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Worldwide Sanatana Dharma Community
Yogis for Peace
Calendar Veda Loka
20 July
2024 year

5121 years of Kali Yuga,
28th Mahayuga
7th Manvantara
The era of Manu Vaivasvata
boar Kalpa
first day of 51 years
of the great

The Laya Yoga teachings are like a big, beautifully blooming tree that has the roots, trunk, branches, leaves, flowers, and fruits. All the methods of the Teaching belong to their proper place. They are perfectly combined and coexist harmoniously in the Tree of the Teaching, having no contradictions with each other. Everything in the Tree has its function, purpose, and goal.

The Teaching has five main areas of focus: Wisdom (Prajnya yantra); Energy (Shakti yantra); Dream Yoga (Nidra yantra); Light (Jyoti yantra), and Sound (Nada yantra).

If you think of the Tree of Teaching as a whole, then its root will be the three realizations, or three freedoms (of body, speech and mind). The three freedoms mean that our state is natural, liberated, unconditioned. This state is not dependent on the body, speech, or mind; being in that state is the root of the Teaching.

The Tree also has a trunk, formed by Prajña yantra (or the Wisdom section) methods. These are contemplation methods, such as work with the Sankalpas, the Mahashanti practice, and the nine self-liberations of the Divine Pride and Shambhavi Mudra sections. These are the basic methods that form the trunk of the Tree of the Teaching. That is, the essence of the Teaching is to contemplate, to be aware, and to be in a state of self-liberated presence.

There are also branch methods. These are special skillful methods that allow one to develop and enhance contemplation. The branch methods include the Shakti yantra (Energy section), the Nada yantra (Sound section), the Nidra yantra (Dream Yoga section), and the Jyoti yantra (Light section).

There are so-called leaf methods (secondary technics). These are as multiple as the leaves on a tree. The Leaf methods are not basic, not the root ones, but they help develop contemplation, this or that element of practice.

And there are flower methods. The flower methods represent the pure vision quality, the blossoming aspect of Dharma. They are like beautiful flowers on the Dharma tree. They include, for example, the sadhana of calling Dattatreya, Lakshmi.

The Teaching, the practice of Dharma, is not a standalone method. It is a tree-like method, which is multi-dimensional, a big system, described with multivariance and polyphony. The Teaching is not just some philosophical statements or two or three methods. It is a whole big tree. And it's very important not to get confused by this Tree, to understand what the trunk is, what the roots are, what the leaves and the flowers are. Because if we do not understand the hierarchy of methods in their diversity, we may not finally understand what to focus on, what kind of focus to use, and what place each method occupies in the Teaching. But if one clearly understands that abiding in the natural state is the root of the Teaching, then it will be clear that the essence of the Teaching is indefinable and appear to be abiding in mindfulness. If one understands that there is the development of contemplative practices, then it will be clear what this Tree is based on, and what its trunk is. And when we apply other methods, we learn to interlace and practice them through the lens of the Tree of the Teaching’s understanding.

The Tibetan saint Tilopa gave this instruction: "Use not one but many methods”.

What is the purpose of multiple methods? An abundance of methods seems like multiplicity. But in reality, there is but one method, and we all are the practitioners of that one method. And this main method is to reside in contemplative presence (Sahaja sthiti). That is also why our lineage is called Sahajya, the Sahajya school. The Sahajya approach is the direct experience of nonduality. The Sahajyana siddhis taught that the reality could not be understood through a method, action, conceptual limitations, or philosophy.

Staying in the Sahaja state is the root of the Teaching. That is, first of all we listen to the inner spontaneity of natural awareness. And second, we do the techniques, ritual practices, methods, and so forth. But if you perform a lot of techniques, rituals, recite mantras, wear a certain kind of clothes, do worships, but don't exercise the awareness practice, i.e. you are not that spontaneous, it means that you are still not able to get into the dimension of the Laya Yoga Teaching.

As we abide in the natural state and learn to be aware and to integrate contemplative presence with the various manifestations of our lives, there gradually comes a surrender to this natural state. The natural state has nothing to do with any logic, philosophy, culture, or any religious tradition. Rather, it is the essence of our world, the essence of the universe. It is also called Prajnyana (the original wisdom of awareness), or Parabrahman. As we become rooted in the natural state, our mind trusts it more and more and progressively surrenders to it.

The Prajña yantra teaching (or the trunk of the Tree) describes the self-liberation and self-transcendence processes. It teaches how to practice correctly so that one could start using these methods. The Prajña yantra section, related to the Divine Pride, focuses on pure vision and the Pride of Deity (Divya Bhava). The section concerning the Shambhavi mudra focuses on space and the contemplation of space. The contemplation section is related to the teachings of the Nine Sankalpas – nine self-liberations. It includes instructions on how to work with the mind and apply subtle methods that would remove the clingings of our mind. The three of these sections only seem different, but in fact, they all lead to the same thing, although they have their own characteristics and methodologies. We study and practice these three sections throughout our lives, for they are very important to understand. For those who decide to start their Laya Yoga studies, thorough understanding of these sections is necessary. They have nothing to do with the speculative philosophy. They are practical sections and are entirely focused on how to practice, how to contemplate in order to dispel our ignorance. And if you have correctly understood what Prajña yantra suggests, then you will be easily able to integrate any other methods into the general scope of your practice.

The Teaching has quite a sophisticated structure and includes a lot of methods. However, all the structure and methods are meant only for convenience of comprehension and facilitation of understanding. Actually, all the Teaching’s sections speak of one thing only, which is how to remain in our original identity. Why do we need so many methods and such skillful practice tools? Because we have gone very far away from our original identity, and even when we hear about it, it is not easy for us to get back to it – because we have gone away very far, way too far. Sahajya – our original identity, the Supreme Source, God, Brahman, the Absolute, – these are all identical concepts. All we have to do is learn how to return to that identity.

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