Why is goddess Kali called Yogayukta

What mahasamadhi means


1 What Mahasamadhi Means An Explanation by Mark McLaughlin From Mortality to Immortality Mahasamadhi, the great merging, occurs when a Siddha takes off the mortal body and is absorbed in Brahman, the all-pervading consciousness. Through this process, a Siddha, one who has mastered the pull of the senses and calm the mind and become one with the Supreme Self, completely frees himself from the cycle of death and rebirth. This moment is of the utmost importance because it marks the highest and lasting freedom of the Siddha: the transition from jivanmukti, liberation during lifetime, to videha-mukti, unlimited freedom. Such a being takes the step from mortality to immortality. The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad describes the climax in the life of a perfect being as follows: [It is] someone who has no wish ... whose longing is fulfilled, whose longing is the self. His prana does not reincarnate. He is Brahman and enters Brahman. 1 The Indian scriptures say that the level of immortality can be attained by one who is a yogayukta, that is, one who is closely related to yoga. 2 There are two classic definitions of yuj, the root of yoga, and also yukta. The first meaning is to join or unite. The second definition of yuj relates to the practice of joining together or uniting on a more subtle level: the root yuj refers to the practice of meditation in which the mind connects itself to an object until it is fully identified - an practice called samadhi becomes. That is, a siddha attains the state of mahasamadi with the help of the practice of samadhi. Samadhi and Mahasamadhi The word samadhi denotes both the process and the goal.

2 Etymologically, samadhi comes from sam-a-dhā, which means to put together again. In this context, samadhi, the state of final absorption in the Absolute, is attained by joining the senses and the breath through disciplined practice. With this, the mind comes to rest enough that the practitioner merges with the Supreme Consciousness. The mind is thereby united with yoga, the state of oneness with the divine. The following definition of yoga is found in the Katha Upanishad: When the five senses come to a standstill along with the mind, it is called the highest state. This is what yoga 3 means. In this sense, someone who is yogayukta is closely connected to samadhi to eventually take mahasamadhi. Even Lord Krishna chose this way to leave his earthly body. When Krishna, the Mahabharata says, decided that the purpose of his earthly mission was fulfilled, he drew his senses, speech and mind inward and attained mahayoga (i.e. mahasamadhi) and passed away. 4 The Great Departure The practice of meditation mastered by the Siddha Yoga Gurus and taught to students as a means of gaining self-knowledge is exactly the same method that a Siddha uses to immerse in Brahman when the time comes is to give up the mortal body. The Vedas describe a central channel in the subtle body of every living being that leads upwards through the apex of the head. 5 According to the Upanishads, the process of overcoming physical limitations occurs when the prana rises along this channel and travels through the apex of the head into the realm of Brahman. 6 As the yogi draws the senses inward and focuses the breath on this central channel, he becomes able to bring about his own ascension, eventually piercing the top of the head and entering the immortal realm.

3 Krishna, the Lord, describes in chapter 8 of the Bhagavad Gita how one reaches the immortal kingdom when leaving this world. The Lord says: someone who is fully devoted at the time of death through the power of yoga and has an immobile mind that causes the prana to enter right between the eyebrows, someone opens up to the divine Supreme Being when one has all the gates of the body, the spirit firmly anchored in the heart and the breath of life into the head and anchored in yogic concentration, if you pronounce AUM, the single syllable that is Brahman, and remember me, then you give up the body and go to the highest. 7 If we compare this scriptural description with Baba Muktananda's eyewitness account of the mahasamadhi of his Guru Bhagavan Nityananda, we can see significant parallels with the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita. Baba writes: Dr. Nicholson gently rubbed Shri Gurudev's palms and I gently rubbed his feet. The prana flow left the feet. The doctor let go of his hands. The time of great liberation had come. The prana rose. I took Shri Gurudev's hands. His face took on the same appearance that we had seen in the early days of the shambhavi mudra, an outward-facing look with inward focus. He cast a loving look of grace at the followers around him, then rolled his eyes up. The sushumna nadi pulsed between his eyebrows. The sound of Om, beautiful and melodious, could be heard and his breath of life, his prana, was absorbed in the cosmic consciousness. 8 When a siddha arises in samadhi, it allows the body to fall asleep naturally. It is only when one leaves the body in this way that one attains complete freedom and is absorbed in pure Supreme Consciousness.

4 The Samadhi Shrine A sacred place In the Hindu tradition it is a custom to burn the body of a deceased person. However, the body of a Siddha is buried. This tradition corresponds to the understanding that the body of such a great being has already been completely cleansed by the fire of yoga. The inner tapas, the heat that has arisen through sustained and perfect yoga practice, has consumed the latent karmic impressions, the samskaras, and thus made the body flawless. Furthermore, the body of a realized sage who has attained Brahman is worshiped as a tirtha, a sacred place. In Kubjikamata Tantra it says: All those who have become perfect through the knowledge of wisdom, who are able to generate wisdom where they are, that is a place that is a tirtha in the highest sense of the word All are tirthas where a guru is present. 9 It is only against the background of such ideas that we can understand why the burial place of a realized sage is considered so sacred. When the average person dies, it is prana that enables transition to other planes of existence and ultimately rebirth. Furthermore, it is with the help of prana that the karmic impressions and merits (punya) of a person's past actions are transmitted to bear fruit in future lives. It is different with the realized sage who has attained Brahman. Such a being does not experience future births. What happens to the prana and the immense merits that a great being has amassed? Baba Muktananda commented on the verse from the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad quoted at the beginning of this explanation: When an ordinary person dies, the soul leaves the body and takes on another form according to his karma. But in the case of great beings who have recognized their oneness with Brahman, the Supreme Reality, the all-pervading unity of being, consciousness and bliss (satcidananda), the prana does not travel to other planes: it does not leave the body. 10

5 A person's punya, or merit, is stored in prana, and the prana of a realized sage remains in the apex of the head where it was concentrated immediately before leaving the body. Because its merit is thus stored in its prana and remains in the body, the body is revered as a place of sacred power from which emanates the radiant presence of the pure Supreme Consciousness. This radiant presence becomes the focus point of a samadhi shrine. Baba Muktananda says about this: After these great beings have attained Brahman, they do not use their tapasya for their personal benefit, because they have nothing more to gain. It serves the benefit of others. This power remains in their samadhi shrines. In fact, this power is the same as the all-pervading pure Supreme Consciousness. 11 As a dwelling place of holy power, the body of a realized sage is buried, the place is marked with a stone, and a shrine is built over the place. That such a place remains a connecting line to the presence of the Siddhas can also be inferred from the utterances of the popular Indian saint Sai Baba of Shirdi () before his own mahasamadhi. He assured his grieving disciples: The stones of my samadhi will speak to you. 12 Baba Muktananda once said of Gurudev Siddha Peeth: I will sit right here until the end of time. 13 Baba is still sitting there, exuding his oneness with the pure Supreme Consciousness from the very room where his Guru ritually installed him years earlier. It is Baba's samadhi shrine, and this is definitely a tirtha. Celebrating the Mahasamadhi of a Siddha The annual celebrations that take place on the anniversary of the passing of a Siddha are a form of commemoration in which students invoke the shakti of such a great being. These celebrations are deeply rooted in Indian tradition. One of the earliest references to this practice is found in an eyewitness account of the mahasamadhi des

6 holy poet Jnaneshvar Maharaj from Maharashtra in the year His contemporary, Holy Shri Namdev, reports that Jnaneshvar Maharaj Vitthal, the Lord, asked the Lord on the eve of his samjivan samadhi of a self-chosen living samadhi for the fulfillment of a last wish. He asked that every year on the day of his mahasamadhi followers gather in this place to celebrate the greatness of Vitthal, who for Jnaneshvar was the manifestation of pure Supreme Consciousness. Vitthal the Lord agreed by stating that the place where Jnaneshvar sits will forever radiate his pure state of Supreme Consciousness. 14 To this day, more than seven hundred years later, devotees come to Jnaneshvar's samadhi shrine daily to receive the blessings of his achievements that pervade his samadhi disposition. And every year on the eleventh day of the dark half of the month of Kartik (which usually falls in November), thousands of devotees gather to celebrate Jnaneshvar and his state of self-realization. Just as Baba Muktananda's samadhi shrine serves as a spatial connecting line for his all-pervading shakti, the full moon in October serves as a temporal connecting line. This full moon marks the anniversary of Baba's mahasamadhi according to the lunar calendar, and although his shakti is present everywhere, it is said that its radiance increases exponentially on this day and opens us to Baba's presence in our lives. The collective focus of devotional celebration fuels this luminous shakti into a powerful flame. And therefore, on the full moon day in October, Siddha Yogis and new seekers honor and celebrate the mahasamadhi of Baba Muktananda, and we immerse ourselves in its radiant state of pure Supreme Consciousness. We remember Baba's physical presence in this world and experience his all-pervading presence in the heart. There are countless stories of Siddha Yogis and new seekers who experienced great blessings, profound visions and powerful darshans from Baba Muktananda on this bright full moon day in October SYDA Foundation. All rights reserved.

7 1 Brhadaranyaka Upanishad David Gordon White, Sinister Yogis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), p. 33, note 137; S Katha Upanishad Mahabharata Shatapatha Brahmana, Chandogya Upanishad Bhagavad Gita Swami Muktananda, Bhagawan Nityananda von Ganeshpuri (South Fallsburg, NY: SYDA Foundation, 1996), S Kubjikamata Tantra b-108a, English translation by Teun Gouderningan, and Some Beliefs Death in the Kubjikāmata, in Selected Studies on Ritual in the Indian Religions: Essays to DJ Hoens, ed.Ria Kloppenborg (Leiden: EJ Brill, 1983), S Muktananda, Bhagawan Nityananda von Ganeshpuri, S Swami Muktananda, Conversations with Swami Muktananda: The Early Years, 2nd ed. (South Fallsburg, NY: SYDA Foundation, 1998) , S Meditation Revolution: A History and Theology of the Siddha Yoga Lineage (South Fallsburg, NY: Agama Press, 1997), S Muktananda, Bhagawan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri, S Śrī Nāmdev Gāthā [Sakaḷa Santa Gāthā], ed. N. Sakhare ( Pune: Varda Books, 1990 [1923]), Verse i All translations of scriptures into English are by Mark McLaughlin, unless otherwise stated. German translations from English.