of One's Own Original Self: HRID
The first issue of the esoteric magazine obliges us to clarify its title and the mission that it has been designed to fulfil. It is wholly contained in one beautiful and simple word: HRIDAYA. I hope that this magazine will attract the attention of all CHELA: disciples, aspirers and students of yoga, so that they can follow this path of Eternal Wisdom together. The root HRID means sort of eternal, deeply hidden dimension of the heart and the soul, a dimension of something that is the core and essence of the human being. One can say that it is a Secret Lotos inside the heart, the very source from which flows the force that revives the human being in all his aspects.
HRIH mantra invoked in a special way affects the Jewel of the Secret Lotos. It means a sensation and a realisation of all internal Mystery. Let us assume then that HRIDAYA constitutes the Source of Eternal Wisdom, that it is the Secret Inside Heart, the Chamber of Treasures hidden deeply inside one's soul, or the Lotos of our True Nature. The root of the word IDAM is ID, which refers to to the true, timeless and suprapersonal Self. In other words, we are orientated towards the Higher Self. It also happens that IDAM means as much as IDEAL. Hence, we may interpret the expression HRIDAM as the Indigenous Ideal, sort of Divine Being, The Holiest Being, one that turns out to be our own original and innate nature. The purpose of our existence is hidden and sealed there. Therefore, "HRIDAYA" which is an esoteric magazine, will discuss those issues related to yoga which concern the heightening of our consciousness to the extent at which we start to perceive the Higher Self.
So, HRIDAYA as an area, or a focal point for our consciousness, is the Internal Source of Eternal Wisdom and, at the same time, the Jewel of the Internal Temple, as well as the Gate to the House of the Heavenly Father. When following the path of esoteric lessons You are embarking on a journey inside Yourself, You discover Yourself, You tread the path of self-exploration until You reach the depths of Your Own Soul, the World of the Spirit. You discover the foundation of Your own self, Your core, Your roots. Call this HRIDAYA centre the residence of the Self, and accept the cycle of these Scriptures as an aid in the effort to become Yourself.
HRIDAYA is the eighth lotos between the matter and the spirit. This is its exact location (in case You want to illustrate it to somebody). Secret Laya Yoga taught to me by my Venerable Guru Ananda Shiv (Swami Baba Shivananda G.P.) begins in this very place which can only be sensed and perceived as as a door between that which is palpable for the senses and that which is not accessible for the senses. In this Secret Chamber resides our True Self. It is DRASHTA: the truthful and fair witness. His other name is I AM. The Biblical Name of GOD: I AM THE ONE THAT IS, or, in its original version: EHIEH ASHER EHIEH is this level of consciousness which we aspire to attain.
Every person well familiar with the four-stage system of Laya Yoga within the Patanjali system, contained in Yogasutras, will easily notice that the topic of DRASHTA refers to the second class of yoga. In the first class for yoga disciples we aspire to attain the I AM consciousness through chanting the OM syllable. The very resonant Omm (AUM) syllable is referred to in the first class yoga as ANAHATNADAM, which means the vibration sound or the resonance of a sound. This is an internal sound, cosmic music of silence. When You gently chant OM in such a way that Your whole body trembles and vibrates lightly in tune with Your voice, then it means that You are setting off on a geunuine journey into Your I AM, to Your True SELF.
At the beginning I recommend that You start Your studies with Patanjali Yogi Scriptures, i.e. Yogasutras. The first class of yoga introduces a part of the first one. You will constantly come across references to Yogasutras within the course contained in the HRIDAYA esoteric bulletin. Delicate and loud OM vibration is the most fundamental of Laya Yoga practices. Start chanting for about 5 minutes, and later prolong it even to 15 or 20 minutes. Don't overstrain Your throat, feel the vibrations in Your whole body: they will balance Your energy and heal Your entire Being. Use half of the time devoted to chanting on the Oooo... sound, and the rest, i. e. the second half, on the Mmm sound. In this way You will get the Oooo... Mmm... syllable.
The purpose of HRIDAYA is to inspire one with Spiritual Knowledge, bu also to provide a choice of practices for individual studies. A balanced way is a way where studying and practising go hand in hand. As my Guru used to say, disciples should be reminded that practices should be learnt by way of transmission, that is directly from the Master-Teacher (Acharya). So, if we ever practised this ordinary OM together, You can take up this exercise now. Otherwise, You can seek contact with a living Spiritual Teacher in order to listen to the sound of OM intoned in a group.
In the process of opening the I AM (Aham) consciousness, the door to eternity is opened, too. OM will guide You and will allow You to break through the suffering and pain, through the chaos of the mind and emotions, through the chaos of conditioning, attachments, through the chaos and bonds of burdersome limitations inherited from Your ancestors.
HRID means that You cut the ropes of the entanglement in the material world and begin a new, liberated life. Day-to-day work of paving Your way for higher consciousness and removing the obstacles of ego (subconsciousness) is a guarantee of future spiritual accomplishments.
Of course, a question arises how to study these esoteric lessons. Firstly, often revise those lessons that inspire You. Also, return frequently to those excerpts that inspire You. Start the reading with chanting OM and finish it with OM, too. When You begin and finish OM, try to chant it at least 3 to 7 times.
The second, and just as important truth is that studies in Spiritual Schools take place not by means of reading, but by means of listening. Comprehend the importance of the listening process. Try to hear what you are reading, using your internal ear, which seems to be ligh in your physical eyes. Let the words penetrate the ears. Usually, when I read, I try to understand the words of my Guru properly. So, listen with the ears of your Self rather than read.
Direct reading with Your eyes causes Your spiritual knowledge to develop Your intellect, therefore it is of little value for spiritual development. Eyes are energised through the solar plexus centre, which predominantly rules ego development and lower mental tendencies. However, ears are energised through the throat centre, which is the source of spiritual inspiration. Hence, it is through listening more than through reading that You orientate Yourself towards the Spirit and hearing centre development (purification).
An unquestionably fundamental issue for the Esoteric Teaching Circle is feeling, receptivity to each word and to contents. To be passive, non-judgemental and to feel all that flows only with Your heart, is helpful, as in the course of studies it develops the internal sense of touch called INTUITION. This is an attribute of the heart centre, which is located between the throat centre and the solar plexus centre. The "mere" feeling lets one achieve the balance between the Lower and Higher Self. Initution develops through passive feeling, and we will refer to is as reception (pratyaya). So, don't contemplate the text too much or don't let Your attitude to it become too emotional, simply receive it and listen to its melody, the resonance, the echo of the words. This is the way in which all true Spiritual Schools function.
Thinking and pondering are needed, but when they are excessive they block the Intuition and Spiritual Inspiration, the expansion of which really guides one towards the accomplishment of the goal. If a particular task turns out to be of importance to You, try to listen to its echo resounding on and on. It is a proper way of meditating, i. e. contemplating the HRIDAYA lessons.
Saints and Masters often repeat: "He who has ears, let Him listen". Fake clairvoyants usually don't want to listen, that's why they are fake. On the Spiritual Path one should first of all develop the ability ro Feel, then the ability to Listen, and finally, the ability to See. Therefore, one should feel, i.e. perceive with their heart and listen with their ear, in order to be able to proceed in the right direction.
Self-realisation or self-exploration (sampradjnyata) comes at the moment of liberating one's SELF/SOUL from all illusive veils. This is the discovery of a Witness (DRASHTA, I AM). In the Core of our Being, in the depths of Your Self a Divine Law (Ryta) has been imprinted, which is the foundation of second class yoga practices called YAMA (don'ts) and NIYAMA (dos). Exploration of these cosmic, divine laws and principles allows one to achieve full self-realisation, the dissolution in NIRVANA, the attainment of SAMADHI-BHAVANA, i. e. the state where individual consciousness becomes transformed into cosmic (divine, spiritual) consciousness. You become Yourself, the Soul, the Higher Self. All this can be attained without Guru's aid and Grace, without initiation, all thanks to Your own individual effort, although this path is a very long one. Nevertheless, those who eagerly follow the path will be able to take advantage of advice offered in this Bulletin.
Let me attract Your attention to the fact that self-perfection process is actually realised through SADHANA, i. e. by means of practising and spiritual development. Therefore, even reading yoga lessons is regarded as an efficient way of practising. SADHANA is a collection of basic yoga exercises that are to be systematically revised. Here are a few of them: OM chanting, listening, receiving...
This is the way to achieve Interpretation point between the Spirit and the Matter. When one completes the whole series of exercises, it will be visible thanks to its profound effects. Problems, worries and hardships will simply fade away. As regards the disciple, he will reside within his soul and become less and less dependent on external conditions and phenomena.
SADHANA is profoundly meaningful. This is a means, which like a vehicle drives You towards the goal. The initiation system in the Laya Yoga tradition is based on a whole system of vehicles, of which Sadhana is considered as a vehicle for those who can listen. One may compare it to the Buddhist Shravakayana, which in its essence constitutes the "vehicle for those who listen", and, bearing in mind the fact that the Buddhist system of practices was entirely derived from the secret forms of yoga, we can easily understand the significance of practising through listening, as a means of accomplishing the goal. ABHYASA, which is also described in the first class of yoga, is a more advanced form.
The discipline called YOGA may be described in many literary sources. Yet, the only way to learn it is to practice. Initiation of the practice is like planting a seed. Continuation of the practice may be likened to watering and tending the seed. The moment we have harvested the crop is one in which we may stop practising, as we have accomplished the goal. DRASHTA, I AM, is the goal of the first two classes of yoga, which are to be practiced in the right sequence, beginning with the first one.
SAMADHI-BHAVANA or NIRVANA is a state of consciousness that emerges from the realisation of the Witness, the One Who Is, The Only One, The Faithful and Truthful One. In fact, it is our Innate Nature, Our True Essence, the Cornerstone which upholds all the rest...
Sanskrit words that we use express the original ideas of the creators of all yoga systems, therefore they will be explained in minute detail during this course. They convey plenty of meanings and profound contents. We explore their hidden meanings exactly through the meditation on the Word (and the Word becomes alive exactly through feeling and listening to its original sound). In this way the entire Living Yoga (Living Ethics) may be risen from the dead under the supervision of the Teacher. In its original meaning, Yoga means "Unity, Unification, Reconcilliation, Communion". To discover unity is to discover the principles of the ancient Yoga.
OM will awaken Your true consciousness, Your self-concept will vanish and You will start to become Your true self. This is the preliminary and the inevitable step. Further practical exercises will come after subsequent lessons in esoterics, until we complete the first class of yoga called SAMADHI-PADAH: the path of Ecstasy and Concentration in the Pure Light.
Om! Om! Om! Hum!