The Leela of Yoga
Extreme yoga Training
Arunācaleśvara temple. On this platform, Yogi Yogananda Puri used to levitate!
I was learning from Yogananda Puri from the age of three till the age of thirteen. At least four to five hours a day, he would make Me do all kinds of asanas, and clean the body through Neṭī and Dhautī – the traditional cleaning methods of the nostril passage and the intestine. Till the age of thirteen, he prepared My body and mind to enter into the experience of enlightenment, and to stay in the experience of enlightenment. He really helped Me in so many ways to understand, to experience, and above all, to stay in that same space: to stay in that high-energy plane and radiate that experience.
Climbing the temple pillars
When Paramaśiva stood as the dīpa stambha, shiva stambha, huge light shaft, telling Brahma and Viṣṇu to find either of His two ends, the description says, in the Arunācala Purāṇa, there was no space left other than Him. So naturally, Brahma and Viṣṇu would have gone only on the pole, up and down. Brahma and Viṣṇu were the first shiva stambha (pole yoga) practitioners!
He assembled and reassembled My body. Yogananda Puri used to make Me climb up and down the twenty to thirty pillars of the Krittika Mandapam in Arunācaleśvara Temple – using only one hand! He used to tie the other hand behind My back. Then he went to the next stage: he would actually tie both My hands behind Me, and I would only be allowed to use My legs to climb the temple pillar!
This I know: this is the best form of yoga. I commit to the yoga samprādaya, to all the yogis who kept this science alive, that I will make this as a lifestyle. This is My offering to all of you. I know what yoga has done to Me. It is because of yoga that My body is even able to hold this enlightenment energy, the kundalini śakti.
Once I asked him, “Why are you making Me climb all these pillars? I don’t find any books or any sūtra (sacred verse) saying that climbing pillars is yoga!” He told Me a beautiful thing. He said, “If you bend or move your body for any specific purpose, that memory, that idea or purpose will be completely inserted or recorded in your body and mind.”
Understand: It is a very shocking revelation. He said, “With whatever intention you move your body, bend your body or make your body active, that intention, that purpose, will be recorded in your body and start expressing in your body.” He meant that the way in which you bend; or the method in which you stand up; or the method in which you do yoga or the āsana is not too important – the intention is what matters. If you have the intention to have good health, and do whatever you want for that intention, move your body any which way for that intention, health will simply happen to you!
Especially in the West, too much of linking of āsana to disease has happened – for this disease you have to do this āsana, for that disease you have to do that posture, for this problem you have to do that technique…This connection is too much in the West. Yogananda Puri gave Me the shocking revelation that any physical movement practiced for some specific purpose or with some intention, will create the same effect in your body.
A YOGA STUDENT OF YOGI YOGANANDA PURI DOING SHIRASĀSANA
Power of a Yogi’s hug!
Sometimes, people weighing 100 kg or 120 kg would come to him. He would not even look up at them. He would just say, “Do shirasāsana”, which means, standing upside down!
All their survival instincts would be completely awakened and frightened! Then Yogananda Puri would just call them and give them one hug. His hug was like an initiation! And literally, in those two or three seconds, the shivering would settle down; they would become balanced and very calm, and they themselves would stand upside down – just like that!
A hug can transform your very DNA
I learnt the habit of hugging from Yogananda Puri. People again and again ask Me, “Why do you hug people?” See, scientific studies have proven that no matter how well babies are fed, when they lack the caressing and loving touch of the mother, they could eventually die. The loving hugs of the mother are sent directly down to the DNA. Surely all your mother’s twelve strands of DNA are not awakened, only maybe one or two, but even her hug can directly go to your DNA. Then just imagine – the Cosmic Mother, the Guru, in whom all twelve strands of DNA are awakened and alive in the body – just imagine what the hug of a Guru can do! I have seen it doing what five to six hours of discourses or counseling cannot do!
Bhupati, the eighth son of Yogananda Puri shares on The Avatār’s yoga training:
“I would also go to the yoga class and see what they were doing. Father would give special importance to Him alone, because only He would do sincerely; the others would do it carelessly. Swami would infuse His meditation into His yoga and…I don’t how to say it, but He would do it with such an involvement. I have seen that very well when He used to do it. Father would give Swami something special all the time. I have asked him, “Why do you give only Him special things? The others are also doing (yoga), right?” He would reply, ‘You don’t know about Him now. He is a great Mahān (great being). You should know that by seeing the boy’s involvement. I won’t tell anything by myself; you will understand later. He will become a great person.’”
Subramani the flower-man in Krittika mandapam shares:
Subramani tied flower garlands at the Krittika mandapam for the temple deities in the Arunācaleśvara temple. It was during his 30 years of service, that The Avatār decided to walk into Krittika mandapam for yoga lessons with Ragupathi Yogi. Subramanian describes the intensity of the yoga lessons and frequency of the relationship between Yogi and the young Avatār in the most simple yet powerful words ever.
“Swami used to come to the Krittika mandapam every day early morning and leave at around 7.30am. He would come with a group of children and after some time, almost all of them left except Swami. He would climb these pillars like a monkey! I don’t know how He did it because His small hands cannot go around the pillar. It was just the energy of Arunācala!
Ragupathi Yogi was a short stocky man but extremely powerful. The way he used to look and walk was very different from usual. There was something very different between Ragupathi Yogi and Swamiji. There was an extraordinary bonding between them.
I am privileged to have seen Arunācaleśvara Himself come here and do yoga in front of my eyes. You are all very privileged to be part of the mission. Please spread this yoga. Whatever Swami Nithyananda has taught you all, please take it and spread it. It was a darśan for me to see them both together.”
I saw the stars in the daytime!
कण्ठकूपादधः स्थाने कूर्मनाड्यस्ति शोभना ।
तस्मिन् योगी मनो दत्त्वा चित्तस्थैर्यं लभेद् भृशम् ॥ ४४ ॥
kaṇṭhakūpādadhaḥ sthāne kūrmanāḍyasti śobhanā ।
tasmin yogī mano dattvā cittasthairyaṃ labhed bhṛśam ॥ 44 ॥
Below the cavity of the throat, there is a beautiful nāḍī (vessel) called kūrma; when the Yogi fixes his attention on it, he acquires great concentration of the thinking principle (chitta).
- SHIVA SAṂHITA (Verse 44)
I have seen Yogananda Puri doing dhāraṇā (penetrative awareness) not only on his own body, but casually expressing those powers of dhāraṇā through My body also – just like that!
One day, he told Me, “Concentrate on this part, the kūrma nāḍī (energy channel below the throat) – you will be able to see all the stars.”
I said, “Hmmm…too much!” Naturally, I did not believe it. Then he just held this part of My hand, the inside of My wrist, and dragged Me out of the Krittika mandapam, the stone-pillared hall in Arunācaleśvara Temple where we were sitting for the yoga training. When we came out of the hall, it was maybe noontime. He just told Me to look up at the sky.
I looked up – and I could very clearly see the stars, just like on a dark night! I was shocked! Really, I was shocked! I asked, “How is it possible?” He said, “When you concentrate on this part, the subtle movement happening in your eyeballs will stop.” See, the subtle movements in your eyeballs are responsible for you experiencing the blue layer in the sky. What do you call that? The Raman Effect. The Raman Effect, of that blue light being reflected, is seen by you, experienced by you, because of the subtle movements happening in your eyeballs. If the subtle movements in your eyeballs stop, you will be able to penetrate through the Raman Effect, that blue layer. Then you can see the stars. Actually, if you concentrate on kūrma nāḍī, you can see very clearly that the subtle movements of your eyeballs immediately stop. It means, raising the frequency of the ability to see.
There used to be a Nagalinga tree in Arunācaleśvara Temple. There is a place called Krittika Mandapam in the temple, where Yogananda Puri used to teach yoga to Me and some other students that he had. The tree was near that mandapam. It had not been flowering for a long time.
One day Yogananda Puri told Me, “Go and tell that tree that you will water it every day, and send your love to that tree for it to flower.” I said, “Okay,” and started doing that. I used to touch that tree every day, and give My love and support to it so that it would flower and be happy. Maybe it took one month…suddenly, one day, when I went there, I saw that the whole tree had so many flowers!
Then I touched the tree again in the same way. I tell you: I had not shaken the tree; I was a small boy, I could not shake the whole tree! But when I touched that tree, at least a hundred flowers showered, literally showered on Me! This word ‘Cosmos Showers’ was given to Me, by Yogananda Puri, experientially. That is why, when I utter those words, I can’t contain My smile!
Krittika Mandapam, Arunācaleśvara temple