Gyan flows from guru to shishya, there is no book or kriya or mantra that can replace a guru. It is the guru-shishya parampara that has bestowed Bharatvarsha with the reservoirs of gyan in the form of the Upanishads. In fact, the term upanishad translates as ‘sitting near the guru’ and is formed from two words: ‘upa’ that is near, and ‘nishad’, which means to sit. Just sitting in the company of guru can reveal truths so profound and deep that even till date, many parts of the Upanishads are yet to be explored by modern scientists. Garbha Upanishad, the treatise on conception and growth of a child in the mother’s womb, is an example.
The five-fold body comprises earth that sustains water, that consolidates fire, that illuminates air, that brings in motion, and ether that lends space. The five sense organs help perceive the physical creation, the genitals are for pleasure and apana for elimination. Intellect helps understand, mind helps think and words are used to speak. This body is supported by six rasas (tastes), associated with six gunas (qualities), consists of seven dhatus (tissues), three malas (wastes), two yonis and is nourished by four ahaars (foods). The proper combination of gunas give rise to six rasas from which blood is created. Blood, flesh, and then fat, bones, marrow and semen—with the combination of semen and blood, human embryo is formed.
At a time conducive to conception, with the union of male and female, after a lapse of one night, embryo is a semi-fluid. It takes form of a bubble on seventh night, a solid lump at the end of fortnight. It hardens by a month, head forms at the end of two months; feet after three months, stomach and hips after fourth. The backbone develops in fifth month, eyes-nose-ears in sixth. In the seventh month, embryo gains consciousness and by eighth month, it is complete. If the potency of father is stronger, it becomes a male and vice versa.
This five-fold-self combined with intelligence immerses itself in eternal om, whereupon it derives the essence of eight natures and their sixteen modifications. In the ninth month, it is reminded of all the past lives, the karmas it performed—good and bad. The foetus contemplates that it has seen innumerable wombs and taken countless pleasures, been born and reborn repeatedly. So it pledges to immerse itself in yoga once it exits the womb to carve its journey back to the source—to Maheshwar, Narayana and Brahma. But the moment it comes out of the womb, it is touched by vaishnav prana and maya, and forgets its past lives and deeds.
At Dhyan Ashram, sadhaks have had experiences, which complement what is documented in the Upanishads and all of them are educated individuals with sound mind.
The Garbha Upanishad calls human life a yagya which uses the three fires in the body, Koshta agni (digestive fire), Darshana agni (which powers our sight) and Gyan agni (the power of discernment). Soul is the yajman; mind is Brahma, grosser thoughts and desires are sacrificial objects. Mental strength is the vow, intellect and sense organs are utensils, motor organs are the havish (performers of sacrifice), skull is the vessel, hair is darbha grass, face is the altar. Teeth are other utensils.
The body has one prashta pitta, one adhak kapha, one kudava sukra and two prashtas of fat. The measure of excretory waste depends on intake. The sage described the body and its journey in detail 4,000 years ago, urging the being to perform the yagya of life. The success of which, that is fulfilment of the purpose of birth, lies at the feet of guru.
Yogi Ashwini is the spiritual head of Dhyan Ashram.