by SS Krishna Singh Khalsa, Espanola NM
As you may know, chrysalis is the transmutation process by which a voraciously hungry caterpillar that devours every green leaf in sight is transformed into a gracefully flying, spiritually symbolic butterfly. As the caterpillar gorges itself on the most nutritious food to be found on our planet (chlorophyll), it becomes fatter and fatter. Then the caterpillar spins a cocoon around itself and disappears into a deeply dormant trance state, like a meditation.
During this phase, the entire physical structure of the caterpillar, including all its high-energy fat, dissolves into a rich, golden, creamy substance that contains all the miraculous “seeds” for the existence of a new creature, a butterfly. These so-called seeds for a butterfly are known scientifically as “imaginal buds.” Can we even imagine how daunting, even frightening it would be for a human to get into a sleeping bag and meditate to such a deep state of primal consciousness that the physical body would dissolve and re-construct itself to emerge as an angel? Essentially, this is exactly what every living butterfly has already miraculously done. That would be a kind of ultimate Samadhi (“absorption”) for what we know as Raj Yoga.
For the Love of a Butterfly
What would such a radical human experience feel like? My sense is that it would be felt as a profoundly overwhelming experience of Cosmic, Intentional Love, wherein such Love is the experience of “Selflessness within the Self.” This kind of love overcomes and consumes everything.
Guru Teg Bahadur was a Raj Yogi of these proportions. From the stories of Baba Bakala, in which Teg Bahadur revealed his fitness to become Ninth Guru, we know that he lived at that level of Raj Yoga mastery. We know from that historical sequence of events that he lived in the home of his mother in deepest meditation, continuously for at least 18 years. At the end of that period of solitude, he performed a miracle in saving the ocean-going ship of a Sikh named Baba Makhan Shah Labana.
Makhan Shah’s ship was out on the Indian Ocean, returning to India laden with a cargo of immense value. A powerful storm struck and Makhan Shah prayed to his Guru that the ship and its cargo be saved. Guru Harkrishan had already left his body, and Teg Bahadur was his unknown successor-to-be.
Master of the Ninth Body
As a human exemplar of perfection of the Ninth Subtle Body, Teg Bahadur extended his own Subtle Body for several thousand miles out onto the Indian Ocean. The waters were calmed. Makhan Shah’s ship and its cargo were saved. These are the foundational elements for the story that came next, by which Makhan Shah was able to identify the next Guru out of a chattering horde of dozens of imposter candidates.
The key here was the tremendous and miraculous power of Guru Teg Bahadur’s stature as a Raj Yogi, and his capacity to extend his Subtle Body to perform this and other actions that he would later use to benefit humanity by overcoming future calamities and misfortunes.
In his diligent practice of Raj Yoga over many years, Teg Bahadur mastered these spiritual practices that were the hallmark of Guru Ram Das. Each of the Ten Gurus demonstrated profound mastery of Raj Yoga in quite unique ways, according to which Body each Guru’s destiny had the greatest attunement. This was in exact correspondence to the order of the Ten Bodies, one through ten.
By his profound achievement in his long solitude of Raj Yoga meditation, Teg Bahadur reveals to us the path by which each of us can dissolve the egocentric, ordinary human mind in order to re-integrate ourselves in perfection of all our Bodies (like the imaginal buds from which butterflies are made from caterpillars). It is our obligation as Khalsa to perform and undergo this same internal, miraculous transformation from manmukh to Gurumukh. Meditate on Guru Teg Bahadur and all the Nine Spiritual Treasures will run to you. He knows the way.
For Kundalini Raj Yogis, the Siri Singh Sahib summed it all up most succinctly, all the way back in 1969:
Ek Ong Kar is what you are.
Sat Nam is what you’ll be.
And your Siri – Wahe Guru
Is all you’ll ever need, say or do.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SS Krishna Singh Khalsa is a Minister of Sikh Dharma, a graphic illustrator and animator of yoga and Dharmic teachings and practices, and a healer. He began teaching Kundalini Yoga in January 1970. He has a deep experience in 3HO business startups – manufacturing, accounting, security services, and organic foods certification management. As a Sikh, under the direction of the Siri Singh Sahib, he served as a training sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve in Los Angeles for seven years. He is very happily married to SS Sangeet Kaur Khalsa (Newsletter Article Editor). Together, they focus on teaching Raj Yoga Meditation, mantra and Gurbani Kirtan and energy healing practices for Khalsa in the Aquarian Age.