Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually awakening people. I’ve done over 500 of them now and if this is new to you and you’d like to check out the archives go to batgap.com B-A-T-G-A-P and look under the past interviews menu where you’ll see them all organized in several different ways. This program is made possible by the support of appreciative listeners and viewers, so if you appreciate it and would like to contribute there’s a PayPal button on every page of the site. My guest today is Shyamji Bhatnagar. Welcome Shyamji.
Shyamji: Thank you.
Rick: Shri Shyamji was born in right?
Shyamji: Actually 84.
Rick: 84, congratulations. I was born in 49 so I just did the math and I’m still 79. No what am I 69? Anyway you were raised in India. At age 12 you met your spiritual teacher in the Himalayas and spent several years under his guidance. I’ll read this short bio but then I have like three questions just from the bio. Your guru initiated you into the Shaivite tradition of Tantra imparting a rare oral tradition of sacred sounds, Nada Yoga and breath, Svara Yoga, and spiritual wisdom. The grace of your guru and the spiritual practices he imparted are the basis for your intuition and unique chanting of sounds and mantra. For millennia this tradition has been passed down from generation to generation through an oral tradition which preserved its purity. Okay, so my first question is how did you end up meeting your guru at such a young age?
Shyamji: Well on May 12th of went down about four or five kilometers to steal some lychee fruit and then of course every half an hour or so there was a train coming back and I picked a couple extra lychees and I couldn’t run fast enough so I missed the train. And then of course I waited for the next train to come and I was sitting in the forest of the lychees and all of a sudden I hear a voice and I was just going in every direction to find the source of the voice and I couldn’t. Finally I saw on a little hillock a man sitting there – an old, old man. I walked towards him and he called me by my first name so I thought, you know (as) my father is a doctor in town so maybe he’s one of his patients or something. (but) No (he was not). Then he said to me ,“You will not believe me but I was your teacher in your last Life.” I laughed inside because I didn’t believe in those things at that time and then he said to me, “You are Dr. Sevaram’s son,”, and I said yes “who is the son of Dr. Ramchand” and he went seven generations I noted them down quickly the ones that I didn’t remember. When I went home I asked my father “Do you know these names,” and he knew three more, and the last two he didn’t, so he called his father to find out if he remembered anymore, and his father remembered one more. So we took it for granted that this man really knows everything and I guess everything and that was very Impressive. Then I started to see him on a more regular basis by going to this temple in Dehradun – it’s called Tepkeswar Maharaj temple – and he would periodically come and give me some instruction I was supposed to follow. That’s how it started. So I studied with him for about four years
Rick: And so what sort of things did you learn when you were studying with him.
Shyamji: You see I had a congenital lung disease and I was mostly in pain – there was another thing – he gave me a small little black pill. I didn’t know what it was and I took that. My pain subsided for maybe an hour or two so that was another miracle because I had never experienced a couple of hours of my life without pain. He taught me how to breathe and how to chant mantras by breathing in with the nose. Everybody I had ever heard chanting mantras or singing breathed with their mouth and when I started to breathe with my nose and chant, it created some extraordinary effect that I had never experienced before. That was the basis of my spirituality.
Rick: I presume that your lungs got better
Shyamji: my lungs progressively got better yes.
Rick: Yeah because I mean you’ve been singing all your life now using your voice.
Shyamji: yeah I call it chanting because chanting is breathing with the nose and singing is breathing with the mouth.
Shyamji: So there is a difference between the two
Rick: So on the one hand I read in your book that you had a vision of the chakras while meditating in the Himalayas, but then your bio talks about how the tradition and the knowledge you gained from your guru was passed down generation to generation through an oral tradition. So I presume that what we’re concluding here is that you learned a lot from your guru – traditional knowledge that has been passed down for generations – but then you cognized even more than that a little bit later on in your life.
Shyamji: Well Theoretically, I learned everything from my teacher but over the years I didn’t know about the chakras from experience. And one day in Vashishtagufa – that’s a cave where Sri Rama’s guru Sri Vashishta he had done his spiritual work – I was sitting there meditating and that’s exactly when in 1966 I had this vision – it was just an extraordinary day.
Rick: So you’re just sitting meditating and all of a sudden you had this profound vision.
Shyamji: All of a sudden these lights started (to appear), disks of light spinning. I had no way to contact my guru to verify because I didn’t even know where to look for him.
Rick: yeah but you managed to retroactively figured out what it was.
Shyamji: Yes, yeah.
Rick: And I would suppose that you spent years after that, studying and learning and filling in all the details.
Shyamji: Right, well what happened is that a year later in New York I had the vision of the micro chakras and that was an (I was in) automatic writing (mode) for five hours I was just writing and writing and then I fell asleep over the yellow pad on which I was writing. When I got up I didn’t even know that I wrote that. There was a story about 147 micro chakras – how it came why it came I still don’t know.
Rick: Hmm… interesting. Well let’s fill in some gaps here. So most of the people listening to this will have heard of chakras and have some idea of what they are, but it would be good to get a definition because maybe not everybody has that knowledge and even if they do I’m sure you could fill in some more (as) you know some more Information.
Shyamji: Yes. Rirst of all we have to understand the physical body in which we live. Once I asked a professor of anatomy that – “You tell us that the body is made up of hundreds of trillions of cells,” and he said yes, and I said, “Do these cells have feelings,” he said no. “Do these cells have any thoughts,” he says no and I said, “How come we think and we Feel?” He said “That’s a philosophical question I am not trained to answer,” which gave me the idea about why we, in our Tantric tradition, believe that we have three bodies – the physical body is just one of the three bodies. I look at the physical body as an envelope, and inside the envelope there is a letter that is our subtle body; and the right hemisphere of the brain is receiving the messages from our subtle body which turn into feelings, and then the message in that letter comes from the causal body, which is called Karan Sharira in Sanskrit. The subtle body is called the Sukshma Sharira which literally means subtle body. So every thought that we have is coming to us from the causal body and the recipient of that is the left hemisphere of the brain. So in the absence of knowing that we have these two other Bodies, we accuse the brain of thinking and feeling. The brain is a recipient, not a producer. A thought comes, and the neurons fire, a feeling comes, and the neurons fire.
Rick: There’s a big debate about this these days in science. I think it was maybe Science magazine that posted an article about the hundred – maybe I don’t know if it’s a hundred – but it’s one of the biggest problems in science that are unsolved. Number two is how does the brain produce Consciousness, and number one is what is the universe made of; and of course people who are not materialists are saying well the brain doesn’t produce consciousness, the brain is like a radio, and it receives consciousness.
Shyamji: Actually there are two words in language that need to be understood a little bit better – one is awareness and the other is consciousness. Awareness Fluctuates – for example, right now, I am able to see you on the screen but I can’t see what is behind me. So I am not aware of what is behind me but I am aware through my senses of what the reality I Experience. Consciousness, on the contrary it always is, it always was, and it always shall be. Consciousness is the one, on the authority of which the universe comes and goes, the breath comes in and goes. Consciousness doesn’t go anywhere even if the universe goes into a black hole. Consciousness does not.
Rick: Right so we can say that consciousness is the ultimate reality or the fundamental Reality, indestructible, eternal and all that.
Shyamji: Exactly, ever present, omnipresent.
Rick: Right. And that awareness as we’re defining it is sort of what we happen to be aware of at the time and that obviously fluctuates. And would you say it’s true that we are aware of things by virtue of consciousness that consciousness is the light by which we experience or we are aware of things.
Shyamji: Nothing can exist without Consciousness.
Rick: Right okay good well that’s a good definition. So you’ve mentioned three bodies – gross, subtle, and causal. It’s interesting I sometimes have discussions or debates with people about reincarnation for instance, and they say how could it be (that) you know your body dies, you’re dead, and how could something possibly go into another body. Then you have to bring in the idea (that) we have a subtle body and the subtle body is different than the gross Body. When the gross body dies, the subtle body doesn’t die, and then that eventually gets into another body; but somehow this is perplexing to some people. So let’s talk a little bit about the idea of the three bodies – what they are and so on.
Shyamji: Well one definition of the subtle body I already explained to you, which is that every feeling you have ever had whether it is of love or even ego – physical tissue does not have any ego ego is a feeling – it comes, it rises and it subsides. You can use it and you can surrender it – the subtle body in fact is affecting our nervous system from the back. That’s the argument I had with my publisher when I presented the cover of the book and I showed the chakras affecting us in the back he said to me, every other book shows the chakras in the front and I said think why – because it’s more Interesting.
Rick: Sell obviously the spine is in the back.
Shyamji: Exactly. The chakras are affecting our spine, the plexi and the nerve ganglions are the ones who receive the light from the chakras.
Rick: So I’ll just ask dumb questions here and give you an opportunity to explain in greater Detail. So someone might ask what is the subtle body made of. We know our gross body is made of various chemicals and substances and all, but what is the subtle body made of?
Shyamji: Subtle body is made up of – what is the truth made up of? What is love made up of?
Rick: Good question. Could we say there’s such a thing as subtle matter that these things are made of?
Rick: According to Einstein, matter doesn’t even exist.
Rick: Well yeah.
Shyamji: Because we are in the material body we live, in the material body, so we think materially. But scientifically speaking. matter does not Exist. In fact I had a quotation from Einstein – matter does not exist, he says. He says we have been wrong all along, all that exists is energy. But we can’t perceive the energy. Therefore the energy has to lower itself to become perceptible to our senses. That’s why the yogis decided that instead of troubling the Mother Goddess – the energy – to come down from her status to be perceptible to us, we can raise our standards, our Senses, so (that) we can perceive the Mother Goddess. The reason I say Mother Goddess is because energy is translated as goddess in Indian literature. That’s why they worship the Goddess. Okay, so well, we won’t go off on Einstein too much right now.
Rick: But okay, he did say E equals MC squared and the M stands for matter in there.
Shyamji: But that was in the Beginning. That’s what he said we have been wrong all along.
Rick: Oh I see so later on he said it. Okay good all right. So we have a rough idea of what chakras are. I mean you have a good idea the rest of us have a rough idea of the different energy centers in the body from the base of the spine to the top of the head, and everyone has heard talks about the heart chakra the second chakra and everything, but probably you are the only person I’ve ever heard of who talks about micro chakras. So what are micro chakras?
Shyamji: For micro chakras, I can give you an analogy with the Sun. The sun’s rays travel and enter our body and everything else to nurture. If for example you are sitting in the basement of a building, outside there is sunlight but you are not receiving the sunlight. Why – because there are blocks everywhere that are blocking the rays of the Sun. Similarly the chakras are spinning, they are pure light spinning, – and there are different views, by the way – they are spinning and spinning. The light can come to our back but the light is traveling through the rays those rays are called micro chakras – meaning, the light of the chakras has to enter our body from the back. However, if those micro chakras get blocked – and there are particular hue of light. Consequently, whatever that light is related to, which is what is called the micro chakra psychology – and you can read about them, at least 98 are mentioned in the book and I would have liked another 49 to be mentioned but the book was getting too big.
Rick: Okay so you’re saying that light in the ordinary sense comes in through our eyes but in a subtler sense it comes in through our micro chakras in the back.
Shyamji: Yes. Micro chakras are the carriers of the light; chakras never get blocked, the sun never gets blocked. Even if the clouds come in front of it, sunlight is still passing through it
Rick: So are you just talking about sunlight that comes in through the micro chakras or a subtler form of light.
Shyamji: No. The subtle chakras, their light travels through the micro chakras and they enter our body. The seventh chakra light will enter from the top of the head and the first chakra light will enter from the coccyx.
Rick: So even in a dark place like a yogi meditating in a cave where there’s no sunlight, light could be coming in through his micro chakras because it’s a subtler form of light that’s not the same as the visible light.
Shyamji: That’s correct.
Rick: Okay good. and so I would presume that almost everybody has blocked micro chakras probably in different proportions. Some of them are open some of them are closed and it’s a unique signature for every person. Is that correct?
Shyamji: That is correct;
Rick: Okay, and what are the symptoms of them being blocked or what are the symptoms of particular ones being blocked; and just as an addition to this question each of the chakras has a number of micro chakras and I also heard you say that each of the micro chakras has micro micro chakras and it sort of goes all the way down.
Shyamji: Yeah I can’t feel them but intellectually I can understand that there are subtler and subtler micro chakras.
Rick: But practically we just go down one level
Shyamji: Yeah exactly. I can’t feel them. I can only feel the micro chakras. I can feel 49 micro chakras in the right side of your spine and I can feel 49 in the left channel. I do that whenever somebody comes for a two-hour long consultation. That’s what I do.
Rick: You tune in.
Shyamji: I make a chart of their micro chakras and I give them a copy of it so that they can look at it in the book and they can see why this micro chakra got blocked and how can we open it. I give them instructions. I must have seen and I must have given consultations more than 50 thousand times in my life and I know people who have dramatically changed because they had blocked micro chakras which then opened.
Rick: So when you do the consultation you go into a sort of a meditative state or some kind of state that enables you to sort of cognize on a subtle level what’s going on with the micro chakras
Shyamji: Yes, partly that, and partly the client has to be relaxed. I have developed what is called an inner tuning massage. It’s a 15 minute work on the head and shoulders and neck and face which prepares people to be so relaxed that in my own meditative state I can feel their micro chakras along the spine.
Shyamji: And then I make a chart.
Rick: So two things have to be there – you have to be in a meditative state and they have to be relaxed and then then there can be an attunement.
Rick: Okay good.
Shyamji: That’s why I call it inner tuning.
Rick: I presume that all kinds of things could probably block your micro chakras. For example, certain things that happened in your upbringing or in your childhood or maybe you took drugs at a certain point or alcohol or had traumatic experiences when you were a soldier in Afghanistan and you had a lot of stress. Is that correct? All sorts of life experiences and things we consume and experiences would create blockages.
Shyamji: Well, the way to understand that is there are three channels that intersect all seven chakras. For convenience I call them the right channel, the central channel. and the left channel. The right channel energy descends from the birth to the first three years of a life of a girl.
Rick: And these are the Ida, the Pingala, and the Shushumna? Is that what you’re referring to?
Shyamji: No, the channels are in the Shushumna.
Rick: Oh, they’re in the shishumna, okay.
Shyamji: Yes, the Ida and Pingala are breathing channels. They provide prana to the channels. You know there are five different types of pranas. Maybe later on I’ll talk about apana prana which is the most important one to purify, for the rest of the three bodies to properly function and become closer to one another. So these seven micro chakras are in each chakra, and 49 of them – about 50 percent of them – are blocked in the first three to three and a half years of life. So we have only 50 percent to work with. The left channel you can open 100% – even if some things are blocked in the right channel – you can still open it in the left channel. I can give you an example if you are not a breastfed baby your fifth micro chakra in the heart chakra will be blocked.
Rick: Mine must be blocked. My mother said that her doctor told her she shouldn’t breastfeed me. I remember my mother crying one time because she was deprived of that experience
Shyamji: I know several people like you unfortunately. It is not true that the breastfeeding can ever be bad for the baby.
Rick: I shouldn’t think so.
Shyamji: You know doctors sometimes promote the formula.
Rick: Oh yeah, in those days they gave amphetamines to pregnant women they call them pep pills. So all kinds of crazy things (inaudible).
Shyamji: So there’s something deeper that’s happening. Maybe later in the in the conversation we can talk about the deeper reasons why in the medical system they believe that babies have no feelings.
Shyamji: That’s why even today this very minute that I’m talking to you, some baby boy is being circumcised without anesthesia because babies are not supposed to have feelings.
Rick: Which is crazy. I mean because obviously if you have ever interacted with a baby, it’s obvious he has feelings. You pinch him and he’ll cry.
Shyamji: Whatever adjective you use will be insufficient.
Rick: Right, crazy is a kind way of putting it okay. So let’s not get too sidetracked. So let me just get down to the math again for a second. So each you said each chakra has seven micro chakras but that’s seven sevens, which is forty-nine. How did we end up with a hundred and forty seven?
Shyamji: Forty-nine in the right channel, forty-nine in the central channel.
Rick: There we go! Okay, good! Got it. Please proceed from here. I’ve probably interrupted you several times in the middle of a thought you might want to complete.
Shyamji: Yes so tell me what we were talking about.
Rick: Well we were talking about how they get blocked in the first place and I assumed and you confirmed that everybody has some of them blocked in various combinations due to various life experiences that can block them. Maybe we should now talk about how you go about unblocking them.
Shyamji: Unblocking takes place through inner tuning practices and there are different practices that I design for people as I see their age, their work situation, and what part of the planet they are living in. So it becomes a very individualized program.
Rick: But once a person has learned it or been instructed, that is something they can practice on their own and they don’t have to sit with you every time, right?
Shyamji: No they don’t. For example I go to Europe three times a year – every four months – I can see my students to see what progress they have made. Then I give them either a change in the mantra or a change in the meditation technique or change in some yoga postures, change in the sleeping posture, so on. I mean there are lots of things that you can do.
Rick: Okay a question just came in which might be good to ask at this point as it’s relevant to what we’re talking about. This is from KP in Mumbai. He says “Do micro chakras relate to the petals on the chakras in the standard literature you see those pictures of the chakras? What about the words on those petals that we find in the tantric literature?”
Shyamji: Yes, all of those are relevant. The patterns of the chakras – they are the ones that start to vibrate when you pronounce those sounds properly. Now this gentleman from Mumbai, – from where the question came – he will probably understand that there are four sounds inscribed. For example, on the pure Lotus of the first chakra – chakras are compared with lotuses because the Lotus flower is the purest flower on the planet. Why is that pure in comparison to a rose or a lily – because on a rose or a lily if a muddy drop falls of course it will roll off but you can see a track through which that rolled off. On the Lotus flower that track will not be there. It is called stainless.
Rick: Oh nice! Yeah, they also say of lotuses that even though they have their roots in the mud they have risen up above the water.
Shyamji: That is what the yogis are supposed to do. They live an absolutely pure life in spite of the fact that we live in the dark ages. So the sounds that are there have to be pronounced properly. For example, the first sound on the first petal of the first chakra is called the sound of “va”. Now if “va” is not pronounced by resting the two canines on the inside of the lip, it is not correct. You can also say “va” which means that your canines are touching the outer part of the lip – the mantra will not work – it has to work in the inside because the inside has a sensitive pressure point. When the canines – when you make that sound the canines will cause that point to vibrate, and that will keep that petal shall I say young. So there are there are 49 sounds in all and three complex sounds, (a total of) 52 sounds. The languages have borrowed the sounds from the chakras. Some languages have 37 letters, some have 26, some have 18. In Sanskrit you have 52 and the 330 millions of mantras are made up of those
Rick: Okay, let’s fill in a couple more gaps here. One is the assumption – upon which everything we’re saying is based – that the nervous system on all of its levels is the vehicle or instrument through which enlightenment is gained. That’s maybe just good to express, and what you’re talking about here is a way of tuning up the instrument so that it can support that experience of higher consciousness. And you would concur with that I assume.
Shyamji: Yeah. You see first of all if we understand that the light of the chakras – they have to keep on energizing the petals of the lotuses which are called the chakras. When all 49 sounds are properly used you have light from the first chakra, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and all of them are basically related to the top of the head – the seventh chakra. For example when your seventh micro chakra in the first chakra is completely open you’re getting all that yellow light sufficiently okay, then the first micro chakra of the seventh will then become open. This is because the seventh of the first is open, then seventh of the second is open, the seventh of the third is open, and so the seventh chakra depends totally on the contentment of the lower chakras. That’s why I say that each chakra has a mind of its own. For example the mind of your body is totally different than the mind of your gender. Men think differently than women because of their gender.
Rick: So what you just said was that, if I understand it, is that there’s a connection or a correlation between the lower chakras and the seventh chakra, and as the lower chakras or the lower micro chakras open, then the corresponding aspect of the seventh chakra will automatically open because of that correlation. Is that right?
Shyamji: Just like a tone – when the tone is in tune, it will have an overtone that is in tune.
Rick: uh-huh yeah sure. Just like you can take a guitar string and ring a certain string, and it’ll cause another string to resonate with that. Two tuning forks is another example. Okay good. Someone sent in a question relevant to what you just said, and I might as well read it. This is Florence Boyce from New York City. She said that I think that from Shyamji’s micro chakra perspective there is a discontentment in micro chakras (in those) whose needs haven’t been met. Are there ways to compensate for the unmet needs of the micro chakras.
Shyamji: Repetition of doing the same thing over and over again is an attempt to open the seventh micro chakra.
Rick: Such as… give us an example.
Rick: Well we do that every day.
Shyamji: many people do it three four times a day yeah because the seventh micro chakra in the first is not open; and the reason it is not open is not because they are not eating enough, it’s not open because we are not eating properly.
Rick: Ah! So you’re not saying that people shouldn’t eat. You’re just saying that perhaps abnormal eating such as overeating would be caused by a discontentment in the micro chakra.
Shyamji: Right, exactly! Because they are discontent they keep on eating more and more hoping that they will become content.
Shyamji: The same is with money.
Rick: Money, video games, a million different things, people will become obsessed with them.
Shyamji: The first three three chakras are by nature restless and discontent, and the more of the stimulus you gather for them the more addicted you get to the stimulus. For example if you have earned a billion dollars in your life, you are not content. You want to now have two billion and when you have two you want to compare yourself with those who have four. So you keep on adding to that discontent feeling hoping that someday you will be content. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. The same is with sex; more sex you have the more sex you want – the third chakra – more power you have, the more power you want. No president has ever renounced their place after eight years. It’s just that they can’t get elected after eight years right.
Rick: After FDR they had to (do that).
Shyamji: so the first three chakras, they are discontent by nature. Intervention from the higher chakras has to take place for them to become content in the first three chakra minds.
Rick: Interesting. Just reminded of a Gita verse based on what you’re saying – the objects of sense turn away from him who does not feed upon them but the taste for them persist
Shyamji: on seeing the supreme, even this taste vanishes. S. Beautiful.
Rick: Yeah, and you know it’s cliché when people say – oh yes, well, happiness has to come from within and you don’t get it from external objects, but you wouldn’t think that was the case (when you) see everyone in the world behaving as they behave. So if you say that to somebody who’s accustomed to deriving whatever shreds of happiness they get from external things, they won’t understand what you’re talking about. So I will form this into a question. So what would you say to somebody who is addicted to this that and the other thing and is attempting to get fulfillment from outer experiences. How do we turn them around and enable them to discover that fulfillment comes from within.
Shyamji: Well, one question I sometimes I ask people to repeat to themselves when you wake up in the morning – yesterday whatever you did – did it bring you any contentment?
Rick: So they might say – yeah, I saw this movie it was really great. I loved that movie.
Shyamji: Keep repeating it.
Rick: Yeah, you wouldn’t do it. You wouldn’t want to see the same movie every day, you’d get tired of it, or the same baseball game with the same whatever.
Shyamji: You know, when you play a game and you lose, you have to change the strategy. If you think that just because you win one game and that is going to make you content, think again. You have seven different mind
Shyamji: most of us don’t even use all the seven minds. Most people, frankly speaking, live in the first three chakra minds, and they are discontent by nature. It’s only the heart chakra mind that gives you a clue when you open up the unconditional love. That’s what the heart chakra mind knows – the only problem with the heart chakra mind is it just doesn’t know who to love unconditionally.
Rick: And so it tends to love something that perhaps might not be so stable or consistent.
Rick: Right. I’m reminded of a quote that’s attributed to Einstein – I don’t know if he said it – but it’s that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Rick: Okay, so we’ve talked a little bit about inner-tuning and you have personal consultations with people and you give them programs to follow and then you go back periodically and reconnect with them and maybe fine-tune the programs that they’re following. You have some people who have been with you for years. So if I was one of those people, what would my daily routine be – like what would I be doing on a daily basis.
Shyamji: On a daily basis they will make an attempt to go to bed as early as possible because the light at night is really not a very good thing for our pineal gland.
Rick: All the artificial light.
Shyamji: Yes, the artificial electric light. As much as we have gotten hundreds and hundreds of different advantages from the light, lives are saved because we can drive an ambulance and take a person to the hospital under the light, and that can help. So there are thousands of benefits the light has given us, like refrigeration so on. But the problem is this – we have lost the bio rhythm of the chakras – which what I talk about. Our sixth chakra – it depends on the light and darkness rhythm. You see what happens at night is, when the sun goes down, the serotonin level starts to drop, and as it gets more and more dark the melatonin level starts to rise. that’s why we can get a deep sleep. And then two hours before sunrise the body feels rested, and it tosses and turns to wake up. From the chakra point of view what happens is that the energy reaches the seventh chakra level, but two hours before sunrise, it is in the seventh chakra. Suddenly it drops from the seventh to the first – now this happens around the equator. Farther away you are, that time reduces. For example, the New York area is much closer to the North Pole than the equator. For example, in India, two hours before sunrise, the energy will drop from the seventh to the first, Here – 90 minutes. Okay, so as the energy drops from the seventh to the first, the body shakes, it tosses and turns, because we have not had enough sleep. We toss and turn and go back to sleep, so we miss the first chakra mind’s rhythm. The first chakra rhythm is what – when you get up your apana will stimulate – peristalsis will start, and you will go and have a bowel movement. So my students are taught how to regulate their first chakra rhythm by having two bowel movements a day – one before sunrise and one around sunset. Once you have maintained that rhythm, all of a sudden you are much more in tune with your body and the purity of the body, because the waste material doesn’t really want to stay in your body. It wants to go out. But because of our lifestyle, because of access to electricity (this is disrupted). I have raised three/four children – they will not listen they will work at night. They will say I want to do my homework at 11 o’clock at night, as if five o’clock in the morning is not very quiet. It’s the mindset – because everybody is doing it, and therefore it becomes normal. The majority of the people sometimes do stupid things, and that does not make them normal. So the pineal gland is the only light sensitive gland, and when you don’t listen to its call, you force it to produce serotonin at night and melatonin during the day. Well it will catch up in time, and you are going to have a brain-related problems as you grow up. a sensible psychiatrist or doctor, when somebody has a problem with insomnia, first thing they will recommend is for you to take some melatonin before you go to sleep. Why not take the melatonin from nature.
Rick: Oh I realized my mic was muted. Yeah they also say don’t sit at your computer at night and stuff like that. You just have to settle down, and shut down.
Rick: Get ready (to shut down). So what happens to people who live in – let’s say in northern Alaska – where for half of the year it’s light almost all the time and for the other half of the year it’s dark almost all the time.
Shyamji: Well the body tries to get adjusted. The suicide rate or depression rate is far higher in those climate
Shyamji: in those altitudes, you will notice that. I remember I was very impressed by Ingmar Bergman, a Swedish movie director. I thought he was one of the greatest movie makers in the world yeah. And his subject most of the time was depression. How life is so depressing. You know, mankind did not evolve on the North Pole. It evolved around the equator. Now we now we say it was Africa, but when life evolved, which continent it was and what was the shape of the continent – who knows! That was millions of years ago, you see.
Rick: Yeah, eventually people migrated to those places.
Shyamji: No they went in search for food. Everybody left – not everybody – people who could not find food, they went southward or they went northward. So now we are stuck under the snow-covered peaks – but that’s not normal. That’s why when you go for vacation, you don’t go to the North Pole.
Rick: some people do – they take these cruises to Alaska but not in the wintertime.
Shyamji: Yeah right. One in a 1000, and I’m talking about the rest of the 999 people.
Rick: Yeah all right.
Shyamji: (inaudible) so a tropical type of a climate.
Rick: So one thing you said is that if I were your student, I would be learning to get on a good routine – early to bed, early to rise. What’s another thing.
Shyamji: Another thing is that you work with the light every day. Ror example today is Tuesday.
Rick: Yeah, it is.
Shyamji: It is the day of Mars. Every day is named after the a planet. Did you notice that?
Rick: I well I my wife knows about that stuff so I know I know it for that reason I know it.
Shyamji: Yeah maybe her wisdom will be even more rewarded when she understands the reason I’m giving you.
Shyamji: Yesterday was the day of the moon – that’s why we called it Monday. Today is the day of Mars. So my students will be eating something that is orange – red. You know, there are so many colors of foods, vegetables and fruits – so why not make a choice of the color of the day.
Rick: And how does that help?
Shyamji: That will lay the layer of the red – the red planet. okay so you got red. You can wear something red or orange to remind you that today is Tuesday.
Rick: Well not all planets have colors distinctively – like Venus, Mercury, Jupiter.
Shyamji: There is a predominant color. Mars has a predominant color which is
Shyamji: orangey-red. Mercury is green. Jupiter is yellow, Venus is white, Saturn is black and blue, and Sunday is gold.
Rick: So there’s an advantage to eating all these foods on the different days.
Shyamji: If you see what is the purpose of life. From my standpoint and from the tantric standpoint, the purpose of life is to create circumstances in which you can become enlightened.
Shyamji: Which means to experience your own light. Every color of the spectrum is contributing to that light. So if in a seven-day scale you have absorbed the whole spectrum, not only by wearing it, eating it – with your eyes, eat, So you see, you will get 100% effect if you concentrate and see that color. You know, if today is Tuesday, you will watch every red car, every red sign, everybody who is wearing a red tie.
Rick: So I have the wrong color shirt on today.
Shyamji: Tomorrow you will probably be wearing green.
Rick: Okay is tomorrow a green day?
Shyamji: That’s right.
Rick: All right, I’ll do that.
Shyamji: You can go to my website and you can download it from a calendar.
Irene:You have to wear a blue shirt.
Rick: I’ll do that, I’ll download it, what the heck!
Shyamji: You see in my family my sister-in-law – she’s a gynecologist – she says of all your teachings I like the one about the color. And my brother says that’s the one I hate because she has to go out and buy more clothes.
Rick: That’s funny. Okay so we have two things so far – we have early bed early to rise – and bowel movement early and twice a day – and we have this thing about the color correlations of each day.
Rick: What else?
Shyamji: You see, let’s understand the word mantra – what does that mean? It’s made up of two words – mantra iti trayate – that’s the equation. Okay, mana means mind. By the way, the word man comes from the word mana. Man it’s called man in English. but man in American, but the word basically manas, meaning the animal that has a mind – is a man. Okay, tra means, to go beyond. Mantra is that which will take you beyond your mind, so that you can live above the field of mind, rather than under the field of mind, you see.
Shyamji: Now when you live above the field of mind, you can tell your mind what to do. When you are under the field of mind, then the mind is telling you what to do. It’s almost like riding a horse holding it from the bottom, (then) life can be very rough my friend.
Rick: Yeah, oh it certainly can, we just have to look at the world.
Shyamji: Meeting a guru is a technique in the Indian tradition that will bring you on top of the horse rather than be holding on from the bottom. The bottom of the horse is suffering, top of the horse is a play. There are two words in Sanskrit – maya and leela. Maya is when you are living a lifestyle that is leading to suffering. Like Buddha said – all life is suffering because most people live under the field of the mind. They are they’re riding under the horse. And leela is when you get on top of the horse – now life is a play. And when it’s a play you have two things – sometimes you lose, sometimes you win. And when you win – when you when you do win – you go and shake hands with the loser and say today it was my day.
Rick: Good, so the purpose of the mantra is to take you beyond the mind based on its definition, and when you go beyond the mind what do you arrive at?
Shyamji: You know then what the subject, who the subject, is- who are you. R
Rick:You go to that which is fundamental to the mind you could say.
Shyamji:No, no – the subject, you see. The mind is an object. For example I have a glass in my hand. I say my glass – the glass is an object, and I am the subject. I also say my mind – I am the subject and the mind is an object; my body – i am the subject that lives in this body which is an object. The confusion is that you become the body and you become the mind. That’s when the suffering begins. Live outside of your body, outside of your mind, outside of your ego, and then you can use them whenever you need to, whenever you want to. But you don’t become them – it’s like a role that you play. Like Shakespeare says, all life is a play we all have our entrances and exits.
Rick: As you like it.
Rick: All the world’s a stage. So when you say live outside your body, your mind etc., I don’t think you mean disassociated from it as if you were off five feet to the right or something. You mean somehow residing in a more fundamental level that is prior to the manifestation of the mind and body. Would you say it that way.
Shyamji: Exactly, as the subject.
Shyamji: Try to remember what Socrates said – know thyself. He didn’t say no thy mind, thy soul, thy body thy anything else.
Shyamji:Thyself! That means the people that he knew did not know themselves, including Plato who didn’t even understand what his guru was telling him.
Rick: So there’s a section in your book and there’s a lot of talk among spiritual teachers about the ego. Killing the ego or going beyond a sense of personal self. There’s a section in your book where you talk about that section of the of the Gita where it talks about the sense of doership or recognizing that the gunas of nature are performing action. So when you go beyond the mind, when you know the self, does that in the same stroke demolish the ego or kill it in some sense, or does the ego become more of a faculty and it’s no longer recognized as who and what you are.
Shyamji: No, it is one of your powers, you use it when you want.
Rick: Like your eyes or like your ears or it’s a faculty.
Shyamji: Anything that is an object, the subject should know how to use the object. If the object becomes the subject you are living a second-hand life, and a second-hand life will never bring contentment. Knowing the subject is part and parcel of a spiritual life.
Rick: So just to reiterate, you wouldn’t say would you, that the ego is at some point completely annihilated but just that it takes its proper place in the whole structure of things.
Shyamji: I can give you a practical example.
Rick: Okay, good.
Shyamji: When you go to sleep or I go to sleep or anyone does (go to sleep), we want to make sure that the body is rested and quiet, the toes are tucked in and the shoulders are under the proper covers, right? So the ego of the body is now in a state of surrender. Then the feelings will take over – you will think about how maybe I said something to somebody I shouldn’t have, you know, and then now you have surrendered the ego of the feeling mind. Then thoughts will come to you about what you have to do tomorrow, and slowly you will surrender the ego of your thought
Shyamji: and gradually your third micro chakra which is the ego principle in the seventh. And the moment you renounce the ego of the seventh chakra mind, you have entered sleep. The ego is in a complete state of surrender when we are deeply asleep. In the daytime we can do the same – use whichever chakra mind’s ego you need and then go to the next, go to the next – in other words you remain the subject. You hold on to the reins of your horse. The horse is the ego – you tell it where to go – you drive it. That’s why Sri Krishna’s role is so important in in the Mahabharata – that he is the driver of Prince Arjuna.
Rick: Right, it’s the charioteer (role).
Shyamji: Exactly! And all these epics are basically the story of a human being.
Rick: Yeah, allegorical. Yeah, there’s even a saying that the Brahman is the charioteer. I forget the Sanskrit verse. You may have heard it – but I think it kind of fits in with what we’re saying.
Rick: Do you advocate meditating before bed?
Shyamji: I tell people to sit for a minute. Because between walking and laying down, there is an institution of sitting. When you are walking, your heartbeat is much faster. So before you lay down it is better to give your heart a minute of rest. I think once I told that to my cardiologist and asked if it is a good practice as I teach it to people – he said that will give their heart a little bit more life.
Rick: A transition, yeah. I’ve been meditating for a long time, about 51 years, and on average a couple hours a day, and I have no problem with sitting and meditating for an hour. The whole thing is enjoyable. But I heard in one of your recordings you were saying that it’s not advisable to meditate for longer periods because you go through these different cycles – one of them is seven minutes and then another is something else – and you’ll just be lost in daydreams. But yeah – sure the mind will pick up on thoughts and go off, but it doesn’t remain that way, and one can have a very deep meditation for a full hour. And of course we’ve heard of yogis who will sit for days in samadhi. So I presume that this is not some kind of universal rule that you can’t meditate more than a few minutes.
Shyamji:No i don’t say that you cannot you do what you want. You live in a free world, you can do what you want. It’s just a matter of time.
Rick: Yeah, if you don’t have a lot of time.
Shyamji: If you don’t have a lot of time, it’s the quality of meditation that’s more important than the quantity.
Shyamji: So what happens is – I have some students who are monks from different traditions, and I can give you a live example of a monk who told me he used to meditate for two hours – an hour and a half in the morning and half an hour in the evening. And iIwould ask him do you have your bowel movement before you meditate? He said not necessarily. I said then don’t close your eyes when you sit to meditate. He was shocked as to why his teacher didn’t teach him that, because years later when I met him this man was glowing. And he said he only meditates now 24 minutes in the morning and one minute or two at night – and he was literally glowing – because he will not close his eyes if he has not had a bowel movement. And besides that Rick I want you to tell me when we want to use a word we should know what it truly means, is that right?
Rick: Sure, what kind of word?
Shyamji: Any word.
Rick: Okay, any word.
Shyamji: The word meditation has so many loose meaning
Shyamji: everybody interprets meditation to what is their own meanings of meditation.
Rick: Sure, it’s like the word liquid – it could refer to orange juice, it could refer to ammonia or any kind of thing.
Shyamji: That’s another example. Right, but a better example is to understand what the word stand for. Now let’s see what the root of the word meditation is in Sanskrit. We call it dhyana. Okay I will explain Dhyana a little bit later. Let’s go to the word meditation – it comes from Latin – and the word in Latin is meditare, which means to think. How many people do you think – who are meditating – know the meaning of the word meditation?
Rick: I’m sure they’ve all been given some kind of definition – but as you just said, the definitions must vary.
Shyamji: I am sorry I’m just asking you a personal question. You were admitting to me that you meditate an hour or two every day.
Rick: Yes, I do.
Shyamji: Okay, now what does the word meditation mean to you?
Rick: To me it means allowing the active mind to settle down and to become more and more refined to the point where thought virtually ceases or ceases altogether – and one just resides in the self or in pure awareness. And then there might be periods where the mind percolates up again and then resides back again during that period – that’s the description of the experience.
Shyamji: Yeah, you see what you are describing is the rate of breathing in relationship to the rate of thoughts.
Rick: Yeah, the breathing settles down – and of course they’ve done a lot of research on this stuff and the whole physiology settles down along with it.
Shyamji: Exactly! So when we live in very stressful times it can become a therapeutic tool to calm the mind – but that has nothing to do with meditation. That is relaxation.
Rick: Yeah, but remember the second verse in the yoga sutras – yogas chitta vritti nirodhah – yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind – which is what I just described.
Shyamji: Yes, beyond the chitta there is something else.
Rick: Yeah, the third verse – and then the seer rests in the self.
Shyamji: Rright, okay. What they are saying is that you think – what is the thought that you are planting in your mind when you are meditating – remember that meditare means to think, not to cease thinking. I’ll tell you something else.
Rick: That’s the English word – the implication of it. In fact meditation usually means contemplation – I think I’ll go sit and meditate on the meaning of life or something like that.
Shyamji: Yeah, no. Contemplation is a state prior to meditation. You know you have yamas, niyamas, asanas, pranayama, pratyahara, then dharma, dhyana, samadhi Right, okay – first of all without pratyahara you can’t even go there.
Rick: Define pratyahara for us.
Shyamji: Pratyahara is the ability to invert your senses – discover the inner aspect of the senses. Eyes know how to see outside – eyes also can see what is inside. Some artists have a vision – they paint it. They have inverted their visual sense – that’s what has made them an artist. There are people who compose beautiful melodies they have inverted their fifth chakra sense called hearing – they hear the melody and then they compose it. You see, this is all pratyahara – without accomplishing pratyahara, you cannot go to dharana. Dharana is contemplation – contemplation has to take place with a singular thought in your mind that you want to sustain. A singular thought, whether it’s a mantra – some people use the breath to concentrate. Once you accomplish dharana, then you go towards dhyana – and dhyana is an idea – you got to have an idea to think about. Meditation is to think about an idea, and not be involved with your subtle body, your physical body, or your causal body. Yes, it is a causal body phenomenon – because the causal body is where the thoughts are coming from. So you want to refine your causal body by realizing the true nature of the self. Contemplating on the true nature of the self. But it’s premature to think about that when you have not even been able to do what’s called pratyahara. Therefore I do not agree when people say that just because you can relax by sitting for an hour you are really making use of the time as wisely as you could.
Rick: Okay, well..
Shyamji: Especially, in the 21st century.
Rick: Just based upon my own experience, it radically transformed my life – just radically.
Shyamji: Of course it will..
Rick: And continues to…
Shyamji: Yes, progressively it will.
Rick: Yeah, also when you say I’m thinking about an idea, – I think it was in the dharana stage you were saying that – what sort of idea are you referring to?
Shyamji: Aham Brahmasmi.
Rick: Yeah, I am Brahman.
Rick: So, okay so you’re talking about a contemplative thing where one would contemplate on the notion Aham Brahmasmi or Tattvamasi or one of those (concepts).
Shyamji: Exactly! That’s a singular thought.
Shyamji: When you are absorbed in that singular thought, that is meditation. But as I said, you cannot have enough practice behind it – and the practice part is pratyahara – without the purification, by the way – you can’t even go towards pratyahara. Many people are meditating – they don’t even have a bowel movement. There are people who are practicing yoga standing on their head without having a bowel movement. They don’t understand the role of Apana Prana.
Rick: Right, but presuming their bowels are all taken care of, then you sitting in meditation – I mean thinking –
Shyamji: Wait a second – it’s not complete.
Shyamji: Having a bowel movement alone is not enough. After a bowel movement, many people take a shower, but many people don’t – is that correct?
Shyamji: Okay, when you don’t take a shower after a bowel movement, your body is tamas
Shyamji: Because toilet paper doesn’t really wash, doesn’t clean.
Shyamji: If I blow my nose in a tissue and my nose is dry, and then you put a microscope on it, you will see a dance of bacteria.
Shyamji: Okay – the same way – the role of the toilet paper. Listen, we come from war- oriented societies – we do things fast, quick. We grab a hot dog, and run, we grab a hamburger and run. we don’t have the time to relate – we don’t have the time to even clean. We just don’t know how to clean. Most people go into the shower, they turn the shower on their head. For millions of years, we went to the ponds or to the lakes, to the rivers, to the ocean and we went with the feet first – not with the head first. So there are proper ways to purify your physical body – there are proper ways to purify your own sacred sexual energy. The second chakra mind has to experience its own sattvic nature – only then can you deal with the mind of the ego, which is the third chakra mind. You know you can haphazardly use this method and that method – but that’s like – I don’t know – that doesn’t really take you anywhere in a way that (would happen) if you had proper guidance and a teacher that’s monitoring your growth and taking you somewhere.
Rick: Sure, I mean the the English word for that is dilettante – meaning a superficial dabbler. You try this, you try that, and you just keep jumping around and never buckle down and do any one thing.
Shyamji: I do not mean to imply that everybody is a dilettante – but I do mean that we don’t know how to clean ourselves, how to purify – purification of the thought – purification of the feelings – these are all thoughts. They will only be effective if we first know how to clean our bodies – we don’t even know in which direction to sleep, we don’t even know in which posture to sleep – I mean –
Rick: Okay, so there’s all the all these things, and you place a lot of emphasis on that, and you know, we could talk the rest of the whole interview about personal hygiene and all that that kind of thing.
Shyamji:Personal hygiene is personal, I want to make it public.
Rick: Public hygiene, hmm. But let’s not use up all this time. We have to sort of skim along a little bit in order to cover all topics, because there are many interesting things you have to say that we haven’t gotten to yet. Well, you just dropped one interesting thing just there, which I think people find interesting, about sexual purity, or purifying the second chakra. What would you have to say about?
Shyamji: Just learn about the rhythm of your sexuality. Which day of the moon does your sexual wave peak? Feel that on your own, not not because you are with somebody – then it will react, and it will not act it – will react. First understand your own sexual rhythm. Women are much better at it than men – but men can also with practice observe their own rythm. If you work with the Prana calendar, which is freely available on our website, you will see which day of the week your nostril is wrong…
Rick: Explain that – about the nostrils – because people might not understand – and how they alternate.
Shyamji: The way it works is, after the full moon night, the following sunrise, nature wants your right nostril to be more open so that the Prana is directed towards the left hemisphere of the brain. The right nostril is called solar – Pingala. And when the left hemisphere of the brain is energized for a whole hour, from sunrise to one hour – it’s all mentioned in the Prana calendar in the details, when you read it – for three days, that will persist. And every morning your meditation should end with the sunrise and you should check your breath. If your right nostril is open, congratulate yourself. Three days after that, the left will take over – every single sunrise for three days, your left will be dominant. Do you understand dominant and recessive?
Shyamji: At any at any given time…
Rick: The breath predominantly comes out of one nostril or the other.
Shyamji: Exactly, so after the full moon it starts the cycle with the right, after the new moon it starts the cycle with the left.
Rick: And I presume this has been tested and measured?
Shyamji: Oh my God – for thousands of years.
Shyamji: And even the recent brain research has also verified it.
Rick: There are probably been some studies published on it.
Shyamji: In the year 19…. – when was that – Professor Patricia Kerrington – she was my student – a professor of psychology at Princeton –
Rick: I’ve heard of her
Shyamji: She performed this study at Princeton – and they found it to be true. She had a few hundred students who were experimenting with them – but they didn’t accept it. Why?
Rick: Because it doesn’t make sense to the western physiology…
Shyamji: Exactly right – you know what they said was the reason it is happening is because of of gravity. When you lie down on one side, the gravity is what is causing it – which is also not true because what is happening is, when you change the nostril by lying down, it drains your sinuses, so the other side opens up. This is a technique to correct your blocked nostril.
Rick: When you do pranayama, you alternate nostrils – does that somehow balance the the two sides of the nervous system?
Shyamji: No, that will just cleanse your pingala and ida so that you can breathe deeply for the rest of the day. I am talking about Swarayoga. Swarayoga means the yoga of breath – and then it merges into Nad yoga, which we will talk about, maybe later if you will have time. So it is because of the hemispheric relationship that you want to establish to be under your control. For example if you have a feeling- let’s say anger comes to you – if you know Swarayoga – you can control it a lot more easily than otherwise.
Rick: Well, let me just interject a question that just came in from Michael in Davao, Philippines. He says, “What is the best way to manage anger when it arises in the moment. Can you explain anger, and managing anger, as it relates to the chakras? I thought it would be good to pop that question in since you just mentioned it.
Shyamji: Isn’t it interesting that he was writing about anger and I was talking about anger?
Shyamji: There’s some synchronicity there. Anyhow – anger is something that arises when you see that something was not justified from your perspective.
Shyamji: So the first thing you want to know is that – is your justification a universal quality, or your own individual. Because the other person’s perspective may be totally opposite to yours. So the moment you start to put the other person’s perspective, your anger is already not dominating at that time. In the meantime you start to reflect – is it a genuine reason to be angry? And most of the time you will be able to find that it is resolved.
Rick: Yeah, that’s a really good point, because there’s a lot of anger these days in the United States and probably other places too. And there’s also a lot of polarity between different points of view, and both points of view hate each other and they’re angry at each other all the time. And then there’s all these violent outbursts, so what you’re saying is pretty important.
Shyamji: Yes. And the other thing is to drink two glasses of fresh water.
Rick: In the morning?
Shyamji: No, when you feel angry.
Rick: Oh, when you feel angry. I see.
Shyamji: Yeah, two glasses. One will not do.
Rick: What does that do for you?
Shyamji: It will just calm you down.
Rick: Oh okay. What are the mechanics of that calming you down?
Shyamji: Because you see you’re 73 percent water, right? And when you drink water it purifies the waters in your body. The first glass of water will go to your brain, and the second will be distributed in the rest of the body – some for the lymph nodes some for the colon – so that you can have easy bowel movements, and so on.
Rick: So does this imply that dehydration can contribute to anger?
Shyamji: Absolutely, yeah, no doubt about it. Yeah, so what you do is – you see problem is that when you are angry, you don’t think because you’re so taken over by the anger. So you really have to practice that when I am angry, when I am emotional, when I am sad – when you are not sad, you have to remember those things, because once you become sad it’s difficult. So in other words knowledge is very important before you make practice of it. You have to practice knowledge first – that’s called sadhana – that’s spiritual work. Now, anger can also be made to subside – you notice that when you are angry your right nostril will be more open, invariably. So what you do is you drink two glasses – you first of all you lie down and change your (dominant) nostril. The flow should be in the left nostril.
Rick: Do you do that by blocking off the right one?
Shyamji: No, you lie down on your side.
Rick: I see.
Shyamji: You put a pillow under your armpit and just rest for 30 seconds to a minute, and the sinuses will drain and the left nostril will become open. Now you drink two glasses of water and you watch what happens to anger.
Rick: They should have little places all along the road for people who get road rage – so that they can just stop, lie down, get some water. Then they wouldn’t go shooting people.
Shyamji: They can drink water anyway…
Shyamji: ..even if they can’t lie down.
Rick:Yeah, you know that’s good.
Shyamji: If you’re angry, if you have another driver in the car, let them drive, and you go in the back seat and change your breath.
Rick: Yeah, it’s good to remember. Obviously people get into all kinds of fights and arguments and commit all kinds of crimes and end up in jail for years because of anger, because of being caught up in some anger.
Shyamji: Lack of control over it.
Rick: Yeah, yeah.
Shyamji: I mean you can’t get rid of anger, you can’t get rid of ego – you just have to learn how to use it properly.
Rick: Yeah – but haven’t you found in your own experience that as you’ve grown – or in your students experience, as they evolve – there’s less of a tendency to fly into a rage about something. It’s like you catch it before it even flares up.
Shyamji: Yes, the more you grow older the wiser you get, and the more you can control your emotions.
Rick: Yeah, like you were saying before about the horse – riding the horse or being under the horse, it’s like if you’re under the horse the horse can run away with you, but if you’re riding the horse then you can sort of keep the horse going where you want it to go before it even gets going in the wrong direction.
Shyamji: That’s right.
Rick: There’s a question that came in from – this one is also from Florence who asked an earlier question. She said – and even I come across this a lot, so it’d be interesting to hear what you have to say about it – people sometimes have very disturbing experiences with kundalini awakening. In fact next week I’m going to be interviewing a woman who wasn’t even aware, and didn’t know anything about kundalini, and when she was about 52 or 53 years old she had this profound kundalini awakening and had to figure out what was going on. She’s very happy she had it now, but it was quite intense for a long time before she figured it out. So what has been your experience in dealing with such people, whether or not their experience has been positive.
Shyamji: Well, kundalini, which is the proper way to pronounce it, kundalini
Shyamji: No, kundalini
Shyamji: k-u-n – kun – dalini.
Rick: Yeah, that’s the way I’m pronouncing it.
Shyamji: Yeah let me say it – you are saying kundaleeeni.
Rick: Oh I’m putting an italian accent on it.
Shyamji: No, no – it’s a mistake on the part of Indian scholars who misspell it. For example – k-u-n-d-a-l, right?
Rick: Yeah, kunda.
Shyamji: Yeah, but don’t put the “a” there.
Rick: Oh okay.
Rick: Oh, so the “a” is just very minimal.
Shyamji: It’s not even there.
Shyamji: When you write it in Sanskrit or Hindi we don’t write the “a”.
Rick: Okay, yeah, that’s why in your book you have all these little tiny a’s wherever…
Shyamji: Yeah, because for most of the Indian alphabets – Sanskrit alphabets – “a” is implied in them.
Rick: I see.
Shyamji: For example, instead of how you say “k” – I say “ka” – you say “b” – I say “ba” – you say “c” – I say “sa”. – so it’s uh not (the same).
Rick: Ah okay! So to her question then –
Shyamji: Okay, the question – kundalini is a dormant energy that is in the base of the spine, and it only awakens after the seven sister powers of hers are awake, to make the pathway for the kundalini to be able to rise in the proper channel, which is called the central channel. There was a kundalini master who did not have a teacher and he tried to awaken his own kundalini and he did, except it rose in the wrong side. It went up in the right channel, and he almost died.
Rick: Was that Gopi Krishna?
Shyamji: That is correct.
Rick: He had a hard time.
Shyamji: Yes, he had a very hard time. I met him actually in Davos. He was making a presentation, and so was I, and the Dalai Lama was there as well. We were all making our own presentations of our work. So his problem was that he didn’t accept the authority of a guru. So he wanted to do it with books. And look what happened to him. He had to eat a leg of lamb every day to keep grounded. Anyhow, back to the question of kundalini. One of the sister powers when she arises is that you go through this dramatic feeling. It is not kundalini – it’s one of the sister powers. I can give you the names of them if you want. Dakini, Rakini, Lakini, Shakini, Hakini, and Yashwini. Okay, so if you read the literature properly – ask this lady if she has ever read a book written by Arthur Avalon.
Rick: Oh, she has. I’ve been reading her book and she’s mentioned him, yes.
Shyamji: She has mentioned him?
Shyamji: She will then know that there are seven sister powers – I named them to you – and any one of them can awaken and can give you an extraordinary feeling that is not kundalini. In fact, I can tell you one thing – I have been involved with this field now since the age of 12, nearly 13 – so about 70 years. And in my 70 years of experience I have never ever seen a human being whose kundalini was awake.
Rick: Even your guru?
Shyamji: It wasn’t (awake).
Rick: So your gurus wasn’t awake, okay. And presumably yours isn’t, you’re saying.
Shyamji: I’m still working on the different goddesses.
Rick: Okay. So does that kundalini awakening or full kundalini awakening necessarily coincide with enlightenment or can you be enlightened and yet not have your kundalini awake?
Shyamji: No – full enlightenment takes place when the kundalini awakens without any obstruction and rises in the central channel to go into the embrace with her counterpart which is called Mahadeva Shiva.
Rick: And you’ve never encountered a person who has done that.
Shyamji: No, unfortunately. Maybe I have not met the right person.
Rick: And why do you suppose it’s that that rare?
Shyamji: I’ve been a saint hunter since the age of
Rick: Right. And so when people think they have had a kundalini awakening, are you saying it’s one of these seven sister powers that…
Shyamji: Or, their counterparts.
Shyamji: Their counterparts are there too. It depends on the nature of the experience, whether it’s a destructive one or a constructive one.
Rick: That’s interesting, because there have been so-called spiritual teachers who seem kind of remarkable in certain ways. They may be charismatic, eloquent, they seem to radiate Shakti or something else, and yet they’ve been very destructive in their behavior. I’ve often wondered about that and thought that okay, well maybe they have a partial kundalini awakening which has gotten misdirected in often some side channel. But you’re saying that it might actually just be one of these sister powers.
Shyamji: Just leave the kundalini alone. Just let’s talk about her assistants first.
Rick: Yeah. Did you just say that the assistants have to be awoken before the kundalini itself can be awoken?
Shyamji: They awaken with your spiritual work, if it’s done properly. They will awaken, and then sometimes the gods awaken first, and sometimes the goddess is awakened first. That’s why the teacher comes into the picture, someone who can either intuite that. Now you don’t need to intuit that – you have the microchakra psychology book in front of you, and that will tell you what your behavior is like, what the block is, what is opening. And you know in terms of having these shaktipath and these siddhis and powers – they are distractions from your own spiritual growth. I have a siddhi that I use every day –
Rick: Which is the inner tuning..
Shyamji: To feel the microchakras.
Rick: Right. I have a siddhi. I can feel the difference between a blocked micro chakra and an open microchakra. Okay? It’s a siddhi. Do i say that my kundalini is awake? No, it is one siddhi.
Rick: Yeah, yeah. So would you say as a general rule that unlike Gopikrishna one shouldn’t specifically do anything to try to awaken their kundalini, it’ll awaken on its own when the time is right?
Rick: Okay, yeah.
Shyamji: You do your sadhana. Bhagavan Krishna – Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita that karmanye-vaadhikaarasye karma is all that we are entitled to do – maphaleshu kadachnaa – the results are never to be contemplated upon.
Rick: I like that verse, yeah.
Shyamji: Do your dharma, do your karma, let it happen. Out of ignorance we start to use words that are not even used properly, because we don’t know the real meaning of the word. Kundalini yoga, for example – it was a very clever yogi, who was not even a yogi actually, he was a customs inspector – I don’t want to talk about the personal lives of the people that I have known in my life.
Rick: Yeah I know the guy. He had a Center down in New Mexico.
Shyamji: Anyhow, I’m not here to talk about him. There are all kinds of people with all kinds of motives.
Shyamji: Including myself.
Rick: What are your motives?
Shyamji: My motives are to get people to realize that they can take charge of their own spirituality.
Rick: Would you say though that these days there are hundreds and hundreds of spiritual teachers of all different flavors and sorts and types. Do you feel that by and large – or for instance the 510 people that I’ve interviewed – not all of them are teachers – but all kinds of people – many of them are teachers – my attitude is nobody necessarily has the full picture, but everybody’s making a contribution. And to use that analogy from the Shreemad Bhagavatam, we’re all holding up our sticks and God is really holding up the mountain, and we think we’re helping by holding up our sticks. But everyone’s making a contribution, and it just seems to be the the way things are configured these days, that there’s this many-to-many kind of dynamic going on in the world right now. (laughs) You don’t want to comment on that, do you?
Shyamji: I have no comment to make.
Shyamji: Everybody has their own perspective, and it’s because people have the need and therefore the teachers appear.
Rick: Yeah. And many people seem to – I know they’re not dilettantes, but some people seem to derive a certain amount of benefit from a teacher for a certain amount of time, and people are definitely making progress. And then at a certain point they feel like well, this guy isn’t doing it for me. I think he’s taking me as far as he can take me, and then maybe they’ll pick up with a new teacher. It’s like when you fly someplace you usually have a a few connecting flights and each connecting flight has its value. It’s not just the flight from new York to Paris that’s important, it’s also the one from Harrisburg to New York.
Shyamji: Yeah, I agree with you.
Rick: Yeah, I mean just don’t get on a flight that’s going to crash, because you never know that in advance. Okay, so there’s an interesting section in your book on a topic that I like a lot, which is this – you speak about subjective science and compare it with objective science. Obviously, you know, modern science is usually the objective science that we learn in high school and so on, but the yogis have had a subjective science for thousands of years. I’ve always been interested in the comparison between them and the contributions that each can make. Because I don’t think either one eliminates the value of the other. I think together they can be more than the collection of the two of them.
Shyamji: You’re right. In the tradition of the objective science, there used to be a psychology called vitalism…
Shyamji: Vitalism… which was eliminated for whatever political reasons. That might have led to the development of subjective psychology. But because it was eliminated, shall I say, many people don’t even know about it. David, my co-author, was an expert on vitalism. But why don’t you play some sounds?
Rick: Okay, then we can get back to this. You let me know when to come in, and I’ll hear your voice. So, we’re going to play a selection from the CD that is in the back of your book, and you’re accompanying voice – we’ll hear your voice and it’s accompanied by the tambura instrument which we see behind your right shoulder there.
Shyamji: That’s right, that’s the instrument I played with Ravi Shankar and many other great musicians and singers. It’s special.
Rick: So I’ll play a little bit of this and then you just let us know when you’re ready.
Rick: Welcome back.
Shyamji: Can you hear me?
Rick: Yes, I can hear you, and we had the music playing while you were gone and people were listening to it. Someone sent in an email saying that they were listening to it. What was that we were listening to?
Shyamji: It’s a mantra I chanted for somebody who had severe depression and it helped them a lot so I thought why not put it out so that people can buy it. For many years people were downloading it or buying it from our website. There was no (way to) download at that time. So right now it’s complimentary. They can download it from the website.
Rick: Yes, also it’s on a CD that’s in the back of your book.
Shyamji: Yes, that’s also one way to have it. Sri Radhe – Sri means sacred, means auspicious. Radhe is the mantra which opens up your heart, so that your heart can then want to involve itself for the love of the divine in you.
Shyamji: In micro chakra terms, the fourth micro chakra of the sixth will open up when you hear this mantra properly and if you chant it for some time, it can really help you – and when the fourth of the sixth is open, the goal of your life becomes enlightenment.
Rick: Hmm, nice. While the music was playing, a couple of people sent in an email saying that they would like to hear you finish what you were beginning to explain about how to purify the second chakra energy, the sexual chakra energy. You began talking about how people have different cycles according to the time of month and all that, but then I think we got off on other topics and you didn’t get to complete that point.
Shyamji: Right. You see the goal of sexuality is to find the right mate, and the right mate is not only just your finding of your right mate, it is also who you will be able to parent together. So those are the considerations that the third chakra-age people who fall in love – between the ages of 12 and 18 for girls, and 14 to 21 for boys. That’s when people have the first experience so to speak. And when constructive experiences are guiding your intuitive mind, you can find the right mate. So the purification again is of the thought, causal body. Sexuality is an instrument, it’s an object, you are the subject. Problem is that we have no university, school, or church, or any place at home where we can teach people to know the self. Who is the self? Because we live in war-oriented times. We always have. There are not too many cultures that even had the concept of inverting the senses. Pratyahara. When people embraced religion, it was to ask for forgiveness for the sins. To ask for the forgiveness so that an unloving God will always love you. And then we do things that are totally the opposite. It’s like you know you commit sin then you go and you confess. You commit a sin and you go and confess. It becomes a routine, it becomes a habit, and it doesn’t work that way. You will rob yourself of your own bliss, of your own light, by believing in the old stories that may have been relevant to some people for some time. But their story is a story. I can’t afford to give my life away for a story no matter how old the story is. And we are addicted to stories. Every baby, every toddler, every small child wants to hear a story before they go to sleep. We are addicted to stories, and then we start to take some stories more seriously.
Rick: Well, just to add on to a follow-up question.
Shyamji: You have to discover your own purity of your own sexuality by refining your own thought process. That’s why I mentioned the word meditare – don’t lose touch with your – don’t gamble with your life. We have a thinking mind, we have a causal body, and brilliant and brilliant ideas will come once you open up that. And in the age where we fall in love, sexuality gets not enlightened, but gets bonded, bondage.
Rick: Binding. So would it be fair to say as a sort of a summary point that rather than being all worried about finding the right person, you should be more worried about being the right person
Shyamji: Exactly, you put it very nicely. I like that.
Rick: Yeah, and if you refine yourself enough then everything else will fall into place.
Shyamji: You will attract the similar kind.
Shyamji: That way you will attract the similar kind. But if you keep on finding somebody that your ego loves, well then that’s what will happen.
Rick: Yeah. Maybe another way of putting it is that if you don’t know who you are and they don’t know who they are, then how can the two of you expect to have any kind of meaningful relationship. Two people who are just sort of stumbling about.
Shyamji: My favorite way to put it is, one lonely person meets another lonely person. Now you have two lonely people together.
Rick: Yeah. I suppose even a third way of putting it is you know if we’re – you know there’s that beautiful saying in the 23rd Psalm “My cup runneth over.” If you’re full then you can give, and if the other person is full, they can give. If both people are empty, then neither can give. Both are in a sort of taking mode, and nobody gives, therefore nobody gets.
Shyamji: I remember my grandfather once said – he says, when the pots, you know pots?
Rick: Sure. Pots and pans.
Shyamji: Pots and pans, yeah. Yeah. He said when pots travel together, they rattle. But the fuller they are the less noise they make.
Rick: Good. Another good one. Okay. So I hope we’ve answered that question. If there’s any follow-up question on that, the people who send it in should feel free to send in a follow-up question, and we’ll deal with it. But here’s another.
Shyamji: Also if later there is an afterthought they can write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Shyamji: After the show is over if there is a question they can write to us directly.
Rick: Yeah. If you want I’ll even put that email address on your page on batgap.com and they know how to get in touch then.
Shyamji: That would be great.
Rick: Okay good. This is an interesting question that came in from a fellow named Bernard Blumenthal in Brussels, Belgium. He said my identical twin brother and I live on opposite sides of the ocean. He’s in Chicago. I’m in Brussels. We’re both 60 years old and struggling with a slow and steady disintegration of our professional lives while being hyper aware of both the general political strife on the planet and also predominantly the dire, nearly impossible future of our living planet. He’s referring there to climate change and environmental collapse. Would a particular practice help us to become more pure, more relaxed, sane, effective, and positive, or is the planet situation simply a psychological burden to bear until our civilization collapses and mass extinction gains us all?
Shyamji: What a remarkable question.
Shyamji: I congratulate you for your concerns. I really do. I have two answers. One is at the individual level, and one will be at the universal level. At the universal level, choose the candidates that are concerned with your concerns. At the individual level, get yourself a three-body purification. At the individual level, when your own three bodies go through a period of purification, it takes from five to nine days depending on where you are. I do it around the world.
Rick: Explain the whole thing, because this is the first time you’ve referred to that. So just tell us what that means, the whole three-body purification.
Shyamji: Okay. Three-body purification means purification of your thought process, purification of your feeling process, and purification of the physical body’s organs, colon, liver, and kidneys. It took me 40 years to develop this. And once I developed it, I tell you people, just they flock. They flock together to come and they can hardly wait to have another one.
Rick: This is an in-residence program that you offer here and there. Okay.
Shyamji: This place where I am right now in New Hope, Pennsylvania, we got this place to do purifications. It’s very quiet, 10 – 11 acres of woods, and we have only six bedrooms so we don’t take more than 12 people. Maximum 15 sometimes if people like to sleep in the laundry room. Sometimes people do that because they have to have it. And then we do one every year in Holland which is not very far from Brussels.
Rick: True, yeah, short train ride.
Shyamji: In fact, I will be doing a workshop in Brussels as well. They can find my itinerary on chakrainstitute.com, and they will know. So these purifications I do in South America as well, in Colombia for example. Every January we do that over there, nine days again. Nine days in Holland, five days in France, five days several times here in our chakra institute where I am being interviewed by you. So because most people get most benefit from these purifications and after that I do more advanced workshops where we can teach them how to do massage to themselves. It’s called inner tuning massage. Everybody who will come to see me privately, they get one 15-minute, 20- minute massage themselves. And then my assistant does that, Marina Toliva, she’s one of the people that I have trained in this. I have about maybe two dozen people around the world that are doing the inner tuning massage. Some of them are in Belgium, some of them are in Holland. You will find all that information on the website.
Rick: Okay, good.
Shyamji: Now, the best part of answering this question is, when you choose the right candidates, they will make the planet become liveable. It may even extend the life of the planet. And there are some advanced techniques that you can do, but I can only teach them after the purifications and on the air it is not fair.
Rick: Not feasible, yeah. Yeah. I think what you’re saying, to summarize what you just said, is that, yes, the world is a mess and things need to be done on the political level and technological level and so on, to deal with what a mess the climate is and so on. And the right leaders is important. But also, we have- Go ahead.
Shyamji: Sorry to interject.
Rick: No, no problem.
Shyamji: I know many people who don’t vote, saying that it’s hopeless, we don’t want to be bothered, which I think is really unfair. To live on a planet and not exercise your vote, the value of your vote, cannot be overemphasized.
Rick: Well, I’m listening to a show right now on TV, I haven’t finished it, but they said the United States is about 132nd in the world in terms of voter turnout, voter participation. So that’s crazy. I mean, it makes such a huge difference to have the right people as our leaders and people just don’t- Of course, a certain political party here makes it difficult to vote by making it as complicated as possible, suppressing it if possible. But you have to-
Shyamji: Even if they vote, it’s not counted.
Rick: Yeah, very often.
Shyamji: Yeah. I saw a black priest actually interviewed on some television show. He said there are seven boxes of votes, nobody came to collect them.
Rick: Yeah, that kind of thing happens. There’s a suit going on in North Carolina right now where- Anyway, we better not get off on that tangent.
Shyamji: No, no problem.
Rick: Yeah. But to Bernard’s point and to your point, I think that there’s two elements. There’s what needs to happen, like you said, on a universal level, on a national level, and so on. But also, we have to become individually as fit as possible to withstand the challenges that undoubtedly we’re already facing in life and that could actually become much more dire, much more intense in the coming years. So, who was it, Darwin supposedly said survival of the fittest is a law of nature, so we have to be fittest, as fit as possible. Let’s say a donkey has to carry a really heavy load and he can barely struggle with it. There’s two ways of dealing with it, lighten the load or strengthen the donkey. And unfortunately, I don’t think the load is going to get any lighter in terms of what the world is going through. So, we all have to be as strong and fit as possible, right?
Shyamji: That’s it.
Rick: Yeah. Okay, so we’ve covered a lot of points, but undoubtedly we haven’t covered… Well, there’s one more point I thought of, on the whole sexual topic again. You used the word tantra, and in many people’s minds, tantra is synonymous with good sex or something, or using spiritual practices to make sex more long-lasting or more interesting or something. But then I hear more traditional tantrics say, well that is just a misrepresentation of it, it’s just such a tiny aspect of it, and it’s unfortunate that the whole thing has become synonymous with that. So, you know, do you have any comments on the misuse of the word tantra and the whole sexual connotation of it?
Shyamji: As usual, I go to the origin of the word. Tantra means a tool.
Rick: But literally, the word means a tool?
Shyamji: It’s a tool.
Shyamji: Tantra is actually a tool to achieve a goal. And there are two servants of the tantra. One is called yantra, one is called mantra. Yantra is the form and mantra is the name. When the form and the name are complementary, and the practice is purely intentional, the tantra will be accomplished. And every tantra gives you a siddhi, a power. Eventually, we must develop the power in order to be able to make use of it in a state of surrender. Same thing is about the sexual tantra. We must develop the technique and then we surrender it. Who do you surrender it with? With your partner. But you first must understand how to develop a form and give a name to it, which is a mantra.
Rick: So, what does it mean to develop it with your partner and then surrender it? What are you actually saying there?
Shyamji: Sexual intercourse is not the only thing that a tantra teaches. That’s only one part of it. Tantra should be how to make the marriage a success.
Rick: Right, okay.
Shyamji: So, sex is used as a glue to keep the bondage.
Rick:Okay, and tantra obviously has much more to do, it’s much more even than marriage. I mean, it’s a whole huge body of knowledge, right, that has implications for even unmarried people.
Shyamji: There are thousands of tantras, thousands. One of the tantras is sexual because it’s based on the second chakra. Karma yoga is a third chakra tantra.
Rick: So, there’s different tantras for all the chakras?
Shyamji: Oh yes, oh yes. Because people are kind of obsessed with sexuality, they interpret the word tantra only in a sexual way.
Rick: Sure. Well, you know, relationships are an important thing for people and very often they don’t work out very well. They cause a lot of heartache and trauma and so people want to be able to learn how to do it right, and have good relationships and so that’s why they’re interested in this stuff.
Shyamji: See, the best way to purify your own sexuality is to pay attention to your partner’s need. And if you will pay attention to her need and she pays attention to your need, tantra is accomplished. But most people, you see, they go for their personal needs and that’s what creates a little problem.
Rick: Yeah, like we were saying before about taking rather than giving.
Rick: Okay, well I hope that answers her question, the woman from Switzerland. So we’ve been talking for a little over two hours and is there anything you feel that’s important that you haven’t had a chance to say? I’m sure there are lots of things, but what is it that you would really want to make sure to leave people with?
Shyamji: The gem of the teachings is to go to bed early.
Rick: Okay, that’s interesting. You know that old saying, of course, don’t you? Early to bed and early to rise, makes the traveler healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Shyamji: It’s true.
Rick: How early is early?
Shyamji: Well, it depends on the winter and summer, you know. In the summer, for example, the sun sets very late. So just after the sun goes down, within half an hour, go to sleep.
Rick: Wow, yeah.
Shyamji: And in the winter, measure how many hours of sleep you need. If you need eight hours of sleep, you want to wake up at six o’clock because the sun rises about seven or something in the winter. See, everything has to do with the sun. Just find out where you are located in relationship to the sun. The closer you are to the equator, the more easy it is for you to wake up early. It’s only when you are farther away you need more sleep because you are not at home. The equator is your home. That’s where the life began, at least the human form.
Rick: Yeah, I have this friend here in town and I discovered this thing where you can be notified by email when the International Space Station goes over. And several nights I’ve gone out and watched it. So it’s really fun to watch it go over. So I told my friend, “Hey, tonight it’s going over at 10.02.” And he said, “I’m sorry, I go to bed at quarter of nine.”
Shyamji: Wow. Now this man is a good candidate for spiritual work.
Rick: Yeah, yeah. Well, he’s a spiritual guy. Okay, well thank you very much. I’ve really enjoyed this conversation and I hope everyone else has. I will be putting up a page on batgap.com with your photo and your bio and link to your website, and I’ll put that email address you said, email@example.com and a link to your book and anything else you want me to put. And so people can get in touch with you and find out, as you were saying, all the programs that you have to offer and when and where you’re going to offer them.
Shyamji: Well, at 84, I’m still traveling three times a week, three times a year around the world.
Rick: Yeah, well that’s an inspiration.
Shyamji: Because I really have a passion, this is my passion, to help people know themselves.
Rick: Yeah. Oh, it’s great and it’s a good example of what you teach, I mean, you are a good example of what you teach.
Shyamji: You see, the thing is this, if we are made up of light, supernova explodes, stardust makes planets, stardust makes this body.
Rick: It does.
Shyamji: So we are particles of the stardust and inside this cage, there is a light and when youmeditate, you see that light. The idea is to increase that light day by day, day by day, day by day, and the time comes when it will reach your heart chakra and your skin will start to radiate that light. Your eyes will have that twinkle of a baby, because you are discovering your own inner light – and it’s only possible in the human birth. Whether or not there is another birth, I don’t know, but I know one thing, this life is under my control. Thank you for having me on.
Rick: Oh, you’re welcome. Thank you. So to those who have been listening or watching, this is an ongoing series, as most of you know, and there’s a few little things you might want to check out. If you’d like to be notified when new interviews are posted, subscribe to the YouTube channel and also, and/or subscribe to the email notification thing, which you can find a link for on www.batgap.com. This exists as an audio podcast as well as a video, so if you’d like to subscribe to that, there’s also a page on www.batgap.com where you can subscribe to it, and a number of other things if you just check the menus on that site, you’ll see what we have to offer there. So thank you so much, Shyamji, I’ve really enjoyed the conversation, and good luck, I hope you are able to do this for many more years to come. God willing. And thanks to those who have been listening or watching, and we will see you for the next one.