Ra-Hoor-Khuit Network's
Magickal Library



from the book

Yoga of Light

The classic esoteric handbook of kundalini yoga

-Hans-Ulrich Rieker


Imagine that on the first morning after Easter vacation, a professor enters his classroom and announces: "Ladies and gentlemen, forget everything that you have learned so far. Everything that you have had to cram into your head so far was good and important, but it was only necessary for the lower classes. Now that you are working for your finals and are about to graduate, we will pay attention only to the essential, namely, the knowledge of ourselves."

Everyone freezes. All those years of worrying, the wakeful nights, the expensive books, the pain of memorizing-everything useless. senseless? The top student jumps up. He fights for the fruits of those painful years: his high grades which are about to be completely forgotten.

The professor smiles. "You are now going from the seminar room out into real life. There you won't be asked whether you have carefully analyzed Plato, but whether you can be a useful member of the State in the sense of the platonic polis. Hardly any of you will have occasion in his profession to work with tangents and pi's. Forget the rules and laws-but never forget that you have had the opportunity, through the laws of mathematics, to glimpse the great universal laws; and remember that these laws are valid even where we do not yet have formulas.

"Forget the sentences that you had to memorize; but remember that their meaning has now become second nature to you. It is in the forgetting of the mechanical process that the effect of real knowing is produced. Now the mind is completely free and can give full attention to its own self. If you still feel the need to have recourse to the first three stages, you are not ready for the fourth stage. You are ready only when all your spiritual efforts are devoted to this fourth stage. Once again, forget the teachings, for now you have experience. Let us begin."

(1) Veneration to Siva, the guru who is in the form of nada, bindu and kala. He who is thus devoted reaches the maya-free state.

We have to pay careful attention here, for this devotional sentence harbors some vital information: Shiva who is in the form of nada, bindu and Kala.

It is not difficult to understand this, provided one is willing to study the intricate symbolism of Indian Tantra. However, that is not the purpose of this book. We want to turn directly to the practical side of the problem.

Let us imagine the strange case of a man who wants to recreate the universe. First he must decide what he requires. His answer to this is "quite simply" vibrations. What kind of vibrations would our presumptuous creator need?

Let us classify. The highest range of vibration is that of cosmic rays, which we term "light" for short; the middle range is "heat", and the lowest range "sound." But man too is part of the universe, and since every part of the creation is subject to the same laws, let our "creator" limit himself for the time being to the creation of man from his arsenal of vibrations. This man is a mechanism of the most manifold forces, and tendencies that in their theoretical totality bear the name of Siva. And since the composition of the universe is not different from that of man, and they both are subject to the same great law, this Siva is created out of the lower range of vibrations, "sound" (nada) and the highest, "light" (kala). (We will speak about the middle range later).

But just as the universe is not a dynamo, neither is man a machine, for he understands "sound" as a concept, as a name, and "light" as image, as form. In this too he corresponds to the cosmos, where divine forces, finer than matter, rule in profound regions. But let us remain with man.

He coprehends. In other words, he not only exists but he knows himself. Everything in him is a process sustained by a force, a process that is in fact itself this force, the force of nature. And this force of nature (prakriti or shakti) is inseparable from him, the siva. In fact, without this force he would not exist, for their relationship is the polarity of all beings.

Thus, as stated, man comprehends himself. And what he comprehends is not only the technical process of vibrations, but also the finer aspect of bindu, the principle of intelligence. Thus siva is not only nada (sound)_ and kala (light) but also bindu (sense).

The middle range of vibrations (heat) is, as we already know, the metabolism. But this "fire" is not sheerly biological; it too has its finer aspect, its bindu. In Part Three, we saw how we can influence this fire in an indirect way by inhibiting it through the "nectar."

Now when the yogi wishes to produce his highest and lowest vibration fields to give new character to his personality (which consists of these two ranges of vibration), he would founder hopelessly if he addressed himself directly to his whole personality with all its fields of vibrations.

Instead, he has to learn to work on the "centers" of energy, the chakras. And his whole education is pointed in this direction.

What part do these chakras play on the different levels of vibration? Let’s analyze a word-something that has had a magical character from time immemorial-and let’s try, with this word as an example, to clarify the inner processes.

Take your own name and pronounce it slowly, clearly, and audibly. A multiple reaction takes place:

  1. The pronounced word evoked by the throat chakra rings out, But if you have carefully registered this sound with the physical ear, you have heard the sound and nothing more.
  2. Now pay attention not to the sound, but to the sense. Not the succession of letters but the name is our chief interest. This involves the heart chakra. The word evokes a feeling, because this time you did not listen as attentively, but became more deeply involved internally.
  3. Now don’t pay attention at all; try to occupy your mind elsewhere, and let yourself be spoken to by your own name. Expect nothing, just be addressed unconsciously by your name. Again something else happens: you are startled. It is as though someone suddenly, unexpectedly, called you by name: something like an inaudible signal result every time. And this third plane of vibrations, the source of your personality, lies in the root chakra, the muladhara chakra, at the lowest end of the spinal column, seat of the kundalini. With this example we have presented the three levels on which vibrations, both light and sound, can manifest: coarse, fine, and abstract; or: perceptible through the senses, perceptible through feeling, and perceptible through intuition.

The corresponding manifestations of these three levels of reception are also threefold: physical perception through concentration (dharana), mental perception through meditation (dhyana), and spiritual perception in complete absorption (samadhi).

Before discussing these three methods of perception extensively in their relation to raja yoga, let us compare them with the above example of the name.

  1. noting with the senses (tome with ears or image with eyes).
  2. Reception through feeling (what is the meaning of this or that symbol?)
  3. Nothing; the reception "speaks for itself" because everything conceptual is eliminated.

Nothing much can be said about No. 1. It means perception and nothing more, in the way an animal perceives: pure sensory perception. This is the area of mechanical learning.

Processes on the second plane are considered more complicated, for here we have to presume an immanent spiritual primordial entity, which resembles a tuning fork in that when approached by a similar frequency of sound (or image) it will vibrate with it. Here the "meaning " penetrates the shell of appearances and hits the hidden opposite pole of consciousness, with which it condenses into a dynamic mental process. The fact the "meaning " here does not necessarily indicate the "logical meaning of the word" is intellectually difficult to grasp.

Before the student begins his meditation on the symbols suggested by his guru he has to root them and their inner meaning within himself, for it is not enough to adopt an apparently meaningless pattern of sound or form <mantra and yantra> and give them an arbitrary sense. He has to absorb the symbols so that they can freely unfold their natural forces to mobilize the archetypal spiritual powers, for such is their purpose. They must become as meaningful as one’s proper name or one’s own mirror image.

Before beginning to work with these symbols meditatively he must take his male (rosary) and pronounce every syllable of the given sound symbol (mantra) 100,000 times (japa) while viewing he corresponding form symbol (yantra). Once this is done-and he starts practice early <see Part One, chapter 17>- he has reached the beginning of his powers. By then the mantra has become name: the name of the deity that dwells within him. It is the name of Siva (or one of his powers), for every yogi knows "Sivoham," I am siva.

Mantra becomes the key word, yantra the guidepost to the inner worlds whose source he must find. These inner spheres are fundamentally, primordially a dark, inextricable, labyrinth and even he who knows the ultimate goal needs a guide in order not to go hopelessly stray, for the intellect, like an unclean garment, is discarded at the entrance to this mysterious world. It would be of absolutely no help anyway. The symbol alone is Ariadne’s thread, the magnet that pulls the seeker toward the other pole that is part of himself. In the light of everyday reason the symbol seems strange and incomprehensible, but in the depth of the unconscious it reaches a clarity that thought has never experienced. All this, of course, is valid only for one who has learned to delve below the surface of consciousness into the subconscious for him who has mastered the art of meditation, the art of samadhi.

    1. I now will speak of samadhi, which conquers death and which leads to bliss and union with Brahman. –Raja yoga, samadhi, unmani, manomani, immortality, dissolution, emptiness-but-not-emptiness, the highest state, passivity of the intellect, non-dualism, beginninglessness, purity, liberation in this lifetime, the primordial state, and turiya (the Fourth State), all these are synonyms. –Just as a grain of salt dissolves in water and becomes one with I, so also in samadhi there occurs the union of mind with atman. Mind disolves in breath and breath subsides. Both become one in samadhi. This state of equilibrium results from the union of the jivatman and the paramatman. When mind thus is calm we are in samadhi.

The last two slokas contain three pairs of juxataposed terms: mind and atman; mind and prana (breath); jivatman and paramatman. To understand the meaning of samadhi, we must understand the significance of these paired terms.

Mind and atman: "a thought <mind> has just come to me <atman>," says the student. "To whom?" asks the guru. "To whom came what, and where did it come from? Are these three separate things: you, your mind, and the thought process?"

Mind and breath: "Here is a process", the student thinks during pranayama, "and I am detached, watching the process." This reflection is the contrary of samadhi, the unification. Just as the theater goer does not think: "Here I am and there is the play," but identifies with the play, forgets himself, forgets the process, is absorbed in the play, in the immediacy of a deep experience. As soon as he becomes aware of himself and knows he is here and the theater there, it is the intellect at work that destroys his involvement and with this he loses the essential, the spiritual experience.

Jivatman and pramatman: Jivatman is the individual self, paramatman the absolute, the divine Self. The Universe consists of energy and matter, nothing more. This energy is always one and the same, regardless of how it manifests itself to our senses: as electricity, the motion of the air, the density of matter, or the beating of the heart. It is the energy that is inherent in prayer and the energy that answers prayer. The measure and the mass of this energy seems diverse only because of the various kinds of matter through which it manifests. Energy-in-itself is paramatman, "the energy which creates the personality of the living self."

If I now succeed in experiencing the inner meaning, the interrelationship of this threefold juxtaposition (sheer intellectual reflection is of little use), then samadhi (the establishment of oneness) is realized. ?The real One is then recognized.

    1. He who recognizes the true meaning of raja yoga can be the grace of the guru achieve realization, liberation, inner steadfastness and the siddhis. Without the grace of the guru and without indifference to worldly things recognition of Truth, <attainment of > samadhi, is impossible.

The "grace of the guru" is his readiness to hand the student the key to success: the yantras, the mantras, and their application.

More important at this stage is the "indifference to worldly things." The professional theater critic is not supposed to be detached from the world, he must keep his intellect alert. Only when he no longer succeeds in this and is carried away by the action does he recognize and admit that what has happened to him is that which from time immemorial has been most important to man. There was a real experience; the soul was touched; worldly matters suddenly lost their attraction. What is really gripping is always the spiritual experience and never the intellectual, and the more neutral we become toward worldly (intellectual) things, the more open we become to real experience. The less critically we watch the magician’s fingers, the more startling are his tricks. The critic may know more, but he experiences less.

Yes it would be an error to understand this uncritical attitude as blind acceptance of every deception. The critical intellect can absorb only the unessential part of a so-called truth, while real Truth reveals itself on a higher level, in the realm of the soul. Civilized man differs from primitive man in that, among other things, he separates and objectifies with critical intellect. But with this he immediately closes the door to a real understanding of spiritual principles or religion.

Lack of thought is not advocated as a principle: the capacity to break the fetters of the intellect at the crucial moment is what really counts. Similarly, the ideal is not the blind fury of the raging elements, but the art to release those forces and then control them.

  1. When the kundalini has been raised through the practice of asanas, kumbhakas and mudras, then emptiness <sunya> absorbs prana.
  2. Emptiness (from any discriminating intellect) and the process of the prana current become one; thus all inner forces are concentrated on the one process, the rising of the kundalini.

  3. The yogi who has raised the kundalini and has freed himself from all clinging karma will reach samadhi naturally.
  4. When prana flows through the sushumna and the mind is dissolved in emptiness <sunya> then the perfect yogi destroys all karma.
  5. Thus Samadhi is the karma-free state. One could also say: the state of consciousness established in oneness neutralizes the effects of fate.

    Indian religion assumes that the fate of man is the natural result of his deeds. "As you think and act, so you create your fate," is the saying. The less we control our thoughts, the more haphazard will be the course of our life. This is not a question of good and evil, but simply of doing or not doing, of a directing of our intentions and of their natural effect on our endeavors. The view is purely psychological and to be understood only as such. A divine power is at play only in so far as this logical law exists at all.

    This karma (result of action) exists only as long as man is dependent on the relative values of this world. If his consciousness is established in the absolute, independent of time and space, independent from all dynamics in static condition, then there is for him no action (not even a mental action or action of will) and no effect can take place, because effect only results from cause, and absolute, static Being cannot produce cause. Since karma is a time-conditioned concept, it is eliminated as soon as time no longer exists. For where there is no flow of time there can be no happenings, and when nothing happens there is no cause for an effect, and "cause-effect" is a synonym for karma.

  6. Salutation to Thee, oh Immortal One. Even time, into whose jaws falls the movable and immovable universe, has bee conquered by Thee.

Samadhi is the most prodigious, the most far-reaching achievement of a yogi. For, being free from time, as he is in this state, he is also beyond the bonds of death, beyond rebirth, beyond all karmas, which hold in their clutches all the world'’ pain.

Of course he is not liberated with his first successful practice, for in this samadhi the karmic seeds that lie dormant within him are not destroyed. Each chakra controls certain karmic tendencies. Only when the kundalini force activates one chakra after another will the respective binding force be dissolved. For activating the chakras means gaining insight into the particular plane that has been reached. And gaining insight means dissolution of that specific karma. To mention just a few examples: In the muladhara chakra there is the karma of existence; in svadhisthana chakra that which is born form the I-Thou relationship in manipura chakra the karma resulting form ambitions for power.

Samadhi, of course, is not the only way to liberation, but it is the most radical and within the framework of this particular yoga the most essential.


This page last updated: 02/27/2018

Translate this page