The Great Perfection is a living embodiment of Mahamudra, i.e. the Great Attitude. Mahasandhi, the Great Perfection, is a practical vehicle for practicing of Laya Yogis. Mahamudra is the basis of this path, as is Samnyasa – the last vehicle of discipleship on the Laya Path. The commandment „Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect” may be a credo guiding the adept on the path, although only few take this commandment of Jesus Christ completely seriously.
The key concepts that introduce Mahamudra and, at the same time, the First Secret Laya Yoga and the vehicle of Yogacharyas are: darśana, bhavana, charya and phala. They show four aspects of spiritual realization of the Great Absorption, Mahalaya. At the same time, these aspects are both pillars and stages or levels of practicing of the Secret Laya Yoga as Mahamudra.
- DARŚANA – it is right view, right seeing, and essentially the gaze. Looking, gazing or seeing is the essential meaning of this pillar or step. It can be said that this is the proper attitude of the observer focused in the guru’s vision. Exercises such as trataka on figure of guru are a very helpful introduction. Seeing the divine, seeing the beauty of the inner being, seeing from the point of view of a realized being, all this allows you to enter where the Great Beings already are.
- BHAVANA – [bhāvana] literally: becoming, causing being in the abode of one’s own nature. Proper meditation, the practice of concentration bringing bliss and the disappearance of any troubles. The world becomes funny, we are like children in the world, having fun with every event. Even tragedies are seen as funny events. Divine Humour and the bliss of play of the soul embodied in matter. What is observed becomes our reality. We play with this game of events and situations. We feel the space, listen to the space and experience Nirvana – a painless response to the world and events.
- CHARYA – [chārya] is a deep awareness of the spiritual mission and activity aimed at maintaining the right direction, i.e. fulfilling one’s mission in life. Action and wandering along the trails marked by the need to fulfil one’s own purpose in life. Each soul discovers the mission for which it came to earth and fulfils its task. Charya also means conscious service to fulfil the mission of one’s guru. Correct action means fulfilling one’s task, realizing the internally discovered life mission, and also fulfilling the will or request of one’s guru. The entire way of life is oriented to serve the fulfilment of the spiritual mission.
- PHALA – is a fruit, result, final stage, effect. What is the fruit of the previous pillars? The implementation of the individual task of our soul/self makes us to finally achieve an understanding of the purpose of existence in general, and the soul fulfils its cosmic task. Returning to the House of the Heavenly Father becomes possible because there is nothing that would keep us here. The soul does not return to Paradise until it has completed its work, a task it undertook before we embarked on our incarnations on the material world. The complete freedom of the soul from its obligations is the fruit of the spiritual path.
Cultivating these four aspects and degrees of teachings constitutes Mahamudra when it is the formal practice of an adept, and Mahasandhi when we embody these aspects in our lives with direct awareness of the guru as Ishvara (God – the Ideal in the heart).
The practice of Mahamudra also includes four states of existence: sitting (including lying down), walking (including running), eating (including digestion), and excretion (including cleansing).
The essence of the samnyasa process in Laya Yoga, which is the basis for the practice of Secret Laya Yoga, is Absorbing Renunciation. God (Iśvara) longs for you with all his Omnipotence. Ishvara is the Original Buddha (Adi Buddha), Lord, Ruler and God (Brahma) at the same time. You are his creation. He left you the freedom of choice. If you choose the Lord, He immediately draws closer to you and accepts you with the strength of all his longing. His longing (Isha) causes you to become Absorbed into God. This is Layam!
Free will is the only obstacle. It is the will to live individual, selfish life, the will of earlier made choices and commitments. Essentially, it is the will, the desire for a separate (egoistic) existence. Tanha, the will to live separately, leads us to loneliness and atheism, to denying the existence of God.
If you understand this precept (instruction) and constantly maintain it destroying the will (desire, lust) for individual life, you will immediately be Absorbed by Ishwara, by the affairs of the Lord. Surrender your life, surrender yourself completely into God’s hands. Give up on yourself completely. Few understand these instructions, and even fewer follow them. Samnyasa is overcoming the fear of removing the greatest obstacle, the root of EGO, which is free will and the need for a separate, selfish life.
Thus, the renunciation of the last vehicle of student becomes a good basis for further travel on the path. Generally, the Mahamudra student uses the synthesis of the practices of the first class of yoga as his vehicle of practice, and the Mahasandhi student builds on the second class of yoga in a similar way. The main note of the first one is samadhi – concentration in the light of the goal, while the note of the second is kriya – inner action, serving from the bottom of the heart.
The practice of Mahamudra removes the four types of Disturbing Forces (chaturmāra) over time. These forces are respectively: skandha, klesha, mrityu and devaputra – mara. The four aspects of cleansing can be an excellent model for a yogic training program that is intended to lead to deep cleansing.
- SKANDHA-MARA – obscurations of five components of psychophysical nature, bhutendriya; obscurations of our embodiment; obstacles of the body and corporeality.
- KLEŚA – obscuration of emotional defilements and passions; obscurations from the nature of passions and desires.
- MRITYU – obscuration of the disturbing power of death; obscuration of the death drive and the fear of losing life (which is an illusion resulting from separation).
- DEVAPUTRA – obscurations of divine pride and lust; obscurations resulting from divine desires and divine longing (isha) and from the sense of one’s own divinity (daivarupa, angelic nature), such as ‘I am better than others because I am developing spiritually’ (haughtiness), etc.
Mara (māra) is something like embodied evil, so we cleanse ourselves from the contamination that leads to hell, we cleanse ourselves from evil. The four types of temptation come from the four types of impurities, which must be overcome and removed using the appropriate pillars of Mahamudra.
Fruits of Darśana
The greatest fruit of darshana is the emergence of the four divine virtues called Brahmavihara (see The Fundamentals of the Ethics of Yoga and Religion (11)). We mean maitri (friendship), karuna (sympathy), mudhita (joy) and upaksha (tolerance). Brahmavihara appears spontaneously as a result of practicing connection with one’s Guru (Ishvara) through a process called DARŚANA. So it is sometimes understood that Brahmavihara is the initial stage of Mahamudra realization. The ability (gift) to remain in the awareness of one’s Guru is also the first siddhi (miraculous power) that opens the gate to remaining yogic powers.
In the vehicle of Yogacharyas, four modes of action are activated, which are signs of being a Sadguru (Ishvara, Gureshvara), i.e. a competent Spiritual Guide. These qualities are cultivated among all Laya Yoga acharyas. Here we have:
- SOOTHING (the ability to calm down and bring solace to aspirants of the path who need support);
- ENRICHMENT (the ability to give what is needed, what is currently required, giving from inspiration);
- CONTROL (ability to control the situation and authority over ongoing transformation processes);
- ANIHILATION (the ability to destroy, break down the ego and its shells, recognising the „channels” and „tricks” of ego).
With time of practice, the mere presence of the Yogacharya (Sadguru) will perform these four transformative actions on the ardent adepts of the path of spiritual development.
Realisation of Mahamudra
Mahamudra is called the Supreme Attitude or the Great Seal. This Great and Practical Gesture is based on the Samnyasin’s Renunciation. Mahamudra belongs to Advaita, the school of non-dual consciousness, and therefore angelic, devaic. The unity of pure current consciousness on the one hand, and liberation from the conditions of the past on the other hand, guarantees success in this type of path of practice. Awareness of the nature of space and energy of Akasha practiced in Kriya Yoga, is also needed.
The fruits of the path called Mahamudra come through practice using helpful means of fulfilment or realisation of Mahamudra. In particular, we highlight three helpful means of this secret vehicle of practice:
- MUDRA – it is an attitude, and especially a gesture, which, by the power of a divine pattern releases a certain mood or energy of Heaven. The gesture creates a mood that is the power of the carried vibration of the Spirit. A Spiritual Ideal, such as a guru, deva (angel) or idam (guardian of the path), each celestial pattern has specific gestures that produce an energetic vibration of freedom and love. The mudra includes asana as its background. Gestures or movements of the hands and torso are also included, and sometimes also leg position. Mastering the lotus position is necessary to practice most mudras. Mudra seals the body and heart, protecting them from contamination.
- MANTRA – it is a sound, the power of the spoken word, the vibration of a sacred phrase, the power of the word blessed by the Guru at the moment of initiation. One should never chant mantras without the blessing of one’s guru and without hearing the instruction with one’s own ears. The practice of mantras can only be transmitted orally. Work with sound is divided into three aspects: śabdha is sound vibrated with the help of one’s own voice, artha is a word contemplated in thought, usually in the rhythm of breathing (mental practice); and pratyaya is receiving an echo, a reflection of resonance from deep inside, feeling after loud or mental practice. The most important work is to vibrate loudly and receive silently (Shabdha-Prathyaya Japa).
- YANTRA – a symbol or sign with a precisely defined action, which is used to focus the gaze or imagination. Visualizing the sign of power brings protection to the mind (psyche) and body. Yantra is a symbol of the House of Heaven (angels or gurus), a symbolic key to activating a certain spiritual power or quality. There is a large collection of yogic secret signs of power with various effects.
Mudra, mantra and yantra refer to three gates of the human being, which are body (kaya), speech (vak) and consciousness (chitta), respectively. Hum!
Many Blessings on your Path to Awakening and Realization!
Om Namaśśivaya! Hum!
Acharyacharya Swami Lalita-Mohan G.K.