Being Inwardly Free
Each year in March we celebrate the mahasamadhis of two great masters, Paramhansa Yogananda and Sri Yukteswar. Mahasamadhi means “great samadhi” — it is the conscious, willful, final exit of a master from the physical body.
Scripture states that the anniversary of a mahasamadhi is a very auspicious time and consequently a great opportunity to tune into the consciousness of these Great Ones. In fact, these celebrations are pivotal in our calendar year and of great inspiration. On occasion, we bring to these gatherings sacred relics once possessed by these spiritual masters to experience the subtle vibrations of Their consciousness, still emanating from the relics. Through this event we are reminded of our own immortal nature and that these “Living Masters” attained a state of consciousness which is our divine potential. They are constantly showering us with their grace.
The ability to perform a mahasamadhi is the result of being inwardly free. A master has no consciousness of the limited self but has realized himself as one with God. While this is indeed an exalted state of being and may be far beyond our current comprehension, we embark upon the journey through daily meditation practice. Moment-by-moment meditation teaches us how to be free in our hearts even while living lives fully engaged in outward responsibilities and obligations.
In the practice of the Hong-Sau Technique, for example, we are watching the breath as an observer. I will not go into the whole technique here but want to emphasize this one part: observation. The breath enters into the body and flows out again, coming and going of its own accord without our control.
While this sounds simple enough, it is, in fact, challenging to watch this process and fully let the breath take the lead — what to speak of keeping our attention fully engaged! This is because it requires detachment, not only from the breath but from bodily consciousness.
This is harder than it seems, but is also why Yogananda said of this technique that if you want to become a master in this life, you should practice Hong-Sau for two hours a day. He also said that we can reach states of spiritual ecstasy in longer, deeper practices of this very technique. As a young boy Yogananda practiced this technique for seven hours at a time, going into ecstasy.
Do not underestimate the power of Hong-Sau to transform your life and help you to become inwardly free. It is not to be taken lightly, nor is it just for beginners. You can employ it at any time and for just a few minutes.
Center yourself and reclaim your focus and right attitude. Weekly I am inspired by examples and stories from those who meditate and have been able, through their practice, to transcend challenges and hardships in life, receive guidance and solutions, and realize a deeper understanding of their place and purpose in this world. I wish for you the same.