THE INTERNAL TRIP
Where there is journeying within,
the restless mind grown calm;
Introversion always frees a man
from doubt and error;
With conciousness roving inside,
innate nature manifests itself;
If it continues for long,
all conditioning stands dissloved!
Q.The sadhak wants to undertake sadhana. One important part
of sadhana is meditation. To sit in an appropriate posture for meditation and to
make the body go lax through kayotsarg is not so difficult, as to stop the mind
from wandering all over the universe. What method do you recommend to bring the
mind back from its wanderings?
Ans. Dhyana means to turn the mind inwards. Spirituality means to be
introversive. In view of this, not to do anything to make the mind integrated,
is to be led astray in the path of sadhana. Because without a pure and
integrated mind, no progress in sadhana is possible.
Man's functions are of two kinds--outer and inner. It may be put differently by
saying that on the basis of their instincts, men may be divided into two
kinds---extroversive and introversive. Extraversion comes naturally, but
introversion has to be cultivated through practice. To be an extravert, one does
not have to do a thing, whereas to be an introvert, one is required to put in a
good deal of effort. It is necessary for every spiritually minded person to be
introversive, but it is also very difficult. A man's sense-faculties and his
mind are forever turned outwards. These are so much taken up with the outer
phenomena, as to have little leisure to turn back and look within. The more one
tries to turn them inwards, the more fickle they grow. As long as fickleness
subsists, there can be no introversion. And without introversion, a man can
never know what is inherent in him. In the absence of such knowledge, he does
not even realise that because of, extraversion, his inner powers remain
Q.It is important that a man should experience peace and joy in his life. But
this philosophy of introversion and extraversion is so very complex that a man
finds himself bewildered and loses his peace of mind. How does it harm a man if
his consciousness is turned outwards?
Ans. Extraversion, looking outwards, is the mother of all illusions. To a man
caught in illusion, truth appears to be untruth, and falsehood appears to be
truth. He experiences pleasure in the material world and for him only this world
has any significance. He accepts sensual gratification as his goal. He is wholly
engrossed by outer phenomena. And this condition lasts till his illusions are
shattered. There is only one way to shatter his illusions and that is the
undertaking of an internal trip. Through it the mind turns inwards, becomes
quiet and is freed from conflict. Just as a tired man relaxes himself on
reaching home, similiarly a mind caught in confusion and error, having become
integrated, gains clarity. As long as it is involved in misunderstandings, even
the feeling of pleasure and peace which it experiences at times, is illusory.
Only the light emanating from an inner journey can remove the thick gloom of the
valley of illusion.
Q.What precisely do you mean by an internal trip?
Ans The inner journey is related to our spinal cord. The spinal cord is a part
of our central nervous system. On each side of it are the two nerves known as
ida (parasympathetic nervous system) and pingla (syrnpathetic nervous system).
Ida is on the left, Pingla on the right. The central nervous system is known as
sushumna. When the vital current passes out of sushumna, the central nervous
system and flows through ida and pingla, extraversion takes place, because our
consciousness is then diffused. If the vital current flows along the sushumna, a
path becomes available for consciousness to turn inwards. When consciousness
turns inwards, and the sadhak is able to experience it, that moment becomes the
moment of self-realisation. What one feels at that moment is something to be
experienced; it cannot be described. With a view to integrating one's
consciousness before going into meditation the process of inner voyage is unique
Q.If a sadhak knows nothing about ida, pingla and sushumna, how can he go on
this inner voyage?What exactly is the process of inner journeying? What is
involved in it?
Ans. It is necessary for a dhyana-sadhak to have full knowledge about the bodily
system, because it is through the body that one can reach the soul. The outer
form of the body is apparent enough, but inside there are innumerable parts of
which even the doctors have no complete knowledge. Meditation is the means of
discovering not only the soul, but also the unknown secrets of the body. But it
is possible only in the higher stages of meditation. To begin with, one can
gather information about the principal inner parts of the body with the help of
special charts and body-specialists. This knowledge will be found helpful in
undertaking the journey within.
For the internal trip, one must withdraw one's attention from all external
objects and concentrate it on Shakti-Kendra (the Centre of Energy) situated at
the base of the backbone. Consciousness then moves from the base, through the
sushumna (the spinal cord), to JnanKendra (the Centre of Knowledge) situated
near the crown. The object of this pilgrimage is to initiate the upward movement
of vital power. Then the mind is made to move from Jnan-Kendra (the Centre of
Knowledge) to Shakti-Kendra (the Centre of Energy, and again from Shakti-Kendra
(the Centre of Energy) to Jnan-Kendra (the Centre of Knowledge), for
accomplishing the ascent of the vital current. Shakti-Kendra is the source of
inexhaustible energy. The vital energy required for the brain, ascends to it by
way of sushumna. This process can be better understood through an example.
There is water in the well. A man needs water. He cannot directly get to the
water down below. So he makes use of bucket with a rope. The bucket is lowered
down, and is drawn up after being filled with water. The bucket is emptied and
again it goes into the well to fetch water. The trips of the bucket up and down
produce sufficient water for man. Similarly, consciousness serves like a bucket
for carrying vital energy to the brain.
It may be asked, how does consciousness move up and down and down and up? Now,
how does the instrument for measuring blood pressure work? The column of mercury
moves up from down below and it also moves down from above. This process
continues as long as the mercury remains in place. Like the mercury,our vital
energy, too, moves upward through sushumna i.e., the central nervous system, to
the brain. But until it is withdrawn from the external world, consciousness is
not centred in the spinal cord and cannot become the carrier of energy.
The internal trip is a unique movement for awakening supernatural energy. It is
a movement for the internalization of consciousness. Prolonged practice directs
a sadhak to his inward nature, turns him away from outer phenomena. As long as
fascination with the external does not come to an end, the direction of life
cannot be changed. It is very necessary to be free from concern with the
external. The moment this attachment is gone, the flow of energy becomes
continuous, without any obstruction anywhere. The cessation of interruption
means progress towards spirituality, joy and spontaneity. That is what the human
mind thirsts for. A simple way of fulfilling this desire is the internal trip.