Sahaj Marg System
I may today present before you some of the important features of our System, known as Sahaj Marg or the Natural Path of Realisation. The System runs along simplest and most natural lines, which are easily adjustable to the ordinary routine of a worldly life. It admits none of the methods of rigid austerity, penance or physical mortification undertaken with a view to effecting the strangulation of the mind and the indriyas. The ideology of Sahaj Marg is so plain that, often for this very reason it is not so well understood by people who are under the impression that Realisation is the most difficult job, which required persistent labour for lives and ages. It may, however, be difficult to those who proceed on, loaded with their own confused conceptions of Reality, and adopt complicated means for their achievement. As a matter of fact, Reality, which one aspires for, is so simple that, its very simplicity has become a veil to it. A simple thing can be achieved by simple means alone. Therefore, for the realisation of the simple it is only the simplest means that can ensure success.
It is quite easy to pick up a needle from the ground by means of your fingers, but if you apply a crane for the purpose it may well-high be impossible. Exactly the same is the case of Realisation. The confusing methods and complicated means advised for the realisation of the simplest do not, therefore, serve the purpose. Rather, they keep one entangled in his self-created complexities all life. As a matter of fact, Realisation is neither, a game of contest with nerves and muscles nor a physical pursuit involving austerity, penance or mortification. It is only the transformation of the Inner Being of its Real Nature. That is what Sahaj Marg takes into account, ignoring misplaced superfluities connected with it. Practices advised under the System are not merely formal and mechanical, related with the closing of eyes for meditation. They have a definite objective, a purpose and an end. There are two aspects of its, the one being the abhyas, and the second the Master's support through Pranahuti or Yogic Transmission, which accelerates an abhyasi's progress by removing complexities and obstructions on his path. Under the old ways of practice, it was an aspirant who had to struggle hard for removing all impediments and obstructions, while the guru's job ended up with prescribing certain mechanical practices for the purpose. It is, however, not so in Sahaj Marg, where much of the responsibility in this respect rests upon the Master, who removes impediments and clears off complexities from an abhyasi's mind, by applying His own power through Yogic Transmission or Pranahuti.
This age-old system of Yogic Transmission has ever been the very basis of Raj Yog, but during the later period, it had almost been lost to the Hindus, who were the real originators of it. It is now due to the marvellous efforts of my Master, Samarth Guru Mahatma Shri Ram Chandraji Maharaj of Fatehgarh, that this long forgotten System has been revived and brought to light. Under this process, the Master, by the application of His internal powers, awakens and accelerates the dormant forces in an abhyasi to action, and diverts the flow of the Divine Current towards his heart. The only thing for an abhyasi to do is to connect himself with the power of the Master, whose mind and senses are thoroughly disciplined and regulated. In that case, the Master's power begins to flow into an abhyasi’s heart, regulating the tendencies of his mind also. But this does not refer to the old orthodox view about gurudom.
In our Mission, we take it in the form of common brotherhood, with a spirit of service and sacrifice. But, then, there is one difficulty. People are generally prone to be impressed by one, who displays to them charming miracles. Though this capacity does develop automatically by the effect of practice, it can by no means be held as the criterion of yoga siddhi. Besides, a true Raj Yogi would never feel inclined towards it for the purpose of display. Miracles are, however, of two kinds, one of Divine Nature and the other of the material nature. The purpose of the former is always Godly, whereas that of the latter is worldly. The former type of miracles are awakened in him, who proceeds by subtleness and they solve the problem of life that confronts us. On the other hand, those proceeding along with grossness, develops miracles of the latter type which overburden the heart. If, however, one gets absorbed in the conditions of this lower attainment he, as a whole, becomes a knot, so to say, with a whirlpool inside for himself to be drowned in. If that power is utilised on others, they will also be dragged into the same whirlpool. In our sanstha, almost everyone possesses this capacity, but the watchful eye of the Master keeps it under control, lest he might go astray on that account. He is not even aware of it, but it comes to pass through his medium when genuine need for it arises. For our spiritual help and support we, therefore, need as our Master, not one who displays wonderful miracles or exhibits extraordinary feats of asan or pranayam or delivers learned discourses on the philosophy of Maya, Jiva and Brahman, but one who can solve the practical difficulties, remove impediments from the path and help us along by His own inner power. If, fortunately, you happen to find One whose association promotes in you the feeling of peace and calmness and the restlessness of mind seems to be silenced by His effect, you must understand that He has transcended the limit of senses and that He can be a fit person to help you in the solution of your problem of life by the exercise of His inner powers. By connecting yourself with Him with love and devotion you also begin to transform accordingly.
The routine practice followed in our sanstha is meditation on the heart. The same practice has also been advised by Patanjali. The basic principle of this process has already been discussed in the Efficacy of Raja Yoga, which I do not intend to repeat here again. The process greatly helps us in throwing out the grossness of our being and in assuming a state of highest subtleness. We know that God is completely devoid of grossness, so the realisation of God must mean the attainment of a state of similar subtleness to the last possible degree. This is what we aim at in Sahaj Marg. The system helps an abhyasi free himself from grossness that has settled round him in the form of coverings.
The technique of Sahaj Marg, though quite simple, is often beyond common grasp, since its adheres closely to Absolute Reality and proceeds along the subtlest lines. It prescribes meditation on the heart, supposing the presence of Divine Light there. But an abhyasi is directed not to try to see the light in any form or shape. If he does so, the light, if perchance it appears to his view, will not be the real one but a projection of his mind. An abhyasi is, however, advised to take it in the form of a mere supposition. In that case, it will be the subtlest, and we shall, thereby, be meditating upon the subtlest. Every saint has used the word 'light' for it and I too cannot avoid it, since that is the only expression best suited for the purpose. But that creates some complications, because when we talk of light, the idea of luminosity becomes predominant and we begin to take it as glittering. The real light carries with it no such sense and may be represented as ‘light without luminosity’. It refers to the very real Substance or, more appropriately, the substance, which is associated with neither light nor darkness but is beyond both.
Under our System of practice too, an abhyasi no doubt does see the light sometimes, but that is only in the beginning when matter comes into contact with energy. In other words, it is a clue to show that energy has begun to work. Moreover, light not being our goal, the vision of luminosity within or without is not an indication of the attainment of Realisation.
Under the System of Sahaj Marg, the dormant energies of the centre and sub centres are awakened so as to enable them to function properly. When the higher centres are awakened, they begin to shed their effect upon the lower centres and when they come into contact with the Divine, the lower ones get merged in them. The higher centres, thus, take over charge of the lower ones. The lower centres too are cleaned so as to relieve them of the grosser effects settled on them. That alone is the proper and the most natural course which can bring about the highest results.
One thing which I especially lay stress upon is that an abhyasi must cultivate an intense craving amounting to restless eagerness or pinching impatience for the realisation of the goal. It is this feeling of pain or restlessness, as one might call it, which one has to develop in order to ensure easy success. But I fear, lest one might come up saying he has stepped into the field of spirituality not for having pain or unrest but for achieving peace and tranquility, and he may be right from his point of view. But, from my point of view, I would say the former is for those who have their eyes fixed upon the Divine while the latter is meant for those who want to partake of the delight of intoxication, so to say. The latter is, however, not so very difficult to achieve, while the attainment of the former is not, of course, a child's play. Many a man must have had a taste of the condition of peace. Let us now taste the former for a spark of which one might be ready to forego thousand states of peace and calmness. This is, in fact, the foundation of the entire structure which brings forth rare personalities into the world. The actual state of the real peace is beyond comprehension. It admits of no contradictions. It is literally neither peace nor restlessness, neither union nor separation, neither bliss nor its opposite. It is, after all, that for which we have developed pain. May you all have a taste of the pain. It is not, however, difficult to cultivate. A firm will and an undivided attention towards it are all that are required for the purpose, then what you seek for will be found quite close to you. Nay! You might yourself be that which you seek for. For that, there must be a burning heart, which might burn down the weeds and bushes on the path.
At the Annual function of the Mission, 1963