Who Are You?

By Mangala Allen

Swami Muktananda says, “You are purer than the pure, never manifold, you are indivisible consciousness. Unborn, unchanging, all pervasive… You are a mountain of joy.”

This is probably not how you experience yourself.  Muktananda is describing that, at the core of your being, you are Beingness-itself.  Experiencing and living in your core essence is the purpose of all yoga practices. Beyond the athleticism of most yoga styles, its purpose is to give you glimpses of your own Self. When you use yoga to turn your awareness inward, and develop your ability to explore who you are, you experience your Divinty more easily and for longer periods of time.

Yoga includes: breathing practices, poses, chanting, study, rituals, self-inquiry, mantra repetition and meditation. Swami Nirmalananda says, “Meditation is the ultimate practice, according to yoga’s sages.  All the other practices are to make it easier for you to meditate and to deepen your inner experience of your own Self.”

Your Self is the One Self, for there is only One Reality.  The One is being everything, One Self is being all selves. We are not simply a bunch of humans gathered together inside Consciousness. Each of us is Consciousness. You are Consciousness.  You are the One.  Consciousness is being you and being all of us, all at the same time.

The energy that exists everywhere and pervades everything everywhere is the energy that is being everything. Yoga calls this energy “Shakti.”  About this energy, Baba Muktananda tells us, “The most important thing to know about it is that it lies in the center of a person’s body.” He was a Shaktipat master, who could awaken your inner Shakti, just as Swami Nirmalananda is.  Once this energy is awakened within you, the mystery blossoms forth in your meditation.  Baba describes it: “You too can find the Shakti if you meditate.”

All of yoga’s other practices improve your ability to sit in quietude so you can experience your essential Self. The breathing practice I do, Ujjayi Pranayama, is also an important practice in Svaroopa® Yoga, one that draws me toward meditation. The poses I have learned and teach decompress my spine and make it easier for the Shakti to rise within.

Chanting’s vibrations pervade my being and carry me deeper inside. Repeating mantra is the vehicle that takes me to my Self when I am meditating, and keeps me based in my Self when I am not meditating. All of these practices work together to provide peace in my heart and mind, enhancing my life.

Looking outward, I have a deeper appreciation and gratitude for all that surrounds me. I am learning to accept life’s challenges, to experience them with greater clarity and focus as I rise to meet them. My relationships benefit as I become less reactionary. I am no longer on the roller coaster of ups and downs I once knew so well. This is because on the inside I am finding out who I really am.

“Purer than the pure, never manifold, you are indivisible consciousness. Unborn, unchanging, all pervasive… You are a mountain of joy.”
– Swami Muktananda

OM svaroopa svasvabhava namo namah

To your Inherent Divinity again and again I bow.