When Dr. Lewis first met Paramhansa Yogananda, the guru said to his first kriya yoga disciple in America, “Will you always love me as I love you?” 

Even though Dr. Lewis was meeting Yogananda for the first time, he felt an irresistible divine love and attraction to the young Indian Swami. Dr. Lewis said, “Yes, I give you my unconditional love.”

Rubbing his hands together, Yogananda replied, “Good, now I can take charge of your life.”

What does it mean for the Divine to take charge of our lives? 

My friend, Brahmachari Aditya, shared an inspiring talk during Spiritual Renewal Week. His topic was “Health and Healing” and in his talk he quoted Paramhansa Yogananda describing the deeper purpose of the Energization Exercises:

“The purpose of tension and relaxation is to dissociate life force and mind from the consciousness of the body. When that is accomplished, the will and life force actually own the whole body and can, through their healing rays, remove chronic defects from any body part.” 

-Paramhansa Yogananda, “How to Achieve Glowing Health & Vitality”

Literally, he’s telling us how divine energy can take charge of our lives. Rather than a hostile takeover, let’s try the “Hong-Sau Takeover.” (A hostile takeover is an investment term for when an acquiring company attempts to takeover a target company against the wishes of the target company’s management.)

How do we actually experience a Hong-Sau Takeover? Yogananda gives us our first direction of spiritual awakening through controlling the life force with the Energization Exercises. Through energization “the will and life force actually own the whole body…” That’s an awe-inspiring thought!

As the Energization Exercises enable us to take divine charge of our bodies, Hong-Sau helps us to concentrate and clarify our minds. Hong-Sau comes from the mantra “Aham Saha” meaning “I am Spirit.” Rather than the hostile takeover of the ego, the “Hong-Sau Takeover” is when the spirit of God possesses our mind. 

To succeed spiritually (and materially) we need two things: high energy and concentration. Swami Kriyananda describes the higher expression of divine energy through a chant called “What Is This Life?”

What is this life flowing through my veins?
What is this energy flowing through my form?
What is this consciousness flowing through my brain?
What is this power flowing through my will?
Can it be other than divine?
In Thy light, in Thy love, in Thy joy I am one.
I am one with the infinite Om.

-“What Is This Life?” by Swami Kriyananda

Keep in mind “Can it be other than divine?” is a rhetorical question! It cannot be anything other than Divine. God is the Doer behind everything and our goal is to realize He is the only reality.

After the Energization Exercises, the next step on the path of kriya yoga is Hong-Sau. Yogananda described Hong-Sau as the highest technique of concentration. Why? Because we are concentrating on the Highest within our own Self. 

By concentrating on the breath, it gradually calms down and helps lift our awareness through divine magnetism to the point between the eyebrows. This is the seat of spiritual awakening where we can begin to experience the truth of our own higher nature.

However, we cannot reach our ultimate goal through techniques alone. The intangible factor is attunement with a true guru. When we call to God through our Guru with deep yearning, high energy, faith, and the deepest love, the Hong-Sau takeover comes of itself. 

Ma Durga, one of Yogananda’s direct disciples, captures the essence of this divine possession through her “Chant of the Masters”:

“O great Babaji
Lahiri Mahasaya ji
Master Sri Yukteswar ji
And my Guru ji

Take possession of my body,
Take possession of my heart,
Take possession of my thoughts,
Take possession of my soul.

Make my body omnipresent.
Fill my heart with Divine Love.
Let my thoughts reflect Thy wisdom.
Let my soul shine with Thy light.”  

-Ma Durga, “Chant of the Masters”

The next time you meditate, pray for the “Hong-Sau Takeover” with that type of divine fervor. This is one possession that will free you from all others!

A Hong-Sau Takeover to you!

Nayaswami Narayan

P.S. You might like to try Yogananda’s inspiring prayer demand for the “Hong-Sau Takeover” from Whispers from Eternity:

Master Mariner, Come and Take Charge of My Boat

O Father, my little raft of meditation is floating toward Thy shore. Though buffeted by furious storms of distraction, and heaving waves on the sea of my mind rise and fall tumultuously, yet I am heading steadfastly toward Thy shore. O Master Mariner, come! Take charge of my boat!