Constant Nija Guru v/s Other Anya Guru

As per the Vedic panchangam, today is Skand Shashthi, dedicated to Kartikeya, the son of Shiv-Shakti. The Vasant Panchami was yesterday, Sarasvati puja and Gayatri mantra jaap. And the day before was the Maagh Ganapati Chaturthi. Tomorrow is Ratha Saptami, the rising Sun and Gayatri mantra again. Dhyan is a daily affair, but when these energies add to it, it goes deeper. These days from Makar Sankranti to Ratha Saptami are bursting with energy. Vasant Panchami is a very special day for me and this time I missed my Guru. But then he is kind and a dream/vision blessing settled the missing-feeling, yesterday morning I was euphoric.

So today I will write about my Guru in gratitude and specifically on what a Nija-Guru is. There are very few people in this world who have been fortunate that they have been blessed by a Nija-Guru.

  • Nija निज means personal, innate, continuous, constant, inborn. He is also called a Sat-Guru. The force which takes you to the Eternal Truth.
  • The other type of Guru is the Anya-Guru. Anya अन्य means other, different. (These words/ definitions are from the 11th Skandh of the Bhagwat Mahapuran in case you want to refer.)

There is a story where a spiritual aspirant was motivated by a honey-bee and he paid respect to the honey-bee by calling it a ‘Guru’. The honey-bee visits several flowers and collects just their essence, this is a quality which a spiritual aspirant must cultivate. Similarly you will read books, you will collect the essence of spiritual teachings written there. You meet with other spiritual aspirants, perhaps some Yogi-s who are on higher levels than you. You learn from them, they might teach you how to do pujas, you get blessings from these Yogi-s. These are also Guru as they are taking you onward in your journey to Moksh. They are adding to your understanding and motivating you. But these all are the Anya-Guru, the other-guru. You learn what they had to teach you, but you do not get satisfied and you still search for someone to guide you further. An Anya-Guru cannot take you to your ultimate destination Moksh.

An Anya-Guru is somewhat like an Uncle, the Nija-Guru is the Father.

I know someone who searching for a Guru, he found the perfect Guru who taught him the perfect Gayatri puja. Now Gayatri puja is in itself very potent and will take you to Moksh if you perform it regularly. But this person was not satisfied with this and now wanted to learn Kriya yog from a proper Guru. He met another perfect Guru who taught him the perfect Kriya yog. The perfect Kriya yog will also take you to Moksh if you do it regularly. But this person was still not satisfied and now desires to learn tantra, mantra, yantra and all the other facets of Sanatan Dharm. He will definitely get those appropriate Gurus who will teach him all that he desires to know, but these will all be the Anya-Guru. This person’s intention is to learn these things and the Parabrahma always grants what is desired with intense intention. Then it may take one life or more lives to complete the desired intention. The choice is always with the aspirant. It depends on what you intend.

I just want to be at the same position that my Nija-Guru had realised, the Nirvishesh Brahma, the Advaita. And that is all. I don’t focus on the steps, just the target. He will take care of the process and also the target.

shri_smarth_sadguru_muppin_kadsiddheshwar_maharaj
Sri Samarth Sadguru, Shri Muppin Kadsiddheshwar Maharaj

A Nija-Guru is a realised Seer. He has realised Nirvishesh Brahma and is the Parabrahma himself, he is a Jivan-mukt. The Guru stotra defines just this superlative power ie the Nija-Guru.

The one over-riding quality of the Nija-Guru is this. When you meet him (or her), you know in your innermost heart that you have reached your destination. Your search is over and you are convinced about it. Whatever has to be attained will be attained only under his guidance. The satisfaction is real and the trust deep, but only when one meets the Nija-Guru. When you meet the correct guide to take you home, you are assured of success. You feel the brightness in his aura, in his words; the confidence and the power of Realisation. When he is in front of you, or when you even think of him, there are no questions in your mind, the chattering mind goes silent. You feel it in the core of your heart that this in front of you is not an old 96yr man but the ultimate beauty of the Parabrahma. You know that you are standing in front of the Singular source. When he says to you that you will reach your destination, you do not doubt his words nor his ability to guide you. You search no more. This is your Nija-Guru. Once you find him and in case you need to take more lives to complete your karma, he will be there again and again in every life till you reach your own Moksh yourself.

My Nija-Guru and his Gurus, all who attained Nirvishesh Brahma and were Jivan-mukt. This is my lineage, my source and also my destination.

  • My Nija-Guru – Shri Muppin Kadsiddheshwar Maharaj who was the 26th Math-adhipati of the Siddhagiri Math, Kolhapur, Maharashtra
  • My Grand-Guru – Shri Siddharameshwar Maharaj
  • My Great-Grand-Guru – Shri Bhausaheb Maharaj
  • My Great (2) Grand Guru – Shri Gurulingajangam Maharaj
  • My Great (3) Grand Guru – The 22nd Kadsiddheshwar of the Siddhagiri Math
  • The lineage goes back a thousand years to the 1st Kadsiddheshwar also called Shri Revan-nath Maharaj and he was of the Nath Sampraday.

My own Nija-Guru left his physical shell on 16th Aug 2001. In all these years I have never felt any need to search for guidance. Nor have I met anyone living who elicited the same feelings of deep trust, power, confidence, faith and the sheer magnificence that I could sense around him. Whatever I have needed in my spiritual journey has been provided by him, my Sat-Guru, the Parabrahma. Whenever I needed protection, he has always been there. And whenever I have felt that my life has gone bad, he has always brought the solution in front of me. I just do my Dhyan and mantra as much as I can and I leave all the rest to him. He is always there, if I need to know anything specific he can assume an astral form or I hear his words echoing around me or there are visions in Dhyan or in the dream states or the situation changes and things just fall in place.

This sort of full and complete trust can only be put in a Nija-Guru and not in an Anya-Guru. Your soul recognises him. A Sat-Guru is your own constant guide, its a guide and a follower relationship. He has witnessed Pure Reality and thus can guide you till there, you are convinced in your soul about this fact. An Anya-Guru is like two fellow travellers, one is more senior than the other but still both are co-travellers. The soul has not accepted these other Guru-s (who may be at very high levels of spiritual progress/ enlightenment) as the Sat-Guru and still is in search for the correct guide.

My Guru taught each one of his disciples to use the mantra ‘Soham’ for doing Dhyan. But he never compelled anyone to do Dhyan. Surprised? Yes, he would say that doing systematic Dhyan or even reciting ‘Soham’ consciously with the breathing whenever possible, would give faster spiritual progress but he never ordered anyone to do anything. A real Guru will never order a disciple, because if he does so, it becomes a Guru-adnya, the order of the Guru, which has to be followed and it continues beyond death into the next lives. There are no exceptions to a Guru-adnya. And no Nija-Guru takes away the free will of any disciple.

‘Yatha icchasi tatha kuru’, this is the last line of the Bhagwat Gita, where after telling the entire Yogshastra Gita to Arjun, Shri Krishna himself tells him that ‘I have told you everything that is necessary, now you should do as you desire’! This means that the Parabrahma recognises free-will of the individual soul. (Even if the free will is an illusion for the purpose of this Game/ Lila/ creation, it still exists.) Every individual soul always has the choice of action. My Guru would use this phrase often.

My Guru had several lakh disciples from all strata of society. They would naturally ask him about their material life’s problems. He would sometimes indicate a way out but also tell them to do follow it only if they wanted to. Yatha icchasi tatha kuru! ’Guru- Krupa’ is another word which is freely used by modern ‘gurus’. What this word means is, if you sincerely follow the spiritual practice suggested (never ordered) by your Nija-Guru, you will reach Moksh. This is the real Guru-Krupa. ‘Guru- Krupa’ does not have any material connotations. So you have found a Nija-Guru and what do you ask him for, money? marriage? children? job? eg my Uncle is very rich and interested in even more money, (typical Capricorn nature focussed on the material), he would request the Sat-Guru to bless him with more money! If you have the Parabrahma sitting in front of you, what should you ask for, money or Moksh?

A real Jivan-mukt Sat-Guru will never give blessings for material accomplishments. His blessings, his Guru Krupa, is only and only for the spiritual life. (If you meet a ‘guru’ who offers you success in wealth, marriage, profession and says nothing about Moksh, is not a real Guru). In this modern world, spirituality has also turned into a marketable item. So many people out there waiting to capitalise on your faith and your trust.

Your faith and trust is the most precious energy you have. Offer it only to that one Nija-Guru, the correct guide, who you are convinced will take you to Moksh.

Jai Jai Guru Maharaj Guru, Jai Jai Parabrahma Satguru!

 

Om_-symbol

The Mantra Soham Hamsa and OM

Every practice of Sanatan Dharm/ Hinduism, the ‘eternal right action’ requires that,

  • you remain in control of your breathing pattern,
  • focus at your third eye
  • and mentally recite a Mantra.

Unless these 3 conditions are satisfied you will not gain control over the pran/vital energy moving in your energy body. And if you do not control the pran, you will not be able to do anything else further.

If you do the breathing or the yogic posture/Asan without the accompanying Mantra, the Sadhana/practice becomes tamasic in nature. The energies invoked will be unmoving, dull and eventually discordant. You are working with your own personal energies, do not experiment. If you do make errors, you will suffer on the internal levels, you might gain physical health but spiritually you will remain nil.

Reciting the Mantra mentally is compulsory. Mantra is not ‘religious’. It is a form of the Universal energy, you are entraining your personal energy with it, so that you attain the Ultimate.

The Mantra Soham Hamsa and OM

Now for doing Dhyan there are only 3 Mantra options,

  1. ‘Soham’- the best option if you want to experience Moksh – you mentally recite ‘So’ while breathing in and while breathing out ‘ham’ mentally. So together it is ‘Soham’. Anyone can do it without formal initiation from a living Guru.
  2. Or ‘OM’ – mentally recite one single OM as you breathe in and one single OM as you breathe out. This much can be done by anyone. (There is one another way of using the OM but you will need a proper enlightened Guru for its initiation)
  3. Or ‘Hamsa’ – mentally recite ‘Ham’ while breathing out and while breathing in ‘Sa’. Together it becomes ‘Hamsa’. This too can be done by anyone without any formal initiation.

‘So’ here is the Universal consciousness/ Param-atma and ‘ham’ is the narrow sense of self/ individual soul/ Jiv-atma.

  • So = Sa + O = success, knowledge, accomplishment + eternal Anahata/unstruck sound (there is sound but nothing was struck to create it)
  • Ham = Ha + M = Eternity + completion, endlessness, the Bindu – this is also a beej mantra when pronounced aloud as ‘hang’

When you breathe in, it is called Purak (filling). This is linked to ‘Sa’ (sa-kaar). When you hold your breath now it is called Antah Kumbhak (internal measure/base) this is linked to the vibration of ‘O’. When you breathe out it is called Rechak (emptying) this is linked to “ha’ (ha-kaar). And when you hold your lungs empty now this is called Bahya Kumbhak (external measure/base) linked to the ‘M’ vibration.

Kumbhak is the important part of breathing, here the inward and outward going breath are balanced perfectly and there is perfect stillness as described in the Vidnyan Bhairav Tantra. This is also the limit/joint, the conscious energy of Sandhya which is also called the Devi Mahamaya. She creates, maintains then destroys and is all pervading.

In the deeper Dhyan phases, the ‘sa’ and ‘ha’ Akshar somehow get ‘deleted’ and only ‘OM’ the primordial Nada remains. This will take some time but it will happen. You keep practicing and witness it when it does happen.

The Ida naadi is linked to the ‘Sa’ and the Pingala naadi to the ‘Ha’. When the ‘Ha’ and the ‘Sa’ get ‘neutralized’ (can’t find a better word) the OM remains. After this the Ida/ Pingala shut down and Sushumna naadi gets active. The pran from the Universe which enters through your third eye chakra moves into the Sushumna. It starts the process of ‘cleaning’ it out. Only when it is completely ‘clean’ and ‘through’, can the energy of self-identification /kundalini enter it and move through it till it reaches the top-most chakra, Moksh.

‘Soham’ is the energy which pulls the Kundalini up towards its merger with the Ultimate. ‘Hamsa’ in this sense would be the energy of manifestation and ‘Soham’, the energy of dissolution. Both are interlinked and equal in the real sense. For creation you need to have a dissolution first, then only can something be created. And for dissolution to happen you need creation in the first place which will be then dissolved. These two are very powerful mantra, but they still are defined. Each is defined in relation to the other, thus are not the Ultimate on their own. They are the link to the Ultimate.

The Ultimate is pure OM.

(How would you describe a pearl? White, small, round, pearly, iridescent, from an oyster, etc. But these terms describe its properties in relation to something else. They do not describe the pearl as such, stand-alone, on its own. Thus a pearl cannot be really described, or can it?)

Now these two mantras are also called the ‘Ajapa Gayatri‘. Ajapa means ‘not counted/recited’. Jap means to count and recite. If you pay attention to the ‘sound’ of your breath, it does sound like ‘so’ when breathing in and ‘ham’ as you breathe out. You are always reciting Soham when you are breathing, unconsciously. See, you are always reciting a Mantra as you breathe. Breath without Mantra is not possible. You do not realise it, but you are doing a 21,600 times jaap of Soham every day. But the trick is to be aware of this continuous sound of Soham. This awareness is called ‘Soham Yog’ or ‘Hamsa Yog’. Your Dhyan is the means to this goal.

When you recite Soham mentally with your breath you are ‘churning’ the internal pran/vital air with your focussed breathing, in and out. You are attracting the Ultimate consciousness by repeatedly calling out its name ‘Soham’ (it becomes OM later, your real name). And you are applying force on the closed door of the Sushumna by focussing on the third eye chakra. The door will open!

shri_smarth_sadguru_muppin_kadsiddheshwar_maharaj
Samarth Satguru Shri Muppin Kadsiddheshwar Maharaj

My Guru taught me the Mantra ‘Soham’ in this life 37 yrs ago. It is the simplest and safest means to achieve your spiritual goal, Moksh.

But do you have the Intention? How long will you Play till you decide to come Home?

 

Essential spiritual practice

There are several spiritual practices, doing Yogasan/yogic postures, to doing mantra-jaap/reciting mantras, doing karma-kaand/rituals, to doing Dhyan etc. Every type of practice has its own importance, and throughout all our several lives we adopt one practice after the other, till we reach our objective. Now in the tangible sense all these spiritual practices do only one thing, silence the mind. The purpose of our spiritual life is to be able to consciously control the movement of pran/vital energy in the nadi/energy channel system of the body. This control is linked to the act of breathing. And the act of breathing is linked to the emotional state. And the emotional state depends on the the lens of perception, the mind.

Once you intend that you want to to Experience, there is no going back. This simple Intention releases tiny energies which coalesce to become bigger, you will sense your body getting lighter, brighter, the blockages getting loose, the attachments of the outer world getting fainter, your chakras moving ever faster, your kundalini energy getting active and blasting you out of this construct called Maya/Universe.

Essential spiritual practice

The mind is like a whirlwind, happy, sad, now flowing like a river, then flying off to the sky. Every sense organ, taste, smell, sight, touch and sound gives this mind even more objects to run behind. If you think, it is something like a monkey, restless. Observe a monkey in the park and you have your mind, it is so full of purpose but without a focus, sometimes this, sometimes that! Now the trick is to give this mind a focus, something it concentrates on and then force it to concentrate. Something like putting blinkers on a horse so that it can be put to work and productive. Your mind is the ocean of all the astral energies of all your existence, your past/present/future/parallel lives all at once. It also contains the memory of your Higher self, but unless it becomes still, you cannot access. It throws its waves and foam at you, distracting you.

Now what should you concentrate on? Very frankly there is only one thing in the universe, You! You are everything. You are unique, the one, You Are. So concentrate on yourself. But then you are not the flesh-body that you see staring back at you in the mirror. You are more, but right now quite unaware. So you read books written by enlightened Gurus, Teachers, Enlightened Souls, listen to their voices, feel their blessings. You read their experiences and desire the same experience for yourself. But remember you are not your Guru, his experience is his, your’s will be yours. The importance is always to the one who Experiences. You are ‘You’.

This ‘You’ resides within you, ‘behind’ the third eye chakra, this place is called the Kuthastha. (You are the unchangeable supreme essence located at the top Bindu of the Meru hyper dimensional geometry). So you concentrate at the pitch darkness that you see at your third eye. It takes a lot of strength of Will to stare at darkness, doing your practice, hoping that You will be kind to yourself and Show Yourself. This ‘You’ has a name too, it is ‘Om’. So while you are staring at the closed door of the Kutastha, you will keep knocking on it too, calling out to Yourself, by your name. This is the Mantra.

Now who is a Guru? Not everyone wearing a saffron or white dhoti/kurta is a Guru. There are several fakers out there. In this modern world someone with not so clear motives gets a bit of siddhi while doing sadhana, he immediately starts collecting disciples. And then uses the energies of faith that they willingly give over to him. Never give your faith to anyone so easily. Your faith is your energy, be very careful with your faith. For accepting any theory or anyone in spiritual matters, there are 3 criteria,

  1. This must be detailed in and examined in depth in an accepted authoritative book. (Granth prachiti) eg, the Vignyan Bhairav Tantra, the Bhagwad Gita, the Veds, Devi mahatmya, Upanishads, etc.
  2. Then this theory must be explained by an accepted authority, a Teacher who has experienced it himself first. (Guru prachiti)
  3. And this is the most important test, your inner you/Conscience/Antaratma should accept it as being correct. (Atma prachiti) You must examine things for yourself. You are the final judge. Sanatan Dharm ensures freedom. Choose what your intuition/sense understands to be correct, there are consequences both good and bad, so be very careful when you choose this spiritual path and the practice that you will now perform. The choice is ultimately yours alone.

Now concentrating is a very dull task, your mind runs away, dragging it back takes Conscious Will. So now we have to reinforce this will. This requires faith. Your first source of faith is the example of your Guru, or what you read in your accepted Book. You look at your Guru, you want the experience that he is existing in. You read the description of the Paramtattva in the Book and want to experience it for yourself. This faith works like a crutch, you lean on it for support. But once you start experiencing your own stuff, you should leave aside this crutch too. The job of a Guru is to hand-hold till the tipping point, once you start seeing the lightening flashing at your third eye the job of a Guru is over. Now your faith is in your own experience, it is very liberating. The essentials of a spiritual practice are very easy, in fact ridiculously so. It is breath and mantra. If you can be aware of these two things the rest of it will automatically fall into place. You do not have to do anything else at all. Is it really this simple? Yes it is, to read this line it seems quite easy, but you are up against your own Mind! See how strange it actually is.

You take efforts for maintaining your body, looks, house, place in society etc. You work, get tired, earn money to support your family. A smudged lipstick has the potential to ruin your day. You have told your mind, trained it, throughout your innumerable lives that these things are quite important. Now suddenly you turn around and tell the Mind, ‘no no this is not important, leave all this and come away to find the Real Self!’. I guess the Mind would roll its eyes and go rofl! It cannot come out of this training so easily. It fights back. So you too have to fight your Mind. This is the reason all Vedic gods/goddesses have countless weapons depicted in their hands. They give these powers to you, helping you fight your personal Kurukshetra. The 1000th name of Vishnu is, ‘Sarvapraharanayudha’, ‘the one who is equipped in every possible way at every possible time ready to fight’.

So the basic practice everyone has to start with is the Ajapa mantra, Soham or Hamsa. Try to be aware of your breathing pattern throughout the day. Make it a habit, train your mind. Whenever you are not – speaking or eating or doing some thinking work, you should be reciting your mantra in your mind, either Soham or Hamsa, consciously along with your breathing action. This means you do not let your mind wander, you are giving it a focus at all times. If you try to hear to your breathing sound, it sounds like ‘so’ when you inhale and it sounds like ‘hmm’ when you exhale. Thus Vignyan Bhairav Tantra has these 2 Ajapa mantras, ‘So-hum’ or ‘Ham-sa’. (Will put a separate post on these next.) This is the essential spiritual practice, the tiny pebble which initiates everything. As your mind starts entraining itself to this mantra, the Universe will also recognise your Intention and things will come in so beautifully, you will soon get time to do proper Dhyan regularly. And then you know the way to Your own Self.

Your Intention, the power of your Will and your Faith in yourself is the foundation of your spiritual path. Always be confident about yourself. After all you are the Ultimate yourself, the Creator of your Universe.

 

Essential spiritual practice

(Thank you to the kind soul who suggested this topic, I hope reading it triggers something good for you!)