In my first unsuccessful attempt (which I believe was in the 3rd batch), I experienced hunger pangs from level 1 to level 3 of the samyama. I finally broke my samyama in this first attempt on the evening of the third day of Level 3. I was sleeping more than I usually would at this level and the hunger pangs were getting increasingly strong. I was feeling lethargic in other words. I gave in to the hunger. I regretted succumbing to the hunger – after I had eaten. It was only during my successful attempt that I understood that it was in fact correct to break the samyama at the juncture that I did in my first attempt. I attempted the samyama for the next batch again but my heart was not in it. I wasn’t ready mentally. I thought that I would have to deal with hunger pangs and food cravings through the levels again and I was not up to the imagined/anticipated struggle. So, at the end of the first day (which for me is always easy), I had decided that I would not do the samyama yet.
I decided to do the samyama for the third time after I kept wondering how the other devotees were able to complete it. It was both with a sense of curiosity and a sense of obligation that I decided to ‘push’ myself through the 3 levels, to at least complete the first 3 levels. I felt duty-bound to at least do this because I had become a devotee – a new one at that – and I had become one because I wanted to experience the Master’s processes. Within myself I asked Him often to help me through this attempt.
During my final successful attempt, I was fairly consistent in doing yoga, the En-kriya as well as the kriya for falling into thoughtless space every night. I would say I did these 90% of the period. My schedule was such that I did my yoga apart from the two kriyas which I did back to back in the above order. I did not do yoga or kriyas during the first attempt. In this successful attempt, I did not experience hunger pangs at all from levels 1 to 3. At level 2, for the first one and a half days, I made a mistake of drinking soup that was not clear. There was some confusion with regard to blending and juicing. I was given the impression that as long as food was in liquid state, this was acceptable, which I realized was in fact incorrect because this was tantamount to eating solid food, embarrassed as I am to say. I corrected my practice and continued the samyama. I experienced what the Master described which is that energy needed for doing any tasks required was always available. In other words, I did not feel lethargic. After each satsang, I walked at least 15 minutes to another place, often in the heat of the sun. This did not sap my energy.
I also experienced a great deal of heat in the body which I was very sensitive to especially in the night. There were a couple of nights when I was awakened by what I felt was intense energy movements in or emanations from both my palms and feet. These were also felt during the day but seemed more intense at night. They were intense enough to have kept me awake for a while. When I fell back to sleep, I was intermittently awakened by them again.
As the samyama progressed, I felt lighter and lighter, both physically and in spirit. Again, I did not experience hunger although, being a foodie, I did have thoughts about food, but which I was able to easily dismiss this time. There was increasing mental clarity and my number of hours of sleep decreased. I would wake up at least about an hour earlier than usual and would get a slight headache if I continued to sleep after I had awoken from sleep. My sense of of well-being kept increasing, as did my cheerfulness. My confidence soared. I was already thinking of doing THE Samyama, the process which I had earlier been very certain that I would not ‘need’ or want to do. Now, buoyed by the positive experience that I was undergoing, I wanted to do THE Samyama. I was and am still intrigued by the experience of the process. I was no longer doing it because the Master told us to. I was looking forward to any new development within the process.
I was steadily losing weight. By the end of Level 3, I had probably lost about 10 kg, possibly more. All in all, I felt healthy, detoxified, light and very clear in the head. I believe that the yoga and kriyas I had been doing contributed to these benefits as well. In fact, during both attempts, I received compliments from people about how much more radiant I looked. I certainly felt greater confidence in myself. I am a foodie (someone who loves to eat) and I have a big appetite where food is concerned. The fact that I was able to even struggle up to the third day of level 3 in my first, albeit unsuccessful attempt, and then complete the 3 levels in my last attempt surprised me. I had in the past fasted: eating only before daybreak and at dusk. But they were fasts – I ate at the end of the day, only to repeat the pattern again the next day. The samyama is beyond fasting. It is more demanding.
I reflected on my two attempts to see what might account for the difference in outcomes and experiences. I realized that I had not registered for registration in my first attempt whereas I had formally registered for the successful attempt. I think that in my first attempt, I was doing it on my own energies, and hence the failure. In the successful attempt, His energies once again carried me through. I realised that breaking the samyama the first time when I was sleeping a lot and being lethargic was actually the right thing to do – the samyama process had not kicked in. My body was not producing prana on its own. That eliminated the guilt from having broken the samyama the first time around. The body’s production of prana will not happen by my trying to tough it out and relying on faith. On the other hand, I do wonder if doing ajappa ajappa, something I did not do in the first in the first attempt and which I did only a little of in the successful attempt, would have made a difference.
Altogether it was an exhilarating experience. I would like to attempt the 3 levels properly again, and give a better go at it, before I finally do THE samyama. However, I have so far been unable to do so as I am unable to go to our local centre for the 2-way nayana deeksha for the period required. I am on the lookout for the opportunity to arise.
I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Swamiji for this process. Without Him, we would all be deprived of firstly the experience of this mystical process and then the chance to live the life of a nirahari, with all its amazing host of benefits. Thank you, beloved Master!
Ananda Atma Poornambika