Kripalu Talks About His Guru, Lakulisha

In the woods and naturally beautiful places of ancient India, yoga has been studied and practiced in great depth. Due to this deep study and practice of yoga, the great yogis, such as Lakulish, have been able to keep their bodies in their original condition. This kind of body is called the Divine Body. It is unchanging and immortal.

Swami Kripalu

Scritpures of India say that one is a complete yogi ony after going beyond birth and death. The yogis have always been interested in prolonging the time between birth and death, not because they are attracted to the body, but because they wish to fulfill their desire to know the soul to the highest possible extent. Death and disease interfere with the fulfillment of that desire.

Unless the body can stay long enough, it takes many lifetimes for the yogi to know the deep secrets of the soul and find the highest Truth. A yogi’s life energy must become and remain steady in order for him to become established in samadhi. When this life energy then reaches into the top chakra (thousand petaled chakra), at such time the yogi enters samadhi and is very much like a child in the mother’s womb. This is the type of thinking and searching for Truth that intensely prevailed in ancient India.

There are many who ask, “If there are so many yogis in India, why it it so poor?”

It should not be forgotten that at one time India was one of the most prosperous countries inthe world. However, the rise and fall in fortunes that occurs in worldly life happens equally to all countries. So India is now going through one of these stages and is currently in decline. It is possible that America might experience the kind of prosperity which was experienced earlier in India. Spiritual science can best properly spread in a prosperous country.

I have an American disciple, Yogeshwar Muni. He plans now to build a large temple named, Bhagavan Brahmeshvara (God, Master of Creation, Shiva), and he hopes to establish the statue of Lord Lakulisha in that temple. In this scientific country it is very necessary for this statue to be available so that secrets of it can be found. Then someone from America will become a true complete yogi and will look at that statue with tears rolling from their eyes, saying, “This is Truth”.

This is the country of science, and I have complete faith that this will definitely happen here. What is America? India is one room in the house, America is another room in the same house. The whole world is one big residence, one big family.

Jaya Bhagavan (victory to God),
Durga Ma

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The Appearance of Lakulisha

Yesterday, I chanced to come upon an old book I had been looking for a while back and had given up on finding, thinking it was surely lost for good. This book has no author’s name or other information, just a cover with the title, Giver of Grace, and the sub-title, Stories From The Lineage. It just starts right out and goes on for a hundred pages or so.

Giver of Grace is the English translation of my sadguru’s name, Kripalu, so it is clear that these stories come from him. His gracious and powerful legacy has been the greatest boon of my life. So that I can share this with you in some small way, I have decided to share some of these stories with you with the occasional comment or observation.

Jaya Gurudeva!

The Appearance of Lakulisha

While attempting to end his life, Kripalu had his first meeting with Lakulisha. Lakulisha intervened, coming to him in the form of an old sanyasi. For one and a quarter years, he taught Kripalu at an ashram in Bombay. During that time, Lakulisha remained in the form of the old sanyasi, and never told Kripalu his name. However, he assured Kripalu that after Kripalu became a swami, he would appear to him in his true form.

Kripalu did indeed take swami vows, and in the Himalayas ten years later, Lakulisha came to Kripalu again. This time Lakulisha came in his true form, his immortal Divine Body.

Kripalu continued to live a life of service, and in 1950, Lakulisha came to him again and told him it was time to begin meditating ten hours a day.

In 1955, through another divine ‘accident’, the true name of Lakulisha was revealed to him. How this happened is the subject of this story.

Kripalu has written many bhajans (songs to God). His way of sharing his experiences was to sing the bhajan, then tell the story and spiritual principles contained in the song. This story of Lakulisha comes from the bhajan, “To Appear”. Kripalu called it an historical bhajan because it tells the history of the appearance of the statue (murti) of Lord Lakulisha, Kripalu’s beloved gurudeva. Historically, according to the Puranas, Lakulisha first appeared on earth two thousand years ago. He was a great yogi and was later recognized as the twenty-eighth reincarnation of Lord Shiva.


Shiva is one of the Hindu trinity, Brahma (creator), Vishnu (sustainer) and Shiva (transformer), which are often seen as mythological characters. However, according to my lineage, both Shiva and Vishnu were living persons of long, long ago who reached the highest yoga (though I don’t know if the word yoga was in use at that time or not, but you get the drift).

This highest of accomplishments ends the necessity for further incarnations in this world, through ascension if one is going to carry on in some another plane of existence, or Divine Body if one is going to stick around to give us struggling mortals a boost. For Lakulisha, it was Divine Body, the “true form” mentioned in the story.

For most of us, the concept of Divine Body gives immortality new meaning, yet it is spoken of by Paul in his own terms in his letters to the Corinthians, with Christ as its ultimate demonstration. It is mentioned in other places in the Bible as well, but I am not one who has the kind of memory needed to spout book and verse, so you’re on you own here.

If you would like to do a little sleuthing on an excerpt from I Corinthians, read the post, Sleuthing Scripture 2 – Decoding Scriptural Teachings. To add to your sleuthing adventure, consider the meaning of the name, Lakulisha. Lakulisha means “master-bearer of the club”. You’ll have to think esoterically about this club business, so I’ll leave you to it.

Durga Ma

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Surrender Meditation & Non-Doership

In Surrender Meditation, activities generated by the Life Force (prana) occur spontaneously. 

You experience that these activities are done without the control of the mind, that they are the activities of Prana, and that you are not the doer of these actions. And though there may be thoughts in the mind, they are not controlling things but are merely incidental.

The dilemma here is that you have been taught that you must always take responsibility for your actions, so how can it be acceptable to not assume responsibility for your actions in meditation? The answer is simple: Eliminate the “always” and limit assuming responsibility for your actions to everywhere at all times except for the time you are meditating alone in your own meditation room.

As long as you assume the role of the actor, you bind the Prana to your will. As long as Prana remains in bondage, karma is acquired and Kundalini remains dormant. The bondage of karma is the property of the ego, (ahamkara, “I am the doer”). All actions for which the ego accepts responsibility create bondage, whether for good or ill.

By assuming the role of the actor, you are bound by action (karma) and the Life Force (prana) is not free.

Physical activities done without the control of the mind are the activities of Prana. This describes the spontaneous physical activities that occur during Surrender Meditation and should make clear the necessity of allowing such actions to arise. The necessity is that you experience non-doership for yourself.

When everything is being taken care of by Pranayou are in effect, inactive in the midst of activity. You are not doing anything, so you are not bound by action (karma). In the state of Union (yoga) you are fulfilled, so because there is nothing left to desire, there is nothing to do. This state of non-doership is the essence of Surrender Meditation.

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From The Song of God, a translation of the original Bhagavad Gita,
Durga Ma, ©1994

When you know inaction in action, and action in inaction, wisdom is attained, and all actions performed are Yoga. When desirous intentions are excluded from all your undertakings, karma is consumed in the fire of this wisdom. When you have let go of all attachment to the effects of action and are always accepting of what may come, even when acting, you do, in effect, nothing at all.

When action is performed with the body alone in the absence of any self-involvement for personal gratification or gain, no karma is incurred. Content with whatever comes … when you remain the same in success or failure, even though you act, you are not bound.

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From The Science of Meditation,
Swami Kripalu, ©1977:

When the body acts under the control of the mind, ego is projected into the mind, and unnecessarily accepts the responsibility of being the ‘doer’.

Through the practice of dhyana (meditation) generated by the grace of God or guru (shaktipat), one can experience inactivity in activity. Because the aspirant clearly realizes that physical activities done without the control of the mind are the activities of prana (life energy), he remains inactive and devoid of desire. Activity is activity and inaction is inaction, yet one can experience inaction in action and action in inaction. What a wonderful experience! Activity devoid of ego is true inactivity.

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Egoless Activities of Prana:

  • Action free of desirous intentions 
  • Action done without attachment to the action 
  • Action done without attachment to the effects of the action
  • Action free of self-involvement for personal gratification or gain
  • Action done with equanimity in success or failure

Because you relinquish doership by surrendering yourself to the Divine in meditation, the Divine takes care of everything, you incur no karma, and Prana, no longer under the domination of the will, is free. When Prana is free in the body it purifies the energy channels. When these channels have become sufficiently purified, deep meditation occurs spontaneously, and the stage is set for direct experience, samadhi and union with the Absolute.

Durga Ma

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