The acquisition of knowledge through reading mystical texts and through hearing the oral teachings of a guru will not get you to the goal. Such knowledge is imperative however, in order to understand the sadhana well enough to gain the experience necessary for reaching the goal (see Surrender). Such experience is gained through practice (sadhana).
Oral teachings, scripture and experience must be reconciled—one without the other is incomplete. Experience takes place over time in your own “lab,” your sadhana. As an example of the kind of experiences that may be had with Sahaja Yoga sadhana, I offer the following:
To Heaven in a Balloon
From Living the Mysteries, Copyright ©1999, Durga Ma and Terry Anne Preston, Ph.D.
There are…subtler lokas, places that don’t exist in the physical world as we know it…
Deep in meditation and in the state of yoga nidra, I dreamed that Swami Kripalu had come to visit us and I had the privilege of showing him some of the sights of the area. This, of course, was our idea of trying to do everything possible to make his stay pleasant. With any luck, we might entice him into staying longer or, at the very least, to return soon.
We traveled by car to an area where I knew hot air balloons would be taking off. He thought this was wonderful. I suggested we go up. Swami Kripalu had that delightful wonder of a child at his first circus. Smiling broadly, he clapped his hands and said, “Yes, yes, yes indeed, let us go up!” I too, was thrilled, for I had never been up in a balloon and had always wanted to. I was delighted that we would be doing this together.
As we ascended in the balloon, we marveled at the diminishing cars, people, trees and roads. The earth got smaller, and as we floated up there came a silence as the hot air switched off. It was lovely being high over the world in a balloon with Swami Kripalu. It was heaven.
Dreams being what they are, we continued to rise. At first I didn’t think anything of it, but as we began to rise into a very high cloud bank I began to feel a little nervous. I wondered how Swami Kripalu was feeling and looked to see the oddest faint smile on his face. Odd as in ‘the cat that got the canary.’ I couldn’t understand this self-satisfied expression since we had continued to rise and were now so deeply into the clouds that we couldn’t even tell which way was up. The six directions were a complete mystery up here. Now I was beginning to move from ‘a little nervous’ to down right scared. But Swami Kripalu peacefully rode on with that pleased smile.
Some time passed like this, traveling through the clouds, not knowing which way we were going. Finally I expressed my alarm to Swami Kripalu. He didn’t answer but looked at me and smiled, and in that instant I realized that I was no longer dreaming. I was out of my body and I was really with Swami Kripalu. The balloon disappeared as we floated through the mist.
Suddenly, we burst through the clouds into the bright light of a cloudless day, the clouds at our feet, transporting us to a nearby world of beauty. I looked at Swami Kripalu and his smile broadened. He had known where we were going all along! As we stepped out onto lush green grass, it was immediately apparent that he knew this place well.
Surrounding us was calm, crystalline water and floating islands not unlike the one on which we stood. It is difficult to describe the beauty of this place. There was no light shining from anywhere making this scene visible. Everything was visible on its own. It fit the phrase, ‘shown of its own light.’ The colors were not of this world. They were more beautiful, more clear, more luminous. This place was perfectly pure. Surely I must be in heaven!
Sitting on large and small islands were many beings. Some were in deep meditation and others were not, but all were clearly siddhas (adepts). I was aware that some of these beings no longer inhabited physical bodies and some were out of their bodies in meditation. Perhaps some were from other planets, other planes of existence, or other dimensions where physical existence was completely different from how we know it.
Some of these beings were sitting alone and others were with devotees who blissfully waited on their Masters’ every need. These devotees were also siddhas but had somehow managed to find themselves in the fortunate position of serving their Masters. Their delight was effervescent and contagious.
Swami Kripalu allowed me to indulge in wonder for a while and then he led the way to one of the larger islands. There were several beings on this island. At its center was a large, beautiful canopy where someone who must be very important was seated on a raised dais. As we came nearer, I could see that this being was a woman. We pranamed at her holy feet to receive her blessing and circumambulated her three times.
Her eyes had the same appearance as the White Swami’s—deep, dark avenues into infinity that gave me the feeling that, just as the White Swami had, she knew everything there was to know about me and I knew that I had known her for many ages. That was not the only similarity. Like him, she had the same opalescent appearance of youth and purity, the same wondrous eyes shone with unconditional divine love.
Having spent some time in this wonderful place in the presence of these Holy Ones, there would never be any turning back. My life would be dedicated to reaching the end of my spiritual path here on Earth regardless of circumstances, regardless of failures, regardless of hopelessly ‘dry spells’ when nothing seemed to be happening in the way of progress, regardless of the many obstacles that are inevitable on the path to Truth and sustained union with God.
A year later, while studying a Sanskrit mystical work, I found a description of Her and this place. She is goddess Parvati who presides over the heaven of the siddhas, Siddha Loka, where only adepts can enter.
Thus had oral teachings, scripture and personal experience become reconciled.
The experience I have related here is not unusual. I share this experience with you as an example of some of the many amazing things that can occur through the surrender of Sahaja Yoga.
As with anything one pursues with repeated practice in life, meditation also advances over time and experience. Sometimes just knowing some of the possibilities can be inspiring enough to increase one’s motivation to meditate and to hang in there.
In a book entitled Living the Mysteries, from which this experience was taken, Dr. Terry Preston has recorded some of the earlier years of my sadhana. In this book you will find more experiences and hopefully come to understand the magnitude of your own unlimited potential and get an idea of the possibilities that await you.
List of installments on Sahaja Yoga
Visit Shaktipat and related pages on my web site for information on local and remote shaktipat diksha and initiation into Sahaja Yoga.
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