The difference between an emperor of time and a slave is that an emperor owns time and the realities within it, while a slave is trapped in seemingly uncontrollable natural ups and downs.
Stepping into the Sabarmati Ashram of Mahatma Gandhi, in Gujarat, India, it is mind-boggling to see that there are thousands of books written by one man and another few thousand books written about him.
This one man, Mahatma Gandhi, had far too many activities on his plate, apart from the already overwhelming initiatives he undertook in the freedom struggle of India. He did his fair share of chores for the upkeep of the Ashram. There was not a single piece of correspondence sent to him—from all parts of colonial India (that includes today’s Pakistan and Bangladesh) and from all parts of the world—that was not replied to by him personally. Added to all these daily activities was Mahatma Gandhi’s daily prioritization of time to spin cotton for his own clothes, garden, tend his animals and meet the numerous people who showed up every day at his Ashram.
So how did Mahatma Gandhi manage so much within 24 hours? What was his yogic secret? Mahatma Gandhi was named the “Mahatma”—the “Great Soul”—to denote the yogi in him who was the emperor—the yogi who had conquered time, reality and the limits of the human.
In India, millions of gods and goddesses are worshiped in various forms. From the mystical yogic perspective of the Siddhars, some of our most important visible forms of “God” today are our wristwatches and our clocks. But when we learn how to align time with timelessness, we are in tune with the evolving grace that is the absolute gift of being born human.
Yogis, sages and enlightened masters in India are called “Maharaj,” King of Kings, for the reason that they truly are the emperors. The difference between an emperor and a slave is that an emperor owns time and the realities within it, while a slave does not own time. Yes, everything comes back to time and how we are either enslaved within time or timeless and free through defining time of our own accord, as an emperor.
Whether we like it or not, we are born into the 24-hour cycle of time, which has its days and nights. We are born with a mind that is captured by the limits there are to the hours we can spend in sleep, in being awake and in the dream states. This mind is also a slave to the past and its momentum. This can be attributed in part to “karma,” the law of equating the past with the present. This emotional roller coaster creates lopsided realities and further traps the mind in seemingly uncontrollable natural ups and downs.
As a slave, we then see our reality as in a movie theatre, without any control over what unfolds, forgetting that this is a movie and we do have a choice.
We can of course choose to be a slave or an emperor!
An emperor owns time. So how do we begin setting ourselves free from time and redefining time and the realities unfolding before us? How do we become the emperor?
Light your Lamp at least once a day!
From beginning to end, life’s journey is between us, as individuals, and Source/God. In between Source and our true identity as Soul is our mind. Lighting our outer and inner lamp is a mother to all meditation effort, as we are able to let go and surrender all our worries, emotions and good and bad thoughts to Source. We still the mind to a place of calm, harmony and optimism.
When we light a lamp to connect with Source/our inner self/infinity once a day, we are lighting and manifesting the inner lamp within ourselves. Lighting our inner lamp at least once a day breaks our entrapment in the 24-hour cycle of time by awakening us to the space of timelessness, which we experience during these moments spent with ourselves and Source. The experience of connecting to Source is guided by joy, happiness and liberation each day, with our objective being to have more and more of this.
Once a week, set yourself one day to take a supreme holiday.
Ultimately, if we can prioritize one day a week just for us to reconnect to Source, our journey to become the emperor has just begun. This one special day is for us to meditate, pray, do yoga or anything that will bring us to our own centers. It is not about our creative zeal or even our family, let alone our career. It is about us expanding our consciousness to be Source/infinite, devoid of our mind, reclaiming ourselves as Spirit having a human experience.
Once every fortnight, utilize the days of the full moon and new moon as vortices of time to penetrate beyond ordinary consciousness.
The full moon period is a vortex of time that enables you to make a shift in shaping your existing realities. The full moon directly works with our minds. From the yogic perspective, when we observe this full moon vortex of time with a focus on Lord Vishnu, we are able to transform our spiritual and material realities through the mind and its ability to focus on expanding the realities we truly desire.
Likewise, during the new moon, the vortex of being and Spirit, we are able to leapfrog our evolution as we observe the worship of Lord Siva. In the space of infinity, where consciousness is forever expanding, our mind and our realities can be taken several notches above. The yogis prefer the new moon vortex as it offers the chance to preset the mind to a much higher “station” in its ever-expanding consciousness, able to make potent each thought.
Observe Mahasivratri as a yogi—be Lord Siva!
The grandest and the most powerful vortex of time/timelessness is the once-a-year enlightening vortex of time: Mahasivratri, the supreme night of the yogi, Lord Siva. This vortex, based on the lunar calendar, has been observed by hundreds of millions of regular householders and spiritual seekers dating far back through the history of India.
Observe this potent vortex of time and start your yogic inner journey by way of fasting, meditating, pilgrimage, silence and worship at least two weeks before this sacred day. Slowly, but surely, we begin to realize that we can slip out of the limitations of time (as we do in sleep) and the limitations of the mind, to attain the yogic turiya state—“sleepless sleep.” As Mahasivratri nears, through the grace of this enlightening vortex of time and our own effort, we easily step into the state of turiya—we experience Spirit having a human experience.
On the night of Mahasivratri, most spiritual weekend warriors try not to sleep, so as to get the blessings of this sacred night. For us, the yogis, we are already in the beautiful sleepless sleep state of turiya, a state of inspired awareness, and on this night, we become the vast infinity of being, Lord Siva. Each of us has our own unique experience of “being God.”
After having the sacred, fruitful experience of being Lord Siva on Mahasivratri, the mind will never be the same. Realities naturally align themselves to harmony. Innermost desires and highest purposes are fulfilled through the empowered super mind that has experienced being God—the enlightened mind.
We utilize the joyful splendor of the Mahasivratri night experience once a week when we observe that one sacred supreme holiday for ourselves, to further intensify our Source connection, renewing us and deepening our worship.
Every day, when we light our lamp, we carry forward our expanding consciousness to even vaster realms while we are in the state of super-consciousness—the state of turiya. Our every thought now comes from the genius of the mind that is aligned to its pristine Source state. Ultimately, we understand and awaken to the need to be in a perpetual state of joy, bliss and inspiration, and we set our daily discipline to attain this angelic state of being.
All this discipline of being united with Source leads us to be in the magic of the “now” moment. Being in the “now” as Spirit having a human experience, our karma that limits us is transmuted to become opportunities for growth.
Where can there be the past momentum of karma if we are not in past or future but in the now, not as humans but as Spirit having a human experience?
In this enlightened state, where each thought is empowerment to further embrace reality, free of karmic restraints—we are the emperor.
The secret behind the dazzling work and life message left behind by Mahatma Gandhi, in his books and in his legacy, can be attributed to the state of turiya he was in. Every day, he was up by three am, ready to start the day in communal prayers. He seldom took a nap during the day. He held another communal prayer meeting at 10 pm, after which he would read before getting to sleep.
Being in the state of turiya, he was a cause of setting into humanity’s consciousness the reality of harmony, love and peace. Mahatma Gandhi was an emperor, a “Maharaj,” who conquered time as a yogi.
When humanity sets itself free by awakening to timelessness, we will chart the destiny for our future, through a consciousness where physical and material abundance flows naturally, in harmony and fulfillment for all. Peace reigns supreme where consciousness is.
In 2013, Mahasivratri falls on March 10th. For more information on observing Mahasivratri, see the World Yoga Day website: www.worldyogaday.co.
Through years spent in the caves and wilderness as a saddhu under the guidance of enlightened gurus, Tapasyogi Kalathi Adiyen Aadi Nandhi was first woken up to his childhood dream, a vision that he now unfolds as the Ariven Community—global sanctuaries for retired animals (www.ariven.org). To support the vision: visit www.sensitiveplanet.com, the enlightening marketplace that offers products that are recommended by the yogis of India. Nandhi imparts his wisdom and inner teachings through yoga, through music and by initiation. His yoga website: www.nandhi.com.
Editor: Jayleigh Lewis