Here is the much awaited answers to some of the questions posed to our beloved Masters, Ma Shakti & Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath by practitioners of Tattva Shakti Vigyaan and the readers of our blog… Acharya ji’s reply ensues the question below.
Param adarneeya Gurudev & pujyaa GuruMa Shakti,
I prostrate at your lotus feet.
This was just a passing thought but really become a ringing now. The other day I was sitting in the company of some like-minded people. You can call them somewhat friends. To my surprise these people despite being into practice of Yoga and meditation for almost 12-15 years were of the opinion that all the talks about ‘siddhis‘ in the Yoga books is just to attract more and more people to the discipline. Their argument was that if they did not experience any of siddhis despite 12 years of practice then these ought not be there. I wondered why it should be so because Gurudev on the path of Tantra under your divine guidance I have been so fortunate to have experienced many wonderful things within few years of sadhana. (Thank you. it is all your grace!)
My question is if extraordinary powers and experiences can be felt here on our path of Tattva Shakti Vigyaan why Yoga practitioners fail to get it. My inner voice says there must be something wrong or missing in their ways but can’t figure out what. Please remove my ignorance and doubts and enlighten me.
Accept my deepest obeisance Guruma and Gurudev. In your service always obediently yours- Ravi T.
Through your question I would like to answer one more question asked to me a reader (I don’t know if he is a seeker or yoga practitioner) by the name of Jyotirmoya. The question goes like this :
Why isn’t yoga suitable for people above 28 years of age? – Jyotirmoy
Well, the answer to both the questions; one long and one short is the same. Among the serious of authentic ancient books on Yoga, the most structured and well accepted treatise is Yoga Aphorisms by rishi Patanjali. Every Yoga practitioner on this planet earth not only knows rishi Patanjali’s name but also his marvelous book on principles of Yoga – ‘Patanjali YogaSutras‘. In my humble opinion Patanjali has treated the subject of Yoga as a true Master, real teacher. The way he has treated this subject Patanjali, like a Master of Masters has not left any scope for anticipation, confusion or doubt in there. He has treated Yoga like mathematics. Just as in Mathematics 1 PLUS 1 always become 2 (except when we get into too much of philosophizing) the principles and rules (sutras) given by Patanjali lead to the same result for every practitioner, all the time.
How beautifully he began this subject. The first Sutra
Atha Yoganushasanam |1.1||
1.1 Now, the study and practice of Yoga begins.
Why is he using word Now? This word ‘now’ right in the beginning indicates that Rishi was speaking earlier also. It is crystal clear from usage of this word ‘Now’ that this first Sutra is in continuation, related to something previously spoken. Anyone can guess that so far he must have been setting the ground for the need of Yoga or may be just introducing Yoga in much simpler ways, may be he was referring to some preliminary preparations/ prerequisites to be able to put this methodology into practice. By all means the last possibility is greater for he must be speaking to people who are already in front of him, willing to learn and experiment with his teachings therefore it is alright to presume he would have been discussing the eligibility and preparations for becoming eligible to put this science into practice. Even from the perspective of a teacher this seems logical to brief one’s enthusiastic (but novice) student about the subject matter forehand, before venturing on to the serious study of the subject.
What are the preliminary preparations and prerequisites? No one talks about. And there lies the answer. What I have learnt from my Yoga Guru Shri Shri Paramhamsa Yogi Balendu ji Giri Maharaj that Yoga should be given as discipline at an early age. He maintains that the journey should begin when you are about 8 years old. Further this learner should be provided with congenial atmosphere for his/her growth. Congenial atmosphere means – A learning climate where desirable conduct comes natural to the learner. Just think – Considering the given state of society, Is it really possible for a person to be able to maintain even the first few principles conduct (Yama) “Satya”? Forget Brahmacharya, Tapa, Indriya Nigrah and Santosh etc.
Patanjali is also using this word ‘anushasanam’ in the very first Sutra. That means Yoga shall be a discipline. Anu-Shasanam literally means following a tradition that is imparted through the teachings. It also means discipline. Here Yogic discipline has to become the way of life. And this journey begins from self-discipline.
Is it possible for a common Yoga practitioner to maintain Yogic conduct rooted in Yama and Niyama without bastardizing or compromising on some? I think not. And therefore if Yoga is taken up for ultimate goal of it – Samadhi, it is almost impossible for a practitioner to achieve if journey starts late. Jyotirmoy, probably a young man himself asks in sheer amazement “Is 28 Years too much of age?” and my answer is – Yes, it is. Because by now you have already been loaded with too much filth by the social conditioning. By this time you have already identified your sexual urges and probably started enjoying the play of sexual energies. You have developed an attitude of indifference for the value of Satya (Truth) in your life. And the list is endless… Few simple examples shall probably place things in perspective. If a milkman comes to you and says his milk is 70% pure with 30% adulteration will you accept it without any hitch and suspicion? If the team of rocket scientists say they have prepared a satellite launch vehicle which is 98% ready (as per set quality standard criteria), how many of his seniors shall agree to give it a chance? I know, and even you know they won’t.
Now think if you want to reach (launch yourself) to the zenith of human potential – Self-Realization through this discipline with 70% readiness. Is it alright to go ahead Jyotirmoy? Well, if someone thinks Yoga is only about contouring the body in various asanas and breathing exercises (they call it pranayama nowadays); If Yoga is about physical fitness and relaxation for mind then there’s no age limit. One can begin anyday albeit still under the personal guidance of a Yoga Style-Exercise teacher for if you are really over-age for some practices he/she can warn you not to overstretch, over-bend, over-squeeze the body. This teacher will be handy in stopping you from over-filling and damaging your lungs as well. Exercising in Yoga style poses and huffing and puffing without its need is not true Yoga and shall lead you to no accomplishments (siddhis) spiritually.
Siddhis (spiritual experiences and accomplishments) in Tantra are common (but they aren’t guaranteed for every single practitioner) for that is a different approach. It uses altogether different methodologies for control of mind and associated energies in a practitioner. Yoga is much difficult for it used only body, mind and breath. Tantra makes use of almost every possible thing and techniques available under the sun including some of the Yogic practices. Therefore Tantric practitioners have greater chances of accomplishing pragmatic transformation easily.
Even here in Tantra as well we have a maximum age-bar in certain practices and therefore no one, practitioner of no discipline should get disheartened upon listening to the hard facts about age-limit. It is true that Yoga can not become a tool or vehicle in your spiritual journey if you start late. Forget Siddhis – Even if someone is able to practice proper Pranayama and Pratyahara (Other three – Dharna, Dhyaan and Samadhi) despite starting Yoga practices late in one’s life, such success in Dharana and Pratyahara; is by no means less than a miracle!
Keep experimenting, keep practising, Keep learning. Keep the enthusiasm but don’t become serious about the outcome. That is called Karma Yoga. At least this Yoga is very much is still doable for anyone.. with Siddhis or without. (smiles)
– Acharya Agyaatadarshan Anand Nath