Sergio: Welcome, Yogiraj. Let’s start with an obvious which, likely, isn’t. What is the purpose of Yoga?
Yogiraj: The purpose of Yoga is You, and the purpose of you is your finite consciousness merging into Infinite Consciousness. Yoga is in Consciousness. And Supreme Yoga is Divine Consciousness.
Within each of us is this mystic, inconceivable, indescribable Silence and Love and this urge (calling us) back to our naturalness, or “Sahaj Samadhi”, our natural state of Divine Consciousness.
So Yoga is the science, the way, and the path to actualize the essence of your Being. It has nothing to do with culture or religion. It’s just your path to Truth. It’s an inner ascent through ever more refined and ever more expanded spheres of Consciousness to Divinity, that Stillness before the Big Bang; a stillness which lies at the core of your own Being.
Sergio: Is samadhi something we’ve experienced and forgotten?
Yogiraj: Samadhi is a natural state of enlightenment. When Consciousness enters different sheaths of the body, there is a descent of this awareness into grosser and grosser sheaths. And this is what is called Maya. Consciousness enters the mental sheath. Then it enters the astral sheath of emotions. And then it enters the etheric sheath.
Until it enters the womb and the material sheath of flesh and blood and bone. And it gets more and more restricted as it, in relative sequence, by various permutations, combinations, and aggregation of molecules, becomes denser and denser and denser. That’s why man, when he takes birth from the womb of a mother, his breath penetrates and injects his physical body with such force that the cause is mistaken for the effect, and man idolatrously imagines himself to be the body and not the Soul. And then, by practice of yoga and other techniques, “he” goes back to the natural state of enlightenment.
So the breath is infused into the flesh with such force that you think you are the body, whereas you are actually the Soul. And Yoga is a technique to reverse the electrical flow of prana, or life essence energy, to regain paradise lost. And when you, by the yogic process, reverse your process, interiorize — you merge into your own Divine Consciousness and realize that you are a Soul and you have a body.
Whereas the common people today think they are a body and possess a Soul. It’s not that! Yoga teaches that you are a spirit unfettered in the body and possess an appendix, an attachment of “body,” that is just your garment.
Sergio: What is the Yoga of the Himalayas and how is it distinguished from “Studio Yoga” taught in the West?
Yogiraj: There is only one Yoga. The apparent difference between all yoga branches is only of degree and not of kind. To a Knowing Master, the various yogas can be organized in an ascending order from the physical postural yoga (known as Yoga Asanas) to the emotional / devotional Bhakti Yoga then further ascending to the more mental Mantra, Tantra and Laya Yogas then ascending and expanding further into the intuitional Raja and Gyan Yoga of true knowledge.
When they say yoga here in the West, they mostly imply postural integration — asanas, where they do the Yoga Asanas, the movement of body in various postures, to bring about health. Yoga Asanas are like a self-given shiatsu, self-given massage where you press and compress your body, you heal yourself with them.
But, basically and essentially, Yoga is not postures of integration of asanas. Essentially, the core meaning of Yoga is Samadhi which means “composed mind,” the union of the finite with Infinite Consciousness.
So “Studio Yoga” is the initial tenderfoot, yet sincere effort of most Western teachers to maintain bodily fitness and then further ascend toward the one Yoga which is Samadhi, the fusion of the finite with the Infinite Consciousness. The urge is to go back to our Parent Source.
Sergio: Why is the guidance of a guru or meditation master important to the practice of Yoga?
Yogiraj: Yoga is a natural process of the journey of the soul towards its parent source, the Spirit. But it takes a million, million years for a soul to reach its natural state of Yoga-union with its Infinite Spirit.
In order to avoid all karmic pitfalls and difficulties and to make the journey of our soul safer, swifter, and more blessed, it is most important that one evolves himself in his journey by the grace of a divine master, one who has realized Samadhi-Yoga, or the True State of Infinite Consciousness.
What a normal meditation practitioner would take to accomplish in several million years, the blessings of a Satguru, or Master, and the technique of Kriya Yoga would accomplish in twenty-four years, in twelve years even, and, if the practice is intensified, in six years and three years in very exceptional cases.
In the unchartered ocean of life, the Satguru is the navigator and the goal is Shiva’s Divine Form, or realized Samadhi Yoga, the goal of Divine Consciousness. Under no stretch of imagination, can the Satguru’s usefulness be dispensed within Himalayan Yoga or any yoga.
Sergio: What then is Kriya Yoga? How does it differ from other systems of Yoga?
Yogiraj: At the outset let me make it clear that all the yogas and faiths and spiritual practices in the world are the symphony of one divine orchestra, it is the immature ego in the human mind which makes of this harmony a disharmony. All the yogas, if understood in their proper wisdom, are flowing one into the other as the musical notes and varied instruments. Similarly, the practice of postural yoga, of Yoga Asanas flows into Hatha Yoga which flows into Kriya Yoga, which flows into Raja Yoga and then into Samadhi Yoga.
As a matter of real fact, Kriya Yoga takes the best of all yogas: it is a connecting yoga between Hatha and Raja Yogas containing the properties of both and linking the spectrum of all. Patanjali mentions Kriya Yoga in his second chapter which comprises self-endeavored discipline, self-endeavored study, and a pure offering of one’s self to the Divine, be it as Guru or God.
Kriya Yoga is the science of life-force energy control which develops into a concentration and then a meditative practice until Kriya Yoga finally merges that into states of Samadhi and is then qualified to be called Raja Yoga.
When the mind is dissolved, then this yoga expands into the ecstasy of total enlightenment called Kaivalya or Brahma Nirvana. It is from and with this total enlightenment that the Satguru guides aspiring practitioners towards Samadhi, home, to their Parent Source.
For over 40 years, Yogiraj Sidd-hanath has healed and transformed millions all over the world with his kundalini shakti transmissions, sharing freely his own Samadhi (enlightened state) of peaceful bliss-consciousness with public audiences. Yogiraj commences the U.S. leg of his 2011 World Tour in mid-July with “experiential chats” in San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York. For more information on these and his intensive retreats, please visit: www.HamsaYoga.org/Awareness