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Stages on the path of Realisation

The highest point of approach or the final goal of life is a state of complete negation, nothingness or zero. I have tried to indicate this in the diagram.

The concentric circles drawn round the centre roughly denote the different spiritual spheres we come across during our progress. Beginning our march from the outermost circle, we proceed towards the Centre, crossing each circle to acquire the next stage. It is an immensely vast expanse.

We take up the heart – which is the nucleus – for meditation, and go on with it till the goal is attained. There are five points or sub-centres in this heart region which we pass through in the course of our journey. At each point, the following four conditions are felt, in this order:

1. A peculiar state all over, awakening within the mind a consciousness of the Divine Force pervading all over.

2. A Divine State prevailing everywhere, absorbed with its remembrance.

3. Neither the feeling of the divine force nor that of remembrance, but only a feeling of negation.

4. Everything gone. No impression upon the heart, not even that of existence.

These four conditions are experienced in every region and at every point. Under the Sahaj Marg system of spiritual training, everyone passes through them; though perhaps only the more sensitive ones are able to feel all the conditions in their minutest details. These conditions go on getting more and more rarefied as we proceed through the various sub-centres from the lowest to the highest.

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.

After crossing the fifth circle of the heart region one enters the mind region. The eleven circles of this region depict the various stages of egoism. The condition gets subtler and finer as one progresses through them. There are innumerable points and knots in each of these circles. In the ordinary course, it would require a whole lifetime for going from one point to the next but for the wonderful yogic process of pranahuti.

By the time we reach the sixteenth circle we are almost free from egoism. The condition here has rarely been attained even by the greatest sages. As far as my vision goes, I find none except Kabir who could have secured approach up to this stage (16th circle) apart from my great Master who had attained stages far beyond the limits of human approach. After this circle, what remains in one is a mere identity, still in gross form.

Before reaching this point we pass through the virat region of the sahasra dal-kamal (the lotus of thousand petals.) It is from this region that virat roop was brought to Arjuna’s vision at the time of the battle of Mahabharat. It is the macrocosm. Here we begin to experience to some extent a changeless condition which we may call Brahmagati or state of the Divine. In the course of this march, we pass through and cross various centres having their own particular conditions.

After crossing the seven rings of light of the central region, one enters the vast and limitless expanse, the Infinite, and starts swimming in it. Here the guru’s assistance is still needed, since even the subtlest force of the swimmer in the act of his heavy swimming sets up waves of energy that erect a barrier against progress. Only the experienced, capable and watchful guru helps in setting the waves and teaching the swimmer the art of light swimming which is almost akin to floating but still is not floating which type of swimming does not set up opposing waves. The guru also helps to keep the swimmer from slipping into enjoyment of the state of light swimming, which will impede further progress, and takes him on the further journey.

Now we reach the sphere of the dormant Centre which also seems to be enclosed by something like a ring, which is the last. For the sake of expression and experiment, I once made an attempt to enter into it; but a sudden, strong and forceful push threw me back, though I was able to get a moment’s peep into it. This has made me conclude that this is perhaps the last possible limit of human approach. I wish every one to have access up to it, and beyond it if at all possible. The form of gross (dense) identity – as I called it – has all the time been getting finer and subtler up to the last possible limit. We have now secured a position, which is near most to the Centre and it is the highest possible approach of man. Here we are in close harmony with the very Real condition. When one gets in close touch with Bhuma, the Ultimate, or God in the Absolute State, what or where he is, is beyond his understanding. Complete merging into the Centre or the Almighty is however not possible since it is essential to maintain a nominal difference between God and soul.

Such is the extent of the possibility of human achievement which one should fix his eyes upon from the very beginning if he wishes to make the greatest progress on the path of realisation. Very few among the saints or yogis ever had any conception of it. In most cases, the farthest approach was up to the second or third circle. It is unfortunate that even at this very early stage they sometimes considered their achievement to be very great. I have given all this only to enable people to judge the so called great Doctors of Divinity who are said to have attained perfection and are generally accepted as such by the ignorant masses who judge their worth only by their outward appearance or elegance.