Etymology: Sahaja, Naturalness
The Sanskrit term sahaja can be translated as “spontaneous” and “natural.” Etymologically, it derives from saha, “together,” and ja, “to be born.” Therefore, its literal translation is “born together” or “emerged together.”
The Significance of Sahaja
The fundamental idea that this term points to is that spiritual freedom, liberation is not “something” (an energy or a reality) external. Liberation and our being “come into being” or “get born” together. On the other hand, sahaja suggests that samsara (the manifested world) and nirvana (the transcendent reality) are “born together” and, therefore, there must be a common underlying background where they originally came from and where they coexist.
The individual (the subject or experiencer) who succeeds to remain in the Spiritual Heart gets to actually live in the Reality revealed not only in ecstatic meditations, in nirvana, but also in the world—samsara. Thus, samsara becomes an integral part of the Reality. The wisdom of maintaining the natural spontaneity or sahaja was called, in Buddhism, “the direct spiritual path” (uju-patha) or “the royal path” (raja-patha). The Dzogchen tradition calls it the Natural State.
Unlike the states of Cosmic Consciousness or samadhi, experienced only in meditation, sahaja brings this realization down to the level of the physical body and of the material world. In this process, Hatha Yoga practices have their own importance.
The Hridaya Yoga includes methods and techniques focused on favoring the awakening and expression of the state of sahaja, natural simplicity.
The Reconciliation of Opposites
Once we have the intuition of eternity, we start to have a different attitude toward what is not permanent, toward the ephemeral or temporary. We start to perceive it also as an expression or manifestation of the Spiritual Heart. Then, any and all oppositions between the Eternal and the ephemeral, between Divine Oneness and the multiplicity of objects, cease to exist. We exist at the same time as “I am” and “I become,” in the Absolute Reality of the Self and in everyday routine life. Meister Eckhart referred to this state by using the metaphor of “the hinge which remains fixed while the door is moving.”
The return, at all levels (physical, psychic, mental) to the state of perfect naturalness, sahaja, keeps us fixated within the unifying intuitive knowledge of Reality. This is also the message of Hridaya Yoga.
The Holistic Vision
Through the practice of Hridaya Yoga, we open ourselves to sahaja, spontaneity, naturalness, freedom, which radiate continuously from the Heart. The naturalness or candor of this state is expressed through essential simplicity. But this simplicity includes everything—it is a holistic vision, which means that it is non-dualistic and all-pervasive.
It is a pure feeling that comes from the Heart in each and every moment of life.
This feeling is detached and very intimate at the same time. It is the simplicity of the Witness Consciousness.