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The Solar Path of Liberation by Swami Nirmalananda Giri

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The book Om Yoga – Its Theory and Practice by Swami Nirmalananda Giri contains a section called “The Solar Path of Liberation”. This section shares knowledge from the inner yoga teachings and Upanishads about the significance of the Sun. “As the germinating seed struggles upward toward the sun and out into its life-giving rays, so all higher forms of life reach out for the sun, which acts as a metaphysical magnet, drawing them upward and outward toward ever-expanding consciousness. Sunlight is the radiant form of Om, so the sun initiates the entire solar system into Om.”

Om Yoga – Its Theory and Practice: The Solar Path of Liberation

by Swami Nirmalananda Giri

All plant, animal, and human life on this planet depends upon the sun. It is the subtle powers of sunlight which stimulate growth and evolution. Sunlight particularly stimulates the activity of the higher centers in the brain, especially that of the pineal gland. Even in the depths of the earth a sensitive man can tell when the sun rises and sets above him. The sun truly awakens us in the deepest sense. As the germinating seed struggles upward toward the sun and out into its life-giving rays, so all higher forms of life reach out for the sun, which acts as a metaphysical magnet, drawing them upward and outward toward ever-expanding consciousness. Sunlight is the radiant form of Om, so the sun initiates the entire solar system into Om.

Human beings are solar creatures, therefore to intone Om is natural to them. Again, the Amritabindu Upanishad says: “By means of Om he [the meditating yogi] sees the way, the way along which his prana goes. Therefore one should always repeat It [Om] so that he goes along the right way: through the heart-gate, the air-gate, the gate which leads upward, and the opening of the gate of liberation which is known as the open orb [the sun.]” (Amritabindu Upanishad 25, 26)

The gate of liberation! When the individual comes into manifestation on this earth he passes from the astral world into the material plane by means of the sun, which is a mass of exploding astral energies, not mere flaming gases. And when the individual has completed his course of evolution within this plane, upon the death of his body he rises upward in his subtle body and passes through the sun into the higher worlds, there to evolve even higher or to pass directly into the depths of the transcendent Brahman.

To ensure that this will take place, the Om Yogi practices the japa and meditation of Om, for the Chandogya Upanishad tells us that Om and the sun are identical in essence, “for the sun is continually sounding ‘Om.’” (Chandogya Upanishad 1.5.1) That is, the energy of the sun is a manifestation of Om. Scientists have only recently discovered this phenomenon. On page 16 of the July 2004 issue of National Geographic we find this: “Bubbles the size of Texas cover the sun’s face…. Called granules, the short-lived cells of plasma carry heat to the surface through convection, the same way water boils in a pot. The rise and fall of granules creates sound waves, which cause the sun to throb like a drum every five minutes.” Om yogis intone Om in time with their breath, for the upanishad further tells us that “the breath is continually sounding ‘Om.’” (Chandogya Upanishad 1.5.3) The solar energies and the breath are also intimately connected.

Our life depends on the light of the sun, so it is also a manifestation of the power of Om. The japa and meditation of Om aligns us with the solar powers that are Om and thereby greatly increase our life force and the evolution of all the levels of our being.

Om Yoga prepares us for the Great Departure. As the Chandogya Upanishad also says: “Even as a great extending highway runs between two villages, this one and that yonder, even so the rays of the sun go to both these worlds, this one and that yonder. They start from the yonder sun and enter into the nadis. They start from the nadis and enter into the yonder sun. …When a man departs from this body, then he goes upwards by these very rays or he goes up with the thought of Om. As his mind is failing, he goes to the sun. That, verily, is the gateway of the world, an entering in for the knowers, a shutting out for the non-knowers.” (Chandogya Upanishad 8.6.2,5)

The solar rays do not just flow into this world, they also draw upward through the sun and beyond. In the human body the process of exhalation and inhalation is related to solar energy, and much of the solar power on which we subsist is drawn into the body through our breathing. Which is why Giri Bala (see Autobiography of a Yogi, Chapter Forty-Six) employed a special form of breathing to live without eating. The solar rays do not just strike the surface of our body, but penetrate into the physical nerves–nadis. The nadis are also the channels in the astral body that correspond to the physical nerves. Just as the electrical impulses flow through the physical nerves, the subtle solar life force, or prana, flows through the subtle nadis and keeps us alive and functioning. And as we have already seen, the breath, as it flows, is always sounding Om. The breath, then, is a vehicle for the solar energies that produce evolution, and we increase its effect through the japa and meditation of Om.

The continual intonation of Om, both in and outside of meditation, conditions our subtle levels so that at the time of death we will be oriented toward the solar powers and can ascend upon them–especially if we continue our intonations of Om even after the body has been dropped. Those intonations will guarantee our ascent into the solar world. Those who have imbued themselves with the Pranavic vibrations will enter through the solar gate, whereas those who have not done so will be shut out by it and compelled to return to earthly rebirth. “At the time of departure from this world, remember Om, the Lord, the Protector.” (Yajur Veda 40:15) Whatever we think of most during life we will think of at the time of our death. This is affirmed by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita (8:5-10): “At the hour of death, when a man leaves his body, he must depart with his consciousness absorbed in Me. Then he will be united with Me. Be certain of that. Whatever a man remembers at the last, when he is leaving the body, will be realized by him in the hereafter; because that will be what his mind has most constantly dwelt on, during this life. Therefore you must remember Me at all times, and do your duty. If your mind and heart are set upon Me constantly, you will come to Me. Never doubt this. Make a habit of practicing meditation, and do not let your mind be distracted. In this way you will come finally to the Lord, Who is the light-giver, the highest of the high.” And the Prashna Upanishad (5:5,7): “If he meditates on the Supreme Being with the Syllable Om, he becomes one with the Light, the Sun. He is led to the world of Brahman. He sees the Person that dwells in the body, Who is higher than the highest life. …That the wise one attains, even by the mere sound Om as support, That Which is tranquil, unaging, immortal, fearless, and supreme.”

Those who continually invoke and meditate upon Om during their lifetime will remember Om at the time of death, and by means of Om will ascend to the sun and beyond into the real Beyond. “As it is said: ‘Indeed the sun is this Om;’ therefore one should meditate and make himself ready to unite himself with it.” (Maitrayana Upanishad 6:3)

Source: http://www.atmajyoti.org/pdfs/om_yoga_book.pdf

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This entry was posted on Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 at 4:00 am and is filed under Articles, eBooks.

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