I was considering writing a book, probably a free e-book on spirituality to help people in their spiritual needs. I myself have based my own path on
the knowledge I will share in this book(if I indeed do write it) Until then, I recommend the following texts and resources, because they are so
valuable to me. Now, bear in the mind that these are intensive practices, that require dedication and commitment. However, they will more than equip
you for your spiritual journey.
You first need an understanding of the principles of spirituality, karma, meditation and life. There is no better text than this than the Bhagavad
Gita, which is globally considered a classic. It's best you purchase this book really, you will cherish it like a gem, and I recommend Yogananda's
translation. You can get this from Amazon.
After you read the Gita, which alludes to meditation and yoga. You will need to learn the system of yoga(this is not the physical exercise system) and
learn about the nature of mind, logic, psychic abilities, knowledge, consciousness, planes of existence(astral and casual) soul and meditation. For
this there is no better text than the Yoga Sutras. Also known as Raja Yoga(royal science of consciousness)
The site I have linked above is not only the best reference avaiable online on the Yoga sutras, but it is a general gold mine of information on
spirituality and all other forms of yoga.
After you've read this, and really don't rush through it, take your time to absorb and inculcate the knowledge. You already have enough spiritual
knowledge to understand how everything
interconnects. Now you just need to choose one of the paths of yoga: raja, kriya, kundalini, laya,
mantra, jana, karma, bhakti, hatha, tantra. They all lead to the same goal, but do it in very different ways. I recommend you read them all(even the
ones that don't sound appealing in my descriptions) and decide which one you are going to do. This is an important life decision, because once you
make it, you have to commit yourself completely to the path.
Here are brief introductions of each path:
This is the royal science, and has already been completely explained in the yoga sutras, and is for the more intellectual, critical and scientific
disposed minds, even atheists. It is based on self-realisation through one-pointed concentration on any object, to delve deep into consciousness,
supercedeing the gross, the subtle and the casual to reveal primal cause, by analysing and thinking critically of everything even your own
experiences. The underlying philosophy is that true knowledge can only be obtained when inference, experience and empiricity converge(science with a
conscience)This form of yoga strengthens your third eye and activates all your psychic abilities naturally, as your powers of concentration develop.
It is also the most difficult and mentally strenuous form of yoga because of it's emphasis on deeply focussing the otherwise jumpy mind.
This is based on the same process of Raja Yoga, of revealing the primal cause, except it replaces concentration with chanting of Mantras, bypassing
thoughts and feelings, to enter into deeper states of consciousness. The mantra facilitates this process with it's resonant vibrations. The Mantra is
also encoded with a specific role and power, which when meditated upon, will reveal it's powers in deep meditation. Now, this does not need great
concentration power like Raja Yoga, as it circumvents the concentration process through mantra use. A teacher is best advised on what Mantras you need
based on your personal needs.
This could also be called Chakra Yoga or Chakra Meditation. It is based on the 7 main energy vorticies of the energetic body called Chakras(wheels)
Now, many know this term, and they are thought of as being metaphysical organs. However, according to Laya Yoga, the original doctrine of Chakras,
they are not just organs, they are actually portals into different realms of higher consciousness. Each Chakra governs a particular aspect of being,
and these are also well known. In Laya, we concentrate on the Chakras that are difficient or unhealthy, by directly meditating on them and becoming
aware of them. In deep meditation we are able to experience the positive aspect of the Chakra. Example, concentrating on your sacral/sexual chakra,
will give you orgasmic pleasure and a feeling of virility. While, concentrating on your heart chakra, you will feel intense love.
Now, it is advised that you definitely get a proper teacher for this. As working with your Chakras, requires specialised knowledge of someone who can
calibrate them, and who also knows how to access them. We often see in new-age books, Chakra meditations, however that is actually potentially harmful
according to Laya.
Tantrics mission is to expand their consciousness to reveal the universal spirit/divine life force called "Shakti" which means cosmic mother. In
Tantrism everything in the universe is seen to be an expression of this divine life force. A Tantric attains this universal spirit by actualizing and
harmonizing/balancing his male and female principles i.e. Ying and yang.
The way the Tantric does this, is one of the most strange and interesting meditations I have ever come across. The Tantric accumulates creative
lifeforce from the base of his spine(Kundalini) in his third eye, and then directs this energy 3 or 6 feet in front of him to form a human form, and
causes it to become dense, so that takes it on physical form. He then bestows love and affection on it, and then returns it to the base of his
Tantrics also have an interesting way of overcoming addiction problems. If a Tantric is addicted to anything, whether a substance or a pleasure, he
will overcome it by indulging in his object of desire, but at the same time feeling the presence of the universal divine spirit, so that eventually
all he can feel is the love of the universal divine spirit, and the effects of the object is drowned out.
This is to deliberately awaken a dormant creative/psychic/spiritual femine energy that resides at the base of the spine, called Kundalini though
breathing yoga, particularly nasal and alternate nasal breathing. When the Kundalini awakens, she rises through the spine, going through each Chakra
until she meets the final Chakra(crown chakra) where lies the male principle, their energetic union, creates absolute bliss. The practitioner becomes
superconscious and is endowed with supernormal abilities. It is believed that this unioin takes place naturally anyhow at the end of any form of yoga,
however this particular form of yoga is deliberately designed to awaken Kundalini. It based on the principles of the "nadis" in the body. These are
energetic pathways in the energetic body system and interconnect with all the minor and major Chakras.
The main energetic pathway is the Sushmana Nadi, which runs through the spinal column. To the sides of the Sushmana are the Ida and Pingla Nadis.
These represent the male and female aspects or the ying and yang. When a practitioner balances the flow of life force in his body it causes the
Kundalini to rise though the Sushmana Nadi.
This is one of my favourites(others are Raja, Kundalini and Mantra) this is based on a combination of bhakti, jnana and Raja yoga to form something
different all together. Kriya Yoga is the oldest form of yoga and dates almost 10,000 years ago in India. It is believed Krishna practiced Kriya yoga.
It is based on three major disciplines: Self-discipline, introspection and devotion.
Self discipline: You must learnt to live a disciplined life and not let yourself sway. You must only say what is necessary and act on what you say. If
you say you are going to bed at 12pm, then go to bed at 12pm, not a single min early or late.
Introspection: You consistently examine your daily activities and thoughts at the end of the day, by reviewing your entire day by literally seeing it
play live motion, as if you are seeing a video of your day. You examine your behavior, feelings and thoughts, and when you come across a positive
behavior or thought, you pause and relish the moment and remind yourself you need to be more like this. When you come across a negative behavior,
thought or feeling, you remind yourself you need to be less like this. After regular practice it allows you to accentuate your positive behaviors,
thoughts and feeling and weaken your negative behaviors, thoughts and feelings. It also allows you to make a quantum leap in your visual intelligence
Devotion: You completely humble yourself and discard your arrogance and pride and devote yourself to seeing the soul in all. So that you remove all
illusions of separation between you and your objective universe and the people and things in it. You devote yourself to your tasks, to the people you
interact with, to nature.
This is the yoga where you renounce the world and all emotions and feelings so that you can attain the highest.. It is based on the principles of
meaning not this not this
You do not attach to anything at all, love or fear, family or friends, jobs or hobbies.
This is based on the principles that all the effects in your life are based on past causes of feelings and thoughts, and you are simply living
through the effects of these. To change this, to lead a more fulfilling life, you need to change your thoughts and feelings through direct
actions.(Karma means action) To surmise: It is about dealing with with your behavior and attitude with concrete action.
This is if you are more religiously inclined. It is about forming a loving relationship between you and god, and completely submitting yourself to
him through devotion alone. It involves knowing the presence of god is with you at all times and visualising him being there with you. It also
involves devoting yourself to not only god, but to everyone. To form a loving relationship with everything and see god in everything, even your
enemies. If you wanted to cultivate your ability to love. This is how you would go about it.
This is the most popular form of Yoga in the world. For so many, the word Yoga conjours images of people moulding themselves into weird physical
postures for relaxation, flexibility and fitness. Very few actually know that yoga is an all encompassing term for a complete psychological-spiritual
science and way of life. Hatha yoga is almost completely based on physical exercises and postures, however it's benefit are far more, than just
physical health. Hatha Yoga is actually very good for spiritual health, and even in Raja Yoga, Hatha Yoga is an aspect.
Hatha Yoga makes meditation much more easy, because it improves relaxation, posture, clarity of mind and concentration. It also improves the
circulation of lifeforce around the energetic body.
Download this short free e-book on meditation: www.swamij.com...
Here is a very powerful yogic technique called Yoga Nidra, which takes you into a deep trance: swamij.com...
An extremely inspirational free e-book book by Yogananda Paramhansa: www.ananda.org...
You are more then equipped to begin your spiritual training - cease the moment. I hope this was helpful to you, or others who read it
[edit on 10-5-2005 by Indigo_Child]