I do not know but I have the impression that in the beginning of the Yagya, given the lack of understanding of who was doing what and the individuals involved, there was no practise. That is to say, Shiva possessed or overshadowed Lekhraj Kirpalani, the sisters were pulled into commune with it and just sat there "being". We know that often entire groups of them would also be drawn into a psychic trance involuntary and that some individuals would remain in a psychic trance for prolonded periods of time, even days, believing themselves, being told that they were or actually "channelling" a deity soul or experiencing "being in the Golden Age". I do not imagine that there was any guided meditations like there are today and I do not know the technique of entrancement, whether it was a possession, over-shadowing, hypnosis or what.
Then there is a gap in my knowledge ...
In the begining of Western service, there were already guided meditations and they were very straight forward. "Soul in body ... up into space ... out into Paramdham ... connect with Shiva". Then ambient or New Age music was introduced to make them more entertaining or pleasurable. It is impossible to believe that in the beginning there were guided meditations to Bollywood music. Individuals were initiated by a direct Darshan, or transmission, from Shiva in Lekhraj and worked on that connection. Since the death of Lekhraj darshan, or transmission is given via BK Brahmins during the course, a practise criticized by the PBKs.
Since the initial guided meditiation, pioneered primarily by Jayanti Kirpalani and the educated Denise Lawrence in the West, all sorts of creative quided meditations have been invented by individual BK Brahmins some "officially" sanctioned on purchasable tape recordings and websites, some unofficial just made up on the spur of the moment. This idea method has become the apparent norm for individuals attempting BK Raja Yoga although it is impossible to say what they are actually doing and at what point they are doing Yoga with Shiva. There is no official vetting of who can make up meditations or what they say, as long as it is "generally" according to Gyan. It is left to the courage, talent and discrimination of the BK Brahmin to step forward and "just do it" - whatever they think. Ambitious ones will do so, humble, insecure or untalented BKs will rely on "official" versions. It would appear to me that it is approached a bit like jazz music, with versions of versions according to the personality and country involved.
- • Firstly, regarding the history of the Yoga practise; just as the Knowledge [tm] developed, e.g. Shiva as a thumb / lingum / fireball / spark, differentiation between Brahma and Shiva as Baba; what were the developments of the sitting practise, from whom, how and when did the guided meditations start?
• Secondly, how do the PBKs teach and practise sitting Yoga with Shiva? [specifics, please].
- I do not think that it is possible to be sure when an individual can be said to having BK-style Yoga either at the start of their efforts or during the career as a BK Brahmin.
I am also concerned that certain souls, often vulnerable and in an incomplete understanding of the so-called "Knowledge", are initiated into BK-style Yoga via the "Lite-weight" New Age forms and commercial programmes and are not aware that they have been initiated into a relationship with the so-called entity Shiva. These individuals often experience very strong effects not knowing what and why is going on, and being outsides of the disciplines of the BK community do great damage to themselves and their family's lives. In short, they go a little mad.
I am also uncomfortable with the use of the word "meditation". It sounds ridiculous but I am not sure that when one is in Yoga with Shiva one is meditating. I consider the words "BK Raja Yoga Meditation" to be a misleading, in the manner that Self Management Leadership or "Values Education" are misleading. The product is being missold. Firstly, as with so many of the BK terms, it borrows previously accepted and understood terminology, "Raja Yoga" and gives it a new "undercover" meaning. BK Yoga and Raja Yoga are entirely different. Secondly, what is meant is not meditation but "communion" or Yoga with the entity called Shiva.
- a) there is no, or next to no checking by Senior BKs of individual's practise
b) in some centers, and in front of some teachers, there is an environment of dishonesty where individuals cannot or do not feel able to speak openly or honestly about their lack of BK Yoga for the sake of letting the side down and being bad PR or a failure as BK Brahmin.
With respect, I think this an advanced question and not a conversation for individuals still experiencing the intoxication of "The Honeymoon Period". I understand that this some of this may appear alarmist but I am attempting rigorous accuracy in which all aspects must be considered.
Lastly, it is noted that some BK Brahmins use dishonesty to involve their children in the practise of "communion with Shiva" without the knowledge of their non-BK partners or relatives. They will tell their partner that they are taking their children to "Yoga lessons" and the partners will be duped into thinking Yoga is safe because it is stress relieving exercises. Likewise, some BK Brahmins will attempt to initiate their friends and relatives into "communion with Shiva" under the guide of "stress reduction", "self Leadership Management", even "Peace of mind". I would say clearly that this is unethical, especially with children, and potentially damaging or likely to backfire. Not just for the victim but also the organization. An individual needing peace of mind is not an individual ready to engage in a relationship with a "god spirit". The benefits of a relationship with a "god spirit" may well be peace of mind but we do not always know.
As an aside, I am wondering why if communion with Shiva is the "be all and end all" of all practises, why so much energy with the BKWSU is put into marketing non-Yoga products and if it it ethical to sell commune with Shiva under a different sales pitch, e.g. leadership management or "peace of mind"?