Various kinds of lights manifest during meditation owing to deep concentration. In the beginning a bright, white light, the size of a pin’s point will appear in the forehead at the space between the two eyebrows which corresponds tentatively to the Ajna Chakra. You will notice, when the eyes are closed, different coloured lights, white, yellow, red, smoky, blue, green, mixed lights, flashes like lightning, fire, moon, sun, stars and sparks. These are Tanmatric lights. Each Tanmatra has its own specific colour.
Yellow and white lights are very commonly seen. In the beginning small balls of white or red light float about before the mind’s eye. When you first observe this be assured that the mind is becoming more steady and that you are progressing in concentration. After some months, the size of the light will increase and you will see a full blaze of white light, bigger than the sun. In the beginning these lights are not steady. They come and disappear immediately. When you have steady and systematic practice of meditation for 2 or 3 hours, these lights appear more frequently and remain steady for a long time. The vision of lights is a great encouragement in Sadhana. It impels you to stick to Sadhana steadily. It gives you strong faith in superphysical matter. The appearance of the lights denotes that you are transcending the physical consciousness. You are in a semiconscious state when the light appears. You are between the two places. You must not shake the body when these lights manifest. You must be perfectly steady in your Asana and breathe slowly.
At times you will see some lustrous forms of Devatas or some other physical forms. You will see your Ishta Devata or your Guru. Siddhas, Rishis and others give their Darshan to encourage you. You can see beautiful gardens, palatial buildings, rivers, mountains, golden temples, sceneries so lovely and picturesque as cannot be adequately described.
During intense concentration, many are able to feel certain peculiar sensation as if some electric current passes from the Muladhara-Chakra. They immediately disturb their body and come down to the physical consciousness out of fear. They need have no fear at all. They should keep steady and wait for further experiences.
The experiences vary in different individuals. The experience of one man may not be the same as that of another man. Many erroneously believe that they have realised the Self when they get these experiences, stop their Sadhana and try to move with the public to preach and to do Loka-Sangraha. This is a serious blunder. This is not realisation at all. These are all simple encouragements from your Ishta Devata to convince you of a higher spiritual life and push you in your systematic and incessant practice with zeal and enthusiasm. You will have to ignore these things and drive them away just as you did with worldly objects. You must not care a bit when you get these visions. You must have your Lakshya on the goal. The visions may appear in some persons within a few days, while in others within six or nine months. It depends upon the state of the mind and degree of concentration. Some persons may not have such experiences, but they will be progressing in the spiritual path.
Sometimes you will get very powerful, dazzling lights, bigger than the sun. They are white. In the beginning, they come and disappear quickly. Later on they become steady even for 10 or 15 minutes according to the degree of concentration. Lights will appear before the eyes or at any one of the Chakras. The light is so powerful and dazzling sometimes that you have to withdraw yourself from looking and break your meditation. Some people are afraid and they do not know what to do and how to proceed further. By constant practice, the mind engaged in concentration will vanish. The beings and objects with whom you are in touch during the early period of Sadhana belong to the astral world. The lustrous forms are higher Devatas of mental and higher planes, who come down to give Darshan and to encourage the Sadhakas. Various Shaktis manifest in lustrous forms. Adore them. Do mental Puja as soon as they appear before you.
Do not waste your time in looking at these visions. This is only a curiosity. These are all encouragements to convince you of the existence of superphysical, metaphysical realities. Visions are either subjective or objective, your own mental creations or of realities on finer planes of matter. Universe consists of planes of matter of various degrees of density. Rhythmical vibrations of Tanmatras in various degrees give rise to the formation of various planes. Visions may be of these things or beings. Or in many cases they may be purely imaginary. They may be the crystallisation of your own intense thinking. You must discriminate well.
Sometimes these elementals appear during meditation. They are strange figures, some with long teeth, big faces, some with three heads, some with faces on the belly, some without flesh and skin, etc. They are inhabitants of Bhuvar Loka. They are Bhutas. They are supposed to be the attendants of Lord Siva. They have terrifying forms. They do not cause any harm at all. They simply appear on the stage. They come to test your strength and courage. They can do nothing. They cannot stand before a pure, ethical aspirant. Repetition of Om or your Guru Mantra will throw them at a distance. Whenever young people look at a dead body or when they see a body hanging or when they see a cruel murder, they always brood over this instance. Even during meditation, the same thought will come and take peculiar form. Again and again they will see the same form before their eyes. They should not fear at all. It is only their mental creation. A coward is absolutely unfit for the spiritual line. Destroy fear. Develop courage. Be bold.
Life In The Astral Plane
During the course of practice, one day you will feel that you have separated yourself from the body. You will have immense joy mixed with fear; joy in the possession of a new light, astral body; and fear owing to the entry in a foreign, unknown plane. At the very outset, the new consciousness is very rudimentary in the new plane. You will only feel that you have a light, airy body and will perceive a rotating, vibrating, limited astral atmosphere with illumination of golden lights, objects and beings. You may feel that you are floating in the air.
You will never fall; but the new experience of subtlety generates novel feelings and sensations in the beginning. How you leave the body and remain, is unknown. You are unaware of how you have completely separated yourself from the body. The new joy is inexpressible. Your will have to actually feel and experience it yourself. When you come back to body-consciousness, there is an intense craving to regain the new consciousness and to remain in that state always. By chance, by repeated attempts, you are able to go beyond the body-consciousness once in a month or so in the course of Sadhana. If you plod on with patience, through Yogic practices, you will be able to leave the body at will and stay for a long time.
You can by mere willing travel in any place you like with the astral body and there materialise by drawing the necessary materials either from Ahamkara or the universal storehouse. The process is very simple to occultists and Yogis who know the rationale, the detailed technique of the various operations. Thought-reading, thought-transference, psychic healing, distant healing, etc., can be very easily performed by those who can function with the astral body. Concentrated mental rays can penetrate opaque walls and travel miles and miles. — SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA A DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY