Q How is YOGA a Jewel for the world?
Kaliji: It is the answer to the question of life ~ the why, the how, and the who-am-I questions. It is the path to Self-Realization. It is the path to health, to mastery of the mind, and ultimately to moksha – liberation of the soul from body/mind identification. All knowledge is available through the control of the great instrument of the mind where one can access the intuitive mind through reflecting the universal mind called mahat.
The discipline of yoga sadhana is second to none. It is the ultimate control of body, breath, and mind. It is a lifetime endeavor. It reveals the purpose of life, the path to this exalted state called samadhi, turiya, and enlightenment.
In yoga philosophy it is stated that three bodies surround the atman, soul. One body is subtler than the next. Within these three bodies there are five koshas or coverings of the soul. In the systematic system that yoga presents, one can involute from the outer to the inner states of reality to ultimately resonate with the ageless truth, the essence of our being, sat cit ananda. Our soul embodies these three divine qualities or attributes of existence, knowledge, and bliss.
There is no other parallel system as defined as the path of yoga. There is no corner unturned in unraveling the layers of mind. At the very core of this mind, one realizes the ever-shining atman as the generating force ~ that which is and has forever been.
Through the wonders of this creation, humankind has evolved outer consciousness, often leaving behind awareness of the inner states of consciousness. Thus, the result has often been associated with the seemingly endless cycle of pleasure and pain, unconscious birth and death. All the while, the all-knowing atman appears to remain in the dark while the jewels of truth remain hidden deep within the mysteries of the mind. It is through the science of yoga that one can embark upon the direct path of the never changing universal truth. The yogis call this ultimate reality, non-dualism.
In today’s world, we see the potential for destruction on both a personal level and on a global level. Humankind is seeking solace to this ever-changing world. Their view of themselves is awakening to a greater potential. Never before has the awakening been searched to such a mass level. Polls in U.S.A show the belief system is now shifting to a wider view. The new paradigm is calling us to take action. Self-help books to enlightening words from the masters are echoed throughout all corners of the world. Yoga is growing in leaps and bounds. The age of information has taken birth. The ageless truth is being spoken in various ways, through different voices. But nothing is more clear than the path of yoga, where both knowledge and the techniques to challenge the old ways are now practiced by greater numbers of people. The time of mass awakening is here.
In the dark of the night, a candle is seen with greater ease than in the changing colors of the day. Yoga is the balancing side that gives a path for all to follow. Whether one’s temperament is of a jnana nature, with discriminating enquiry, or a more devotional heart, or a karma yogi who seeks nothing for her/himself, the paths in yoga cover all aspects for a seeker. Soon to realize the purna yoga, the complete yoga delivers the totality of humankind to embrace their highest, more evolved nature.
There is no knowledge outside the great universal mind. It is a matter of quieting the thinking mind so the inherent ageless truth will shine like the sun, with the various rays of knowledge, bringing light to all areas of being. Enter the inner path through preparing with the great health system of yoga; then evolving to the sublime states of meditation to realize yoga is the jewel available for all.
Q. Why did you start to practice Yoga and by what reason did you decide to become a yoga teacher – and not a yoga instructor?
Kaliji: It is only natural to share what I breathe. It was like a call to duty. My life’s purpose (dharma) is to share TriYoga. It is available to all ages, conditions, and cultures. It is universal in its comprehensive approach.
With TriYoga being revealed through kriyavati (spontaneous yogasana, pranayama, and mudra during a trance state of consciousness), it was clear that TriYoga was for the welfare of others. Students began asking me to teach what they witnessed flowing through this body during these experiences. With the spontaneous revelation of TriYoga, this is not something I could have thought of or decided to teach. Every sign appeared showing the way.
It has been a natural unfoldment to share the principles of yoga even before I heard of ‘yoga’. This began in childhood where young friends would join me for various spiritual activities. I would share stories about the subtle world and expressed the essence was not to get attached to worldly things. There is something far greater and we’ve come here to discover it. These inspirations began while sitting quietly in a dark secluded area near my home. These began at a time prior to entering as a first grade student in school. Teaching has always been with me. It comes from deep within my consciousness.
Yoga is the universal language. To be part of sharing this innate way of being is a blessing. Yoga is the greatest gift to share. It is an opportunity for pure karma yoga, selfless service, expecting nothing in return. Many times I hear yoga teachers say they were pleasantly ‘surprised’ that they have been called from within to share the yoga lifestyle in their own capacity. There is a saying “There is a teacher for every level”. Today in the yoga world we see yoga instructors and yoga teachers awakening to this inner calling to share what has inspired them through the voice of yoga.
Q How did you develop your own form of yoga, TriYoga?
Kaliji: I could have never anticipated or dreamed this would happen. It was never my thought to teach hatha yoga. Thus, I never sought out a teacher training. In early life, I naturally taught a philosophy that embraced the yoga wisdom even though yoga was not known to me at that time. As a young child, I was drawn into meditation. Throughout childhood, my time was devoted to self-inquiry, always seeking the answer to ‘why are we here’ and ‘who am I’. Each time, a blissful feeling would emerge when I’d ask these questions. This was the guiding force. This was prompted by an instinct to sit quietly and immerse in the inner calm. From the endless quiet moments and self-inquiry of ‘who am I’, the day came when the mother goddess in the form of universal energy awakened.
At the moment of the first kundalini awakening, I was sincerely with all my heart asking the Divine through prayer ‘what is the source of happiness’. What followed was the soundless answer in the form of kundalini moving from the base of my spine to the crown of my head. Over 12-hours the ‘I’ dissolved into this universal energy. There were no thoughts, no sense of time. Only the blissful flow of energy revealing the source of happiness within. From this experience, jnana filled my mind and my life began to reflect this truth.
Five years later when this body was 25 years old, I was teaching a meditation class. On that auspicious evening I spoke on the need to be able to sit still to assist the mind to be still. Then I reflected on the magical event that occurred previously and followed it with a guided meditation of visualizing kundalini flowing up the spine. The first round with this practice, the prana-shakti began to move and kriyavati sidhhi was the result (the spontaneous flow of kundalini manifesting hatha yoga on the physical plane).
My hands began to rhythmically flow through various hasta mudras (hand gestures). At the same time, pranayama and asana emerged spontaneously. For over two hours, kundalini moved the body through hatha yoga while the mind was in a profound blissful state. The body was performing postures with effortless alignment through various levels of accomplishment even though I didn’t have prior knowledge of such yogasanas. The breath went through a series of pranayamas while the hasta mudras appeared like a hand dance. From that day forward, kriyavati has continued to reveal the ancient hatha yoga from within. Prior to these personal experiences, I was unaware that kundalini could move the body through hatha yoga without thought. Yet, with these direct experiences I realized that when kundalini awakens, the thought plane is transcended, and this universal intelligence guides.
In ancient times, the yogis would sit in meditation and yoga was revealed from within due to this energy. At times, along the inner journey, yoga aspirants experience prana moving their body through a limited amount of various hatha yoga practices. These are called ‘prana kriyas’. When a complete method of hatha yoga is revealed that is for the benefit of others, it is called ‘Kriyavati Siddhi’. I never had a formal training in hatha yoga, as kriyavati was the direct source for such knowledge. I never had an interest to practice hatha yoga even though my life was devoted to yoga. As kundalini continues to move my body through yogasana, pranayama, and mudra, I often refer to this energy as Mother Goddess, as it feels like a mother giving the body and mind what is needed to make it fit for spiritual development.
In the early 90’s, one evening when I completed a session in meditation, I noticed my hands were in a new hasta mudra. A student with a camera was sitting nearby. I requested him to take the photo of the new hasta mudra, as it was different from any of the previous mudras. As soon as he took the photo, another new hasta mudra appeared. When he took the photo, another appeared. This continued for three days. Even as I would be going off to sleep, hasta mudras were appearing in my inner vision. After three days, the film with over 800 hasta mudras was printed. We laid the photos on the floor throughout the room so we could remove the duplicates. To our surprise, there were no duplicates. Each of the hasta mudras was different. Since then, over 200 more have emerged, resulting in over 1,000 hasta mudras.
In this way, TriYoga evolved naturally as well as my teaching it to others. When participants in meditation class witnessed the flow of energy, they requested to be taught this inspired hatha yoga. To this day, it is still being requested to share. I never had a chance to ‘decide’ to teach. It has all been a destined flow.
Q Why do much more women practice Yoga? Is there a special benefit for women?
Kaliji: On a philosophical level, perhaps there is a reflection going on. There is no question that the masculine side of humankind has ruled the outer world. The time has come for the feminine energy to awaken in attempt to save it from the hands of those who have abused, refused, and dismantled the soul’s potential on planet earth. We have never had to face at any other time in history the potential of such far spread chaos from the environmental changes to the nuclear war threats. The unbalanced man, in their aggressive nature, has abused power. The protective nature has been lost to their lower desires to control, dominate, and alter the world, opposing the way pure nature would have it be. This is not to negate the greatness that the balanced masculine energy has generated, preserved, and evolved. Now the world beckons for stronger health, environmental changes, and peace to prevail.
The universal energy is eternal. It will rise to the occasion as a mother heeds to the need of the child. We are children in the hands of the all-mighty universal prana. It is time for us to repent and make amends for our actions. It is time to be taught that humankind is one family. We are no longer to live as an isolated society feeding the minds that their way is the only way. If this is continued, then the world will no doubt suffer. The Mother has come to relieve the suffering, to restore the balance. In the call to this crisis, the great prana is awakening in many ways, and one of the most direct ways is through the path of yoga.
There are two great forces, aspects of creation. In yoga it is called purusha (consciousness) and prakriti (energy). The life-energy is awakening to ‘help serve and save the world’. Therefore, we are seeing the wide spread of yoga throughout. Perhaps the reflection of prakriti is manifesting in the female seeking the path of yoga. We have witnessed millions of women rising to the occasion and taking greater care of their home ~ the body/mind. This is only the early beginning. Men will be joining beside them in humanity’s yoga journey.
We will see the response to the health, environmental, and global crisis awakening in all who are in touch with their feminine nature, the inner shakti. We will see a universal appeal to the masculine energy that enough is enough. We can no longer allow this to prevail; otherwise, we will continue to see endless suffering. The universal energy will do everything in its power to awaken us to the unconditional love. This great force resonates in feeling. The feminine side feels and the masculine side thinks. This is another reason the female is first to be drawn to yoga, knowingly and unknowingly. It is time for the balance. It is time for global heart opening.
The atman, the soul, is beyond gender. Yet, society has gone far too long into the masculine side, often leaving the feminine side out of the greater plan. This imbalance can only last so long before the world cries for the Mother, the nurturing energy, the complimentary force to the Father, pure consciousness. Energy (feminine) and consciousness (masculine) is the eternal dance. The world is in need of this balance. We are fortunate to have incarnated at a time of great change. We must answer to the calls of nature. The time is upon us.
On a practical level, many of the popular doors into yoga are filled with asana classes focused on what ‘appears’ as stretching only to the outsider. Often men begin with more strength than flexibility. Thus, going to a yoga class that is based at first glance on stretching, may challenge their ego, seeing a female prevail. Of course not all men, but definitely some of the ones afraid to enter the class. Once they enter class, naturally men begin to feel it is a discipline for everyone. Both flexibility and strength are nurtured with asana, pranayama, and mental focus. It is ultimately the control of the life-energy to purify and transform the mind. This makes the body/mind fit for the spiritual journey.
Since the beginnings of hatha yoga classes in the west, there have been more women practicing. In the jnana (philosophy) classes, the attendance of men increase. Yet, both forms of yoga are for everyone. One of the first steps in yoga practice is to strengthen the health of the physical body, the temple of the soul. This is another reason we see hatha yoga taking root and why the female is first to respond. Without a doubt the female has greatly contributed to the self-care of the body’s health. It is only naturally for the female first to be drawn to the health techniques found in yoga.
The female has begun with healing the body/mind with yoga abhyasa (practice), and now all must awaken to the feminine energy, whether man or woman, to bring about the necessary changes to heal this body/mind and planet. Once men realize yoga is a balanced work-out/work-in approach to body/mind health, the numbers will increase. Already the most recent polls show more men are embarking on the path of yoga, taking the responsibility to look within and honor the inner truth. Without this progress, we will see no progress. It was only a matter of time, as the great yoga masters have mostly been men. Now the balance begins, as the realization dawns that we are in this together, and together we can change the world through changing ourselves.
Q What is the core of the TriYoga teachings?
Kaliji: All classic yoga teachings are the same at the core. There is one Truth with various techniques and ways of expression. At the core of TriYoga sadhana is the flow of mudra, pranayama, and yogasana. This results in the flow of mental energy for meditation. In this way, the systematic system of TriYoga increases prana to allow meditation to emerge. This ultimately reveals the samadhi of sat cit ananda. To merge into universal energy is TriYoga.
The Sanskrita term ‘prasara’ means to flow without thought. TriYoga is not ‘thought out’. It is revolutionary in its conception and delivery. TriYoga has been gifted as a revelation. The ‘I’ cannot take credit as the founder or creator, as I did not think this out. The Great Prana (Universal Energy) has used this body/mind as a vehicle to deliver the message. For anything to be accomplished, a medium or tool is needed; for example, the mind is the tool for the atman. Whether it is a voice, a body, a technique, it need not matter the device as long as prana can inspire through it.
To be an instrument for the universal flow is the utmost. This is the essence. The prana activated trinity of asana, pranayama, and mudra is to prepare one for the world stage. To be a representative of the universal dharma plan by living yoga is the aim. TriYoga has provided the tools for such success. As one follows the prescribed techniques, the inner guru, universal wisdom, will be revealed in the calm mind.
TriYoga is for the welfare of others. I never set out to change hatha yoga, nor to reveal a systematic prana vidya method, nor to present over 1000 mudras. It has manifested naturally on its own due to destiny. The essence of TriYoga is to be in the flow. To allow the atman to guide and let the mind/body be the instrument it was destined to be.
Q Do you have one / more TriYoga techniques that you prefer, some favorites, that you consider as very important?
Kaliji: There is a universal trinity that manifests our three bodies: causal, subtle, and physical. To bring about conscious change, one needs to experience moment-to- moment awareness or mindfulness, as this elevates presence in each of these bodies. A complete sadhana is imperative for spiritual growth.
We have far too long been limited to the manifestation of trivial pursuits through chasing the desires of the body and mind. With yoga knowledge permeated everywhere, we have the opportunity to honor our highest pursuit of energizing this body/mind to reflect our soul’s ultimate potential.
To limit the abhasya (practice) to one asana, one pranayama, or one technique does not answer all the needs of the three bodies. We live in a world where one seeks a quick fix due to our rajas (desirous) and tamasic (attached) nature. This gives rise to the question of one technique to recommend daily. Yet, at the same time, we need to take the next step. One step at a time gives a very solid foundation to build upon. This next step can be significant even if it is only one of the many techniques of yoga.
If I were to choose only one, it is definitely to cultivate proper diet. A pure vegetarian or plant-based diet is for the ahimsa trinity of human health, animal rights, and ecology. We are consuming those so-called lesser intelligence animals for our food while stealing the natural resources of mother Earth to support the animal factories. It is time to allow those spirits, in the beautiful animal bodies, to live their destiny, and in the process help to heal the planet and improve our health. I recommend a pure diet for the welfare of all. With this one very important change, we will see a world change for the better.
A complete yoga practice for body and mind is necessary for development. Each person is unique in what is most important for a next step in evolution. Yet, we all share a body and mind, so there is a common thread. It is found in greater health of the physical body with a deeper connection to healing the mind by restoring positive qualities that will reflect in outer communication with the world.
Yoga sadhana gives a balancing approach to achieving this. We must take action and not merely talk about the wonders of yoga. Yoga practice must evolve from the daily practice to living yoga. Time is fleeting and the window of opportunity is here for us to reap the unlimited wealth of yoga opportunities.
Eat without eating others for sustenance is first. Regulate the breath, as it is the first vehicle of prana. Treat others with compassion. Without compassion, there is no tomorrow. Compassion must be the language of the land.
We have a rare opportunity on this sacred Earth. We must awaken to the ever-changing energies that are prevailing. This will give the opportunity to excel in human potential empowered by the soul and the Divine Plan. Again, I say there is not one technique. A complete change is needed. A new way for the new world is at hand.
Q 7. Is there advice you would like to give to the Yoga community?
Kaliji: Practice, practice, practice! Nothing can remain the same. Either we move forward or we go backwards. We see yoga being expressed through various mediums. Whatever the medium, one should teach from direct experience. Merely parroting from a book is not enough. We must reflect the pure intent of yoga. This is only possible by continuing to grow through self-inquiry and implementing the higher truth into our lives. Teach only what we live by. To share what has inspired us is a true teacher.
Purification of the mind is the greatest teaching. From this all will follow. Practice, grow, and you will live yoga. This shall never cease. Otherwise, it is the blind leading the blind. That is the old school. Now it is time for all to find their truth, the ageless truth, deep inside. For this we must tread the path of universal ethics, allowing the heart of compassion and the ageless wisdom to guide. There are teachers on all levels needed: from physical health to the meditation seekers to the giants in spiritual awakenings. To teach, we must experience first. If not, the teaching is dead. We must keep the real yoga alive for now and for generations to come.
We are blessed to feel inspired to this dharma and to be part of the greater yoga community. May we have tolerance for all paths, as all paths lead eventually to the great truth we call YOGA. My recommendation is to breathe yoga. This will inspire from personal experience. The atman will be a beacon of light on the path to Self-Realization.