What is yogic Transmission?

The most fascinating aspect of Heartfulness is pranahuti, or yogic Transmission. Transmission has been defined as “the utilization of divine energy for the transformation of a human being.” Here we are not speaking of physical transformation, as our bodies are limited by our genetic makeup. For example, we might be able to gain or lose a few pounds, but we cannot change our height substantially. On the mental level, there are fewer limitations. We can all learn—some very easily and some with greater difficulty—but it is only on the spiritual level that there is infinite scope for growth. Transmission is the nourishment that allows such unlimited growth on the subtle, spiritual plane.

In fact, to conceive of Transmission as ‘energy’ is not completely correct, as energy belongs to the manifested world – the physical dimension, which is not the dimension of our being where real transformation can be found. Here, we can recall an instance where the mystic poet Kabir refers to the sound of ‘unstruck’ music, meaning the music that emanates from a string or a drum that has not been struck. We can easily comprehend a sound that comes from a plucked string or a drum that has been struck, so what is the kind of sound to which Kabir refers? He speaks not of the manifest world, but of the un-manifest, the Origin from which we have all emerged. It is to this dimension that Transmission belongs, and its purpose is to uncover that same original, authentic state within each one of us that is at the Center of our being.

We use the word ‘Transmission’ because this subtle energy is transmitted from the heart of the yogic trainer into the heart of the aspirant. Transmission does not require any physical contact, but is activated by thought force, which is the essential instrument of training in Raja Yoga. As Swami Vivekananda wrote in his treatise, Raja Yoga, “Thought is a force, as is gravitation or repulsion. From the infinite storehouse of force in nature, the instrument called chitta (consciousness) takes hold of some, absorbs it and sends it out as thought.”

It is difficult to describe and understand the process of receiving Transmission. Words will never capture its essence. The attempt to grasp Transmission intellectually is like trying to mentally understand the taste of a mango or the fragrance of a jasmine flower. It must be experienced to be known. Let it be your own inner experience, whatever you feel. Why should you borrow someone else’s experience?

Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary
to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.
—Hermann Hesse