Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cleaning of the Mind in the Light of Sahaj Marg

Cleaning of the Mind in the Light of Sahaj Marg

Author: Kamala Ayengar
(Published in The New Times, a Seattle monthly, September 1994, Page 23)

Sahaj Marg (The Natural Path) is a simple, scientific system of meditation. It is modified Raja yoga. "Yoga" means "union with the Ultimate". "Raja" means "king," and the kingly thing in human beings is the mind. Therefore, the mind can be used as a tool to achieve this union once it is properly molded. My master, Shri P. Rajagopalachari of Madras, India, has revealed several truths about life, love, death, etc. In this article, I would like to try and outline some of his teachings so that it may help others to incorporate these teachings in their lives and enable them to change themselves and realize the true nature of the inner being.

According to my master, thought originates from the cosmic region. It is really difficult to pinpoint where exactly the mind resides in the body, even though the organ is closely associated with our understanding of the mind is the brain. Anyway, mind is the in-between process of information inside-out and outside-in. The mind functions at several different levels: the conscious mind, the subconscious mind, the unconscious mind, and the finest/subtlest conscious entity which may be termed the soul. It is this soul which is the root cause of our existence.

According to the philosophy of Sahaj Marg, one of the essential features of the soul at the beginning of creation was its purity and nearness to God. Therefore, it can be said that the characteristic of the soul is to be free and remain unwrapped. However, over eons of time, we have accumulated layers and coverings around the soul in various forms such as the psyche, consciousness, intellect and the ego. Later on, these coverings started becoming cruder and grosser. Spiritual evolution is nothing but a process of "unbecoming" what we are and "becoming" that which we ought to become, i.e., bring about a purity within our existence and achieve inner perfection.

One of the many characteristics of today's existence for most of us is that we identify ourselves mainly with the body and senses. We have either forgotten or do not want to think about the purpose of our existence and are too entangled with "I" and "my". We have become attached to everything around us that is non-essential and does not contribute to our inner growth.

How can we go beyond the dualities of existence and the so-called problems and difficulties of everyday existence? If we can somehow remind ourselves that the soul is beyond the normal senses of perception, it was pure at the time of creation and is thus an integral part of God, we would recognize that attaining the original purity within our self would lead to the realization of the god within. This would lead us to the understanding that essentially there can be no difference between "me" and "the divinity within me".

Therefore, we should adopt simple, easy means to look for the divinity which resides inside ourselves instead of wasting our time by looking for God on mountaintops and searching for him in temples and churches. All that we need to do is to turn our search inside and seek the help of a spiritual guide who, having traversed the spiritual path, can help us find the "self" within each one of us.

How do we find such a person-one who can lead us to God, towards spiritual evolution and realization? It has been said that a sincere cry from a craving heart can bring the master knocking at the aspirant's door. I can tell you from my personal experience that my master, Shri P. Rajagopalachari, is one such person. He once said, "The only difference between 'God within me' and 'me (us)', is the difference between the 'Self' and 'self'-the former is subtle while the latter is gross. Remove the grossness and the whole mystery is solved."

How do we remove this grossness? By using the cleaning technique of Sahaj Marg. The first step is to understand how grossness is being created so that it may be easily removed and then one must try and see that new impressions are not created because the deeper the impressions, the harder it is to remove them.

I was once at my dentist's office and during a conversation with his wife we spoke about the plastic that they were using to handle the instruments. I was concerned about it and asked her if they changed the covers with each new patient. "Yes," she said, "it is the law." She added, "Can you imagine how much garbage we accumulating? It will take five hundred years or more for the total degradation of today's disposal." That is a very long time to wait! Later, I was thinking about my master's statement that all the impressions and samskaras of which we have accumulated around the soul from all our past lives and this life may take many lives to get rid of.

It may be possible for a person who lives a very long life and is in very good physical condition and makes a continuous effort by putting one hundred percent attention on living a saintly life with truthful practice and honest cleaning, to reach the condition where the total uncovering of the soul has taken place. But, as my master says, "We don't have much time, We don't know how long we are going to live; perhaps we may not get up the next day." Therefore, it is logical and better to somehow know one's "Self" in this life so that one can live his/her life purposefully. This reinforces the need for seeking guidance and help of a spiritual teacher.

Coming back to the topic of impressions and how they are created, my master said, "It is our mind blended with our ego which is the main cause generating these layers around the soul." Therefore, spirituality says that every thought or action performed with the feeling of I-consciousness leaves a trail of subtle impressions in the heart. These impressions become the seed for further thoughts and actions, which again lead to the formation of further impressions. Repeated impressions of the same kind thus solidify into tendencies. These solidified tendencies are called samskaras. Therefore, our real aim should be to exhaust the old samskaras and see that we do not make any more new ones.

It can be said that in one way or another, whatever we are today is due to our past samskaras, and one has to go through the bhoga of these samskaras. When we have bluster with pus we have to undergo the throbbing pain, therefore, we can say that we are undergoing the bhoga of the pus. In the same way in our life, we undergo pain, suffering, pleasure, joy, and happiness due to a combination of our mental predispositions and the situations we are putting ourselves into or are creating for ourselves. This real life training can simply be seen as going through bhoga. This way we learn what to do and what not to do.

Coming again to the mind, the thought is the main instrument. By thinking we become what we are, so Raja Yoga is yoga of the mind, and the mind is the kingly thing in us. To keep the mind pure and balanced is one of the purposes and practices of Raja Yoga.

My master says that the first step in yoga is to purify the mind and remove those impressions of the past. That is the work of the master. The second step in yoga is what we have to do ourselves: meditation. The right type of meditation helps us in the unraveling of the impressions and allows us to make a conscious effort so that we do not form new ones.

Impressions may become the cause of suffering in the future, so the cleaning technique in Sahaj Marg is a very important one. By his help, the master cleans our past impressions. Meanwhile the aspirant has to put in his/her own effort by daily meditation, strongly reminding themselves that whatever they are doing, it is not he/she is who is doing but God within.

By thinking in such a manner, one can remain unattached from all types of action and thought. Thus in the Sahaj Marg system of spiritual training, by continuous practice and with the master's help, one can attain the balanced state of mind and maintain a pure heart and mind.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


An Introduction to Sahaj Marg -- A Raja Yoga System of Meditation. A worldwide, non-profit organization that teaches the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga meditation, free of charge, to all interested seekers of spirituality.Sahaj Marg has a presence in almost every country in the world, with a total of more than 1500 training centers.

Inspired by the principle that spiritual evolution to the Highest is the birthright of every human being, Sahaj Marg is a heart-centered meditation practice suited to modern-day life, and serves all of humanity — irrespective of one's race, religion, nationality, education, or social standing. This organization is not affiliated with any political or religious belief. The purpose of this organization is to provide a means whereby all interested persons seeking spirituality in the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga can come together in the name of the Shri Ram Chandra Mission.

The goal of Sahaj Marg practice is complete oneness with God, or the Ultimate. Two unique features set the method apart from all other meditative practices: evening cleaning, by which impressions and complexities are removed from the heart; and pranahuti, by which the master transmits divine energy from his heart to the heart of the aspirant. With the assistance of the master, trained prefects (instructors), and the aspirant's own dedicated practice, the promise of spiritual evolution in Sahaj Marg can quickly become a reality.

We invite you to explore our new and updated web pages and learn more about the history, philosophy, and practice of Sahaj Marg. Here you will find an effective spiritual practice that stays clear of fear, temptation, and dogma. Indeed, the only requirement to practice Sahaj Marg is the student's willingness.

We pray that you may find the spiritual path that is most suited to you and wish you total success in your pursuit of spiritual evolution to the highest.

There is no fee charged to practice Sahaj Marg meditation. However, it is necessary to contact a preceptor of the Mission to be introduced to the practice. Please refer to the addresses in the SRCM Worldwide section of this web page or complete the

Thursday, February 26, 2009


This article discusses the mysterious practice that seems to have a positive effect on so many aspects of our lives. Many people ask why and wonder how the practice of sitting still and "doing nothing" actually make a difference in ones life ?

The answer I think lies in the understanding of who we really our and the make up of our Mind, Body, Spirit selves. We are all of these and when we have integrated our Mind, Body and Spirit our whole perspective and awareness of Self changes thus influencing the quality of our lives.

I have been asked by several friends, recently;

- What are the benefits of Meditation?

- How can I start meditating?

- I just cannot seem to be able to sit still and keep my mind blank !

This article will try to shed some initial thoughts on the subject. To begin, I would like to bring your attention to the concept of Awareness. The awareness of self, I believe is paramount in accessing and maintaining a life of quality, a life of peace and a life rich with meaning and value. Many people ask the question - What is the purpose of Life? What am I doing here? What is important? What should I be doing?

Awareness of who you are, what your purpose is and why you live will bring about much peace and joy. Your questions would have been answered and you will have the contentment of knowing what you need to do and what is important to you. Armed with such inner wisdom and peace your life will take on a joyous note.

There are several methodologies that one can follow when trying to meditate. Hence I like to ask people to identify the outcome they seek before they start practicing meditation. If it is money and wealth, then meditation and focusing the mind of money and wealth is all they need to do. If it is inner peace and happiness then all they need to do is focus on that. I on the other hand believe that it is important for us to develop our spiritual nature and be aware of the inner selves, so that we can then develop as whole and complete human beings in total awareness of who we really are.

I have practiced Raja Yoga through the organization of Sahaj Marg ( they practice a very effective system of developing awareness by focusing on the heart - on divine light - on the presence of divine grace in your heart. In developing this awareness of your own divine nature you will actually tap into a whole new world of feeling and reason.

Developing your relationship with your heart is a very profound practice. For the heart is your energetic center for Universal Love and higher wisdom. The sacred heart of Jesus is located in the center of the chest, to reflect this same reasoning, to help us access this and open this center of Love. The Indian energetic system of Chakras also outline the same belief.

Once you develop this relationship with your heart you will find yourself using your higher wisdom in decision making processes, in self expression and in your daily interaction with the world. You begin to not rely solely on your brain, on your mind and on logic as we conventionally know it. You will begin to hear the voice of intuition and your higher self whispering to you. You will develop a certain calmness and knowing that things are just they are.

The Practice: (I got this from Sahaj Marg - a Raja Yoga practice -
Get yourself onto a quite environment, where you will not be disturbed. Sit in a comfortable position, with your back straight. You could be sitting on a chair, on a stool or on the floor, it really does not matter. Take a few deep breaths to calm yourself down and close your eyes. Stay like that for a few moments and just sit. Notice your thoughts, just the nature of thoughts you are having, all the issues that keep coming up and just notice them, do not try to block them out. Allow them to flow through your mind.

Then begin to focus your mind on the "Presence of Divine Love or Grace in the Heart" you want to focus on the "Presence of …" try to Feel that presence of Divine Grace. The inner spirit of Love.

Keep this thought in your mind and direct your mind to seek its presence. Know that this Presence of Divine Love is already there and all you have to do is begin to be aware of it and "feel" it.

Stay in the space for a while - begin with just 15 minutes and extend that to 45 minutes to an hour.

Additional thoughts:
This is one piece of the equation to a holistic practice of a lifestyle of inner awareness. There are more practices that I think are essential, but this is a good start.