|Stages of Maha Vidya Yoga|
The traditional texts state that the 10 Great Cosmic Powers are the 10 fundamental facets of God in manifestation. Thus in order to know God, the aspirant must gradually merge with each of the 10 Great Cosmic Powers. It is also said that each of them can lead the persevering aspirant to Absolute Knowledge.
These stages are only guidelines, as they can be more or less significant for each individual aspirant. However in close analysis, one will discover each of these stages in their path. Each stage is consecutive; each begins when the previous stage is over, and ends when the next stage begins.Stage of the Beginner : INITIATION
This stage appears as soon as the aspirant was given the mantra of a Great Cosmic Power and he begins his spiritual practice through the given methods in order to merge with that Great Cosmic Power.
Firstly, Grace is much amplified by the Great Cosmic Power simply due to the energy of beginning any new process, and due to the specific energy of the spiritual initiation given before.
During the meditations, visions of new spiritual scopes or new revelations can flash one’s mind. For various periods of time the aspirant’s vision of the Universe becomes infinitely more vast and complex, and much different from the old perspective. The aspirant’s mind is fascinated by new and profound correlations that immediately set connections between elements that previously appeared separated.
Some aspects of life, gestures, states which he was not even aware of previously, get a Universal meaning for short periods of time. The underlying emotion behind these periods is one of effervescent spiritual aspiration, of a feeling of greatness, of intense, overwhelming happiness.There often appears the feeling that the mind is "overwhelmed" by what is going on and in those times new ways of perceiving reality are revealed, ways that have been in a latent state in the person until this time.
The perception of space and time are much altered. The subtle worlds open their gates and the aspirant gains access into fascinating and previously unconceivable locations.The state of amazement is often present. This is a stage of getting closer to the Deity. The Great Cosmic Power therefore is fascinating for the aspirant, which creates the impetus for the motivation and power to go further. Although it is the first stage, the effort made by the aspirant here is very small as compared to what he receives in turn. Therefore he should keep his lucidity and prepare to go further. The amount of work necessary in the other stages can be reduced on the condition that the practice in this period should be as serious as possible. The effort put in is not proportional to the results, as they go far beyond expectations. Therefore in this stage, we should not allow ourselves only "fascinated" by the results of the spiritual practice, but instead should focus on the transformations that start to manifest.
Stage of the Desert - CONTINUOUS PRACTICE
This stage is already an advanced step, and in order to reach it the aspirant should have practiced for a long period.
This stage is for those who really practice MAHA VIDYA YOGA, and „they didn't lose their way” a few weeks or months after the initiation.
Most often, the yogi stops practicing meditation with the particular Great Cosmic Power once reaching this stage. They instead begin another pathway, with the next Great Cosmic Power, and therefore they enjoy again the unearned blessings of the first stage of the Beginning. This is the stage where the Grace of the Great Cosmic Power apparently leaves the aspirant. Everything seems to return to "normal"; everything that had been transformed then returns to the previous state. The moments of revelation fade away and become more and more rare. The aspirant retreats to his previous state, which from the "heights" he temporarily reached, might even seem more dull and inferior.
Tension can sometimes appear in the aspirant’s soul; this is generated by his feeling of being abandoned from the guidance of the Great Cosmic Power, and this tension can become unbearable. He has the feeling he had reached the end of his tether. Then and only then, a small impulse appears from the Great Cosmic Power who seems to say: "I am here, I never left you; only you cannot see me!" Coincidences appear that fall under the sphere of force of the Great Cosmic Power, but they do not seem to explicitly aid the aspirant.This is the stage which "filters out" the aspirants. Depending on the individual, this stage can be more or less obvious but it certainly appears. The only way to overcome it is to go further and never give up. At times there emerges the explicit and even logical idea to give up and to start all over again in a more favourable period. HOWEVER YOU MUST PAY ATTENTION! This is the most favourable time to continue. This is the sign that success is not very far away and giving up now means only throwing away much of the effort so far. It is like trying to swim across a river. After three quarters of the way, you decide you are tired and you swim back to the start point!!!
Stage of Crystallization - CONSCIOUS EVOLUTION
This is the stage in which the first opportunity for the aspirant to consciously make choices appears. A
t this stage, one goes from the "I am doing this tapas in order to adore the Great Cosmic Power" to the "I adore the Great Cosmic Power by doing this tapas".
The aspirant’s structure changes more and more strikingly both at a psycho-mental and a physical level; this alteration depends on the sphere of force of the Great Cosmic Power. The aspirant can become aware of the differences between the first two stages and thus the path and the goal are visualized.
More and more frequently the aspirant longs intensely to return to receive the Grace of the Great Cosmic Power. Occasionally this state of longing is extremely amplified and there cam appear profound revelations in the sphere of force of that Great Cosmic Power. Lessons of life and ''coincidences'' are more and more obvious and they are meant to amplify the aspirant’s decision to merge with the Great Cosmic Power. The aspirant becomes aware in a distinct way and for long periods of time of the fact that he prefers to merge through love with the Great Cosmic Power rather than to enjoy her gifts unconsciously. The secrets of the theory that describe the Great Cosmic Power start to reveal themselves. Everything gains a deeper meaning that has not been inferred before. The rational motivation to work is gradually replaced by aspiration and adoration for the Great Cosmic Power.
The mind acquires a spiritual dimension of perception which is directly connected to the heart. In moments of Grace, spiritual dialogue with the Great Cosmic Power appears. Her overwhelming vast presence is palpably felt by the aspirant. In the aspirant’s soul there frequently and spontaneously appear wonderful feelings such as love, humility, and faith for extended periods of time. This is against a background of profound gratitude for God. In this stage we can talk about conscious spiritual evolution, as it is the first time the aspirant can question his goals. Once here, the disciple has overcome "the desert" and he cannot be fooled anymore by the temptation of the apparent ease that spiritual practice proceeds with at times. In this stage it is very important not to reduce the momentum. Also we should not let ourselves carried away by the amazing phenomena we start to discover. Being a stage of crystallization, it is important to firmly apply what has been learnt so far, although sometimes it does not appear necessary anymore. The resolve of the current decisions will later bring much joy and achievement.
Stage of Great Revelation - FULFILLMENT
In this stage, the Gates of the Great Mysteries are raised before the astonished eyes of the aspirant.
The brightness in his soul is also in the world outside in a fascinating play that often leads to spiritual ecstasy (samadhi). In this stage, effort is rewarded (but not yet crowned). Everything that was separate until now integrates into a vast WHOLE. Simplicity and happiness depict the state of the spirit in this stage and reason becomes an instrument only capable of aiding the heart in its "work". The parts of theory and practical experience already gained integrate into a ''whole picture'' that is greater and more complex than the sum of its components.
The aspirant’s life gains a profound and coherent meaning; everything belongs to the sphere of force of the Great Cosmic Power. There is a dialogue to the Great Cosmic Power who manifests her Sublime Grace and spreads it upon the aspirant in countless ways. The ineffable wisdom fills the aspirant’s heart with ecstasy. What is happening in his heart is in perfect coherence with what is happening in the world outside; everything is blessed with the Grace of the Great Cosmic Power who permanently reveals Herself.
Exceptional manifestations, "paranormal" phenomena come now to confirm the unusual events that take place in the aspirant’s heart. The dialogue with the Great Cosmic Power is very clear and everything occurs against a background of SPIRITUAL CERTAINTY. The paradoxical aspects, the extremes, find themselves simultaneously in the aspirant’s consciousness that is expanded in the Vastness. The aspirant’s soul is often overwhelmed with states of paradisiacal happiness that come from the Grace of the Great Cosmic Power. Comprehension of the meaning of life becomes Universal for varying periods of time.
For shorter durations there appears a state of transcendence of every manifested aspect and of self-denial. In such blessed moments, the aspirant finds himself "facing" a reality that is beyond happiness, time or space. A mysterious, sublime "something" fills the aspirant’s soul with an indescribable charm, beyond imagination; something Alive and True, which enhances the longing for the Absolute. This stage is one in which we reach a very profound merging with the Great Cosmic Power. Everything we may have imagined before about this stage is pale in comparison to reality. However, it is very important to remember that beyond this sublime game with the Great Cosmic Power there is the Supreme Inner Self whose dance allows enforces everything. In this merging with the Great Cosmic Power, it is essential to ask Her to reveal to us the Supreme Inner Self - this would indeed be the crowning of our efforts. It is necessary therefore, to be firm and to focus our attention upon this ultimate spiritual goal.
Stage of Self-Realization - IDENTIFICATION
This is the stage of the Crowning of the spiritual effort. It practically appears naturally if the aspirant remains long enough in the previous stage of Great Revelation - Fulfillment.
Now he has to keep going practicing, otherwise he returns to the second stage or even worse.
An exceptional capacity for “knowing without knowing” appears. The psychic and mental structure of the initiated person is open in the component “parts”, as their aggregation is no longer based on attachment. An ineffable, silent happiness is present in everything he experiences. A feeling of sacredness permanently elevates his life, down to its apparently most basic aspects. The relationship with God becomes direct and immediate. The person is permanently animated by sublime inspiration that are gently manifested amid a background of Spiritual Certainty. The person’s power and the capacity for work greatly increases, apparently without any direct cause. Harmony and love are present in all his actions. Most often these phenomena have the specific “touch” of the Great Cosmic Power. The path through which this revelation is produced is specific to the Great Cosmic Power. There can be foreshadowed connections with the other Great Cosmic Powers who integrate now into the picture of the Universe.