Vibhuti — Supremacy and Powers

In the next few entries, we will take a brief look into Royal Union (Raja Yoga), which is what Sun-Moon Union (Hatha Yoga) leads to. The function of Hatha Yoga is to bring about sufficient clearing of the body to make it fit for Raja Yoga. The function of Raja Yoga is to clear the mind.

It may come as a surprise to some of you that Patanjali has placed the last three of the Eight-Limbs of Union (Ashtanga Yoga) in an entirely different chapter. Why do you suppose this is?

Consider the title of this third chapter.

This chapter is called Vibhuti, Superhuman Powers. I think we can safely assume by this that the last three of the eight limbs, or steps, of yoga are special in and of themselves, and manifest (develop) over time as a result of reaching the stage of sadhana that we call Raja Yoga.

III:1  Concentration (dharana) is the binding of the mind-stuff (chitta) to one place.

You can think of concentration as getting your attention to concentrate on something, or as the Life Energy (prana) becoming concentrated in one place in the body. It works either way—where the attention goes, the energy flows, and vise versa.

In this first sutra, we have the word chitta showing up right of the bat. Now you know why I went through those last three issues on “The Mind and How It Works,” where you learned that chitta, or mind-stuff, the ‘substance’ of the individual mind, consists of consciousness and energy. You might think of chitta as having coalesced ‘somewhere’ in the mind of God, as having become concentrated around You with your own view-point, and is now busy collecting all sorts of data at the beck and call of the senses and dancing around with all that stuff…collecting and collecting and thinking and remembering and trying to figure things out. So, even your own mind is “a binding of mind-stuff to one place.” Your own mind is made up ofa concentration of consciousness and energy—chitta—in one place.”

Consciousness and energy are not the same thing, but as mind-stuff, chitta, they are a team. When you try to concentrate on something, you attempt to establish a flow of consciousness, or attention, to that one thing, one object, one place, and the energy automatically goes with it: “Where the attention goes, the energy flows.” You’ve heard me say that a million times. Now you know why. But what has all this to do with Royal Union (Raja Yoga)?

In Sun-Moon Union (Hatha Yoga), union was of prana and apana, the up-trending warming energy in the body with the down-trending cooling energy in the body. The purpose of Sun-Moon was to prepare the body for Royal Union (Raja Yoga). Sun-Moon Union occurred at the base of the spine at the first chakra. This rattled the snoozing evolutionary force, Kundalini, into waking up so She could do what She was there to do in the first place: start moving up the central channel (sushumna nadi) so She could get you what you have been chasing after for so long, for so many lifetimes. So long in fact, that you’ve probably forgotten what it was: Home.

Home is God, God in the Absolute sense. Absolute God, absolute freedom and timeless bliss. Royal Union (Raja Yoga) is the union of you and God.

Now, someone will probably say something like this: “But we’re already in union with God, so what on earth are you talking about?” I’m talking about this as a shift of your sense of Reality as a result of having directly experienced this, not as something you know about from a book or a blog or a guru. You may already know about this, but it isn’t truly Real for any of us as long as we’re identified with our bodies and our minds. It isn’t truly Real for us as an idea that we believe to be true.

A direct experience only takes an instant and may only last an instant, but it is significant. This instant is but a knock on the door, but it will leave you with a mental impression of it, a memory, that you’ll never forget. As direct experience of Truth continues to crop up, you will begin to see through the door, and ultimately you will walk through the door and meet God face to face.

One has entered Raja Yoga when Kundalini moves house from the base of the spine (muladhara chakra) to the center between the eyebrows (ajna chakra). Like all moves, this can be quite a job and take some time—it’s a transitional process aided by Hatha Yoga until the job is done. This first sutra is about this move, this transition.

Once Kundalini is settled in, we get settled in. This is the subject of sutra number two, coming up next week.

Durga Ma

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The Mind and How It Works – Part 1

What the Mind Is  

It’s always good to know more about what you’re living with every day.  It is hoped that by knowing more about your mind, it might run you around the block a little less, giving you more freedom to make your own choices consciously, more flexibility for understanding things better, more influence due to your mastery of such a mysterious thing as a mind, and more competence with everything in general.

The mind is a conglomerate of consciousness, energy, and all its concomitant functions. It is filled with things perceived through the senses along with their opposites. Just as a flute is mute until the musician plays it, the mind is merely an instrument.

The mind is the mother of the brain. Just as we have said about the senses—you have eyes because you can see, it’s not the other way around—you can think of the relationship between the brain and the mind in the same way: you have a brain because you have a mind. Knowing more about the mind and how it works will tell you something about yourself, and will very likely shed some light on your current situation as a non-physical individual entity presently taking up residence in a human body.

What the Mind Isn’t

The mind, and the brain for that matter, is not intelligent. It only appears to be intelligent because of the all-knowing-You behind it. (You really do know everything, though it’s a little daunting trying to get access to all of that information whenever we want.)

You have eyes because you can see, but it isn’t really the eyes that see. Take away the vision center in the brain and the eyes are still there with their images, but still the eyes do not see. The eyes are just an external instrument. The mind has to reach out to a seeable object and bring an image back to the vision center in the brain before the eyes can see it. The same goes for the other four senses.

It All Began With You

Self or Soul (Atman)

In the Absolute, you exist as a non-physical individual entity in a blissful state of perfection, with unlimited potential and the same qualities attributed to God. You have the ability to be conscious and to become self-aware. You have free-will and the ability to employ it, so you do . . .

Sense of Self (Asmita) 

You become self-aware. You are aware of your own existence.

Self and Other (Purusha & Prakriti) 

Having become self-aware, you exercise your ability to be conscious and you become aware of another self. You are now conscious of something other than You, from the point-of-view of You. There is You (purusha) and there is other-than-You (prakriti). Duality has made its entrance and generates a powerful force from which your own individual mind is produced.

© Copyright 2009, revised 2012, Durga Ma and Phoenix Metaphysical Institute, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

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In the next installment, we will continue with Part Two on the subject of The Individual Mind next week.

Durga Ma

Mental Yoga

A few weeks ago at a weekend retreat, because we were few we opted to modify the agenda to suit ourselves and decided unanimously to focus all of our sessions on Mental Yoga. This allowed me to get you through an introduction to all five levels (thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, state-shifting, or feelings, and advanced state-shifting), and for you to learn more about your mind, get better access to it and its machinations and to better exercise your power of choice over them.

I would like to get some feedback from you on how you felt about the value of Mental Yoga. Please let me know your thoughts about this course/workshop and if you found it informative and useful. I welcome your evaluations and any questions you may have.

Durga Ma