Spirit of Christmas and the Spirit of Yoga

The Spirit of Christmas written December 24, 1999, by Swami Niranjan of The Bihar School of Yoga was forwarded to me by my friend Anahita in India. It was being shared by the Satyananda Mumbai Google Group. This will be an important and meaningful article for many of you. Swami Niranjan is an inclusive, open-minded, forward thinking, universal spiritual head of The Bihar School of Yoga.

In this article, Swami Niranjan equates Christ consciousness to the state of turiya (he calls it the “unified spirit”) in yoga.

He explains what mind, spirit, consciousness mean as these are terms we all use with different implications, not knowing what it means to someone else. What is the difference between Spirit and consciousness? He explains it.

The roads are many but the destination is the same (see What is Yoga?). No matter what our path we are all universally connected.

Swami Niranjan writes:

” Of the five elements in this world, there is one that connects each individual with another individual. That element is air. Who knows, maybe the air that we are breathing in at this moment is the same air exhaled by Christ two thousand years ago? Maybe it is the same air exhaled by Krishna five thousand years ago. It is this air which is connecting us together, globally. And just as in this dimension air is the connecting agent, in another higher dimension, spirit is the connecting agent.”

“We think of spirit as something unique to each one. Maybe it is just like our ability to breathe in. How we breathe is unique to each one of us, but air is universal. Similarly, our experience of spirit can be individual, but it is a universal connection….Therefore, the statement, “My Father and I are One”, meaning that the individual I and the universal spirit, the spirit which I am experiencing within me and the spirit which surrounds the entire manifest and unmanifest creation, are one, and the statement, Aham Brahmasmi, ‘I am that universal spirit’, are the statements of people who have had a vision of the spirit.”

Swami Niranjan further suggests that the opening of the seven doors and seven veils in the Bible,  is the opening of the seven chakras in tantra. Many of you have felt this for yourselves after our years of practice on the chakras and some of the kriyas. Some have referred to the children’s story Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as an allegory on the chakras as well.

The article states:

“Tonight, when you go to the room, don’t go to sleep, but reflect for ten or fifteen minutes and set priorities for your spiritual life. Just as you set priorities for your material life to fulfil your aspirations and desires, set priorities for your spiritual life…. Remember to try and understand spirituality from a practical point of view, because real spiritual life alters the material.”

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