By Yogi Baba Prem Yogacharya, Veda Visharada
References to Indra, the God of the Gods, first appear within the Rig Veda, and as early as the first mandala or book of the Rig Veda. Regrettably, Indra is not well known to western practitioners of yoga, yet, our journey of spirituality and self-realization largely revolves around Indra; as Indra on one level represents our higher mind and the shadow of Indra is Vrtra-the ego. In reality, spirituality is our finite self or ego that is calling out to our infinite or higher self or soul (also represented with Indra). It is a merging of the finite or ego with the infinite or soul that we refer to as enlightenment. Therefore, it is important for student’s and practitioners of spirituality to understand what could only be described as the epic battle between Indra and Vrtra—the battle for the ego to recognize the soul.
Indra is said to be born of the heavens and the earth, commonly referred to as Dyauh and Prithvi, indicating the activity within the realm of duality. Indra has a feminine counterpart as the Shakti known as Indrani. As the Shakti or power of Indra, she represents supreme intelligence such as exists within DNA and as cosmic intelligence, as well. It is said that within the teachings that Indra perceives the world through the Indriyas or senses, making Indra also an observer of the activities of life and illustrates him as being our primal being.
Indra is often depicted as red in color indicating that he is a rajasic or active emanation from the soul. The red always reinforces the warrior aspect of Indra, as Indra is ready to do battle with the ego in order for the ego to perceive its true identity. Yet, the higher manifestation of Indra is white, indicating that Indra has a balancing (sattvic) affect on one’s mind and body. Within the Vedas, one teaching is that Indra as a warrior fights a great battle with Vrtra to release the waters; which again is only a veiled reference to self-realization. Often this warrior imagery is a ‘turn-off’ to many new-age practitioners, as we often do not care for the imagery of war within spirituality. But, one must learn to see beyond this imagery and our own attachments to what spirituality should look like in order to see a deeper and greater teaching--namely, the transformation of the ego.
As a warrior, Indra carries numerous weapons, most notably is the Vajra or thunderbolt. This Vajra appears much later in history within Buddhism as well, and it is likely that that Buddhism has taken the Vajra from the Vedic tradition. His Vajra could be likened to a sword or used in the manner of a sword. The Vajra represents spiritual power, the transforming power of shakti, and is manifests on the physical level of our being with our subtle nervous system and aura, as they serve as the final destination of Indra’s thunderbolt. If our subtle nervous system or aura is weak, then we cannot carry the powerful spiritual energies of Indra. Many students of spirituality do not realize that what they perceive as a powerful experience is actually just an experience of increased energy that is more than their subtle nervous system is familiar with. After initial purification through yoga, the next goal of yoga is to strengthen the aura and subtle nervous system so that one can not only experience the powerful spiritual energy of Indra, but, over time, the student can hold onto the spiritual energies for longer and longer periods of time. Of course, there are other weapons described or associated with Indra, these items would include a bow and arrow, small knifes and a sword. These weapons do have a manifestation within the physical world; for example, the manifestation of the bow of Indra is actually a rainbow. In later times within Hinduism, Indra has a powerful association with storms, with thunder and lightning represents his Vajra. For our purposes, it is the sword that is of interest, as the sword can be used to cut through our limitations, poor self identifications, and ego identification. Cultivation and usage of the ‘sword of Indra’ is a powerful tool within our journey of personal growth and realization. Accessing the ‘sword of Indra’ is a beautiful moment when the finite calls out to infinite and with time, practice and grace, Indra and his sword cuts through the illusions that keep the ego from realizing its true essence.
Using the ‘Sword of Indra’, we embrace that
there is something greater than our limited physical body and
mundane life. Rather we
begin a journey from darkness to light, from ignorance to knowledge
and wisdom; our journey continues moving us from death, karmic
rebirth into the higher essence of life, which is living within our
Indra also stops the wheel of karma, which is the conditioned
response of the mind.
The ‘Sword of Indra’ is hidden within the Vedas. The technique itself is a simple yet powerful tool for elevation and transformation of consciousness. The technique is taught in three stages. The amount of time between stages varies for different students, but there are a minimum of many months between sessions. Students are required to apply to learn the technique, meet the criteria of the program to move to the next level. It is recommended that one has practiced physical yoga for awhile prior to learning this technique. If you have not practiced physical yoga, contact us for assistance in starting a practice at home.
To apply for the program, email us.
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