Words: Yogi Raj Muni
I spent a few hours with the Owl in the meditation cave learning about mantras and then returned back to Yogi Ji and the snow leopard.
‘‘I see that you disappeared for a long time Muni.” said Yogi Ji. ‘‘Yes Sir, I was with the Owl learning sacred mantras and prayers for healing so that I can use them for the benefit of Bushie. One such mantra I learnt was the Green Tara Mantra, ‘‘Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha.” Yogi Ji was pleased that I had made a conscious effort to learn about the power of healing mantras. ‘‘I know that you learnt that mantra with all your heart Muni because I can feel its energy in mine even without you speaking it out aloud.”
The green Tara mantra is a Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist mantra which is used to bring about ‘change’ on a physical and also spiritual level and offers protection and healing. Ideally it is recited 108 times in any one sitting which is what I practised for Bushie. Tara is known as Dolma in Tibetan Buddhism translated simply as the mother of mercy and compassion. She is a feminine Bodhisattva. She manifests in different forms and is invoked not just for compassion but in her other states for abundance and prosperity and for protection. Tara is invoked for many other things, for example when one is experiencing severe emotional blocks, bad karma, bad luck or even disease.
The mantra (sacred sound) is a technique to alter consciousness. We find sacred sound in all religious and spiritual traditions and these are invoked and used for many different purposes. The same is true in the yogic traditions. ‘Tare’ is called upon to help ease suffering and afflictions. ‘Om’ has no meaning. It is a universal sound that resonates in the whole universe and symbolises past present and the future. ‘Tuttare’ helps liberate one also from the eight fears that cause untold misery such as attachment, anger, pride, jealousy, miserliness, doubt and confused thinking. Each of these are represented by an animal symbolising its quality. ‘Ture’ helps free you from the suffering of diseases. ‘Soha’ refers to the process of connection between one’s heart and that of Tatra so that there is a deep connection. There are other subtler meaning of this mantra as with all sacred sounds and these are revealed as one practices them more and more intensely.
I practiced other short mantras as well, that the Owl had taught me. And on alternate days recited the Gayatri mantra to help Bushie out of his physical pain. ‘‘Om Bhur Bhuvah Suvaha, Tat-savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi, Dhiyo Yonah Prachodayat.” This prayer (or mantra as it is also referred to) is a meditation to the Supreme and Omnipotent Creator of the worlds whose divine light illuminates all creation and at all levels, physical, astral, causal. Being the source of all creation, deserving of worship, radiant one who illuminates everything, we meditate on you and awaken our intellect.
The Gayatri prayer is ancient and is recorded in the ancient divine scripture; the Rig Veda that is thousands of years old. It holds great powers of healing and the subtle metaphysical and esoteric meanings become revealed the more one practises it. I also learnt other mantras.
Sometimes the yogi would place a red paste on my third eye point, and I would sit cross legged. I could feel his skin next to my face as he stood over me. I could smell the scent of his skin. I could feel the warmth of his arms as he stroked my head chanting mantras. As he applied the paste, my lips would be pressed against his chest because the bindu had to be marked correctly. He would also ask me sometimes to loosen my legs so that he could bend down over me to apply the paste on the back of my head as there was a special nadi situated there as well. He told me instead of wasting time I should just close my eyes, concentrate and start chanting mantras. Sometimes, it was difficult to chant as a part of one ritual was for him to press the bindu point for a few minutes while standing over me. Yogi Ji advised me not to worry and continue chanting.
I began to enjoy these rituals because they helped me connect with my spiritual Master and Guru. I would perform trataka on a candle flame in the fire and the yogi would sit opposite me in the same posture. I too would apply red paste on his forehead and it was beautiful and shining especially when the flames flickered. Yogi Ji then would telepathically direct me to perform trataka on him and to concentrate only on him. He was my supreme Teacher and Guide and I was to dedicate myself to him which I wanted to do whole heartedly. He told me that if I was to succeed on the spiritual path and to have my kundalini awakened then I must totally dedicate my practise and allow him to guide me. He taught me to chant mantras on him as well which I did with great passion and devotion.
I wandered why Yogi Ji spent so much intense time and effort with Bushie. I then realised it was showing compassion to other beings.
As the night began to unfold, I set about lighting the wood fire inside the cave foyer and meditating on the flames of fire by performing trataka. In between, I gazed also upon the baby snow leopard and directed my attention to him reciting the Om mantra repeatedly and praying that he would heal. I learnt to feel a connection with Bushie and grew to
The green Tara mantra is a Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist mantra which is used to bring about ‘change’ on a physical and also spiritual level and offers protection and healing.
love him. I nursed him slowly as if he was a child and nurtured him. I felt a deep connection to him as he had been separated from his parents.
I sat next to the snow leopard nursing him and reciting some healing mantras for many days until his paw healed and he was able to move around without physical pain. ‘‘Well done, Muni,’’ said Yogi Ji, ‘‘Bushie is now healthy and fit. He cannot return home as his mother died and so he will stay here with us at Yoga Bhavan where we will provide him with a place to live.”
It was time to eat our afternoon meal. I had gathered red berries a few days back. ‘‘Let us eat and rest,’’ said Yogi Ji. I carried over the berries in a large stone bowl. They glistened like red rubies, as the flames flickered to and from the log fire. I boiled some flower tea over the fire in a copper cup and then carried it over carefully to where the Yogi Ji was sitting. ‘‘Come Muni, let us sit together and enjoy this tea. The flowers of the Himalayas are from heaven. They contain magical properties. They can heal and cure many illnesses and make the body and mind strong.” I took a sip of the tea and it was deliciously warming.
I munched on some sweet red berries and so did the Yogi Ji. He began to laugh, ‘‘The other day Muni, when I asked whether or not you could hear the sound of the chaiwala what
I was trying to test you on is whether your ability of clairaudience has improved or not.”
I was interested to know what he meant, ‘‘what is clairaudience Sir?’’
‘‘It’s having the ability to hear sounds that are not within the normal ability of your human capabilities. It is a skill that is learnt through intense yoga and spiritual meditation and training. With this skill you can hear anything in the universe, if you listen carefully. Sounds that are thousands of years old can be heard, sounds of yesterday, today and in the future can be heard. Every sound Muni has a purpose. Every sound that is spoken by you, by anyone, by anything is recorded in the Universe. It can be replayed, overheard and remembered. It never dies. That is why I can hear the sound of a chaiwala selling his wares in Delhi thousands of miles away from where we are situated. I can hear the sound of many people if I consciously choose to tune in or out. It’s really up to me. You too will soon learn this skill.” I was shocked. ‘‘Are you telling me that you can hear anyone anywhere?’’ The Yogi Ji answered ‘‘yes’’ quite factually as if it was a normal thing to do.
‘’Muni you will not want to turn on your clairaudience antenna regularly anyway. You will soon tire of listening to others because you simply don’t have the time or the patience yet.
But it is a valuable skill and something that is useful. I will teach you a secret exercise to improve this skill. But for now I want to rest.”
‘‘Yogi Ji how can a mantra follow me?’’ I asked perplexed. Instead of answering my question Yogi Ji asked me to help him wash some empty glass bottles that were filled with some dust. ‘‘I need these clean and shiny,’’ he said pointing to the bottles of all sizes and shapes. I gasped. ‘‘But there appear to be several hundred bottles and jars here! Where did all these come from?’’ Yogi Ji replied, ‘‘I summoned them from one of the cave rooms. You have not seen the bottle room but I will take you there one day. It’s a seven days’ walk inside this cave to arrive at that destination. Yes, Muni you have to wash all these bottles in the next 72 hours as I need them for some potions and ointments that I have been busy making. They need to be sealed so they don’t lose their potency. You can call on the army of red ants that are lodging in the crevices of the cave walls on the south side. They are visiting only for a few weeks before they travel onto warmer climates. If you can convince the leader to help, you’ll have thousands of ants to help you polish these bottles until they are sparkling. You may have to give up your usual sleeping patterns as the matter is quite necessary and urgent Muni. In 72 hours, I will receive a delegation of King Pigeons who will collect several hundred bottles to take to neighbouring lands for the benefit of my spiritual companions.
The Kundalini: Memoirs of a Yogi
To be continued in the next issue..