The Agni and the Ek Stiti

In Sat Yoga meditation, there is a positive feedback loop between one-pointed attention (ek stiti) on the Absolute Self and the upsurge of the inner fire (Agni) in which the ego is melted into Nothingness.

The Yog Agni, the Fire of Yoga, is created in the brain by the power of will holding still in the silent center of loving awareness, the sacred Heart, the inmost nucleus of our being. This worshipful stillness soon begins to burn away the unloving shields of the ego. Meditation acts like a magnifying glass that is held still outside on a sunny day, that will soon begin to burn a dry leaf that is under it. The magnifying glass gathers together the rays of sunlight into sufficient unity that the light can function as a laser and burn through whatever obstacles are in its path. In the same way, in meditation our fixed attention focuses our psychic rays into a unity that can burn away the ego and all its tendencies—if only we can hold our attention steady for a long enough time. By focusing the rays of pure presence upon the soul itself, the egoic shell is rapidly dissolved and consciousness penetrates into the deeper levels of being, releasing the trapped energy of love and bliss.
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But before we reach those inner levels of transcendent being, we must burn through the many strata that constitute the outer husk of consciousness. Its fabric is woven of such tough egoic defenses as hard-heartedness, cynicism, judgmentalism, aggressivity, nostalgia, sadness, and inferiority. Once those are melted away, we reach the core of the ego and its massive anxieties. If we remain in stillness, unmoved as those emotions pour through us, we will burn them all up in the bonfire of the vanities and the insanities that is the sacred Agni. We must let the Agni continue its cleansing work until the end. By holding the ek stiti without wavering, the transformational energies of the sacred flame will accumulate and build to such a white heat that the last particles of the ego will vanish, leaving not even a residue of ash.

Hindus worship the vibhuti, the ashes from the sacred fire, because they symbolize the death of the ego. But in the reality of the Fire of the Mind produced in prolonged meditation, there are no ashes. The mind becomes sheer Emptiness, or Shunyata. In this sacred space of pure awareness, the Supreme Being immediately fills the emptied-out consciousness with supernal light, universal love, timeless presence, and the fullness of unsurpassable spiritual power.

To one who meditates and feels the miraculous igniting of the inner flame, the Agni may seem like agony at first. But soon the ek stiti will convert the pain to ecstasy, and the death of ego will be revealed as the luminous and blissful emergence of the kingdom of Heaven within. The problem for many is that they stop meditating when they feel the discomfort of the Agni in its initial stages. In these first phases of the process, tension headaches or other such physical symptoms may appear. These manifest because of egoic resistances to the higher power of Shiva/Shakti, which will descend to displace the ego/superego couple on the throne of consciousness.

That is why it is so important to have spiritual knowledge, gyana. Accurate knowledge will enable you to understand what is happening, and not to be afraid, but to continue with the process. The gyani who has faith in the higher power and reverence for that power will surrender its ego defenses and allow the burning down of the ego’s bastion without a struggle. This is the meaning of grace.

We are living in a time of sudden mass death, through earthquakes, tsunamis, wars and civil uprisings, pandemics, and other sorts of plagues. This is a reflection of the need for sudden collective ego death, and a return to the Supreme Source of our eternal Being. Only through voluntary ego death, achieved consciously and permanently through the sustenance of the sacred Flame of Spirit in a state of constant meditation, and not dependent on the intake of chemicals or the practice of rituals of any sort, can the energy field of our planet be radically shifted from its current manifestation as a world of death and destruction to morph into a new world of divine rebirth and eternal life. This is our responsibility and our opportunity to serve in the highest way. The prayer of every spiritual teacher throughout history is that all of us may choose the ecstasy of ek stiti, and activate the phoenix archetype of death and rebirth in the holy Agni of the Absolute.

Please always keep this uppermost in your mind, especially when you sit to meditate: You are the Fire in which your ego must die. And you are the empowered and ecstatic One to whom you shall be reborn.

May this sacred process be now fulfilled.

Namaste,

Shunyamurti
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