Is TriYoga a religion or a spiritual path?
Jaya Guru Devi
I saw your question and thought I’d answer online as others may have the same question. I briefly touched upon it the other day.
There is a wide definition for religion and spirituality.
I looked up the words: 🙂
Religion: the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
Religion: Yes, TriYoga philosophy naturally accepts the Absolute, the Divine. Yoga Sūtras and Gītā speak on the personal God. The Divine is so pure It can take any form.
Spirituality: the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.
Spirituality: Yes, with TriYoga sādhana one develops spiritually even without that being their original aim. Through increasing life energy, the mind becomes calmer. In a calm mind, spiritual qualities emerge.
TriYoga is the path (practice) and the goal (sat cit ānanda). For many, it is their spiritual journey.
TriYoga welcomes all. The practice can benefit anyone regardless of their religion or spiritual path. One can follow their religion, their spiritual path, or have none and still feel the benefit of some part of TriYoga in their life.
For some TriYoga is simply a way to relieve body pain and mental stress. TriYoga speaks on all levels so it depends on the individual and what it means to them.
Is “raja yoga" the royal path that includes aspects of other yoga paths??
The other classic yogas are not all contained in the Yoga Sūtras. They are various rivers of knowledge.
Raja means royal. As a royal or king controls their kingdom, we control our mental kingdom.
The aṣṭāṅga, eight-limb path—or raja yoga—is a direct path to control the mind as sūtra 1.2 states:
yoga is the control of thought waves
Patañjalī focuses on how to control the thought waves to attain samādhī.
In yoga tradition there are four classic paths:
bhakti yoga - path of devotion; to love • jñāna yoga - path of discrimination; to think
karma yoga - path of action; to serve • raja yoga - path of mental control; to not do
It is similar to life: we feel, think, act and can choose to do nothing. In terms of nothing, it relates to not thinking.
According to raja yoga, only when thoughts cease does one attain the highest samādhī, the royal state.
All paths lead to Self Realization. One path is not higher than the other. One may be drawn more to a certain path initially.
In TriYoga, one embraces all four and more. We can see they appear as different but it is all the same in the end. 🙂
Kaliji, could You please explain artha and kama ?
These are two out of the four human life aims called Purushartha (4 aims).
The Purusharthas: Artha (work/livelihood), Kama (desire), Dharma (duty), and Moksha (liberation).
The Purusharthas are the aims for human happiness.
Have honest work, service oriented = Artha
Enjoy life on Earth within a balanced framework = Kama
Dearest Teacher and Guru, the group has a question to distinguish the difference between Concentration, Relaxation and Meditation in TriYoga …could you give as an answer please. Love form Australia JGD
To relax and to meditate, concentration is required.
Deep relaxation, as in yoga nidrā, is a necessary part of pratyāhāra—to focus within, letting go of desire for external movement. Feelings of contentment, harmony—the yoga zone—emerge with one-pointed concentration. Alpha brains waves begin the involution to Self.
Concentration is required for both relaxation and meditation. Concentration to maintain the witness state allows one to remain in the present moment. Moment to moment awareness is required and this is dhāraṇā, concentration. The effort-effortless state = concentration + relaxation. With steady awareness, concentration on relaxation allows the body to surrender to the energy flow. Maintain concentration on the relaxed state so it deepens.
In meditation, concentration is sustained. Concentration alone is with effort; meditation is an effort-effortless state; samādhi is effortless expanded awareness.
Concentration is always required for knowledge. To relax the body or to expand the mind, concentration supports yoga nidrā and meditation.
Further questions, please always ask.
Yours in yoga,
JAYA GURU DEVI
Do you believe that everyone has everything they need to be happy and grow consciously within themselves?
In our lineage it is said Dattatreya has 24 gurus, meaning the TRUTH pervades everywhere. Sometimes the answer comes from inside and sometimes through someone else. The Divine is inside and permeates all creation. Like a baby needs its parents, there are times the seeker needs guidance…even though the Answer is inside. YES, to your question though.
I just had a question really quick! I constantly think about how irrelevant my emotions are, and also a lot of the things I do knowing that everything is so temporary. Doesn’t it just seem like a passing phenomena in what we consider reality?
Kaliji I view this as the NOW in the eternal play of consciousness.
Q So in order to be at peace I need to always be consciously present?
Kaliji Nope. 🙂 Someone can be consciously bad, too. To be at peace, it is a choice. First remove the desires and attachments that block the peaceful flow ~~~
Dear Kaliji, I have big questions about death. My husband 88 years old, is so scared about dying and it is so hard for me to console him, because I myself do not know , what will happen after death. I believe in a sort of transformation into cosmic consciousness, he does not want to talk about that at all, but he is crying with fear when he is alone. So death is often near to me in this times …..
JAYA GURU DEVI ~
The word ‘death’ has become associated as a ‘scary’ term for many. In yoga philosophy it is said that fear of death is one of the five obstacles to peace.
As soon as one passes over, the fear is immediately gone (well, except for some who prefer to take the role of ghosts). It will be revealed that the soul is eternal being and that the soul still exists. The only difference is that the physical body has fallen away and the outer environment is different. Like going on a flight ~ we leave one country for another country. It will look different.
The mind is still as present as ever. The mind will be sharper, as many of the self-limiting thoughts will no longer work in this new awareness. The soul is surrounded by three bodies/vehicles. Two always remain ~ subtle (mental body) / causal (spiritual body).
Loved ones can be reunited ~ family or friends that left earlier are met again. Loved ones who did not incarnate this time around may be remembered:) Parents, family, friends are present on entering this world, and too when we leave. Same as when we arrive to the ‘other’ realms.
It is rare that one feels ‘ready’ to leave Earth. Many have friendships that make them sad to leave. Realizing that life continues in the other realms, the fear lessens.
We have one chance per life to leave consciously. It is not wise to lose the opportunity to embrace the departure ~ to embrace the knowing that all is fine. Consciousness is pure and creation reflects this. It is ultimately all for the higher good.
The soul in preparation to exit the physical world should share the last kind words with loved ones. Finish all loose ends. Bring everything to completion. Then get ready ~ for an exciting journey. Upon release of this physical form, the energy that was maintaining it will be free to flow. The bliss is heavenly. But this is just the beginning…..
How we leave this planet is of utmost importance. Our last remaining thoughts in this form serve as a vehicle to guide us out of the body. Let fear release ~ and bravely surrender.
Not everyone who lives their physical form enters heavenly states or cosmic consciousness or supreme bliss. There is a greater euphoria regardless. The immediate difference is that the physical body is no more. The mind is still as ever present. The direct experience that we still exist beyond this body gives great joy to the spirt.
It is a great ride ~ embrace the next life with joy
We come and go many times ~ this is only one of infinite lives. We should be a pro by now.
Life continues. There is nothing to fear except fear.
Life ~ here and beyond ~ is what we make it.
And, it is divine.
JAYA GURU DEVI
Do you have a suggestion about a specific practice that can be used to send someone in pain positive healing energy? Is prayer, or something along those lines thought of as useful from a yogic perspective?
In Sanskrit the word for prayer is ‘prarthana’.
There are a few interpretations of the combination of the root words…
PRAR to ask
DHANA to seek (blessing)
In the Vedic time, prayer was more synonymous with mantra. There are mantras for all requests:)
On various levels, one can focus this energy and send to others. This is called prana healing. Reiki is a method of sending energy to others. Prana follows the mind. When a person focuses the mind, prana will be directed . The conscious state of the sender and the one receiving the energy will determine how effective this will be.
Most do not have enough energy for themselves Yet, some can become a channel for the energy flow. Their love and compassion make them a pure vessel to transmit this energy to one in need. For thoughts to exist, it requires energy. There can be no thought without prana. Gaining control over the mind is the most efficient way to direct energy. Yes, healing with prana is without the yoga tradition. As we lovingly think of someone in need, the healing energy flows in that direction. Ultimately it is refined as shaktipat ~ energy transmission from yogi to disciple.
Yoga says we have three cosmic energies inside:
jnana shakti (knowledge)
iccha shakti (will)
kriya shakti (manifestation)
Through prayer we activate these three energies/shaktis. With our focused thought, we will the desired effect into manifestation. Prayer could be in the form of a positive affirmation. You can begin with clearing the mind with a Sanskrita mantra. The chanting of OM, or another mantra, quiets the mind. Through a calm mind transcending the usual chatter, the prana is directed with greater clarity. Whether through positive thought, prayer, and / or mantra ~the mind is a powerful tool to direct prana. We are always directing prana, consciously and un-consciously.
A yogi with awakened prana flow is a natural healer. The yogi’s presence in itself inspires prana to awaken in others. Thus, we seek the company of a yogi….an energy charger:)
“When the heart is pure, all wishes are granted”
Kaliji had mentioned once that according to the Vedas, 3/4 is destiny and 1/3 is free will. I was thinking how come even free will doesnt feel so. It seems like even free will is based on His grace, so do we really have free will? There are times when I feel connected with the “Source” that destiny and free will seem to merge.
When one is connected to the source then the question of individual will does not come up. It is in the ‘journey’ that the percentage varies. The Vedas state that 1/3 is free will and 2/3 is due to our past samskaras. In this case, since it is due to our choices that result in particular karma then we can see the ‘little I” is behind this. As one progresses in their spiritual awakening, the samskaras are dissolving, thus karma lessens. Then the higher will becomes prominent and the percentage will change. Eventually 100 percent divine will – iccha shakti.
You speak of surrendering yourself to DEVI. What does that mean?
Jaya Guru Devi
Surrendering means to surrender to that Supreme Power which creates, sustains, and transforms.
It is a continuous process in deepening our understanding of surrender. We need to develop the power to witness, to transcend the pair of opposites. Whatever appears on our path, we still must follow right action and accept the cosmic plan as our highest good.
Seeing our past or future lives is not easy; therefore, it is hard to understand the “why” to our karma. But we can learn to accept that the Higher Power is truly guiding, leading us forward.
The Self is Immortal. The Self has highest knowledge. The Self is forever blissful. To this Supreme Power, one surrenders.
It comes in stages, yet ,at times, through intense prayer and meditation, Surrender spontaneously arises.
Letting go… into DEVI, the Cosmic Power, is the Ultimate Surrender.
Swamiji has been showing himself in my dreams for about three weeks. What does this mean?
It is very good to experience spiritual dreams. To receive Darshana of a saint is a great blessing, whether in a dream or in waking state. Sometimes the Formless Cosmic Energy will take a yogi’s form in a dream. It takes the form of a yogi one can recognize as it helps one to recall the dream. The yogi may or may not know that Their Form is being used. Sometimes one connects with the Cosmic Energy, and then one’s subconscious will give it a form to relate to. And, sometimes the Master Yogi chooses to enter the dream. The feeling in the dream is most important. At times one will not be able to understand what the images represent. Still one can concentrate on the feeling that was present in the dream. However, there are times when the dream will directly or symbolically give a clear message. If so, it can be taken as inner guidance to follow. A dream is composed of three energies: Sattvic (balance), Rajas (activity), and Tamas (inertia). Some dreams can be inspiring (sattvic), some dreams are restless (rajas), and other dreams are never recalled (tamas). Each dream consists of past, present, and future images. It takes clarity to understand the meaning of the dream. When the feeling of devotion or spiritual energy is present in a dream, later recall it during meditation. This can inspire the same feeling again, thus deepening the meditation. In this way, dreaming becomes Dream Yoga.
Jai Guru Devi
Why don’t we learn our lessons from previous lifetimes and understand those lessons at the beginning of a lifetime?
These lessons, until they are fully learned, will show up as tests in our life. When the positive action is strong in the mind and the weak action no longer exists, the lessons are then said to be learned.
How do you know when you are “there?”
You spontaneously . . .
perform the right action
feel the energy flow
develop greater mental clarity
allow the inner wisdom to guide
experience blissful knowledge and expanded awareness
Ah, in the flow . . .
Would you please talk about the Sanskrit term pratyahara?
Pratyahara is the fifth limb of Ashtanga Yoga as founded by the Sage Patanjali in approximately 500 B.C. Ashtanga Yoga is the 8-limb path of yoga.
Pratyahara means to withdraw the mind from the sense objects, to “make a U-Turn back into the Self.”
Continually, our minds are pulled to the world by our senses. Pratyahara is the term that reminds us to place our focus where we want it, not to be controlled by any outer force, like a horseman controlling the horse with the gentle discipline of the reins. This is symbolized with Arjuna (mind) being guided by Krishna (Higher Spirit) in the Gita. The yogi controls the power of the senses, then controls the mind.
A yogi applies the wisdom and lives according to the flow instead of giving into the sense pleasures. This does not mean we should not enjoy the beautiful gifts of the world through the senses. But it means we should control our minds by living within the world, but not of the world. We can enjoy creation through the senses but not overuse them; otherwise, we will feel the drain of energy.
For example, when we are full from our meal, we should not allow the sense of taste to make us overeat. If we overeat, we feel tired and lack energy. When in meditation, we should not allow our minds to roam, but rather we should focus it on the desired object of concentration. Then we can feel the heightened energy flow.
Basically, when we follow our inner wisdom, it is the same as applying the skill of pratyahara. That is, we are in the flow . . .
I’ve heard the word DEVI used in reference to the Spiritual Self. I would really like to know more.
There are many beautiful names, in various languages, for the Supreme Spirit. DEVI is one of them. DEVI is a name used for the Cosmic Energy, the Universal Flow, the Divine Mother Spirit, the spiritual energy within us all, the Supreme Self.
When we surrender to the inner Self (as opposed to the lower mind), we can feel the deep connection with our True Self. Regular sadhana (yogic practice), right conduct (both in mind and body), and satsanga (positive relationships) support this awakening.
We need faith to believe the holy spirit, DEVI, is truly within us. Then a relationship with DEVI becomes so strong that the mind surrenders to the universal flow and feels at peace.
Can you give me an explanation of the witness state?
The witness state is a term for witnessing the play of the mind. Ultimately, one witnesses the mind to such depth that the witness is realized as the soul. First, the mind witnesses the body; then the higher mind (according to yoga terms, the Buddhi), witnesses the lower mind.
Often the higher mind is thought of as the witness state. But to be aware of witnessing the mind ,there is a witness witnessing that. It is the Soul, the ultimate Witness in this Dual Consciousness.
Witnessing the highest duality is the Non Dual State . . .
Pure Consciousness ~ the Eternal Witness.
I’ve heard DEVI is the Sanskrit word of Divine Mother or Cosmic Energy. Would you suggest how I can visualize this form of the Divine Mother?
DEVI is the name for the Universal Mother. Various spiritual and religious paths speak of the Mother. She can be visualized in any of these forms.
In the Indian tradition, DEVI can be visualized either as one of the deities such as Lakshmi (for prosperity), Saraswati (for knowledge) , Kali (for purification), Durga (the combined energy of the three deities), or any feminine deity that helps in devotion.
One can also feel the calming energy or the bliss inside and focus on this as DEVI.
One can enjoy the vast nature and feel DEVI’s presence.
One can see their guru’s form, as the mind often requires a form, knowing the form is only a channel for DEVI, the Cosmic Energy.
One can pray to the Mother Goddess to reveal the appropriate form to be visualized.
How can I feel DEVI? Where is She?
When you takes one step toward the Supreme Spirit, DEVI, She takes 10 steps toward the devotee. We develop faith in Her by coming to the understanding and belief that there is a higher power which creates, sustains, and transforms. We can call this Spiritual Power DEVI. This Divine DEVI resides within and throughout creation.
Why did the mind appear? Or maybe it is better to put the question that way: how, when and for what reason this mind appeared?
Mind is part of subtle body. Whereas, the physical body appears, the subtle and causal bodies always remain. Thus, there is no question of mind appearing. The vrittis, fluctuations in the mind, can pass through three stages: appear, sustain, disappear.
Mind, called manas in Sanskrita, is to receive the knowledge from the jnana-indriyas (5 senses). Mind is also the ‘projection screen’ for the chitta (sub-conscious) and the buddhi (wisdom mind).
The mind is necessary for the world. In highest samadhi, asamprajnata, the mind is transcended.
What is the significance of the number 108 in yoga?
There are several references to 108 from the various yoga paths. Here are a few:
The number 108 began appearing in yoga philosophy around 6000 years ago with 108 Upanisads.
Mantra yogis would receive intuitively 108 names of the deities such as the 108 names of Ganapati.
The original Sanskrit script had 54 letters. Ascending and descending their total equals 108.
It is said that in the subtle body 108 nadis spring forth from the heart cakra.
Pranayama yogis found that taking only 108 breaths per day maintains their energy in the higher cakras.
In numerology, 1 + 8 = 9 …number of completion.
Also, the distance between the Earth and Sun is approximately 108 times the Sun’s diameter. The diameter of the Sun is approximately 108 times the Earth’s diameter. The distance between the Earth and Moon is approximately 108 times the moon’s diameter.
The ancient Indians were excellent mathematicians and 108 may be the product of a precise mathematical operation (e.g. 1 power 1 x 2 power 2 x 3 power 3 = 108) which was thought to have special numerological significance.
Powers of 1, 2, and 3 in math: 1 to 1st power=1; 2 to 2nd power=4 (2×2); 3 to 3rd power=27 (3x3x3). 1x4x27=108
Sri Yantra: On the Sri Yantra there are marmas where three lines intersect, and there are 54 such intersections. Each intersections has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti qualities. 54 x 2 equals 108. Thus, there are 108 points that define the Sri Yantra as well as the human body.
Astrology: There are 12 constellations, and 9 arc segments called namshas or chandrakalas. 9 times 12 equals 108.
Chandra is moon, and kalas are the divisions within a whole.
Planets and Houses: In astrology, there are 12 houses and 9 planets. 12 times 9 equals 108.
SHOSHU BUDDHIST Followers use 108 beads in their malas. They implement the following formula:
6 x 3 x 2 x3 = 108
6 senses [sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, thought]
3 aspects of time [past, present, future]
2 condition of heart [pure or impure]
3 possibilties of sentiment [like, dislike, indifference]
The Japanese custom of ringing the bell 108 times:
In Japan, at the end of the year, a bell is chimed 108 times to finish the old year and welcome the new one. Each ring represents one of 108 earthly temptations a person must overcome to achieve nirvana.
Sadhana Yoga Practice
Did you spell your name Kali Rae previously?
I was born with the name Rae. Long ago the “e” was changed to “y.” It should only be spelled with a “y” now.