Kundalini and Self Realization for the Monastic
Satguru Bodhinatha Veylanswami , 2003-03-07
Bodhinatha discusses today's lesson from Dancing with Siva as it relates to Moksha Ritau and Self Realization. The lesson answers the question "What is the Sannyasin's Kundalini Path?" Bodhinatha summarizes this lesson, explaining that when the external forces of ida, feminine, and pingala, masculine, are balanced, the sushumna current, the pure energy of the spine, comes into power. Through this sushumna power, the sannyasin gains control of the kundalini force, "the essence of the spiritual force of the spine," and if that force is strong enough, he achieves nirvikalpa samadhi, Self Realization.
I was looking at today's lesson, early this morning and the 'Dancing with Siva' part looked particularly relevant to mention, as it relates directly to Moksha ritau and realization of the Self, which is one of our themes. Last phase, we were looking at the aftermath of the realization of the Self, Parasiva. A beautiful writing by Gurudeva.
This is the 'Dancing with Siva' part of today's lesson.
"What is the Sannyasin's kundalini path?
The sannyasin balances within himself both the male and female energies. Complete unto himself, he is whole and independent. Having attained an equilibrium of ida and pingala, he becomes a knower of the known. Aum.
Bhashya: There arises within the sannyasin a pure energy, neither masculine nor feminine. This is the sushumna current coming into power through which he gains control of the kundalini force and eventually, after years of careful guidance, attains nirvikalpa samadhi."
This is both high philosophy and a very practical statement as well. We talk about realization of the Self, attaining Parasiva, claiming that which we already are. This gives us a key, a very important key, as to how that is accomplished. It is talking about balancing the forces, the ida and pingala - the external force, feminine: ida, masculine: pingala - becoming balanced, allowing the sushumna to come into power, the spine pure energy, spiritual energy, the energy of the spine through which he gains control of the kundalini force, the essence of the spiritual force of the spine. When that force is powerful enough, nirvikalpa samadhi is achieved.
In reflecting on that, how can we try and bring that down to earth? Sounds easy. Well, let us balance the ida and pingala, get into the sushumna and kundalini and nirvikalpa samadhi. One,two, three, four!
We need to look at what throws us into the ida or the pingala current, what throws us out of our center. One of the things that does that, is close relationships to other people. Of course, this part doesn't apply to all our family members, close relationships to other people are the essence of family life. So, we have something for you later on here. Ignore this part.
But for the monastic, it is very important because you get chummy, you get close, you make friends with another monk to the exclusion of other monks who are not as close friends. You are going to end up in the ida or the pingala because that is what friendship is all about. It is the external currents coming into play.
So if you are with one monk and you feel really close to that monk, really great when you are with that monk. Somehow he is different than all the other monks, you have created a friendship. You are throwing yourself into the ida or pingala current. You are throwing yourself out of the sushumna, that is what friendship does.
The analogy I always use is the sun in the sky. The sun in the sky just shines, right? It does not say, I am going to shine on this person but not on that person. I am going to shine on this person 100%, but that person 80%. No, of course not. The sun is just up there and it shines. Everybody who is standing outside gets the sunshine. So that is like the monk should be. He should be like the sun just shining out friendship, the same amount toward everybody. Just like the sun in the sky gives out the same amount of energy. It does not matter who the person is.
That is one reason Gurudeva was so widely loved because that is what he would do. No matter who it was, he emanated a friendship, emanated an energy which if they were open to it, uplifted them. No matter if it was the waitress in the restaurant or the Head of the United Nations or a Minister in Malaysia. Gurudeva didn't discriminate. He didn't turn on and off his friendship, his love, his uplifting energy. A perfect example of the sannyasin ideal. He radiated it out to all and depending on the openness of each person, they received that. Therefore, he was widely loved by all people in all realms of life.
What are other ways we create friendships in the monastery? Well, by making distinctions. A good way to create a friendship is to have secrets, right? Friends always have secrets. If I am your best friend, tell a secret, gossip a certain amount but only to certain close friends. You have secrets that you don't share with others. Building up secrets, building up understandings, talking to one monk in a way that is different than another monk, criticizing monks who are not present to the monk who is your friend. You are building up secrets. You are building up a closeness. You are building up a distance from the monks you are criticizing and you are building a closeness with the monks you are confiding in. You are creating friendships. You are externalizing your awareness.
This is something that monks need to be very careful about. Because, as it says, we want an equilibrium of ida and pingala so that the pure energy, neither masculine nor feminine, the sushumna comes into power.
"Those entering the serious life of sannyas must be prepared to follow the traditional path of unrewarded sadhana through the years, apart from dear family and friends. Such is the way to reach the truth of yoga. It takes many, many years for the soul to thus ripen and mature.
The Tirumantiram affirms: Many are the births and deaths forgotten by souls shrouded in ignorance, enveloped in mala's darkness. At the moment Great Siva's grace is gained, the renunciate attains the splendorous light."
Of course, the years can be over many births. They don't have to all be in one birth. So you can't just count the years in this birth, you have to count the years in your past births as well. See how many years you put in, in serious sadhana.
The point here which is interesting is, "the traditional path of unrewarded sadhana". Interesting phrase, right? Of course, you want to think all your sadhana is rewarded but this is unrewarded sadhana.
What does 'unrewarded sadhana' mean ? It means that the fruits of the sadhana are not immediate. It is like, if we are out of shape physically and we want to get back into shape and we start an exercise program. So after six months of regular exercise, we take a look at ourself and we say, "Gee, I haven't improved that much." It is like unrewarded sadhana!
We have to keep at it a long time in order for the results to manifest. It is an encouragement of sorts. Just because you are meditating everyday and your head is not filled with a brilliant white light everyday, doesn't mean you are not doing okay. The mere act of striving on a regular basis, just getting up in the morning and meditating, is what causes the progress.
That is what it is saying, unrewarded sadhana done over many years leads to the result.