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Sahaj Marg Meditation - The Natural Path


01/16/2011

Sahaj Marg meditation, the Natural Path

 

In late July 2010, over thirty thousand practitioners of Sahaj Marg (Natural Path) meditation attended a five day gathering in Lucknow, India to celebrate the 83rd birth of their spiritual guide, Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari (Chariji).  Then, in mid August over one thousand Sahaj Marg practitioners traveled from North America to Chennai, India for a five day seminar.  Why do people take up Sahaj Marg meditation?   What unique features of Sahaj Marg meditation might account for the willingness of North Americans to travel all the way to India to deepen their practice?  And lastly, what does the practice involve?

 

Some of us take up meditation to relieve stress.  We're looking for a way to quiet the mind and relax.  Some are seeking spiritual evolution, trying to connect with the higher force, eternal within us, sometimes referred to as God, the divine, our soul, our truth…  Connection with this eternal force within leads to a feeling of inner peace and harmony.  

Sahaj Marg is one of many meditation practices.  It has three unique features which help the practitioner:  a living, spiritual guide; transmission of divine grace; and an effective cleaning process.   Those who have attempted to establish a meditation practice may appreciate the observation of Shri Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur, a spiritual guide of the Sahaj Marg lineage, “Serious difficulties arise when meditation is practiced independently in accordance with methods prescribed in books.  One has to keep on struggling with the mind in order to suppress its unceasing activities.  This continues all the time and there is practically no meditation at all, since all the time given to meditation is lost in struggling against thoughts and tendencies.  What pranahuti (transmission) does for the spiritual uplift of the person and removal of complexities in a short time, independent efforts cannot achieve in a full decade.”   These three unique features of Sahaj Marg offer the practitioner tremendous help along the way, whether one’s intentions are stress relief or spiritual evolution.

 

 In Sahaj Marg we have a living spiritual guide, Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari, affectionately known as Chariji, whose role is to help the seeker become a master of oneself.  Chariji helps individuals connect with God/the divine within.  One is a master of oneself when all thoughts and actions are the result of this connection.  This spiritual journey within is of a scale beyond our comprehension.  It is like climbing a mountain.  In the beginning it is easy.  But, if one is really trying for the highest peaks, the path becomes more and more difficult.  That is why mountaineers have a guide.  The guide knows the way.  Chariji acts as a guide to the aspirant just as an accomplished mountaineer is a guide to an aspiring, but less experienced climber.  He knows the journey first hand, and is capable and willing to help others on their journeys.

 

The second unique feature of Sahaj Marg is transmission.  Transmission is defined as “the utilization of divine energy for the transformation of human beings”.  It is the offering of the subtlest current of life energy (pranahuti) from the spiritual guide to the individual.  Chariji says, “As power can be transmitted, as thought can be transmitted, as speech can be transmitted, so also spirituality can be transmitted.  When the transmission is made into the heart of the practicant, he is filled with a force higher than himself and therefore, his evolution or progress becomes not only very much speedier, but also becomes in essence, independent of his own capacity for progress.  This transmission gives the practicant the possibility of growing without limitations.” This energy functions as food for one’s spiritual development.

Sahaj Marg meditation, the Natural Path


Cleaning is the third unique feature of Sahaj Marg.  Thoughts and actions leave deep impressions which accumulate over time, weigh upon our mind, and disturb our inner balance.  The Sahaj Marg system teaches an effective way to utilize one’s will power to clean or rid oneself of impressions and restore one’s inner balance.  The cleaning process makes meditation easier.  Chariji compares meditation without cleaning to a race car stuck in the mud.  Through the cleaning process, a person actually experiences the removal of “emotional baggage” - something that could take years of effort otherwise. 

 

The daily practice is composed of three basic elements:  morning meditation (30–60 minutes), evening cleaning (30 minutes), and night time prayer.  Daily practice is further supported by attendance at weekly group meditations.

There are no fees to join or practice Sahaj Marg meditation.  If you would like to learn more, please visit the website at www.sahajmarg.org.  There are hundreds of Sahaj Marg ashrams and centres throughout the world and about a half dozen in the United States.  In New England, group meditations are held Sunday mornings in Cambridge, MA; Manchester, MA; Plainville, MA; Sunderland, MA; Nashua, NH; Portland, ME; and Greenwich, CT; Hartford, CT; Manhattan; Edison, NJ; Jersey City, NJ; and Cranbury, NJ, to name a few.

As Chariji aptly puts it, "The whole idea of spirituality is to revive in us that which is sleeping in us - the true inner being, the Self."



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