The Meaning of Yoga

London (England)

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Lecture “The Meaning of Yoga”. Dollis Hill Ashram, London (UK), 11 November 1979.

From this wheat, a germ is born. That’s something that is born with you, that is innately built in you, which sprouts by itself in you, which manifests itself. Like you can see a seed sprouting into a tree, this is what is “sahaja”.

Now all other yogas which go along with it, are part and parcel of Sahaja Yoga. They cannot be separated from this to that. I think people are under a misunderstanding that there are four limbs of one Yoga or something like that. Even that won’t be a misunderstanding as to think that they are separated or different.
When we say that we have eaten this food, it doesn’t mean like a bolt it has gone inside, in the body, and just passed out of the body like a bolt coming out, does it? It means that you have tasted the food in your mouth. It means that it has secreted some saliva in the mouth, later on in the lip. It has passed through the trachea and the other places like, you can call, what is it?
Sahaja Yogi: Oesophagus.
Shri Mataji: Oesophagus, going down into the stomach part and then to the intestines and then to the larger intestines. All this movement and passage and all that is done through the other kind of movement which is existing in the organs itself like the stomach itself pushing it down, coming from your brain.

The sympathetic and the parasympathetic coming into play and working it out. It is a big system and organization that is working it out. Now if you want to separate it; that the digestive system is different, the respiratory system is different, and your heart system is different, or some other brain system is different or nervous system is different, I mean you can’t take it out like that, a brain hanging on one side and your digestive system hanging on the other. It is one integrated form of organization which is a living organization, which understands each other, which reacts to the demands. You cannot separate these systems. But as it is, our brains are so disintegrated or they are good at that disintegrating everything within us and without, that we want to disintegrate the living thing which is Yoga.

Yoga is not a dead organization. It’s a living process. Absolutely a living process. When it is a living process, you cannot do anything about it, so, it is “sahaja”. At the most, you can a little bit shift it here and there, and push it around and all that, if a tree is coming up. Like in Japan, they want to give it a shape, then they will cut one branch first and bend it a little more. Then cut another one. Then bend it this way, that way and give it a shape. But whatever is living is working out spontaneously within us with many complicated organizations which are living themselves and are aware of what they are doing. For example, your body is much more aware of Me than your rationalities.

Say, you are a possessed person. You won’t accept that you are possessed, you won’t accept. I won’t say myself also because I don’t want to get every kind of thing which is in stock there, you see. I know human beings, that if you tell them something like that you could be out for any sort of trouble, you see. So, I don’t tell you. But the body knows Me. When you come before Me, the whole body shakes, just like that.

Malcom, is it true or not? Tell me? [Shri Mataji laughs] Because it is a living body, it knows Me, it is not a dead body.

So, whatever is living, is so well looked after, organized and in a living way which we do not understand because we deal with the dead. Suppose I have to start this instrument then I have to know that there must be a cord that I have to put to the mains. I always say that Sahaja Yoga is like that: you take out your cord and put it to the mains. I say like that. But do you think it is that simple? You believe that? That you just pull out the Kundalini from there and put to the mains? No, it is not. When the sprouting of the Kundalini starts, when awakening starts it passes through the various centres, how? How will you explain the Kundalini which is at the base end of your spinal cord rising upward? Now, If I tell you that this is even more than your digestive system, that the Kundalini which is an energy as we call it and which thinks, understands and loves you and knows each and everything about you in this life and life before. If she is so capable, and if she knows everything then she is entity by itself. And if she has to come up to your head, is it easy?

It is the most difficult thing. If you have a stone lying somewhere, you can pick it up and throw it wherever you like, isn’t it simple. Even if there is a little worm it knows how to get out of the way of a big bull coming around. And a bull, if it sits anywhere, impossible to raise it. You try your level best. There are some very drastic methods for that in India. You have to burn some red chilies and put that smoke in the nose of the bull, like that. Then only the bull will rise. Otherwise you try anything it won’t rise. It will be settling itself nicely on the ground.

So, you come across such bulls also. Sometimes it happens like that. But to make this Kundalini, which thinks, understands, is the individual mother of an individual which has been born with you all the time, who knows all about you and who loves you most and She is ‘the one who is going to give your realization, your second birth. She is your mother. This kind of a Kundalini that exists within us must be the most difficult person to rise. Has to be. That is why people say, Kundalini raising is very difficult. Is correct.

So, one has to find the methods of how to make the bull rise. Because this Kundalini is “absolute Dharma”, is absolute righteousness, absolute purity, ideal-most personality that you could think of, which does not tolerate any nonsense, falsehood, untruth, anything like that. (10.27)

She is Nirmala you can call Her. She is Pure, She is Purity personified. She does not accept any nonsense, no compromise She is within you. See how beautiful you are. She is not afraid of anyone, She cannot be enticed, enchanted or tempted by anything. And She Loves but Her Love is that pure that nothing is higher for Her than her own love. She never reconciles to anything. And she is the one who is going to give you your self-realization.

So, for human beings who know about it, they have to find out methods of pleasing Her. What makes Her so unhappy? Why doesn’t She want to rise? They have to find out the means and methods. And as a result of that probing has brought forth other Yoga’s, which we call as Raj-Yoga or they call it as Hatha-Yoga, or the third one they call as Kriya Yoga (1 think Kriya and Raj is about the same) and Bhakti Yoga and Gyan Yoga and Karam Yoga. All these are the methods human beings want to employ to make the bull rise. (Mother laughs) When they get frustrated, they want to hang themselves by the nearest tree. So, that also is another frustrated Yoga. Then Sadistic Yoga, then beating Yoga’s, then beating others Yoga’s then it goes on like that, you see, flowering into better and better things. Then fanaticism, because human beings find it difficult to sit still, they get a challenge. “Oh, this bull does not rise, I will make it rise.”

Moreover, they haven’t got the authority. Even those who are self-realized they have no knowledge because Kundalini is not made by them. Like, even if I get this machinery, I do not know how to handle it, how to use it? I may try but I may burn my hands instead. Such a hotch potch of (13.56) endeavour brings forth so many yoga’s in this world. And everybody is baffled at it that how it is that there are so many Yoga’s and whether we should do this Yoga and that Yoga and Buddha or Mahavira or Christ or this and that or what is it. Then Church Yoga and voodoos And what is wrong in witchcraft? somebody said the other day. Nothing wrong but the bull will be settle down better, it won’t rise then with voodoo.

Now, so they have tried to find out what should we do now? Stand on your heads, bull won’t rise, no it won’t. Break your necks? It won’t. So, what should we do?

So, we should know what is a Kundalini that is within us. All these Yoga’s that have come up, have been depicted from the experiences of people. Because some people when they try to raise the Kundalini “so called” say they started jumping. So, they said, let us jump and the Kundalini will rise. So some people started taking off their clothes or maybe some such sort of a funny thing like that. They felt heated up. So, people thought let us take off our clothes and we’ll find God. Some people felt some sort of a grip on the stomach or some of them did see also these things happening within. So, they called it a Moolbandha. The ‘bandha’ has taken place, something has gripped there. So, the Kriya Yoga is that, you take out your tongue from here. I mean you cut this thread of the tongue alright, and you push it back, here, touch this tip of the tongue here, normally they are wagging with, it goes on!. Push it back here at the Vishuddhi centre, they think the Vishuddhi is here. You see the problem is that they think the Vishuddhi is here. So, they push it back here. And they think that they will achieve the raising of Kundalini by tickling this .unclear.). It is just the other way around, we are trying, you see. The effect cannot reach the cause. (17.18)

You have to go to the root of cause to come to the effect. Did you see my point? Supposing the Vishuddhi Chakra which is here, a very subtle centre behind, is spoilt then the effects are felt, say, here. And your tongue gets affected, your eyes get effected, your nose gets affected, your cheeks get affected, There’s 16 you see. All these can get affected. But by tickling your nose you do not touch you’re Vishuddhi Chakra. Isn’t it? Did you see my point? For example, something goes wrong at the centre from where the electricity is coming here. By tickling it here you cannot correct that one there. You have to go to the roots. Or on a tree you find a fruit. All the fruits are getting rotten. So, by treating the fruit, can you treat the disease? You’ll have to go to the roots. So, these people when they saw all things happening to human beings, they formed different type of methods. All are wrong and all are right.

Try to understand, this is a very simple. After realization all of them are right. Before realization all of them are wrong, before your car starts, if you start turning the wheel, or using the brake, you are spoiling the car. When the car has started and you know how to drive and you have become a master of driving, then everything is right. Otherwise the same car which has to drive you from my house to this Ashram will land to somewhere. In the same way, the same thing before realization has no meaning. After realization only you start understanding.

So, let us take the case of Hatha Yoga. It is based on centres, no doubt. It is based on “lshwar Pranidhana”, no doubt, all the Ashtangas, all the eight sides of Hatha Yoga. See from human point of view, I’m saying. For them why Hatha Yoga came into being? (21:05)

It’s first that they should fix their attention on Ishwara Pranidhana means they must fix the attention into the existence of God. Not blind faith. But to understand that there is God, so that you humble down yourself. Then you should go to a realized soul as a Guru. Guru means a realized soul minimum. Any Tom, Dick and Harry becomes a, Guru, is a nonsense absolutely. He has to be a realized soul and if he is a realized soul, he will say like that.

He doesn’t talk of separation, he talks of authority, because he is there, he has that authority. Those who talk of separation and crying and weeping and woes and all that are blind like all others. They have no business to lead you. There’s is no humility about it, I mean if I have a red shawl, I should say, ‘I have a red shawl.’ What is there to feel humble about? I mean whatever you are, there is no harm in saying what you are. When you are not that, when you do not have that and you say that you have, it is arrogance. But when you are there, you have to say. That Christ said, ‘I am the light, I am the path’. I mean he was not trying to be arrogant about it. What is there to feel bad about it? So Hatha Yoga itself is done under a person who is a realized soul. Not only realized but who knows. Who has mastered the art of Shakti-pat is the raising of the Kundalini. Minimum. Of course, Sahaja Yogis just raise it like that, is different. But not any other Yogis can do that. It is only you, because you are authorized, that you can raise the Kundalini just like that. 

So, what these Hatha-Yogis have done is they have boiled it down to only the physical sense. So, you have to have Ishwarapranidhana, Yama and Niyama and that too before 25 years of age, you have to discipline yourself in a way that you should understand, what is right and what is wrong. Now those who have done all the wrongs of the world before they are 15 years of age, now at the age of 25 are trying to learn what is Yama and Niyama. How can you do it? Tell me now. Supposing you have spoilt the car completely. At the most you can ask for insurance, if you have paid for it. But how can you expect the car to come out absolutely new, as if it has come out from the factory? A horse which has been completely mutilated cannot run a race. Isn’t it? That would be madness. So, one has to understand that these Yama and Niyamas and all these things are not meant for us. At least for the Western people, in any way. Let us accept it whatever it is in experimentation or whatever it is we have committed lots of mistakes or maybe we have been experimenting, again I’ll say the same word. Whatever we have done we have done a lot of harm to ourselves, to our body and to our mind. Because we had nobody to guide us. Alright. We didn’t want to harm ourselves but by mistake it happened. Now what to do?

It is a very sad affair. People are sick. They cannot do Hatha-Yoga. The atmosphere is sick. The whole place is sick. They want love, they do not want exercise. They do not want scouts. They want somebody to love them, to heal them, to cure them to establish them.

There is no word of love in Hatha Yoga these days because you pay for it. One thing you cannot pay for is your love. Isn’t it? How can you pay for love? And that’s why this modern Hatha Yoga is just a misnomer. But after realization you can use Hatha Yoga because you are purified, you are cleansed, you are healed, your wounds are alright. People are wounded, they are so much hurt. They are extremely unhappy. You touch them and you feel it. Why talk about big things when they do not even have energy to sustain themselves? It is a strain on them. And none of them are realized souls nor masters of Shakti-pat. So that’s why it was said, “you go to a Guru who is a realized soul. Go into the jungles before 25 years of age you should be there and practice under his guidance in complete celibacy in the atmosphere of complete celibacy. (27.51)

Now come to Kriya Yoga. When we take to Kriya Yoga, it is taking out the tongue as I said cutting it out and putting it back here to tickle the Vishuddhi Chakra. I mean I don’t know sometimes; your rationality also goes off, I think. By doing anything like that do you think you can excite this great power within you, which is discrimination, which understands each and everything; you cannot befool Her like that. So, all these tricks that we have been trying by ourselves of poking yourself here and poking yourself there, you are just spoiling your instrument for nothing at all. But it happens, when the Kundalini rises through the Vishuddhi chakra, that when the dilation of the Chakra takes place it happens that your tongue is pulled inside. It happens that your eyes get dilated. I hope they do not put Atropine to dilate their eyes to get their Kundalini awakening. So, it happens like that. (Unclear) takes place. The Bandhas take place the stomach holds the kundalini with the Bandhas. It closes down the chakras when the kundalini comes up, it closes itself down automatically so that the energy is kept upwards it is not allowed to fall down. All these things happen within us. These Bandhas happen which some supraconscious people might be seeing and they want to think that if you pull your stomach like this, put your tongue inside. These things happen as a result of kundalini awakening but by doing these things you do not awaken the kundalini. Now did you follow my point? Did you? It is clear now.

And that is why these Kriya yoga’s have started, even the jumping has started. Even the nudity has started. All these things as a result of some people who are trying to raise the kundalini. Even in the centre when it rises all these things happen. But when your health is not alright you are sick, your heart is working, labouring very hard to look after your physical being, you try to make it even weaker by taking these strenuous things. And by using the other way round methods, as I told you, you also spoil your instrument like the electricity has to come so the electricity must flow from there If I start blowing from here or poking from here, with frustration also breaking this one here electricity is not going to come, only this will be finished. Do you follow my clear-cut idea? It is very clear cut that if you try to spoil your own instrument you are not going to get the energy to rise within you.

But if he was a realized soul then he would tell you first of all he may raise of your kundalini, minimum, awaken your kundalini and ask you to make way for the kundalini to rise gradually. Human beings when they raise their kundalini, they raise it by every chakra. They bring the kundalini to, say, Mooladhara, of course they cannot touch so, the kundalini would come up to, say, nabhi at the most. Then how to keep it there so they will say, “eat less, do not take away your attention too much, you must eat very little food so that there is not much attention on food. Keep yourself detached.” This is before 25 years of age. “Do not starve too much. Eat at regular intervals Do not pay much attention to anywhere outside” so that the attention is kept there and the kundalini does not drop down from the little bit, an inch of progress it has made in 25 years.

They are born again and again and they move at the pace of a little ant and they fix your kundalini by nails there and they say don’t lead any adharmic life, you have to lead a very righteous life, like a horse, you see, when you have to train the horse you put these two blinds around so they have to train the horse before it starts really running the race. But with this the most important is the love of the grand parents who are with them, in those days they used to be. To look after the children and the love of the Guru and the training and the discipline of the own self. The gurus who take money from you what are they going to train you up in? Business management or dubious methods or cheating? Their own lives were so beautifully blended with their love, with their knowledge and their whole understanding that it has a direct effect on the character and the personality of the people. Like now in India nobody can write epic like Rama’s. We do not have any Ramas. We won’t have perhaps. Nobody writes, they only write stories. Now we have poems coming out of India like your horrible Lord Byron, he is born in India I think. He has (36.08) left your country. So, like that all the dynamism in literature is also finished because there is no ideal before the people. They cannot think of a perfect personality. So, the epics are different in the same way and when we go to learn these thing to see our Guru (so called) we see their lives. The impression that we have within us is also just the same and they cannot teach anything unless and until they themselves have the light.

Now this Kriya Yoga is also just the same thing. It is described by great saints in India that these Jalunder yoga and all this. Jalunder (mun…) and all this Bandhas take place, means the bondage take place in the stomach in the heart and all these granthis are broken and all these things are described. Yes, it happens in you also when the kundalini rises. It does happen because I am quite a big master. I do everything myself. I don’t leave anything to you, till you have got it. Only this thing you have to do is to be absolutely freely choosing the path of self-realization. That’s the only thing you have to do “to be absolutely free”. In all your freedom you have to accept Sahaja Yoga. And if I find you have not chosen it by your freedom you get out of it, very fast, you won’t be there. You will simply run away. If not, I will see to it that you run away.

So, one has to understand all these Margas, all these paths, even like Bhakti. I have told you about three types of bhaktas. Are the one’s asking for (kamart……) So many have come to me for, say, cures, so many of them. It is a good thing. That’s a good chance for me. Then they get cured; then they have that love since they are Mumukshus and they can become very great Sahaja yogis. In India there are many who have come like that they first come for treatment and become very great Sahaja yogis. So, they can pass through all these various stages.

So, one has to understand that this is the time of Mahayoga. Where all these Antar yoga means all these happenings inside takes place automatically. I have something to do with your kundalini very much and she knows me very well too. So much so that as soon as she sees Me, she is up there so happy. And the first impact is so great you feel she is got it. She rises with such thumping joy, you get it. But again, you go back to your crutches, even you have lost all your troubles and everything finished.

Now still you want to have your crutches because you are identified with them. So, you go back to your crutches and again want to become lame. This is just acting going on for some time. But if you act for a long period you become lame. Because you have been playing games, you see. And now the game is over. So, you have to accept yourself that you are great. And that you have got it now within yourself. It is there now you are a light. You have to accept that you are a light now. You are not the same you were before and you are transformed into this flower. You should have faith in yourself and confidence in you Because you have been so far identified with people like that with bad experiences, indifferent experiences, you do not want to believe that there could be an experience of that kind. You do not want to accept it. But if you understand it a little bit you will settle down nicely and I am here to make you the master of it absolutely the complete mastery over all this.

When this Maha yoga comes in, you do not have to worry about anything else. All the yoga’s are at your feet. You just raise your hands just like this and the kundalini will rise. It is a fact you just try. Anybody is sick, you put your hands like this the person is going to be alright. Try yourself.

This is Maha yoga. The culmination point of Sahaja Yoga. Once you achieve it then you don’t have to do anything else. Then you become that because only everything works for the Becoming and if there is something that just gives you the whole thing, then why should you do it. (42.41) All things that have happened to you after you have come to sahaja yoga I am going to give you a list of those and what are they are called
in Sanskrit language.

Thousands of years people have had to work for it. But you have got it just like that. it is a fact. It is difficult to accept that you have got just like that without doing any hard any big exercises, is not it. But just wait and see what you have got. Of course, some people do not get it because there is a problem. Some problem is there. Doesn’t matter, it will work out. But those who get it should know that they have got it because of something and that something you have to discover. That is what you have to find out for yourself. There is a reason why you have got it like that. Like mantras also you see, somebody told me that there is a guru who gives mantras according to the age. It is all nonsense. Complete nonsense it is with age. You see, even a realized soul would not give you a mantra, that is why it was regarded as a great thing if somebody gave you a mantra. Now every Dick, Tom and Harry like a donkey brazen your ears and you think, it’s a very big mantra. I won’t tell you anything. What mantra I have got. They are trying to befool you; they do not know they are befooling themselves. Whatever they have done they will have to pay very heavily.

So, mantras are never given just like that you have to know various points of a person, as to, what is your kula-devata, the worship of your family, what is your personal worshipping God, what is your horoscope, what are the stars you are catching. At this point giving of the mantras, the time is to be determined, at a particular time of the horoscope what is the time of the horoscope that tallies with the Guru’s horoscope also. That is why people used to have hardly one or two people. Even a person like Gyaneshwara gave a name to only one person in his life time. Here these Dick, Tom and Harry are giving names like they are distributing, I do not know what? Nothing is more easily available more than these names of horrible things which have no meaning. If I told these Indians they will know. (Mother speaks Hindi) (46.59) End of talk 1.

You should have some sort of an authority which you can use and every mantra which you say will be awakened. You know that after realization it is such a wonderful thing to see that even if you are not yet out of your possession still you work it out. Still nothing happens to your kundalini raising system, nothing happens to that, still you can raise the kundalini. Isn’t it? Still you can give realization to people. You may be possessed all this time, fighting with the spirit but here with one hand you are raising kundalini automatically.

There are lots of spirits which are trying to possess you. You are feeling them with one hand that side and with one hand you are raising the kundalini. Nothing would go wrong with the person whose kundalini you are raising. To that purity. Otherwise to give mantra and to take mantra a person has to starve for seven days. Not to see a man’s face or a woman’s face. All sorts of vidhis ( ) are there, then only you can get it. There some people tell the disciple to wash their hands 108 times every day. All sorts of these neti kriyas and all that has to be done before a mantra is given. it is a big ritual. Why ? Because you are so vulnerable. It is like a phosphorus. And you cannot put phosphorous into some body’s hand. You have to make all arrangements till you can do it safely.

But supposing you become all powerful then what ? Everything becomes a child’s play. Everything becomes so simple. You are raising the kundalini. You know there are centres. You can raise it through the centres. You know how to awaken them. That is why it is Mahayoga.

It had to be this way, sometime, otherwise how are we going to save this world ? How this creation is to be justified ? We have to find. I mean God has to find some method by which all of you who are seeking Him are to be blessed, and that he should be manifested so that His work should be completed.

So this is Mahayoga which encompasses all the yoga’s. There is no need, now to go to stone ages to come back to human stage. It is something like that. Or else you can say that now if I have to go to India, I need not go like Columbus and end up in America.

Somebody who knows the way has come to you. Who knows everything. All about it. Somebody who has done all this who knows all the tricks of trade and also knows you very well, though still I am learning.

About human beings I have still to learn a lot. They can be quite queer. I do not know why they behave like this. Cannot understand, Oh God It is a great revelation sometimes when you see human beings, how they behave. Very interesting. Very interesting creature, I must say, they never behave the same way. You cannot predict. Most unpredictable. Do not know, what they will come out with ? Very interesting. After Sahaja yoga you will also enjoy very much.

This is about so many yoga’s I have told you. Now if you have any questions ask me sensible ones, again I say. Ask me questions because I have told you in a short way but later I will give you the complete idea.

May God bless you !


Now this lama business is all wrong; all I must say very frankly. They do some tricks to spoil this instrument. Hypnotize. Do all kinds of things. It has brought about lots of problems. Now everybody has got it. You have not got it so it is a little problem, does not matter. You have to little bit cooperate with me and you will get it. You must get it. It is my desire. That is your desire also. We meet on this point.

Kundalini is the desire of God. Is not desire for God-is the desire of God itself. So it can be only awakened by that desire. It is the desire of God within you that is being blessed and the desire of God is the shakti. And the desire of God is that He loves you. His desire is to give you all His powers and all his loving capacity. This is His desire. It is placed within you and is dormant. So when it rises, His desire is fulfilled. And that is how you get your fulfillment. Unless and until you are God, you cannot command desire of God. But after realization He gives you, bestows His power that you can manoeuvre His desire. You can raise the kundalini in the people which is the desire of God. And you can make Him desire. That is the greatest one can achieve.