The Atomic Era and Inner Truth

Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Gwatt, Switzerland, 19.3.82

For thousands of years yoga has been an important evolutionary science which has given mankind a new way of thinking and a new type of awareness. However, in the last fifty years or so, the need for yoga has become even greater. As modern technology progressively frees mankind from all his daily toils, he is now faced with a lot of spare time and nothing much to do or think. Therefore the mind of man has become undisciplined and unruly. That yoga has come at such a time to discipline mankind has now been accepted throughout the world.

What exactly is yoga

Although we have been talking about yoga in European countries and elsewhere, still we have not really been able to come to the ultimate point. Sometimes hatha yoga, raja yoga or tantra is interpreted in the spirit of yoga. Here, we used to make some sort of comparison between the physical sciences and the science of yoga. The word 'yoga' is related to two states: one internal, the other external. The internal world and the external world are both guided by the same principles of reality.

When you take into consideration the aspects of time and space, you are actually dealing with the aspects of Shiva and Shakti or consciousness and matter. What after all is yoga? The literal meaning is union, but as it has been expounded in the ancient text books, yoga actually means fission. It is a process of separation between the two eternal realities which form the two polarities within the human consciousness. Sometimes we call them Shiva and Shakti or simply consciousness and matter. When matter and consciousness unite there is external experience, and when they separate, then the internal experience begins. You may call it the experience of inner truth, of the self or the atman, or of the inner being.

The internal explosion

Recently in the held of nuclear physics, they have been talking about the possibility of bringing time and space together at one point. Usually time and space are separate from each other. Time represents the positive pole and space the negative pole of energy. Ordinarily, these two poles are diametrically opposite to each other. But they can be brought together by the scientific process called fusion. The moment when time and space meet, immediately there is an explosion in the reality of matter, and that is exactly what happens in the nuclear explosion.

In physics they say that when time and space, which are the two exactly opposite, objective realities, come closer to each other, that is called fusion. Now this process of fusion and the word yoga can be compared. In yoga also the two realities unite with each other, and at that time there is an explosion within the realm of the universal mind.

Universal mind is an internal as well as an external object. We have the three categories of time, space and object, in yoga as well as in science. When you practise dhyana yoga, or meditation, you are utilising the same possibility which was inherent in the scientific process of nuclear explosion. In meditation also you are bringing time and space closer together, whether you are concentrating on a dot, on the light of a candle, on any of the chakras, or even on shoonya. Whatever your object of concentration, you are not merely bringing your mental energies together. You are not merely changing the brain waves from beta to alpha, theta and delta. Of course, we do say that during concentration and meditation the brainwaves change and their ability to influence the physiological cycles also changes. This is true, but it is a very superficial matter.

Time and space equals mind

In meditation something more can happen, and does happen. Even though in the practice of meditation, you still the body and the mind, it is something more than that. Time and space are the two realities that constitute the mind. You cannot separate mind from time and space. If there is no mind there is no time and space. And with the hypothesis of time and space, you have the existence of the mind.

So these two poles, time and space, are inherent in the reality of the mind. When you try to concentrate the mind on one point, to withdraw the total awareness from the external periphery to the centre point, you are in fact bringing the inner time and inner space together. And if, by the virtue of meditation, you are able to bring time and space together and unite them on the inner dimension an explosion takes place there too.

The yogic nuclear bomb

As the explosion takes place in the nuclear realm of matter, similarly the explosion takes place in the nuclear realm of the mind. Mind represents the inner realm and matter the external. Now, when the explosion takes place in the inner realm, that has to be understood properly. It is not just an hallucination, or a psychic vision, it is the awakening of kundalini.

Kundalini, the seat of which is in mooladhara chakra, represents the total gross matter, the total existence. Through the practice of meditation when the awakening takes place in mooladhara chakra, and the arising of kundalini begins, this is the beginning of the inner life. This is how the atomic explosion can be compared to the inner awakening. One belongs to the external matter, and the other belongs to the mind.

Birth of the universal mind

At one point, mind is also matter. Mind is not abstract; it is a solid reality. Individual mind is a part of the universal mind or the total mind. Many times it does appear to us that we have an individual mind. This means that three billion people have three billion individual minds, but each and every mind is an inseparable part of the universal mind. In a room there are several lights and they all seem to be different, but are they not emitting part of the same electrical energy to which they are all connected? So each light is not different from its source. Similarly, the individual mind or the ego, the individual perception that we experience is born out of ignorance, and that is the bondage, the limitation which we will all have to break through.

So long as we remain within the confines of the individual mind, we cannot understand the universal mind. Through the practices of meditation, however, we begin to go beyond the individual mind and experience or perceive the cosmic mind, the total mind. And this total mind is the experience of samadhi. In the books they call it trance, but it is not trance. They say, there is no thought in samadhi, but this is also not so, there is thought. In samadhi the awareness of the total mind emerges and in the realisation of that cosmic mind, the birth of inner vision takes place.

Just as you cannot see the virus with your naked eyes, you have to have a microscope; even as you cannot see the radiations of electromagnetic or radioactive energy without infrared instruments, in the same way, there is an internal experience, which cannot be known unless you have been able to understand and develop your awareness of the universal mind.

The barriers of individuality have to be broken, just as the scientists have broken the limitations of matter, then only can matter assume the form of energy. In the same way, when you meditate and go beyond name and form, and gradually merge the individual, limited consciousness there comes a point of experience, of homogeneous awareness, where there is existence but you are not here. The 'I' is completely dissolved and 'self does not exist any more. That is the area of expanded awareness.

The universal plan

In yoga we talk about the possibility of realising the spiritual energy, just as in science we talk about the physical energy. Yoga is much more concerned with the universal law and not just with this physical body only. In the last 30 years, all over the world we have been talking about hatha yoga, asana, pranayama, physical exercises, mudra and bandha. But yoga means much more than that. It is a science that relates to the universal plan, and which we need very much now. In the complicated situations that we are facing today, it has become important that through the practices of yoga, we develop awareness of the universal scheme, the universal plan has to be influenced. The mind is a very important matter and its relation to humanity and to the processes around us have to be realised.

In this particular respect the science of tantra can be discussed here. When we talk about tantra, we are dealing with a method by which we are able to handle our minds. By handling our minds, we can definitely bring about a change in the pattern of the universe and the pattern of the whole creation.

What is mind? Where is mind?

The mind is not fear, neurosis, desires, passions and memory. These are mental vrittis (patterns). Mind is more than that. It is a very powerful instrument that nature has given to us and this is something which has yet to be realised, particularly in the west. The science of the mind according to western psychology talks mainly about fears, insecurities, schizophrenia, psychosis, neurosis, and this is what we interpret to be the mind. We have been made to understand that the very basis of the mind is guilt. We have never been taught that mind is so powerful it can even change the structure of an object.

This concept of the universal, unlimited mind came from the Orient. And we were told that mind can move an object and can change the external behaviour of matter. Mind can influence mind. Mind can direct the activities of the body. And exactly this we have to know. This is the philosophy of tantra. Mind is not a bundle of positive and negative behaviour. People suffer from mental weakness because they are not able to handle the mind or even to understand it. When you cannot handle the horse, it kicks you.

The mind has not been explained properly. It is a very complex subject. Mind is not merely thought. It is not psychological stuff. It is not even biological stuff. It is something in man which is passing through the stages of evolution. Mind is constantly evolving. You cannot even say that mind is in the body. You have been trained to think that the mind is within you. But whether the mind contains the body or the body contains the mind, this is what you have to decide.

Many times the religious people say that God is right here within you. Is God here in you or are you in God? Does the body live in God or does God live in the body? Because we don't analyse the things, we don't know which is most important. Is mind the container of the body, or is the body the container of the mind? Is the body a converted expression of the mind, or is the mind a converted expression of the body? Which is conversion and which is transformation?

Mind is definitely subtler than the body. You cannot say that mind is grosser than the body. Body and senses are gross. Mind is subtle. The gross has to be transformed into subtle and the subtle has to be converted into gross. At some particular stage we have to understand that this body is the gross manifestation of mind, and therefore it can be reconverted into mind. Body is not only bone, nerves and blood. Body is the gross, converted matter of the mind.

Becoming the master

This mind has to be properly understood. And to realise this mind, there are the three tools of tantra: mantra, yantra, and mandala. Through the practice of these three, you should be able to materialise the mind in the realm of experience. Then you can handle the mind. Just as you handle a motor car or a machine, in the same way, you can also deal with the affairs of your life, your family, your nation, the whole universe. According to the degree of achievement you have in handling the mind, this mind can also be transmitted. This mind can manage the grossest of things in life as well as the finest. And this is exactly the science which we have to understand.

This is the biggest barrier between yourself and the inner truth. You may read Gita, Upanishads, or any of the religious books. You may devote any amount of time, but if you are not able to handle the mind, you cannot come to that inner truth. Even for the realisation and the discovery or experience of inner truth, you need co-operation of the mind. Mind develops the gross experience and it also develops the inner experience. It can look inward and it can look outward both. Therefore, in karma yoga, bhakti yoga, raja yoga, or any form of yoga, all the training that is imparted is for the discovery and proper mastery of the mind.