with Yogi Amandeep
Four steps into the Unknown
from the Inner Teachings of Raja Yoga
February 3, 10, 17 in 2015
Raja Yoga is the highest form of Yoga. Ra is
the sun and Ja is the Path. The Path of Sun, light, and radiance. These teachings dwell around the evolution of consciousness.
How can one transcend from the darkness of the conditioned mind and abide in the Buddha-Mind and how can one break the cycle
of birth and death.
The ancient ones have divided this journey into 4 stages. The 4 stages of ultimate realization and sometimes referred
to as the 4 steps into the Unknown. The Sufis have mentioned these stages as path of disappearance; Fana. These stages are
travelled through effort and also effortlessly.
The first stage is known as Shariat. This is the outer circle. The stage of a student. There are questions and the student
seeks answers desperately.
This is also the stage of seeking. Not everyone is in search, to search or to inquire to the
true Self is a gift that is bestowed on the fortunate Souls.
The thirst for the vision of the beloved is planted as a seed in
this stage. The Soul seeks and longs for the company of those who have tasted wine of “Ishak e Haqiqi” –
the wine of intoxication. Those who have dissolved in the presence of the Infinity. In this stage the Soul of a seeker seeks
the lovers, the Bhaktas, devotees.
In this longing, one practices outer kriyas, follows rules and regulations and abide
the rules as stated by those who have walked the Path and have shown the Way. The seeker goes around to collect “illam
e zahir” outer wisdom. Despite collecting and reading borrowed wisdom of others, deep down the seeker longs the masters
touch that can open the fountain of “illam e batin” inner wisdom. Baba Bulleh Shah a Sufi Sage states “When you enter
the marketplace of love, be sure to have a Guide who knows this inner secret.”
In this stage one is in a constant search of a Guide, a Master, a Guru who can open the inner wisdom.
Many remain in this stage
for lifetimes. Rare ones meet the Guru and recognize the Guru. Then there are some who never meet the Guru, even after meeting
the Guru, because the meeting was on a very physical level. It remains an outer meeting. The real meeting happens from heart
to the heart. The Sufis call this meeting “Baraka”, the flow of master’s grace into the deep core of the
seekers heart. This happens only if the seeker is ready, the “Baraka” is always flowing. The very existence of
the Master is “Baraka”. One does not have to be in the physical presence of the Master. If you love, and have devotion and reverence
for the Master, then you can even be on another planet and it will not make any difference, you still can taste “Baraka”.
You can drink from your Master’s fountain wherever you are.
The 2nd stage is Tariqat. In this stage one develops the first inner connection
with a Master, with a Guide, with the Guru. One takes the first step into the world of Unknown. This happens only through
ultimate devotion, gratitude and reverence. This is also the stage of tears, as tears of joy flow constantly. This transforms
the student into a devotee and the seeker for sure have entered the inner circle. The feeling is as though one have found
a long lost treasure. Yogi Bhajan calls this “Touch of the Master”.
In the words of Rumi, the Master invites
the seeker into the inner circle by:
“Come in. The Beloved is here. We are all drunk.
(with the intoxication of bliss)
No one notices who enters or leaves.
Don't sit outside the door in the dark, wondering.”
In stage one, one seeks a Bhakta – a devotee,
in this stage one becomes a Bhakta. One has become a devotee from a student.
The inner kriya blooms, the inner technique is
revealed. The seed that was planted in stage one, breaks in this stage and the first petal of love is felt which with time
would became the thousand petaled lotus. A story from Buddha’s life demonstrates this stage beautifully. A seeker came
who had many questions and wanted the answers immediately. Buddha promised that he would give all the answers but he would
have to spend one year with him and dwell in the regulations that he would prescribe. The seeker agreed and sat in daily meditations
and practiced the Dharma. A day came when it is said, while sitting in meditation, he disappeared and all his questions also
disappeared. The conditioned mind that comes with conditional questions dissolved in the deep ocean of Buddha’s divine
presence. One year later Buddha went to him and said one is year is up, as promised I am here to answer all the questions
you came with.
The seeker looked up at the radiant face of the enlightened one and with folded hands said, “O blessed Master,
the one who came with questions, died a long time ago. The one whom you are asking for—even I don’t know where
he has disappeared to. This is the stage of the disappearance of the psychological self, only witnessing awareness remains.
The conditioned mind dissolves and all impurities of “Ahamkara”, the ego are washed with the tears of reverence
After the psychological self has dissolved one enters
the 3rd stage, Haqiqat. This word comes from the word “Haq” – which means Truth as it is. All
truths that we have accumulated are true in relationship to something. There is one Truth which stands all by itself. Guru
Nanak calls this “Saibhag” self-sustaining truth.
The Path of Haq manifest, also known as Path of Sehaj, effortless
Path, to let go and trust. All effort is dropped in this stage, like the eagle having reached the high skies is sustained
by the space around it. The devotee having flown into the vast skies of the Consciousness now trusts that he/she would be
sustained by the presence of the Guru.
The one petal that had bloomed in Tariqat in this stage evolves into thousand
petals. Yogis refer to this as blooming of the Sahasrar.
In this stage it is no more just realization of Truth but one becomes
the Truth. All identities of the body, mind and spirit dissolve. The Zen path states the 3 pillars of Dharma. It is referring
to this stage. The 3 Pillars are No Body, No Mind and No Soul.
All identities as stated by Maharaja Janak, who according to Yogi
Bhajan was one of the first historically documented masters of Raja Yoga said, “Dharma and Non-Dharma, Pleasure and
Pain all belong to the mind, they are not your concern. You are neither the doer nor the one who reaps the consequences, you
in your true Self always dwell in freedom.”
My true essence was always in freedom, I was always Satnam. What the Vedas call
Aham Brahm Asmi. What the Sufis declare, Ana Ul Haq. I was what I was longing for.
If this stage comes without Tariqat, it is a
sign of total fall. When it comes through Tariqat the path of surrender and devotion to the Guru, then it is the highest flowering
of the human consciousness.
What can be said of this stage,
where everything is Shunya. Guru Nanak calls this Dar-shun, the door of Shunya. The one who realised the stage of Tariqat
and other previous stages, even that awareness is no more to be found. Who would realize, who would declare, who would sing
or who would know. The seeker, the seeking and the one who is sought have all dissolved.
Once when someone asked Buddha what happens and
where does an individual go after Nirvana, he took a candle and blew it out and asked where the flame went. Marfat is blowing
out the candle.
The Siri Guru Granth Sahib, defines Marfat as; Inner emptiness outer emptiness, everything in emptiness.