IV: 38-39 Reaching Raja Yoga…

The fire of Wisdom burns away unTruth leaving only Truth, and fills us with faith, a Knowing that can be remembered during dry spells and keep us on track. 

There is with certainty, no purifier like true wisdom to be found here on earth. In time, one finds on one’s own that it is accomplished on its own, through Yoga. 

We are given a guarantee: The teachings we have received from Lord Krishna, will provide us with experience of Truth. This wisdom is the best purifier on the planet. If we practice this Yoga, we will find that it purifies and validates itself. This practice is Karma Yoga, Action Yoga, the subject of this and the previous chapter.

While we may struggle to understand all this now, if we just go forward with Karma Yoga, over time and experience it will prove itself to us. We will come to see for ourselves that it has its own purpose, and that this purpose is accomplished, not by us, but by itself.

Karma Yoga leads to samadhi. Then samadhi, which comes about through this purification process, becomes the purifier itself. 

Purification – Putting things where they belong in their natural order, and filtering out physical, mental and emotional impurities.

Samadhi – A blissful state of equanimity accomplished through union (yoga), which purifies, upstages the ego, and reveals our true Selves.

“True wisdom,” and the purification it brings through practice, continues to increase over time due to the upstaging of illusion through experience. Illusion slowly loses its power to dominate every-day reality as it becomes gradually replaced with true Reality.  

“Here on earth” suggests that it is here on earth that we have the opportunity to practice this Yoga and reach its pinnacle.

“Through Yoga”  While some say that Yoga is a psychology, a philosophy, or a theology concerning Spirit, others say that Yoga is physical-spiritual in nature. There need be no dispute here, for all these are true.

“Perfected in Yoga”  The Sanskrit word for ‘perfected’ also means ‘successful’, ‘completed’ and ‘hitting the mark’, the exact opposite of sin, ‘missing the mark’. The yogi successfully accomplishes Yoga by completing Raja Yoga. 

Raja Yoga (Royal Union)

Up until now, we have been primarily discussing Hatha Yoga, ‘Sun-Moon Union’, the subject of this and chapter three. Raja Yoga, ‘Royal Union’, occurs as a result of having sufficiently accomplished Hatha Yoga first, which is why Lord Krishna has been spending so much time on it. Once Hatha Yoga is accomplished, Raja Yoga takes the limelight and one experiences samadhi

Raja Yoga cannot be successfully completed without first sufficiently accomplishing Hatha Yoga.

The wisdom of Raja Yoga is different than the wisdom knowledge of Hatha Yoga. The wisdom of Raja Yoga comes about through samadhi, and ultimately the highest samadhi, absorption into the Absolute.

Samadhi is a product of kundalini’s work above the throat chakra, the realm of Raja Yoga.

Absorption into the Absolute is the ultimate proof of God, and of You and everyone else and our eternal existence. You know what you have always known, but now it is proved, right now, right here on planet earth, amongst all this static and confusion and Babble, and your awareness of yourself expands to include all others. This is a game changer, and you will never be the same again. 

Full of faith, one attains true wisdom. Having achieved it, the senses contained, one goes quickly beyond peace.

“Full of faith”  Having faith is a position of trust: you proceed trusting that these teachings are true, and even if you aren’t certain, or aren’t certain your understanding is correct, you go by the book and proceed as if they were the absolute truth.

If you don’t do this, you will never know—you will not have given yourself the opportunity to know, or given these teachings the opportunity to prove themselves to you, one way on the other. 

Your meditation is your ‘lab’.

According to this verse, they will prove themselves to be so, and you will ultimately attain true wisdom and the highest samadhi, the highest fulfillment on earth.

“Having achieved it, the senses contained”  Once you have experienced sabija samadhi for some time, pratyahara (‘the senses contained’) is set to take you into the next stage, nirbija samadhi. Down the line, when this finally happens, it happens quickly.

“One goes quickly beyond peace”  What is beyond peace is the Absolute. The highest samadhi is absorption into the Absolute. In this samadhi, peace doesn’t even begin to cover it, it is profoundly beyond any kind of peace we can know under ordinary circumstances, or even in sabija samadhi, for all opposites, which is what makes up our everyday ‘reality’, are gone. This happens suddenly without warning, in meditation.

There is a shift in one’s practice. One arrives at a new stage of Yoga. What once left the body (i.e., energy and attention flowing outward to objects of sense), stays in the body; what once went out, goes in; what once went down, goes up. Etc.

“To truly understand Yoga, you have to stand on your head.” — Yogeshwar Muni

This is the nature of Raja Yoga, which can only be accomplished to this degree by having gotten there via Hatha Yoga.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma

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Stages of Samadhi

Samadhi – equanimity, a uniform state of mind, union (yoga) with God, fulfillment. 

The First stage of samadhi — sabija, savikalpa, samprajnata.

The Highest samadhi — nirbija, nirvikalpa, asamprajnata.

Raja Yoga

Raja Yoga begins when Kundalini makes her home above the throat chakra, making the highest form of samadhinirbija (without-seed), possible. This is also called nirvikalpa (without-difference) samadhi. Prior to this, one experiences sabija (with-seed) samadhi, also called savikalpa (with-difference) samadhi.

These different names for the same things, arrived at by different people of different lineages, in different locations and times over centuries, provide us with multiple clues for understanding samadhi.

The First Stage of Samadhi

Direct experience of Truth.

‘Seed’ refers to desire in a dormant state. A seed is something in a potential state that is not manifest. So in sabija, with-seed samadhi, a seed of desire is present, and makes the experience one in which there is a distinction between the individual and what is being experienced: savikalpa. Another term for this samadhi is samprajnata samadhi, ‘with-a-knowable’.

Sabija – ‘with-seed’. Dormant desire is present.
Savikalpa – ‘with difference’. Differentiation between the individual and the experience.
Samprajnata – ‘with a knowable’. An object of knowledge is present and knowable, perceptible.

The Highest Samadhi

Absorption into The Absolute, unfathomable bliss and independence without separation.

As samadhi develops, the next stage, in which difference is not present, is nirbija, nirvikalpa, asamprajnata samadhi. There is no difference because there is no desire, not even a desire in a potential state—there are no desires at all. There is no sense of self, no object to know, to perceive, and no experiencing going on. The knower, the knowing and the known are differences that are not present with this highest samadhi. It is asamprajnata, absorption into the Absolute.

Nirbija – ‘without-seed’. Without desire.
Nirvikalpa – ‘without-difference’. Without distinctions.
Asamprajnata – ‘without-a-knowable’. Absorption.

Kundalini & Samadhi

Before Raja Yoga beginsthe first stage of samadhi may be experienced even though Kundalini has not yet made her permanent home at the sixth chakra. This happens when, with sufficient purification, the energy shoots up into the head but falls back to the first chakra (do not underestimate the importance of this chakra).

Although this may happen very quickly, a mere fraction of a second, it can last for several minutes, or even hours, and will go through changes until Kundalini is able to move house and retire to the the sixth chakra. At this point, Kundalini takes a new name: Maruti, Goddess of the Wind. Now the evolutionary force is fully awake, and She means business.

Durga Ma


Who Am I?


I am with a large multitude of people somewhere that is not inside of anything. I know some of the people nearest me but most are strangers. Nevertheless, I feel quite at home and pleasantly comfortable with everyone. Then there is a sound that we are all very much drawn to, and soon, people begin to act strangely:

They (this is very difficult to explain) seem to become confused about the people around them; they are scrambling around looking for them, their parents, siblings, other relatives and friends, and can’t recognize any of them and begin to recognize people that they don’t even know as being people they do know. But these people are also confused and don’t recognize those who think they recognize them as their own people, and the situation becomes more and more complicated and confused, with people running this way and that, trying to find their people. No one can remember anything. No one can remember anyone.

People begin wandering around and taking things from other people (we are all carrying some kind of luggage). Someone sees something in my backpack and says that I have something that belongs to them so they take it. I don’t resist this, and soon, my own luggage is empty so I leave it where it is and move on. I am not disturbed about losing it or anything that was in it.

Someone asks me to identify myself as the daughter of a woman they are trying to claim a relationship with, so I do. I don’t see why this matters so much anyway. A man looks furiously at me, but does nothing. I move on.

I am walking along and watching all this craziness and thinking it over. As I watch I realize that the reason no one knows who their people are is because they don’t know who they are. And I realize, this is God answering the request I made to show me what is going on with this crazy world.

I recall the famous question, “Who am I?” that I had always thought was such a strange question—how is it possible that a person does not know who they are? I realize that what I am being shown is why people don’t know who they are — they identify themselves with their relatives, their belongings, their bodies, etc. People depend on others—people and things—and their relationship with them, to show them who they are because this is the only way they can have some sense of themselves. But this is the very thing that keeps them hidden from themselves.

I have always known who I am. What is going on is that I know who I am and those around me do not, and this mass of confusion is what all this life in this world looks like.

A few years ago, I was asked to address a meditation class at a local church and was surprised that when I arrived they were all sitting in twos across from each other saying, “Tell me who you are” with the partner answering. I was invited to join and sit with someone without a partner. As people answered this statement with various and multiple descriptions of their names, their backgrounds, their homes and belongings, family and friends, what they like and don’t like, their professions, etc. My answer was always the same: “I’m this one.” My partner looked at me like I was nuts.

In the beginning was the Word (the sound we heard in the beginning). Subsequent identification with Creation caused everyone to forget who they are, and to look to others for this to be revealed to them.

At the onset of Creation we became identified with prakriti—nature, otherness—and left the Garden of Eden, the Absolute. The rest is history. A trip into the Absolute will change this. In yoga this is called nirvikalpa samadhi, a subject we will take up in the next few articles.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma

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