Introduction to the Astral Plane
The science of the astral plane or astral travel is something that every person does every night when they go to sleep. The astral body or subtle body, which is another body like the physical body, travels to another dimension known as the astral plane.
Guru Nanak and Astral Travel
One of the greatest astral travellers of all time was Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first master of the Sikhs. He was so powerful that he could take people in their physical body to other realms, not just their astral body. When Guru Nanak was in Iraq, he took the son of the head priest of Iraq to other worlds and brought back a sweet pudding known as parshad. This is recorded in a scripture known as the Bhai Gurdas Vaaran:
“Here in Baghdad he has shown a great miracle. Meanwhile he (Baba Nanak) talked about myriads of netherworlds and skies. Pir Dastegir asked (the Baba) to show him whatever he had seen. Guru Nanak Dev taking along with him the son of the pir, melted into thin air. And in a wink of eye visualized him the upper and lower worlds. From the nether world he brought a bowl full of sacred food and handed it over to pir. This manifest power (of the Guru) cannot be made to hide.” (Vaar 1 Pauri 36)
The Devotees and Saints whose spiritual writings are also included within the Sikh Holy Scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, such as Bhagat Kabir Ji also received all their knowledge directly from God through astral travel or soul travel.
Why Astral Travel?
Astral travel allows us to have a direct experience of God. It gives one an absolute knowingness that we are not our physical body or even our mind, and travel to the highest planes of consciousness.
The Mechanics of Astral Travel
When we travel in our subtle body, we travel with the power of our minds. If we want to go to Saturn all we have to do is think Saturn and we are instantly there. There is no time or space once we leave our body. Energy follows thought, and it is our thoughts which create our feelings, emotions, actions and what we attract into our lives.
This is why the Guru Granth Sahib stresses the importance of keeping God in mind at all times as this is our ultimate destination. Also Guru Nanak Dev Ji gave the ‘Sat Naam’ mantra to humanity which is the mantra that governs the soul plane.
Usefulness of Worldly Astral Travel
There is a beautiful story from the life of Guru Nanak to highlight the value of worldly astral travel versus spiritual astral travel. Guru Nanak met a powerful Yogi who had spent 20 years of meditation to learn how to teleport his physical body to an island near a coast.
Guru Nanak then jumped in a boat at the coast line and paid a boatman a couple of rupees to reach the island and on reaching the Island Guru Nanak said, “2 rupees is the value of your 20 years of meditation”!
So keep in mind that astral travel is to be used for God realisation only. Everything else is just another form of wordly attachment or Maya.
Astral Travel Techniques
Here are some tools and techniques which you can experiment with to experience astral travel. Begin all these techniques with a prayer of protection to Guru Nanak Dev Ji and God. Guru and God are always available as our protectors in these planes of existence.
One of the best and easiest methods of astral travel is to use a GurMantra such as “Waheguru” or “Sat Naam”, whether inwardly or out aloud. Allow your consciousness to ride the sound current of the mantra to its destination. See yourself like a metaphysical surfer, riding the wave of sound or light if your are more visual.
Lie on your bed and make sure you will not be bothered by the phone ringing or interrupted in some fashion. Get comfortable and then place your attention in your third eye (between your eyebrows). Visualize a blank screen and then visualize your place of destination. Your destination can be some place in this world or in a higher dimension. In the beginning it could be another room in your own house or a friend’s house, if you feel more comfortable. The idea is to visualize your destination with all your five senses. See it, feel it, hear it, smell it, taste it, touch it. Make it so real it is like you are not just seeing yourself there, but rather you are actually there. Remember the law that wherever your thought goes, your body must follow.
Just Before Sleep Technique
Go to bed at night with a deep focus on God. Make this desire super strong. Allow yourself to fall asleep with this being the last thought on your mind. This is based on the law stated in Gurbani that where you go when you die is the last thought in your mind. The same is true when you go to sleep. For example, if you go to sleep watching the news, you might end up anywhere!
Go through your entire body and give it suggestions to relax. You might like to use a type of self hypnosis or relaxation tape. When your physical, emotion and mental bodies are totally relaxed then give yourself the suggestion that you are now leaving your body out of the top of the head through the crown chakra. Visualize and see yourself doing this.
Imagine that you are looking at yourself in a mirror. Then transfer yourself into the mirror image and look back at yourself.
Stare at a candle in a darkened room for fifteen minutes until you are in a deep hypnotic state and then give yourself the suggestion that you are now leaving the body. Experts suggest that the more relaxed you are, the easier it happens. People often say, that they hear a crackling or popping sound as they leave.
Imagine yourself like steam rising from a hot rag, or steam kettle on the stove. See the steam just rising up right though the crown chakra.
Horizontal Bar Technique
Visualize a horizontal bar above your head. With your spiritual arms pull yourself right out of the body and give your spiritual body a command as to where you want it to go.
Fake it Technique
Just to imagine or pretend you are astral traveling may be the best method of all. If you pretend enough, pretty soon you will find yourself doing it. Fake it till you make it. This will give a powerful message to your subconscious mind.
Bed Hovering Technique
Another technique for learning to astral travel is to lay in bed and visualize yourself hovering above your bed looking down at yourself. Visualize this super clearly and then do a reversal and become the other you that is now looking at your physical body lying on the bed.
Indoor and Outdoor Technique
The idea is to pick an outdoor spot like in a park, for example. Then pick an indoor spot other than your bedroom. Go to the outdoor spot and close your eyes and then imagine you are having an out of body experience. Open your eyes and look around the park pretending you are out of your body.
Then go to your indoor spot and do the same thing. Don’t fiddle around with physical things, because you would not be able to do this if you were out of your body. Make it real. Then go back to your bedroom and lie down and imagine that you are back in the outdoor spot, as you remembered it when you were practicing or imagining being out of your body.
Do the same for the indoor spot. Then imagine you are floating above your body as you fall asleep. If you wake and you are out of your body, give yourself the suggestion immediately to go to your outdoor spot and then indoor spot.