Intellectual people love the mechanism of the brain—
Dear Brain, you are so wonderful. You let me think in a million ways…
The brain is obviously very proud and happy about these words. On the other hand, those who meditate probably have a different conversation:
Mr. Brain, you are simply a huge obstacle. Your restless mind is a constant nuisance in my meditations. All I want to do is switch you off and leave behind your endless thinking so I can feel God in the inner silence.
There may be some offense taken by the brain to these words as the conversation continues:
Dear Brain, you may think you are intelligent but actually, you are unable to grasp any subtle truth. Remember, Sri Yukteswar in the Autobiography of a Yogi absolutely humbled you by saying, ‘When your conviction of a truth is not merely in your brain but in your being, you may diffidently vouch for its meaning.’ So, your logical thinking, my dear brain, is (spiritually speaking) completely ignorant and unable to understand even minimally the Heavenly Realms.
We could also throw in a yogic platitude on top of that: Brainlessness is soulfulness.
The meditator’s brain might develop an inferiority complex and be profoundly insecure. It may also feel unloved, unappreciated, and unwanted and think:
For the meditators, I am nothing but a black sheep, a bad boy, a nasty block in their meditations.
Oh, this is so sad. Look how dejected the brain feels!
At this very moment, Angel Veritas (The Angel of Truth) appears on the scene to defend the crestfallen brain. The angel comes bearing good news for all meditators. He says that the brain, together with the spine, is in truth an instrument of God-perception!
Sri Yukteswar in the Autobiography of a Yogi points out that the supreme importance of the brain AND spine, especially for meditators is this:
Man’s body is precious. It has the highest evolutionary value because of unique brain and spinal centers. These enable the advanced devotee to fully grasp and express the loftiest aspects of divinity. No lower form is so equipped.
His words slowly sink in and we start to understand:
It is my sensitive subtle brain and chakras that will ultimately make me perceive the Divine Glory. If I didn’t have them, any God-perception would be nullified.
Swami Sri Yukteswar explains further:
The human body was therefore, not solely a result of evolution from beasts but was produced by an act of special creation by God. The animal forms were too crude to express full divinity; the human being was uniquely given a tremendous mental capacity—the ‘thousand-petaled lotus’ of the brain—as well as acutely awakened occult centers [chakras] in the spine.
Angel Veritas adds this:
Of course, Sri Yukteswar is talking about the astral (not physical) brain, the sahasrara chakra, and the astral plexuses. Nevertheless, don’t these words help you to look at the poor dejected brain with some newly found love and respect?
There is another passage from the Autobiography of a Yogi that may come to mind that explains how Kriya Yoga mightily and especially evolves the brain. Ultimately, we must conclude that it is the brain that finally enables us to express cosmic consciousness. Here is that passage:
The ancient rishis discovered that man’s earthly and heavenly environment, in twelve-year cycles, push him forward on his natural path. The scriptures aver that man requires a million years of normal, diseaseless evolution to perfect his human brain sufficiently to express cosmic consciousness… It needs twelve years of normal healthful living to effect even slight perceptible change in brain structure, and a million solar returns are exacted to sufficiently refine the cerebral tenement for manifestation of cosmic consciousness.
Angel Veritas triumphantly concludes:
You see, it is your brain that requires evolution if you truly want to experience and express cosmic consciousness. Your brain by natural methods, develops gradually and slowly year after year. A million years of natural evolution are needed for this exceedingly slow evolution.
However (and fortunate for us) there is a faster way. Read Yogananda’s Praecepta Lessons (1938), where he expands on the topic:
The ancient rishis… discovered that to effect a change in the brain by means of refinement of the physical brain cells is a slow process, but that the effect on man of brain-changes is immediate. They concentrated therefore on developing a method of hastening the evolution of the brain.
The rishis found that what is accomplished by outer influences during ordinary evolution could also be accelerated and brought about by internal methods of pranayama, or life-force control, that energize the sensitive spinal centers (chakras) and render them receptive to spiritual currents.
The rishis developed a technique of revolving the life force (the source of physical energy in the body) upward and downward within the six spinal centers, thus directly quickening the evolution of the spine and brain centers.
Swami Kriyananda, explains this entire mechanism as an act of karmic purification. The brain and spine are finally “pure of dross,” and in their natural purity they are able to take us to God. The chakras at that point become true temples of Spirit, containing His bliss.
Angel Veritas sums it all up for us:
In other words, what remains after many Kriya pranayamas, are the pure, primordial, shining spine and brain, called ‘the altar of God’ by Yogananda. They are, at that point, highly sensitive, ready to grasp the ‘loftiest aspects of divinity’. The yogi unites his mind with superconscious forces in the spinal shrines, thus he lives in this world as God hath planned, not impelled by impulses from the past nor by new witlessnesses of fresh human motivations. Such a yogi receives fulfillment of his Supreme Desire, safe in the final haven of inexhaustibly blissful Spirit.
Your brain with these words after countless lamentations throughout the years, finally feels and knows that it has been redeemed! You can now say this to your brain:
Dear Brain: You are truly awesome, truly amazing, truly divine.
Angel Veritas makes a final spectacular point concerning your heavenly brain that you may read about in Yogananda’s book The Journey to Self-Realization, in the chapter “Probing the Core of Nervousness.” Yogananda explains:
The construction of the brain has a correspondence with the single or spiritual eye in man. The spiritual eye contains three colors: gold, blue, white.
The gray matter in your brain (the surface) is, as he explains, full of the blue light of the spiritual eye, meaning of Christ Consciousness; and the white matter of your brain (the inside) is full of the white light of the spiritual eye, meaning of Cosmic Consciousness.
Yogananda explains that “the thousand-petaled lotus of life energy is white and is the seat and origin of all colors.” That may be why he calls the sahasrara chakra white lotus.
Angel Veritas leaves you smiling and gives us a pop quiz: Where then, is the golden color in your brain that holds the AUM vibration, or Holy Spirit? Can you guess?
Let us all make peace with our brains. The brain may be an unceasing chatterbox during meditation but if and when we go deeper, it is in truth a sacred, cosmic, and divine vessel.