Kundalini and Layayoga -The laya has two stages. First, the absorption of sense consciousness and, secondly, the complete absorption of the superconsciousness into Supreme Power-Consciousness. That Supreme Being is to be realized by superknowledge arising in samadhi. It is said: ‘That formless Spirit should be realized by superconscious knowledge in the body in which the vital processes are operative
The laya has two stages. First, the absorption of sense consciousness and, secondly, the complete absorption of the superconsciousness into Supreme Power-Consciousness.
It has been said: ‘Mind has two forms—impure and pure: the impure mind is full of desires, and the pure mind is free from desires. Mind is the cause of both our bondage and our liberation; the mind which is attached to sense objects causes bondage, and when it becomes free from objects it leads to liberation; . . .therefore, he who desires to be liberated should make his consciousness freefrom all objective images’. By the laya process all objective images are eliminated from consciousness, which becomes pure.
The purified consciousness becomes transformed into superconsciousness in a state of samadhi, arising from laya. Laya develops into samadhi.
It is stated: ‘The non-rising of the absorbed multiforms of the consciousness is the limit of the control’.
This requires explanation. The term ‘laya’ is derived from li meaning ‘be absorbed in’. Laya, in the technical sense of yoga, means absorption in deep concentration. When the multiforms of consciousness undergo absorption in concentration and do not arise again to interrupt it, concentration develops into samadhi. This process of absorption consists of various stages. The first of these is concerned with the absorption of the sensory images and all conative impulses. The next stage is the absorption in concentration of intellection and thoughts. In this way, when the perceptive, volitive, and intellective functions of the mind are fully controlled by absorptive concentration, senseconsciousness begins to be transformed into superconsciousness. When concentration becomes deepest, samadhi is attained. Samadhi in the superconscious field is termed samprajñata samadhi, that is, superconscious concentration. The control power has now reached its highest degree of development. It is then termed ‘nirodha’ or sangnirodha, that is, supercontrol. This is the limit of mental control.
Yama said: ‘Manas is higher than the senses, intellect is higher than manas, mahan is higher than the intellect, the unmanifested, that is prakriti, is higher than the mahan and the infinite and supreme Purusha, that is, Supreme Consciousness, is higher than prakriti; one who knows him (in samadhi), becomes free from bondage and immortal’.
The different aspects of the sensory mind, the supermind and what remains beyond mind, have been stated by Yama. He also indicated the stages of absorptive concentration. Here manas is the sensemind. The senses, sensemind and intellect are the main aspects of the sensory mind. When these are absorbed in concentration, mahan (supermind) is reached. For attainment of nonmens concentration the supermind should be reduced to prakriti (primus) by the absorptive concentration. Prakriti is that fundamental principle in which the supermind undergoes negativity. Then prakriti itself is absorbed into purusha (disembodied consciousness principle).
The various principles, which are to be absorbed in concentration by stages, have been explained here: ‘The “earth”, “water”, “fire”, “air” and “void” principles; subtle earth, water, fire, air and void principles; the principles of smell and its objects, of taste and its objects, of sight and its objects, of touch and its objects, and of hearing and its objects; the conative principles, viz., reproduction, excretion, locomotion, prehension and speech; sensemind and its functions; intellect, I-ness and senseConsciousness and their functions; supermind and its function; and the creative aspect of infinite energy—all these are to be absorbed’ (—Prashnopanishad, 4.8).
The five forms of metamatter (mahabhutas) and five ‘tanons’ (tanmatras), five senses and their objects, five organs of volitional actions and will-mind, intellection, I-feeling, senseconsciousness, supermind and the energy aspect of Supreme Power-Consciousness, which is the source of all creative phenomena, are to be absorbed in deep concentration in order to reach Brahman.
When all principles are absorbed in concentration, what remains is Brahman —Supreme Spirit. It has been stated: ‘That (Brahman) is infinite, being by itself, beyond mind, subtler than the subtlest (that is, without form), far away and still near (that is, beyond any position); that Brahman is hidden in what has been manifested as life-mind-matter’ (—Mundakopanishad, 3.1.7). Unless all the creative principles are absorbed, the realization of Supreme Consciousness is not possible.
That Supreme Being is to be realized by superknowledge arising in samadhi. It is said: ‘That formless Spirit should be realized by superconscious knowledge in the body in which the vital processes are operative, (that is, the living body); sarwa chitta (that is, consciousness exhibiting multiformity) is vitalized by the bio-forces; when this senseconsciousness is purified, the Supreme Spirit shines forth in it’ (—Mundakopanishad, 3.1.9). Here, it is said that, when senseconsciousness, which is associated with the living body, is spiritually purified, it is transformed into superconsciousness, and samadhi is attained. In samadhi, superknowledge arises by which the Supreme Spirit is realized.
The spiritual purification of the senseconsciousness is achieved by theabsorption of various principles in concentration. Brahman—Supreme Consciousness, in the creative aspect, manifests consciousness in three forms. The first form is the sensory, and it functions in cooperation with the physical body. Consciousness is awakened by perceiving external objects through the senses. At this stage the experiences of the ‘I’ areessentially based on perception. The ‘I’ has seven main supports from where allits experiences are effected. The means of the experiences are nineteen, viz., fivesenses, five organs of volitive actions, five bioenergies, sensemind, intellect, Iness and consciousness. In the second form, consciousness is awakened bythoughts and dreams based on impressions and desires. In the third form,consciousness is not awakened, so it is a state of nonconsciousness.
When the senses and the sensemind become inoperative, senseconsciousness becomes masked, giving rise to apparent nonconsciousness. It happens normally in deep sleep. But in layayoga concentration, senseconsciousness is absorbed, and sensemind, will-mind and intellect are also absorbed, and the undifferentiated conscious ‘Substance’ of the senseconsciousness is spiritually transformed into highly rarefied superconsciousness. This is the stage of superconscious concentration. The Supreme Spirit is ‘seen’ through superconsciousness. When superconsciousness is also absorbed in supreme concentration, what remains is infinite Brahman. At this stage, there is neither senseconsciousness, nor nonconsciousness, nor superconsciousness; it is neither a conscious state, nor an unconscious state, nor any intermediate state. The reality remaining in this state ‘cannot be seen, as it is beyond the senses; it cannot be “taken”, as it is beyond the reach of the volitive faculties; so it is hidden in everyday life ; it is without any attributes, and beyond thoughts and, therefore, unidentifiable; it is only the being of Supreme Consciousness where all creativity and the manifested universe have come to nothingness; it is that Supreme Reality which is one and the whole; that is to be known’
This absorption is not the dark state of the mind. It brings into being that consciousness which is divinely illuminated. This is superconsciousness. The process of absorption, technically termed here apaiichikarana (
dis-quintuplication') has been described as follows: The 'earth'-form is absorbed in thewater’-form (in concentration) ;
water'-form in 'fire'-form, 'fire'-form inair’-form, ‘air’-form in
void'-form,void’-form in I-consciousness (which includes senseConsciousness, intellect, will-mind and sensemind), I-consciousness in the mahan-principle (superconsciousness), mahan in awyakta, that is prakriti (primus) and awyakta in purusha (disembodied consciousness principle).
It has been said: ‘That Brahman in the creative aspect is Indra, that is, endowed with the great yoga power, and is Prajapati—the first being with attributes; all the dewatas—super-beings, the five mahabhutas (metamatter) and all beings, including those which are produced from eggs, which are viviparous, insects, plants, other animals and men—and their sources—all are absorbed in the superconscious knowledge; superconsciousness is the centre of the absorption of all these and lokas (worlds).
Superconsciousness is illuminated by Brahman’. Here the secret of absorption has been disclosed. In relation to mind-matter phenomena, Brahman, with its Supreme Power, is in the creative aspect. The universe and all beings are the manifestation of the creative force of Brahman. The lokas are the chakras—the sites of sensory and mental functions. The mahabhutas and tanmatras and the sense-principles are in the lower five centres. Consciousness and mental functions are in the upper centres. Consciousness becomes limited when it is a field of perceptivity, intellection and volition. This