The Shivagamas and the Vachana literature of the 12th century, which preserve intact the ancient culture of Shiva-yoga, speak of its glory and greatness in eloquent terms. Yoga then signifies a spiritual condition of universal equality and God union. When the individual spirit comes in contact with the universal spirit, then it realizes its ultimate object of repose and all its movements acquire meaning and significance. This union or contact is to be established in consciousness alone. If the union is effected through the concentration on the light reflected in Ishtalinga, it is Shiva-yoga. The whole process of Shiva-yoga is directed to the awakening of the dormant pineal gland. It is a rudimentary organ in most people but it is possible to quicken its evolution into a condition in which it can perform its function of apprehending events comprehensively. In Yoga Shastra this pineal gland is spoken of as the third eye, the function of which takes place through the middle of the forehead. Physiology has recognized the importance of the middle brain and of endocrine glands. It has therefore set a value upon the pituitary and pineal glands. The pineal is the seat of cosmic thought. When the pituitary and pineal glands have become fully developed and stimulated, their vibrations fuse and stir into activity the third eye, the eye of the soul. This activity provides the mind with a sensitive instrument, a transmitter by means of which vibrations of very differing types can be translated, interpreted and rearranged.
This gives man personal access to the wisdom as explained by H.H.Shri Kumarswamiji in the article below.
The term YOGA has a very ancient history dating back to the chalcolithic age (Copper Age). The inscriptions found in Mohenjo Daro and Harappa have revealed the existence of God Shiva, seated in a yogic posture. The term Minakanna obtained in the inscriptions suggested the early ideal of yogic discipline. In those remote days the yogis noted for their asceticism and discipline, were addressed as Minas. Father Heras observes, “that life of asceticism was practised in the pre-Aryan proto-Indian period, is evident from the fact that one of the inscriptions mentions “the learned Minas who dwell in the caves”. Cave-dwelling was not ordinary in those days, when beautifully built brick houses were common. The learned Minas dwelling in caves could not but be ascetics”.
Shiva-yoga has been sponsored by these learned Minas. Three things stand out into bold relief about Shiva-yoga.
1) It is historical for it has a history of more than 5000 years. It goes as far back as the chalcolithic age. It was prevalent in the Indus valley civilization. And from there it spread to Egypt, Sumeru and other Mediterranean countries.
2) It is democratic in the sense that everybody is eligible to practise Shiva-yoga irrespective of caste, colour, creed, rank, age and position.
3) It is scientific in the sense that it is entirely based upon the laws of light and electricity.
The term Minakanna is pregnant with meaning. In later days, it was translated into Sanskrit as Animishadristi or unwinking gaze. Crystal gazing is as old as the hills and the belief that it generates magnetism is equally old. It was only in 1850 that Baron John Reichenback discovered this magnetism and described it as odylic force. He announced that odylic force could be generated by crystal gazing and by crystal magnets on the human body and human hands. His experiments were conducted in the natural waking condition of a subject. Since then, odylic force has been photographed and there are reasons to believe that magnetic crystals and human bodies, send forth emanations which can be felt and sometimes seen by similar persons. The Ishtalinga, which is an indispensable means of Shiva-yoga, is a stone with a glazing covering. Since the steadfast gaze on Ishtalinga generates magnetism, Ishtalinga is a crystal magnet.
Ishtalinga is a miniature of Shivalinga. The worship of Shivalinga, in India, dates from a very long period. The worship of Shivalinga, as we have it in the temples, is the characteristic feature of Shaivism. There is another mode of worship known as Ishtalinga form of worship, and Veerashaivism or Lingayatism advocates this mode of worship. Ishtalinga is worshipped by placing it on the palm of the left hand so raised as to bring it in line with the centre of the eyebrows. Ishtalinga is made of light grey slate stone and to be kept intact it is coated all over with a fine durable paste prepared out of certain ingredients. The colour of the paste is blue-black or indigo. The colour of the naso-ciliary plexus or Ajna chakra situated in the centre of the eyebrows is also indigo. This colour represents Mahat or intuition. The colour of the covering of Ishtalinga and that of Ajna chakra being akin in nature, they act and react upon each other thus enriching the magnetic force or intuitive power. Animishadristi came to be identified with Samyama. Samyama or the concentrated gaze is the secret upon which the whole of Patanjali Sutra hinges. When one has succeeded in mastering this Samyama, one will come into the possession of occult powers. But Samyama is to be practised stage after stage, the higher one is to be resorted to only after the lower one has been won. Samyama should pass from gross to the subtle, from the subtle to the causal, from the outer to the inner, from the inner to the innermost. This gradation has been recognized by Shiva-yoga. In Shiva-yoga the process is threefold which involves Samyama on Ishtalinga, Pranalinga and Bhavalinga – the outer, the inner and the innermost. The concentrated gaze of the Ishtalinga reveals the inner light which is known as Pranalinga or Jyotirlinga. The gaze on the inner light leads one to the realization of the innermost light or Bhavalinga. When this innermost light is realized by the yogin, the knowledge of subtle things will be intuitively revealed. The Shivagamas and the Vachanaliterature of the 12th century, which preserve intact this ancient culture of Shiva-yoga, speak of its glory and greatness in eloquent terms.
The term Yoga has a variety of meanings but the generally accepted meaning of the term is union or harmony. The term Yoga is derived from the root “Yuj”, to join or weld together. Just as in welding two pieces of the same metal are made to become one by the process of heating and hammering, so in Yoga the embodied spirit is made to become one with the universal spirit by certain physical and mental exercises. Yoga then signifies a spiritual condition of universal equality and God union. When the individual spirit comes in contact with the universal spirit, then it realizes its ultimate object of repose and all its movements acquire meaning and significance. Be it noted that, this union or contact is to be established in consciousness alone. If the union is effected through the repetition of Om, Soham or any other name of God, it is Mantra-yoga; if through the catches, postures and breath control, it is Hatha-yoga; if through the control and concentration of the mind, it is Raja-yoga; if through the discrimination between spirit and matter, between self and not-self, it is Jnana-yoga; if through the development of finer emotions, it is Bhakti-yoga; if through the disinterested performance of actions, it is Karma-yoga; if the union is effected through the concentration on the light reflected in Ishtalinga, it is Shiva-yoga. In all these cases, union with the Universal is the one dominant and recurrent note, however different may be the process.
In Shiva-yoga the concentrated gaze on the light reflected in the Ishtalinga is of vital importance for it generates magnetic force which helps to galvanize into activity the dormant pineal gland.
The whole process of Shiva-yoga is directed to the awakening of this dormant pineal gland. It is a rudimentary organ in most people but it is evolving though slowly. It is possible to quicken its evolution into a condition in which it can perform its function of apprehending events comprehensively. It is the organ of cosmic thought as the eye is an organ of seeing and ear of hearing. The mathematical time which is only an illusion produced by the successive states of consciousness as one travels through the eternal duration. In Yoga Shastra this pineal gland is spoken of as the third eye, the function of which takes place through the middle of the forehead, which is marked by the Hindus with a tilak or spot therein. Hence in the symbolic representation of Shiva, we see in the middle of his forehead an opening with red flames issuing therefrom. This third eye or the pineal gland is atrophied in man, simply because his tendency has grown downward and his mind has got immersed in sexual pleasures. This eye and kamic organ are said to be like two pans of a balance, one of which has to kick the beam when the other grows heavy. Only when we outgrow Kama, lust or libido and make it as light as possible, that this pineal gland will reopen, that it will flower out into brilliance.
“We are wonderfully made”, says the writer of the Psalms. But how wonderfully we are made, we hardly care to know. Few of us have any idea of the amazing variety and intricacy of the processes that take place in our bodies. We fail to understand the mysteries of our own bodies, which are as it were, nature’s crowning master-pieces. The Yoga science furnishes us with an authentic information of our body in the light of the most modern discoveries of medicine and physiology. The foundations of Yoga are laid in the solid physical structure of the human body. Man’s body is indeed a miracle. The different systems that make it an organic whole show an extremely beautiful arrangement of parts and great skill in operation. The most important and complicated of them all is the central nervous system with its stem and innumerable branches spread out in all directions. This gives it an appearance of the tree. The flowers that blossom on this Tree of life are the Chakras and plexuses. The fruits at various places are the ductless glands. The fruit and flower are not visible to the physical eye. Only the bare tree with its branches and branchlets is to be seen. To enjoy the fragrance of the flower and the sweetness of the fruit, that is immortality, definite steps have to be taken. This forms the practical part of Yoga as an occult science.
Physiology has discovered functional hierarchy, and the levels of function are three – the humoral, the autonomous and the voluntary. Of these three the humoral is the basic and it plays an important part in the preservation of the body. The Yoga science has recognized this fact long ago with an insistence on the electro-structure of the physical body. The humoral has for its essential function the regulation of all the chemical processes going on within the cells and is called metabolism. This function is under the rule of the glandular system. The chemical elements absorbed in food or otherwise are first turned into colloids by the various digestive processes and then passed into the blood, finally to be distributed as reserves by the endocrine glands. The research has been carried far enough to have gained for physiology synoptic vision of the whole humoral system and of the wonderful subtlety with which it meets all the needs of the organism and keeps the specifically human equilibrium. The thyroid deals with iodine, the pituitary with bromine, the parathyroids with calcium, the suprarenals with alkali, the liver and the pancreas with sugar. The equilibrium is constantly maintained by vitamins. Physiology has ascertained the correspondence of vitamin C with the suprarenal hormones, of vitamin A with the thyroid, of vitamin E with the kidneys and gonads. Vitamin E acts exactly like the hormone secreted by the anterior lobe of the pituitary, vitamin D like that of the parathyroid and vitamin B has an antagonistic action towards the thyroid gland.
The theory of life as combustion is now superseded by one of electrical induction. The body can no longer be likened to a machine run by heat, whose activity is measured in calories; it has become an electric engine. In humoral system electricity is found to play an important part. Since living substance is in its nature colloidal, its isolated particles carry electric charges. These charges constitute a highly differentiated electric lining to the somatic substance of the body, whose chemical and organic complexity it arouses and whose activity it commands. J. C. Bose has already shown the existence and the physiological importance of this electro-structure in the plant, Professor D’Arsonval of Paris and Professor Tchijewsky of Moscow have investigated its activity in the animal and in man. Now it has been established that the vital tonus is maintained by the electrical charges inbreathed with the air and carried by the blood from the lungs to the cells. Just as in the body the purely physical function is found to be a dynamic entity flowing along the nerves and ruling organic activity, so has the humoral and cellular function been seen to be equally electric in nature. The colloidal constitution of living substance has for its counterpart an organized lining of electrical charges. The chemistry of the cells and their metabolism has to be maintained by borrowing food and air from the environment. What we really eat and breathe are ions, that is, molecules plus electrical charges. These charges represent an all important factor in the maintenance of the vital tonus of the organism. It is on the basis of the electro-structure which maintains the vital tonus of the organism, the Yoga science asserts that the physical body could be electrified to such an extent as to be literally free from disease and death. Allama Prabhu, a master-yogi of the Veerashaiva faith, who flourished in the 12th century in Karnataka had attained such an electrical body which is known as Vyomakaya.
This article ‘Shiva-yoga and Pineal Gland’ is taken from H.H.Mahatapasvi Shri Kumarswamiji’s book, – ‘Technique of Opening the Third Eye’.