Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Lessons of Ananda Marga

1. First Lesson - Iishvara Pranidhana

The First Lesson is the practical application of Iishvara Pranidhana mentioned under Yama and Niyama. “Here the flow of mind is directed towards the Goal by the application of a personal mantra repeated at a specific chakra. These are known as the Ishta Mantra and Ishta Chakra respectively, and are given according to one’s individual psychic vibration. The mind is usually attached to the different objects of the world. For optimum concentration it must be withdrawn from these objects before it can be directed internally. For this purpose the shuddhis (phases of withdrawal) are also taught. There are three shuddhis:” [1]

1 Bhuta Shuddhi: Once seated in a meditated posture one begins the process of withdrawing the mind from the body and the external influences of the physical world.

2 Asana Shuddhi: Withdrawal of the mind from the body and concentrating the mind on a point known as the Ishta Chakra, the controlling point of the mind. This point varies from person to person.

3 Citta Shuddhi: Once the mind has been withdrawn from the body, move the mind towards the Ishta Chakra. When reaching the Ishta Chakra, then ideate that you are surrounded by Cosmic Consciousness.

4 `Dhyana Ideation: Identifying with the spiritual concept of the Ishta Mantra, that is, to merge the atman with Brahma. This leads one to a transcendental state of infinite Ananda.
A word on the Ishta Mantra; the Ishta Mantra is only given by the Guru. The Ishta mantra is very important and special because it is empowered by the Guru.

The technique of repeating the Ishta Mantra is not only concerned with its sound vibration, but its meaning is of utmost importance. When repeat the mantra, one must ideate on its meaning.

All lessons must be taught by an acharya of Ananda Marga.

2. Second Lesson

This is the practical application of Brahmacharya which is the fourth point of Yama. It involves the use of a personal mantra called Guru Mantra to inculcate the feeling of cosmic ideation whenever any mental or physical action is performed. This extends the meditation process to cover all the events of one’s daily life.

Advice on Second Lesson:

1 Repeat the Guru Mantra before taking your meal.

2 Repeat the Guru Mantra before doing a task. For example you can repeat your Guru Mantra before starting to do your work at the computer or your might want to mentally repeat your Guru Mantra right before sitting down to read this Blog.

3 Repeat the Guru Mantra every time you think of someone you do not like and this helps you understand everything with clarity.

4 “Everything is made of Brahma.” [3] Brahma has assumed the shape of everything. When viewing an object you can mentally take Guru Mantra and think that the object is Brahma remembering that the object and Brahma are not separate.

3. Third Lesson - Tattva Dharana

Tattva Dharana is technique in which it strengthens the mind and brings about control of the chakras. This control of the chakras assists in regulating the energy flows in the body.

Since the chakras from muladhara to vishuddha control the pancha bhutas of the body and the first 48 vrittis this practice of Tattva Dharana gives the ability to control the mental propensities and balance the pancha bhutas.

4. Fourth Lesson - Prán’áyáma

The mind controls the Jnanendriyas (5 Cognitive Senses: smelling, tasting, seeing, touching and hearing) and Karmendriyas (5 Active Expressions: eliminating, reproduction, moving, grasping, speaking), and the prán’áh (vital force, air flow) controls the mind, hence by controlling the prán’áh, one is able to control the mental activities.

“If you wish to increase your apperceptive power you must control the prán’áh.” [4] Apperception is the ability to perceive or understand; keen in discernment. It is like having a "a perceptive eye" or a "a perceptive observation."

Fourth Lesson is a prán’áyáma called Sádhárana Prán’áyáma, used in order to control the prán’áh. “Through regular practice the mind will become concentrated.” Fourth lesson is meant for sádhakas that have obtained Tantric Diksha.

5. Fifth Lesson - Chakra Shodhana

Fifth Lesson is called Chakra Shodhana, literally meaning "purification of the chakras." It is also a type of Dharana because it too involves concentration of mind at the bindu of the chakras. Chakras are the controlling points of the mind and body. By applying one’s mental strength, using one’s Ishta Mantra in a special way, the chakras are purified.

Advice on Fifth Lesson:

In Chakra Shodhana focus on the bindu of each chakra; this is very important when the focus is completely one-pointed on the bindu!


1 Initiation and the Lessons of Meditation by Acarya Gunamuktananda Avadhuta
2 The 6 Lessons of Sahaja Yoga
3 Ánanda Márga Elementary Philosophy by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti,
4 Ananda Márga Caryácarya Part III