Real Yoga with Swami Harinanda

Swami Harinanda
Miracles Exist When You Know What Key To Turn To Unlock
The Portal

Read The Portal <> Why Yoga <> The 9 Yogas <> Newsletter Archives <> Unsubscribe

The aum symbol NEWSLETTER


Hello subscribername,

This is a short rundown on the varying aspects of the Gnanic tradition and approach to realizing God or Self.

Remember that the Gnani could care less for beliefs and goes to the root of of the three major philosophies of all religions and ways of life.

Gnana Yoga:

Gnana Yoga is known as Yoga of the intellect. Putting to use Viveka (Spiritual Discernment) allows one to separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak.

The interesting thing is that most students get caught up in one of the philosophical studies which brings them to a place which, in most cases, has led them to believe in a particular study of that philosophy. Yet there are a myriad of aspects to this study.

I am going to take you through three of them, albeit in a bit of a hurry.

1: God exists and is the creator and doer of all things - and IS all things.

2: God exists but is separate and apart from all things due to man's ego and His gift of Free Will.

3: God does not exist, but is a mere creation of our mind's construction, and we are in fact predestined to act according to the concomitant law of cause and effect.

As you will see, all three examples will ultimately lead one back to his own SELF, the Atman. Knowing the Atman by any of these three methods, will allow one to unite with that aspect of SELF which is not experienced in these three known world, (objective reality, subconscious, and dream reality), and that aspect is called Paramatman, the Overself, or God.

This aspect of yourself, the Paramatman can only be experienced in the fourth state known as Truriya, or ultimate realty. This fourth state is experienced as "pure consciousness" and it is attained along with the experience of Satchitananda. Satchitananda means "being ever existent, ever conscious, and ever blissful" without attributes.

Satchitananda is without attributes. The three known worlds we experience as objective reality have attributes. According to the philosophy of Klesas, it is shown that these attributes cause us all our suffering - or rather our attachment to them that does; thus the saying: "That which you love the most will ultimately cause the greatest suffering."

The three philosophies are very simple and take but little discernment to realize the essence of each.

The Philosophy of - GOD IS "THIS-THIS".

God being infinite, Absolute, Omnipotent and Omniscient resides in all things, all of nature and all people. This philosophy should lead one to a form of Bhakti Yoga, because the realization that God is All would give one a sense of devotion to such Omniscience.

To take any action oneself, unless of course one felt that it was God himself motivating that action, would, in a sense, be getting in the way of His Divine Plan for you. Therefore most people of this philosophy await Divine direction and feel that any self-willed action on their part is totally unnecessary. Thus we have extreme cases of abject destruction with the doer saying "It is God's Will."

The Christian religion is of this path. It is a devotional religion. The unfortunate thing here is that not all that follow this way are devotional in spirit, and so the comfort of knowing that God will do for them and look after them often proves to the contrary. We often hear devotional people questioning God - "why is this happening to me?"

In adopting this philosophy one must also learn the philosophy of Klesas in order to overcome those dark and depressing times in their life. With Klesas one learns pratyahara (withdrawing the senses from all sensations) thus transcending ones likes and dislikes - or desires (this is Raja Yoga) which ultimately bring one to SELF realization.

In this way they reside in the comfort that whatever is given to them and whichever direction they take in life is due only to God Himself (God works in mysterious ways). God even allows him the insight to see the world the way he does. Whether one sees the Mayic (illusory aspect) illusion of the three known worlds or not, is of no consequence to him. He ultimately knows that he is but one aspect of God and all that his mind encompasses is also that. When the time is ripe for him God will allow him union.

One may even go as far to say that this type may even think, why not wait for death to have ultimate union.

Some of the beliefs of this philosophy incorporate karma, reincarnation and an after life. The problem here, as a Gnani Yogi, one must ask, "Where did all these ideas come from? How did I come to believe in this philosophy or this religion? Whatever teachers have taught me, I must ask myself, why do I believe in this. A belief is not necessarily a truth. When was I conditioned to think like this? Did it start when I was a child hearing my parents who sent me to a church or a temple to listen to the priests?"

What aspect of this teaching holds me from renouncing it? Is it fear or is it because I have allowed myself to become so well rooted in what I have read and learned from others? Have I discovered anything myself?

It is this that has to be carefully looked at for the Gnani. What has he discovered himself. What true experience has he had. Can that experience be repeated? Is that experience - either a vision, or some transcendental state real, or is it an illusion, like a shadow picture on the screen of a movie theatre. Have I been hallucinating?

After all, your dreams while dreaming appear real to you, yet when you awake you know they were an illusion. It is not much different for anyone suffering from an hallucination. It appears very real to him at the time. If it is an alcoholic hallucination, he really does see rats crawling all over him as his screams will testify. It is only when he awakens into objective reality that he knows it as an hallucination and he can breath a sigh of relief.

When you awaken into the fourth state called Truriya you will also realize that the three known worlds are an illusion also. If you believe as some do that these three worlds are nothing more than a dream of God, therefore being part of Him we are contained within it, we therefore have to wait until he dreams us to unify with him.

There have been arguments going on since the beginning of time that everything is either predestined to happen, or that man has free Will and can strike his own course.

Even in this philosophical form of "this-this", one, in the end, must realize that God in his attributable form, causes pain, and only in his state of Pure unadulterated consciousness, is there liberation from it.

Now how does one get there if one is of the firm belief that God is the doer of everything; thus will take no action on his own?

Well this is what Gnana is all about. One must study both sides of the coin. No Vendor will accept a coin that is stamped only on one side. So in the dualistic world we know, we must as good Gnanis have a look at the second side to this philosophy - GOD as "not this-not this".

From this point of view God created Man, and in giving him Free Will allowed within himself the sense of ego to develop, thus separating himself from Man and all that man created.

This is a slightly more difficult concept to conceive, but the ancient scriptures have done it with a parable. It is this:

God being the great Pranava sound of the Universe awoke from his deep sleep of the Pure Conscious state and on arousing felt the need for some sons. He created two boys (the law of duality). These boys were given a Free Will by their Father and after wondering aimlessly around wondered what they could create with this new Will of theirs. They decided a forest to walk in would be a good start. At this point they left home (prodigal sons) and in their wanderings came across a placid pool. They looked into the pool and saw their reflection. One of the boys liked his appearance and thought some adornments would enhance the beautiful reflection he saw, so he fashioned with his Princely Will, earrings and bracelets and fine clothing and covered himself. He liked what he saw and gazed what seemed to be forever at himself (the beginning of ego).

When his brother aroused him from his narcissistic stupor he began to battle him and beat him up terribly sending the brother running home to his Father (the repentant one - the prodigal son).

This "self centered" brother then went on to create for himself, by spinning out of his imagination, a wife and companion and the beginning of the worlds as we know them, with all the concomitant laws which go into making this objective reality appear real - duality, gravity, time and space.

He and his consort became enamoured with all that he created and became so attached to his creations that any thought of his Father was lost to him. His consciousness became of the impure type - the attributable kind of consciousness. His bracelets and his finery and his consort and all the external worlds and the heavens that he created became more important to him than his real, one and true nature.

Not until he began to suffer the loss of his loved ones and his health did he begin to reflect why this was happening to him. He had become trapped in a world of his own making. He wanted to go home, but had forgotten how to find the portal.

It would take the supreme effort of his personal remembrance that his divine Will could recapture his birthright - the joy of residing in eternal Bliss. So began the intellectual discernment (Viveka) that not the bracelets, not his wife nor any other accoutrement added to his happiness, and in order to retrace his steps back home to Father God (the SELF) he would have to transcend all the externals he had acquired and become attached to.

From this point, Gnana, in the sense of trying to remember who he really was, was born, and slowly slowly he began to see the world as an illusion (Maya). Considering this momentous discovery it didn't take him long to wake up to the fact that he must find a way BACK TO self and quickly, before he died.

In the more realistic sense, whether one sees God as ALL, or God as separate from the ego, one must finally, through individual Will take that first step to return to what he has remembered as his birthright. These first steps were the birth of the science of all the Yogas. It gave man the foundational support to continue his remembrance of his birthright - through the experience of Satchitananda.

Now the third example: THERE IS NO GOD AT ALL.

The World is not just dualistic, but is multiplistic also, and an infinite variety of methods, ways, and religions were open to man to finally return to his state of Union with the Godhead (I and my Father are ONE - says Jesus).

In this third example the Gnani has to really delve into his past conditioning asking why he should accept any of the two former principles of philosophy. After all he knows he didn't think these thoughts. They are somebody else's. We do get caught up in the idea that what we read, if it agrees with what we think ourselves, or inherently feel we know to be true, must then be the truth forever. The Gnani has to be free enough to question these concepts - where they come from and whether they have any validity or not. In learning through the practice of Pratyahara (withdrawing the senses) the true Gnani comes to the point that he knows (gnosis - true intuitive knowledge) that he is not the arm - nor the leg, for the loss of either or both reduce his self identity not one twit.

He is not either his desires as they change, and what once caused him suffering now may give him pleasure, so he realizes he is not desire. He knows he is not his mind - nor his thought, as his sense of Self existence cannot be denied by him - even in the deepest of sleeps, even when all else has disappeared.

He knows then by this second and third principle of this philosophy that if all else ceases to exist in his deepest of sleeps, then he must, upon awakening, bring them into this illusory Mayic reality once again by his own re-emergence as the ego self - the first personal pronoun "I".

Logic is such that one would say, but the world existed even while I was asleep as my family told me so. Does Reality need the testimony of others to verify itself? Especially those others who are ignorant (avidya) of SELF and are only awake to the illusory world of Objective Reality (Maya)?

It is upon awakening of the first personal pronoun, the "I", ego arises and through remembrance of what was stamped on its consciousness the day before enters once again into the illusion of the same world he left behind in his unconscious union with the "I", the SELF, in deep sleep.

For the true Gnani, he is not satisfied to identify with this knowledge as an intellectual play, but wishes to have a conscious union with his SELF. To be in that conscious Union, without attributes, is known as Sahaja Nirvikalpi Samadhi, and like a newborn babe who suckles on his mother's breasts while asleep, he, the Gnani is asleep-awake in God Union and while residing in that state of Samadhi, his work gets done and to all others appears to be carrying out normal duties.

In the beginning I said that the first stage was that God is All and the doer of all. In the second stage, that God and ego were separate, and in the third, that God does not exist at all. Well, in recapitulating back to our beginnings we find that either way, God or the SELF when in its own self effulgence will do the jobs that need to be done - whether walking for a bus or doing calculus. By the same token, with a God, the SELF as the watcher will be equal to the other idea.

The ego stick that stirred the fire of "uniting" with SELF or God, was finally consumed itself in the flames it helped create.

The reason for ego, was to one day have the divine memory of our birthright and in its desire to be unique and attain the power of God or SELF it would begin to stir up the fire of desire for that union.

That is the beginning process. Of course as one awakens to this world of remembrance, the motive changes and purifications take place rendering all that was illusory an apparent reality, to finally vanish and leave one in his birthright state of Bliss supreme.


All the Yogas have unique techniques which allow man to transcend his small ego self, and enable him to unite with the SELF, the one "I" that stands alone without a second.

The good fortune of Yantra Yoga is that it can determine which is the best Yoga for you to specialize in. Too many aspiring Yogis get caught up in studying a yoga which is not for them and they soon become disenchanted, not really experiencing any aspects of their birthright. Yes they do retain a sense of clarity about where they stand in the Universe, but it is intellectual and the sheer weight of Klesas soon overwhelms them. Ultimately they will be forced through pain, to dive deep within to discover their true inheritance. Otherwise they will die. After all not everyone can be an artist - nor a musician. We do though, all get the chance to be one with the SELF in this lifetime.

This pain is not what is wanted. Yoga is scientific. In all the scriptures of all religions, there is a correlation between the religious parable and the human body. Yoga being neither a cult nor a religion (it is a way of life) shows one how to experience the Bliss of SELF and then finally (Moksha) Liberation.

It has to be done in this life time. What a shame for those that believe in the after life, when perhaps there is no such thing. Where did you get this idea from? Someone taught it to you, right? But is there really an after life. Is there really such a thing as re-incarnation? Is there really a God that will direct you along the way?

If you have had some spiritual experience are you sure it was not an hallucination. Can you repeat it?

We have shown in other newsletters that anything at all manufactured by the mind is to be eschewed, as it belongs to the attributable consciousness.

As Jesus said, "There are many mansions in my Father's house." All of them are deceptive. They are not YOU.

Patanjali says "Chitta Vritti Nirhodha" The complete and total annihilation of all mental fluctuation. Any wave in the mind must be destroyed to finally experience Satchitananda - your birthright.

Go for it!



My newsletter may be freely shared with any individual. However, my information may not be shared, printed or redistributed for profit. All Rights Reserved. All text that is intellectual property is Copyright 2004 by Swami Harinanda. Legal action will be taken against violators.