There are innumerable opinions and innumerable paths leading to God. Baba as Krishna, in his universal divine song Bhagavad Gita, laid the three paths of dnyan (knowledge), karma (action) and bhakti (devotion, love).
These are briefly described as under:
- Karma Marg/yoga
- Dhyan Marg/yoga
- Bhakti Marg/ yoga
The aim and end of these four yogas is the stopping of the mind in the thinking conscious awake state, i.e. the changing of the falseness of the Infinite thinking to the realness in the thinking i.e. the getting rid of the sanskaras completely in the conscious state
- Karma Marg / yoga
Karma Yoga; -In this yoga the Infinite Mind does Karma (i.e. takes the experience of Subtle and gross universe through its subtle and gross body) by the subtle and gross body according to the past impressions attached on it. But whilst doing the Karma (i.e. while taking the experience of those fine impressions that are attached on it in Subtle and gross form, and thus spending them) It remains unaffected. It does not become anxious of the result. It neither becomes happy by success nor miserable by failure. It only does the karma as duty.
The science behind Karma Yoga is this: In the normal process of experiencing impressions, using our example of the impressions of a king and a beggar, new impressions are created that have to be experienced that set the stage for the beggar to be reborn a king and the king to be reborn a beggar. Meher Baba calls this process the spending of impressions. Here, the spending consists of exchanging impressions—one gets rid of some impressions, but in the process, gets new impressions.
In Karma Yoga, the subtle and gross experiences are not checked, but the mind remains aloof from any and all consequences resulting from those actions, i.e. pleasure or pain, praise or blame etc. This seems, at first thought, to be much more difficult than simply checking the gross action in the first place.
Millions and millions of lifetimes are needed for this inevitable state to be reached; Meher Baba has compared this with travelling in a goods train which is detained indefinitely at various stations without any schedule.
- Dnyan Marg /yoga.
In dnyan yoga the mind (Infinite Mind) tries to check Itself from experiencing Its fine impressions in gross form. The desire, which means the sanskaras in subtle form that can give the subtle experience, appears; but the mind checks this desire from being fulfilled. This means that the mind does not take the gross experience; and so the fine impression is experienced subtly or spent. In short, the mind checks itself from taking the gross experience.
In the ordinary general human case, the mind spends the past sanskaras and gathers new ones and so does not become free from the sanskaras. In karma yoga, the mind spends the past sanskaras but does not gather new ones and so becomes free from the sanskaras. In dnyan yoga, the mind does not spend the sanskaras and does not collect new ones too, but kills the past sanskaras.
But Baba says that this yoga, Dnyan Yoga is very, very, difficult and a more thorough introspection leads to the conclusion that this checking of the experience —not expressing the sanskaras in the form of desires in gross action -is not quite the same thing as what is more commonly understood as simple repression, and I believe the difference comes down to motive.
In this yoga the mind takes the subtle experience of not taking the gross experience of the past fine impressions or sanskaras; and so this creates new impressions quite opposite to the old impressions which are then killed by the new ones. In this yoga (i.e. by this process of not taking the gross experience or killing carnal desire, nafs kushi) the mind creates such new impressions so as to kill the old impressions
In Dnyan Yoga there is none of this internal bargaining. Here, the yogi can have only two legitimate motives; the desire to be free of (to kill) all impressions and the second is to have the experience of union with God. Meher Baba compared this path of meditation or yoga as travelling in an ordinary train which stops at every station according to time table and takes scheduled time to reach final destination.
3.Bhakti Marg / Yoga
Through bhakti yoga the mind loses its consciousness of the bodies and so of the universe. In this yoga, the Infinite false mind (jiv) thinks Itself separate from the Infinite Intelligence (Paramatma) and worships and loves it and thus becomes engrossed in It and unconscious of the body and the universe to the proportion of Its engrossment in It. The more the mind loves and worships It the more It becomes engrossed in it and so the more It becomes unconscious of the bodies and the universe. And when It becomes engrossed in it most, i.e. loses completely the consciousness of Its bodies and the universe, then It becomes one with It (Paramatma), (i.e. becomes Shiv), i.e. the worshipper and the worshipped become one.
Bhakti, or worship, means the turning away of the mind from the bodies and the universe to the Self…
Speaking about the difficulty of Bhakti Yoga, Meher Baba says that in the beginning, while enjoying the state of absorption in Paramatma (God), the sanskaras are not experienced, but they do remain, and when the yogi comes down from his state of absorption he begins to become conscious of those sanskaras and begins to take their experience
Like Karma and Dnyan Yogas, this Bhakti Yoga is no easy matter. Just try to keep your mind on God, or Bliss, or Infinite love, for anything more than a few seconds, and notice how you can’t do it—how your thought keep returning to the mundane or what Baba calls “the bodies and the universe.
Thus in karma and dnyan yoga the mind tries to gain consciousness of the self by getting rid of sanskaras; whereas bhakti yoga the mind tries to gain consciousness of self either by stopping its thinking.
Meher Baba says: Through either of these yogas) the sanskaras may disappear in time, although (this) is almost impossible (which many times requires many lives even to complete this yoga for getting rid of the sanskaras) but by the Sadguru Kripa (the grace of the Sadguru, God-Realized Guru) the sanskaras disappear in a second, i.e. the mind is stopped in a second i.e. complete engrossment is gained in a second i.e. Self consciousness is gained in a second.”
Supremacy of the path of following a God-Realized Master over all forms of yoga, spiritual paths, religions and teachings, Meher Baba compared this path as travelling in a special train which will take one to the goal in shortest possible time without any halt at intermediate stations.
Trance and samadhi
Trance, which the Sufis term "hal" and the Vedantists "bhav," is just a momentary ecstasy which, in the true spiritual sense, has no great value. During this state of hal, one feels unconscious of his surroundings and of his own body, but conscious of an overpowering force of bliss pouring in on his soul. As soon as this bhav ends, he is just his ordinary self.
Samadhi is inner sight. There are four different types of samadhi (trance)
- Yoga samadhi.
- Tantric samadhi
- Nirvikalpa samadhi and
- Sahaj samadhi.
1 & 2. Yoga samadhi and tantric samadhi have no importance spiritually. In them one feels at peace with everything and everyone, and finally finds his mind still. But as soon as this samadhi is over, he is again his own ordinary self. Most yogis, after this samadhi, feel the strain of illusion even more. It is like intoxication; one feels in harmony with everything for a while, but when the intoxication is over, one gets a headache. So, yoga samadhi and tantric samadhi are like getting drunk. One feels as if oneself is an emperor, as if one could do anything; but as soon as it is over, the stress and strain of life resume.
Explaining further yoga-samadhi, Baba stated, "Real perception and illumination are permanent, and only the grace of the Master makes a person enlightened. There are so many persons who practice yoga and attain samadhi through it. But this state is temporary. No sooner is a yogi out of samadhi than he becomes aware of the world like any ordinary human being. This means that enlightenment is constant and real knowledge is derived from it. Very few can gain enlightenment – seeing God. So what is there to say about the ultimate union with God – Self-Realization?
- In nirvikalpa samadhi, which the Sufis call fana, and which means passing away from selfhood to Union with God, the soul identifies itself with God. This samadhi is the real samadhi. Here, one becomes God. God's Knowledge is His Knowledge; God's Bliss is His Bliss; God's Power is His Power; God's Beauty is His Beauty! During this samadhi, he has no consciousness of body, energy, mind, universe, but is only conscious of the Self as God. Very, very few get this nirvikalpa samadhi.
- Sahaj Samadhi. This is called fana-fillah, meaning one who has been made One with God. It is said, after cycles and cycles, one gets Very few such persons regain normal consciousness. But One who does regain normal consciousness has sahaj samadhi. Sahaj samadhi is nirvikalpa samadhi in action, when one is fully conscious of the universe. Such a One, when he eats, speaks, moves about, plays or does anything, is enjoying nirvikalpa samadhi all the time. He is called a Qutub, which in Persian means the centre of everything – the Pivot – what we name a Perfect Master. He is now on every plane of consciousness, one with God, even on the level of an ant; and simultaneously he is functioning in the gross, subtle and mental worlds. He is above everything.
Sahaj samadhi means effortless oneness. It is as simple as moving the hands or winking the eyelids.
Thinking of Me, you can still do everything you need to do in the world. This is not sahaj samadhi, but sahaj dnyan. Even while eating, drinking, working, while looking at motion pictures, or attending to your business, you will still feel that Baba is with you. This is sahaj dnyan
Kundalini is also known as the “Serpent Power” in Hindu Shastras. The word chakra is in sanskrit, and literally mean wheel, or a revolving disc. The chakras are called Power-Centres in man and their subtle locations are indicated by the physical organ which they correspond.
Base of spine ( Moolaadhara)
Naval Chakra (Svaadhisthaan)
Spleen Chakra (Manipura)
Heart Chakra (Anaahata)
Throat Chakra (Vishuddha)
Between Eye and brows Chakra ( Aajana)
Top of the head Chakra ( Sahasraar)
Moolaadhara Chakra is the seat of Kundalini and after having been awakened in the first Chakra, it moves to the second Chakra and then to the third and so on. Each chakra confers power.