2.) critical questions about Sodarshan Chakra Kriya

Growing your own sun #2 (#1 here)

A lot of doubts came up by readers after the first lesson which actually is good because we can deal with it straight away to help people who join this course later on. (Questions are in red, my answers in blue):

“I am much to worried about the coronavirus to focus on spirituality at the moment”

I am not his fan, but this interview with Sadhguru might help in clearing your head for this lesson:

“I can’t meditate more than for a few minutes”

That is normal for literally everybody. The root of impatience is due to lack of the stamina of the mind to concentrate. Even the Dalai Lama admits that this is the most difficult part of meditation for him.
I wrote this small article to deal with patience;
and your concentration will be dealt with in chapters 4 & 5 of the video lessons.
That’s why I keep those introductionary exercises to 5 minutes only.

Beginners:

(These grey sections on their own are suited as a walkthrough for autists, btw, who might be able to complete this entire course step after step, because their mind is not as entangled in worldly distractions as us ‘normal’ monkey-minds.)

Lesson: Mental tools:
Mudras are mental tools: Fingers relate to aspects of the personality which are attributed to planets: Thumb relates to “the I” or sun as promoted in the video lesson, and the index finger relates to the spiritual aspects related to planet Jupiter.

MUDRA AND BREATH:
a) Block off the right nostril with the right thumb. Inhale slowly and deeply through the left nostril and hold the breath.

From now on we leave the spoken “waheguru” aside, so that you start to purely think the “Waheguru”mantra without listening to it. The goal is to direct your thought away from the head into your belly. That is why you pump the stomach twice whilst you think “waheguru”.
Because the beats still are very fast (to save you breath) you only have to pump your belly once on the first beat and once on the third one, like this:

*(* = beat)*
WaheGuru (Gu= dark, Ru= light)
Wow !(= a state of excitement)Guru = transformation from dark to light

b) Unblock the right nostril and use the right index or pinkie finger to block the left nostril. Exhale slowly and deeply through the right nostril. Continue, inhaling left nostril, exhaling right.

The beats in the first lesson gave you 7 seconds to breath, those now are slower and give you 8 seconds. After 3 beats the beat will slow down to a normal speed, then an alarm will sound. You are not expected to accomplish more than those first 3-4 beats.

If you are hearing disabled then instead of the audios, use this instruction on how I managed to count the beats with my fingers.

Afterwards again 3 more beats will guide you into a slow yogic breath you can try to follow to slow down your brain-waves.

Advanced practitioners:

Do your SCK and focus for two breathing cycles only totally on the Kriya.
As you can see we target the practice from two sides: Building up a regularity for beginners whilst finetuning the quality of the Kriya for advanced students who may move through the lessons one after another up to the point where they currently are.

“I don’t believe in a ‘highest Kriya’ as Yogi Bhajan does call SCK”

Yes, Yogi Bhajan did exaggerate a lot in order to push his kriyas and agendas but I assume that he meant that in his extensive experience, for him this was the highest kriya.
I am more than happy for everyone here to let me know what you do consider to be your most effective path so that we can weigh it up with SCK in terms of speed and holisticness.

Meanwhile there is something to be said of following the best known path with a total commitement in order not to dribble along oblivious as most people without any vision do.

Any path at one stage will turn out to be not useful or necessary to us anymore, just as any studies will, as soon as we are competent, yet in my personal experience it bears many more fruits if one followis a wrong path in full dedication, because that will render so many insights that at one stage it is self-correcting, meaning that the one who did fully comprehend the lesson is able to leave the tool behind.

The worst case in my opinion are lazy nihilists which jump at any occasion to find excuses not to engage in anything which goes beyond their comfort zone.
Such people never will become extraordinary and will dismiss anyone who fully fulfilled ones’ own potential as having an ego – not being aware that their own laziness is driven by a non-concern for others (which is the height of egoism in itself).

Excuses also can be found in very deceiving ways when they come in the shape of wisdom like in this Krishnamurti video. He surely was wise but because he himself was dogmatised into yoga-practices he developed an aversion against it which he then generalised.

In opposition to such dismissals, Guru Singh described in this article how strong the power of total dedication to even a false kriya is if one dives into a possibility to see behind the veil of our ignorance with an open heart. The kriya seems to be a helpful ladder to climb, but climing you can also do on a difficult tree. The only sure failure is not even to start to climb due to a nihilistic attitude.

I would like to draw attention of following 3.5 minutes of last lesson where the root of nihilism is explained:

And this excerpt seems to be the answer to the next question which is:

“I don’t understand why it needs 12 long audio lessons when Vivekananda’s book was only 150 pages short”

The more advanced one is the lesser explanations are needed but we beginners still need a little translation of the divine truth.
Let’s take above lesson for example:

  • Atkinson explains the levels of the personality in great detail and the affirmations are designed for it to sink in.
  • Vivekananda in a more compressed way just sums up the facts and many read them but that does not guarantee that they fully assimilated the different levels.
  • Then in an even more compressed way one could have summed up above 1.5 hours by saying: “The I is like a lamp wrapped in clothes of the ego and powerd by the divine”.
  • Such a sentence would probably have passed by many who think that their intellect fully did grasp it whilst their self did not yet.
  • And even more compressed Jesus just said “I am” which then got people who didn’t understand him so aggravated that they crucified him.

In the same spirit of this question we could question the value of this entire blog, but I see myself as an intermediate translator which can convey things I start to grasp to others ho might not have been aware of them yet.
Now you understand why high evolved people often are not as good in explaining questions: They simply moved beyond the unnecessary details the mind of lesser evolved people still bothers.

“It seems that Yogi Bhajan has made up this Kriya or at least added the belly pump to it”

Actually, after decades of having believed that this was an ancient kriya from the rishis I disappointedly also came to the conclusion that he seems to have made up things on the spot, sometimes even within meditation-classes which is why he managed to teach so many kriyas. In short he was like a cook who mixed tantric and Sikh teachings.

Compared to cooking he seems to have been a kind of Bocuse who created own new mixtures in a competent way. His flaw was to sell them like highest ancient kriyas in order to suck respect out of his students. It would have been better to be honest like the actor Alexander who did create an own valuable healing technique, because nowow the aquarian age he promoted so much does backfire on himself and brought his pretences of selling ancient wisdoms to light. Ancient those wisdoms are, but he should have told the world that he mixed them up at his liberty.

I researched Sikh roots in this article about the Siri Granth Sahib,
and the tantric sources are explained in this 4-minute excerpt by Christopher Wallis here:

This video is so valuable and long that watching this completely shall substitute todays audio-lesson from W.W.Atkinson which I will continue in next lesson.

Notice that if you rewind this video he will tell you in the beginning that what Yogi Bhajan did teach was not Kundalini Yoga, and I actually do agree that all other Kriyas of Yogi Bhajan were not ‘Kundalini Yoga’ as such.

The only kriya which in my opinion is true modification of Kundalini-Yoga is Sodarshan Chakra Kriya, which is why I only do that Kriya and no other, neither do I implement any Sikh-practices except for the Mantra “Waheguru” which I implement for its sound-properties and as an anchor for the divine within myself.

Yogi Bhajan dared to modify ancient teachings just as people do who did master any art and at one stage are able to bend or modify the rules at their own liberty.
Two possible own modifications of SCK slowly dawn upon me but until I mastered 1000 days of 2.5 hours of SCK I will adhere to the strict instructions in order not to confuse things out of ignorance.

Recently I wrote an article about the KungFu principles where I did train in the past. Nam Pai Chuan is a hybrid Shaolin Kung Fu style that combines elements of Judo, Wado Ryu and Tae Kwon Do. That certainly did not make it less valuable for me – vice versa: it diversified my knowledge of martial arts and in the few years I did train there it did open my mind. In the same way SCK did yield strong results for me from mystical insights to maturing ten-fold, so I want to promote it until I accomplished the full 1000 days of 2.5 hours.

Considering that nowadays nearly anything is a hybrid the question rather is whether the one who mixed it up was qualified to do so.

There are actually 3 Kriyas that Yogi Bhajan did push as ‘the highest’ or ‘only’ kriyas:

  1. SAT KRYIYA : “If you have time for nothing else, make this kriya part of your daily promise.”
  2. KIRTAN KRIYA (Sa Ta Na Ma) : “a person who wears pure white and meditates on this sound current for 2-1/2 hours a day for one year, will know the unknowable, and see the un-seeable”
  3. SODARSHAN CHAKRA KRIYA : “Of all the 20 types of yoga, including Kundalini Yoga, this is the highest Kriya.

Notice that he said that SCK is the highest of all Yogas …

… “including Kundalini Yoga

So what does that say about SCK? That it is not part of the yoga he mainly promoted.

I believe that in SCK he did mix
* above tantric kundalini-yoga from the video above
* together with roots I found in the Siri Granth Sahib,
* and designed it to cover the 4 major Bhandas of ancient Hindu yoga.

And I even suspect him having included privately other aspects which I will get into at a later stage.

There are only three things of his teachings I don’t follow:

1.) his dieatary advice because in my eyes those were cultural impositions
2.) wearing white (including anything on the head) because in my opinion Sikh-turbans are an expression of religion and I don’t follow traditional religions because they are outdated to me. Also, I tried white in many forms and it did not make a change for me.
3.) and tuning in with the Adi-Mantra as demanded to be done before every Kriya, because as Christopher Wallis explained at minute 31:26 above: “you are joining that coiled breath energy [in the belly] with the Kundalini of your lineage“.

In my very personal and unorthodox opinion the Adi-Mantra does direct the yoga-students into the Sikh-lineage, something which to me is not only incompatible with strange cultures but even dangerous because it confuses ones tribal Swadharma (life-path) with the one of the ten Indian Sikh-Gurus. At the very least he should have explained that to people instead of injecting his culture in a sneaky way into the West without allowing people to voluntarily choose their dedication.

What will happen if you leave it out and don’t wear a turban? You will have a much more difficult time to work out your Karma all by yourself whilst when doing it you snap into the Sikh-group-consciousness with its protective single-mindedness. So why not do it?

You can see the difference of those teachers who did snap into it by having an uncompromising attitude with an unyielding “Kundalini-stare”. It gives them tremendous strength and seeming willpower but in the long spiritual run (and I am talking next lifes here) I could imagine that they have to catch up the personality work they missed out upon by having substituded their own will by the Egregore (group mind) of a foreign religion.

If you don’t agree with me, do it before your practice, but I but I personaly prefer the slower, harder but therefore more holistic and authentic path. After all I don’t train for comfort but to build up resillience.


If after this probably desilusioning but hopefully awakening article you chose to continue or start, do it not later than in 11 days so that you build you up a daily practice – something which you will benefit definitely from regardless where your own path will lead you to.

8 Replies to “2.) critical questions about Sodarshan Chakra Kriya”

  1. Thank you, dear Amar, for a very informative and educational post, addressing all the questions that arose. Your answers lead to more questions from me.
    Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (referred to as Sutras in the rest of my comment), written in Sanskrit, is the first known written treatise on Yoga. The Sutras, being aphorisms, are very cryptic and do need interpretation. Swami Vivekananda does it comprehensively and he gave the title “Raja Yoga’. Some other interpretations of the Sutras by Western authors are lengthier; perhaps oriented to the Western audience (Your point on this aspect is well taken). The salient point is that they are true to the Sutras and don’t exclude any part. In my opinion, they preserve the integrity of the Sutras. I find it difficult to trust Yoga practices when such integrity is compromised. I don’t think morphing Yoga can be compared with culinary fusion experiments because I suppose that one needs to know the origins and import of Yoga and also understands the science behind it, prior to inventing new forms of Yoga.
    Any form of exercise is good for health and even many morphed-forms of Yoga are generally beneficial, often beyond the physical. Claiming that a particular derivative of the Sutras, based on a few aspects of the Whole, as ‘the highest’ is untenable because a part can’t be ever greater than the Whole. For me, such claims only undermine the credibility of the practice and the claimant.
    Any mistakes in Yoga could be harmful (like any other powerful systems) and it is recommended that advance practice requires a guide (Guru). Many Gurus demand unquestioning obedience and devotion from the disciples. Many ‘modern Gurus’ promise short-cuts with some combo (or derivatives) of Raja Yoga, Bhakti (Devotion) Yoga and Karma Yoga to suit their ulterior motives. In my opinion, all short cuts are actually ‘long cuts’ in Yoga.
    There are eight ‘limbs’ of the Sutras. Two parts are devoted to the code of conduct. There are just 3 words referring to ‘Asana’, which simply state that the sitting posture needs to be comfortable and steady. Pranayama is Yogic breathing technique. There are four ‘limbs’ which the West started referring to collectively as “Meditation”. There is no mention of rituals or religion in the Sutras.
    Pranayama, as in the Sutras, consists of alternate nostril breathing and holding the breath, in prescribed ratios. To keep the prescribed ratios, one needs to keep track of time by either counting or using a “mantra’. I understand that using a mantra (like ‘Om’, for example) is a very ancient practice. Many forms of Pranayama are in circulation, though the Sutras mention only alternate nostril breathing. In the context of SCK, two are relevant: one is forcible and sudden exhalation (pulling the belly ‘in’) and the other is pumping the belly very fast.
    Another relevant aspect is the energy system of Yoga, which is also described in the Sutras. My teacher once said that the method of forcible exaltation stimulates ‘Mooladhara Chakra’. The three major nerve channels run along the spine (central, left and right). The left and right channels nurture opposites: sun-moon, heat-cold etc. It is a well-known fact that our self-regulating and self-governing biological system keeps switching the dominant nostril. As per my understanding, alternate nostril breathing balances the energies and fosters equanimity.
    Now I have the following questions
    1. What is the basis for the combo in SCK– inhaling from left nostril and exhaling from the right (known as “Moon Pranayama”) and pumping the belly while holding the breath?
    2. What are the effects of doing prolonged practice of Moon Pranayama?
    3. Why are other limbs of Raja Yoga excluded?
    4. What is the justification to claim SCK to be the highest kriya and what is the motive behind it?
    5. Why is religion part of it?
    BTW, the mudra for alternate nostril breathing is ‘Nasagra Mudra”. The thumb of the right hand is placed on the right nostril and the ring finger, along with the little finger, is placed on the left nostril. The other two fingers may be folded towards the base of the thumb or placed between the eye brows.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you dear JV for this very fruitful discussion you are continuing here.
      Because your comment was posted twice I took the liberty to delete the (just by a few words) shorter one,
      and then remembered that you already did educate me 1.5 years ago that yoga was older then Tantra:
      https://sodarshanchakrakriya.com/2018/07/31/keys-to-understanding-the-universe-3-hidden-breathing-techniques/
      so I did correct that wrong statement in my article and also will contemplate upon each and everything you said and reply to all of your valuable questions.
      Since at the moment I only post in 11 days for the next step and then one day less for each step it might take a while until I get around to your questions, because I want to not only have a discussion in that course of 12 lessons but also alternate it with new material for newcomers so that they will be inspired.
      So for next lesson I plan an article again and for the one after in 3 weeks replies to your comments.

      I think that much of what you said is so valuable that I am contemplating on letting others know how I myself already start to modify parts of that Kriya without touching the core teaching in order to implement your valuable addenda.
      Please bear with me, you know that you won’t be forgotten, and keep throwing all doubts, questions and informations at me you have, because you weed out unnecessary and misleading stuff, preventing me from misleading others out of ignorance.

      Like

      1. Thank you, dear Amar for the quick and reassuring response.
        I am mistaken about the Moon Pranayama (inhalation and exhalation through left nostril). I rephrase my questions as
        1. What is the basis for the combo in SCK– inhaling from left nostril and exhaling from the right (and pumping the belly while holding the breath?
        2. In terms of the Yogic energy system, what are the effects of doing prolonged practice of SCK for a few hours per day?
        3. Why are other limbs of Raja Yoga excluded?
        4. What is the justification to claim SCK to be the highest kriya and what is the motive behind it?
        5. Why is religion part of it?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Dearest JV,
          I think I probably will manage all those last questions in my next lesson.
          Your long previous pretext is also valuable but I can’t cover al at once,
          especially since more questions from other people about Yogi Bhajan came up which I also want to answer after I answered your questions.

          As for question 1: You already read that explanation – ironically it is in the one I mentioned two posts above,
          just without the 1:4:2 ratio, and I want to add that later (but only after the standart kriya is conveyed).

          And about question 3,4&5: I actually did explain those in last lesson,
          but when I have to answer the questions about Yogi Bhajan personally I will later get into that once more in detail (one post about his personality and one about his limitations).

          So basically in next lesson I will focus on your question 2 only but therefore in detail.
          Having said that: You should at least do each exercise once which won’t bear any danger of brainwashing – it just gives you a feelig what we actually do talk about.

          By the way: your one up & one downvote was both me – I just was experimenting with those buttons and fiddling around but can not undo what I once clicked upon 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Amar, I am grateful for the response. My reference to The Sutras and related points refute the adequacy of the explanation in the post. Hence, my questions. Anyway, I would eagerly await your next post.
    However, pending convincing answers to my questions, I will not attempt the practices.

    Like

    1. Dear JV,
      I think it is important to explain to you and all readers that my agenda of this course is to provide a compilation of pathways for people to evolve as fast as possible, because as you can see in our environmental destruction and the coronavirus that our need to change is absolutely urgent and can not be postponed anymore.
      Ignorance is the undoing of humankind and everything it touches (hence my 3 intros to convey that).

      My course is merely an example of a combination of spiritual yoga in combination with personality work,
      so for everyone who does one or the other they are free to do their part and supplement it by the other,
      I only told you the ways which to me look much faster than many of the sluggish paths i have seen out there – the slowest being to simply do nothing and to wait for change to occur naturally at one stage.

      ~~~

      To show you my dedication to this Kriya:
      * First I gave €2000 in form of work back to the one who gave me the Kriya, then
      * in the first two decades I did let everyone know about the Kriya but, like you, no one of the people around me was interested.
      * Then I started the blog to inspire people to join me in building it up within 1000 days and wrote my accomplishments down after each 4 months, but no one did join me,
      * Then I wrote down a literal ‘time-table-course’ to sum up the times in which to build up the Kriya in a safe way (in case no guru as you suggested is around) but everyone did it in their own time and as soon as they found out that I am not the big Yogi they left.
      * Then I tried to inspire people spiritually by writing down the insights which started to emerge from my practice,
      and whilst a handful of people did apprecciate them;
      my initial goal to inspire others to join me by seeing how that Kriya can bring out inspiring content,
      miserably failed because within nearly 6 years probably just 6 people passed by who did do the Kriya for a while – only to leave again like spiritual channel-hoppers.
      * Apart from also having spent much time to create those SCK-beats and cut them into suitable mini-tracks for the lessons, I recently also just spent $180 to get rid of distracting ads for my readers, give it a proper domain, and make this site look nice,
      but the only thing I got back within all those years of daily effort (of meditation, contemplation, writing and answering nearly every comment in detail was $50 from people who already walked away again.

      Especially in the German workoholic-society it is very difficult to motivate myself to do 2.5 hours of SCK in solitary, because here I am attacked on a daily basis for ‘sitting around’ and not contributing to the national gross income.
      And so far all my endeavours to motivate others not only did yield no inspiring or financial results; but the constant amount of doubts from all sides only did drag me down additionally.

      ~~~

      I used up an entire lesson mainly to dispell your doubts but after having answered each of your question thoroughly your reply is that my explanations were “not adequate” for your liking,
      and instead you raise even more questions – half of them I did answer already, which indicates to me that the thirst of your doubts is unquenchable
      presumable due to a position of passive-resistance against my entire course in the first place
      – a nihilistic attitude I also dealt with in this very lesson.

      So basically instead of me inspiring you with this course you already broke the flow I had set up for the dozen of lessons by not being able to implement the next audio-lesson but instead having to adress tons of doubts which bear the danger of contaminating newcomers spirit of untainted openness.
      At the very least those discussions will drag the students into their intellect
      – away from the holistic being I intend to inspire in them.

      My experience of many years suggests that our kind of discussion would go on forever in circles – me being in the defensive position against your sceptical position with crossed arms.

      So I step out of this vicious circle by drawing the focus onto the root of the issue here:
      There are two reasons for your reluctancy towards my course:
      1. Either because you as a yoga teacher know better and are set on your path,
      2. or because you deep inside feel being pushed out of your comfortzone (which makes most people angry).

      In the first case the solution is simple:
      Follow your Yoga-path and take out the best from the other half of the course you can.

      However, since you did also did criticise the form of the Western Raja-Yoga teachings, and you use phrases such as “I choose not to…”
      I suspect that your resilience is due to the second reason in which case you would be asked to contemplate upon the importance you do give spiritual ascension in general. If you are content with your spiritual pace simply ignore this course, but if you sense that the ignorance of humankind does cause suffering to our entire world a little fine-tuning would do no harm.

      And for every reader who already does personality work as done in the West, feel free to continue your path and merely implemet the yoga-part I offer;
      but I want to point out that this course was designed to create a holistic environment to accellerate your growth, so I do recommend not to drop one side.

      ~~~

      The full-time work done for this website in the last years was very non-rewarding, felt like swimming against the stream; and am not very motivated to put my entire time into this blog for much longer than this course lasts.
      My endeavour was to help people from all nations and without much income for free here,
      but maybe when it all is completed I will pull the best parts of it out and compile it into a book to be sold to people who in apprecciation are willing to pay a nominal fee for what they are really interested in.

      Like

  3. Super! Thank you for this detailed post, i am sure that i need to read it twice and meditate on it. But, if i may, the power of breathing is infinite. breathing exercices and types makes me go on through the day (my favourite is ujjahi). And Sadhguru is so funny 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, May-Lynn,
      I will look into Ujjahi as I will do with JV’s recommendations and at a later stage implement everything which does seem to further the cause of ascending as fast as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

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