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{All memory of his original source or home-land is now forgotten, and as action follows action the shell around him gets harder and harder and his memory of the source gets fainter and fainter, until it is almost completely forgotten. Rev. Babuji}

Creative descent and formation of Knots.

Rev. Babuji's work, "Towards Infinity" is one of the rare books in the field of spirituality. The book gives an account of the progress and of the experiences as the sadhaka passes from one state of development to the other. These stages or bhumikas of Reality or essence of being are indeed formed for each individual ray of existence or soul through a process of creative descent. These are called knots or Grandhis, each describing a particular law and form of its own, and have in a sense made for the bondage and sorrow of the individual sadhaka. It is but natural that the soul or individual who has formed his descent should aspire to reach the base again or return to the homeland. The work of the Master is an attempt to describe the stages in the various knots to enable a sadhaka finds his way back to the origin or homeland from which he has descended. The book also is a guide to those who seek to have knowledge of the path and for those who feel that they are Brahmajnanis to assess their knowledge in the sphere.

The most distinguishing feature is that these are not centres or plexuses to be cut off to liberate ourselves to move on in the process of involution. These knots are to be loosened and the aspirant should have considerable stroll in each of them imbibing the nature of the Knot in his path towards Infinity. The example of flow of oil is best suited to understand the process of flow of energy that is explained in the figure above. (pind desh figure) The figure of the bracket is mainly to note that the flow as it passes through the bracket or center has a whirling nature which keeps us enwrapped in it without allowing us move forward to the next knot. Balancing of the flow inside the knot, which is of the nature of bracket, is the task of the aspirant and he is assisted in the process by the trainer. When Pranahuti is offered to those points there will be either an obstruction or constriction that is felt in the thought process, if the flow through the bracket is not smooth and balancing the same is the duty of the trainer. When, through Will this is cleared up, the flow would become natural and smooth. The characteristic feature of the point would be felt making one feel that the point is purified. The final condition of each of the knots is the same as they were at the beginning that is their absolute or original condition as revealed in each knot. They smell the odour of the servitude of the element under consideration to the Almighty. The purpose of Sadhana is to bring all these knots to their original condition and merged in the Ultimate.

Journey through these knots is of utmost importance in as much as only then one can enter the portals of the realm of the Master. These centres as explained above are of the nature of Brackets or Valves. There is a close grip at both the ends of the centre. The flow of Thought down to existence is characterized by several twists and turns. These twists are the knots. Cutting the knots will not serve the purpose as discontinuity ensues. Cutting of the knots was the method of traditional Yoga systems. In the Natural Path they are loosened to enable the flow back to the Base. The flow of thought inside each knot is of whirling nature. The journey through these knots is called Yatra in this system. The journey to the Infinite proceeds in two ways and Master asserted that they are both necessary. The individual effort is to be supplemented by the effect of Pranahuti. Through the process of Pranahuti the adept in the field infuses light which travels through different centres and a sort of vibration is felt by the aspirant even at advanced levels. The adept in addition to this also performs the Yatra to the different regions and centres. It is the experience of the aspirants that they are not able to perform the Yatra on their own and have therefore sought the help of the adepts in Pranahuti Aided Meditation.

Purification and purgation always precedes any progress and development. Therefore before undertaking the work of yatra in this system of training one needs to ensure that the flow of thought force, which is usually towards the lower portion of the heart, is diverted towards the upper portion. It is obvious that so long as satisfaction or pleasure ensues from gratification of sensuous desires (instincts, drives) through IMPULSIVE ACTIONS, Purification of lower self is not complete or perfect.

Later in this work detailed nature of knots will be discussed. Suffice it note that these knots are centres of power and each has its own characteristic. The power according to its nature in the knot should be 'grasped' fully and a field of Power at a point is created. The actual Yatra is done then by giving a suggestion that the Point of Power is developing movement in a clockwise direction. However there is no movement of the point that is moving and the will is that the condition of the centre or knot, which is dormant, is getting vibrant and the movement in clockwise direction of the force or power or knot is assisted by this point of power. The details of this process are to be learnt in person from an adept. While Yatra is done in this manner upto VI knot the Yatra from then onwards is different. Then the nucleus of the region is conceived and keeping in view the nature of the region the force or power of the region is taken to be in Centre of the region and it is willed that its effect is spreading throughout. This point or Master Cell of the region has to be thoroughly cleaned and its journey or expansion in the region should be controlled completely within a time frame.

The development beyond the X knot is possible only after a thorough Yatra in the 64 points before the Sahasrara. The net result of the Yatra in these 64 points is that one gets what Master calls 'potentised'. That is the aspirant is then 'potentised' to move into the Central region. The discovery of the Central Region and development in that region are unique to this system of Rajayoga. The movement in the realms beyond the Sahasrara is possible only through a process of what Master calls 'Summarisation'. Summarisation means that all the effects of the earlier knots are summated in the knot and this process requires special will. The movement or Yatra in the XI, XII and XIII knots is through 'Summarisation' at the subtle, subtler and subtlest levels.

The various knots located in the physical frame have almost the same characteristics but each one has something of the whole more preponderantly. That is, for example, the point of Fire has Earth, Water, Air and Ether also, but Fire is predominant.

The five knots of pind desh in which the 1st one has two sub-knots are all related in some way or the other with the elements. The five elements of earth, water, fire, air and ether are all well known as constituents of the physical world in philosophy. There exists a controversy among the disciples of Sri Ramchandraji that there are six knots in pind desh and not five. This confusion seems to have emanated from the careless proof reading of the first edition of, "Towards Infinity". The master makes it clear elsewhere and more so in his book, "Silence speaks" in the article, "Stages of Progress" that there are only five knots in the Pind desh. To quote, "We proceed methodically, awakening the various centres of power which are helpful in our pursuit. Each of these points has its own particular significance. We take up the heart, which is the nucleus. We go on with meditation at this point till the goal is attained. There are FIVE points or sub-centres in it through which we pass during the course of our journey. When we reach the last or the FIFTH point, our passage towards Ajna chakra (cavernous plexus) becomes straight." (Figure 1)

The point of meditation is knot 1, which is the nucleus of the human system. It is the heart where activity and inactivity meet. This is a case where we observe the intertwining nature of matter and spirit. This is essentially of the nature of earth.

It is necessary to note here that the five elements form the 'material' for the PANCHA KOSAS: The veils that form around the soul. The grossest is the Annamaya kosa, which means food and is naturally related to the element earth. The second is Pranamaya kosa. Prana indicates the flowing, fluid or liquid element of Water. The third is the Manomaya kosa the layer of the lower mind. This is to be understood as relating to the element of fire where the aspiration for achieving higher values starts. The fourth is the Vijnanamaya kosa the sheath of the Buddhi. This is the state where the expansion of consciousness begins and is related to the element of air. The fifth one is the Anandamaya kosa the sheath of Bliss. The Bliss is the experience of the sphere of Ether. (See appendix 1 on Kosas for more details)

It is also necessary for us to note clearly that the five senses symbolize five forms of perception (activities of consciousness) relating to the five elements. Touch is symbolic of perception in the physical plane, taste in the emotional, smell in the mental and moral, hearing in the spiritual and sight in the ethereal planes.

The relation between the 'senses' and the world of manifestation has to be well understood to gain better insight into the various experiences during meditation. The sense of touch is related to earth, taste is related to water, smell is related to fire, hearing is related to air and sight is related to ether. The relation to the five points or knots in the Pind-desh to these elements and senses becomes clear when we get to know of our conditions during meditations and other time mentations on the sublime truths revealed during meditation. For example: when we feel we are close to our "sweet beloved" Master it is the emotional plane of devotion that is active or when we feel the 'warmth of love' of the Master it is the element of earth or knot 1 that is active. It should be realized that there is a relation between 'insight' and the experience emanating from the point 5 related to ether. Similarly the spiritual 'voices' are related to the Heart center.

It should be well understood that the traditional path of spiritual journey from Mooladhara to Sahasrara is modified in the system of Rajayoga of Sri Ramchandra to commence from the Heart to Visudhha through a zigzag path of five knots.

These knots are in a sense, a part of the Heart center or the Anahad. In as much as the journey in the lower centres of Swadhisthana, Manipura and Mooladhara is not taken in the beginning and is taken at the end of journey in the higher regions, the Great Master identified and located certain centres which He calls the knots in the organic region which have certain characteristics that are identical or similar to the basic plexuses. Though Air is the element that represents the 5th knot, as per the book "Towards Infinity" it is the heart center that is the basic knot where voices are heard. Actually Anahad itself means unstuck sound. The Solar center or Manipura which is having control over the element Fire is represented in the Pind-desh in the knot 3, the center relating to devotion and Fire. The sacral center or the Swadhisthana is the center, which relates to the element of Water connected with taste. This is represented in the knot 4 related to Water in the Pind-desh. The Mooladhara or basic plexus relates to Earth. In the knots of the Pind-desh this is located in the knot 1 i.e. connected with the aspects of Viveka, which is also connected with touch. Thus we see there is a one to one substitution of the lower centres in the knots of Pind-desh. This is a remarkable discovery, which reduces the difficulties in Sadhana for one who proceeds with absolute faith in the Master.

As for the psychological factors connected with these elements, the various conditions that are discussed in this commentary on the, "Towards Infinity" give some understanding. However, it is needless to say that discerning sadhakas have to add their own notes based on sadhana to this to make any meaningful conclusions as to the nature of practices he may have to adopt to cleanse or otherwise attend to the various knots.

For purposes of easy referencing a table of the various aspects of Shatchakras as given in the traditional texts are given hereunder.

Table 1

Centre location Deity Characteristic Element
Muladhara root Brahma/Ganapathi Slumber Earth
Swadhisthana basin Vishnu/Sukra Fluid Water
Manipura stem Rudra/Mars Aspiration Fire
Anahata Middle Isa Samatva Air
Visuddha throat Siva Purity Ether
Ajna Bru-madhya Moon Divinity Elixir
Sahasrara Crown Isvara Sat Tat

The various knots explained in His work, "Towards Infinity" of course do not take any cognisance of these Shat chakras. There is not much deliberation or elaboration of these knots in his work but there are occasional references to these in his replies to aspirants and in certain talks and lectures. Therefore it is considered useful to refer to these very elementarily in the general referencing and as an introduction. It is however necessary to also note in the beginning itself that the last state of TAM is something that is not referred to in the traditional books of yoga.

Nature of knots:

The heart is the physical organ which can be considered as the gross manifestation of Mind. It is univocally held by all authorities that the heart holds the secret of the higher or spiritual possibilities. However, this is possible only when the soul within is not unduly restricted to the lower vrittis or the physiological and biological needs and related feelings but is enabled to move freely in the body from the lower to the highest point of the crown and beyond and is capable of living in all the realms of consciousness - i.e. a triloka sanchari - from the baser instincts, through feelings and emotions, to the state of pure consciousness which lives and moves for the sake of the divine.

The heart contains some points or knots, which are centres of force on one hand and on the other they also prevent the energy from flowing freely from above to the heart. Though this is good for the preservation of the heart from tensions, yet in so far as the knots also work as brakes, the flow from above is impeded. When the free flow is restored, the heart gets its supply of spiritual energy and works to its fullest potentiality and capacity.

The knots are centres of hidden powers and most siddhas utilize these knots for the performance of supernormal feats. In the yoga of Sri Ramchandra the aim is to utilize the force or energy at each center or point or knot for moving upwards till the final goal is reached. The dissipation of the powers at each knot through exercise of miracles at each knot will prevent them from being used for the upward movement. Thus such an approach is considered suicidal to the progress in the path of spirituality. On the contrary it is possible and necessary that the power of the knots of the lower levels could be utilized as successive rockets for going out into the vast spaces of one's spiritual life.

The knots have to be first entered into. This is done by the sadhaka through constant efforts at purification through special meditational practices prescribed by the great Master and through regular meditation. However, with the practice of PAM this becomes easier. The entry into the knots where various spiritual states are experienced cannot be done without the whole surface being cleaned of all dark sediments etc., which are collected over the knot. These sediments or black points or specks or even firm slabs require to be removed by the application of will of the trainer through transmission of spiritual life force or Prana. The knot is opened up gently through transmission and with this the soul is enabled to move freely in the knot without in any way affecting the structure. It may be made clear that in the system of Sri Ramchandra's Raja yoga, soul is always treated as a conglomerate consisting of four principles called as Chit (consciousness), Manas (mind), Buddhi (intellect) and Ahankar (ego). When we say the soul moves freely in the knot it is meant that the consciousness moves in that realm and has full awareness of the nature of the knot and conversely the fact of purification is known when the characteristic of the knot is felt by the aspirant.

The stage of one's free movement in the knot is called laya Avastha in the knot. This has four stages. The movement is felt as free, unobstructed and is pleasant. This is the stage of saralata (free movement). Some sadhakas like this condition of merging in a knot and crave for it again and again. (Similar to a swimmer enjoying the pleasant feeling again and again or a child learning a new skill trying to do the same again and again e.g. cycling.) When the experience is not full, even if they are moved to a higher stage there will be craving for the earlier experience. (Ex:- The abhyasis saying that their condition is not as good as it was a few days back or the experience they had on a particular occasion being sought to be re-experienced). However, after some sadhana and with the grace of Master the stage of saralata turns into a stage of sarupyata i.e. the sadhaka develops a conscious awareness of the nature of the knot. In this stage still the awareness of the condition as different from one's nature remains. The next stage is complete mastery of the condition, i.e. here one is capable of moving in the sphere with ease, comfort and authority. This stage is called laya. Master talks of one more stage while explaining the knot relating to water. Laya by itself cannot be considered to be giving knowledge of the knot completely and it becomes complete only when one becomes one with that consciousness particular to that knot. The nature of the knot, which is now known at the stage of sayujyata, is the particular characteristic of the knot by itself. Here mind and intellect becomes aware that the knot in its real nature is an expression of divinity or rather divinity itself has expressed like that knot and in its pure or perfect condition is one which is of immense value for one's expressing oneself as an off shoot of the divine impulse at the time of creation. Thus we observe that the centres or knots have invariably before their formation, a state which brings forth the knot for divine purpose. If we can ponder over the causal center of every knot, then that is the realm where one has to merge if we have to have full knowledge of the knots. Such a process becomes possible only when one enters and moves freely in the Brahmand.

We have formed many impressions due to our actions and reactions in this life and well as in the past. So long as these impressions condition our ways of thinking and behaving we are under their binds. These binds get located in the various knots according to their nature. One has to go through the consequences of one's action due to the inviolable law of Karma which governs all according to the Universal Order or Rtam. Bhog is a word we use while we go through the effects of our actions. Master however states 'Bhog does not only mean undergoing the effect of our past actions but it really means passing through the process of unfolding the intricacies of the point which we have already arrived at. Our stay at these points for the purpose of Bhog is often very long and in most cases it is almost impossible to get out of it by mere self-effort. It may, however, be possible at a few preliminary stages but subsequently it becomes quite impracticable. It has been observed that most of the sages of the past who had tried it by self-effort only, remained lingering for whole life on the very first or the second stage and could not cross it. The fact is that at somewhat advanced stages we have to face what may be expressed as the slippery condition of the place. There we may sometimes go up a little but soon slip down again. The same thing happens again and again with the result that higher ascent becomes arduous and well-nigh impracticable. Under the circumstances it is only a forceful push by the worthy Master that can bring us out of the whirlpool. It is needless to state that the intricacies one has developed in the Knots as they evolved are the individual idiosyncrasies that they exhibit. The importance of Pranahuti in sadhana cannot be over emphasized to overcome these intricacies and idiosyncrasies.

Studying astral body: It is often required to note the condition of the aspirant. Though external behaviour and attitudes reflect to a considerable extent the condition, as also the features of the eyes etc., there is an absolute need to study the internal condition of the person through the inner eye. It is generally stated that we should have the astral form of the abhyasi before us, and study. This is confused as a physical presence of the astral form. The ridiculousness of the idea should be clear to any person who is serious about the spiritual science. All that is required is that the form of the abhyasi that comes to the mind's eye of the trainer. This is a serious form of concentration taking into consideration the physical and physiological features which is required as a frame or body so as to limit the area of study. However, in those who have gone beyond Pind-desh it becomes difficult to give a boundary to them. While meditating or when an attempt to study the condition of self or others is made, usually one closes his/her eyes to study the inner condition and this is mainly due to the need to cut off the external stimuli from interfering with the study of the inner condition. When we close our eyes to study the condition of the heart, the first thing that is clear to us is a screen before the eyes that is oval in shape. This screen is not a bright one and we find fine particles spread through the area before us. The relative density of the particles in the lower or higher portion of the screen before us gives a clue as to the nature of thoughts and feelings the person has. These areas and particles when probed into grant us an understanding of the condition of the person.

If that is so, in Pranahuti Aided Meditation, why then should the person be asked to sit before the trainer at all? This becomes necessary so that the effects that are willed in the abhyasi are instilled in the form of the person, a process that is absolutely essential. This can however be done even otherwise in most cases, but in higher approaches it becomes necessary that the task of instilling requires a consciousness boundary, which is easier to appreciate by the trainer. Thus it may be clear that astral body is nothing but a boundary of consciousness of an individual, which can be micro or macro according to the condition of the aspirant. For more detailed account on studying conditions see Appendix 2.

First Knot

When our consciousness becomes aware of the state of inactivity behind the state of activity in the heart when it beats it enables us to experience a state of balance that is also referred as peace or Shanti. Being accustomed to respond selectively to the stimuli through the processes of training at home and in schools it is obvious that all thoughts and sensations are not reflected upon by us. We act and react to stimuli only selectively. Between two reflective processes on any two successive stimuli (both internal and external) that we go through, there is an intermediary stage of lull or pause. This state of pause or inactivity gives us a glimpse of what the state of balance or peace could be. Heart being the center of meditation, in its physical aspect is best suited for the purpose, because in its very working there is contraction and relaxation indicative of activity and inactivity. This combined presence of these two principles of activity and inactivity in the heart, Revered Babuji says is a gross replica of the holy union of the Ultimate (pure consciousness or Purusha) and Kshob (primordial principle of matter or Prakriti). Traditionally in the Samkhya and yoga systems it is known as the dance of Purusha and Prakriti.

When the desire to be in a state of balance or peace, the glimpses of which is had due to its awareness as stated above, we can say that the stage of Viveka or discriminative learning or Jnana Avastha has started. Jnana in spirituality would essentially mean the capacity to distinguish between what is temporary and what is permanent, what is real and what is unreal. The Real knowledge at this stage would be of two types, i) to know that there is nothing that is permanent in this world and everything is transitory and is in a state of flux or change and ii) behind all this change there is something deep in the core of everything, object and person, that is permanent and changeless. At this stage the knowledge that there is nothing whatsoever other than the Consciousness of the Master dawns on the abhyasi to some extent. As the condition of this knot gets imbibed into the aspirant and as he owns up that condition the total truth of the, "Isavasyam idam sarvam yat kinchit jagatyaam jagat" is known. The statement of Lord Krishna, "mattah parataram nanyat kinchidasti Dhananjaya" gains meaning in the consciousness of the aspirant. Our beloved Master states that, "I felt an ubiquitous force present in every animate and inanimate object and particle. I was drowned in the sea of wonder. I felt God pervading everything like a broad daylight." "During my abhyas or practice I felt a strange experience that everything in the world even the bricks and stones, leaves and flowers, were radiating the force of Divinity all over and liking and devotion were so great that I wanted to embrace thistles in love".

Tradition has it that even Divine beings must be born as human beings, in order to attain Salvation and Liberation. The implication is that the experiences of the physical plane, the element Earth, have to be gone through and spiritual escapism will not do. The earth is the testing plane of the spirit. Viewed from this point it becomes clear how important it is that one should have full understanding of the relative nature of things, feelings, persons and forces in the back drop of pure consciousness or in other words undergo Yatra in this knot fully. As a matter of fact this knot has such a control over the other 4 knots of Pind-desh that it is necessary to clean and perform Yatra in this plane several times. The influence of this earthly center over the other centres is such that tradition represented the divine serpent as a five hooded one (Adisesha). The serpent, it must be remembered is a creature of the soil (Earth).

The state of mind at the first knot at the time of laya is a quiet mind unperturbed during adversities and miseries as well as during joy and happiness and the aspirant is balanced in viewing everything from the understanding that all that is and happens is just and proper. The awareness of the presence of Divinity every where make's one understand the nature of the Divine as a Samavarthi or dispenser of justice. The state of balancedness is developed to the extent that he has just and due attachment to everything as an expression of that Consciousness that is the base of all. Knowing everything as an expression of that Consciousness he feels nothing as his own and abides in due attachment to all that is even as a trustee. He understands why he is what he is, and accepts everything and every happening as a will of God.

During meditations the most commonly experienced colour that accompanies this state of mind is a soothing and auspicious yellow. However when the state of mind bears a tinge of unattachedness crimson is also noted. This may be due to the fact that the point 1(b), which is immediately above, has that hue.

When our thought penetrates or moves in the first knot we observe darkness as outer layer as contrasted to the relatively lighter tinge of grey that is usually felt. This should not be confused with grossness that is observed during the process of purification of self or cleaning done during the day as a part of practice.

Laya in this knot means that the desires of the impulsive part of self (lower self - animal instincts - base self) are restored to a state of balance obtained originally (i.e. in their original form, unadulterated by the mind and ego consciousness). The quality of meditation then is such that a state of forgetfulness of the presence of these instincts in us is felt and a deep quiet settles in.

It should therefore be clear that those who claim to have gone beyond this point are only talking about their condition in a relative manner. So long as the body exists, the need for food, air, water, and sex apart from shelter cannot be totally conquered. Such attempts by the practitioners in yoga led to various forms of perversions, which needs no mention to the discerning sadhakas. What Pujya Babuji Maharaj advocates is control and moderation of these urges and not total annihilation of them. Since total mastery of this knot means really perfection in every sense of the term with reference to that knot and since it cannot be achieved by directly attacking these fundamental urges, the path of Yoga of Sriramchandra's provides a solution by enabling the sadhaka move to higher planes of consciousness, so that with the divine wisdom of the higher centres the lower self is tackled and wisdom is percolated to the lower realms of consciousness. The sadhaka after having achieved certain depth in the laya state of the consciousness of this knot is enabled to move on to the next sub knot closely connected with this one.

In cases where the condition of this knot is overwhelming it results in the aspirant becoming an Avadhoot. Master ensures that none following his path will get into this position from which generally return to the path is difficult. An avadoot, Master states, is one who is in a state of ecstasy and does not want to leave the condition, and thereby closes once and for all further progress. While this condition is generally held as very high and perhaps justifiably, from a different angle of yoga, Master recognizes this as a mere aberration which happens to the sadhakas occasionally and immediately lifts him out of that condition of total engrossedness.

The feeling at this point is one of Divine touch in every object of the world. This awareness of Divine presence in animate and inanimate objects leads to high-pitched emotion, which is a form of God intoxication. It would be of interest to note that the famous Isa Upanishad starts with this feeling and proceeds further. That is the awareness of the presence of Divinity through the inner eye in everything that is, is the beginning of the journey to the Infinite. We in a sense start from this Infinity (as the spread of Divinity observed everywhere) to that feeling of Infinity where both time and space collapses in ones consciousness (This is an inexpressible experience).

Master records in his autobiography (page 16) "I felt an ubiquitous force present in every animate and inanimate object and particle. I was drowned in the sea of wonder. I felt God pervading everything like a broad daylight."

The awareness of the presence of the Master in each and every object and person enables one to be in the Divine thought always. There is no better substitute for gaining the condition of constant remembrance of the goal which is the most important aid in the path of spiritual progress and one should attend to the Yatra in this knot repeatedly as suggested by the Master. Also this condition enables the Sadhaka develop the twin traits of humility and tolerance to the required extent which is a must for progress in spirituality. The awareness of the Divine presence everywhere and thoroughly inadequate nature of oneself is the beginning of such jnana as is necessary to get rid of one's bloated concept of ego or self. Further, the awareness of the presence of Divinity everywhere makes one realise that there is nothing, which he can call his and the seeds of real Vairagya are sown. These seeds grow taking deep roots and according to the level of balancedness achieved in this knot further progress in the higher planes of consciousness are made possible.

First knot (b)

This knot is closely related to the first one and many sadhakas felt this to be only as an extension of the first knot. Dr. K. C. Varadachari felt this to be part and parcel of the first knot itself. However, the Master Sri Ramchandra treated this as a separate one and says "The consciousness of the condition prevailing at it is the second stage of knowledge". Since jnana Avastha got enriched in the first phase (knot) of the journey towards the Infinite, it is but natural that the urge to go forward for the merger with the Divine takes a deeper root. This urge naturally creates restlessness and is felt by the sadhakas as a mental disturbance. The Master states that this state of restlessness is the final phase of the first knot itself. If the condition of Jnana that 'every thing that exists, reveals the presence of the Divine' (Viveka) does not develop into the understanding that 'nothing belongs to us but is only that of the Divine' (Vairagya) and that is not reinforced by devotion and love, this development of restlessness for the realization of the Ultimate does not develop. This knot reveals the same colour of yellow as the first knot. Some have recorded orange or crimson yellow also. Even during laya Avastha in this knot there is mental restlessness to reach the goal. To be more precise that is the laya Avastha at this knot. This is mainly due to the spiritual yearning and it has nothing to do with normal disturbing thoughts due to impurity (mala), or distortion (vikshepa). It is to be understood that any thought, which is not backed by piety, gets reflected disproportionately in mind that one is likely to confuse oneself about the sadhana itself. Righteous indignation and irritation to anything that is mundane and sensual is experienced. However, after sufficient Yatra in this knot, this restlessness develops into a continuous, uninterrupted attention to the Divine thus leading from a mental state of total dejection and rejection of the mundane and profane, to an exalted state of mind, of love for the Master and accepting everything as a matter of love of the Master. During Yatra in this phase one is likely to have moods of depression and elation repeating themselves often. When the love for the Master and devotion to the Divine steadies itself there is movement towards the second knot.

Another important feature of the consciousness at this stage of laya is the desire to have the company of similar divine seeking souls. This type of attachment towards other sadhakas develops its own hue and unless the grace of Master is there, the real Satsang is difficult to develop. By itself this trait of seeking the company of other satsanghis is very good; only one should guard oneself from the trap of getting into an undue attachment to persons, which blinds one to the real attachment to the goal that is required.

The knots 1 and 1(b) are the primary knots of consciousness and generally determine the tempo and texture of the path towards Infinity. The knot 1 which deals with Viveka and Vairagya has to be suitably moderated according to the needs of the sadhaka at several stages of life and should not be excited or attended towards perfection beyond the required level. Otherwise the chances are detachment, dejection and general attitude of aversion to the manifestation result and thereby progress towards divine gets affected adversely. Therefore the knot 1b, which assists in the development of love towards God, is to be attended more, so that the sadhaka moves towards his Goal more steadfastly. The yatra in knot 1 has to be carefully moderated and the yatra in knot 1b has to be given emphasis. This is the reason perhaps why both the knots have been taken together by trainers in the path. Attachment to the Divine and not detachment to the mundane is what is advocated in the system. Master Sri Ramchandraji Maharaj of Shahjahanpur, India has advocated a philosophy of life in which every one is exhorted to develop due attachment to everything as a trustee of the Divine and avoid undue attachment to anything or person or any relationship. This method of moderation is the key for the development of the healthy attitude of acknowledging everything as Divine.

With the understanding in the core of our being that everything that is obtaining is Divine, the problem of possessiveness gets tackled. Possessiveness can be related to the physical, vital, mental and aspirational levels of our being. It is only possessiveness that is the cause of all conflicts and wars. Sharing is the basic ethical code that governs the realm of Divinity and that gets developed when an aspirant has moved considerably in this knot. When Master said "Bhog does not only mean undergoing the effect of our past actions but it really means passing through the process of unfolding the intricacies of the point which we have already arrived at" he was stressing this type of intricacies (sharing etc.,) that get unfolded in the knots. It is possessiveness that is the basis for acquisitive behaviour which Psychologists classify as an instinct of certain creatures. Like an ant collects food (for the rainy day), sparrows collect twigs (for its cage) it is the same characteristic in man that makes him acquire legally or illegally and then also face consequences of such collections. The various intricacies that are to be undergone in the knots are difficult to detail. The Appendix 3 to this book titled "Game of life" contains details of some such traits and positions that we traverse in the path.

As for the physical location of these knots it is found that the knot 1 is about 3 fingers width from the left nipple towards the sternum and the knot 1b is just above the knot 1.

Second Knot:

The second knot of consciousness is one of the important states. It is here for the first time the taste of Liberation is had. After having had developed disinterestedness in everything other than God or the Goal through the development undergone in the knots 1 and 1b, and having developed love for the Master, a feeling of relief from the oppressive bondage of attachments is experienced. The annamaya kosa, which is the first sheath, is loosened here and Rev. Babuji writing about the condition in this knot says, 'The first covering is now removed and we begin to sense the fragrance of the Soul and similar visions appear within and without'. Of the five Kosas that bind consciousness to existence the most powerful one is the annamaya kosa, which takes care of every conceivable physical and physiological need. Liberation from it is really liberation in almost every sense. The first two knots of consciousness have a certain amount of dense or heavy feeling. All feelings there are highly emotional in either the positive or negative sense. Heaviness is their characteristic. Compared to that state of consciousness, here in knot 2 there is lightness of feeling both in case of attachment to the divine, or detachment to the mundane existence.

As is obvious any progress in the realm of spirituality is only through extreme devotion to God and commitment to reach the Goal. It is devotedness and devout application of one's energy that leads to this knot. Having had some success in the knots 1 and 1b it is most likely that the sadhaka feels that he has developed spiritually and falls into the pit of pride of being 'one up'. But the aspiration of the sadhaka aided by the Pranahuti (transmission) from a competent master surely helps overcome this problem. It is clear that the most important element on the spiritual path of the aspiration is inspiration. It comes as the divine response to his aspiration. Aspiration, inspiration, spiritual discrimination and intuition, the joy of the heart are so many aspects of the consciousness had in this sphere of the spirit. For the first time we feel lightness of being and feel as if we are birds soaring with both the wings fully stretched.

This knot is a replica of the original state of consciousness. As it becomes clear we feel all the states of consciousness from one of total bondage to that of total void through the states of devotion, surrender, faith and constant remembrance all mixed up or independently. It is a pure mirror when purified to the fullest extent. Higher states of consciousness get reflected here fully. The light of the Ultimate when reflected here is so perfect that one may take it as the Ultimate itself.

This knot has its connection to the Chit Lake. All the thoughts that arise in us have their origin the Chit Lake. The nature and location of the Chit Lake is given at the appropriate context in this commentary. The flow from the Chit Lake to the second knot is a weak one for one who has not advanced much in spiritual life and is strong in those who have moved far in the path. The flow of thoughts from the Chit lake is more towards the lower tendencies of mind located in the Lower portion of the heart. Through efforts to realize ones' true nature the downwards tendency gets reduced and the flow now towards the Second Knot gets thicker. The connection to the Second Knot is therefore from two sources the horizontal movement from Knot 1 is one and the other the flow from the Chit Lake through the point X located in the chest region (See Appendix-2). That Divine willed its strength this way is the understanding of the enlightened.

When a sadhaka is traversing this sphere he would feel calmness and peace. He is likely to experience light of the nature of moonshine. It is also possible he feels the colour red which turns itself into white later. The peace and happiness one feels here may be said to be similar to that of the Satchitananda experience. The purity of the state is such that the reflection of higher states may make the sadhaka feel that he is having the original experience itself. The influx of the divine flow in a sadhaka who has got the knot cleaned thoroughly will be so intense that he may feel that he is drowned in Divinity itself. The grip and engulfing feeling experienced here in such a state cannot be described in words. It is total and all consuming. Yet there is a certain amount of heaviness in that feeling which should be sufficient for a sadhaka to yearn for the original and seek the Ultimate state.

The outermost covering i.e. annamaya kosa having got loosened, the spirit is enabled to move out of the shackles. The spirit starts movement consciously - Rev. Lalaji Maharaj says that at this stage we feel consciousness as Atman. Atman is the conglomerate of mind, manas, chit and ahankar. Before arriving at this stage all these four are highly influenced by the forces of the Annamaya Kosa and there is very little movement and one is confined. At this stage the binds of the mind, manas and ahankar get loosened and there is a perceptible movement amounting to liberation that is felt. This capacity of moving and thinking Rev. Lalaji Maharaj says is the Atman. The consciousness or chit at this stage has not yet developed the capacity to grow with purpose - but has only acquired a part of its original nature by freeing itself from the state of relative inertia due to the binds of the Annamaya kosa.

This is also the stage when the compassion to fellow beings grows and seeds of love and concern for others develop. This is because Ananda and Sat do not know boundaries. One having crossed, in relative sense of course, the boundaries of Annamaya kosa feels that there is no real barrier between him and others and a feeling that boundaries are only conventions starts sprouting at this stage. This is called Spiritual Heart mainly because of this feeling. One feels for all the fellow beings and love and concern for others are predominantly developed.

One of the major intricacies that get untwined here is the understanding that one has no individual existence and all are inter-dependant. The delusion of independent self is got rid off and a full understanding of all existence emerges. It gets realized that the individual is dependant on the Divine and the Divine equally so. We find ourselves as organically united with the Divine and separateness is lost. In as much as the self is understood as part of the Divine/confidence in ones' self as capable of reaching the goal develops fully and confidence in the Master gets established. The archetypal principles of service, sacrifice, harmony get enshrined in the core of the heart. Of course this development is dependant on the awareness of the role of self in the cosmic scheme of things that gets matured as one progresses deeper in meditation. This point is approximately three-finger width away from the right nipple towards the heart.

Prayer develops into a new dimension here and changes from the personal to the universal in character. By attending to the prayer at the Point A as advocated by the Master it becomes easy to gain access to the Divine grace. Such divine grace alone can enable one to move to the next stage.

Third knot:

Having had a taste of divine presence in everything that one observes in life, and having understood the need for attaching oneself to the divine; and accepting everything that is there in existence; and having had the taste of the real nature of one's existence, the sadhaka is now on his march towards infinity in the real sense of the term.

The aspiration to attain to one's perfection develops into a pining and the aspirant cannot be content with anything except the real objective. The lower nature is burnt and the heat generated is allowed to turn into flames indicative of the upward movement. The Agni sikha is well compared to the one pointed aspiration of the sadhaka in many traditions (Sikhaagra). The goal clarity emerges and the sadhaka becomes restless always concerned about the goal. However, it should be noted that such an aspiration has for its fuel only the lower nature of the being and to that extent is still to reach perfection. Because of the nature of heat the sadhaka is always burning (Tapas) and is aflame. All impurities are sought to be burnt by him. The devotion therefore is naturally intense, emotional, and heavy on the heart.

The Fire here is dependent on the Earth and Water elements. The Fire here is almost an impossibility without the wood which may be classified as a product of Earth and Water. The lower nature which is basically physiological and of the Earthy consciousness and the nature of sentiments and attachments which is closely related to Water have to be burnt in order that higher aspiration becomes possible. It may be interesting to note that the colour saffron and orange are well tolerated in society while black is treated as a bad omen or something that is inauspicious. It is surely inauspicious from the material angel but that is beginning of real spirituality.

This Fire is the gross state of Divine luminosity. This is the center which reveals to us the Divine splendour. Tradition has it that Agni is the real guru. The nature of Fire as indicated in the Upanishads through the mantras like 'Agne naya supadha raye' gains meaning only in this knot.

This knot is experienced like a wheel in rotation. There are some circling rings inside this knot. Luminosity appears as bursting flames. Devotion is a predominant feature of this knot. Helplessness and surrender are main characters of the mind in this plane. Master observes 'When thought particles penetrate Agni point, they are seen as those present over fire rarefied and bright.'

When the knot is brought to a state of balance i.e. as it was originally through thorough cleaning of the heart with particular reference to point 'A', we find a colourlessness almost equivalent to black present in this state. Perhaps that is the reason why the devout in Sufi system chose to have the black woollen clothing indicative of their devout approach to divinity.

Laya Avastha in this knot is possible by purification of lower self which causes aspiration towards divine to be enhanced and Samadhi is achieved at this level mainly by remembering one's goal i.e. Master.

This constant remembrance, Master states, "In fact is a natural development of meditational practice and it acquires efficiency when the abhyasi has become devoted to the object of meditation or constant remembrance. It then ceases to be dry abhyas and becomes a luscious all-absorbing engagement. The fire of love and devotion alone burns down trivial trash, and wins the gold from the dross. The burning of love may, however, have three stages. The first is the suppressed smouldering giving out thick smoke.

The second phase has occasional sparks in it; and the last one gives the bright burning flame, capable of reducing everything to ashes in a moment's time. The first two states are subject to their exposure to the combustible matter in the air. When the solidity which hampers combustion is removed by the effect of inner heating, the final action starts with full force." However, the Master states immediately that higher stages of love and devotion are far beyond this level and states, "But then there is the electric fire as well, which bypasses the first two stages, and appears only in the final state, free from smoke and vapour. If you can light up such a fire within you, your progress shall be by leaps and bounds."

The point is located about four fingers width from the left nipple on the line drawn from the left nipple to the kanta chakra and immense restlessness is felt on touching the same.

Fourth Knot:

The next higher realm of consciousness is that which is connected with the intense feelings of devotion and total surrender to Master. Though the realm of surrender is yet far off, yet the beginnings of such feelings of total dependence on Master start here. The feelings of course are tinged with high degree of emotion. Thus devotion which was the characteristic of the earlier region changes into one of devotion where surrender feelings start. Because of the assurance that is felt by the sadhaka through a feeling that Divinity is yawning towards him the Fire turns to coolness and the realm of Water starts.

Water it should be understood is indicative of feelings. Particularly it is concerned with the elders who are no more (Pitru), towards whom we have a great attachment. Ritual ablutions or Tarpana is only through water. Water is the common substratum of life. It is the purifier of grossness. The grossness of attachments to lower self is sought to be cleansed through water. This is possible only when the sadhaka attaches himself to the goal with the same intensity of attachment to the Divine. The tidings of His grace is what makes it possible for the sadhaka to stabilise himself in this realm.

This realm makes it possible for the sadhaka to feel calm and settled. Many sadhakas feel a peculiar coolness a coolness that is usually felt before a vast sheet of water. The coolness of the sphere along with the feelings of the presence of the grace of Master is likely to make sadhaka think that he has reached his goal. But if one takes into consideration the sharpness of feelings; and occasional feelings of difference between Master and sadhaka; and if he has the grace of Master he will not get deluded here and stay put here.

At this stage the brightness is totally gone and luminosity is felt. The laya avastha here is predominantly coloured by the reassurance of the Master felt deep in the heart.

The predominant colour observed in this region is greyish blue. The tranquillity and calm experienced in the beginning stages of movement in this knot finally ends in a peculiar state of restlessness.

This point can be located about 4 fingers from the right nipple on the line connecting the right nipple and the kanta chakra.

Fifth Knot:

The march towards infinity takes a new turn here. This is the region where the determined will of the sadhaka gets reinforced. Or else the aspirant gives up the sadhana to be taken up later when the time ripens. The realm is that of Air and partakes partly in the nature of space also. It is vast and various experiences are had here. Master does not dwell much on the nature of this knot but talks about the nature of mergence and powers over nature that are obtained in the various knots upto this in a veiled manner. This is the region from where the movement ceases to be zigzag and the straight movement starts. This center is predominantly connected with "insight". Purity of consciousness achieved through cleaning points below this and also by assiduously attending to points A and B, one gets better capacities to observe and develop sensitivity.

Master Sri Ramchandra states that one who has control over this center will be capable of managing himself in the hottest summer without any mechanical devices. It is necessary to note that our march through these knots is by the grace of the Master alone and no sadhaka can claim perfect control over any of these knots that easily. In the training given by Sri Ramchandra the aspirant is not allowed to have a peep into any of the powers that lie hidden in these knots. However, the Master mentioned the Panchagni Vidya here and it will be upto the aspirants to test them if they feel so.

It would be worth while for us to mention the temptations that the sadhaka faces in his march towards infinity. The realm of Pind is such that it is the most important to maintain one's existence in the physical plane. The great temptations of matter deserve to be appreciated with reference to these knots which relate to the different elements. Satan while tempting the son of God said "If thou be the son of God command that these stones be made bread." However, Jesus replied "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." The word of God is what is heard in intuition and is related to the realm of air - ether. Food or bread which relates to the realm of earth is not the guiding factor but the word of God related to the realm of air is capable of uplifting one from the physical plane to the realm of God. Modern world which is engaged feverishly in the task of turning out every stone into bread needs to understand this emphasis of Jesus that the word of God is far superior to the bread which is essentially related to the physiological need. We have to guard against the philosophy advocated now-a-days i.e. "At the present time there is no end to utilitarian, technocratic, economic, industrial and political doctrines and activities, all born of reason and applied to the physical world."

The tempting Satan further said "If thou be the son of God, cast thyself down for it is written 'He shall give his angels charge concerning thee; and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at anytime thou dash thy foot against a stone.' Jesus replied "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." This temptation is in the realm of mind and may not be relevant at Pind-desh. However, it is mentioned mainly because after moving out successfully from the realm of Atman (2nd knot) and the realm of Devotion (3rd knot) one is likely to think that he has a right to be protected by the Master. This finds various expressions, most of them arising out of immaturity and some of them due to falling to the temptations of Stan. The aspirant can have nothing except the goal of reaching the Ultimate in his consciousness and shall move on, not bothered by any of the Siddhis or powers that he may get on the path.

The colour of the knot when it is thoroughly purified is light blue turning itself many times as violet. One goes beyond the mental consciousness of oneself and the expansion of the self is experienced. The predominant thought is confidence in self and Master. Certain times light is experienced as translucent. One has to make his will strong and seeks to go beyond the realms of Maya or Pind and can succeed by the grace of Master. The Layavastha here is through the feeling of the presence of the Master everywhere which begets forgetfulness.

Master Sri Ramchandra explains, "Now the thing which had entered into our being created dim vibrations causing a gentle force which descends into the Visudhha-chakra (Pharyngeal plexus) through the particles. This chakra often known by diverse names is the meeting place of the Pinda (microcosm) and Brahmand (macrocosm) regions and is the seat of Maya. Immense power is located there. A man gets into dreams when his thought comes in touch with this region. The center of Fire lies close by. The Deepak raga, one of the six kinds of the old classical ragas, is chanted from this point. When it comes down into the heart from this point it brings with it the state of Maya, but the condition lying ahead is also present in it in a dormant state. It now divides into three branches. The middle one proceeds a little downwards and forms into a sort of knot at the place where point 'A' is located. The other two go towards the right and the left. On the left it enters into the lower region of the heart. (See appendix-2) If miracle working capacity is to be developed, one may get himself attached with that part of the current which is saturated with Mayavic condition. I may, however, reveal that mere meditation can develop miracles provided it is devoid of the thought of the Divine or of divine attainments. This is only a hint which I do not mean to clarify further. The Bhagavat Purana too gives methods for developing miracles by the process of meditation, but it concludes with the words of Lord Vishnu stating, "Those who want to have Me through devotion get me as well as miracles." And this is a bare fact. I do not take up the topic how Fire, Air and other elements came into being since it has been sufficiently dealt with in the scriptures."

"Now, if we try to force our passage through the medium of the current which has brought us down, it would be a very hard job for the abhyasi. We, therefore, take up a different course, proceeding first side ways to point number 2 and then to points 3, 4 and 5 successively. In this way we utilise the sub-powers lying at the points and become stronger for the enterprise. After crossing the Visudhha chakra sphere our path is straightened since we get filled up with power and the process of divinisation commences. By divinisation I mean that all senses and faculties are harmonised, assuming their original state and are merged in the Real. The final state of divinisation comes when every atom of the body becomes one with the Real state - the Ultimate."

"When we cross the fifth point, our passage towards Ajna chakra (cavernous plexus) becomes straight. The condition at this point is peculiar. From this point, the energy which we consume is diverted towards the lower regions. During our journey to this point, the major condition which one experiences is a feeling of something like shadowy darkness. This is only a clue to show that we have finally to go beyond light. Its real nature pertains neither to light nor darkness but to a dawn like colour."

The Kanta chakra is located easily at the base of the neck between the collarbones. (Figure 6)

Though Rev. Babuji has not given in detail how these knots are related to various Niyamas or Yamas, tradition has it that Yamas and Niyamas are closely related to the elements and a sadhaka who tries to assess himself with reference to the progress he has made may do well to note them. To say that one has crossed a particular knot without a reasonable control and command over that element which is related to, it would only be deceiving himself. To narrate or claim to narrate all that is stated or available in tradition is not possible.

It is to be fully realised that the mastery over pind-desh is an achievement that is very difficult and in a sense impossible. If the aspirant were to master fully each knot and then only move to the next stage then the time required would be immensely high and well neigh impossible in one life-term duration. That is what the tradition says and the Lord Krishna asserted "Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate".

Now the Lord of the day Sri Ramchandra asserts that through 'Pranahuti' a capable trainer under His guidance can lead the aspirant through successive stages initially to liberation and if cooperation is fully available to Realisation. This is made possible by enabling the aspirant gain knowledge and enough control at each knot to the extent that is necessary to move on to next knot. To explain further the growth and understanding at a particular stage is brought to a condition when the next knot starts vibrating or pulsating as if by resonance. The higher centre vibrates and starts being a pulling factor (as if magnetic) of the aspirants condition from the lower centre where relative purity is achieved. If total perfection at the lower stage is to be had then the progress or journey to the infinite gets delayed. The Master therefore enables the aspirant to move on to the next stage even if he had got only 40% or 50% knowledge at the lower knot. Comparing the secular with spiritual is not proper. However, to understand we may compare this with the educational system. Though the student has got 50% in all subjects, he is promoted to the next class and we say he has passed the lower class. But we know that his knowledge in the lower class is only 50% and 50% he does not know. But we believe he will gain mastery over that 50% at a later stage when he is learner of greater lessons in a higher class. Sri Ramchandraji, the Great Master, therefore, applied this approach in spiritual training also and enabled many an aspirant to move on to higher stages though their mastery in each knot is less than perfect or total. However, it is necessary that each aspirant should ensure greater understanding at each knot for being a better vehicle for carrying the Master's Messages to all.