VI:44 From Failure to Success

Desire, which is an affirmation of lack, ends with fulfillment. This happy state is had when and to the degree one ignores desires and turns everything over to Absolute God/Truth. This works because in That, fulfillment is already complete, and what we surrender to is what we get.  

Continued from “The Wonders of Failure” (verses 40-43): 

Thus, without will, he is carried onward by prior practice. Just by wanting to know Yoga, he transcends Word-Brahman.

“Without will, he is carried onward by prior practice
With his arrival in a new body, the yogi is automatically carried forward by prior practice—he doesn’t have to try to make it so, it is going to happen even if he thinks he is aiming at something else.

The Sanskrit word for ‘without will’ tells us how it happens that he finds the path to which he is drawn: the non-willful path. The word for ‘without will’ also means ‘without desire’. It is through surrender to the Divine Beloved that one becomes desireless. Desirelessness is a natural effect of fulfillment. Through surrender to God/Truth one is fulfilled and desire no longer has a place. 

Desireless = Fulfilled

The Sanskrit for ‘prior’ also means ‘eastern’. The Eastern path is the path of the will, which is where our ‘fallen yogi’ has arrived from. 

The Eastern path is every adult’s prior path. We learn how to use our will throughout childhood. In adulthood we can continue in this manner indefinitely, or we can at some point, choose the path that is “without will”, the Western path.

It is this non-willful path that our yogi has been drawn to. He has had enough of willful practices and their repercussions, and has tasted the honey of surrender and recognizes it as his own. 

“Just by wanting to know Yoga, he transcends Word-Brahman”
Word-Brahman refers to the Vedas, but the word veda also covers any authentic scripture or written text on God/Truth and the means of reaching It. Like many written
spiritual or religious texts, the Vedas read as willful, and our yogi has now transcended this. 

  • The Sanskrit for ‘transcend’ means ‘to pass beyond, surpass, get over, overcome’. Broken into its parts it means ‘beyond’ + ‘turning, revolving’—to get beyond the willful path, beyond the path of going around in circles.
  • The Sanskrit for ‘word’ also means ‘sound, voice, speech, the sacred syllable Om, and oral tradition’.
  • Brahman is Absolute God/Absolute Truth.

Getting Beyond Word-Brahman

Getting beyond the need for explanations of God in words, because now you know God directly.

The Vedas are also called Brahman, God, just as the Bible is God, or the Word, or the Word of God. So we can see there may be more than one interpretation of Word-Brahman.

  • Scriptures, written or spoken
  • The Vedas
  • The sound of God (OM, Amen)
  • Oral tradition

To go beyond the scriptures means that one has had enough experience of yoga (union) to get beyond the literal words they contain to deeper understanding.

To go beyond the Vedas means the same thing, but is also a reference to getting beyond the many rituals and laws of the Vedas to the ‘ritual actions’ (kriyas) of spontaneous, non-willful sadhana.

Sadhana – Spiritual practice. Sanskrit: The means of going straight to the goal. Mastering, cure, completion, perfection.

To go beyond the sound of God, is to get beyond the nada, sound heard directly in meditation, to later stages of sadhana and union with The Absolute (asamprajnata samadhi).

To go beyond oral tradition means that one has received the mysteries, which are only imparted orally by the teacher (guru).

So our yogi has transcended resorting to Vedic rituals for the purpose of obtaining their fruits (fulfilling desires). He has gone beyond the recitation of sacred texts considered to be Brahman. (The primary means of accessing these texts in earlier times was memorization and recitation). Having gone beyond them, he is a knower of them, and because of his advanced state, he also understands them and their hidden meanings through his own experience obtained through yoga practice.

His love for Yoga, which has been reawakened in him, carries him onward towards successfully completing Yoga and attaining liberation and perfection.

Surrender Meditation

Spontaneous, experiential meditation.

This chapter is called The Yoga of Meditation, so this yogi’s practice of Yoga is the practice of meditation. But why meditation rather than other Yoga practices?

Because the yogi is sincerely pursuing union with God/Truth and the freedom of moksha, liberation, he is subject to the forces of accelerated evolution (kundalini). Evolution involves change, change that is deeper and more profound than the changes we make in ourselves and in our lives as normal human beings.

This powerful force often produces effects not sanctioned by society in general. The yogi, being sensitive to the First Principle of Yoga (harmlessness) does not allow these effects to take place among the uninitiated. Instead, he establishes a meditation practice for this purpose. This is his sadhana.

Within the context of his sadhana, other practices of Yoga may also arise spontaneously (‘without will’). Because he is changed by the process, and because he is completely free during this time he has set aside, he slowly finds his way to union (yoga) with God and the true freedom of moksha.

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

Divine Sound

The Sixth Chakra, Continued. 

One of the most exciting, inspiring and reassuring things that can happen to you in Surrender Meditation is the experience of Divine Sound.

The experience of Divine Sound (nada, in Sanskrit) is an experience of direct perception that occurs spontaneously in Surrender Meditation when your inherent power manifests as your ability to perceive without the aid of the senses. Through this experience you discover something important: you begin to understand that you really do have power and can access it, and that the sense organs that you have thus far been limited to and dependent upon are the result of this power—you have eyes because you can see, ears because you can hear, and so forth with all five senses. Scientific tradition will tell you that this is backwards, but you will come to know the truth through your own experience of nada.

Normally, it is the vibrations of a medium, such as air, water or earth, that produce audible sound. With nada however, there is no medium, yet sound is heard. There is no medium because you are perceiving directly. 

With the experience of nada there is the perceiver, you, and there is something to perceive, something other than you. If you think of this as you in relationship to another individual, you have a situation in which there is something happening between the two of you. What is happening is energy, energy in a state of motion—vibration, oscillation—producing subtle sound that cannot be heard with the physical ears.

The Word of God

“In the beginning is the Word…”. The Word is OM (aum), the fundamental Divine Sound that manifests all forms. The vibrations of energy flowing between each of us is the Word, is this created world and everything in it. This is why the world is said to be an illusion (maya)—because we see it as stuff when what it really is is us and our relationship. And it all began with a song. The song is OM.

The Sound of OM
From Living the Mysteries, © 1999, Durga Ma and Terry Anne Preston, Ph.D.

While meditating in my hut, I sometimes heard groups of people walking by. This disturbed my solitude, so, one day I  decided to end my meditation and have a look to see what was  going on. There was no one there. Only the sound of people passing. Their voices trailed off as they went on into the  distance. I don’t know what that was. It was very strange. Perhaps groups of people had once walked that trail before and left residuals of their passing. I got used to it and  eventually it no longer disturbed my meditation.

One day when I was meditating and in a very deep meditative state, I heard what I assumed was this ghostly sound, so I didn’t really pay much attention to it at first. But  the sound changed.  

I perceived the vibrations of the sound at the base of my spine and ‘heard’ the sound in every cell of my body, even though the sound seemed to be coming from outside at the  same time. It became very loud and rumbled like the lowest note you could imagine on a big pipe organ in a big  cathedral. This rumbling sound turned into a tone of definite, but very, very low pitch. It shook my very foundations—literally. 

As it continued, the tone became more and more refined as it made its way up the central core of my body. This was  very real. I could ‘feel’ it, though not in the same way we feel the body being touched by something. The vibrations of the  sound were quite perceptible and changed as they rose higher and higher in my body at higher and higher frequencies. I  went from surprise, to fascination, to delight.  

I could hear it, I could feel it, and I could even see it. As its color finally changed into a pale, light-bright violet blue, the sound began to cease being a sound. The vibrations flat-lined and then complete silence prevailed. The colors became pure light. Delight turned to joy and then to ecstasy. 

What was remarkable was that, while all this was going on, I was again experiencing the paradox of Divine Sound … only this time it was in its pure form—all  pitches simultaneously (a ‘pitch’ is the highness or lowness of a tone), no single one more than any other, and yet, only a  single tone.


The next time you see something in one of my blogs, or a mystical text, having to do with sound, words, music, etc., remember nada, Divine Sound, the Song of God. See the “Resources” below.

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


“On Music & Dance” by Swami Kripalu”
A search on this site for “OM” will get you several more articles.

Mystical Text:
Start with something simple and easy to read and digest: The original Bhagavad Gita, “The Song of God”.

Surrender Meditation:
Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga Meditation — Apply for Remote Shaktipat
Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga Meditation — Book a Shaktipat Intensive

Go to the list of posts on KUNDALINI and the chakras.


Kundalini and the Magic Flute

We each have a tonal center, a certain pitch to which our own bodies are tuned, just like a musical instrument.

Imagine that your sushumna [the central energy channel in the body] is like a bamboo stalk that has been made into a flute.  The finger holes represent the seed sounds of the chakras—seven holes and seven notes in a musical scale.  In deep meditation, when the energy passes through this central channel, heavenly music is playing and can be heard.  It’s not like hearing it in your mind or your imagination.  It’s as real, even more real than if you were to have it performed for you in your own meditation room by an angel.  Hearing this sound is more profound, more beautiful, more joyful, than anything that can be experienced here in our everyday world.  You may have seen pictures of Krishna playing a bamboo flute.  This is one meaning of this scriptural art.  Krishna is an incarnation of Vishnu, the sustainer of life.  It is prana, the incarnation of Vishnu in your body, flowing through the sushumna that creates the music of this magic flute.

Listening to music from external sources can also affect the chakras.   It is not surprising that so many attempts have been made, some with considerable success, to use music therapeutically.   In just what way music affects the chakras depends on the music.

Each component of music has an effect on the body through the chakra system, but it is tone and pitch (the highness or lowness of tone) that are most apparent.  Tone and noise are both the result of vibrations, but the vibrations that create tones are of equal size and distribution, regular and even, whereas the vibrations that create noise are irregular and uneven and haven’t the power to affect the chakras in the same way.

Just as the color white is the crystallization of all the colors of the spectrum, in music, every tone is made up of all pitches organized in specific intervals, becoming subtler as they become higher.  All the pitches that make up a specific tone are not ordinarily distinguishable to the human ear.  They are known as ‘overtones’, or ‘harmonics.’  The formula for the harmonic intervals that make up a tone are the same for each tone.  The only difference between the pitch of one tone and another is the order of the subtle pitches in the harmonic sequence.

The chakra system is based on this system of harmonics.  Comparing the sushumna and the chakras to a flute is suggestive.  Just as vibrations are the cause of sound, vibrations are the effect experienced when energy passes through a chakra.  Just as the movement of air through the flute causes it to sound, the movement of energy through the sushumna causes it to sound.  This sound is heard is deep meditation and is called anahata nada, unstruck sound.  When this Divine Sound is heard in meditation, chakras are being played—opened and refined.  The chakras in the harmonic sequence of the chakra being ‘played,’ also sound.

If you want to see for yourself how this principle works, try an experiment:  If you lift the dampers from the strings of an acoustic piano (push down on the pedal on the right) and play a certain pitch on a violin, or even with your voice, you can hear the strings sounding in the back of the piano that are tuned to that pitch as well as the closest harmonics that make up that pitch.  Another experiment is to silently depress a ‘G’ above middle ‘C’ and hold it down while you strike and release (quickly and loudly) the middle ‘C’.  What you will hear as you continue to hold down the ‘G’, is the ‘G’ and some of its harmonics—even though you never struck the ‘G’.  Similarly, if chakra number one is sounded in meditation, chakra number four will also be vibrated.

From Living the Mysteries, Copyright ©1999,
Durga Ma and Terry Anne Preston, Ph.D.

Go to the list of articles on Kundalini

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