It is difficult to define exactly what Sahaja Yoga is. In Sanskrit, “Saha” and “ja” mean with and born respectively. Thus, “Sahaja” means born with. Yoga, as we all know, means union, ie, oneness with the universe or the divine entity through enlightenment. Thus, Sahaja Yoga is, first and foremost, a meditation technique. It means to help a person awaken the innate enlightenment within themselves. It does so through easy meditation techniques with stress on seeking the truth. But, if we are to step back a bit, we will see that Sahaja Yoga is a congregation, almost a religion of followers, who collectively call themselves Sahaja Yogis. It, however, has often faced accusations of being a cult. However, the stringency and relentless recruitment of followers is not seen in Sahaja Yoga. Therefore, none of these claims has ever found any ground.
However, Sahaja Yoga is not a self-proclaimed religion, though. The founder of Sahaja Yoga is Shri Nirmala Srivastava, popularly called Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi. However, her followers fondly call her Shri Mataji or Mother. In her own words, she did not build Sahaja Yoga to be a religion. A religion requires a belief, and Sahaja Yoga does not condone following a belief blindly. It only encourages a person to find their inner peace, enlightenment, and connection to God. This is achieved through Kundalini awakening using meditation and right thought.
What are the Basic Beliefs of Sahaja Yoga
Within your physical body resides a subtle body system. This system runs on various energies found in the body like prana, bindu, amrta, and kundalini. The system of channels through which these energies flow is known as nadis. Thousands of nadis exist around the body, but the most important are three. These are the ida, pingala, and sushumna. The Chakras refer to special points all across the body. People can route their energies through these points for special benefits.
According to Sahaja Yoga, the ida channel, ie, the blue one associated with the moon, controls the left sympathetic nervous system. This channel ends in the pineal body and supplements the superego. It connects to our past as the superego holds all our memories and habits, including our conditionings and learned reflexes. In contrast, the pingala nadi is the yellow or tawny one. It corresponds to the sun and controls the right sympathetic nervous system. It terminates in the pituitary gland and its energy, the rajas, nourishes the ego. This connects to our plans and thoughts about the future and our energy to bring them about. Lastly, the sushumna nadi corresponds to the parasympathetic nervous system and is present in the center. It is through this that the kundalini uncoils and rises to reach the top of the head.
The seven chakras each hold a separate potential to reach the state of complete inner peace. The kundalini activates them when passing through them and helps us achieve those states. From the bottom to the top, the Muladhara or root chakra holds our innocence, innate joy and purity and childlike wisdom unpolluted by conditioning and modern lifestyles. The Swadisthana or sacral chakra is the source of creativity and inspiration and it connects us with the pure knowledge of the universe with single-minded attention. The nabhi chakra at the solar plexus, on activation, fills us with a sense of complete contentment and generosity and relieves all stress and anxiety about our accomplishments. The anahata or heart chakra holds our true self and will fill us with love and compassion for our dear ones. Moreover, it gives us complete security in our relationships and a sense of responsibility towards them.
The vishuddhi or throat chakra gives us the perspective to see ourselves as a part of the whole of the universe. Additionally, it imparts us with playful detachment and diplomacy towards life and relationships. It allows us to have a balanced approach to life. The Agnya chakra or the third eye is the chakra that teaches us forgiveness and gives us closure. Thus, it helps us let go of all anger and resentment holding us back and preventing us from moving forward.. Lastly, the Sahasrara or crown chakra frees our perception of all worldly constraints and allows us to gain the true meaning of life. When the kundalini reaches this chakra, your awakening is complete.
How to Perform Sahaja Yoga Meditation
Sahaja Yoga meditation requires one to interact requires one to directly interact with the kundalini. For this, you have to sit in a comfortable place and rest your left hand, palm facing up, on your left knee. Then, close your eyes and follow the steps below:
- Place your right hand on your heart and ask in your mind thrice “Mother, am I the spirit?”
- Put your right hand on the left side of your upper abdomen and ask in your mind thrice “Mother, am I my own master?”
- Put the hand in the left lower part of the abdomen and say in your mind “Mother, please give me the pure knowledge.” six times.
- Place it now back on the left upper abdomen and say ten times with confidence “Mother, I am my own master.”
- Again put your hand up to your heart and say in your mind twelve times “Mother, I am the pure spirit.”
- Now place the hand between your neck and shoulder on the left and assure yourself sixteen times “Mother, I am not guilty at all.”
- Press your hand on your forehead and repeat “Mother, I forgive everyone including myself.” several times.
- Now, press your hand on the back of your head and repeat “Oh, Divine Power, if I have committed any mistakes, please forgive me.”
- Press your hand on the top of your head and cyclically move the head seven times, repeating “Mother, please give me my Self-Realization.”
If successfully completed, you will enter a state of thoughtless awareness. In this state, you will be fully conscious but with a clear, thoughtless mind. After this, you will also feel a cool breeze on your palms and the top of your head. This signals the completion of the kundalini awakening. Through this self-realization, continuing meditation, attending pujas, and doing the recommended foot-baths, you will be able to reap the full Sahaja Yoga benefits of mental, emotional, and physical well-being.