by Swami Hariharananda
Breathing has a secret. It is called sushumna. What is sushumna? It is the state when both nostrils are active. Before you meditate, check if that sushumna is awakening or not. One way to help is to keep your spinal cord at ninety degrees to the floor, keeping the head, neck, and trunk straight. Be easy. Don’t take tension into your mind but take your breath from the head down to the toes and then again up the spinal cord. This will help you to meditate.
When we sit in meditation we enjoy great pleasure. Suppose you have a tub of water. What is the makeup of that amount of water? It is many drops. Many drops of water make a tub of water. Is it not so? And if, among all the drops of water, some sweet liquid is placed, then that whole tub of water will become sweet. So, if one of us gets great pleasure from the peace of silence in meditation, then all of us will enjoy this peace. That is why we meditate collectively.
In Buddha’s tradition of meditation there are two ways to meditate. One way is called Hinayana, and the other is called Mahayana. Suppose that we all are single light bulbs of five watts. We go outside and call to the divine to come to us. Now God is thousands and thousands of voltages, and we each want that energy in ourselves. What will happen if we are alone? We will burst! But if we are all together, we will share the great voltage and enjoy this almighty.
We can travel in a big ship full of passengers, or we can travel alone in a little boat. But when we are traveling by our meditation ship, there are many of us, and so we will be safe. We will enjoy the peace and peace is almighty and almighty is love and love is God. Nothing else. Nowhere is God hiding. He is within you, even though many people try to send us here and there searching for God. He is within you!
But I tell you also that God is very cunning. Have you heard that a disciple of Krishna prayed to Krishna and Rama appeared? Rama told the devotee, “Krishna has gone to the toilet so I have come in his place.” Could that happen? No! If you pray to Krishna, Krishna will come to you. If you are calling Rama, then Rama will come. If you call to Jesus, God is coming as Jesus. If you want Allah, then Allah will come.
God is just like a very nice actor. As you think of him, so he will appear. If you have a strong feeling for a special image of the divine, God will use that image to appear. You see, God has no self, and also he has all the selves. Remember that God is the creator. Are we not here by God’s power? Billions and billions of people are created and not one the same. God is not making waste. He has such creativity that he is making billions of faces for us, so of course he has got billions of faces. He is many faces within us; he is within us with many, many different faces.
It is difficult when so many people think of yoga as a religion, so I want to tell you something important. Please, yoga is not a religion. Yoga is a clear-cut science. My Gurudev, Swami Rama, proved this by going through many scientific tests. He taught that yoga is a very pure science. We can all do yoga, and we do not have to believe in God.
You work hard each day, going to your company, your factory, and working there. I am also a full-time worker, and my company is my Guru, so I can talk about him. This is the time of science, and my Guru is a man of science. With science he proved the pure truth of yoga.
The time of fooling people is gone. Tomorrow a child will ask you, “Father, where is God? I want God. Will you show me God?” You will not be in a position to reply to him. The same is with us. Why are you saying, God, God, God? What if you say, Father, Father, Father? I think we are not mad, so we need to look at all the scientific things and prove what we are told.
First, what is yoga? Pure yoga has eight sectors: yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. If you can recite these after reading many books, can you say that you know yoga? I tell you that certain pure truths cannot be learned from a book. In yoga, many things will not be read in a book. They will come automatically to you, and you will have the science of experience. Reading is very good, but practical experience is better.
Your body has many, many cells. Many cells are also dying daily. What does yoga say? Yoga says you can protect your cells. Physicians say that every seven years all our cells will be dead and new cells will replace them. But we yogis say that people have no need to worry about that. We can protect our cells so they do not need to die. If they remain healthy, our whole body will be healthy. Yogis can keep all their cells young and healthy for a very long time.
We have four types of cells in our body because of their use. One type is for the thinking process only. They are called brahmana. If you are a teacher, a writer, a thesis maker, a scientist, or someone who is always doing brain work, that is the type of cell you are using much.
The second type of cell is different. If somebody hits you, blood will come and start to flow. After some time you will see that the blood has stopped. What stopped the blood? What is holding and protecting the outside walls of your body so enemies cannot enter? These are kshatriya cells. They are protecting you like soldiers. They are fighting so that no bad virus can come inside.
In the olden days people had no money, but they were exchanging one gave rice to someone, and he gave flour back. The third type of cell is like that; they are the vaishya. They are the shopkeepers, the salesmen. You are eating here and there, and they are giving you bread. They are producing energy for you in exchange for food.
The fourth type of cells cleans the body after all this heat of eating and drinking. They pass the heat and waste out of the body after all the work. They are called shudra.
Yoga tells us that we have no need to worry about any of this if we cleanse our breathing. People have forgotten diaphragmatic breathing. When a baby is born, it is easy to see how it is breathing. The little tummy goes up and down. By doing pranayama, two to one breathing, for example, the whole problem is gone. The ratio of oxygen and nitrogen and other elements will change, and all your cells will remain healthy. Your entire body will be healthy. If your cells are healthy, your body will be healthy, and like this you will be handsome, wise, and strong.
Yoga teaches us all this. How can you be healthy? How can you be wise? How can you be wealthy? How can you enjoy this world? Yoga will teach you. This world that the creator has made for us is to be enjoyed. Enjoy it! When we enjoy life, then we are good citizens of the world and we will become saints, helping each other.
Vast pollution is here now. If you travel to China, to Russia, to Hungary, to Bulgaria, to Canada, codes of conduct are there. You will hear “Don’t steal. Don’t kill anyone.” Some say it is bad, some say it is a sin. But I tell you that if your cells are pure and clean, they will never want to kill or steal. They will be so pure that you will never want to even try. They will never allow you to steal from anyone. They have no need of another’s pain.
With clean cells, as a yogi, you will live consciously. You will be intact and pure, and it will create a divine change in you. You will be very near to the truth then. You will have no need to lie, and your nature will not even allow you to tell a lie. Because all your cells will be very clean, cleanliness will be in you, and your whole conception of living will change. You will walk like a divine, because you are divine.