By Suma Varughese June 2004 The search for enlightenment is what drives us, consciously or unconsciously. however, finding the right path is no easy matter for it has to suit our inclination, interest and temperament. while we can’t promise you a custom-made path, we give you the next best alternative—a compilation of 100 paths including 59 formal paths and 41 readers’ experiences to pick and choose from. happy seeking! Siddha YogaThis is the path popularised by Swami Muktananda (1908-1982) of Ganeshpuri in Maharashtra, with the blessings of his Guru Swami Nityananda. It follows the tradition of Kashmir Shaivism and Vedanta, and also of the Dattatreya lineage of Siddha Yogis, like the Navnaths and Sant Jnaneshwar. Simplified to suit modern-day lifestyles, it makes no major demands of the disciple, except to obey the Guru’s precepts in everyday living. The Guru takes full responsibility for the devotee’s liberation, taking over the latter’s karmic burden accrued from past lives to the present one. Swami Muktananda took to the life of a wandering mendicant at an early age, in search of spiritual fulfillment, eventually finding his Guru Nityananda in his ashram in Ganeshpuri. The latter initiated him in Shaktipat and Kundalini Yoga, the practice of which involved nine years of intensive sadhana. His autobiography, Play of Consciousness provides important insights into the process. Later, with the blessings of his Guru, he initiated work to popularise Siddha Yoga in India and abroad, gaining a wide following of devotees and seekers. He set up many centres all over the world with his main ashram being located at Gurudev Siddhapeeth in Ganeshpuri. He authored 16 books on spirituality until his death in 1982. Muktananda’s Siddha Yoga is a form of sahaj yoga, where the Guru transfers higher energy to the devotee through Shaktipat, activating the latter’s latent energy in the form of Kundalini, located at the base of the spine. Bliss and union are experienced by the devotee without undergoing rigorous training in yoga, through the grace of the Guru. The only requirement is that the devotee continue to follow the Guru’s injunctions, recite a simple mantra like AUM Namah Shivayah, follow chanting on the mantra and regularly meditate on a photograph of the Guru. The devotee must also engage in satsang with the Guru whenever possible, such proximity being termed as sannidhya. Meditation, chanting, selfless service and dakshina, i.e. devotional offerings in gratitude, form the core of practice at the various centres. Gurumayi Chidvilasananda has inherited the legacy of Siddha Yoga as Guru, from Swami Muktananda. The experience of kundalini unfoldment is encapsulated by the Master in these words: “The world deceives us when we consider it to be simply the world as we see it. However, once we experience the blissful sport of Consciousness, the world is transformed into a haven of bliss.” Contact: Email: Info@siddhayoga.org, Website: www.siddhayoga.org Brahmashri Subhash Patri’s pyramidsPurnima Rajan, ErodeMeditation was never my cup of tea as I always believed that this life needs to be enjoyed and it is too early for a 15 year old to take up the rigours of a discipline with yoga, meditation, etc. A Sunday morning visit (though reluctant) with my parents to Japan Mohan Palace auditorium in Mysore in July 1998 made all the difference to my life. On entering the hall I observed that the speaker was an individual clad in white kurta-pyjama with a white beard. He appeared to me, ‘more radiant than the sun, purer than the snow, subtler than the ether…” With absolute clarity in his voice, he said: ‘You have the power within yourself to access the higher energies through meditation for which you do not have to renounce your existing sources of pleasures, comforts, happiness etc.’ These were the words I wanted to hear! He then put the audience into the simple system of Anapanasati meditation (mindfulness of the breath) whilst he played the melodious flute. After some time, we were asked to open our eyes. To my surprise I found that I had been able to sit sans any thoughts for as long as an hour! Tea break was announced and I noticed that here was a unique personality who mixed freely with the crowd. As I was having my first sip of tea, he came to me and asked: ‘Yes, young woman, what are your meditation experiences now?’ It was an unexpected question. I was rather taken aback. ‘How did he know that I really had an experience during meditation?’ Slowly, I tried to overcome my nervousness and told him: ‘During meditation, I felt I was passing through a long dark tunnel at great speed and at the end of the tunnel, I saw Gautama the Buddha!’ The Guruji advised me to continue meditation . I have been regularly practising meditation since then. It has enabled me to develop resistance to illnesses, clarity of vision, innate courage to handle situations and an increasing quest for spiritual knowledge. I now do not get drawn back into regrets of the past, nor do failures upset me. My accomplishments in the spiritual arena include seeing auras, past lives, teaching meditation and spiritual science in schools, etc. This is all because of the spiritual knowledge that I got from my spiritual master. Thus Guru, Brahmashri Subhash Patri has a clear vision to make the whole world a Dhyana Jagath by the year 2012. What is extraordinary about him is his capacity to travel to far off places to teach meditation free of cost, having started 600 centres of meditation named as ‘The Pyramid Spiritual Societies’ all over India. He is the first person to introduce the concept of using the pyramid for meditation. According to him, pyramids are storehouses of energy and have curative and mystic powers. The turning point in my life has occurred not by chance but by choice. As I read more spiritual books, new vistas of knowledge about moral and cosmic laws are opened to me, teaching me how to lead life with health, harmony and happiness. Contact: email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sickness to healingN.R. Kalsulkar, ThaneA polio victim since the age of two, I succeeded in my resolve to become an engineer. Due to the nature of my work, I became asthmatic and left the company to recuperate. Two years later, I was seriously affected by abdominal pain. I changed many doctors and was treated for acidity, ulcer and TB. I became so weak that my weight dropped from 65 kg to 47 kg. After two years, I suffered from kidney stones and was given 80 bottles of saline, though the problem persisted. My vision blurred. Weak and unable to walk, I requested doctors to stop the saline therapy. Encouraged by my wife, I started acupressure on the kidney point for about 15 to 20 minutes. I received a severe jerk in the back and to my surprise the stone’s crushed pieces came out through urine. Next day, I took discharge from the hospital. Tests, meanwhile, showed that 50 per cent of the stone was gone. Two months later, I met with an accident and three fingers of my left hand were severed. Due to the reaction of sulpha medicines, my entire body became swollen. After about eight months, I tried ayurveda, but as my problem was becoming serious, I tried homoeopathy. Then again, I stopped all medicines and started acupressure combined with magnet therapy. Within 15 days my body pain was relieved. I started studying homoeopathy, naturopathy, magnet therapy and acupressure and started applying these on myself. As a result my chronic asthma complaints were cured and the abdominal pain vanished. The hand injury and kidney stone problems also vanished. I started to practise acupressure on others and gradually adopted healing as a career. Once, a patient of mine complained of mild electric shocks at certain points during acupressure. Others experienced similar shocks and I noticed my patients getting fast relief. I then knew that I was the recipient of God’s divine gift, divine energy. I began studying spiritual books, and learnt about reiki, pranic healing and other forms of divine healing. I can diagnose problems without touching the individual and have established an institute for training in acupressure and magnet therapy, as well as spiritual healing and spiritual acupuncture. Not only have seemingly incurable conditions been cured, sometimes in one session, but also thousands of patients are benefited by direct or telephonic healing. From engineer to healer is my spiritual journey. To overcome setbacks after giving treatment, I tried many methods of meditation like Vipassana, Bramhakumaris’ meditation, Pranic meditation, Omkar meditation, Siddha meditation and introduced a combination method which makes reiki, pranic healing, etc more effective. Email: email@example.com The grace of GurumaaSuneela Gokarna, MumbaiI am 56 years old, working with the State Bank of India as an officer. I have always been a spiritually inclined person and associated with Chinmaya Mission much before marriage. I believe that good health is a primary requirement for a spiritual journey. In July 1999, when my husband was recommended the Yoga Eshdarshan Sammadhi Course to help him manage his diabetes, I also went out of curiosity for the orientation lecture. Hearing Gurumaa Nita Khare explaining the intricacy of Patanjali’s Yoga Shastra in a simple, practical manner, I instantly joined the course. Due to severe migraine, I used to consume 3 to 4 Paracetamol tablets per day, but after implementing the breathing technique taught by Gurumaa in my daily routine, the headaches disappeared. Both my eyes have been operated upon for cataract; one year after the operation, the vision in one eye blurred due to formation of a film. I thought I would lose my eyesight. Immediately, I started doing a particular b
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