Q & A with Swami Satchidananda on Spiritual Energy

Question: I sometimes experience the rising of the sacred Kundalini, accompanied by a soft humming sound and a certain degree of bliss or peace. Why does this energy remain only briefly?

Swami Satchidananda: It’s a beautiful question. I’m glad to know that you have experienced it. It’s true, the mind is not always bad. It’s not always covered by a dense egoistic cloud. Occasionally, the cloud gets dispersed; occasionally. When it gets dispersed, you momentarily see the Light. But it doesn’t stay long.

The great saint, Sri Ramakrishna, gave an example: Think of the mind like a big, old water tank with a lot of moss that has grown. Imagine that the moss has completely covered the whole surface so you can’t even see the water beneath it. This is similar to when water lilies cover the surface of a pond. When you want to see the water, you have to take a big stone and throw it in. Then, because of the wave created by the stone, the moss gets a little bit scattered and a round, circular area forms allowing you to see the water.

If you just stand there and watch, you will see that the moss slowly moves in again and covers the opening. The mind is like that; filled with a lot of worldly samskaras and egoistic desires. Occasionally, a good idea or an inspiring thought comes in, by our reading, thinking, or hearing. When that inspiring thought falls into the lake of the mind, the mind gets cleared and you feel high. But, it doesn’t stay long. You get a temporary glimpse of what is inside. It’s like the sun that is visible behind the dense clouds when the clouds disperse.

If you want to remain in that experience, you have to empty the mind completely; clean up everything that would cover the surface. It’s hard work that requires continuous diligence. Patanjali says that to be successful, our practice must be for a long time, without break, and with total faith. Those are the three qualities that we should remember. Then, certainly, we can clear out the mind. It takes a lot of effort, but it is worth it. Don’t look for quick, instant samadhi. All the drugs and things like that, which even Patanjali talked about, only give you a sort of temporary dullness, a temporary peace. But, it is not created by your own, voluntary effort. So, you should not depend on that.

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