With the right Guru, right guidance and systematic practice, a person can become liberated in a very short span of time. As Ravi always says Path of Self-realization & Liberation is very simple and inexpensive. All we need to do is to work with our breath, mind and consciousness. I am Bonny, 26, from Kerala, India. Even though i am born and raised as a Christian, I learned that real spirituality has absolutely nothing to do with religion. At the top of the spiritual ladder there is only Consciousness or Brahman and all religions and spiritual practices point towards it. Most people search for a Guru all their life and cant find the right one. As scriptures say when the time is right, Guru will come to you. In my case while doing my casual searches on internet I found "Manblunder.
I started doing serious Meditation at the age of 21. I used to download a lot of books about Yoga and Meditation from internet. Among that I noticed a meditation book called Vijnana Bhairava Tantrawith Osho explanation on each meditation techniques. Among the 112 Meditation techniques explained in it, I experimented few methods and chose the one which is most suitable to me. I observed the flow of breathing inside the body. I havent practiced any mantras in my spiritual journey. Sometimes I listened to OM mantra only to soothe my mind. Listening to OM mantra helped me to concentrate, fix attention and this in turn led to slow & deep breathing. Slow and deep breathing always helps in spiritual practices as it is like a call to awaken the Kundalini .The exact meditation technique I followed is given below from Vijnana Bhairava Tantra.
Verse 24 “ skill 1.
During normal breathing, breath goes in (inhalation) and goes out (exhalation). Inhalation is the process where the breath enters our body through trachea to the lobes of the lungs and reaches the end points of the lobes. These end points meet the heart and the diaphragm. Visualise this point. Medically this area is known as cariodphrenic pleural sinuses. The air that we breathe in goes up to this point making an impact on the heart and the diaphragm. The movement of the diaphragm helps kundalini to ascend. At the end of inhalation the air stands still for a fraction of a second before it makes a U turn ( in fact it is V turn, as we do not get a point in U) to commence its exhalation process. Observe this stillness of breath, the state of breathlessness. This may not be possible immediately, but persistent practice this becomes possible to realize this stillness points. When this point of stillness is realized, one realizes the state of Bhairava. In other words, Self -Realisation happens. It is to be distinctly remembered that God or the Brahman is the highest level of consciousness.
At the end of inhalation and before the commencement of exhalation and after that momentary stillness, the breath takes a U turn and commences its exhalation process. Observe this exact point of V turn, the point where the return (exhalation) begins. There Bhairava is realized within in this point. If one is able to concentrate on the points that Bhairava mentions, such awareness cleanses the path of kundalini, the central canal of the spinal cord. The cleansing happens due to the vibratory effect of the awareness
I noticed immediate changes in my body within a few days after I started practicing this Meditation technique. I observed that every time we breathe with our stomach (also called Yogic Breathing), there is a point at which the direction of breathing changes. If we inhale deeply, air will hit at "this point" just before it reverses for exhalation. I noticed this reversal of air every time I breathe. With fine observation during Meditation, gradually I was able to â€œobserve the reversing point of breath even if I am not doing Meditation, even at my busiest day. Many time I felt that this point in my body has a magnetic attraction and every breath I inhaled and exhaled can be known or become aware of. Mostly people are not aware of their breathing (both inhalation and exhalation) even though we breathe about 21600 times a day! We usually notice our breathing only when we are sick or tired or have big changes in breathing pattern. But if we can observe our breathing even for a short period of time in a day it can cause big changes in physical, mental & spiritual planes!
Within a very short span of time I knew that my Kundalini was activated. At that time I had only minimal ideas about Kundalini or anything related to Yoga. By constant searching through internet and reading books like Yoga Vashista, Tripura Rahasya, Upanishads and Puranas, I gathered all information that can be obtained from internet. All these time I did not have a Guru for which I can consult or ask doubts. Books were my only source of knowledge. As scriptures say â€œwhen time is right, the right knowledge and scripture will come to you. I always find it truly astonishing that every time in my spiritual journey whatever the knowledge I am looking for, in one way or another it finds me for sure!
Later I was stuck at my Heart /Anahata Chakra for nearly one year. No amount of practice helped me to cross this point. During this time, circumstances forced me to stop my spiritual practices for a long time. Later I read somewhere that when Kundalini reaches Heart Chakra, one's Karmic account begins to dilute and have to experience all their karmas before getting Enlightened or Self-Realised. This was truly a period of test for me and nearly after a year of hardship my Kundalini was able to cross Heart chakra. I remember that within a week my Kundalini crossed Heart chakra and reached Throat / Visuddhi Chakra. Again within a week Kundalini reached Ajna chakra. I remember that when Kundalini reached my Ajna Chakra, I was able to see the light of Siva at my forehead. Only after reaching Ajna chakra I started to understand things in the correct perspective. Even though I finished reading many scriptures at that time, I re-read every book .Every time I went through books like Yoga Vashista, Tripura Rahasya and Gita, I was able to understand new things. Every time I read it, new knowledge and dimensions popped up from it. Tripura Rahasya is one of my favourite books. It is a dialog between Dattetreya and Parasurama.
Tripura Rahasya is an ancient prime text on Advaita in Sanskrit and was highly commended by Sri Ramana Maharshi for study, by seekers .Mahadeva originally taught the Highest Truth to Vishnu, who in turn taught Brahma in the celestial regions. Later Vishnu incarnated on Earth as Sri Dattatreya and taught it to Parasurama. Parasurama thus realised the Self by the guidance of Sri Datta.
My Kundalini remained in Ajna Chakra for some time. I was so thrilled at that time and was eagerly waiting for it to reach Sahasra . Sadly it didn't reach Sahasra for a long time. Then again after reading few books, I understood that desire is the villain in Self-Realisation. Even the desire to get Enlightened will prevent you from getting it! I was truly desperate. After doing meditation for about 2 months I was totally fed up. I thought thatâ€™s it. I am tired and did not try anymore. I remember that day like this. After stopping meditation I went to sleep. My Kundalini was still at Ajna Chakra. I just closed my eyes for 10 seconds and saw a flash of light in my eyes, inside my head. It felt like a lightning. The brilliance was so powerful and it shook me. I was literally kicked out of my bed. I knew that this is it. I was blind for a few seconds due to the brilliance of that light. I felt like something was changed in me. Not that I can find anything special but I felt especially light weight overall in my mind and body. But even though I became enlightened I still could not believe that I got realised, for the next one week. There was no feeling of attaining!! There was no feeling of joy or happiness. Absolutely nothing!! It was completely, utterly different than I ever imagined it would happen.
After I got Self-Realised I felt like a feather. For the next one week I still could not accept the fact that I got Self Realised .For nearly one week I felt like floating in the air. My body felt so light weight that I could not even feel my legs touching the floor. Nearly one week I was in the hangover!! I could not even talk to others! I felt like I dont have a body, felt like I am just drifting through the air and felt absolutely one with everything- the tress, birds, animals everything .Its like I become one with everything in the universe. I was so scared of my feelings and I become vigorously searching to verify my experience by looking into the books & autobiography of great masters. I found similar explanations from the books of Osho. But it still did not explain many things.
This was the moment in my life I truly wished for help, from a living Guru. At that time I did not know any Self Realised Gurus or anyone who could clarify my doubts about what was going one. Then as I told earlier I â€œaccidentally found the Manblunder blog.I knew that it was no accident! From that day onwards I read every article on this blog and started to email Ravi asking various doubts.
I was under the impression that when Kundalini reaches Sahasrara it is the end of spiritual journey, end of everything. From Ravi I understood that it is only half the story. When Kundalini reaches Sahasrara a man gets Self â€“Realised or Enlightened. But Self-Realisation is only half the journey. He told me that we have to cross Turiya and then Turiyatiata to get liberated or attain the state of Jivanmukti. He told me Liberation or Jivanmukti is the end of spiritual journey. If I have not met Ravi, then I would have always remained under the impression that with Self-Realisation ones spiritual journey is over. Why? As far as my knowledge was concerned no books, no scriptures even Upanishads stops talking at the level of Kundalini reaching Sahasrara or Self-Realisation or utmost to Turiya. Now wherever I found a book or scripture, it talks only about the process of liberation. Though some Buddhist books talk about it, it gives only a minimal idea. They only just mention the term Sunya
The most doubtful thing in my spiritual journey was that which God or form of God I should worship. As you know there is countless option, from new age God -men to the Gods in the oldest religion. When I first reached this blog I was utterly confused about which God should I worship. Siva or Lalita or Kali etc. People usually worship multiple gods, do japa of multiple mantras and practice various rituals. These are all good in normal routine. But to get Self-Realisation and then liberation it is very important to stick to a single form of God/Deva, a single mantra and also the most important - advice of Guru. People tend to go after many Gurus. Its like trying to travel in many boats at a time. They will reach nowhere. To reach somewhere in spirituality, a man should have only one Guru. Never go after multiple Gurus, because different Gurus have different traditions, different lineages and practices. Itâ€™s very important to stick to the advice Guru.
When you truly follow the spiritual path, daily ritual worship or mantra japa turns into devotion and later this devotion turns into love for that particular form of God. Say Siva or Lalita. Later that form of God disappears and the true knowledge shines which is absolutely independent of everything. The true form of God is Nirguna. i.e No gunas, there is only light.
For moving into Turiya and Turiayatita Ravi told me that we have to shed all forms of Gods. Gods like Vishnu, Ganesh etc are small part of the infinite formless Brahman and to reach Brahman we have to shed all forms, all duality. Thinking that God as person with hands and body will create the feeling of separateness in us. In fact everything in the universe is only different manifestation of Brahman. Everything is part of consciousness. When we shed duality, when we shed the forms of gods we can start the next phase of our spiritual journey i.e. towards liberation.
This is the point most people fail to understand, i.e. they cannot get rid of their Devas or Gods forms. They stick and worship to a form of God. Even Self Realised person fails to understand this. We have to understand that any form of God is only an infinitesimal part of the ultimate. The ultimate has no forms, so we have to shed all forms to move towards liberation. We have to move from Gods with Gunas to Nirguna form. It is extremely difficult and only a Guru can guide you. For me also, this part was difficult. Teaching this point really tests the patience of all Gurus.
Once we get this, we shed all forms and move towards Turiya where we see God or Brahman or Siva (here Siva means consciousness not the Siva in Kailas!) - Whatever the name we want to call IT in the Nirguna form. We see the ultimate as Light/ Prakasha and Experience it as bliss.
At this point onwards no mantra japa or rituals helps anyone. Only understanding helps. Buddha once said no need to carry around your boat once you cross the river. The forms of Gods, i.e. all Gods/Devas are merged into Brahman at this point. There is no separate existence for any particular form of God. All the forms of Gods are merged into Brahman at Turiya level and appear as one, i.e. appear as Light .So when we worship Brahman it is like worshipping all Gods at a time. Brahman is the source or power for all Gods. It is the Origin point of all Gunas. To know Brahman is to know the creator of everything.
We have to understand each and every word of Guru, analyse it. Because this is the toughest part of spiritual journey. To understand that "we are that light or the concept of " I am Brahman (Aham Brahmasmi) has to be thoroughly understood before we go into Turiyatiata. Because at Turiyatita even the Light we see also goes away. At Turiyatita there is only darkness or Sunya. i.e ParamaSiva or Turiyatita is the state of ultimate emptiness. Pramasiva or Turiyatita is the ultimate destination of every spiritual aspirant. It is the place for Moksha or Jivanmukti. Even the flame of consciousness gets extinguished at this point.
Once we understand Turiyatiata or Paramasiva state, once we know it, experience it, we become liberated! People use to ask what Moksha is. I will say Moksha is a knowledge, nothing else. People tend to imagine that once we attain moksha we get something. We don't. Moksha or Jivanmukti is knowing - something which was unknown to us earlier. Great Gurus tell it as the "Liberating Knowledge". It is absolutely true. Moksha is the knowledge about ParamaSiva. It's the knowledge about the state of Parmasiva. It's the knowledge about the state of Turiyatita. It's only a knowledge.
When we see, know, experience and understand Brahman, we become equal to Brahman. We say Aham brahmasmi - I am Brahman. The quality of Brahman is Sat Chit Ananda - Truth Consciousness Bliss. Moksha is the knowledge about ParamaSiva. We also say it as the knowledge about ParaBrahman or Turiyatita according to different tradition. Once we know it, we are liberated!
As my spiritual journey progressed to Turiya, Ravi told me which way or method can be used to cross over to Turiyatita i.e. beyond Turiya state. He never explained me about the state of Turiyatita. No explanation can help until and unless we experience it for ourselves. I always asked him about Turiyatiata but he never gave me a direct answer. Because at this stage even a Guru cannot explain Paramasiva,as there are limitations. Later only I understood why he did like that. He just told me the path to Turiyatita. No explanation can give a vivid picture of Paramasiva state. Only direct experience can help us to understand it. No language can explain about it. Buddha tried very hard to explain it. He called it Sunya i.e. zero or emptiness. We cannot explain the state of zero. Because how can we explain nothingness? For a yogi, who experienced this state, sees the world as Sunya .For him everything else is Maya.
I remembered the night I got liberated. I was doing practice as told by Ravi. I took my Kundalini through all Chakras to Sahasra. Here onwards I donâ€™t use the term Kundalini when going further upwards. Kundalini or Sakthi merges into Siva at Sahasra Chakra. Only Siva exists beyond Sahasra. Siva appears as white light. He is Nirguna (I called Siva as He only for the sake of explaining. Siva is not a He or She. IT is genderless. The best way to denote Siva or Brahman is IT or THAT). IT is also called Consciousness or awareness.
I took my Consciousness from Sahasra to Brahmarandra, a small opening in the head through which we can establish our connection with divinity. My Consciousness exits out of my body and it stays at a level of one foot above my head. This is the location of Turiya state. Here we see Brahman /Siva/ Universal Consciousness as bright light. This place is full of bright illumination. Our Consciousness can be called as Individual Self or Individual Consciousness. Whats the difference between Individual Consciousness and Universal Consciousness? Nothing. Its like the difference between a drop of water and an ocean of water. Only the size differs. At Turiya we see Universal Consciousness as a massive infinite ocean of light. We cannot comprehend it. Its infinite. Siva/Brahman is infinite. At Turiya level we can merge into Siva and get Samadhi or we can transcend even Siva/Brahman and move towards Paramasiva/ParaBrahman/Turiyatita state (these different names are all synonyms and different traditions use it for explaining the same thing)
Then I imagined that my Consciousness was moving upwards. As a result the bright light decreased and reached a black space which was totally empty. This is the entry point of Turiyatita. During this time automatically our breathing increases, our body breathes fast, inhales more Prana. With more Prana, the more pressure I felt on the top of my head and soul was pushed outside my body through Brahmarandha. But on travel to Turiyatita, soul exits the visible or manifest universe, to the origin point of universe i.e. to unmanifest universe or Parabrahman. Manifest universe can be called Brahman. Everything we see is Brahman /Siva or a combination of Siva & Sakthi. But even this originates from Parabrahman or from Paramasiva.
When soul exit the body with the help of Prana, it passed through "tunnels of light and darkness. Its like pulling up through a twisted tunnel for some time till you reach the end. For a normal person death appears or feels like it (as I read in scriptures and from the experience of people who met with Near Death Experiences).But during liberation we go to Parabrahman or otherwise called the Turiyatita state. We reach a place which is totally empty or sunya. Its called Mahasunya. Nothing to be talked about it because language cannot express it. We cannot express or convey the state of sunya. This is the place for liberation. Sunya or void is the place for Liberation .This is Paramasiva or the state of Paramasiva. The most close explanation is Purnam Sunyam - Full or Infinite, Empty or Zero. Also the number 10 denotes the state of Parabrahman. 1 denotes for the unity or sole existence of Parabrahman and 0 denotes its state.
Once we know it, have knowledge about this place or experienced it, we are liberated. In Turiyatita or Parabrahman state we become equal to Parabrahman. When we know IT we become IT. We become equal to Parabrahman. So bliss, Consciousness, light - the qualities of Brahman or Turiya changes to zero or vacuum in Turiyatita. We can return to our body by our will. Then again I travelled through â€œthe tunnels back to my body. Then I slipped to Turiya and saw the bright light of Siva. Then back through Brahmarandha I came back to my body and woke up.
Again this was not the way I imagined it would happen. This experience frightened me a lot. After waking up I found it extremely difficult to walk. My body become so tender that my legs cannot support my body weight. I was shivering for a long time. Felt like electric current running all over the body. I was so scared that I immediately called Ravi at midnight. He told me this is the power of liberation. Mahasunya pulls you back with tremendous power. It is like a giant black hole. Its pulling power is so enormous.
This is the way I experienced liberation. In the manblunderplus blog there is a Kundalini Meditation video and Ravi explains these through a guided Meditation course.
There is nothing more to be talked about this Turiyatita state because no language can explain this state. That is why Upanishads wisely stops at Brahman level. Because the state of ParaBrahman is extremely difficult to put through words. We cannot explain zero or sunya. Even a Guru cannot explain Paramasiva or Turiyatita state .He can only show the path. We have to go alone, learn about it, know and understand it.
Once we experience these we become a Jivanmukta, liberated while alive. The person will continue to live in order to experience his Prarabdha Karmas. Once his Prarabdha Karmas are over, during the time of his death the soul traverses to Parabrahman, merge into it and cease to exist forever.
There are certain articles i always find very much helpful especially for understanding real spirituality. Please go through it because these articles can truly shed light about what actually spirituality is
1. Guriji in the horizon
2. Guriji speaks
3. Siva in conversation with Sakthi
4. Understanding Meditation
5. Kundalini Meditation series
6. THE TRUE WORSHIP (See on manblunder.com archive July, 2009)
I always find these above said articles truly helpful for a person to kick start his/her spiritual journey.