By Swami Prajñananda
I grew up in the Harry Potter generation. My generation was in grade school when the first book came out in 1998. We would read the book in wonder and then wait in anticipation for the next book to come out. This was almost yearly until the publication of the final book in 2007.
Our family had a specific order for reading the newest book. I would get it first and read it in a day, maybe two. My mom would then read it to my brother. And finally my dad read it last. I remember inhaling the books like they were food. Diving into the world of magic — wands, spells, talking paintings — I was entranced. Looking back, I see I had a hunger for more than what life offered. I wanted the magic. I wanted “The More.” Unfortunately, no matter what I did, I couldn’t find what I was looking for.
Fast forward 18 years. I discovered “The More” in yoga and meditation and specifically by receiving Shaktipat initiation. Shaktipat is the awakening of your own inner power, the cosmic power of the universe called Kundalini. I received this initiation from my Guru, Swami Nirmalananda. This initiation opened up a whole new world for me. But this time it wasn’t in a book; it was inside me. And I remember thinking “this is like Harry Potter, but even better!”
Why was it better? Harry Potter was incredible, magical, fantastical, yet the book didn’t touch all the levels of my being. Once I received Shaktipat, the dimensions of my own being opened up. I began meditating every day, and in each meditation, new wonders would unfold within. This experience is described in an ancient yogic text:
Vismayo yogabhuumikaa.h — Shiva Sutras 1.12
The wonders of yoga are truly amazing. — Translation by Swami Nirmalananda
Yes! The wonders of yoga are truly amazing, especially, once you have received Shaktipat. Kundalini, the energy of the universe, moves up your spine in every meditation. Her movements are based on what you need. She clears up the junk that is limiting you from experiencing your own Divinity. While she clears up that which limits you, you get spontaneous movements, called kriyas in Sanskrit. You may see colors or lights. You may experience tingling or heat or cold. You may get physical movements, hear divine sounds, have deep profound meditations, insights and more. These are all symptoms that Kundalini is working within you, clearing that which limits you.
I needed a lot of physical healing at the beginning. So in meditation Kundalini would move me into classical yogic postures. I would sit to meditate and right away I would be moved into poses that I hadn’t even learned yet. The effect was blissful! My whole body felt alive, expanded and open.
As I continued meditating, my experiences became more subtle, and my focus turned more and more inward. Instead of focusing on what my body or mind was doing, I was guided inward to discover the multiple dimensions of my own being. And to discover the source of those dimensions — my own Self. I am still in the process of this inner discovery. And the more I meditate, the more wonders I discover inside.