The Retroprogressive Yoga
Prabhuji is the creator of Pūrvavyāpi-pragatiśīlaḥ Yoga (पूर्वव्यापि-प्रगतिशील-योगः), or Retroprogressive Yoga. It is a process of involutionary character because, as we move forward, we get closer to the originary and primary. This message of retroevolution or involutionary advancement speaks of returning to the source, getting closer to where we really are, of returning to what we truly are, and going back to what it is impossible to abandon. This yoga is a march toward the here and now, as this Hebrew blessing indicates:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’ אֱלֹקֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה
ַ“Blessed are You, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.”
Although Prabhuji’s teachings are universal, liberal, interreligious, and inclusive, it would be a mistake to disconnect them from the framework of the very ancient Sanātana-dharma religion, commonly referred to in the West as Hinduism and Vedanta. By Hinduism, we mean a theology in which the fusion of vaidika and tāntrika makes itself felt in almost every aspect. Although the basis of Prabhuji’s message is his own direct experience of Truth, his theological and philosophical foundations are deeply rooted in the Vaishnava Krishnaita school from the perspective of Advaita Vedanta. Living up to his title of Bhaktivedānta, Prabhuji’s version of the Sanātana-dharma religion includes both devotion (bhakti) and wisdom (jñāna). The highest devotion to Their Lordships Śrī Radha and Śyāmasundara is organically combined with his purely non-dual realizations.
The integral message of this great avādhuta mystic is a path of liberation that, while remaining traditional and classical, is original and novel in integrating all the various branches of yogic wisdom (jñāna, karma, bhakti, haṭha, rāja, kuṇḍalinī, tantra, mantra). Prabhuji reveals an inclusive, advaita-rooted version of Vaishnava Krishnaist Hinduism in which the same essence can be found in all the different revealed scriptures of humanity.
According to Prabhuji, Kṛṣṇa is the source and origin of all experience, the substance of every experience, and the place where all experiences occur. Kṛṣṇa is the beginning, the middle, and the end of everything and everyone.
अहमात्मा गुडाकेश सर्वभूताशयस्थितः ।
अहमादिश्च मध्यं च भूतानामन्त एव च ॥
aham ādiś ca madhyaṁ ca
bhūtānāmanta eva ca
“I am the Self, O Guḍākeśa, seated in the heart of all beings; I am the beginning, the middle, and also the end of all being.” (Bhagavad Gita, 10.20)
He is both personal and impersonal. As the personal is bliss and the impersonal is peace.
The main practices recommended by Prabhuji are:
- Japa, or repetition of the Holy Māhā-Mantra: Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare.
- Devotional service, or work without the intention of financial remuneration.
- Svādhyāya, or study of the sacred scriptures.