The Cornerstone of Samkhya Yoga Revisited
© copyright 1989-2003 All Rights Reserved
Permission To Copy For Non-Commercial Use
In May of 1967, I joined the Self Realization Fellowship, which is a world-recognized religious institution whose philosophical axis revolved around Christianity, Samkhya and traditional Raja Yoga, and whose metaphysical existence revolved around a breath related meditation technique called “Kriya Yoga.” I was receiving excellent benefits for several years from the technique before I was told by one of their counselors that I had misinterpreted the instructions, and was performing the technique incorrectly. After correcting my mistake, I naturally expected even better results.
Unfortunately, the correct way of performing the technique was not as good as the mistake. Since this was highly unlikely, both an experienced counselor at the institution and I examined these phenomena over a period of roughly three years. Unlikely or not, the mistake definitely produced more of the desired spiritual qualities, and was also more consistent at producing them.
Since my loyalties were now shifting to the new technique, it became increasingly obvious that I had to explore it and its principles in greater depth. I also felt the dedication this research required would be inconsistent with the dedication requirements for membership in the organization, so reluctantly I left. The decision was not an easy one to make since I had been with them for more than eight years.
While I was with the organization, I had learned 18 traditional meditation or meditation related techniques, all of which had to be reexamined with greater objectivity and reevaluated. Within the next two years I had discarded all of them in favor of original techniques based entirely on breathing, and from which I was getting the best, as well as the fastest results. Even with all the success I was getting from the meditation though, it still wasn’t enough, and it dawned on me that spiritual success by itself was never going to satisfy me.
After more than five years of researching meditation methods in order to further refine the method I had stumbled across years earlier, I came to realize that what I needed a method that would enable me to transcend the spiritual world as well as the mundane. Guided by that recognition I deliberately created and practiced a meditation technique that was specifically intended not to help me progress spiritually, but rather to help me to ignore everything including my spiritual aspirations. It was not designed to make my needs and desires disappear, but rather it was to intended to help me disengage from those needs and desires and offer at least a temporary sanctuary from both, but especially sanctuary from my spiritual desires that over the years had become self-defeatingly obsessive.
The new breathing technique did what it was designed to do and it offered me sanctuary from both the spiritual as well as the mundane, and after taking my leave of this unique sanctuary each day I found myself becoming more and more objective concerning my spiritual growth. This particular meditative creation however also brought with it some unreservedly unintentional surprises whose descriptions could not be found in any texts that I was familiar with, and by this time I was familiar with quite a bit. Well, that’s what I believed at the time.
I hadn’t been applying the new meditation technique for more than a few months, and I was lying down getting ready for sleep when it began to happen. I looked at my hand, but instead of revealing flesh, my eyes revealed mud. Feeling more than a little strange but now very awake, I observed further. “Mud is wet ... and drips, and this is neither.” I peered closer. “This is clay.” I looked at the rest of me and realized I was living inside a clay vessel that for years I had seen as flesh. In the morning the vision was gone, but evidently not forgotten.
I didn’t know it at the time, but everyone that practices this particular method of meditation experiences what can only be described as a spiritual metamorphosis. The transmutation takes place in four successive stages, and at the completion of each of those stages a transformational vision occurs. Upon the completion of this first stage, almost all of us saw our physical bodies as though made of clay or mud or even stone, but one thing we have all had in common was the perception of the body as a mere shell.
A few months later I completed the second stage. Thoughts became wet raindrops, and I would watch them come from a rarefied region above until they disappeared with a small ripple in the pool of mind ... literally. I continued to observe a steady torrential stream of “rain-drop-thoughts” for about an hour. It was like being inside the calm center of a hurricane untouched by the tempest round about. Gradually the individual “thought-drops” became hard and hail-like as opposed to rain-like. No “hailstones” would fall on me directly, but instead they continued to ripple and disappear into the same “limpid pool of mind.” I, on the other hand, was still being sheltered in a sanctuary of stillness.
I was able to identify the transformations and their visions from descriptions supplied by a more than two thousand years old text entitled the Yoga Sutras. In spite of its antiquity, or perhaps because of its antiquity, it is still one of the most universally recognized and oft quoted instruction manuals for virtually all known Yoga traditions in the modern world, even though in truth the text is not really an instruction manual for any Yoga tradition other than Raja Yoga. Indeed, the text is a detailed step-by-step instruction manual for Samkhya meditation, and albeit in passing, it furthermore identifies two Samkhya kundalini breathing techniques which enhance that meditation experience.
Even so, what was noteworthy was that the text predicted the two stages yet remaining. I waited.
(All four stages are spaced exactly 108 days apart with one day of transformation between each one, but I did not discover that until years later when I chronicled other people’s progress through them.)
After another few months the third stage was completed, and I experienced an existence akin to a leaf floating in a fall breeze. In the bargain was a sort of omniscience with an uncanny ability to understand anything that was presented before me. Every question I proposed had an immediate answer. When I wondered where its limitations lie, its all inclusiveness absorbed my surroundings, and I began to explore and soak up everything both about and beyond me. I assimilated the apartment, the city, the country, the planet, the solar system, the galaxy … and beyond. I was encompassing, comprehending, and assimilating everything in the finite universe. At the threshold of Infinity though, my expanding and assimilating abruptly ended.
I actually saw and felt massive iron doors clanging shut, denying me that Infinitude, but there was also a promise that even these doors would eventually open if I would just be content. Before I had a chance to complain that contentment (along with humility) had always been conspicuously absent in my character, an offering of contentment was laid before me, as much as I wanted ... whenever I wanted.
The first two visions were loud and boisterous, and only lasted a matter of hours, but this latest one seemed to last for months. Perhaps the perception lingered because I was able to recapture aspects of it at will. I was able to maintain both its sensation of floating and consoling breeze right up to the vestibule of the fourth and final transformation.
The last transformation was the final stage of the metamorphosis. The Infinity that had been denied me a few months earlier had finally arrived, but there was no me, or at least no me as there was before. There was a realization of Unlimited Freedom with this new existence, and I cringed at the thought that one day I might have to return to my previous life which I now saw as intolerable. Prior to the alteration I had been content with conditions of my previous existence, conditions that contained both a beginning and an eventual end. My existence was eternal now, one with neither beginning nor end.
Day followed day, and my spiritual disciplines continued, but something was different now. For years, my disciplines had been a constant pushing back the walls to let some Light in and push the spiritual envelope a little further. Now I was the Light, and I could feel the walls behind me. No matter how deep or how shallow my meditations were after that, the Light was always the same Eternal Constant. I was encouraged by the thought that perhaps I never would have to return to my previous existence. I decided to test this perception, and see just how permanent it really was.
For fifteen years I had been practicing some form of breath related discipline, sometimes three and four hours a day, and the last twelve of those years never saw even so much as one day missed. “If I completely ceased practicing the meditation method that produced this Freedom, then maybe the Freedom, or at least the perception of that Freedom, would cease as well,” or so I reasoned. I deliberately stopped meditating for the first time, just to see if that Freedom was real or illusionary. In fact, I ceased all spiritual disciplines, just to make sure nothing was supporting the newly found Freedom or Its perception.
That Realization of Freedom existing both within and beyond temporal reality remained unchanged and unchallenged. It did not and does not need to be maintained. It was and is forever. In the midst of activity I sometimes totally forgot about It however, but every so often I would look over my shoulder and check to see if It was still there. It always was. Several months later I resumed my daily meditation praxis, but not for Its Realization since I had that with me regardless. Meditation has a multitude of lesser, but exceedingly desirable, supplementary side-benefits, and having had them with me for so many years I missed being able to call on them.
Many years have passed now, and the self-evident realization of Eternal Life has still deserted neither me nor those that I have shared It with. Samkhya Yoga has now become the medium not of experiencing our Divinity, because we have that with us constantly still, but rather it has become the means of basking in Its Eternal Light.
Unfortunately for us, the person who had these experiences, wrote this page, taught Samkhya Yoga, and wrote nearly all of the material on this website regarding Samkhya Yoga, has gone to mahasamadhi on December 23, 2008. His websites, samkhyayoga.info and samkhyayoga.org are no longer online. I know that he would want Samkhya Yoga to live on in his memory. The files in this subdomain were written by Ronald Girty, and this may be considered his legacy. In a Dumb Supper, a Wiccan ritual which invites the spirit of a deceased person to dinner, consisting of Ron's favorite dishes: Curried Vegetable Stew and coffee with half and half, I felt that he wanted me to put this information up, and intact, as he last wrote it. I have practiced Samkhya Yoga for many years, and will attempt to answer your questions if you want to Contact
me. However, I doubt I will be able to answer any questions about Ron's experiences. Everyone's experience is unique, within certain bounds.