By Yogi Ashwini of Dhyan Ashram

Let me explain this with the help of the example of a rishi who left his family and house to do dhyan in the Himalayas. The rishi followed a niyam of offering milk to the Shivling every day. As he went to the Himalayas, commoners from nearby villages would bring him milk and he would carry on with his practice. Once no one came to give the milk. In the absence of milk, the rishi offered water to the Shivling. However, it soon became a common occurrence, the villagers would often forget to bring him milk. The rishi then decided to keep a cow so that he does not have to depend on the villagers. When he went to the village to get the cow, the villagers advised him to also take a lady with him to take care of the cow as he would be in dhyan for long hours. The rishi agreed. Five years passed. The villagers then asked the rishi to marry the lady since no one else would take her. The rishi agreed. He married her and they had a family. So, whatever he had left, was created back again for him because of his one thought. That is why it is said, ‘yogah chitt vritti nirodh’. One needs to silence the modifications of the mind to access what lies beyond the five senses. Vaanprastha is the preparatory stage, which further leads to sanyas.

After a stage a yogi needs to limit his/her interactions with normal people. There is a story in the Mandukya Upanishad about a group of rishis who used to live in the Himalayas. One day these rishis suddenly realised that their bodies had started ageing. (A Yogi’s body does not age. He/she leaves the body in full consciousness and strength, being aware of where he/she is going.) The rishis then had a discussion on the possible reasons for aging. They realised that this happened as they left their Himalayan abode to settle in the villages resulting in increased interactions with normal people.  When you have interaction with normal people, there is intermingling of thoughts and energy patterns. And then the body begins to exhibit the symptoms of a normal human being - eat, drink and make merry. Vedic masters say, and modern science agrees, that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. When you resort to pleasures of the five senses, as an equal and opposite reaction, the body begins to age. This aging has to be held back to garner the energy to make the final journey beyond the five senses and also take the deserving shishyas beyond. So, during the phase of vanprastha, you limit your interactions otherwise the body ages very fast.

Now let me give you the traits of a guru – a guru is someone who does not charge you a fee because someone who is him/herself tied in maya cannot release you, he/she exudes the glow and attraction associated with yog, diseases disappear in his/her presence, whatever he/she says happens, and he/she is sthir in the five yams. So, my suggestion is look for a guru, give the subject priority and you will be called on board on this beautiful journey called yog.


Tags: Yogi Ashwini