I was told by my teacher “that the doorway to higher knowledge will only be open for a short time.” He was referring to the sacred teachings of yoga as well as other disciplines of the mystics. The knowledge offered by mystics was often kept secret from the general population. This can be viewed as elitist or even selfish by many and certainly in today’s google driven world keeping knowledge secret can be seen in a negative way.
As I observe words like “empowerment” being bandied about in today’s “new age” world I understand why so many teachings were kept secret. Empowerment has come to mean power to be able to get that job, purchase that house, start that business or even proclaim mastery to others for prosperity.
The journey throughout the ages for mystics has been to uncover the truth of existence and move beyond the suffering of human life. There are tools which can be used on this journey but at one time to get the advanced tools one had to have substantial training over the course of a long time of preparation. A mystic tool misused can be as dangerous as allowing a child to experiment with a chain saw.
My own formal training has been in Raj-Kundalini Yoga and Vedic Astrology. The training was intense and took many years. My training in Raj-Kundalini yoga was regulated according to the strength of my nervous system and my understanding of the principles of the teachings. I admit that there were times I was frustrated with the slowness but as I observe the yoga world today I know that it was the right training. Today we have certified teachers who train for just twenty-eight days who don’t even seem to know that releasing the force of the kundalini on a weak body or an undisciplined mind can create both physical and mental illness. Other teachers speak of empowerment to earn large sums of money or mundane prestige while ignoring the core principles of yoga itself. As an astrologer I often get clients who feel like failures because they chanted the mantras, did the powerful breath techniques and visualizations but did not get the house, the job, the spouse or even the car. They end up feeling like failures and/or that they did something wrong. What was wrong was the misunderstanding of yoga or other sacred teachings because the purpose of the inner teachings was not meant for material success. I end up thinking that there were definite reasons for keeping the sacred teachings secret until a person had earned them.
Before the door closes I would like to share some of the sacred teachings as I know them. Below is a quote from “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Commentary by Swami Satchidananda.”
“ABUTTASYCU DYHKHANATMASU NITYA SUCI SUKHATMAKHYATIR AVIDYA.”
Ignorance is regarding the impermanent as permanent, the impure as pure, the painful as pleasant, and the non-Self as the Self.
Yoga is a valuable system for health, balance and relaxation. It can be important to pay close attention to instructors who move beyond the physical and begin to speak about empowerment if the teacher does not understand even the above sutra.