How is Sahaja Yoga different from other types of Yoga? Who is Shri Mataji? I remember a fine morning of August , sitting in a suburban train between Hurst Green and London.
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi was sitting in front of me. I had spent some very intriguing and mind boggling moments in her house, the day before, having felt levels of consciousness whose bliss it is impossible to describe.
I was fairly puzzled and asked quite simply: After some time - I do not know how much time - I opend my eyes again. Shri Mataji was smiling; she said "So? She said "I am the silence". But for the rest of the day, I had the feeling of being so light that I was litterally wondering whether my feet were touching the ground; the quality of well being throughout this day of shopping in London was again ecstatic.
These states of higher awareness were registered by my central nervous system and cannot be doubted. The perception is direct. So, who is Shri Mataji? Sometimes peole ask and do not want to know. Sometimes people ask and do not want to believe. But if we ask because we are genuinely interested, and honest, then, only in meditation can we get close to the subject, in a living and experimental manner. All the rest is words, and words are just that: The history of spirituality shows that spiritual masters are fought by the mainstream establishment when they are alive and worshipped when they are dead in order to take advantage of their legacy.
My advice to those who would like to know the truth about Shri Mataji's unique and historical advent on this earth is to get access to self realisation through the proven technique of sahaja yoga and go deeper in meditation where responses unfold. Gregoire de Kalbermatten back to top Is Sahaja Yoga a religion?
If religion means belief, no. If religion means connection with Reality, the Self or the Divine, whatever your language, then yes. Sahaja Yoga is not an organized religion, but it unites the essence of all religions through direct perception of the subtle, divine reality. Sahaja Yoga is moving spirituality from the realm of dogma into the realm of individual experimentation.
It is a practice, a direct experience which is felt on our central nervous system and requires no act of faith to substantiate it. Anyone who has eyes can see that the sky is blue. Anyone who has their self realization, which is achievable effortlessly through Sahaja Yoga, can feel the cool breeze of the Kundalini in the Vedic tradition or Holy Spirit in the Christian tradition above their head.
Self Realization is a happening that opens a new category of perception to better handle our daily life. Its actualization is at the core of the teachings of Sahaja Yoga. In a way we are given a new sense, connected with the cognitive potential of the limbic area of the brain. We all have a powerful radar up there, waiting to start functioning and improve our navigational skills.
No belief is required before or after this happening. History is alas filled with blind faith and contradictory theories, but the evolution of awareness has taken us to a point where, now, it is possible for those who so desire to know a deeper spiritual truth through direct perception. The conclusions we arrive at through our experience and meditation are our own.
No one can take them away from us just as it would be futile for anyone to convince us that the sky is actually green. As Shri Mataji, the founder of Sahaja Yoga emphasizes: All major religions of the world were started on the basis of the enlightening teachings of higher masters.
Over time, because self realization was not yet available to everyone, their truth was buried under concepts and rituals by the people "in charge". They became rich and powerful. The truth and real essence of the religions faded and became a belief. Sahaja Yoga can for the first time integrate and prove these timeless truths, on our central nervous system, through self realization.
It is all, in a sense, scientific, practical and part of a higher plan which has unfolded throughout history to reach its climax in these modern times. It is the next step in the evolution of our awareness. We may say all this is driven by a mysterious force that we could call Divine love. This step of self improvement is within our collective reach and this is not a business or a money making proposition.
We need only have the desire to receive it, and then use it for our benefit and the benefit of the human race. The essence of all major religions of the world is the same: The purpose is the same: The religions were all based on the teachings of Divine incarnations who came on this earth, at different times and places, to guide humanity towards its collective emancipation.
Through the process of Self Realization achieved in Sahaja Yoga, the truth of these religions becomes apparent: It manifests through the liberation of our potential for a higher state of well being. We thus come to truly grasp and accept the essence of these great teachings, not on a mental basis, not by trying to reconcile the differences and ritualism which was added to them over the ages by the people in charge, but through our own experience. Gregoire de Kalbermatten back to top Sahaja Yoga and marriages Like most spiritual groups, and society in general, those who practice Sahaja Yoga also believe in the sanctity of marriage.
Marriage is a very important part of life since it creates the basis for having strong and loving families that are the foundation of our society. It is also a great source of joy and balance when both husband and wife are practicing Sahaja Yoga.
However, we don't want to see our meditation centers turned into dating centers. Pure attention on our spiritual ascent, as opposed to the attraction we might be feeling for someone sitting next to us, is the best way to achieve a nice, blissful meditation and further our evolution. In present day Western society, the options for meeting a prospective spouse are many: Most of these ideal images are based on what we see and hear in the mass media, i.
As a result we are often attracted or repelled for the wrong reasons. While many do discover a meaningful relationship and find themselves in a satisfying marriage, the ever-increasing divorce rate would indicate that perhaps we are choosing spouses for all the wrong reasons.
In Eastern society, and even in old Western society, arranged marriages, or at least formal introductions were, and still are the norm. While not all of these marriages may evolve into highly romantic relationships, they can still be highly satisfying marriages based on common values and interests, and especially the joy of children as marriage transforms into family.
Many of those that practice Sahaja Yoga on a daily basis are also interested in having a spouse that does the same. Being able to help each other achieve deeper meditations using Sahaja Yoga clearing and cleansing techniques, as well as becoming a mirror for the other to see themselves for behavioral change, in a calm, loving and compassionate environment, are things highly sought after by those on a spiritual path.
Using conventional Western dating techniques doesn't really seem to achieve the goal, and in the interest of keeping the local meditation center a place of pure attention, many have asked our spiritual teacher and founder of Sahaja Yoga, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, for assistance in finding a compatible spouse.
Some of the international Sahaja Yoga seminars provide an opportunity to be introduced to someone else practicing Sahaja Yoga for the purpose of marriage. Shri Mataji matches the couple based on the background and inclinations, but most importantly, she is able to determine compatibility based on the vibrations subtle aspects of the couples. The low divorce rate for these marriages shows the success of this method. After being introduced, the couples are given up to a couple of weeks or so to determine whether they would like to go through with the marriage.
There is no absolutely no pressure to go through with the marriage if either person is not so inclined. In fact, the couples are discouraged to go through with the marriage if there is any doubt whatsoever. If things don't work out, then of course divorce is an option, but it is something that rarely happens. In closing, as author of this article, I would just like to say that my marriage in Sahaja Yoga has been an incredibly beautiful experience, and I never realized I could love someone so deeply and completely.
This is not to say there has never been conflict, but what has amazed me is how quickly measured in minutes, not days or weeks the conflicts have been worked out. Having a Sahaja Yogi for a spouse has allowed me to witness certain behaviors in myself that need to be changed or eliminated, which is just one of the many ways we are able to help each other in our spiritual ascent.
While marriage in Sahaja Yoga is not for everybody, and not everybody that practices Sahaja Yoga chooses to marry this way, most of us that have, are extremely happy with the result! There are tens of thousands of remarkably happy and harmonious families practicing Sahaja Yoga around the world, and tens of thousands of remarkably happy, well adjusted children have been born into these families.
Parents in Sahaja Yoga are concerned, as all parents are, with helping their children to grow to adulthood without falling prey to the traps of peer pressure, drugs, violence and immorality along the way. We use the techniques of Sahaja Yoga to help our children stay balanced, alert, healthy and self-aware.
As they grow up, we teach them how to meditate, and to understand the subtle inner workings of their own energy systems, to know when they are in a healthy, balanced state and when they are not.
We teach them how to treat imbalances within and to take responsibility for their own states of mind and awareness. We have found that as a result, children in Sahaja Yoga develop a beautiful reverence for goodness, for practicality and for righteousness.
They maintain a bright, positive attitude toward life long after children of similar ages begin to show signs of encroaching cynicism and disillusionment. Seeing the horrors of violence and self-destructive habits, and the subtler negativities of extreme materialism and competition amongst children in our nations' schools, we in Sahaja Yoga have created several international schools for our children, which we feel are healthier alternatives.
There is a school for younger children in rural Italy, and another in the mountains of India for older children. These schools promote not only academic excellence, but a continued support for the growth of our children's self-awareness through Sahaja Yoga meditation. The atmosphere in the Sahaja Yoga schools are both cheerful and serene.
Children learn in an environment which is close to nature and full of natural beauty, and spend the day in learning traditional subjects, languages and the arts, as well as having time to play and enjoy together. The international population of the schools gives our children the additional benefit of broader horizons, as they develop friendships with children from many other countries.
Of the many thousands of children in Sahaja Yoga, only a few hundred each year are able to attend these schools. Some families choose not to send their children, others send them for some time, and then choose to keep them in local schools for a time, according to what they feel are the needs of the individual child.
We have found that the Sahaja Yoga schools instill in our children a very deep and unshakable joy in their approach to life. The children who are fortunate enough to attend these schools develop an inner strength by which they are able to withstand the forces of peer pressure when they return to schools in their native countries.
As parents, we feel this is possibly the greatest gift we can give them, as our wish is to see them grow up strong, healthy , with a deep respect for all that is divine within and around us, fully able to enjoy life and express themselves.
Steve Wollenberger, Chicago, USA back to top Sahaja Yoga - a gentle path Sitting quietly, doing nothing, stilling the mind and calming the body, has never been the western way. For centuries, Meditation and Yoga Union have been regarded by Europeans as an esoteric, Oriental practice of little practical benefit.
But over the last two decades, the increasing speed and pressures of modern living have been matched by an increasing need for ways co cope with them. Medical science is now proving what a growing number of people in the West have discovered for themselves: