Meditation, Fighters, Warriors, and Khalsa-Warriors

This is an introduction to the next essay… which I promise will be both deep and shocking.

What is a warrior?

According to popular news, media and entertainment programmes, warriors are armed forces personnel who sit in helicopter gun-ships and shoot-to-kill at distant crowds that pose zero personal threat to them. These are the so-called warriors championed in the western media, whose acts are celebrated as brave and heroic.

We, from our background, do not deem such behaviour as warrior-like, at all.

It is worth briefly focusing on the classifications of fighter, warrior and divine warrior that sometimes get jumbled up together using examples most of us know…

The Knights Templar were an immensely wealthy, politically powerful, west European, Christian military order. They were religious rather than spiritual. They were fighters, not warriors.

The Shogun are an example of warriors. As are the original Sufis. Prior to conversion to Islam many centuries after the founding of Mohammedism, Sufism was a spiritual movement and therefore at a higher level than mere religiosity.

The original baptised Sikh – the Khalsa – were, until they diverged from their founding tenets in the 1950s, divine warriors.

Now let me clarify each of the three classifications of fighter, warrior and divine warrior.

Old-fashioned fighters never actually picked a fight. They defended. Trained in armed warfare, they also maintained and continued a tradition of working in the family business. Their readiness to kill or be killed turned on split-second emotions. They reacted to situations, but were proactive in that reaction.

Old-fashioned warriors were thoughtful protectors of life. More often than not, they ate humble pie. Humiliation was not a reason or justification for them to pick up arms or kill. Occasionally, they acted as consultants, intervening to defuse disputes and find face-saving solutions for all concerned parties. With the passage of time, however, the traditional value of responsibility diminished, and these warriors transmuted into mercenaries.

The Khalsa – referring to a state beyond divinity – were warriors with a difference. They had awakened perception. They were a movement comprising advanced Sadhus who were ordered to immerse themselves in family, business and secular life while simultaneously maintaining their divine ethos. Similar to the Shogun and Sufi strata, they were protectors of life; what set them apart from that strata of warrior was the fact that they had to protect another’s right to kill them. In war, they sought not to kill their foe, but to disarm them and thereby allow them to return to their families. If foes persisted, after at least three times of such magnanimous behaviour, they were killed.

Only those steeped in meditation can fully comprehend the ramifications of death and killing.

So, you see, unlike the poster-boys of the contemporary so-called warrior-class described at the beginning of this essay, a divine warrior would never deign to press buttons from a distance, raining death upon whoever happened to be there.

This is a prelude and companion to next week’s essay about Sikhism, Vaisaski and Khalsa….

Yoga or Jôgā

An ethical philosopher, no doubt pompous and hilariously arrogant (not that I notice any trace of arrogance) who can debate surveillance, terrorism, and mental torture from behind the veil of Sikhism’s peaceful calmness, I too can become a tad irritable.

For some time now the mercury on my irritable gauge has been steadily rising. The reason?

Yoga.

Yes, yoga.

Allow me to woo you with the elementary orthodoxy about yoga.

You see, universities are for academic life. Letters are written in drawing rooms. Painting is done in well-lit studios. And the antiquated magic of self-analysis is undertaken in the temple of remote internal inquisition.

Let me clarify the difference between yoga and jôgā.

Yoga:

Typifies the kind of sex men can and do have. Non-attached, non-committed, non-emotional, mechanical ejection disconnected from oneness and/or belonging.

Jôgā:

The slow sensual love-making women seek, appreciate and understand. Typified by belonging as opposed to ownership, where the latter is quintessential for men to feel motivated and responsible in a relationship. For a woman love-making is internal. It begins internally, exudes internality, and culminates in an intense internal togetherness, which seems for fleeting moments to be oneness. This is a unique state, whereby internal intensity begets an external expression of togetherness, evolving into oneness. That, in essence, is jôgā.

Yoga:

The World Wide Waffle is in fact nothing more than the slow, deliberate, repetitive stretching of a set of ligaments, muscles, and tendons. If coupled with mindful breathing, yoga can exploit the in-breath to a degree. If accompanied by normal, thoughtless, shallow breathing it brings nothing of benefit to the bio-system.

Shallow breathing:

This is used to supply pran entity (not energy) for the sustenance of the body’s main organs in descending order of priority. It keeps you breathing. Not alive, just breathing. Hence, with this type of breathing you are simply behaving like an organic ventilation machine. Though conscious, you communicate like a comatose patient; you are not fully in the world. You exist, like a comatose patient, in a world of your own imagination and constraints. However, because your locomotive abilities are not constrained, you deem yourself to be living. No, you are merely existing.

Let me put it this way. You can work as a scullery maid at Buckingham Palace, but that does not grant you free and unfettered access to all areas. Nowadays, even Her Majesty probably needs a security identity card to access her own back yard! But you get my point. Shallow breathing does not allow you access to your own inner backyard, so to speak.

You, the actual you, which is utterly different from the physical you, can only be fathomed once deep, controlled and targeted breathing has been mastered.

However, comprehensive, cosmopolitan and complex breathing is only one aspect of jôgā. To access this path you need to find a master who is prepared to teach you the most difficult conundrum needed in the search for and recognition of your inner self. Masters occupy a strict hierarchical order. To the outsider they all seem similar yet opaque; where you expect transparency, what you in fact get is a mirror image of your own limitations and limited expansion.

Even if you meet a master with whom you have great empathy, the relationship may be set for disaster because you have not realised that you have in fact failed the first test of your own inner search.

And what is the first test?

Humbleness.

During my entire life it has never failed to astonish me how opinionated, self-congratulatory and self-deluded the seekers of the inner journey actually are.

They feign humbleness, and call those people dumb whose common-sense radar is impervious to the fraudulent image they project. Armed with their fake humbleness, believing it gives them coded access to all layers of the internal pathways into multi-dimensional consciousness, they set out to find a master.

What they do in reality is to start debating and correcting the master, as if they themselves are the teacher, and the master is there to simply second their opinions and views on life.

Being opinionated and humble are two completely different things, they can’t even be said to exist on opposite ends of the same spectrum.

So, that is the first failing of those embarking on the inner search: being opinionated while passing themselves off as humble.

If, however, you do find a master and you fit their remit, then before jôgā breathing can be taught an unbelievable amount of re-alignment has to be endured, and then merged into. A new you has to emerge before the teaching can begin, and only then can the process of awakening be shared with you.

I often hear people say that in doing yoga they are searching for their spiritual self.

Er, no.

Before you even reach the level necessary to begin a spiritual search, you need to reconfigure your thought pattern so that you can enter religion and its layers of discipline.

From there you studiously move higher up the scale. So, your search for spirituality is cloud-cuckoo-land nonsense, a buffoon’s paradise, a delusional mirage of self-importance, the ego in full unfettered flow. All you have done is reach a point where you are witnessing your own ignorance in a full-length mirror, but you are so egotistical that you do not even recognise this. Such people are the ones who have read a few books and joined like-minded groups, and who consider themselves all-knowing without seeming to realise their own multi-scalar deficits.

So, humbleness is the prerequisite to commencing the internal journey.

If you commit to humbleness over the course of several successive lifetimes, suffering throughout as you strive to remain on the path, then a master will be assigned to you and will in fact make his own way to your door.

The master will find you.

A new relationship will begin. And through mergence controlled by the master you will be at a point where you can finally begin to learn.

The teaching begins.

The path is hard, unforgiving and painful.

The layers of personality you have to shed, the layers of attachment you have to expunge from your cherished ideals, are breathtakingly agonising.

But only then will you be ready to merge into jôgā breathing i.e. cosmic breath. The breath which is separate and utterly different from the mechanical breathing you were born with.

Now, true jôgā can begin.

Jôgā is an internal thought-sphere, as opposed to an internal mind-frame, which then invites you into the required asana. Asana is not posture, it is asana. A downward dog is not an asana, it is a physical posture, distinct from an asana.

Why asana?

Because only an asana will connect the thought-sphere impulse to the pressurised organs via a set amount of pran entity, to remove obstacles that lie in the path of your inner awakening.

A posture will not do that.

Downward dog indeed! The very name exposes your purpose and limitation.

Downward dog is a prime example of how the race-Europeans sully things they touch, their arrogance re-packaging what they pick up, lest their inferiority in the subject matter be revealed.

This is why yoga will never lead one into spirituality. It will only lead its practitioners into their own dark side.

Compared to full, controlled, mindful breathing, where layers of consciousness are vying for exchange with the physical portion of your bio-frame, unregulated breathing imprisons you into an ever smaller, backward, desert-like, and inconsequential life pattern.

I can but share and indicate, the rest is up to the individual.

Good luck!

Sikh and Meditation

Throughout this life’s tenure, I have witnessed the goodwill intentions in all living species. Such intentions turn out, however, to be unbelievably short-lived, especially when confronted with the self-preservation that comprises the core element of most species’ existence. That said, outright hatred seems to be a trait specific to no species except humans.

As I have developed, I have come to recognise that the disparity between humans and other species, the leap from self-preservation to hatred, has myriad causal factors. I also am aware that neutralizing the ethereal cloud would enable the human bio-system to express and exercise balanced caring behaviour – goodwill, in other words. I also know, however, that it is unfortunately impossible to effect the neutralization necessary to make this happen.

Yet, people do want to escape the iron-ore prison cage of this planet; they do long for escape routes out of the straitened conditions and structures that poison their goodwill with hatred. Meditation is the means by which to achieve this goal. And Sikh meditation, in particular.

So, what’s the problem?

The problem is this: meditation is the proto-theorists’ unpolished sculpture; a figurine poem personified as a satirical memory of holier preservation, misunderstood by all except itself.

The point missed by all is this: mediation is a living entity. It is a life-form. It has its own boundaries, its own likes and dislikes. Let me give it a gender, and then it will make sense.

Meditation is female. She is demure, seldom raises her eyes, communicates subtly, suffers willingly, and never complains. Meditation is always accommodating, never demanding. She cannot be enjoyed through brute force; nor seduced by any means. She decides upon whom she will shower affection, if at all. But if you are not standing in line, along a path that she may pass, then you have zero chance of experiencing her.

Let’s face it, if meditation was yours to have as and when you choose, then you would all be the Buddhas and the Guru Nanakdevjis of this planet.

In what follows, I endeavour to explain the whys and wherefores of meditation; and in the process, I introduce you to the higher echelons of Sikh meditation. I do so through a combination of facts and analogy, having long realised that tangible explanations that people can readily relate to drive the point home better than any regurgitation of throw-away scriptural lines ever could.

The human species is divided into three groups. The topmost group comprises the sexually unmoved. The other two groups are the gays and the straights, the latter comprising the ‘straight darwinists’ and ‘straight deists’ (SaD).

SaD males know where Antarctica is, but none wants to go there. As in life, so in love-making: men have zero interest in acquainting themselves with or understanding the clitoris. They know it exists, but it does so as an abstract, an ephemeral thing even. As with the clitoris, so with meditation. And women, mimicking men, miss the point too; they also fall foul in their endeavours to even recognise where the essence of meditation hovers about them in order to establish contact, engage in communication, and eventually become its resident.

To enter meditation you need to experience death. In fact, you need to die. Death followed by cremation is the dissolution of all internal emotional, physical, and psychological connections. The psyche has to die, or if you prefer, be ‘liberated’. Individuality has to die, (or merge) into the greater individuality. ‘You’ must not exist. It is not enough not to fear non-existence. You must become non-existent.

At their apex, the Advanced Beings (now a distant memory) developed several methods to try and achieve self-understanding. When Guru Nanakdevji assumed the responsibility that others before him had failed to comprehend, many of these Advanced Beings took birth during his life period in order to try and move beyond their own attained statuses, into a more refined arena. To be part of his entourage they had to accept Guru Nanakdevji’s test of social integration coupled with social detachment.

The initial Sikhs were extremely advanced beings. They all belonged to one particular set or type of meditation: dangerous, frightening, and capable of leading to your demise. The first time practicing such meditation is very scary indeed. A group of Sikhs forced me in my younger days to show them this form of meditation and to put them through the process. When I reached the end stage of the first level, the idea facing them made some of them scream, while others were deeply frightened, and the rest visibly shaken. Never again have I allowed an unqualified group to experience the same.

Here I am going to introduce you to the lowest rung, the initial base, of the old Sikh meditation regime. It is not in fact different from most meditation techniques. Of course, I am not going to share how to recognise the meditation cloud about you. That would be irresponsible and dangerous. People allocate some of the most absurd attributes to meditation. You have no idea how fatal meditation can be. It is not peace, love and lentils, where hippies wear open-toed sandals and make love to their own long beards, and where women skip in the summer breeze in flowery full-length flowing skirts and cheesecloth blouses sans bras and their hair in braids. No. Meditation is a loaded gun. And one does not leave a loaded gun lying around.

The rungs of advancement in meditation are diet-based, thought-based, and emotion-based, in this order. Eventually one enters the humility and servile base. I have called it ‘rungs of advancement in meditation’ but none of this is meditation. It is preparation, the digging of the foundation. Meditation hasn’t even started yet. In fact, you are pre-programmed to fail if you attempt meditation since none of this preparatory work has been done, and which would itself take several decades to complete. So, although you can see the rainbow …that is all it is and will remain: a rainbow, a pathway, a map marked with a big ‘X’, but with no clue as to which spot on the planet the ‘X’ refers.

Now do you appreciate why meditation always fails?

People assume meditation is about finding peace or calmness: ‘I am balancing myself’, or ‘I have centered myself’, or best of all, ‘I enter the light’.

What?

What ruddy light are you talking about? When I am in a mischievous mood, I ask people who say these things whether they have ever met a blind person and have ventured to ask them if they have seen the ‘light’. The question is, how would a blind person recognise light? This is one of the misnomers of my environment. A sure-fire way we differentiate between the wannabes and the rare genuine article. The light we refer to is not light per se. You either experience it or not. Those who experience it communicate with each other through the medium of light. So those at my level know who is connected to the light and who is not. But, hey, why undermine the wannabes? At least they are not enthusing each other to kill for the sake of self-importance just because the ‘other’ is different.