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Scrooge by Carl Barks. Modified
A Breathless State you run into may not lead to gold.


Q: Is my ego spread all over the universe or am I deluded?

I would not make a big deal about the egohood issue, but Yogananda frequently talks of "killing the ego," and pressing things like that. Do not get pushed by his slurring teachings, for he says, in effect, "kill yourself". For the ego is from the Self and not separated from it within either. A Sanskrit term is ahankara, the I-ness. Better be careful and talk sense instead. [Link]

Here is another question, and it is pun: "Is my ego spread all over the universe or am I not diluted?"

There are differing definitions of terms like ego and soul and so on. To some they mean this, to others that. The super-teaching is that there is no space in a heart, and the sound ego (ahamkara, ahangkara) is from the heart. I could render some Upanishads at this point, but do not go into the lore at this point, for the essential points have been given above.

Q: I needed to cultivate an ego to be able to experience my true Self in the world.

In the highest states of Tibetan tantra, nirvana (beyondness-happiness) and the world (sangsara, samsara) are seen as one. That is a high teaching too. There are pages teeming with quotations and renditions here. [Link]

Q: My false and true Selves are actually one and the same thing except they contradict each other.

And hence life is not all too easy.

Q: So the ego continues to exist after the body dies?

The essence of ego (called ahamkara) is supposedly an integrated part of the human organism, according to such as Sri Yukteswar and the Samkhya and Yoga philosophies of India.

The higher mind (also called the mahat, "great one" or "spiritual awareness", or buddhi) is first evolved. Next a deep ego consciousness (ahamkara) is evolved. The ego consciousness is faceted into five gross elements, five subtle (fine) elements, (etc.) [Link]

Have you looked into Yogananda's yes-and-no-sayings to "ego", by the way? [Link]

Gurus talk of dissolving "everything", but they themselves, who stand up and want to be taken seriously, don't seem all that dissolved.

Q: That sounds comforting. But again I have to try to figure out how one can have a personality and be God at the same time (?)

Yogananda once said you experienced (felt) himself to be the tip of a cone. The tip was his personal aspects, the depth of the cone God, he told. The image might be of some help, even though "God is all" also.

The Spiritual Eye and Miracles

Q: You have written about the third eye but it is not clear what you believe about it. Do we see the third eye or not?

""By hard work the kutastha can be seen," writes Lahiri Mahasaya. "One should train oneself and see the Self in the medulla region through the area between the eyebrows" is his teaching too.

And to clear up a few misgivings, Swami Sivananda describes the yoga method of seeing light that is not ordinarily perceived:

Various kinds of lights manifest during meditation . . . In the beginning . . . in the forehead at the space between the two eyebrows . . . Yellow and white lights are very commonly seen [if or when] you are progressing . . . The vision of lights is a great encouragement. . . . The experiences vary in different individuals. The experience of one man may not be the same as that of another . . . Many erroneously believe that they have realised the Self when they get these experiences. [Sivananda. Kundalini Yoga, Chap 4, "Mystic Experience Visions of Lights"]

Sivananda also describes what is called yoni mudra in some yoga circles:

Sit in Siddhasana. Close the ears with the two thumbs, eyes with the index-fingers, nostrils with the middle-fingers,the upper lips with the ring-fingers and the lower lips with the little fingers. . . . very cautiously. (Op.cit., p. 72)

The specifics are left out here, since the point is to document something that is specifically mentioned in some yoga texts. Some who go further into the light in a yogi way, may perceive it forms a funnel or tract. The tunnel of death looks exactly like it - Such are the teachings of Self-Realization Fellowship, who published an article in one of their magazine issues decades ago, some time after Raymond Moody and others had taken pains to make sense out of what people who were revived from near-death states told. Some might say revived.

So one may have a phenomenon to compare yogi descriptions with, if you care. [Link]

Q: And is this a psychic phenomena?

Prefer another term, "spiritual', which somehow rises higher, is subtler also. Mind that in the Tibetan Buddhism of Padmasamhava and others, 'mind' is a cherished term, and may well contain 'spirit' too. Terms differ, in other words.

Q: What of miracles, of levitation?

Miracles seldom seem to happen. All life is a great miracle that we have got used to. The everyday life is a true miracle.

Levitation has been reported to happen to lots of people throughout history. [Levitation]

Wisdom of Lahiri referred to, is found on this page: [Link]

Q: I'm familiar with Lahiri Mahasaya's sayings through the books that Satyeswarananda has published. But it is strange that he says things like kriya yoga should be got from a superb kriya yogi and not through organisations, such as the one Yogananda started! Hint Hint.

In SRF the faith is different, or rather, "the master is in the correspondence course lessons you get," and thus you are linked to him, they teach.

Q: No doubt Yogananda knew the technique for leaving his body at will, but yet . . . a deluded individual.

I remember he said, "No more delusions" rather emphatically to his Divine Mother towards the end of his life. This suggests he had had some too.

Q: I'll tell you what I noticed in particular - he states that Jesus has no body (even though the NT tells us Jesus ascended to heaven and rose from the dead himself) and then goes onto say that Jesus will come again. There is contradictory information in there somewhere, I am sure.

Interesting observation.

Q: "They hail Narada!" Not quite sure I get you there . . .

Narada figures in an old, quite drastic Purana story. There he is presented as a destructive swindler who preaches devotion and leads upright men and women astray with many other teachings. It is in the Siva Purana. Other works of old hail him, though.

Q: And do you consider kriya yoga a science?

Not exactly. More like an art to be practiced - to one's ability.

Q: Vivekananda doesn't claim to be a divine person. Ramakrishna claimed to be two! My feeling with him is that he may have been psychotic perhaps.

1. Some thought him to be mad. Jivamuktas (liberated ones) may seem to be mad if they like. It is a matter of adjustments. Be that as it may; it can be awfully hard to reconcile inward sights with outer facets or such things.

2. Many dreams contain material for insights. I think it is regularly (hint). [Link] [Jung on dreams]

Q: Perhaps Yogananda channeled knowledge when he dictated his [Bhagavad] Gita as well. Otherwise, it is hard to believe that he said all those things straight from his mouth. The problem I have with his Gita is, although I think it is the best one, there is a lot of repetition in it. Plus he begins it wrongly - the time frame is weird. Oh well.

And I never got the master thing either. They talk about master grace, but the first master must have got grace directly from God so why should there be masters at all?

Have you heard of First Man, Manu? He was born of Brahma, the Creator (who got himself drunk in order to create a universe out of himself, is the teaching)

Manu, First Man, and first master, knew what he needed to know - without being taught, as far as I can remember . . .

There are good stories about it.

Different strokes for different folks: In Hindu teachings there is a variety of approaches and methods - the ideal is to select some that suit the person in question.

Q: I have basically just re-read all the emails you have sent me and I am struck by how telepathic you are.

Well, well -

Q: Remember I told you about that guy, Monker Rallanda? Well, he gave me the kriya yoga and initiated me. But I want to know what you think of him. He seems like a generally good guy although I am hesitant about the implications involved concerning his role as some sort of saviour. I do not know if you can find him on the web . . . I am cautious about any master that claims to be a saviour of some kind, as you may imagine.

Aspirant's caution as to masters is much extolled in old yoga scriptures too. What you say remind me of a sailor's joke:

Foolish spending

A delicious philosophy of life is shown in the reply of the sailor who, when asked what he had done with his pay, said,

"Part went for liquor and part for women. The rest I spent foolishly." [Fuller 1970]

Q: There is so much info on your website that it could keep me going for millennia. Oh by the way, what do you think of "Navy kriya" [a secret kriya method also spelled navi kriya. It may be dispensed with]?

SRF does not teach it -

Q: I think you are a cool cool guy . . . Anyway . . . I appreciate your contact! Thanks.

PS tell me what you would like to hear from me as I would oblige that a hundred fold.

I would like to hear this: "Wise use of time will make for wiser living. (American proverb)"

Yogic Powers

Q: Do you believe (if that is the right word) in the Yogic siddhis [miracle powers]?

Lots are enumerated in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, others in Uddhava Gita, and some in Buddhist scriptures. "Seeing is believing" is my answer to that one. [More]

Q: Somewhere I read that Yogananda claimed to have raised a dead person when he was in India.

The miracle of Yogananda: I have read that too. If so: Well done (technically speaking) in the light of his repeated sayings that the world is unreal . . .

"Whatever You Do, Don't Seek God" Is the Message

Q: Do you know how kriya yoga accomplishes the breathless state?
By fixing the attention between the eyebrows, breath (prana) turns into "food" [nourishment] too." - Lahiri wisdom [in Satyeswarananda 1992:10, 11].

One starts breathing less, as it happens with the Hong-saw method too. The breathless pauses are prolonged spontaneously when the inner prana currents are firm or strong enough (to sustain you). You do not make any effort for it. And you do not have to be scared. If you swoon, there are centres in the medulla or the brain that will see to it that you are not killed -

Q: Yogananda told others to seek God.

I think he almost shouted it. And that was really unnecessary, as:

The aim of kriya is to attain santa [deep calm and bliss], that is, kriya calm. Santa [peace and possibly growing bliss] may evolve into eternal bliss beyond that poise." - Lahiri Mahasaya [in Satyeswarananda 1992:8n].

Q: Do you mean that there is no God to seek?

"The highest attainment is Selfhood," says Lahiri Mahasaya, and also:

One who practices kriya sincerely, has to transcend the expectations of results from doing kriya" - Lahiri wisdom [in Satyeswarananda 1992:12].

I suggest you transcend the question [etc. For:] In deep contemplation there is nothing to seek, nothing to go for. That's how it should be then.

Seeker, nothing is apart from the ultimate Self." - Lahiri Mahasaya. [in Satyeswarananda 1992:17].

Q: I am not understanding you here.

Well, Self or Brahman is not "what people here adore". That's another Upanishad teaching. I suspect that dualism-based adoration and worship goes awry [in many cases].

By methods you may have experiences that confirm some ideas. However, getting bitten by ideas first, and bitten by ideas that hinder good meditation instead of ushering it, indicates being screwed at the onset of a noble undertaking.

Q: About the cool and warm currents in kriya - do we actually feel them or not?

If you feel them, you feel them. If not, you do not. Don't let it bother you. You can do the "specific, slow and measured, almost inaudible panting" - do all the things that you are to DO. Then, as time goes by, you may enjoy the practice too, and what you do feel may result from that, from good practice in diving, if you get most main things and main details right. Then, what we may come to feel may be a result (fruit) of that hard work. So in many cases what is felt comes second to RIGHT PRACTICE, all of which might help solve the basic issue.

Q: Your experiences can help to give some encouragement of what roughly to expect in Yoga.

Experiences tend to vary with the individuals, but a general path is there for all.

Q: That is, I feel that if kriya is a science [art is better], then there should at least be some sort of map of the route, some indicators.

I have referred to Patanjali's. It may be taken to indicate higher states from samadhi onward.

Alarming Suspicions

Q: You would think that a God-realised Master would have miraculous abilities like the purported miracles of Sri Yukteswar etc. But it is quite clear that there is something amiss about this idea that Sri Yukteswar's words were binding on the cosmos.

This may need to be sorted. (a) In all cases binding: Evidently no. (b) In some other cases, and not too big ones, study the documentation. (c) And so on (find out for yourself if you can).

There is a big obstruction to rational sight in some favoured terms. Consider if a guru does one spectacular thing, and in a short time he is termed almighty and all-knowing, perhaps. It happens. To the degree devoted big-hailing is due to id (libido), it may go wrong.

Note the difference between being really almighty and just able to flood the Sahara Desert with clean sweetwater every day - If almightly, why not use it for doing good instead of bragging a lot and finding excuses over and over later, too? It could be good to note the many differences between such as all-mightly, much-mighty, little-mighty and a little above human, for example.

It is a big world - we obviously need to beware of big goadings baked into concepts to believe in, and what becomes established in line with that again - so that members become payers (a different sort of driven cattle in the long run). It happens.

To make others believe in over-swollen terms is hardly much worthy. It could be part of some nasty business.


Meditation counsel, Literature  

Fuller, Edmund. 2500 Anecdotes for All Occasions. New York: Wings, 1970.

Satyeswarananda, swami, tr. Complete Works of Lahiri Mahasay Vol. III: The Upanisads: The Vedic Bibles. San Diego: The Sanskrit Classics, 1992.

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