A Lecture at a Session of the University of Life Ethics
“About Yoga and Meditation” by T.N. Mickushina, Part 3
March 27, 2015
1. Readiness for Yoga and meditation.
2. Messengers of the Great White Brotherhood about the practice of meditation.
3. Dispensation of Kundalini-Yoga through Yogi Bhajan.
4. Yoga is only an instrument. The difference between using it for good or for evil lies in the motive.
5. Vedas about family life and the conception of children.
1. Readiness for Yoga and meditation.
Let’s return to the year 1912: Annie Besant “An Introduction to Yoga.” Annie Besant writes that Yoga is Samadhi. “It is said ‘Yoga is Samadhi.’ Samadhi is a state in which the consciousness is so disassociated from the body that the latter remains insensible. It is a state of trance, in which the mind is fully self-conscious, though the body is insensitive, and from which the mind returns to the body with the experiences it has had in the super-physical state, remembering them when again immersed in the physical brain. Samadhi for any one person is relative to his waking consciousness, but implies insensitiveness of the body. If an ordinary person throws himself into trance and is active on the astral plane, his Samadhi is on the astral. If his consciousness is functioning in the mental plane, his Samadhi is there.”
If the waking consciousness of man is constantly on the physical, the astral, or the mental planes, then when a person is immersed in a trance, he passes respectively to the astral or the mental plane. He does not rise higher than that. This explains the lack of success of the seminar “Inner Path” which was held in Altai and in St Petersburg in 2006. Those people who were present at those seminars tried to meditate, but while meditating they got to the astral or the mental plane. Many of them began receiving dictations and declared themselves messengers. That is why we stopped having the seminar “Inner Path” — so that we do not create karma (laughs).
Here is one more quotation from Annie Besant: “By a study of your own mind, you can find out how far you are ready to begin the definite practice of Yoga. If you are in either of the two early stages, you are not ready for Yoga. The child and the youth are not ready to become Yogis, nor is the pre-occupied man. But if you find yourself possessed by a single thought, you are nearly ready for Yoga; it leads to the next stage of one-pointedness, where you can choose your idea, and cling to it of your own will. Short is the step from that to the complete control, which can inhibit all motions of the mind. Having reached the stage, it is comparatively easy to pass into Samadhi.”
Annie Besant says that if you are on the stage of Kshipta or Mudha you are not ready for Yoga. If you are on the stage of consciousness of Vikshipta then you are ready 50:50; it is yet unclear where you will connect. Just being on the level of Ekagrata or Niruddha you are actually ready for meditation and its highest form — samadhi. It is not possible to do it earlier, and it is also dangerous because if we begin to meditate without having a sufficient level of consciousness, we will find ourselves on the astral plane or the mental plane. There are a lot of entities there, and the Masters in their Dictations repeatedly warn us how dangerous it can be to make contact with the astral plane for the unprepared mind. A possession by entities from the astral or the mental plane can occur and it is very difficult to get rid of this possession in the future.
Back to the diagram “8 Steps of Patanjali”
We started with this step: Dhyana. In 2006, we began to conduct a seminar “The Inner Path” and began to learn how to meditate. Nine years have passed since that time and we went back to our natural level — Yama and Niyama — and we founded “A Morality Movement.” It is logical.
Nevertheless, when I held the seminar “Inner Path,” it was completely based on the Dictations given by the Masters. Unfortunately, I did not include here this collection of Dictations. We had a little book with the title “Inner Path.” All Dictations were carefully selected for that book. A lot of Dictations, probably around 20, were devoted to the practice of meditation: how to carry it out, what dangers are along the way. Everything was explained there in details. If you take only these Dictations and follow only them, you can get more knowledge about meditation from them than from this lecture (laughs).
2. Messengers of the Great White Brotherhood talk about the practice of meditation.
Let’s see how the previous messengers who worked with the Brotherhood talked about the practice of meditation to see whether there was something extraordinary in the fact that I tried to teach this practice.
We will start with Helena P. Blavatsky. As far as I know she was not engaged in the practice of meditation, but it is known that she spent three years in a monastery in Tibet and had some training there. It was not clear what kind of training it was, but it took three years for her to learn something there.
It is known that Master El Morya was a Raj-Yogi in his last incarnation. Here is what Helena P. Blavatsky wrote about it in her book “From the Caves and Jungles of Hindustan.” In literary form she described in this book her journey in India with the Master whom she called takur Gulab-Lall-Singh: “a gigantic Rajput, an independent takur from the province Rajistan, whom we had known for a long time by the name of Gulab-Lall-Singh, and had called simply Gulab-Singh…the most wonderful and diverse stories were in circulation about this strange man. It was asserted that he belonged to the sect of Raj-Yogis, and was an initiate of the mysteries of magic alchemy and other various occult sciences of India. He was rich and independent, and rumor did not dare to suspect him of deception, the more so because, though quite full of these sciences, he never uttered a word about them in public and carefully concealed his knowledge from all except a few closest friends.” We also know from this book that he wore white clothes, absolutely snow-white, and a white turban; he did not cut his hair and he had a beard as shown in the picture.
Helena and Nicholas Roerich. We know from the letters of Helena Roerich that she repeatedly warned about the dangers that Yoga can bring. She strongly recommended not to practice Yoga, absolutely. She said it was a very dangerous road and strongly warned about it. And I think she was absolutely right because to do Yoga without a Guru is absolute suicide.
I read in Anne Besant writings that Agni is a God of hearth, Fire, and this God rules the mental plane. If we return to the five stages of consciousness (shown in the diagram), Agni Yoga relates to this area of human life: the mental plane (Vikshipta). If we go back to the eight steps of Patanjali, it corresponds to the first and second steps — Yama and Niyama — it is the subject of the study of Agni Yoga science. That is, the steps from the third to the eighth are simply not reviewed; they are considered dangerous. And it is quite reasonable.
Mark and Elizabeth Prophet. We know that Mark Prophet was living for a long time in the community of Yogananda in the United States. We also know that Yogananda was a disciple of Sri Yukteswar, and Sri Yukteswar was a disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya. Hence, Yogananda received the knowledge of Kriya-Yoga and he taught Kriya-Yoga in America. Yogananda had a fellowship center in which Mark Prophet lived for some time. As I read, Mark Prophet mastered the practice of meditation, and he could reach the Samadhi state very fast, instantly, just like high-speed elevator. In the books of Elizabeth Clare Prophet there are many warnings about how harmful it is to engage in the practice of meditation, but she introduces the practice of establishing the connection with Higher Self and through it with the Master in the subtle plane. This practice was taught in Summit University and Summit Lighthouse, and I began to meditate following the practice given by Elizabeth Prophet.
As some basics of meditation have been already given by Mark and Elizabeth, it is logical that the Masters give in their Dictations more knowledge in this direction; it does not breach the continuity.
In order to master the practice of meditation you need to have very good health. In fact, you have to be very healthy to do meditation. If you have any health problems, unfortunately, meditation will not be available for you until you restore your health through everyday spiritual practices and the right way of life.
As I read Blavatsky, read Agni Yoga, and read some works by Mark and Elizabeth Prophet, I think that I mastered Yama and Niyama to some degree. To a certain degree. What do I do next? I jump on the seventh step (Dhyana) and begin to meditate.
What is the result? The result is bad, because my physical body must be prepared to ensure meditation. First, it has to go through all these steps: Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara. It is impossible to meditate without Pranayama and Asana because the physical body is not ready; the conductors are not ready.
We remember that Helena Roerich always experienced some strange pain in all parts of her body, as she said: “A fiery experience.” It is quite obvious. If the physical body is not ready to receive this “fiery experience,” then it is simply fatal and it can simply be deadly. Therefore she warned us that it is very dangerous, do not go there. Use what is written, but do not go there, it is dangerous. She is absolutely right.
But I knew that there had to be some way out of that stalemate. In 2011, when our state was already quite bad, we went to India (with the assistant T. Martynenko). We were treated there by the method of Ayurveda. We found there a young doctor who had graduated from the faculty of Kundalini-Yoga of the Indian University. His name was Sri Tang. He told me at discharge: “Kundalini-Yoga, pranayama, meditation. Kundalini-Yoga, pranayama, meditation. Kundalini-Yoga, pranayama, meditation.” This way we knew that our salvation was in Kundalini-Yoga, pranayama, and meditation (laughs).
3. Dispensation of Kundalini-Yoga through Yogi Bhajan
Then I went online, typed two words: “Kundalini-Yoga,” and found Harijivan who taught Kundalini-Yoga in St. Petersburg. It was at that time that he began a training course, and we went there to learn. First, to see what it was.
Why did we choose this practice? Because it came through Yogi Bhajan. He came to the United States in 1969, and began teaching Kundalini-Yoga to drug addicts, rock musicians, and alcoholics. This way he “was pulling them out” through the practice of Kundalini-Yoga. This dispensation was given through him.
Usually a dispensation is given as a last resort and is not repeated. Yogi Bhajan was given a dispensation to practice something which had never been widespread in the world until then.
Why is it so difficult to get real Yoga? You can find plenty of Yoga classes in any city, but this is just a name, it is not Yoga. In order to get a real Yoga you need to have a certain level of vibration that will enable you to connect to an adequate teacher. But as we have already mentioned in the first half of the lecture, that when we eat the wrong foods, we watch the wrong stuff on TV, and therefore, we cannot have the level of consciousness that will allow us to “connect” correctly (laughs).
But God cannot leave us. He is supposed to throw us some lifelines. Such a lifeline was “thrown” through Yogi Bhajan in 1969. He was allowed to give Kundalini-Yoga lessons openly. We just took advantage of this dispensation, because we could not master Yoga by ourselves. In order to master Yoga it is necessary to have traditions. You need to be born into this tradition to master Yoga to the full extent. This means that your great grandfather was engaged in Kundalini-Yoga, your grandfather practiced Kundalini-Yoga, your father practiced Kundalini-Yoga and you do Kundalini-Yoga — this is called a tradition. Then you can get it. If you paid the money and went to a Yoga class, you would not get anything. You would not get anything on the spiritual level, well, you would just be able to do some exercises.
In other words we had these steps (the first two steps of Patanjali-Yama and Niyama), and by some miracle I learned this one (Dhyana). We did not have these steps (between Niyama and Dhyana). We took this missing link from Yogi Bhajan and added them into this system. Is it clear why we took lessons from Yogi Bhajan? We just took advantage of this dispensation, which gave us the opportunity to make the complete picture. You cannot skip over steps, you can only go through them sequentially.
Yogi Bhajan did the following: he gave us Kundalini-Yoga, but he dropped the first two steps — Yama and Niyama. He omitted the Moral Law. It allowed him to give Kundalini-Yoga to everyone, including drug addicts and alcoholics. Harijivan lived not far from Hollywood, and I heard him talking about a porn star that had lost her form, and she came to him and began to practice Kundalini-Yoga. She liked it (laughs). Everything was available there.
So, we just took this instrument of Kundalini-Yoga, took advantage of this dispensation, and began to use it.
Some people were outraged when Kundalini-Yoga was taught. They said: “How is it, Tatyana Nikolaevna, that the Masters tell us how important the motive is, and he tells us that if we want a car, we should say some mantra and we will have a car.” This was because Yama and Niyama were omitted, and the motive was different.
4. Yoga is only an instrument.
The difference between using it for good or for evil lies in the motive.
Now let’s go back to Annie Besant to see what she writes about it: “…you must remember that there is a Yoga of the left hand path, as well as a Yoga of the right hand path. Yoga is there also followed, and though asceticism is always found in the early stages, and sometimes in the later, true morality is absent. The Black Magician is often as rigid in his morality as any Brother of the White Lodge. Of the disciples of the Black and White Magician, the disciple of the Black Magician is often the more ascetic. The difference between the White and the Black Magician lies in the motive. The object of the Black Magician is not the purification of life for the sake of humanity, but the purification of the vehicle, that he may be better able to acquire power.
You might have a White Magician, a follower of the right hand path rejecting meat because the way of obtaining it is against the law of compassion. The follower of the left hand path may also reject meat, but for the reason that he would not be able to work so well with his vehicle, if it were full of the rajasic elements of meat. The outer action is the same. The difference is in the motive.
It is a moral thing to abstain from meat, because thereby you are lessening the infliction of suffering; it is not a moral act to abstain from meat from the yogi standpoint, but only a means to an end. Some of the greatest yogis in Hindu literature were, and are, men whom you would rightly call Black Magicians. But still they are yogis. One of the greatest yogis of all was Ravana, the anti-Christ, the Avatara of evil, who summed up all the evil of the world in his own person in order to oppose the Avatara of good. He was a great, a marvelous yogi…”
That is, Yoga is just an instrument. We gave an example with a knife. You can cut the bread with it, but you can also kill people with it. Likewise, Yoga is simply a tool that can be used both for good and for evil. If your motive is to gain an advantage over the people in order to manipulate them, control them, and gain power or something else, then you become a black magician by means of Yoga. If your motive is to help humanity, then you act from a position of good and you become a white magician.
A side effect of this Yoga are so called “siddhis.” This is when a person takes possession of powers that allow him to rule the matter. For example: walk on water, fly through the air, move through space from one location to another, or be in multiple locations simultaneously. This is a result of practicing Yoga. Black magicians possess these abilities to perfection. For that, they do not eat meat, and they clearly follow all the requirements in order to get these siddhis that allow them to manipulate energy and people, and to gain personal power. That is why Yoga is dangerous.
Motive is very important. If the motive is slightly wrong, the practice of Yoga will lead to the death of the soul. It is clear why Helena Roerich warned that you should not do Yoga. So, again, going back to the beginning of the lecture, I say that Yoga is your individual path, your personal relationship with God. Therefore each will have his own motive, desire, and aspiration. Where you direct them is your own business. But you need to understand all the dangers that threaten you if you make this or that choice.
5. Vedas about the family life and the conception of children.
Again, back to the 8 steps of Patanjali. Now we are here with you at this level: the first step and the second step. That is why we opened up the Morality movement: to develop our personal qualities. It is not dangerous. With these steps, even if you fall, you will not smash yourselves up. It is the safest level. In order to move forward we need very precise traditions, because the way forward is dangerous.
Let’s look at one of the traditions that existed in the days of the Vedic civilization 40,000 years ago in the area where we are now. It is described in the book “Lahiri Mahasay ̶ the Polestar of Kriya-Yoga.” Through Lahiri Mahasaya we got a glimpse of the Vedic culture, and it is quite a reliable source.
Up to seven or eight years old, a child (a boy is taken here as an example) was raised in a family. He was raised by parents and taught some basics of family traditions. Then at seven or eight years old, the boy got to study at the monastery where he studied Yoga, including the moral law. It continued until he was 25 years old. A person was taught Yoga for around 17 years. Most important, the training to control sexual energy was included. He was taught to use it only for Divine purposes. That meant that up to the age of 25 a person had a chaste life.
At the age of 25 he was taken back to his family so that he could get married and enter the household period of his life rooted in spiritual consciousness.
Next was the most important period for which a person came into incarnation. What was the main purpose of incarnation? It was to bring forth a spiritual son. This is how it was written in the book: “The son is the illumination of inner Light. Since producing a son is considered a religious duty, producing a spiritual son is laid down in the Upanisads in detail. Here are the directions:
The wife must take a precise count of the days in her menstrual cycle. When it is over, the couple should refrain from applying themselves for five or six days.
Then, during the evening the couple, the husband and wife, should have a light dinner at 8.00 P.M. They should go to bed by 10:00 or 10:30 P.M.
After four or four and one-half hours (approximately 3:00 A.M.) they should apply themselves to the performance of this religious duty.
Daytime is never considered a proper time for reproductive purposes because it is not considered tranquil and communicates chaotic vibrations to the child.
While thus engaged, they must feel full of vibrations that the procreative act is a religious, pious duty performed so that their son will be a spiritual person. They must not let themselves be carried away by emotional and sensual vibrations.
On the even day of the wife’s cycle a unique nerve called Gauri becomes active. If on that day they perform this duty, their child will be a boy. If by mistake they perform on the odd day of the cycle, their child will be a girl, since the Chandramosi nerve is active in that day.
During her pregnancy, the wife is expected to read spiritual books and listen to spiritual stories from the great epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. These scriptures are to be read to her by her husband at night and by her mother-in-law during the day. She may see a spiritual movie if she wishes.
In some families passages from the Sri Bhagavatam describing the pregnancy of Lord Krisna’s mother are read to the wife. She is also given the best food possible.
The aim of all this solicitous attention is that the child receive high spiritual vibrations from the mother so as to ensure that the baby will be highly spiritual as well as be in optimum physical health.
After performing the religious duty, husband and wife do not sleep together for the rest of their lives. They sleep in separate beds, as well as in separate rooms. When it comes to producing a son or daughter, the couple applies themselves to the performance of this religious duty at night according to the scriptures.”
You understand, don’t you? Those who have children, raise your hands, please. The majority of you have them. All of you have had them this way, haven’t you?
And then, when 25 more years pass and the spiritual son has his own son born, then the parents can start doing spiritual practices. They leave the affairs of the world and dedicate their life to God, to spiritual practices, to the steps of Patanjali, etc. So it was then. How far we are from this now!
I want to read another passage about family life from Upanisads (from the book Lahiri Mahasay ̶ a Polestar of Kriya-Yoga).
“Householders have tremendous responsibilities in the Vedic culture, both practically and spiritually. In a very real sense, they are the glue that holds society together and allows its continuity.
The husband, as in all societies, has the obligation of feeding his family. By fulfilling the obligations of his station of life with a good heart, the householder can release attachments and their inclinations that have carried over from previous lifetimes. The householder lifestyle, then, is very important according to the Vedic discipline because it is a time-honored method of achieving liberation.
Lahiri Mahasay emphasized this point in his commentaries of the scriptures:
“The household lifestyle is the source of the four stations of life. Housholders are the greatest among them because they feed and preserve the rest.”
Husband and wife are expected to live in harmony. Each partner has his or her place in the scheme of things: division of labor, child rearing, continuity of the family’s lineage and traditions, and obligations to the greater community. All of these activities are performed with the implicit understanding that, sooner or later, the end result will be eternal Liberation.
One of the deeply satisfying aspects for householders who observe the Vedic lifestyle is the regularity surrounding their daily lives. The clear knowledge that each family member has, regarding his or her place in the family and when and how their duties are to be discharged, gives them an unobstructed view of what life is all about.
For example, the husband and wife get up at 4 or 5 A.M., bathe and worship. In some families all the members join together in the morning and evening to pray after the husband and wife have worshipped by themselves.
The wife’s work is mainly confined to the house. She prepares and serves food to the husband, children, and other family members. It is traditional that she always prepares an extra serving of food at lunch. This extra plate is set out so that if the Lord, in the person of a traveler or Swami happens by, food will be available.
Generally, Swamis, yogis and guests arrive at noon. She feeds them if they approach the door. By rule, Swamis do not enter the house, but gently ask for food from outside the door. Guests are served with food provided by money from the wife.
The husband’s work is primarily outside the house. He earns money in order to fulfil the responsibilities for his station in life.
Lahiri Mahasaya speaks in his commentaries of how one should prepare himself or herself for the householder’s life:
“Seeing, hearing or realizing (that which rises from) the coccygeal center, and clinging to the ultimate Self (Brahma) always, one should enter into the household life.”
In order for us to return to normal life, we need to create or remember the traditions that existed on the Earth at the time of Golden Age civilization. The traditions need to be revived if we want to secure for ourselves the worthy living conditions in the future, because according to the Law of Reincarnation, we must now prepare for ourselves the conditions for future incarnations.
That is why the Masters have been telling us during the past ten years about the necessity of the right patterns on the physical plane. When we have one right pattern on the physical plane, we will be able to clone or spread it.
I think we need to go through Karma-Yoga because meditation is a more difficult way. Karma-Yoga is the Yoga of action. It implies that you come across the fruits of your efforts on the physical plane. For example, if you convince yourself that you are acting for the common good, it can turn out that no matter what you do, it fails. We see the results on the physical plane and we can trace to the fact that our motive was wrong because the fruit is rotten. This is a more secure way than meditation.
We have dedicated the previous three hours to understanding how dangerous is the path of meditation. Finally, we come to the end of today’s lecture and I hope that we have all come to the realization that we need to follow the path of action. When we act with the right motive, we work off our karma. It is very difficult for us to force ourselves to do something for the common good because it is some kind of transcendental concept for us, similar to the “peak of communism.”
There is an easier way: we can act for the good of our children. Now look, you can give the child in the family all the right patterns. However, our society is arranged so that your child goes to kindergarten, or to school, or to university, or just to the street, and meets with the neighbors. What will he see and what will he follow? There are no Vedic traditions and no monastery in which they must learn chastity for 17 years. We have exactly the opposite things around us. You can do something in this direction because it is necessary to start at some point. Karma-Yoga is when you do something completely unselfishly for the common good (or if it is very difficult, then do it for the sake of the future of your children — your own children — not somebody else’s). Do you understand? You have to ensure that the children get a decent understanding and an awareness of the correctness of moral truths.
Maria Montessori once developed a methodology and materials for children. The whole point of this methodology is that children can get the experience of communication with their Higher Self. Children up to three years of age have this connection, for which we as adults spend eight steps to reach. It is with them, it is present, and they communicate with their Higher Self without even realizing it. Working with these materials allows us to stabilize this inner connection and, if possible, to use it for the rest of our lives.
We have “the materials.” We started the Morality movement, the University of Life Ethics, and Sirius centers. These are “the materials” that should help us to use the Yoga of action. It is a great mistake and wrong thinking if you have thoughts like this: “Now we listened to lectures, then we will do Yoga.” Yoga is a lifestyle. We either always practice Yoga or never practice it.
If we read the Teaching of the Masters from this angle, everything that they teach is the Yoga of action.
The first step on this Path is to think constantly about God, to concentrate on God. In the last cycle of Messages there was a Dictation by Elohim Cyclopea, where he says that we have to keep in mind the image of God all the time from morning until night, constantly focusing our attention on God.
The final stage of this Path is when you are in God. Everything ceases to exist for you, and only God remains.