Talks with Babaji

You have said that very few people who practice yoga and meditation actually have their kundalini rise. If we do these practices and begin to calm and purify the mind, will there eventually be some experience that will develop?

In Tantra system, purification is the main object. Mantra, mandala, mudra: three instruments are used. By regular practice of tantra, the mind starts separating from all worldly desires. Tantra is a method for those who want to achieve liberation but can't control the senses. So tantra puts the practitioner, the senses, and the sense objects together. If a person has a great craving for pizza and somehow they see a great heap of pizza in front of them, then the craving will subside. Tantra works that way. Your senses and sense objects are together, but the mind is purified by Tantric practices so the craving for sensual objects starts diminishing. By practicing Tantric methods with a right aim, a practitioner will develop higher knowledge. Tantra means that practice which sharpens and expands spiritual wisdom.

While you are in the process of purification, what is the kundalini doing at that time? Does it remain dormant until the purification is complete?

Kundalini awakens when all the nerve channels are purified. Tantra teaches that there are 72,000 nerve channels through the body. Kundalini is a dormant energy seated in Muladhara chakra. It can awaken accidentally, by certain herbs, by Tantric practices.

Is the awakening of kundalini always very dramatic or can it be very subtle so that you are hardly aware of it?

It depends on a practitioner's emotional state. In some it is dramatic and violent, and in some gradual.

Are the impurities of the nerve channels something that we are born with or something that we develop during life?

Impurities are imbalances of vata, pitta and kapha. And also, ego, attachment and desire. We are born with impurity of ego, attachment and desire. Those impurities increase when the mind gets involved in worldliness.

I get the feeling that depending on an individual's impurities are, that there may be an specific set of asanas. mantras, mudras, herbs or poisons that would be most appropriate for their purification. Is this so?

Everyone is different in physical build and mental make-up, so people choose the methods like asana, pranayama, mudras, etc. which are comfortable to them. But in the beginning, all can do the same practices. Only in advanced stage they create their own sadhana.

Do these yantras have a symbology of their own or do you have to understand the symbols for them to have significance?

They are read like a book. Each mandala is a book. You read its gross, subtle, and causal meaning. Each mandala has a presiding deity and a mantra. Mandala term means circle. The bindu expands and turns into a triangle. The side of the triangles bulge out and becomes a circle. Symbols are created by human mind. Unseen, formless energy is seen and given a form in a shape of mandala.

How do we practically apply the use of a yantra?

By meditating on the pattern. By knowing how to read them. How the energy is expanding and making shapes. The mind concentrates on that.

Could you comment on Bhairavi, the terrible aspect of the goddess?

Bhairavi is the fearful goddess, the power of death. Destruction begins from the very first moment of birth. Death is ever present in everything. Bhairavi is a fearful-looking female servant of Shiva and of Durga.

What is the cause of the obstacles to sadhana?

The cause is the ego. The ego appears in so many faces. If the ego is removed, then the whole tree of obstacles will fall down. Patanjali gives nine obstacles with five symptoms (Yoga Sutras I: 30,31).

Would you relate samskaras to this? How do they fit in?

Samskaras are in the ego. As soon as the idea of I-am-ness dawns, the person starts creating samskaras. All positivities are samskara too, but the ego of individuality in positive samskara gets weaker and they do not obstruct in one's self-development.

Is that similar to karma?

Karma is also a name for samskaras. In the west, they use karma term. Karma means action and the print of action in the mind. That is why karma is used for samskara.

Could you comment please on surrendering to God? Sometimes I have trouble with that concept.

Surrendering to God means keeping divine presence in your heart all the time. In practice, whatever we do, we offer it to God. That creates surrender. As long as we keep the ego of being a doer or performer, we do not surrender. We surrender when we start experiencing ourselves as an instrument of God in performing action.