In Mannapakkam, Chennai, there is a quiet retreat
Babuji Memorial Ashram belonging to the Ram Chandra Mission.
People from all walks of life and from around the globe gather here
to meditate. They follow the Sahaj Marg system of meditation.
Sahaj Marg was founded by
Samarth Guru Ram Chandra Maharaj of Fatehgarh (1783-1834). He was
followed by his disciple Sri Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur who
established the Ram Chandra Mission in 1945. Since then the mission
has grown to include a worldwide following with centres all over the
world. The present Guru is Rev. Parthasarathy Rajagopalachari of
The system of Sahaj Marg
(the natural path) runs along simple lines easily adjustable to the
ordinary routine of a worldly life. There is no austerity or
penance. Sahaj Marg follows the natural path. Life must have a
balance like a bird which flies on two wings the spiritual and
physical. The system says life can only be lived the normal
way has to be lived and transcended. One cannot transcend by
Sahaj Marg is a
remodelled system of Raja Yoga. It is believed that a mans
personality is the sum total of his samskaras i.e. the deep
impressions of his past actions which are the very basis of his
tendencies make him act and react in a particular pattern. Pranahuti
(divine energy) is the speciality of this system. There is
transmission of love and divine energy by the Master through his
yogic power. One is automatically drawn inwards through the power of
pranahuti and meditation is facilitated. The divine is
awakened in the individual and provides him spirtitual nourishment.
Thus we are given an opportunity to cleanse ourselves of our
samskaras. Then inner changes take place helping us to evolve into a
higher human being.
The routine practice
followed is meditation on the heart. While meditating the mind turns
inwards and it is attracted to what it finds inside. We establish a
link with the divine inside us. The outside world loses its charm
and quite naturally there is renunciation. Renunciation in Sahaj Marg
is not non possession. It is an inner state of mind: non attachment
from worldly things. While in meditation other thoughts come into
our mind as they surely will. They are our own thoughts seeking
to come out now that we have pegged onto something else. We
allow them to go by not attending to them.
In meditation the mind is
trained to relax by ignoring the usual thoughts crowding the mind.
This helps in overcoming dissipating of the mind and conserving
mental energy. Better concentration is an automatic by-product.
Also, when we meditate the mind is better regulated. This gives us
the strength to face difficulties and misfortunes. While misfortune
is an external objective fact, misery is our own individual reaction
to it. A well regulated mind will not give in easily to miseries.
Why meditate on the
heart? Real understanding comes not from the brain or intellect but
the heart know with the brain but understand with the
heart. By concentrating on the heart we develop the qualities
associated with the heart: kindness, compassion, love. Through other
systems one may get power or divinity but Sahaj Marg says the purpose
of meditation is to become something not get something.
Sahaj Marg believes that
God realization is learning to become love. The human being on
longer loves as a verb but is love. That is done through guiding
mental tendencies into one stream through meditation on the heart.
God cannot be a subject of knowledge per se. God cannot be
perceived. God can be experienced through love. The heart is
the only pure thing in the universe the vessel in which life
exists. If God is anywhere he is in the heart. So in Sahaj Marg we
bring the heart into main focus of lifestream.