The Chidakasha Gita
Utterances of Nityananda
With commentaries and explanations
Julian C. Lee Mickunas
COPYRIGHT 2011 JULIAN LEE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
of Ganespuri was always one of my favorite yogis and I consider him
like an uncle-guru to myself. I
was living with my wife and children in Palmer, Alaska. Up
to that time I had been deeply engaged with Yogananda's first
meditation technique, which is often trivialized and treated
lesser Cinderella by the adherents of his organization. This was no
matter to me. I found the depths of the technique to be endless and was
content to practice it exclusively. Still I had not truly claimed
Yogananda as my guru, which one must do in this dharma it turns out.
The words coming out of the
lips of a chaste and devoted wife always come true. Vidyashakti, that's
what your wife is."
In the farmer's library
Muktananda found a rare book that told
the yogic movements he was having, and it eased his mind. In
manner in that farmhouse I discovered
Muktananda's book "Play
which went into detail about the phenomenon of the yogic kriyas. He
himself experienced a great many of them and it was all very
astonishing. And as with him, it
about the movements. Though I intuited they were a
divine thing and related to my meditation, I had never heard of the
phenomenon and did not have any knowledge about them. I had
realized I was blessed, as is so often the case with us when God gives
us boons. There in the
farmer's cottage Muktananda meditated intensely and did sadhana.
Likewise I did that in the
farm house, they leaving me for a long periods, which opportunity I
used to meditate and chant. There at that time I first clearly heard
Aum, often asking the bemused couple whether there were grain elevators
nearby grinding corn, or tractors doing construction across the road,
or whether there was a generator or machine in their basement. (See the
"Story of Jumping Mouse.") So in my sadhana there was an immediate
interplay between Yogananda and Nityananda that I did not seek out.
very technique is described in verses 24 through 27 of the Vijnana-Bhairava.
In that that scripture of 108 meditation techniques, viewed by Hindus
as a direct utterance of Shiva or agama,
the technique receives more attention and elaboration than any
The Yogic State of Kumbhaka
The state of kumbhaka features in
yogic saints and even
Christian saints, and the life of Nityananda himself. It figures in
accounts of yogis who spend years under the earth, literally buried,
before being uncovered and found alive and well. Or, similar stories
about yogis who disappear for long periods under rivers, etc. When
Yogananda was first living with his guru Sri Yukteswar, and finding him
meditating one night, one experiment to test the realization
his master was to ascertain whether he was breathing. He tells about
setting a mirror beneath his nose to see if any mist appeared. (None
appeared.) Then, impudently and overly-fascinated, he pinched
Yukteswar's nose shut with his
fingers. That handling brought
Yukteswar out of savikalpa
samadhi and gave us the anecdote of the
guru humorously complaining "My poor nose!"
"By spiritual advancement, one is able to cognize the breath as a mental concept, an act of mind: a dream breath."
means, in fact, becoming able to actually breathe with the "mental
concept" alone. One breathes through a mental act, a mental
posture, and the mental attitude of the two acts. For the yogis and
religious people pursuing Yogananda's first
meditation technique with devotion, there comes indeed a growing
"breathe within" in a solely pranic breath. In broad yogic
the breathless state of kumbhaka is the true goal of all pranayama exercises
The "breathless state" only refers to the gross breath that involves
the lungs and the movement of air. The yogi actually does continue to
breathe with an inner breath. So the inner breath is an
accompanying aspect of kumbhaka.
It is also the prelude to pratyahara
or reversal of life force (really, full reversal of attention). This is
Just as we draw water from a well, we should draw breath.
is giving a visualization concept to associate with your inbreath.
Visualizations are very helpful in developing the subtle breath,
the state of kumbhaka, and many other yogic attainments. Religious
aspirants use visualizations to great effect. This is
natural because the entire creation as well as the self-created laws we
have trapped ourselves in started out as imaginations. We have even
visualized, in the first place, our "dire need" for breath in the form
of air. and visualized our way of "processing" the thing (air) we
visualized ourselves to need. (Lungs, blood, etc.) Visualizations
trap us; different visualizations free us.
When we breathe out, it should be like letting down the bucket into the well.
another visualization, this concerning the outbreath. Again, evocative
for those who have ever used wells. At that time the meditator
should think that he is sending himself back to the Source of
breath, to the inner food, to God's supply, just as a bucket on a rope
falling back down through the well. The visualization is good, too, for
the coolness and mystery of the well.
When we breathe out, it is the carbon [the impurities of the body] that are expelled.
Throughout these collected sayings Nityananda is found positing the conventional breath, then relating that to an inner breath that involves no movement of air in or out of the body. Here his mention of carbon and impurities tells us he now speaks of the conventional breath, putting that first on the table, identifying it. He is not meaning to say that the outbreath, whether gross or pranic, does not have occult significance and power, or to speak about it in mere material terms. He is simply identifying the ordinary outbreath before going into more occult revelations about breath and yoga.
When we breathe in, it is the breath of Omkar.
he returns to both an occult proclamation and occult technique
regarding the breath,giving us a second visualization
the inbreath whether gross or pranic.
He clearly identifies the inbreath with God or Aum (Omkar).
Breath of Omkar is the manas.
says that just as our mental movement is synonymous with breath, God is
the same: God's (Omkar's) mind and His mental activity are synonymous
with His own breath, which we borrow.
The up-going breath is like the wheels inside a clock. Its movement is inside. As for the inner, pranic inbreath it operates wholly internally just like the wheels in a clock. Nityananda is speaking of his own inbreath which was different than our own. Nityananda makes clear that he is speaking of an occult breath, not the conventional breath. In Hindu and yogic writings the "upward" or "up-going" breath refers to the inbreath simply because the outer air can be viewed as moving "upward" towards our nose, "up" over our chest, then "up" into our nose. Nityananda's statements are typically truncated and terse. If the context of this section has any accuracy (to the original presentation) he has simply moved from one occult consideration of the inbreath (inbreath as Omkar) to another one (the inner non-air inhalation).
When the movement of the breath is internal, one will see the world in himself.
to a third patently occult revelation: Nityananda is already referring
to the state of savikalpa
samadhi which corresponds to kevali kumbhaka or
the cessation of the natural breath which corresponds, in turn, with
vision of creation within.
If a building has no doors, we cannot call it a house. Without fire, we cannot heat water. Without air, fire cannot burn. Without food and sleep, a man can live for a few days but without air (breathing), a man cannot live even for a few seconds.
Now Nityananda is back to positing the ordinary breath or placing it on the table. He is positing this as the average experience, that in normal life we are constrained by these various laws. He is setting up the conventional experience of the ordinary man, and how we normally can't live without the gross breath. Thus he can speak about the extraordinary state of the inner breath and the difference will be clear.
Without the control of breath (pranayama), a man cannot be a yogi; nor is he a sannyasi. Without a rudder, it is impossible to steer a boat or ship.
The yogi, on the
other hand, needs to distinguish himself, getting beyond those limits.
Nityananda is speaking of the accomplishment or final fruit of pranayama,
which is kumbhaka
or cessation of the gross breath. The inner breath is an astounding
thing but must be attained. That is his point here.
It is the breath that man brings here at birth and it is the breath that man takes with him when he leaves this world.
He is alluding to the centrality to the breath. Thus it is the key to everything. The breath is central to our situation, central to the movement of our minds, and even in the astral plane we have a breath, synonymous with movement of mind. We are bound to the world by our breath; we are also released from the world my mastery of the breath.
In pranayama, puraka is drawing up the breath. Kumbhaka is retaining the breath. Rechaka is exhaling the breath. These three kinds of breath are from within. Nothing is taken from outside.
is mentioning the three conventional pranayama terms,
and emphasizing that these same three actions continue on, within,
during "subtle" breathing. (I have avoided the use of the term "subtle
breathing" here just in case some mistake it for 'breathing just a
little bit,' a notion that sometimes crops up in texts on yoga
and which is erroneous and misleading.) In the inner
breath we continue all three actions -- inhalation, holding,
and exhalation --
completely internally as three different internal actions. The pranic
inbreath satisfies in exactly the same feeling of satisfaction as the
normal inbreath of air satisfies, in fact even more. Those who lock
onto the inner breath soon prefer the inner pranic breathing
over conventional gross breathing, even becoming averse to
the conventional air-breath. They find conventional breathing
distasteful compared to it. Even before mastering the inner
or savikalpa samadhi, and while gross air-breathing intersperses with
inner breathing, the aspirant will come to well prefer the
breathing over the gross breathing. There is a yogic
kriya (spontaneous movement) that features an expulsion
of breath; the sharp out-throwing of the breath. There is a sense in
the developing yogi that having air in the lungs is repugnant.
Undergoing this kriya the body itself, keening for divinity, seems to
find the breath distasteful, wanting all air to remain out of its lungs.
While thus the practice is going on, the prana will move only in one nadi. We then feel the internal joy. Who can describe this Brahmananda?
When the practice is perfected the yogi stabilizes in only the "upward" or inward breath or "one nadi." Internal causeless joy grows in the devotee and meditator from this yoga generally, and that is no less true with mastery of the inner breath. Inner causeless joy, ananda, is associated with development of the inner breath.
The outside world will then be forgotten. We will then be in the world beyond.
For the first
time in this section Nityananda refers to the state of savikalpa
samadhi which automatically
dawns when the yogi thoroughly has the inner breath. In fact, the
purpose of this breathing technique and kumbhaka itself is
to attain savikalpa
the prana and apana, enjoy the eternal bliss.
"Harmonizing the prana and apana" refers stabilizing in one steady inbreath rather than any longer breathing the two internal (non-air) breaths. Prior to this the yogi will breathe the two breaths (prana and apana), though wholly on an internal basis. The Bhagavad-Gita makes a glancing reference to this in the verse: "Some yogis offer up their inbreath to their outbreath." This refers to the breath, after first being two but subtly experienced, then becomes one and not two. This answers a perplexity and questions practitioners of Yogananda's first kriya will have. Nityananda further clarifies (later) that the one final stabilized breath should be an inbreath.
The seat of breath is the truth. It is the internal space (chidakasha). In the eternal space is the tower of eternal bliss. This tower is the seat of eternal peace.
seat of breath is the truth" refers to the fact that God as both Isvara
and Brahman exist at the place from which movement of breath
originates. The "eternal space" refers to akasa,
or infinite space.
Experience of bliss is synonymous with meditation on one of Brahman's
first evolutes, space. The "seat of the breath" is the space between
the breaths, where the breath is neither moving in or out, i.e. the kumbhaka.
The Upanishads, which are loaded with references to esoteric yogic
truth, refers to this in 2nd Katha Chapter Two, Verse Three:
"All deities worship that adorable One sitting in the middle, who pushes the prana [inbreath] upward and impels the apana [outbreath] inward."
Katha 2:3, Ghambhirananda
There are wonderful golden threads to be found running through the Yoga-Sutra, the greater Upanishads, and the utterances of saints like Nityananda and the Christian saints. The verse is stating that God exists and is found in between the in- and out-breaths. The close following verse 2:5 then states: "
lives by prana or apana; but all live
That something else is found in the in-between, in kumbhaka, where exists Aum, Brahman. Out of that stillness, which is non-dual, the two breaths arise.
Aum is both Saguna and Nirguna Brahman, so there
is no need to fuss about specifying the unmanifest Brahman over Saguna
Brahman as Sankara does. One can easily love the adorable God who is
found at the seat of breath. As Nityananda states above, that adorable
One Who is the seat of breath is also the Truth.
In the “unconscious sleep,” enjoy the “conscious sleep” of bliss.
There are a great many verses in Vedic and Yogic scriptures that both refer to sleep states by way of teaching about the nature of Brahman as known in human life, and pointing to the state of the realized yogi. The Yoga-Vasistha speaks repeatedly of the sage as living in a state like sleep, or as if asleep, as if "half asleep" or with only a little attention diverted toward the world. This relates to the fact that the final yogic attainment of nirvikalpa samadhi is literally immersion in the state of deep, dreamless sleep while still conscious, also, of this and other worlds. This was, indeed, the state that Nityananda had. The yogic religionist is, in fact, working to access the sleep states -- both the blissful dreaming level and the blissful dreamless level -- while still conscious. The state of savikalpa samadhi is synonymous with the dreaming state which is still dualistic and in which an "I" still has likes and dislikes. In this state the yogi not only experiences the comfort and ananda (bliss, associated with the Lord as Isvara) of dreaming states, but can play out-of-body and if he likes, do out-of-body play interacting with the gross waking world. The yogi, by stilling the action of the earthly ego-mind, is working to become established in first one, then the other sleep states while conscious rather than asleep. The human state of sleep, per se, is considered another state of ignorance by the scriptures. Nityananda now refers to this yogic sleep-while-awake to the conventional state of sleep:
This is not the sleep of beasts. Sleep the “sleep of man.” Enjoy that sleep which must be the aim and end of man.
Just as he clearly distinguished ordinary breathing from the occult inner breath that features no movement of physical air through the nose or mouth, Nityananda takes pains to clearly distinguishes the waking samadhi "sleep" of the yogi from ordinary sleep that we see in all creatures. Astonishingly, he calls this yogic sleep-while-waking the true "sleep of man."
calls this samadhi
the "sleep of man" he is graciously telling all men and women that they
can attain it; that to merge in Pure Consciousness with no limit or
lack is the proper destiny for all. He is not
separating himself from
the rest of us, but telling us we can have his same attainment.
In another place in this Chiddakasha
states that the human being is the highest fruit of
creation. Thus he clearly distinguishes man from the rest of creation.
If man or woman wants to stop the assault on Saguna Brahman's wonderful
creatures, he or she should cease from impurities, then contact the
Immutable Lord who protects all creatures. Nothing can be done for the
creatures by denying your own divine efficacy or powers as a human
being. It is your own impurities and bad karma that manifest "poor
afflicted creatures" in your world-dream. You were made, indeed, to be
the protector of the creatures by Divine Wisdom, and there should be no
shame or dismay in this, nor should you reject your great station as a
manifester of dualistic dreams, or your responsibilities, or your
powers to protect the creatures. There is no point in applying yourself
to the animals for samadhi or divine wisdom that protects. You must get
that from God-men and God-women. Man is, indeed, the highest fruit of
creation. Know your own divine station, then you can truly protect the
Sleep the sleep of the “spiritual eye” (upanayana).
and Yogananda's technique involves directing and raising the life force
up to the spiritual eye or point between the eyebrows. The state of
wakefulness in prajna
focus at the "third eye" go together. This same technique was used by
Jesus Christ, sat-guru of the White Europeans. He was referring to it
when He said: "When your eye be single, your whole body shall be full
of light." Inner light or bindu is increasingly seen by the yogi or
religionist who practices it with a devotional attitude plus chastity.
When talking, when sitting, without any desires, without any thoughts, sleep this spiritual sleep.
Again he tells us to be asleep. Nityananda is describing the state of the yogi or avadhut who is established in this state, whether it be savikalpa or nirvikalpa samadhi. It is the highest attainment of religion (yoga) and a very strange state for the average person to comprehend. But such persons become blessing to their surroundings. Because he has mentioned it so much, it will be further elucidated. The "sleep while waking" of goal of the yogis is well adduced by Shankarcharya in his "Crest-Jewel Of Wisdom":
"He on this earth is happy and worthy of honour who, by always resting in peace in the form of Brahman is freed from external consciousness, regarding the objects of enjoyment experienced by others as a sleeping child (would do), looking upon the universe as the world perceived in dream, at times recovers consciousness and enjoys the fruit of an infinity of meritorious deeds.(426) "
ascetic, firm in wisdom, free from changes of condition, actionless,
enjoys perpetual bliss, his atman being absorbed in Brahman. (427)
Crest-Jewel of Wisdom, Sankara, Mohini Chatterji, 1947
Note: Once White Europeans of Christian heritage understand Yoga and Vedanta they have a great many tools with which to flummox or toy with modern day atheism-believers who rarely even bother to specify which definitions of God they are rejecting. When the ignoramus atheist asks an educated Christian or yogi "Where is God?" the educated Gentile can simply say: "I experience God nightly in both dreams and deep, dreamless sleep." Or they can even say, "God is consciousness. I am experiencing consciousness this moment, so I am experiencing God." Or further they can say: "In my religion God is defined, partly, as bliss. I have experienced bliss thus I have experienced God. What, you have never experienced bliss? Sad creature!" The Upanishads and Vedas teach that each of us experiences God and God's bliss-nature nightly in the sleep states, though not fully conscious.
In the state of deep, dreamless sleep we are then only pure consciousness, yet still ignorant because of sleep. The religious man seeks to attain this state without sleep or any unconsciousness. The "Crest Jewel" verses continue to elucidate this:
"He who is perfectly at rest (in this wisdom)...whose bliss is uninterrupted and by whom the objective universe is well-nigh forgotten...though having his consciousness absorbed (in the Logos), is awake and yet devoid of all characteristics of waking... (429)
In yoga, which
is essential religion, realization of the state of prajna while awake
is considered the only true waking. By comparison ordinary
people of the waking world are asleep. This yogic ideal was known by
Jesus Christ, the sat-guru of the White Europeans. However, that state
of His is little represented in the recorded scripture.His life
fit the ideal of Vedantic yogic
asceticism. But the scenes recorded feature Christ in the ordinary
out-turned consciousness, in which
siddhis manifest for samadhi yogins. What is
recorded are Christ's active, outward-turned states in which siddhis
for the ascetic. at times recovers consciousness
and enjoys the fruit of an infinity
of meritorious deeds.")
Fixing your attention on breath, sleep.
Nityananda is confirming that his state was the state of "sleeping while awake" extolled by the Yoga-Vasistha and Sankara's Quintessence of Vedanta and other scriptures. Nityananda was one of those sages abiding in one of the two samadhi states. Again, in our state of deep, dreamless sleep (called prajna in this religious knowledge)one experiences the bliss of God as Atman but is unconscious of any worlds, but is still ignorant because of sleep.
In the states
of savikalpa samadhi one
the bliss of the dreaming state while conscious, but is unconscious of
the gross outer world. He is conscious
of himself, desires, likes and dislikes, then increasingly can remember
the gross outer world. In this state the religious person knows the
glories and bliss perceptions of the dream world while more aware than
in normal dreaming.
In the case of
Nityananda, who appeared to be awake, his "sleep" was not inert like savikalpa but the
state of nirvikalpa
samadhi, also called kaivalya,
It is not a small thing!
Perform the natural japa of the inward and the outward breath.
In this line Nityananda is
advocating the use of his meditation
technique although the material does not present that meditation
technique in any clear or introductory sense. He is saying "practice
meditation technique." (Also called hamsah and hong-sau, sha-hom, etc.) He
is saying "Practice this technique which affixes itself to your breath
and is natural."
Have mental (subtle) bhakti; yes, have it. Attain liberation from bondage. Have constant bhakti; never interrupted.
right after his advocacy of the mantra. Nityananda is saying to perform
the meditation technique with an attitude of bhakti, i.e.
religious devotion, which is the highest form of yoga and central to
the White European religion for twenty centuries.
knowledge will be given to the religious person (and yogi) simply by
chastity, bhakti, and concentration. Should one understand Nityananda's
breath technique, all the more fortunate. But the great secret,
intimated above, is that mastery of the inner breath goes forward with
a bhakti attitude. The aspirant should open to God within with
the devotee's and supplicant's attitude, to master kumbhaka. Breathing
in is a call, in faith, and a desire to receive. Expectancy,
receptivity, openness, and desire are needed in the actions of the
inner breath, and these are the attitudes of the bhakta or devotee.
Breathe up and down without any restraint.
the material jumps, as it often has, to the esoteric inner breath. It
is proper to assume that most of these sayings of Nityananda,
collected happenstance as he would happen to show up in various homes
or places and deign to speak, are not in the original order and do not
represent a coherent presentation. Thus the material has disjointed
Brahman is ineffable. And not seeing a world then, there is nobody to save. However, when not in that state of highest -- and a yogi or religious person continues to cycle through various states -- he may speak and it is proper at times for him to do so.Wiseacres should not use the Tao Te Ching line in an effort to silence everybody but themselves, or to demean the teaching efforts of sincere and spiritual (religious) men, as they sometimes do. In summary, men and women in Nityananda's religious state of savikalpa and nirvikalpa samadhi become disinclined and often unable to compose speeches and write books in a way that would be coherent to us. Ramakrisha, Ramana Maharshi, Nityananda, and Ananda Mayi Ma are examples who did not write any texts. They were both disinclined to do so, and largely unable. Yet their efficacy in the world was no less. As for more coherent teaching, it is the province the strong devotees, the advanced yogis, and the partially awakened. A rare exception to this was my guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, who continued to write coherent texts even after he had attained the state of nirvikalpa samadhi. But this is very rare.
Now, about the utterance above: All
people in the natural state breathe
up and down without any restraint.Nityananda is NOT saying he
disapproves of pranayama
or the restraint of breath. Pranayama
very water he swam
in. Nityananda's belly was, in fact, large because of the continuous
holding of the breath in both intentional and spontaneous kumbhaka.
One of the yogic kriyas
his chief disciple Muktananda experienced was
the stout expulsion of the breath, then holding it within in what's
called the chalice with the jalandhara
bhanda (chin lock). This was no doubt a characteristic kriya of
Nityananda's as well. He thus had a pot belly from much holding of the
Drawing the breath upwards is puraka; stopping the breath is kumbhaka. Kumbhaka is your “real seat.”
Now comes evidence that Nityananda was not advising above against stoppage of the gross breath. He states the well-known fact that kumbhaka means stoppage of the breath, then states that we should attain that as our real seat or the true yogic asana. Nityananda is saying that the state of kumbhaka, or cessation of material breath (air, oxygen, etc.) is the highest and best "yogic seat." (As compared to the various asanas, etc.)
Breathing out is rechaka. While breathing in, it should be like drawing water from a well. Draw the breath up to the brahmarandhra in the brain. By such a breathing, kindle the fire of jnana. Purify the nadis. Burn the three humors (vatha, pitha and kapha) in this fire.
Nityananda is referring to conventional breathing, especially that
conventional air-breathing done in a pranayama context. He
is extolling pranayama in general. One of the venerable
commentators on the Yoga-Sutra stated that "there is no purifier like
pranayama." Pranamyama purifies the nadis. It burns the three humors,
of you like "three humors" metaphysics. It burns up whatever you need
What is called discrimination is such a fire: it is the yoga-fire;
"discrimination" Nityananda means the path of "discrimination" or the
path of the jnani. That is, the
path of constant intellectual analysis
advocated by Sankarcharya. Here Nityananda
is, in a sense, minimizing "discrimination" or jnana as a main
path just as Ramakrishna used to do. The bhakta Ramakrishna
often dissed the jnana
path, which lacks bhakti, as a sole path. (He referred to it often as
"reasoning.") Here Nityananda is pointing out that the jnani path does
not necessarily contain this mastery of prana and the inner pranic
breath. Additionally, he is saying
that the yogi who breathes the pranic breath and gets the full
purification of prana gets all divine knowledge or jnana. He is saying
that the knowledge associated with
the path of discrimination is all attained on this very path of bhakti and
mastery of pranayama.
it is the food-digesting fire in the stomach.
The prana is actually what digests the food in the stomach. We are all using it and benefiting from prana constantly. But the yogi, chaste religious man, or bhakti aspirant gets a better handle on prana.
The discrimination is the solar light.
Nityananda here is again using the word "discrimination" to refer to jnana or divine knowledge. He is saying that all auroras or all lights, including the physical sun, are manifestations of divine knowledge. The Upanishads themselves state that Isvara, Lord of our experienced material universe, abides in the physical sun.
God pervades the universe in the form of subtle energy.
Nityananda is simply referring to prana, which pervades the universe.
The Prasna Upanishad states that God first created prana, then faith (shradda), then
space or akasa.
The reason faith is listed as the very second evolute is that
faith means instinctive divine knowledge, divine memory, and divine
are never lost in us. Thus faith comes before all things, even space
itself. It took faith (instinctive divine knowledge) to fill the space
with things. Note, too, that akasa
comes after prana
thus space is made
of prana. On a practical metaphysical basis space and prana are the
very same thing. For this reason a religious person develops greater
involvement with the pure prana
(pure just like space is pure and Brahman is pure), i.e. gets mastery
by visualizing infinite space or akasa.
Creation is caused by the doubts of the mind.
Nityananda is saying that the material creations arises spontaneously by movement of the mind. It is dissatisfactions and doubts that cause the mind to keep moving instead of being still as in the state of prajna or deep, dreamless sleep. Here Nityananda is actually using the term "creation" in a negative sense, the way that non-dualistic Vedanta approaches it. That is, creation is the exterior phenomena or maya. It arises spontaneously, including it's conditioning-embedded "past stories" and lesser theories of causation, only because of movement of the mind.
Creation is purely a mental affection.
This is includes an error or an attempt by the stenographer or translator to say affectation using the word affection. Nityananda is saying the material creation is a mental affectation. It continues the theme of the preceding line as creation based on subtle and unsubstantial things (aside from Pure Consciousness, which make it all seen). The idea of affectation here relates to the Vedic teaching that all the features of the exterior creation are based on fancies and notions. "Mental affectation" makes a subtle reference to the absurd worlds and samsaric muddles we actually create with our minds, as well as the pomposity of them. "Affectation" also refers to the metaphysical principle that Brahman is actually taking on the form of all the exterior things through the template or mold of the mind. Just as people put on "affectations" pretending to be something they're not, and it is often ridiculous, the mind has taken the form of the exterior world and the fancies generated are often ridiculous. The mind takes the form of the world. Brahman is putting on an affectation, or pretending to be the world.
When you have attained same-sightedness, there will be no creation.
refers to the state of nirvikalpa
samadhi, or ideal state of the sage,
as formulated in the Non-Dualistic Vedanta of Sankara and other Hindu
teachers. This metaphysics and dharma are now unknown to the Christian
religious tradition and only exist in vestiges and signposts there.
"Same sightedness" refers to the Vedantic practice of continually
viewing all externals (including internal externals or perceivables
such as thoughts or dreams), of nothing but Pure Consciousness or a
reflection in the mirror of Pure Consciousness (Brahman). The
Non-Dualistic Vedanta "technique" of Sankara (and others) was to
continually affirm the dream-like non-existence (essenceless) of
external creations, to stop seeing or registering particulars, and to
register only "Brahman." The purpose of this is to make the mind turn
back from the material creation through complete disinterest or
non-engagement, so that a samadhi state is acquired. In both the states
of savikalpa samadhi, nirvikalpa, and even our nightly state of
dreamless sleep, a "creation" is no longer seen. This is finally due to
the life force, normally coursing down the spine and out the body's
senses, reverses such that the external world is no longer even
erecting itself in fact.One's universe actually dissolves and
longer exists even nightly in the deep dreamless sleep state, and is
resurrected each morning. During that deep dreamless state of prajna,
and even during the lower savikalpa-like state of dreams, a "world" is
no longer seen. It is not simply that one is disinterested in it. It is
actually no longer there, because the life force is not externalized
and neither projecting it nor hardening it up as something to be seen.
The subtle state is common to both mobile and immobile beings.
is a subtle consciousness underlying all created
things and creatures that is homogeneous and the same. This "subtle
state" Nityananda refers to is the Pure Consciousness, pure awareness,
The difference is in the casual (prakriti).
The word here was supposed to be "causal" not casual. Nityananda is saying that "difference" arises at the causal state which is associated with the concept of prakriti. Prakriti is a concept similar to prana. But in the theory of prakriti there are "three gunas." Prakriti is a little bit more elegant conception of primordial nature than prana. Nityananda is saying that differentiation in creation occurs at the fundamental level of prakriti and the three gunas. Thus a yogi is striving to get beyond the three gunas. It is not necessary for devotees or religious people to mess their heads around with ideas about prakriti or three gunas. It is one of the "conceptions of cause" that Sankara lists as an original mental invention like fire, time, etc. Prana morphs into a prakriti state as soon as their is movement or disequilibrium in it.
Difference is delusion. Difference is in the body. Bodies are transient. Prakriti is evanescent. When you realize the subtle in the gross, that state is called moksha. Mukti is the indivisible.
Mukti is in the heart-space.
Nityananda defined the heart space as the space in the head, especially at the third eye. He specified that it did not mean the chest or the organ in the chest. Neither did it refer to emotion, romance, or human love. Nityananda always called the kutastha or "3rd eye" the "heart," and recommended that all attention and focus be there. He is saying that liberation is there, in the head and through the third eye.
In the heart-space is Shiva-Linga.
He is saying
that Shiva or pure consciousness is at the third eye.
It is self-existence. This is also called the prince-prana.
There is one particular form of prana, among the five forms, that he is referring to as the "prince prana." That is, prana per se or the inbreath. This is the most important prana, in Nityananda's view. He is also saying that this prana is abundant and available at the higher center, or the third eye.
This is the “upward breath.”
He confirms this and says that the inbreath, and the subtle prana associated with it, is the "prince prana."
This is known in yoga as prana. Prana is the ONE. Prana is the ONE in all. Prana is existence.
"The One" here appears to reference Nirguna Brahman. But it could also reference Saguna Brahman, or both. Nityananda was undoubtedly familiar with both concept. He is giving us, as all wonderful yogis and gurus do, a simplified metaphysics. He is advising the religious person, or the yogi, to view the Lord as synonymous with prana. He is advising us to associate prana with Nirguna Brahman (Pure Consciousness) or Saguna Brahman. In scriptural metaphysics, prana is an evolute or creation, and is only associated with Saguna Brahman, or the Creator personality as Isvara, or whatever the name. Because prana (subtle life energy) is in fact one of The Lord's basic evolutes, the approach is valid. In a sense Nityananda reveals that he is a bhakta and devotee of the knowable God with attributes or Saguna Brahman because he is praising prana. It is a characteristic of great yogis to simplify Hindu metaphysics as well as to forge their own conceptual path, which will found effective and auspicious for at least their devotees.
This is known only to those who have practiced yoga. Those who have not practiced yoga are not aware of this fact; they being bound by desires.
Real things are attained by yoga which is renunciation of sense pleasures, chastity, meditation, and devotion for the thought of the Lord. We need to get with it and do a little sadhana in order for our continual suffering and confusion to be attenuated.
So, cut asunder the bondage of desires and hence attain salvation.
It Salvation or, in Indian parlance "moksha," is a Christian concept as well as Hindu. The Christian concept of moksha has been trimmed back and reduced and should be reconstituted by White European men interested in God, restoring Christianity, and the knowledge of the Aryan Vedas.
Realize the one Tattwa, i.e., Paramatman. Realize Him by the internal eye.
advocates focus at the point between the eyebrows, justs as did
Yogananda, Muktananda, and Jesus Christ.
Without a rope, water from a well cannot be drawn up. In the body, breath is the rope. Drawing the inward breath harmoniously is like drawing up the water from a well.
Now Nityananda goes back to discussing kumbhaka and attainment of the astral breath. When he refers to the breath drawn up "harmoniously" he refers to that inner breath (in which no air moves, and the nose and mouth could as well be plugged). He says that should be harmonious, in other words, just as easy and smooth as ordinary gross breathing. The "water" that he refers to drawing is pure prana, which is drawn in better and in greater plenitude through connecting the gross material inbreath to the act of pure pranic drawing, then finally making it purely conceptual. I am leaving out a great deal here, because it is not proper to speak of these yogic things in a public document, which is one of the reasons I feel that the publication of Nityananda's utterances was ill-conceived.
In order to make planks of a wooden beam, it should be sawed up and down. Similarly, breath should move upwards and downwards in the body.
It should be led into buddhi and made always to move in an upward direction.
Notice how the two verses above contradict each other, in one he refers to the two motions of breath up and down. In the other he says to breathe in one direction. The first verse simply refers to the basic work; using the breath as a meditation technique, as we all start out. The normal breath goes in and out, up and down, and for a long time that's all the yogi will do. But that's sawing the wood, getting the work done.
When making progress in Yogananda's first meditation technique the yogi comes to wonder what to do with the two breaths when they do not seem to need to move any more. Nityananda is answering, for the avid yogi and religious person. One should learn to rest in one constant, eternal inbreath. No more sawing up and down.
To take a stone uphill, requires great effort but to bring it down by the same route is not difficult. So also, going up is difficult but coming down is easy.
is one of the most interesting utterances by Nityananda, and one of the
most helpful if understood correctly, also showing the avadhuta's
caring love for humanity. I will interpret it for White European men,
who strive for chastity and cherish the remembrance of God in all
It is difficult for the prana to leave the body. To receive a thing is easy but to return it is difficult.
This is similar to the above statement. Nityananda is indicating that the mastery of the pranic inbreath, which then releases the jiva from the body in the state of savikalpa samadhi, is difficult whereas getting a body (a human birth) and breathing the gross material way is easy and takes no effort. We were given a human birth, plus normal breathing, by God's grace. It is hard to go back to God without great effort. Freedom from the body and delusive duality take tremendous work.
Those men who do not return what they have received are not worthy of the name of “men.” The are merely animals; they have no virtue.
We should try to return to God. We should try to interact with Him through the breath and give our breath to Him. The truth is, God is breathing in us constantly and giving to us our very inbreath, but we do not even acknowledge Him or interact with him. God gives us breath for free, always loving us, but we give nothing back. Nityananda is actually referring to the interaction between devotee and Purusha that takes place when one follows his meditation path and tries to master the inner pranic breath. It is an interaction with God, and a giving back. But the giving back is of ourselves, our acknowledgment, our responsiveness, and our receivership. We can't give anything material to God, but we can give him our devotion, conscious awareness, true relationship, and feminine receivership as devotees. The technique Nityananda describes here is a place and method whereby those are done.
(It is impossible to describe the pangs of death).
Nityananda mentioned this because by advocacy of this yoga, by advocacy of mastery of the subtle breath and kumbhaka, one can be spared the worst pangs of death. He is trying to warn the listeners to develop in yoga.
Jnana is attained by subtle thinking. So breath should be controlled.
can be interpreted two ways. On one hand Nityananda may be saying that
divine knowledge comes with a thinning out of thoughts (and making
thought more subtle). Since breath retention (pranayama) controls
thought, that should be pursued. Subtle breath = subtle thought = Jnana.
The mind should be merged in the sound.
Nityananda has suddenly mentioned here the inner sound of Aum. When heard, the religious person or devotee should try to merge his mind in it. This is a vast subject.
who do not breathe through the nose, have no desires of any sort.
Their breath is purely internal.
Again Nityananda is emphasizing that the "breath" he is teaching about is indeed not material and does not involve an air-flow through the nose, mouth, or other orifices. One of the absurdities about other online "commentary" I have seen is that the writer cannot comprehend this simple and obvious fact. The breathless state of kumbhaka is real, and not a poetic metaphor. The yogic state of kumbhaka is, in fact, what is under discussion here. Nityananda was a master of it. That state involves mastery of an inner "conceptual" breath or two inner postures that are synonymous with the postures we continually take when breathing the gross outer breath, but more subtle and all within.
They concentrate their breath in the brahmarandhra where the ida and the pingala meet. They have realized the Paramatman;
This practice progresses best when visualizations concerning it take place up in the head, a the devotee aspires for God as prana, bindu (light), sound, all-sufficiency, all healing, all-provision, all grace, purity, and bliss.
they look upon all things as self.
state has been discussed above. Yogananda was more of a bhakta and
preferred the savikalpa state of duality and "a world" to save, etc.
The difference between Nityananda and Yogananda was that Nityananda
wanted to abide in the nirvikalpa state; Yogananda enjoyed his play of
the "saved and the unsaved" and did not wish to abide in the Nirvikalpa
state. But they were really the same Person.
This is swarajya (self-government).
Samadhi gives the true power and control.
What is swarajya is jiva’s true place.
Swarajya was a political party in India that promoted Indian self-government. That is, is wanted more power and control than heretofore for the Indians, i.e. self-government. Nityananda is saying that this ideal of full power and control is the natural inheritance of the individual soul or jiva.
The light of life is prana vayu.
is the element wind, or the air in general. In Hindu thought that
elemental force is also personified as a god, which is as
metaphysically valid as any other thought constructions. The wind god
Prana vayu is the capitol of swarajya government.
He is revealing
that this state of empowerment or "self government" is provided by
contact and engagement with prana. Prana gives all
power. He specifies
that we make contact with prana in
it's state of vyana.
He reveals that for gathering the inward breath he prefers to
the prana in the form of prana-vayu,
the far-flung form like
the wind. Prana-vayu,
says Nityananda, is the
great lake or great sky from which any yogi can breathe big
draughts of prana,
catching big gales of it.
Atman is the lord of the swarajya government.
is the Lord Brahman with a reference or orientation to the individual
soul and essential spark of eternal, luminous, untouchable
consciousness that animates each of us. It is our inner atman, the
inner Lord, who can genuinely empower us as "Swarajya" government. He
is always the true Ruler in the first place. The yogi comes to know
That and merge with That. Fools see problems with such teachings
because they think that those who get close to God become absurd, or
remain egotists and game-players like themselves.
Swarajya is one’s own energy.
That power and
full efficacy is our own birthright and our own connection to prana.
This energy must be kept under perfect control.
continence, dispassion, and meditation for the stilling of thoughts one
gets a grip on prana which otherwise does what it likes.
is swarajya is not a hill; it is not gold. Keeping under control
both desire and anger is swarajya.
and dispassion (including ignoring the wicked) is the path to this
empowerment or "self government." Thus the prana responds to his mind
and becomes more servant than master.
man must say what he does and do
what he says.
doing so insults the prana and weakens one's engagement with it. The
prana-sakti requires truth, virtue, and continence to make it's home
with us in the way that yogis and religious saints know.
If you hold nose and mouth tight,
you are not able to talk. Similarly,
a thing that does not breathe does not emit sound. Just as water goes
on diminishing in a well in summer, so also, the power of breath goes
on diminishing in the body.
returns again to his discussion of the inner pranic breath, which he
obviously considers to be very important in his path and in yogic
dharma and development. In order to make sure his audience knows that,
yes, he is talking about an astral breath known completely within, and
not the conventional air-breath of oxygen and other gases, he speaks of
the holding of the nose and mouth. He is also saying that we, in our
conventional state, are utterly dependent on the gross physical breath.
He is referring, rather gently, to the state of anxiety and death that
follows the closure of our orifices, how we can't even participate in
life (make a sound), if any of them are shut. He is bringing up the
pathos and limitation of this situation.
the water is moving, the air moves
along with it. You can live without food or without drinking coffee for
five days. But you cannot live for five minutes without breathing.
making the same point: Conventional humans are absurdly dependent upon
the gross in- and outbreath of air. He wants to advise that religious
people and devotees pursue and learn about his subtle breathing,
mastered by siddhas including Yogananda and Lahiri Mahasaya, who was in
a constant state of no breath and no heartbeat during his later years,
even while active. He continues on speaking of our conventional
The highest of all powers is the
power of Maya. A dead body and so also
a stone are unable to talk. Likewise, if air does not act, fire cannot
burn; i.e., if breathing is not regular, the fire of digestion will be
impaired. When the digestive fire does not act properly, the phlegm in
the lungs becomes hard. Fat increases in the body. The food that is
eaten remains in the stomach undigested. If there is any obstruction in
the pump, water will not flow out properly. Similarly, if the
becomes difficult, fever, thickening of the mucus, are caused. By this,
all diseases are caused.
Nityananda is not trying to give advice here about diet or health. It would be absurd to think that he is. This is more exposition of the ordinary state of breathing worldlings and many difficulties they face. "Ordinary" was inserted in brackets above to make this clear.
who do not practice pranayama have no yoga.
So now the solution to all of these hassles: Pranayama. Pranayama is no ordinary breathing at all and no ordinary experience of the breath. This is where all these troubles end.
is impossible to draw water from a well without a rope.
You cannot draw to yourself a surfeit and plenitude of intelligent and healing prana, which makes a man all-sufficient, unless you practice pranayama. That is, you must learn to use the breath (the inner breathing or "rope" for the well), to pull to yourself more all-satisfying, all nourishing, and all healing prana. Get going on pranayama.
is drawing the breath up. Kumbhaka is retaining the breath.
Rechaka is the exhaling of breath slowly from within. Many sorts of
cakes are prepared from the same rice. So also, by breath everything is
accomplished. The functions are different. What is called pranayama is
all internal working. The same is Shivashakti in man. When this shakti
is guided to brahmarandhra, it is communion with Godhead.
Here Nityananda finally speaks of pranayama for average people, explaining some of the basic terms used. This same puraka, kumbhaka, and rechaka continue on in exactly the same manner with the subtle breath, so the terms will remain useful.
Samadhi means controlling one’s
energy. Samadhi is the upward
all everyday people have upward breaths, but it does not give them
is saying that the state of samadhi is synonymous with mastery of the
fixed, eternal inbreath. (In these scriptures the "upward breath"
means the inbreath, since the air then moves up over the chest toward
the nose.) When a yogi becomes finally fixed in the eternal inbreath,
the heart automatically stops beating, happily, and has rest. Then
automatically dawns. This is all very well explained in the lessons
printed by Yogananda's organization SRF, for devotees of Yogananda.
However, fixation in the inward breath is not explained in those
lessons and is probably not understood by most functionaries of SRF.
Nityananda, who is an aspect, helpfully explains this and what do do
when the outer breath no longer wants to move or toggle. Kumbhaka
should be established with an eternal inbreath.
upward breath is what is called the Taraka Brahman. When
the upward breath has become perfect, the whole world is within you.
means when full kumbhaka dawns plus the state of samadhi. Then the
world world can be seen, and other worlds, with the speed of thought as
with conscious astral travel. Vision of all creation as one sight
sometimes also appears, as in the Oglala Sioux story of Jumping Mouse.
This is religious knowledge.
upward breath is the same in all creatures.
Nityananda is referring to the inward breath both in its conventional
form and the subtle or non-air form. His point is that the basic
posture or movement of the inward breath in found in all creatures.
That is, they cycle into an inner posture of drawing, seeking, opening,
and pulling which is the essence of the inbreath. All creatures have
some form of breathing in and out, and both the material forms of
breath and the subtle mastery of it is the same essential action of
drawing, pulling, receiving, and opening.
Raja Yogi is one who
has realized the one, indivisible. He is one with God when he is
talking or sitting or walking. Raja Yoga is like sitting in an upper
story and looking around below. Raja Yoga is so called because it is
the king of all yogas. When our intellect becomes one with God, the
same is known as Raja Yoga. It is all peace; it is formless,
qualitiless. Bliss has no characteristics whatsoever. This is known as
means royal. Raja Yoga is elegant and complete. Raja Yoga is the
religious knowledge that includes all of the powerful forms of
knowledge: 1) meditation technique, 2) bhakti, 3) metaphysics and
mastery of natural laws of the mind and matter, 4) Philosophy and the
non-dualistic views of Vedanta, 5) austerities including chastity and
the right direction of sexual energy (either into procreation or
sublimation in God-worship). Christianity, if one takes the experiences
of the Christian saints, is like raja-yoga. If Nityananda is praising
raja-yoga we can assume that he considered himself a follower of raja
yoga. That means that he was a bhakta, understanding the significance
of devotion like Yogananda. It also means that he understood the
non-dualistic views and analyses of Sankara. It also means that he
pursued meditation technique.
as there are the gutters on both sides of the road for the water
to flow freely, so also you must allow the breath to take an upward
course freely. It requires great effort to carry a stone upwards. But
without the least effort on our part it suddenly comes down.
Again he returns to the subtle breath. He is advocating to the qualified listeners that the inner inbreath should become as easy to access, with as little obstruction, as water flowing down street gutters. Again, "you must allow the breath to take an upward course freely" refers to that subtle, non-material breath and not the ordinary breath. All people breath freely and let that breath take its upward coarse.
First there is light perception of the inner, nourishing, all-satisfying pranic inbreath. Then one increases the satisfaction it gives and tries to hew to it. Finally it flows as fully as the water down the two street gutters. We are dependent upon the gross outer breath because we believe we are dependent and have a great deal of psychological and karmic conditioning centering around that belief. Psychology is very important both in entrapment by the gross breath, and mastery of the pranic breath. Thus Nityananda is giving us a helpful visualization: The yogi should imagine that pranic inbreath as something that flows as well as rainwater down street gutters.
mentions the stone-carrying again as a metaphor for the work of getting
this attainment. At the same time he turns the "stone rolling downhill"
as the sought-for way we should attain the pranic breath. This verse is
therefore confusing, and some of that is likely due to the accuracy of
is concentration. It is easy to take birth; but it is very difficult to
leave this body.
itself is very difficult. So is leaving the body while conscious and
alive. Leaving the body is
essentially what the yogi is doing when he masters the pranic inbreath.
Calming the breath, cognizing the subtle breath, are as
difficult as leaving the body while awake. But through right technique,
guru-devotion, and God-devotion, it can be all done.
We must discover the source of a
is referring to the true source of the breath. More exactly, he is
referring to the satisfaction derived by breathing in, which is really
from the infusion of prana. He is bidding the listener ponder where
that satisfaction, i.e. that satisfying prana, really originates from.
What is the true source of the satisfying fulfillment we get each time
we breathe in? The reason that a yogi can develop kumbhaka and learn to
live solely on the pranic breath like Lahiri Mahasaya and Nityananda is
by finding the true source of that satisfying feeling, which is prana
and mental conceptions concerned with pulling "something nourishing."
The act of breathing is nothing but a mental conception of gathering
and pulling at "something" hoped in faith that will satisfy. That
mental act of pulling and gathering is the true source of the river of
prana. The yogi must learn that.
it joins the sea, there
is no use in seeing the river.
After samadhi and mastery of the inner breath there is no use breathing in the normal way any more or even being involved with the gross breath. This is an astounding state of the nirvikalpa sage.
To a tree, its mother root is the most important; all other roots are subsidiary.
And likewise the inner breath, the "true source of the river," is the important thing that the yogi doing this technique must focus on. We can get everything from that. The "source of the river" within is the only necessity.
When we raise a chair, our breath goes upwards.
Following right after the "mother
root" saying, he
gives the practical instruction to lift a chair and notice the inner
position we take. This inner position is where we find the "river" and
the "mother root of the tree."
it possible to know this pranic inbreath without chastity, guru-bhakti,
and meditation technique all three? Highly unlikely, except in dribs
and drabs. Without effort at the first, better not to even try.
Chastity is the ground of this knowledge-unto-realization.
bhakti and God-devotion are the water on that ground. And meditation is
is the seat of prana.
posture of opening and drawing is the seat of prana, or where it comes
When we are cooking, flames of fire have an upward course; so also the smoke takes an upward course. In the lighted chimney the course of the heated air is upwards. Similarly, in the heart-space the course of breath is upwards.
This has two aspects: He is giving us another lovely and homely visualization; and he is revealing that the soul has a natural preference for the occult inward breath (inner inhalation) and a tendency to get established in it. He is giving permission and advice to concentrate on that aspiring breath as you go along in your practice. The metaphor is tied up with the Indian practice of calling the inhale the "upward breath." We in the west, who have long ago looked into the body and are well aware of it's inner parts, tend to think of the inbreath as going "down" into the lungs. This can make the Indian literature confusing. We think of our inbreath as taking air down; breathing it down. The less technological Indians, thinking only of the movement occurring outside the body, developed that other convention. So in the western mind there is a kind of mismatch between the "chimney smoke wafting upwards" metaphor and the inner breath. (Unless we view the breath moving up our chest as chimney smoke.) Notice too that the metaphor is quite different than his "carrying the rock uphill" simile. I stated that this refers to the difficulty of leaving behind the old gross breath and our addiction to matter, not to the easy-and-natural inbreath itself. Leaving aside the physical conundrums of the metaphor, he is really saying that the inbreath is natural for us to do, just as natural as smoke rising up from a cooking fire. In cultivating the inner breath, we can use his beautiful image to convey to ourselves how easy this to get the subtle inbreath. We can also imagine ourselves rising up, within -- just like that chimney smoke -- into spacious skies where there is more than enough of God's air available for our increasing in-spiration.
Our joy is caused by the motion of the air (vayu). Without this air motion there is no blood circulation. When a water canal is dammed the motion of water has come to an end. So also in this body, such a dam is vatha, pitha, and kapha (the three humors or tridoshas).
The avadhuta is pointing out the ordinary state of affairs in which circulation and movement are a part of health, positing conventional ideas and situations. But he is relating this idea to the inner airs and inner movement he wants us to attain. We must have that circulation. The average person has little joy even though all these material things are circulating. The original word as he spoke was probably ananda (bliss). He is saying that just as in conventional physical life circulation is necessary for health or basic well-being, this circulation of the inner breath, in the devotee, is very blissful and gives him ananda. Nityananda may also be saying that just as our material forms of circulation are founded upon the vayu, ananda has some connection to vayu likewise. (If so, this would be a new idea I'd not seen elsewhere.) If it were so, the yogins and yogesses getting the inner breath going would therefore feel much bliss, and I can vouch for that.
do not concentrate on breath have no aim, no state, no
intelligence and no fulfillment. So concentrate and think.
Nityananda is extolling his particular meditation technique -- rather adamantly God bless him. This was Yogananda's first meditation technique, the one that Lahiri Mahasaya said gives "all realization."This is no doubt true. For one thing, the 2nd technique comes naturally through assiduous application to it, and Aum will be soon heard with open ears. True intelligence comes from chastity and application to God. True fulfillment come from putting the mind on God and becoming part of His sat-chit-ananda. By "no aim" he means there is really not much point to musts of their doings and undertakings; that those doings will not give them true happiness. "Concentrate and think" is undoubtedly a flaw in transmission. The meditator must not think, but concentrate on the meditation vehicle. Nityananda was a tremendous advocate and lover of this ancient meditation technique, the one discussed in most detail by Shiva in the Vijnana-Bhairava, and which Muktananda called a technique of siddhas.
Concentrate on the indrawing and outgoing breath.
This is one basic feature of the technique.
Draw the breath in properly.
Breathe, concentrating on the sound the breath produces. Concentrate on
the sound which is produced internally. Have faith in the internal
sound and breathe. Breathe in.
A central secret of the meditation technique that Nityananda refers to , and which was central to his own life, is to think of the sounds made by the in- and outbreaths, in every possible dimension. Can you hear the inrush of air, in all its dimensions, in your mind as you go into the internal act and posture of the inbreath? That will assist you greatly. Lying beside anybody who's sleeping, whether they are breathing through nose or mouth, you hear the sound. "Produced internally" means that you find the two internal acts and internal "sounds," as it were, associated with the acts. "Have faith in the internal sound" means to let those two internal thought-of sounds, or enacted sounds and positions, become your breath, your whole breath. This is the pranic breath. Nityananda has done a great deal of in-depth teaching about here and explained the technique very well. Nowhere else have I seen it revealed in text. He mentions faith in letting this become your true breath, which is key to this whole yoga.
Breathe deeper and deeper. Breathe in so that the internal sound may be audible to the ears.
Nityananda is revealing a lot here about the meditation technique.
There are two aspects to this statement. First, Nityananda is exposing the central technique, which is to hear well the sound of the two breaths in your mind while continuing to engage in their basic actions while the ordinary breath is stopped. "Audibility" to the ears is likely a clumsy translation of what was said, that is, that you learn to "hear" the two breaths in your mind.
He could have also been referring to preparatory techniques in which the sound of the breath is increased, emphasized, and listened to. This is so that the mind can learn to cognize the breath as a sound- act, then later a mental sound-act with residual physical play-along or ghosting. (Continuing to lift the lungs up, move the diaphragm, make a slight "pull in" etc., the body doing all the things it's conditioned to do relative to the breath, except for actual intake of air.) This brings me to a discussion of some well known pranayama techniques, how these really work to assist the devotee, what they actually achieve, and why they are actually recommended by the rishis.
The sitali and sitkari pranayamas, in which air is forcefully drawn in through the curled tongue or through teeth (with the tongue near the teeth) accomplish the two aid objectives: Making the devotee newly aware of the breath including its sound; and making the devotee newly aware of the essential two breathing acts.
By doing such pranayamas as sitali and sitkari, the God-seeking person comes to get to know the breath again and it's nature as sound. The in-rush of the air making a pronounced ssshhhh sound helps him to get that sound firmly in his mind for breathing the mental breath. The pronounced "pulling in," additionally, makes clear to him the inner posture of the inbreath. (Just as bending over and picking up a chair, as the avadhuta advised.) These goals just written are, in fact, prime and central purposes of these pranayamas, unknown to most.
The very same is true for the alternate nostril breathing that is routinely used in so-called yoga studios, spiritual retreats, and general yoguh. It is simply a milder version of sitkari and sitali. The purpose of the one-nostril breathing is to make the yogi newly aware of the breath. The one nostril produces a little more sound. (That one-nostril inbreath will ultimately become the fixed in-breath of Nityananda's state.) Then also, because of the reduction of the breathing channel one must pull all the more, thus one becomes more aware of the essential inbreathing act.
This is the real purpose of alternate nostril breathing, the mildest form of this, as well as the others. It is not necessary to do very many of these pranayamas, however, on occasion they will give you assistance in locking onto the inner acts. The sitali and sitkari -- also called tongue-hissing and teeth-hissing -- are more pronounced versions of alternate-nostrils. The noisy teeth-hissing is particularly good for grasping the sound. Visualize and here that Shaaaaa! Live on it! This is Nityananda's message.
Should one like to develop, he can also breath through increasingly smaller straws, the shorter the noisier. In this second interpretation, all these accomplish Nityananda's advice above of "breathing in so that the internal sound may be audible to the ears. But the real goal is to be able to hold the sound in your mind while engaging in the two airless inner actions. Perhaps your old granny has an old narrow lamp stem setting on her table back in Des Moines? Practice drawing air in through that. Try not to wake her! Use your imagination and get free of the gross breath, thus samadhi.
Do not think of anything else. Eating and drinking, coming and standing and eating, these do not elevate the soul.
The yogi should become devoted to the inner breath, loving to stay in it as much as possible. As he comes to love it, he cares more about staying in this breath than about eating, drinking, or going places. He does fall in love with the inner subtle breath.
Cook for yourself; do not desire to eat what others have cooked. O mind!
Find out all this yourself by testing and doing. Only personal effort and experience will show you. Don't simply read about it. Prove it to yourself. Eat the divine bliss of bhakti, chastity, faith, and meditation -- yourself.
Do what you do with faith.
Notice that Nityananda has brought
up simple faith throughout his utterances. Simple religious faith is
the real ground for walking on, when it comes to the occult attainments
of the Indian yogis or the same occult attainments of the Christian
saints. Nityananda is saying that all the yogic actions, meditations,
concentrations, and pranayama play should be done with an attitude of
faith, expectancy, and belief.
Prana is like a rope. When exhaling and inhaling it moves harmoniously.
This likely refers to the fact that the breath moves on its own, the two breaths continually connected; that it does as it likes and takes care of itself as always, even in this technique. "It moves harmoniously" was probably Nityananda speaking of the wisdom of the breath to develop this process on its own, or "it moves with its own wisdom." This relates to his meditation technique itself in which one allows the breath to do whatever it likes. (It is the kundalini-shakti that leads the devotee to kumbhaka states because this is the divine state and that's where the kundalini-wants to go.) In reality as one watches the breath in this technique, the breath is not necessarily smooth at all. It changes continually, can get frisky or extreme, and even erratic as the disciple watches it. Trying to keep the breath even or according to a certain ideal, to control it, is antithetical to the technique Nityananda used, in which the breath is allowed to do as it likes, with the religious person simply watching and giving it it's song. What the above comment references is the natural connectedness of the two breaths, like segments on a rope, one always following the other. He may be also referring to the "single pranic inbreath" state that was his final breathing goal.
Prana is indivisible, it has no difference of time. Prana feels this difference when it is coupled with the gross.
Prana is synonymous with akasa (space) and is one of the first evolutes of Isvara, the creating Lord. It is pure, intelligent, and effective. Everything is indeed permeated by prana and made of same. Nityananda is saying that just like the Lord, prana transcends time. That means it can do things in the past as well as the future, and is not ruled by the past or pre-existing conditions.
Prana should be tied down by the rope of faith.
This is one of my favorite statements by Nityananda. He is revealing that the mastery of kumbhaka finally relies on faith. Thus faith should be cultivated at the beginning, the middle, and the end as one pursues yogic attainment. Likewise it is very beneficial when children learn to cultivate faith early through the wisdom of the mother and father. This sets the ground for them later to attain renunciation, meditation, kumbhaka, and liberation to bless themselves and others. An inner heart of faith is really the engine of the yogic attainment of direct God-knowledge (samadhi), just as faith was the engine of enlightenment for the Christian saints. Faith is the rising up of instinctive divine knowledge that motivates our aspiration and effort.
Let prana attain moksha by its upward direction.
He is saying that in the end the yogi lets prana itself, in its natural "upward" (inbreath) direction which the yogi finds as his "seat," give him liberation, as an eagle might let warm canyon winds loft it up into higher skies. The kundalini and the prana want to bring the disciple to moksha of themselves. He is saying let the prana do so. "Upward direction" refers to the devotees aspirational inner opening and receiving. He is saying it is part of the evolution of this process that the aspirant seeks this posture more and more.
Liberation from the sensual ties is moksha.
Spiritual liberation is synonymous with destruction of all addictions and hankerings after sense pleasure, pre-eminently including sex for those with any mind to hear. It's another of Nityananda's many statements dissing sensuality, like where he says there should be no awareness of any place below the neck! (Sorry Los Angeles yoguhs and "tantrikas.") The avadhuta of Ganeshpuri was a classic renouncer and renunciation of all sensual bodily pleasure is central to that. The very word "avadhut" refers to a person of sublime detachment from the material world. Have no doubt that Nityananda was no playboy, so-called "tantrik," pleasure maven, or sexer. Nityananda was a classic renunciant who cultivated dispassion from all of the lower sense pleasures, as specified in the Yoga-Sutra and Bhagavad-Gita. Nothing he knew and none of the attainments he speaks of here are possible without chastity.
Then comes peace. O prana! Enter the abode of peace. Have under control both this world and the next!
When samadhi is finally attained, we have arrived at the other shore and our troubles are over. And when we attain heaven her, we will have it there. "Abode of peace" is one more beautiful way to refer to the heaven states of religious development., knowable in this life, after, and in-between. The blessings of savikalpa and nirvikalpa samadhi give mastery both in this world and the higher worlds.
Such souls will attain Satchitananda. They have no attachment to the results of karma.They are eternally liberated from bondage. They are eternally one-minded. They have conquered the qualities of the jiva.
"No attachment to the results of
karma" has two meanings: 1) The religious person becomes disinterested
in the karmic goings-on, and 2) The bondage-link between his life and
karma becomes severed. "Qualities of the jiva" likely refers to the the
jiva's involvement with the "three gunas" (qualities) of prakriti, of the
Sankhya philosophy. When prakriti
and her three gunas are conquered, all of nature has been conquered.
Just as small rivers enter the sea, our attention must be fixed on the internal breath.
He is saying to give all attention to the inner breath and become thoroughly addicted to the inner breath, and to the yogic kumbhaka that attends it. Instead of thinking of the thousand-and-one things, keep the mind on the breath. In other words, do the central technique. Like a kindly grandfather Nityananda is bringing us back to basic meditation ideas. He is probably also broaching one of his own visualizations in meditation, that of giving up one's breath to a divine sea, and also drawing upon that divine boon-bestowing sea. One of his more favorite visualizations, based on his many references to it, was that of breathing the inner sky which he called the "sky of the heart." The sky of the heart, in Nityananda's intention, is actually in the head at the kutastha (3rd eye) and the upper head. It is likely that Nityananda sometimes visualized that as a beneficent sea as well.
In the next section I show how the state described by Nityananda fully comports with the Yoga-Sutra, is definitely indicated in the Yoga-Sutra, and is in fact the central goal of yogic pranayama techniques.Copyright 2011 Julian Lee. All Rights Reserved.
Nityananda with his disciple,