The Chidakash Gita becomes relevant to Ma Jaya’s students
Those of us who live at Kashi and have been students of Ma Jaya for over 40 years remember well how she often shared her experiences with the teachings of eminent guru, Bhagwan Nityananda. We especially appreciated his teachings regarding detachment. Ma told us that she had to first learn the concept of detachment before she could merge with her guru Neem Karoli Baba. And so we were treated to wonderful accounts of her meeting with Bhagwan Nityananda and especially some of his personal teachings,namely the Chidakash Gita.
Ma’s teachings about the Chidakash Gita
Whenever we as chelas aspire to be detached, we remember how Ma would tell us that the Chidakash represents the “heart space in the head.” The heart space in the head points to the seventh chakra where detachment resides. In that chakra, there is no room for sentimentality or the emotions of the sensing heart. In that case, the heart might contain personal sentimentality or emotion colored by the ego in some manner.
The Chidakash Gita for caregivers
Ma Jaya particularly liked to teach caregivers of detachment, helping them sustain themselves in their employment. They are reminded to attempt to view their service through the seventh chakra or what is known as the Chidakash. This is a combination of both the head and heart that serves one wisely. It is important when serving the poor, the ill, the handicapped or depressed that one not feel burned out through their service. If one could direct one’s feelings towards the Chidakash or the space above the head, one could see more clearly without emotion the best way to administer to their needs.
When the Chidakash Gita becomes real
In fact, that is how a guru or spiritual teacher best serves his chelas. We limit ourselves by our own egos and human desires. The fortunate thing is that if one perseveres on the spiritual path it is our desire to eventually arrive at the Chidakash to access wisdom.
Some of us had copies of the Chidakash Gita, which we would pass around. Frankly, it was at that time the manuscript seemed too heady for me. I obviously was not prepared for the subtlety expressed in Swami Nityananda’s words. As the years have gone by and I now dip into the Chidakash Gita, I appreciate its nuances and wisdom. Many of us can recall instances of reading a spiritual book without understanding. Yet years later, suddenly the wisdom seems obvious.
Transcribing Nityananda’s teachings
But a few people decided to write down Nityananda’s utterances. We are grateful to them for this wonderful compendium of teachings.
According to Captain Hatengdi’s account (a close disciple) during his early years in Mangalore, Nityananda would start a monologue while visiting various devotees’ houses. At first, the devotees thought he was speaking nonsense. They later discovered that his words contained an odd but exalted wisdom. He spoke from a state of higher consciousness or a trance. A few decided to make notes about what he was saying.
Before making his utterances, Bhagavan prefaces them by saying, “Arjuna-mama come and listen, Krishna (Grandfather Krishna) is going to speak. These words are an announcement that another extraordinary transmission was imminent.
Chidakash Gita gets published
After some time, Tulsi Amman, a female devotee, collected and organized the scraps of paper the listeners produced. She went to Bhagavan Nityananda to talk to him about publishing them. He told her that his remarks came from the ‘Chidakash’, or space of Supreme Consciousness. He didn’t care whether they were published or not. Despite Bhagavad indifference, Tulsi Amman published them in Kannada as Chidakash Gita. The first English version was produced in 1940.
What were same of these utterances like? It appeared that Nityananda delivered all of these little savings in a terse manner. While quite obscure to the listener they somehow stimulated the intuition of those who listened carefully. Nityananda was fond of using images from cooking and other homely references to demonstrate yogic points. He loved images from travel, boats, planes, cars an especially trains.
Utterances from Chidakash Gita
These utterances are striking in their uniqueness. The voice and vision of Bhagavan Nityananda are unmistakable. In the Chidakash Nityananda speaks of pranayama, the mind-free state of a great being, the need for a guru, the practice of sadhana and the primacy of direct spiritual experience over mere theory.
Here are some of his teachings:
- Just as camphor is consumed by the flames of fire, so also, mind must be consumed by soul-fire.
- Just as we draw water from a well, we should draw breath. When we breathe out, it should be like letting down the bucket into the well. When we breathe out, it is the carbon (the impurities of the body); when we breathe in, it is the breath of Omkar. Breath of Omkar is the manas (mind).
- We should leave off the gross sleep and sleep the subtle sleep. We should enjoy the sleep obtained from the practice of Pranayam.
- Just as we see the sky reflected in the water in an earthen pot, so also, to the internal vision, the sky of consciousness becomes visible.
- A man should be quite indifferent to honor and dishonor. He should not have the least love for his body; such a man will see the Supreme Being in everything and everywhere.
In all 286 verses of the Chidakash Gita we hear Bhagwan Nityananda’s knowledge as it permeates our awareness and brings our minds into silence and bliss. If you wish further information about Nityananda’s work, I refer you to Nityananda in Divine Presence by M.U. Hatengdi & Swami Chetanananda.
Om Sri Nityananda Ki Jai