THE CHIDAKASHA GITA OF
BHAGAWAN NITYANANDA OF GANESHPURI
With Commentary by Acharya Kedar
Bhagawan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri
Chidakasha - The Heart space in the head. The Triadic Heart of Shiva.
Origin and Foreword
I began reading the Chidakasha Gita after Swami Muktananda took Mahasamadhi. During this period Bhagawan Nityananda appeared to me often in Meditation and while Chanting. My unfolding understanding of the verses has explained many of the experiences I have had in Meditation and over the long course of my Sadhana. These teachings ring true on every level. I have read the entire Chidakasha Gita 25 times through and I continue to read it, even now. Each time I read it I have a new realization and another breakthrough in the experience of the Heart. ALL of the teachings of Vedanta and ALL the teachings of Shaivism are contained in the Chidakasha Gita. It is the highest of realizations.
Although the Chidakasha Gita is ripe with many wonderful spiritual teachings, there are 12 main principles that, in my experience, Bhagawan Nityananda emphasizes over and over again. These 12 principles form the very essence of the work and the very foundation of His teachings.
1. Bhagawan Nityananda tells us that God is in humankind and humankind is in God. There is no difference between the two. Sentient and insentient are one in the same. All are reflected in the same "mirror" that is the Sky of Consciousness referred to as Chidakasha, the Heart space or Triadic Heart of Shiva. Bade Baba tells us that the Heart is not the physical Heart, nor the heart chakra located in the area of the physical heart. He tells us that the Heart is the one, indivisible Sky of Consciousness that is the Absolute. This Heart is beyond the body and the senses and can be accessed through the Crown Chakra in the head. This Chidakasha, He states, is triangular with three points (Shiva, Shakti, Nara) and becomes a constant experience upon the dawning of Mukti. Chidakasha is the seat of Lord Shiva and the abode of His Shakti. It is comprised of Light, Vibration and Sound and from that sound manifests Omkar.
2. Bhagawan Nityananda wants us to know and realize where God is. He tells us that God is not in the Murti or statue or idol in the temple, but that God exists inside each of us and that each of us is the temple wherein God resides.
3. Sri Bade Baba tells us that Omkar, and the mantra Aum that it produces, is what gives power and form to the Universe of all sentient and insentient beings. It is also the very vibration of Chidakasha that is known in Shaivism as Spanda or Visarga.
4. Bhagawan Nityananda is not big on philosophy. He is very practical. In the Chidakasha Gita, He uses simple experiences from the interaction with objects of everyday life to help us understand the deepest most profound connection between God and humankind. He emphasizes a very practical means of attaining Mukti or Moksha by means of the Sushumna Nadi. He declares over and over again that this central channel or central nerve (subtle body) that is contained in every living creature, is the only true spiritual path. He emphasizes that Moksha (deliverance or liberation) cannot be attained until Kundalini Shakti is fully awakened by a Siddha Guru. Once this Kundalini is awakened, He states, Prana Shakti must be directed into the Sushumna Nadi and then constantly made to rise upward into the Crown Chakra in the head. Bhagawan instructs that the breath must be directed in this way without taking any air in from the outside (this correlates to the Shaivite practice of "Sushumna breathing"). He refers to this as Prana Vayu and emphatically states that this is the only means to directing your awareness to become absorbed in Bindu Nada (point of sound experienced in the Heart space in the head). Once your mind dissolves in this Bindu Nada, Mukti is attained. The goal of meditation, he tells us, is to keep our awareness in this Bindu Nada, even while going about our daily, mundane activities. This, he states is true Dhyan and Dharana. This alone is Samadhi. It is the means to live in the world without being of the world and it can only be taught by a Siddha Guru.
5. Bade Baba describes this Bindu Nada in two ways; first as the sound similar to the dull roar of the ocean or the vibration of a large bell just after having been struck; and second as ajapa-japa, the sound made of the two syllables So and Ham (the two feet of Lord Shiva) as one breathes in and out. Of these two, he emphasizes the first, telling us that even the mantra So Ham (Hamsa) that sounds on its own (Anahata, the unstruck sound) dissolves in the vibration of Bindu Nada. How will we know when we have attained Liberation? Bhagawan Nityananda tells us we will know when our entire conscious awareness is absorbed in this Bindu Nada constantly. He tells us that this Bindu Nada is the primary quality and experience of Chidakasha. It is the very Vibration of Ananda (Bliss) that is attained when Sat (being) and Chit (pure perceiving awareness) unite. This unification, He states, is brought about by causing Prana (breath) to rise inside the Sushumna Nadi without taking any air in from the outside. (Warning: Do not attempt this practice without the direct guidance of one who has mastered it.) In this state, one experiences the Sky of Consciousness or Chidakasha for ones self. This, He tells us, is the seat of all Yoga. This is the true place of pilgrimage and, once you have arrived here, no other pilgrimage to any other place is necessary and no ritual is necessary either. In fact, Bade Baba tells us to make this form of Pranayam our only ritual; that, while in this state, the awareness of the Mantras Om and Hamsa, is the ritual bath.
6. Bhagawan Nityananda declares over and over again that the goal of a human birth, the goal of all life is to merge in the Absolute, to attain Mukti while still in the body. He tells us dont wait, do it now. And then he emphasizes, throughout the Chidakasha Gita, that the Guru is the means. He is very clear about this. One must receive Kundalini awakening and the guidance for Sadhana from a "Siddha," "Guru" or "Acharya" as he puts it, who has become a Jnani. At several points in the work, Bade Baba reiterates that "There is no place in the world for one who does not have a Guru. Such a person is lost
.You cannot realize the Truth without a Guru." And he emphasizes that one needs to follow the instruction of the Master, until one is set on his/her own path, at which time Lord Shiva himself takes the yogi the rest of the way across.
7. Bade Baba does not leave us in the dark about who can be a Guru or Preceptor. In this regard he is very specific. He tells us that a Swami, Sanyasin, Brahmin, Jnani, Brahmachari is not simply one who holds such a title and wears ochre robes carrying a copy of the Bhagavad Gita in his hands. Likewise, one who is well-versed in the Vedas, Puranas and other sacred texts is not such a person either. Bhagawan Nityananda emphasizes that a Siddha, a Guru, who may also be referred to as a Swami, Sanyasin, Jnani and so on, is only a person who is desireless and whose mind has merged with the Absolute One Paramatma or Paramshiva. He goes on to describe the qualities of such a Guru by stating that such a being sees all as the same one God and behaves in alignment with this state. A Jnani, Sanyasin, Swami or Guru is one whose mind constantly rests in Buddhi, the Divine Will and Intelligence of the Atman. Such a being is one who sees only God in everything and everyone, everywhere and such a being does not distinguish between "mine" and "thine", "good" and "bad," "honor" and "dishonor," nor classes of people and races. Such a being has a constant, uninterrupted experience of Bindu Nada and knows that there is no such thing as duality or diversity. Such a being experiences that the entire Universe is contained inside himself and that he himself pervades all objects (people, places and things). Bhagawan Nityananda tells us that only such a being can be known as a Siddha, Jnani, Swami or Sanyasin and that one should only take such a being as ones Guru.
8. Bhagawan Nityananda tells us that, for the relationship between Guru and Disciple to work, the seeker must have and continue to cultivate Faith in God and the Guru. This Faith is expressed by way of vigilance in daily spiritual practice as instructed by the Master.
9. Sri Bade Baba tells us, over and over again, that the basis for Sadhana is the willingness to turn away from worldliness and the willingness to destroy our attachment to sense pleasures and worldly pleasures. He tells us that this happens through the destruction of the body-idea, also known as the ego (along with the senses). "Atma is not perceptible to the senses," He tells us. By this statement we understand that God can only be realized by going beyond the senses. If our attachment to worldliness is not destroyed in this way, he tells us we will fail in the end.
10. Bhagawan Nityananda emphasizes the importance of Equality Consciousness and He explains what that is. Equality Consciousness is the experience of "sameness," the direct experience that there are not many individual experients (souls), but that there is only one Universal Experient, only one being who experiences through all of the forms. This one being comes and goes on the breath. Because all are this One God, all are equal. This, He tells us, is the real Equality Consciousness. Without it, we cannot know God.
11. He tells us that "Without Bhakti there can be no Mukti." Here he emphasizes the absolute necessity for Devotion and Surrender to the Master and the path. It is the intensity of your feeling for God and the Guru that causes Jnana (wisdom) to rise within you. Once your have Jnana, your Bhakti increases automatically. And with intense Bhakti, Jnana manifests of its own accord. The two work hand in hand. Through the cultivation of Bhakti and Jnana, desire for objects (people, places and things) is destroyed and perfect Peace is attained.
12. Bhagawan Nityananda tells us that Viveka (the ability to perceive the subtle in the gross) and Vairagya (dispassion or detachment) are vital to realizing the Truth. Without Viveka, he tells us, you cannot learn to choose God over desire because you are not able to discriminate between what takes you towards God and what takes you away from God. And you cannot remain absorbed in your Natural, Free state of being without Vairagya. This dispassion is what allows you to keep your mind focused on Buddhi long enough for you to realize that there is no outer world. All takes place inside the body of Supreme Consciousness of Shiva that is also contained inside you, inside your mind, within your imagination.
These twelve paragraphs summarize my experience of the teachings and principles Bhagawan Nityananda offers us in His Chidakasha Gita. For these reasons, it is worth reading and contemplating over and over again.
With Supreme Love and Devotion, I offer this at the Lotus Feet of that Supreme Being, Sri Bhagawan Nityananda.
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Out of respect for the Bhagawan Nityananda Public Trust, we have reprinted the foreword and introduction to the Chidakasha Gita below, as it appeared on their web site. What follows the foreword/introduction is the entire Chidakasha Gita with commentary on the verses by Acharya Kedar.
Bhagawan Nityananda was an avatar, a Janma Siddha, one who is born a God-Realized being. His Grace and his spiritual and healing power were so far reaching that the disciples of several different spiritual paths claim him as their own.
Although he spoke little and it was very difficult to understand everything he said, after much prodding by his disciples, Bhagawan agreed to allow one of his closest disciples, Tulsi Amma, write down his words. This often occurred while he was deep in meditation and began to speak spontaneously in a trance-like state. His words were copied down in this way, over a period of 5-7 years.These writings have become known as the Chidakasha Gita of Bhagawan Nityananda.
The Chidakasha Gita is by Bhagawan Nityananda. We wish to thank the following people for providing us with copies of the written form of The Chidakasha Gita for reference and use here:
Jerry Katz, Director, www.nonduality.com, David Christie, and Surendra Kalyanpur who has published a written edition of it with English translation, in November 2000, for public use.
FOREWORD ON CHIDAKASHGITA
Gurudev Nityanand Bhagwan has given posterity an invaluable account of "Yoga-Vedanta Knowledge" in his "Chidakashgita." When he was twenty years, he was full of that divine knowledge known as the glory of the Self. He was then an "Avadhoot" wandering around Mangalore. During that period, it often happened that he would go into trance. During such divine experiences, he would speak out, "Uncle Arjuna, come here. Listen to what Grandfather Krishna has to say." He would repeat these words again and again.
And there would follow a veritable flow of nectarine words in Chaste Kanarese, words full of Yoga-Vedantic and Spiritual wisdom. These utterances were not specific to a particular place or time or person. A very devoted devotee, whose name was Tulsi Amma, with very great attention and difficulty took them down roughly covering a period from 1920 to 1927 and published a book which, after obtaining permission of Gurudev, she called "CHIDAKASHGITA." It was published in 1927, in Kannada language.
This is the first authentic record of Swami Nityanand Bhagwan's teachings that too by a woman devotee, who was a University Graduate in those days when higher education to women was not easily available. Tulsi Amma had observed complete silence for a period of one year at the insistence of Bhagwan. She later delivered religious discourses by the grace of Gurudev at Kundapur in South Karnataka. Her whole life was full of devotion to Nityananda who was a living God to her. She enjoyed a state of complete bliss for a period of nearly fifteen years from 1930. She attained Mahasamadhi in 1945.
The following is a tribute to SADGURUDEV NITYANAND BHAGWAN and we all are very grateful to Tulsiamma for her gift to all the past, present and future devotees of Bhagwan.
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