Inside every human being there is a network of nerves and sensory organs that interpret the outside physical world.
At the same time, within us resides a subtle system of channels (nadis) and centres of energy (chakras) which look after our physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual being.
The subtle internal mechanism that helps us to keep our attention in the present, is the tree of life referred to in many dimensions through many spiritual texts and treatises. Though this inner blueprint has been known about for thousands of years by mystics and yogis, only recently in the West have we come to understand about our own subtle system.
The three channels of the Subtle System
The three channels of the subtle system are known in sanskrit language as Ida Nadi, Pingala Nadi, and Sushumna Nadi.
Actually Nadi means channel or river. Ida Nadi - (the left side)
Ida Nadi is the left side, the Moon Channel. It gives us the power of our emotions. In its pure state it represents the qualities of†joy, pure love, compassion, and music and art expressed dynamically. This side is the more feminine side of mankind but exists equally in men and women. However, human beings are prone to left side problems such as emotional attachments, depression, low self esteem and feelings of guilt, lethargy, ritualism, bad habits and despair. Pingala Nadi - (the right side)
Pingala Nadi is the right side, the sun channel. It gives us the power of our rational mind, our physical being, learning and the strength to overcome problems through our endeavours. However human beings are prone to right side problems such as egoistic behaviour (selfishness), arrogance, pride, anger (violence), hatred. This is the more masculine side of men and women. Sushumna Nadi - (the centre)
Sushumna nadi is the balance of the other two channels. Daily meditation as described on this website, leads to a cooling of the sun channel and a warming of the moon channel.¬†The human attention then stops swinging from left side to right side, from happiness to sadness, from activity to sloth, and remains always in the centre, always acting without acting, doing without doing, witnessing the dramas of our own lives.
Each of the seven chakras has several spiritual qualities. These qualities are intact within us, and even though they might not always be manifest, they can never be destroyed.
When the Kundalini is awakened, these qualities start manifesting spontaneously and express themselves in our life.
Thus, through regular meditation, we become automatically very dynamic, creative, confident and at the same time very humble, loving and compassionate. It is a process which starts to develop by itself when the Kundalini rises and starts to nourish our chakras. Mooladhara Chakra
The first chakra is situated below the sacrum bone (in which resides the Kundalini), and its main aspect is innocence. Innocence is the quality by which we experience pure, childlike joy, without the limitations of prejudice or conditionings. Innocence gives us dignity, balance, and a tremendous sense of direction and purpose in life. It is nothing but simplicity, purity and joy.
It is the inner wisdom that is ever present in the little children, and gets sometimes clouded by our modern lifestyles. But it is a quality which exists eternally within us and cannot be destroyed, waiting to be manifest as pure joy when the Kundalini rises. Swadishthan Chakra
The second chakra is the chakra of creativity, pure attention and pure knowledge. It is the one which connects us to the inner source of inspiration, and enables us to experience the beauty around us.
The pure knowledge given by this chakra is not mental, but it is direct perception of the reality, that can be felt in our palms and indicates our subtle blockages. Also this is the centre of pure, steady attention and the¬†power of concentration.
On the physical level it looks after our liver, kidneys, and the lower abdomen. When we think too much, this centre gets drained of energy and diseases like diabetes or blood cancer can occur when these imbalances go unchecked.
The third chakra is the one that gives us the sense of generosity, complete satisfaction and contentment.
On the left side, the main quality of this center is peace - clearing this chakra can relieve stress and tensions.
On the right side, it looks after our liver which is the organ of our attention and power of concentration.
When enlightened by the Kundalini, the Nabhi chakra gives us our spiritual ascent, righteousness and inner sense of morality, and complete balance at all levels in our life. The Void
Surrounding the second and the third chakra is the Void which stands for the principle of mastery (guru principle) within us.
In many spiritual traditions, this area is the "ocean of illusion" that needs to be crossed with the help of a spiritual guide. When the Kundalini is awakened and passes through the Void, this principle of mastery is established within us.
Thus as Shri Mataji says, in Sahaja Yoga you become your own guru, your own spiritual guide since you can feel on your fingertips all your subtle problems and have the power to cure them using your own Kundalini.
Moreover, establishing this centre helps us get rid of all our habits, laziness, gross attachments, and everything that enslaves us in one way or another: essentially we become our own master.
Following false "gurus" who are more interested in power tricks or your purse can damage very much the Void area. But after Self-realisation everything can be cured through the purifying power of the Kundalini in meditation. The Heart Chakra or Anahat Chakra
The fourth chakra, the chakra of the heart, is where the eternal atma (our Spirit) resides, our true Self, which is eternally pure and unaffected by anything, like a shining diamond hidden within us witnessing all our actions.
After Self-realisation, our attention becomes for the first time connected to our Spirit and we gradually become aware of it. Our misidentifications with our ego or conditionings drop away and we start becoming identified with our Spirit, which is our true nature.
On the physical level, this chakra looks after our heart and lungs - if affected it can cause asthma or various heart conditions.
It is from our heart that the compassion and love manifests, and also the heart chakra is the one that gives us the sense of responsibility and pure behaviour towards others. The heart chakra manifests in the centre (at the level of the sternum bone) as complete security and confidence.
All our worries, doubts and fears are destroyed when the heart chakra is fully enlightened by the Kundalini. Vishuddhi Chakra
The fifth chakra is the chakra of diplomacy, of pure relationships with others, and of playful detachment.
It removes all our guilts and remorse ¬†when it is opened by the Kundalini, and gives us a kind and compassionate voice. The tendencies to dominate others or to feel dominated by others, the feelings of superiority or inferiority and all jealousies are removed when this chakra is nourished by the Kundalini.
Also, the Vishuddhi is the chakra which gives us the connection with the whole, enabling us to feel our oneness and the fact that we are all part and parcel of the whole. The Agnya Chakra
The sixth chakra is the chakra of forgiveness and compassion. Forgiveness is the power to let go of anger, hatred and resentment and to discover, in humility, the nobility and generosity of the Spirit.
It is the one that dissolves our ego, conditionings, habits, false ideas of separation and discrimination of others, and all other misidentifications. It is the narrow gate which opens the way for our consciousness to ascend to the Sahasrara chakra.
Roving eyes, watching impure things, or self-centeredness damages this chakra. Watching the sky, earth or nature can help cleanse it. The Sahasrara Chakra
The seventh centre integrates all the chakras with their respective qualities. It is the last milestone of the evolution of human awareness. It is the pure silence.
Through evolution our consciousness is now able to enter into this new realm of perception, which is beyond our limited mind and concepts, and which becomes absolute at the level of the Sahasrara.
This chakra gives us the direct, absolute perception of reality on our central nervous system.
This is precisely what is achieved by Self-realisation, through the spontaneous awakening of the Kundalini given by Sahaja Yoga.
The workings of Self-realisation and the subtle aspects of the chakras and channels are too extensive to be explained here. They are part of a knowledge which is not only to be studied¬†on a¬†mental level, but to be experienced directly.
This new level of consciousness can be achieved after Self-realisation, through the regular practice of Sahaja Yoga meditation techniques that are taught, always free of charge, in over 75 countries around the world.
Kundalini and Self Realisation
Kundalini is the power of pure desire within us, a motherly and soothing spiritual energy which lies dormant at the base of the spine in the sacrum bone (the ancient civilizations knew that in this bone resides a sacred energy).
Self-Realisation is the awakening of the Kundalini through the central channel, piercing through the six chakras above the sacrum bone and emerging at the top of the head (fontanelle bone area) as a gentle "fountain" of coolness. The word fontanelle itself means "little fountain" which shows again the ancient knowledge about this phenomenon of Self-Realisation.
Many of the great developmentalists have referred to the process of self-realisation. Abraham Maslow for example refers to the Meta-Motivation we have as we seek to evolve to the state of Self-Actualisation, in his Pyramidal Hierarchy of Needs diagram. Carl Jung talks about the intrinsic "God-consciousness" seated within us.
Self-Realisation has always been the ultimate goal of all religions and spiritual traditions of the world, but was extremely difficult to attain in the past. It can now be effortlessly achieved through Sahaja Yoga, which is Shri Mataji's invaluable gift to humanity.
In Shri Mataji's own words, "Self-realisation is the first encounter with reality". "We have the Mother within ourselves, in our hearts, and if She is awakened, She is going to look after us. She is going to give all the protection that is needed. And there is nothing to be frightened of."
"Kundalini cures you, she improves you, she bestows all the blissful things upon you. She takes you away from the worries of the grosser level", says Shri Mataji.
The manifestation of the Kundalini energy is called vibrations , which is an approximate translation of the Sanskrit term Chaitanya. In Shri Mataji's words, "Chaitanya (vibrations) is the integrated force of your physiological, mental, emotional and¬†spiritual self."
How Does the Process Occur?
In Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi's own words, "Everyday we see seeds sprouting, flowers blooming, fruits ripening, but we do not want to think how it happens. There is a power that does this work, it is the all pervading power of Divine Love. Now the time has come to feel this power through the instrument within us. This instrument has no use unless it is connected to the mains. We do not know our potential, our beauty, but once this connection with the mains is established, we will be surprised at the dynamic results."
At the outset we have to understand that this connection is not mental. Through religion this connection cannot be made because religion also is mental. However, human awareness can be developed to a higher dimension through Sahaja Yoga which is not a mental projection. It is a becoming. This is the last step in our evolution. Whatever we have achieved in our evolution has to manifest through our central nervous system.
When the foetus is about 2 to 3 months old in the mother's womb, columns of rays of consciousness emitted through the all pervading power of Divine Love, pass through the brain to enlighten it. The shape of the brain being prism-like, the column of rays falling on it gets refracted into four diverse channels corresponding to the four aspects of the nervous system. They are:
- Sympathetic nervous system - right side
- Sympathetic nervous system - left side
- Parasympathetic nervous system
- Central nervous system
The subtle energy enters through the centres in the brain and precipitates on its way to six more centres called chakras. The residual energy then settles down in three and a half coils in the triangular bone placed at the end of the spinal cord (sacrum bone), known as Kundalini. The fundamental nature of this living force is self-organisation, self-regeneration and ascent. Through self-organisation it sustains and protects. self-regeneration is its innate ability to renew, heal, balance and recycle. Ascent is its capacity to transcend the mind and myth and attain collective consciousness."
Through the practice of Sahaja Yoga, our awareness gains a new dimension where absolute truth can be felt tangibly - on our central nervous system. As a result of this happening, our spiritual ascent takes place effortlessly and physical, mental and emotional balance†is achieved.
We then realise that we are not this body, mind, ego, conditionings, emotions or intellect, but the eternal nature which is always residing in our heart in a pure, undisturbed state - the Self or Spirit. The Spirit is the source of true knowledge, peace and joy. Self-realisation is the actualisation of this connection with our Spirit, which as Shri Mataji advocates, is the birthright of every human being.
"It is important for everyone to have that knowledge of the roots within ourselves. Sahaja Yoga allows the individual to become his own Spiritual Guide."
-Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi-