Stages of spiritual evolution
A stir in the ultimate has been the cause of this creation. The highest approach possible for man is to attain that condition which was at his time of creation. Immediately after the stir or a sort of Explosion or a kind of Great impulse, the Divine currents or stream or Vibrations started to flow. The flow of the currents took innumerable shapes and forms. Inversions, complexities and formation of knots were the natural results of the flow of the currents. The tendency of the flow was downwards, i.e. from a higher level to a lower level or from subtler condition to grosser condition.
The power of that original stir was partaken of by all the beings created. Man got the lion’s share because he was connected more with the Centre or the Ultimate. In him, too, the creative power worked to form knots, complexities and grossness. But man’s inner formation was in the opposite direction to that of God’s creation. The resultant strife helped still more to increase his inner complexities and perversion. The drama of the Almighty’s creation will be over when the force of the original stir is completely expanded. That state is called the final Dissolution or Mahapralaya. Similarly, man’s own tiny creation can be dissolved when the power of his thought is taken away from it. This is called the individual’s pralaya, or the dissolution of the individual. What remains after it? Only that which is the Original.
This turning away of man’s thought from his own tiny creation can be effected by some specific methods of Yoga. The result will be the commencement of his reverse journey towards his origin. All the higher approaches lie between his present gross condition and his Original state. When a person forms a strong will and determines to attain real goal of human life with faith and confidence, he has already come to a higher level of being.
The region of Heart is the play-house of the entire drama of life. The heart can be broadly divided into two parts, namely, the upper or the brighter part and the lower or the darker part. When a person takes up the path of spirituality his journey commences in the upper region of the heart. He gets the experience of the Divine Light pervading the entire universe or every particle emitting the Divine Light. The super consciousness of the heart region also is activated. It may take many years to complete the journey of the first point of the Heart region. By the help of transmission the journey can be completed as quickly as one desires. After merging in or acquiring oneness with the condition of that place the student can move towards the right side to the next stage of the Heart region, which is called the seat of Atman. The characteristic of this place is the Divine Peace or silence or tranquility or bliss. There are other points which are described in detail in “Anant Ki- Or” and other publications of Shri Ram Chandra Mission and other mystic literature.
Every transitional phase from one stage to the next higher stage is full of restlessness and pain. Nevertheless this pain is very sweet and welcome. After the restlessness, comes a condition of comparative peace and bliss. The experiences of certain divine conditions like the state of Divine pervasiveness, divine bliss, the integralness of existence, the state of oneness go on repeating in subtler and subtler forms. Simultaneously the experiences of this world go on gradually fading out. It means that the heart has stopped taking impressions of the worldly matters.
No doubt, at higher approaches man is still busy with the worldly activities. He is quite a normal person for all practical purposes. Yet his attachments from the world are completely loosened and at a still higher level he feels actually the strings snapped off. Although he is doing all the works of the world, yet he is in a state of wonder as to how all the works are being done by him. He feels as if some else is doing them.
When one rises above his body consciousness, he feels as if his own body is of somebody else. When he rises above the soul consciousness, he feels as if he is lost. When he rises above the consciousness itself, he is no longer there and only that remains which is his ultimate source. He is now swimming in the Central region.
When one gets established in Yoga one automatically gets the essence of all of that with which he is united. This union or attachment is developed by the process of thinking only. It is a matter of every day experience that the outer form of a thing comes into view on the first observation. On a closer examination its qualities begin to enter into one’s awareness. If the observation is still continued, its subtle form alone remains in view and further still, only the idea remains. This means that the deeper layers of the consciousness of the observer are progressively affected and activised, and finally the union is established. If this method is adopted with the Divine Being apparently in a human form, one goes on progressively, getting united with That. In Sahaj Marg, this process is accelerated very much by transmission.
The higher approaches in spirituality are nothing but subtler and subtler levels of being. In proportion to one’s height of approach, his power of thought becomes strong. A skilful Master cleverly directs this increased power for pushing the disciple to a yet higher level of being. The help of a competent Master becomes absolutely necessary at higher approaches because, there conditions are very slippery and every moment there is the fear of a fall. Due to immense power of thought the temptations to use it for the fulfillment of some silly desire or other becomes irresistible. Only a capable Master can skillfully handle such powers which are meant to be utilized only for the purpose of God, or for the Divine work. Therefore, it is always beneficial for an aspirant to be unaware or to remain unmindful of his powers by surrendering himself completely to the will of God.
The capacity of human thought is indeed very great. When man takes up the observation of the physical world, his knowledge of it expands to such immensity that he considers this worldly existence alone to be all-inall. When he looks to the power of his thinking he concludes that the entire Existence is made up of thought alone. Every field of activity of his thought goes on expanding very vastly. In Sahaj Marg his thought is made to get linked up with his Origin; therefore he is not allowed to stagnate or even to expand at any level during his journey until he reaches the Goal. Nevertheless when he takes an occasional side-long view he finds the brilliance or dazzle of the brighter worlds to be too charming to rise higher. At such times the help of the capable Master becomes absolutely necessary to orient his thought in the required direction. Therefore even the much praised and much sought-after Bliss, too, is sacrificed at the altar of the final destination.
People may not like the idea of attaining or approaching the condition which is beyond Bliss. Generally they are satisfied if they are promised the glorious condition of Existence- Consciousness- Bliss or Sachchidananda. But the researches of the inventor of Sahaj Marg have opened up new vistas. Whether one likes it or not, the Ultimate condition lies far beyond Sachchidananda. If some means or the other, one attains that condition where there is neither existence nor non-existence, neither consciousness nor unconsciousness, neither Bliss nor sorrow, he would rather allow his whole body to be cut into pieces than to part with such condition.
Even in ordinary lives, one sometimes comes across examples where man, under the pressure of some strange and strong motivation, has done glorious deeds, without caring for his own safety. Saving the lives of others sacrificing his own life almost deifies and immortalises him. Whence has that motivation come? These examples clearly indicate certain potentialities in the human being. The glorious works of the prophets the ennobling and hope-giving words of the devotees of God, the selfless services of great men are clear evidences of the presence of some higher power in man. In a common man those powers are all almost dormant. When the power of yoga is kindled in him, all of his potentialities are lit up. He no longer remains a helpless spectator or a lifeless puppet in the drama of life. He becomes the master and a really free man to take his proper position in this great workhouse of Nature.
During his march on Sahaj Marg, one passes through different kinds and stages of Samadhi or trance or absorbency. The feeling of being drowned in some pious thought is a common experience of almost all the beginners, the final state of being is the Sahaj Samadhi or natural balanced mind. Man, at this stage, is although fully busy with his worldly duties and activities, yet he is completely merged in God. Apparently or outwardly he is quite an ordinary man, yet his inner condition is that of God or the perfect being. All the Divine qualities of omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence become his, yet he is above the awareness of his own qualities. It can be termed as the state of perfect ignorance. He is simple and child-like and very sweet. Whoever comes into contact with such a one, finds him to be his own self. His love becomes all comprehensive and knows no bounds. In short, he is released from all the finiteness and has realized the Infinity.
The idea of the perfect purity of the ultimate condition has led people to develop the practices of purification of locale, body, mind, etc. These practices are quite tedious and time consuming. And many a time they stagnate at one level or another. In Sahaj Marg, the effect of transmission directly hits the inner most core of one’s being or his causal body. The necessary purification and the introduction of the Divine Light is done at the Central portion. The practice of meditation helps that effect to grow outwards. Gradually the mental, vital and physical bodies are affected. And finally every particle of one’s being is transformed into energy and divinized. If the ascent of the aspirant is necessary for the descent of the Divine Grace, the necessary ascent is affected through the transmission of the Divine Grace right from the beginning in the practice of Sahaj Marg.
Thus, the transformation of the aspirant into his ultimate is the highest approach aimed at in Sahaj Marg. The ideal is not an un-attainable and speculative being but it is actually realized in practice by those who have undergone the training under the expert guidance of the Master of Sahaj Marg. The principle of transmission is the novel discovery or the rediscovery which has made the path so smooth, easy and natural that it cannot be believed unless it is actually experienced.