Spiritual practice in all traditions are aimed at leading

aspirants to the One True Light, ekam ekadvitiyam. The
Truth which is One second to none. The ways to reaching
such a Truth are many depending on the temperaments
and abilities of the seekers. One of a low mental capacity
but tremendous will power is advised to use the body
through practices of Hatha Yoga and later Kundalini Yoga
to transcend the mundane worlds. For people of an
emotional bent, Bhakti Yoga is prescribed so that the
agony of separateness is removed by their divine union
with their deity. Raja Yoga is usually for people with an
intense mental capacity who can use their mind to silence
itself and thus let the clear light of the soul or ego into
their consciousness in samadhi. Consisting of eight steps,
seven of which are only preparatory to the real Yoga
which begins in Samprajnata or Form based Samadhi,
proceeding to alternating levels of Asamprajnata and
Samprajnata until they reach the Absolute. Tantra uses a
very different set of techniques for enhancing
consciousness and seeks to use occult capabilities of the
human organism. It also seeks to develop powers over
the environment, which Patanjali expressly forbids for the
simple reason that they will waste the aspirant’s time who
should seek liberation first. No matter which process is
used, the time and effort needed to achieve the
Fundamental Realization is enormous though worth every
second of it. In the words of all enlightened and attained
beings, there is nothing in the three worlds which matches
the glory and bliss of such a realization. All sacrifices,
miseries, sufferings in a life, nay many lives are worth a

The previous races which sought and achieved enlightenment were operating in a mental and emotional realm very different from today. It behooves us then to do everything to make the process easier in whatever way we can.second of the taste of enlightenment. An individual sitting in a room is not really alone in the mental realm though it seems to him that he is. What has happened is that the mental plane has been filled up with a infinitude of false thought forms or Avidya as Patanjali would call it. We are exposed to so much material vibrations from the culture today that spiritual seekers are at a loss to even conceive of the possibility of a spiritual dimension to life. Patanjali’s famous first line in the Yoga Sutras. Thoughts are always slipping between mental grounds of individuals. Living in the modern age which in occult terms. Setting . Humanity is thinking more today than ever before. the proof of which we have in the explosion of research and publication of books. the deadening social media space and its universe of false opinions. the never ending chatter of television talk show hosts. “Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodhah” was achievable in comparatively lesser time simply because the Chitta or the substance of mind was not polluted with so much garbage like today. The mental plane is not a personal space as our body is. is the cycle in which the mind will be developed to its highest capacity. seekers have a problem which has never been faced before in the history of the planet. And here lies the first battle of the aspirant.

I have assumed that pure will has accomplished the cleansing of the first 2 koshas. There is a “thing-in-itself” of Kant which his pure reason can never hope to know. If he is able to silence them. firstly he gets all kinds of lower urges pulling and pushing him hither and thither. Reading Kant is a great exercise to know the limits of reason. But every mind is not capable of sensing this voice. India has been fortunate that our seers have not only achieved the Truth but also written extensively about it. the aspirant has to then face its own mind. a voice which tells in its silent way that the light is beyond the senses. We have an aspirant who has read some books of saints and mystics and has got some inner response which makes him or her believe that the objective. He has to take more indirect means. the annamaya and pranamaya kosha which in itself is not guaranteed by any means as a will of such magnitude is rare today and depends of past samskaras earned in previous lives. But Kant was not a Yogi and so could not find a solution to the problem he diagnosed with such brilliance. After one has controlled the physical urges of lust or money. mundane world is not all. So we start with the very inception. the next series of troubles . and cleaned the pranamaya kosha of its grosser vibrations by sheer will.aside the fact that modern culture affects the pranamaya kosha or the etheric body with very coarse vibrations by its vulgar depiction of sex and greed. When the aspirant sits to meditate. a mind which will tell him that spiritual seeking is futile. Their words have a shakti of their own which can bring about a still small voice from which. the problem today is also very mental.

Nagarjuna. they are still just stories for the ignorant aspirant. They dominate the culture and control the mental plane with their gross vibrations. doubts which can only be cleared when he does his practice but the doubts hinder that very practice. appeared in the 2nd century AD. Else he is left struggling with his doubts. They are someone else’s accounts and if he has indomitable faith. This is a dangerous problem because it can make the aspirant leave the practice itself. the founding text of the Mahayana or Northern Buddhism school. he can do his practice based on this faith. What he needs is a way to silence this army of false thoughts which tell him that the mundane reality of separateness is the only truth. No matter how many accounts of realization one has read. the author of the Madhyamikakarika. with a set of .consist of stray thoughts of which the most dominant one is the futility of spiritual practice itself. which on examination turns out to be NOT what it seems. just like the Charvakas used to proclaim in the days of yore. Back then we had many more philosophical schools which expounded on the spiritual truths and charvakas were a minority but today we live in a society of Charvakas. So it is a paradoxical situation. The way by which this is known with the greatest clarity is the profound system of Madhyamika. We need a counter-force in the mental plane to dismantle these false thought-forms and get ourselves established in the truth of this very mundane world.

Now at first glance. We think we are watching the grand spectacle of the universe with its relentless motion of billions of individual human beings. asks if the bus is truly moving on the road or if the man in front of us is truly coming at us. its about the lack of any essential reality of the external world. living. By real we all mean to think that these units or objects are existing by themselves. These texts expounded a set of teachings which could not be given earlier due to the lack of comprehension. sleeping and dying every second. A beautiful woman is really there. But ours is not a true standard. moving.esoteric texts. like a pen. The true interpretation of “emptiness” will take us into the rarified realms of scholarly discourses but in essence. We are enchanted by the play of so many “units” of life playing out their lives and this play makes us happy and sad. Nagarjuna is telling us that we have no clue about anything of this world we think is real. It starts with any object of the world we see everyday. enjoying. waiting for us to approach her. Of course. such questions seem laughable to the commoner. all these things are “true” by our standards. hidden from the world in the possession of a class of astral beings called the Nagas. The time was ripe for Nagarjuna to bring out these complex treatises in the world. The great palace is really there. exhibited by the humans. existing all by itself for a rich man to buy it and enjoy his . a pot or a bus moving through a street and asks if the pen is really resting on the table. laughing crying. Madhyamika seeks to dismantle all conceptions of the world we have. The prime thesis of Nagarjuna is that of the emptiness of existence.

We are really watching a grand show in which we can only watch and helplessly react with either glee or anguish. We cannot because if we examine what we really mean by all these properties. We really don’t understand the truth of such terms. and that the seed dies so that the tree is formed. we will find that we have been wrong all along. makes us want to grab as much of the world as we can. We usually say that the tree has come from a seed. Nagarjuna’s work is basically . with us being a tiny unit with little or no powers waiting for death. running. The great example of this comes from an analysis of the seed and tree problem. Nagarjuna is telling that that we can say nothing whatsoever about this very world. unpacking this very simple assumption we make of saying that the tree is formed from the seed. we are left stunned by the revelation that we cannot assert anything about how the seed became the tree. we will find that they really mean nothing. or that the man is running. or that the water is flowing. We should become silent about the world and not speak a word. going. Just by examining our own concepts and categories by which we comprehend reality. resting. People are truly being born and dying. of sitting.stay. But Chandrakirti in his famous Madhyamikavatara spends a hundred pages. We can’t ASSERT anything of this external world. about how the seed “died” or how the tree appeared from it. This is the idea which ordinary non-thinking people have of this world. And this ingrained sense of the world being out there. At the end of it. nor that the bus is moving. We can’t say that the pen is resting. coming. or compromise and die with regrets.

dismantling a hundred other such assumptions. They are both intended to take you past the vrittis or fluctuations of the mind in all its aspects. In essence. all yogic practices will flow with smoothness since the great barrier of mentally created thought forms has been removed. used to only external objects. being the fifth sub race of the fifth root race of the aryans. all those gnawing doubts which the lower mind. presents before us to hinder our efforts. mundane. It silences once and for all. We need to know in the mental realm and not just feel drawn emotionally to a teaching. The great relevance of the Madhyamika today is that ours is a primarily mental race. We are no more innocent. The Fifth sub-race of any round is the cycle where the fifth principle of manas or mind is developed to its highest capability. memory and sub-conscious. Once this certainty is achieved. The higher intuition will flood our minds and the . Thus the imperative of the intellectual approach with Madhyamika expounds at its highest. the cessation of thought about the external world means the cessation of craving and the attainment of the “Chitta Vritti Nirodhah” which Patanjali had discussed. one comes out on the other side with a freedom of a kind which defies explanation. Thus we don’t have the luxury of innocently following instructions of a teacher. If one is able to get into the heart of these abstruse and demanding logical exercises. Madhyamika can be said to be the mental process of the cessation which Raja Yoga achieves by the eight-fold way.

Madhyamika seeks to break the hold of the mental plane on us. The great Tantric scripture. Esoteric philosophy teaches us that the mental. which is the plane of false ideas. One of her names is MahaMaya. astral and physical planes are the three worlds of illusion. Madhyamika can be considered the path of Jnana Shakti to remove these veils. Maya is the name for the three worlds of illusion which we are submerged in. Once the intellectual veil has been removed. Durga Saptashati which manifests the very Adi Shakti before us.powerful vibrations of our higher self will pull us upward. after crossing which. we are able to see the first glimpses of the Truth. we remove the mental aspect of the veil. An idea by itself is a distortion of the truth from the ultimate . the energy veil can be removed much more easily as we can then invoke powers of the intuitive mind which in the hierarchy of reality is of a much higher order than the energy body and thus can control it easily. The lower mind with its doubts and entangled ideas cannot prevent our lower urges from controlling us and leading us astray. one can safety take to Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhism. By fighting the lower mind with the power of the higher intellect. is in reality an invocation of the force of Illusion herself. The rest of the veils consist of the energy aspect and the perceptive aspect which tantra can give us. Thus it is said in Tibet that the right view of emptiness is the first milestone after which. We invoke the great Goddess to remove her veils from us so we can seek the Truth.

perspective since it is a much refined “form”. Mankind has still not reached a level of evolution where it considers ideas to be falsity at an ultimate level. who is beyond thought. surely thoughts are a falsity. The world of formlessness or Arupa Loka has to be entered before one is given the keys to the universe. Thus madhyamika is an exercise in thinking from the consciousness of our Higher Self. And for this thinker. Nagarjuna’s dialectics lift us to our true self. . This is an intense yoga in its own right and exceedingly recommended to mentally polarized yogis who can accelerate their yogic attainments with these powerful analytical meditations. But such people need it the most. Which is why Madhyamika can be a dangerous ground for people who think ideas are the ultimate reality. Our lower self is the result of this Thinker’s thought. the Ego or the Thinker residing in our Karana Sharira which is above the planes of illusion.