Questions & Answers with His Holiness Mahatapsvi Shri Kumarswamiji, Tapovan, Dharwad.
1. Question: During 1990 Yoga conference held here in Tapovan, one of our Shiva-yoga practicants had a wonderful experience. He saw you surrounded by an enormous luminous Linga. What sort of aura was that?
Shri Swamiji: Yes, it is aura and it is the Divine Aura. It means for a long time I’ve experienced and practised Shiva-yoga so the influence of that is reflected in the form of the aura which surrounds my body. But it needs a sensitive eye, that means a clairvoyant eye. They alone can see it, not all. That is true. It is possible to you also, if you practise Shiva-yoga for a long period.
2. Question: When a man dies, what happens to his etheric body?
Shri Swamiji: The soul never dies because the soul is immortal. Of course, the soul leaves this body. Surrounding this body is the etheric body. When the physical body is dead, the etheric body which surrounds the body remains for 10 days. That is why in India there’s a custom to observe some rituals for 10 days. In the case of ordinary human beings, after 10 days the etheric body is dissolved. Then it goes into the astral body and the soul begins to roam and it goes to the next life. This is eschatology. Eschatology is the science which deals with life after death. Then the soul roams here and there, seeking to find its next parents through whom it is to be born. Then it takes birth. In some exceptional cases the etheric body remains constant. You see, the great Adepts live in this etheric body and they can materialize and dematerialize in their physical body. The great adepts live in Jnana Ganja Ashram. If you remember them and if you meditate upon them, they appear before you. How? They materialize their bodies. They make their physical bodies appear before you and they talk to you. Then they disappear and they remain in their etheric body. Allama Prabhu, the great Virashaiva mystic, lives in his etheric body. It was used as physical body but if you want to touch it, you cannot touch. The characteristic difference between the two is: the physical body casts a shadow, it leaves footprints. Allama Prabhu, though he was in physical body, it could never cast any shadow, it could never leave footprints. He is in the etheric body. It is known as VYOMA KAYA. This is PARTHIVA, physical body, PARTHIVA SHARIRA (from prthvi comes parthiva) Vyomakaya is the etheric body.
3. Question: Is it allowed for us to call some adept during our meditation?
Shri Swamiji: Yes, it’s just possible and it is quite easy also. The only thing is, meditation should be concentrated. The mind should not be restless, it should be calm. Your meditation should be steady. There’s one condition – if you want to see an Adept, or call him, try to meditate and he appears. They are known as INVISIBLE HELPERS. Sometimes they do not appear before you but they stand behind you and help you. You are sadhakas, you are attending the spiritual path and if you need any help from the adepts, go on meditating and they will come. Sometimes they become visible, sometimes they remain invisible. Even if they remain invisible, they help you. They help your spiritual progress. Sometimes they become visible, you can see them, talk to them. And if there are any obstacles or if there are any opportunities which are not helpful to you, they try to remove them. They can do this through a visible form. Or even if they remain invisible, they can help. Nada, Bindu, Kala – through these they appear. Nada means sound. Sometimes you hear some very sweet sound. Through that sound they appear. Then Bindu – you see Bindu in Ishtalinga. In the form of light they appear. And Kala, that is nothing but their physical body which is not physical but etheric. They sometimes come before you. They appear before you in their etheric body, vyomakaya.
4. Question: How can a yogi keep that etheric body, and for how long will this etheric body remain?
Shri Swamiji: It all depends on the fitness of the adept. In Jnana Ganja Ashram there are adepts who live in this physical body from 600 to 1500 years. They have immortalized their physical body. The soul is already immortal. But they say – try to make this physical body immortal! And how is it possible for us? Shri Aurobindo himself admitted it, that it was possible to make this physical body immortal. And he says, “Educate the will first, through will educate the jnanam (knowledge). Through the jnanam purify the Chitta (heart), control the prana and calm the manas (mind). Through all these instruments immortalize the body. Vedanta starts with buddhi, Tantra starts with shakti.”
5. Question: Sometimes during practice different fragrances occur.
Shri Swamiji: That is quite correct. Sometimes you smell lotus, sometimes jasmine, sometimes the scent of a rose, sometimes it may be of the marigold. These are flowers and each flower has its own fragrance you can enjoy. One kind of flower is grown in Tibet. Gandha Babaji used to show it on a handkerchief. It had a smell but we can not tell if it is the smell of any flower. Gandha Babaji said it was a flower which grows in Tibet, it is not in India. It all depends on the practice of Shiva-yoga. You can see colours, you can feel the fragrance, it happens.
6. Question: What does it mean when we see white colour while practising Shiva-yoga?
Shri Swamiji: In the heart of white dwell all the seven colours of the rainbow. When a single ray of white colour is passed through the prism, it bifurcates into seven colours. That is why it is said that in the heart of white dwell all the seven colours of the rainbow. White is pure. When all the seven colours are absorbed in one, it becomes white.
7. Question: What about the black colour?
Shri Swamiji: White and black – these are the main two. The white is bifurcated into seven colours. Black stands opposite to white. White is pure consciousness, it represents Vidya-shakti, the highest spiritual power. Black stands opposite to white. Black is avidya, maya, ignorance or illusion. Avidya stands against knowledge. Black stands for avidya, white stands for vidya. In between come the seven colours. White is the highest, black is the lowest and in between are those seven colours.
8. Question: What is the cause of a headache during the practice of Shivayoga?
Shri Swamiji: It is due to tension. While worshipping Linga the whole body should be relaxed. If the body is tense, the mind also becomes tense. That tension falls upon the body. So, while looking at Linga, let your body be free, relax. Relax the whole body. Relax the mind also. If there are any bad ideas coming into the mind, you try to throw them. Relax the mind and relax the body. If there is no relaxation, there is tension. Headache is not a disease, it is due to tension, so relax your body, relax your mind.
9. Question: Which chakras are open in an average person? Do all the chakras open?
Shri Swamiji: Through practice it is possible. Of course, every human being has chakras. Every human body contains the etheric body and in the etheric body there are chakras but they are dormant. We have to activate them through the practice of yoga. Sometimes those who have taken to hatha-yoga, what they do, they practise asanas, pranayama, bandha, mudra. Unless you practise yoga, these chakras cannot be awakened. In every human body there’s the pineal gland. It has to be activated. They are all dormant. In order to activate them, practice is needed.
Text authorized by: H.H. Mahatapasvi Shri Kumarswamiji Tapovan, Dharwad, India. Put down from the sound recording, Croatia, 1994.