| Yog is the final frontier of the journey of the spirit and it is for those who are seeking the ultimate. Most people take it very lightly, suggesting and settling for easier, more comfortable alternatives to what is prescribed in Patanjali Yogsutras. But this is a futile effort, for this subject commands topmost priority and calls for strict discipline. Take for example two very basic things that people are unable to follow while doing dhyan-
Sit with straight spine
Your spine should be absolutely straight while sitting for dhyan. In todays times, some people have distorted Yog in order to make it “customer friendly”- If you can’t sit on the ground they tell you to sit on the chair; if you can’t sit with your back straight they allow you to take back rest or even lie down. This is at best a marketing strategy, not
Yog. Anybody who even has a little knowledge about Yog and dhyan would know that Yog has certain imperatives one of them is sitting with your spine straight and not crouching or reclining on a chair. Why? Because if there is even a slightest bend in the spine then that would block the upward flow of energy that occurs during
dhyan, defeating the very purpose of doing dhyan.
This reminds me of an anecdote from life of Satyanand Saraswati (founder of Bihar school of
yog). Once he was sitting and doing dhyan at sandhya (evening) and found that he got up only the next morning. He was so excited that he went straight to his Guru Shivanand and told him that finally he has attained the state of
Samadhi. Guru Shivanand laughed and replied that what he was doing is not
Samadhi, it is called as sleeping...There is a subtle but crucial difference in Samadhi and sleep. The awastha is same, but sthiti is not.
If your back is bent, there is no way that you can be in dhyan. At best you can think that you are in a state of dhyan and your mind might show you some things as well. Here's a little on visions during dhyan.
When you start Yog and dhyan, you have some visions. However as you progress on the path of Yog and your dharana sets in, the visions cease...then something else happens. If you have been doing dhyan for a long time and you still get visions, rest assured it is the mind at play. And the mind can show you anything.
When you sit in siddhasan, the lower heel presses against the mooladhar chakra and the upper heel blocks the swadhishthan chakra. As a result, the pulses released from the kundalini energy are able to rise above these two basic chakras. If these chakras are not blocked then all the energy will get consumed at these two chakras only, this again will defeat the purpose of sitting in dhyan.
This energy always rises as pulses and you feel a slight heat in your body. I can show you the way to awaken this energy but it is you who will have to follow the method and be regular with your practices to awaken it. I cannot awaken it for you. And this takes care of only the lower two chakras, there are four more to go! Who said Yog is easy!
The purpose of doing Yog or dhyan
The jouney of the spirit is not outside, it is within you. Each chakra represents a lok. Bhu, bhuva, svah, maha, jana, tapa and satya represented by mooladhar, swadisthan, manipoorak, anahat, vishudhi, ajna and sahastrar respectively. This vertical progression is possible only by doing yog and culminates in the spirit reaching its source.
A lok is simply a dimension of existence. The lok that we are currently in is the bhulok. A being reaches this lok after undergoing the journey through the lokas below this, the tals- sutal, rasatal, paatal, etc. In the animals mool chakra is the highest chakra, once they transgress their yoni, they get the yoni of a human. On bhulok a human being has been provided with 5 chakras to enjoy various sensory pleasures- mooladhar to vishuddhi chakra. When a being gets satisfied with these, which happens naturally when you take the path of yog, then a being goes to the bhuvah lok. In the bhuvah lok the 5 chakras merge to form one chakra and has its own associated pleasures. Similarly in the following higher lokas only one chakra exists but all lokas have their own pleasures, which cannot be explained as they are not physical pleasures.
It is rather funny when I watch on TV, swarg lok being described or shown as a place where there will be various kinds of delicious foods and drinks or apsaras dancing for entertaining the men, because these pleasures are only of mooladhar (associated with desires for good food, nice clothing and big or costly houses) and swadhishthan chakra (associated with sexual desires) which exist only on this bhulok not beyond this. So, in swargalok the pleasures of food, luxury and sex do not exist. Yet, it is the swargalok that is called the bhogalok. It is the lok where you cash in on your karmas but they are higher pleasures and cannot be expressed in words to those who are still seeking the lower pleasures.
The pupose of Yog and dhyan is to gradually evolve- experience the pleasures of each lok and go beyond. But the problem with beings of today is that they don’t want to go beyond the basic pleasures of good food, clothing, house and sex. Thus they remain on bhulok lifetime after lifetime.