj wanted me to spend another few days with him, practicing kundalini meditation daily in his presence.  In the morning, I used to practice in his presence and in the evening he permits me to do it on my own. One day he asked me whether I have any doubts. I said that I do not have any doubts.  Again he repeated his question.  I thought for a moment.  Nothing came to my mind. With great hesitation I again said no.  Later he said that he is happy with my progress and permitted me to go to Rudraprayag for further learning. 

Guruji and I prepared for our journey to Rudraprayag.

Rishikesh to Rudraprayag is about one hundred and forty kilometres and can be covered in about three to four hours. It depends upon the mode of travel and your interest in travel.  If you are a nature lover, you can stop at many places to look at Nature’s full glory. The green sheath with silver toppings cannot be easily ignored. When you go towards to Rudraprayag the chillness increases.  It is situated at an altitude of about three thousand ft. If you travel another ninety kilometres from Rudraprayag, you can reach Kedaranath. Temperature at Rudraprayag is around fifteen to twenty degrees Celsius.

(to be continued)