“Sahaja Yoga is different from other yogas because it begins with self-realization” – Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
Here are the details of another interesting branch of yoga. This one is based on self-realization. It is a beautiful combination of meditation and yoga and borders on the principles of Kundalini Yoga. Sounds like something you want to know more about? Read on…
Sahaja Yoga 101
- What Is Sahaja Yoga Meditation?
- How Does It Work?
- How Is Sahaja Yoga Different From The Other Kinds Of Yoga?
- The Concepts Underlining Sahaja Yoga
- The Benefits Of Sahaja Yoga
- How To Do The Sahaja Yoga?
- What Must You Do Before You Begin With The Meditation?
What Is Sahaja Yoga Meditation?
On the 5th of May 1970, a woman who had dedicated her life to humanity finally found a way to unlock the spiritual potential of humankind. While meditating, she experienced the awakening of her own primordial energy. She knew at that very moment that she had to make this knowledge accessible to everyone who was interested. She traveled around the world and gave free sermons. This is what her speeches spoke about.
Sahaja Yoga meditation technique is used to sustain an awakening that happens due to self-realization. The word Sahaja has two very different meanings. It means both ‘spontaneous’ and ‘born with you.’ It is usually an energy form that flows within you. Yoga means to join or unite. So, Sahaja Yoga is all about combining the inner self with the individual. When the individual consciousness merges with the collective consciousness, the kundalini forces integrate, bringing peace and balance not only within individuals, but also between them.
How Does It Work?
Mataji compares Sahaja Yoga to the seeds that sprout and the flowers that bloom. We see it happen, but we don’t know how it happens. It happens because of the all-pervading power of Divine love. This is the instrument that we need to realize and feel is flowing within us. The connection has to be made with the mains. We will realize our true beauty and potential only once that is established, and the results will be dynamic. We must understand that this connection is not a mental one.
How Is Sahaja Yoga Different From The Other Kinds Of Yoga?
Sahaja Yoga begins with self-realization, rather than the inaccessible aspiration of a distant goal. Traditionally, a Guru had a group of disciples under him, who he would train, cleanse their inner self, and also guide them through the growth process of life.
In today’s day and age, and as Mataji calls it, the Blossom Time, people are becoming their own Gurus as they find their spontaneity through self-realization. She has found a simple groundbreaking method to do this.
This form of yoga doesn’t need an instructor. It is more about being aware of your inner self through meditation and Kundalini Yoga.
The Concepts Underlining Sahaja Yoga
Sahaja Yoga uses some key concepts to enable this inner awakening. These concepts are not something you haven’t heard of before. Here is an account of these ideas. Hopefully, these will help you relate to the practice better.
The Kundalini is situated in the human body at the base of the spine in the sacrum bone, between the Muladhara chakra and the Swadisthana chakra. It is the power of pure desire within our being, a motherly presence, and a spiritual energy. Kundalini is born deep within us. The Sahaja Yoga practice claims that the Kundalini can be awakened effortlessly and spontaneously.
Once the Kundalini energy is awakened, its manifestation comes in the form of vibrations called Chaitanya, which is the integration of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual selves. Shri Mataji Nirmala Deviji says, “Kundalini cures you, improves you, and showers you with blessings. It keeps you free from all the problems of the material world”.
According to Sahaja Yoga, self-realization is the awakening of the Kundalini by activating all the six chakras above the sacrum bone through the Sushmana Nadi. It is the inner awakening of the shining star that is our spirit. This self-realization is the first step towards enlightenment or moksha. After self-realization, the individual becomes conscious of the inner workings of his body as well as the presence of his spirit and the divine power.
3. The Subtle System
Sahaja Yoga believes in the ancient philosophy of the subtle body underlying the physical body. This subtle body consists of a network formed by Nadis (channels of energy), Chakras (energy centers), and Kundalini. Harmony, balance, and well-being of the subtle body ensure the health of the physical body. There are three vertical channels of energy called nadis and seven main chakras.
Breaking Down The Nadis
There are three nadis in the body – the Pingala, the Ida, and the Sushmana.
The Pingala Nadi, also known as the right channel and the sun channel, is found on the right side of the body. It begins at the Swadisthana chakra and ends at the Ajna chakra, passing to the left temple. This nadi provides the active energy needed for mental and physical activities. If this side dominates, the personality becomes aggressive, and the entire system is thrown off balance. This often leads to heart diseases.
The Ida Nadi, also known as the moon channel and the left channel, is a vertical energy channel found on the left side. It starts from the first chakra, i.e. Muladhara, and ends at the Ajna chakra, crossing the superego i.e. the right temple. This nadi provides us with the energy for desires and emotions. If this side dominates, it can result in emotional extremism, which can lead to depression, senility, epilepsy, and other mental disorders.
The Sushmana Nadi is known as the middle path, and begins at the Kundalini and ends at the highest chakra, Sahasrara, passing through all the other chakras. This nadi represents the balanced energy and is activated when the Kundalini is awakened.
A Brief Insight Into The Seven Chakras
Chakras are the energy centers spread throughout the body. The word chakra means ‘wheels’, and these centers are called so because energy spins at these points. These seven chakras are Muladhara, Svadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Visuddhi, Ajna, and Sahasrara. When the Kundalini is awakened, these chakras are nourished and lead to self-realization.
The Benefits Of Sahaja Yoga Meditation
All this information seems intense and complicated, doesn’t it? So, let us very simply list down the benefits of Sahaja Yoga.
- Sahaja Yoga balances and harmonizes the body. It ensures the well-being of the subtle body. It is believed that the energy can heal any disease when the subtle body is in harmony.
- While this may not have scientific proof, Sahaja Yoga is found to be useful in treating syndromes, mental disorders, emotional extremism, tumors, and other such diseases that are a result of an imbalance in the subtle system of the body.
- It is also useful in attaining mental peace. Sahaja Yoga is also found to be useful in rehabilitation of drug addicts, smokers, and alcoholics.
- This yoga methodology is easy, free of cost, and can be done anywhere, anytime.
- It is said that Sahaja Yoga is also known as one of the easiest ways to achieve spiritual enlightenment. This form taps into the energy of the spirit and takes you closer to the divine power. You do not need to spend years in Tapasya or do rigorous yoga asanas to achieve the state of enlightenment. Sahaja Yoga claims to help you do it effortlessly and spontaneously.
How To Do The Sahaja Yoga?
Kundalini awakening is the first step in Sahaja Yoga. After this, you are required to raise your Kundalini every time you meditate. To raise the Kundalini, these are some affirmations you need to follow. The affirmations can be made with or without looking at Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi’s picture. It is an individual preference.
How to do Sahaja yoga meditation? Begin by sitting in a comfortable position on the floor and gently close your eyes. The procedure includes a nine-step affirmation, each requiring a different hand placement on the body. This is how it pans out:
- Place your right hand on your heart and ask, ‘Mother, am I the spirit?’
- Lower your hand to the lungs and ask, ‘Mother, am I my own master?’
- Lower your hand to your hip and ask, ‘Mother, please give me the pure knowledge.’
- Raise your hand to your lung and say, ‘Mother, I am my own master.’
- Raise it to your heart and say, ‘Mother, I am the spirit.’
- Raise it further to the back of your neck and say, ‘Mother, I am not guilty.’
- Raise it to your forehead and say, ‘Mother, I forgive everyone.’
- Raise it to the back of your head and say, ‘Mother, please forgive me for whatever my wrongdoing.’
- Raise it to the top of your head and say, ‘Mother, please give me my self-realization.’
What Must You Do Before You Begin With The Meditation?
A Bandhan is considered to be a protective shield. It is important to put oneself in bandhan before as well as after the meditation. It balances and protects your energy through all the channels and centers.
To assume the Bandhan, sit in the Sukhasana. Place your left hand, palm upwards, extended a little out of your lap. Bring your right hand over it. Now, slowly move your right hand towards your left hip, then near your head, over your head, and finally to the right hip. This makes one Bandhan. Do it seven times for each of the seven chakras.
There is a whole lot more to the Sahaja Yoga practice. This is just to give you an overview of what to expect when you enter the practice. If spirituality and awakening of the Chakras are your kind of thing, you must delve further into the Sahaja Yoga practice. It will surely change your life.
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