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It is good to clean the house and light up lamps to celebrate the festival of Diwali. However, we must not forget that all our traditions and festivals are based on internal truths. It is more important to clean our minds than houses. It is important to light up our interior than lighting the outer lamps. External rituals not based on an internal viewpoint, are the same as a lifeless body. Disregarding internal meaning and merely practising external rituals is one of the reasons for the decline of our Dharma.

In Kriya yoga, there is a mudra (seal) called Yoni mudra or Jyotirmudra/Jyoti Mudra. This is also called Shanmukhi Mudra in Hatha yoga. The practice of this mudra results in the appearance of a flame like light at the eyebrow center. The real name of this seal in the Yogic parlance is Yoni mudra. Perhaps finding this name objectionable, Paramahamsa Yogananda changed it to Jyoti mudra. However, in the Kriya yoga monasteries of India, it is still called Yoni Mudra. Some of the terminology used in Tantra may appear as a taboo to our ‘civilized’ society, however, there is no question of taboo in the world of Tantra, which sees things as they are.

Lalita sahasranama appraises Devi as a form of light, in the verse, yōni mudrā trikhaṇḍēśī triguṇāṁbā trikōṇagā. By practicing Jyoti mudra persistently for some time, one can see light at the midpoint of eyebrows. Thoughts cease during the time of experiencing this light. A kind of undisturbed calmness comes into experience. It feels very relaxing. Some people can hear sounds like bees buzzing. The forehead region feels heavy as if a coin has been stuck on it. This brings about a lot of change in the personality of the Yogi. His fondness for silence increases. Becoming anxious subsides. A kind of steadiness builds up. One acquires the capacity to handle the ups and downs of life.

Jyōtiṣāmapi tajjyōtihi (it is the lamp of all lamps, the light of all lights) - God is described thus by the Vedas. Mantrapushpam states that God resides in our hearts in the form of a thumb-sized flame. The equivalent external form of such an internal flame is the Sun-god, who is praised as jyōtiṣāṇāṁ patayē namaha in Aditya Hrudayam. Yoga sastras and Tantra too mentioned that one can have the vision of God in the form of a flame.

na tatra sūryō bhāti na candra tārakaṁ

nēmā vityutō bhāti kutōya magnihi,

tamēva bhānta manubhāti sarvaṁ

tasya bhāsā sarvamidaṁ vibhāti.

Over there, neither the Sun nor Moon, not even the stars shine. Even lightening/electricity cannot illuminate, not to even speak of fire. Because of That, everything else can be known, only because of That, the rest of the universe is illuminated, says Kathopanishad and Bhagavad Gita. The vision of such an inner flame is an indication that one is progressing in the world of spirituality. The mundane problems cannot cause much pain to the traveller of the spiritual world. On the occasion of this Diwali, hoping that all the Yoga practitioners practicing mudras such as Yoni mudra experience the vision of this divine flame through the internal eye, I wish all my blog readers a prosperous Diwali.

All rights reserved. This article has been translated by Ranganath D, which was originally posted in on October 17, 2009. The content or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher.

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