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Friday, January 26, 2007

Buddha in the City

Immersion and Transcendence

Q: Why do you insist that mastery of the everyday world is essential to Enlightenment?

A: Because that's just the way it is.

I'm sorry, I don't mean to trivialize the question. Far from it. The most difficult questions are those that seem easy.

"Why is 1+1 = 2?" the child asks innocently, and her mother stammers, "Because-It just is."

There are so many answers to your question about enlightenment, all different ways of looking at the truth. Here is one of many answers to your question.

Examine the state of enlightenment. Bliss. Brahman. Atman. Satori. Nirvikalpa. Words are inadequate to describe enlightenment and Authenticity. It is an experiential state that is beyond description. It is a core "raw" experience, a "qualia", as some of my overly erudite acquaintances might say.

There are a few "external" signs of the truly enlightened. We will examine these "externals" later, but suffice it to say that the Buddha is always Blissful, be it in the forest or in the jazz lounge.

The Buddhas who are comfortable only in the forest, but not in the City, are deluded. I call them deluded, because they can get so comfortable in the forest, that they mistake it for Authentic Bliss. I call them deluded because they are hiding from life and not embracing it.

Embracing life does not mean hedonism. It does not mean sex or drugs or music, although none of these are incompatible with the Authentic life.
Embracing life means that you are a master of life. You can choose what you want and when you want it, but your choices are guided by authentic desires. (More about authentic desires in a future post)

So do not lose yourself in the forest forever.

Come to the city once in a while.
It is important, in your search for answers, that you do not drift away to a far off island

Master the world you live in.

See clearly and completely, its intricate structure and the nature of your involvement with it. The world is like a tantalizing and treacherous lover. Understand your relationship with her, as an observer and an observed, as a follower and a leader, as performer and spectator, as one and as many.

One day you will look around at the world with your eyes, and simultaneously, you will look at the world with everyone else's eyes.

The mastery of the everyday world is critical to the transcendence of it.

danny said...

but really,Anand..isn't everybody around trying to get mastery over the material field?...and isn't usually everybody around dying before they achieve either mastery over the material field,or enlightenment? I think unless one puts his desires in order,one will achieve none of those.
But then,that's only my opinion,I could be wrong.And yes,I agree with you that a buddha would function efortlessly in a city.But I'm not sure that a city can create a buddha.You know any buddha like that?

Anand said...

People try to master the "material" field propelled by the fear of existential emptiness. If this attempt at mastery causes anxiety, and you retreat from the world - either physicially or intellectually, then there is a real danger of deluding oneself into believing that one is enlightened.

WIll elaborate in the next post

Do I know any buddha like that?

Many people are on the threshold, far more, in my opinion, than ever before. But that final step may be the hardest one of the journey,,

The image of you (from Anthony de Mello)

Nobody ever rejects you; they're only rejecting what they think you are. But that cuts both ways. Nobody ever accepts you either. Until people come awake, they are simply accepting or rejecting their image of you. They've fashioned an image of you, and they're rejecting or accepting that. See how devastating it is to go deeply into that. It's a big too liberating. (Anthony de Mello)

Monday, January 22, 2007

The secret of meditation

Existence Takes Care

I will tell you the secret of sitting meditation, standing meditation, walking meditation, sleeping meditation, dreaming meditation, and active meditation in the battle field as a soldier. Let me speak from my own experience, as I never speak from what I have heard or read. It is better first to experience and then to speak.

In 1953 I was loading a ship in Mangalore at a time when I was dealing in manganese ore. I stayed there the whole day for the loading, and once the hatches were closed I got a bank draft from the captain to certify that the ship had been loaded with 10,000 tons of manganese ore for Rotterdam. I wanted to cash the draft immediately at the bank in Bangalore, which was about 500 miles away. It was already about 9 p.m., and I had to reach the bank by morning. I was exhausted as I had been working offshore for the whole day from early in the morning until late in the night. I was not near the wharf where I could easily get out of the ship and it was very hot. I decided that I should rest before beginning my journey and then start early in the morning. But then I realized that the banks would be closed, and it would be better to cross the mountain pass and have a coffee and a nap on the other side, and then go to Bangalore. The road over the hill climbed from the town at sea level up to five thousand feet making eleven hairpin bends.

I don't know what happened. I could not stop on the mountain road because there were wild elephants which had lifted cars up in the air and thrown them in the valley, one mile below. It was better to keep going and then to rest.

When I arrived on the other side of the hill my head was resting on the steering wheel. I woke up from a deep sleep feeling very fresh, no longer even needing a cup of coffee. I continued the journey to Bangalore having had a complete sound, deep sleep. My head was resting on the steering wheel. I was feeling so fresh that I no longer needed a rest or a coffee, as though I had slept for eight hours. Who drove the car? This is a problem I have never been able to solve. Even in the waking state drivers have accidents but I was fast asleep. The road was narrow, no more than fifteen feet. On one side was a high mountain, on the other side was a very steep valley, and I cut eleven hairpin bends. Who drove the car? I have never been able to find the answer to this.

The other incident I want to describe to you happened in Lucknow. I was walking to the GPO from Kaiserbagh, in front of what is now Janpath market. I always kept a very safe distance, walking on the left side of the road, because sometimes I could never get out of meditation at all! I was neither troubling anyone else nor was I troubled by anyone. An old model Ford car came down the street, a 1934 or ‘36 model with footrests hanging on the side. These days cars no longer have footrests. The car hit me so hard that the footrest fell off onto the ground. People gathered around me saying they had noted down the number. The car had sped away leaving only the footrest. They wanted to know if I was hurt and to go to the police. My pants were torn and when I pulled them up, the car had struck me from behind. There was a little bloodstain on the back of the knee but nothing more. I told them I was perfectly alright.

When you are in meditation you do not need to look after yourself. A power will rise which is moving the earth, which is causing the sun to shine, which is giving the moon its brilliance, and which is allowing all these jivas to function as they want to. If you are attuned to that power you will have nothing to do, everything will be beautiful. That power will look after you in a way which you cannot manage. A man operating from his senses gets into many accidents. But I did not fall into the valley, I slept. Who took care of me? This is the greatest mistake, to fall asleep at the steering wheel. One is advised to be well rested before driving. Who cared for me?

That power is there but you are not looking at it. It is so compassionate that it will look after you. You have been denying it and depending on your own ego. Even this ego is getting its power from somewhere else, to become ego, to become mind, to think, to become the senses and to allow you to function. When you turn your face towards it, it will arise to help you; otherwise you cannot save yourself. How long can you be aware and careful?

Meditation means, no meditator and no object of meditation. Then you can do whatever you like. When the meditator is there it is ego. This is not something to be decided intellectually; it has to be directly experienced. There is no end to argument and logic. That has nothing to do with it. This is your own mother, your own supreme power, which is here and now.

If you close your eyes you will see who is responsible. You do not have to travel even a yard out of your own self - you do not have to take one step. You do not need to think or even to meditate. You do not have to do anything, just keep quiet as you are and you have got it. If you try to search you have lost it. There is nothing to search for - it is that through which the search is taking place. It is that which is found after searching has ceased.

If you know this it is enough. If you don't you will never find rest in millions of years. You have already passed through 8.4 million species. If you are fatigued then you will see this. If you want to hitchhike some more the goal will not be attained; you can continue as you like and it will never end. If you want to end everything is ended now. If you want to continue it will continue. As you think so you become - this is a formula. You think, "I am in trouble" and you are in trouble. You think, "I am free," and you are free. If you are attached to any object you are in trouble, you are in suffering, there is manifestation. If you want to end this it is seized immediately in the recognition, "I am free." That is all there is to it. What time do you need?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Lost Mode of Prayer

The Lost Mode of Prayer
Excerpt from Awakening the Power of a Modern God
Hay House/Nightingale-Conant, 2005

"If prayer is so powerful, then why does it seem like the more we pray for peace, for example, the worse things seem to become?" Without bias or judgment, is it possible that what we see as an unsettled world of chaos is simply the Field, the Divine Matrix, mirroring our belief that peace is missing—our "please, let there be peace" echoed back to us as the chaos of life? If so, then the really good news is that our newfound understanding of how the mirror works encourages us to change what we say to the Field!

This is why the lost mode of prayer can make such a powerful contribution to our lives. Whether we’re talking about a lasting relationship, the perfect job, or the healing of disease, the principle is the same. We’re simply reminded that the "stuff" that underlies all of creation is a malleable essence that reflects what we feel! So what we choose to create, we must first feel as a reality. If we can feel it in our hearts—not just think it, but also really feel it—then it’s possible in our lives!

In the example of peace, for instance, we know that it always exists and is present somewhere! The same is true for health and happiness; they always exist somewhere, or have existed, in some form in our lives. The key is to hone in on these positive qualities of our experience, viewing the world as it already is, with appreciation and gratitude. By doing so, we open the door to a greater possibility. We have already seen what happens when millions of people pray for peace to come to our world. What would happen if millions of people felt the feelings of gratitude and appreciation for the peace that’s already here? Certainly it’s worth a try!

In 1972, 24 cities in the United States with populations over 10,000 experienced meaningful changes in their communities when as few as 1 percent (100 people) participated. These and similar studies led to a landmark study, the International Peace Project in the Middle East, which was published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution in 1988.1

During the Israeli-Lebanese war of the early 1980s, researchers trained a group of people to "feel" peace in their bodies rather than simply to think about peace in their minds or pray "for" peace to occur.

On specific days of the month, at specific times of each day, these people were positioned throughout the war-torn areas of the Middle East. During the window of time that they were feeling peace, terrorist activities stopped, crimes against people declined, emergency room visits declined, and traffic accidents dropped.

When the people stopped their feelings, the statistics reversed. These studies confirmed the earlier findings; when a small percentage of the population achieved peace within themselves, that peace was reflected in the world around them.

The findings took into account the days of the week, holidays, and even lunar cycles, and data were so consistent that the researchers were able to identify how many people are needed to share the experience of peace before peace is mirrored in their world. The number is the square root of 1 percent of the population. This formula produces numbers that are smaller than we might expect. For example, in a city of 1 million people, the number is about 100. In a world of 6 billion people, the number is only about 8,000! This number represents only the minimum needed to begin the process. The more the people, the faster an effect is created.

While these and similar studies obviously deserve more exploration, they show that there’s an effect here that’s beyond chance. The quality of our innermost beliefs clearly influences the quality of our outer world. This is where the workshop really begins!

There are beautiful and wild forces within us. - St Francis of Asisi

Behind the existence of all matter is a conscious and intelligent mind - this mind is the matrix of all matter. - Max Planck, "father" of quantum

There is something "out there." Just beyond our perceptions of the everyday world there’s a presence, or force, that’s at once both mysterious and comforting.

We talk about it. We feel it. We believe in it and pray to it, perhaps without even understanding precisely what it is! A series of groundbreaking experiments in the last decade of the Twentieth Century unveil dramatic and undeniable evidence of a previously unrecognized form of energy, a Divine Matrix, that appears to link each member of our global family, creation, and the events of our lives in unexpected and empowering ways. From the success and failure of our careers and relationships, to family health and the peace of our world, these studies add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that we may actively participate in the outcome of the personal, as well as global, events of our lives. Reported by leading research institutions of our day, the experiments shake the foundation of traditional science, documenting that:

* All of creation is bathed and connected through a field of subtle energy.
* We "speak" directly to this field through emotion, beliefs, and prayer.
* Through this field we are part of the healing in our bodies, and the peace in our families, communities and nations.

Calling it by names that vary from the Web of Creation to the Spirit of God, ancient traditions knew this presence exists. They also knew how to apply it in their lives.

In the words of their time, they left detailed instructions to the people of their future describing how we may use this invisible force to heal our bodies and relationships, and bring peace to our world; they are all part of the same force. Today we know the language connects all three as a "lost" mode of prayer.

Unlike the traditional prayers that we may have used in the past, however, this technique of prayer has no words. It is based in the silent language of human emotion. It invites us to feel gratitude and appreciation, as if our prayers have already been answered. Through this quality of feeling, the ancients believed that we are given direct access to the power of creation: the Spirit of God.

In the 20th century, modern science may have rediscovered the spirit of God as a field of energy that is different from any other form of energy. It appears to be everywhere, always, and to have existed since the beginning of time. Just as the ancients suggested, the Field responds to human emotion!

Regardless of what we call it or how science and religion define it, it is clear that there is something out there—a force, a field, a presence—that is the "great magnet" constantly pulling us toward one another and connecting us to a higher power. Knowing that this force exists, it makes tremendous sense that we would be able to communicate with it in a way that is meaningful and useful in our lives. Ultimately, we may discover that the same power that heals our deepest hurts and creates peace between nations holds the key to our survival as a species.

The Lost Mode of Prayer

Modern prayer researchers currently identify four modes of prayer used in the west today. Does an additional mode exist? Is there a fifth mode of prayer that allows us to participate in the outcome of the events within our bodies as well as the world around us? Recent findings in remote temple sites where these traditions remain today, combined with new research into some of the most sacred and esoteric traditions of our past, lead me to believe that the answer is "Yes!"
Much of our conditioning in western traditions for the last one and one half millennia has invited us to "ask" that specific circumstances in our world change through divine intervention; that our prayers be answered. In our well-intentioned asking, however, we may unknowingly empower the very conditions that we are praying to change. For example, when we ask, "Dear God, please let there be peace in the world," in effect we are stating that peace does not exist in the present. Ancient traditions remind us that prayers of asking are one form of prayer, among other forms, that empower us to find peace in our world through the quality of thought, feeling and emotion that we create in our body. Once we allow the qualities of peace in our mind and fuel our prayer through feelings of peace in our body, the fifth mode of prayer states that the outcome has already happened.
Quantum science now takes this idea one step further, stating that it is precisely such conditions of feeling that creation responds to, by matching the feeling (prayer) of our inner world with like conditions in our outer world. Though the outcome of our prayer may not yet be apparent in our outer world, we are invited to acknowledge our communion with creation and live as if our prayer has already been answered.
Through the words of another time, the ancients invited us to embrace our lost mode of prayer as a consciousness that we become, rather than a prescribed form of action that we perform upon occasion. In words that are as simple as they are elegant, we are reminded to be "surrounded" by the answer to our prayers and "enveloped" by the conditions that we choose to experience. In the modern idiom, this description suggests to us that to effect change in our world, we are invited to first have the feelings of the change having happened.
As modern science continues to validate a relationship between our thoughts, feelings and dreams with the world that surrounds us, it becomes more likely that a forgotten bridge links our prayers with that of our experience. The beauty of such an inner technology is that it is based upon human qualities that we already possess. From the prophets who saw us in their dreams, we are reminded that in honoring all life, we accomplish nothing less than the survival of our species and the future of the only home we know.

Comparing Modes of Prayer Through the Example of Global Peace

Logic-based prayer: asking for intervention

1. We Focus upon present conditions where we believe that peace does not exist.

2. We may feel helpless, powerless or angry at the events and conditions that we are witness to.

3. We employ our prayer of asking by inviting divine intervention from a higher power to bring peace to bear upon individuals, conditions and places where we believe that peace is absent.

4. Through our asking, we may unknowingly affirm the very conditions that we least desire. When we say ìPlease let there be peace,î for example, we are declaring that peace is not present in a particular situation. In doing so, we may actually fuel the condition that we have chosen to change.

5. We continue to ask for intervention until we see the change actually come to pass in our world.

Feeling-based prayer: knowing that our
prayer is already answered

1. We witness all events, those of peace and those that we see as the absence of peace, as possibilities without judgement of right, wrong, bad or good.

2. We release our judgement of the situation by Blessing those conditions that have caused us pain. The Blessing does not condone or consent to the event or condition. Rather, it acknowledges that the event is part of the single source of all that is. (Please see the book, Walking Between the Worlds: The Science of Compassion, for details.)

3. By feeling the feelings of our prayer already answered, we demonstrate the ancient quantum principle stating that the conditions of peace within our bodies are mirrored in the world beyond our bodies.

4. We acknowledge the power of our prayer and know (feel) that the focus of our prayer has already come to pass.

5. Our prayer now consists of

a. acknowledging the peace already is present in our world by living from the knowledge that such changes have occurred.
b. empowering our prayer by giving thanks for the opportunity to choose peace over suffering.

Five hundred years before the birth of Christ, a mysterious group of scholars formed communities to honor an ancient teaching that began before history as we know it. Collectively known as the Essenes, Roman and Jewish historians referred to the members of this spiritual tradition as "a race by themselves, more remarkable than any other in the world." The underlying wisdom of many Essene traditions pre-dates the dominant traditions of their day and is traced through ancient writings to at least 4,000 years BC. Key elements of nearly every major belief system existing in the world today, including those of China, Tibet, Egypt, India, Palestine, Greece, even those of the American Desert Southwest, appear to have common roots in this ancient lineage of wisdom. Additionally, many of the great spiritual traditions of the western world, as different as they appear from one another today, appear to have originated from this lineage of wisdom, including the Free Masons, Gnostics, Christians, and the Kabalists. Also known as the "Elect" and the "Chosen Ones", the Essenes were the first people to openly condemn slavery, the use of servants, and the killing of animals for food. Viewing physical labor as a healing communion with the Earth, they were agriculturists, living close to the land that gave them life. The Essenes viewed prayer as the language through which to honor nature and the creative intelligence of the cosmos--they made no distinction between the two.

Their prayers were practiced on a regular basis. The first prayer of the day was offered upon arising in the pre-dawn darkness to work in the fields. These were followed by prayers before and after each meal, and again upon retiring at the end of the day. The Essenes viewed their practice of prayer as an opportunity to participate in the creative process of their lives, rather than a structured ritual required of them throughout the day.
During their time, the Essenes proved themselves to be meticulous scholars, recording and documenting their traditions for the generations of a future that they could only imagine. Perhaps the best example of their work may be seen in the hidden libraries that they left throughout the world. Like methodically-placed time capsules, their manuscripts provide snapshots into the thinking of an ancient people and a forgotten wisdom. What is their message to us today?

In the words of their time, Essene scholars appealed to those who would find their texts to remember that "the Earth is in us", that "we are in her", and that the two of us are intimately enmeshed in all that we experience. New translations of Essene documents from the Dead Sea caves illustrate even greater, and sometimes unexpected depths, of their author's understanding.

The motivation for the ceremonies, rituals, and lifestyle of early Essene communities was their deep conviction honoring the living thread that binds all life, throughout all worlds. Essene masters viewed our bodies as a convergence point through which the forces of creation merge to express the will of God. They considered our time together in this world as an opportunity to heal the memories of anger, rage, jealousy and hatred--the very experiences that we sometimes shun and judge in our lives. It is through such experiences, that we hone the qualities of love, compassion, and forgiveness that elevate us to the greatest expressions of our humanness. For this reason, they regarded our bodies as a sacred place, a soft and vulnerable temple for our soul.

Interestingly, the Qumran scholars focused upon a particular place within the body, rather than the body itself as the landscape of divine expression. Echoed through the words of the Essene Gospel of Peace, we are reminded that through our bodies we have "inherited a Holy Land...this land is not a field to be plowed, but a place within us where we may build our holy temple."

Within the innermost recesses of ancient temples are found the most sacred portions of the sanctuary. Often small in comparison to the rest of the structure, timeworn scriptures refer to the single room embedded within winding corridors and preparatory shrines as the beth elohim, the holy of holies. It is in the holy of holies that the invisible world of spirit touches the physical matter of our world.

Carrying this metaphor from the hard temples of stone to the soft temples of life, our body must have a holy of holies as well. Perhaps in a manner that modern science is just beginning to understand, the innermost portion of our living temples represents a sacred place where the body of matter is touched by the breath of spirit. Does such a place exist within us? In a remarkable report published from the 3rd Annual Conference of The International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and EnergyMedicine, scientists documented the non-physical force of emotion actually changing the physical molecule of DNA.

Based in rigorous testing of individuals capable of emotional self-management, as well as control subjects without any specialized training, the study reported that, "Individuals trained in generating focused feelings of deep love...were able to intentionally cause a change in the conformation (shape) of the DNA (italics and parenthesis are author's)". Specific qualities of emotion, produced at will, determined to what degree and how tightly the two strands of the molecule of life were coiled! Confirming the long-held suspicion that emotion greatly affects our health and quality of life, these reports now demonstrate, perhaps for the first time, that emotion is a missing link, a direct line of communication to the very core of life itself. Could the Dead Sea Scroll references to a "holy land..the place within us where we may build our temple," be a description of the actual cells of our bodies? If this is the case, then each cell within the temple of our bodies is, by definition, a holy of holies. Each cell must be considered sacred!

The understandings gleaned from something as unlikely as twenty-three hundred year old texts, now validated by twentieth-century science, may be considered as a kind of biological unified theory. Beyond science, religion, and mystic traditions, we have no name for our revised world view as yet. Echoing the traditions of ages past, such perspectives are reminiscent of the words held for so long by so many; "We are all connected." "We are all expressions of one life." "We are all the same one."

Friday, January 19, 2007 The Quintesscence of Nisargadatta Maharaj The Quintesscence of My Teaching by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

V: We always think when we have a mental grasp of someone's teaching that ipso facto we have realized that teaching. But we have not at all, we are essentially the same person, suffering in the same way.

The Quintessence of My Teaching | 1, 2, 3, 4

M: How did that original creation take place of the body as infant? And even prior to its birth: How did the conception happen? How did the infant come into being, without it asking for it? Understand that. Understand thoroughly that drop of stuff which eventually has developed into a body, and then you will understand the whole mystery that you are not that. This body that is now occupying a certain space, how much space did it occupy upon its conception? And what was it then? If you understand that, you will understand the mystery of the Self.

You base yourself on the body that you are now, and don't understand its root. That is why we think we are this body. And for that, you must do meditation. What is meditation? Meditation is not this body-mind meditating as an individual, but it is this knowledge "I am," this consciousness, meditating on itself. Then the consciousness will unfold its own beginning.

Identification is with what? With this body that is now. But does it understand its origin? If you understand the temporal aspect, then you won't take so much pride in the body that is now existing.

[Maharaj is now talking about himself] The body is thoroughly old, my mission is fulfilled. Now you people come, which is all right, but my mission is done. My soul is about to leave this body. I am happy. I clap! [clapping his hands] I am in a clapping mood that I am about to pass on. I am no longer in love with, or held by, anybody, anything, any attachment.

Forgetfulness — that noble, most elevated forgetfulness —will not arrive until all doubts have been dispelled. Unless the doubts are eradicated, that peace will not prevail.

So long as I remain identified with the body, I want to be occupied with actions, because I am not able to sustain that pure "I" without them. I cannot endure it, because I identify with the body-mind, with all kinds of activities. I call it jiva-atman, which means "conditioned by the body-mind," and is the self that is occupied with all the activities. And the "I" which is unconditioned by, and not identified with, the body-mind — that therefore has no form, design, or name — is Paramatman. The jiva-atman is being witnessed by Paramatman, which is your real Self only.

V: What is it doing? Is it partaking in the working of the world?

M: Paramatman need not participate in the activities of the world, but without that principle no activities could take place at all. Just as is the case with akash (space): without it, no activities are possible.

Activities are going on naturally, spontaneously, in the same way that there is no author or doer of your dream world. Nevertheless, you fully put to use your dream world. You will not be able to comprehend this so long as you try to understand things as an individual. But once you are the universal manifest consciousness and abide in that Paramatman spirit — "I am" without form and distinction — then you will realize how things are.

V: It can be doubted whether Krishna was the incarnation of God into a human being. If it is indeed so, however, then we must attach importance to what he told us.

M: Whatever Krishna stated is perfectly correct. For that moment, that particular time in history, it was most appropriate. But that moment, that time, has gone. He also has gone. The spiritual elevation happened in him; that is why he is great.

You are seeing and understanding things through the concepts which you have absorbed. But, as a matter of fact, the actual state of affairs is quite different. You are holding on to it as the truth, but whatever you have heard will not remain as authority or as permanent; it will disappear. Then after the disappearance of everything, whatever remains, that you are: neti-neti.

You have been continuously changing; you are in a state of flux. No identity of yours has remained as a permanent feature. And in due course you will also become very old. So is there any constancy in all this?

V: The truth is that the body is perishable, but Atma is imperishable, eternal.

Second visitor: Do you know that or have you read it?

V: I am experiencing and also have read it. I am getting old and have seen people perish.

M: Yet there must be some author authorizing all these activities. You take the grosser four elements, which are engaged in activity. These four elements are presided over by space. In what activity is that engaged? If you are going to investigate the world of your observation, you will never reach your destination. Unless you give up whatever you have heard and abide in yourSelf, you will not understand all this. You may take it upon yourself to investigate this entire manifest world and whatever you have heard, but you will be caught more and more in a quagmire.

When incarnation takes place, what is its cause? And in what form does it occur? The stories you have heard…

V: Why doesn't everybody become Krishna?

M: What is that childhood? What is that child-principle? Investigate that. The touch of that quality, the child quality: understand and realize it. When did you encounter yourself? Since when and how? After collecting all the messages and concepts in the world, you cannot investigate yourself. When Krishna was born, he had that touch of "I-am-ness." The same goes for yourself. Understand that! What is that touch of "I-am-ness," that touch of child in you? Since when did you know that you are? And with what did you know that you are? If you try to employ whatever you have heard, you will never be able to understand this. You know that you were not, but now you know that you are. How did this happen, this confluence? You were not and suddenly you are. This is what we want to discover.

V: I think I will give up on all this.

M: You just find out and enquire about your own self. Since when did you come to know your self? And how? Did anybody tell you that you are? Or did you come to know yourself spontaneously?

V: I was told and also it kept occurring to me when I read Ramana Maharshi's questions, "Who is it that dreams, who is it that sleeps?"

M: Give up your body identity. Since when did you start knowing yourself? Concentrate on that only.

V: Who is the one who slept?

M: Give up that question, because it is not relevant. There is no value in your question. At the moment I do not want you to ask any questions. I am driving you to the source and would be satisfied with your knowing what you are. I want to find out from you with what it is you know you are. Confine yourself to this area. Focus only on your knowing that "you are." How do you know you are? Just be there. You have been shadow-boxing with the many concepts you have collected from the world — you are fighting with all that. What is the use of it?

You know you are. How do you know it? And with what did you know it? This is the sum total of my teaching needed to put you on the right track, its very quintessence.

When all your questions are answered, my talks are very easy to understand. And when you understand, all your questions have gone. It is a vicious circle: So long as you have questions, you cannot follow what is being said.

V: What happens is that certain questions keep cropping up.

M: I am going for the basic questions only: What are you? Since when are you? How did you happen to be? And due to what are you? I don't want to deal with a lot of sundry questions; they are of no value to me. If you like my teachings, you may sit here; otherwise, by all means quit this place.

In any true spiritual search, whatever you have heard, whatever you have done, is of no use at all to arrive at the real truth. The knowledge "you are" has happened. Due to what?

First of all, you witness that you are. Stay put there only, with this "you are." Just be there. Then with the help of this "you are," you are witnessing the world. If you are not witnessing "you are," you will not be witnessing the world either.

When you do not know you are, people also will not know that you are and they will cremate you. So long as you know you are, people will respect you, as you are something. When you do not know you are, people will dispose of you. Stay put there. You must be present there only, at this point — the "you are" point, bereft of all concepts, all hearsay. When you recognize and realize the knowledge that you are, you will also know what Krishna is. Any number of incarnations have come and gone. But when you understand yourself, you will realize all the incarnations.

Because you know you are, you know the world is. You also know that God is. If you don't know you are, where is the world and where is the God?

There have been so many incarnations, and now you know you are. That "you are" is the divine principle because of which all the incarnations were. Many people have come here, but rarely has anybody after listening to me, come closer to himself, rarely anyone will understand what I am driving at. But that rare person, in the process of understanding me, will come closer to himself, the one who listens. Those who really understand will abide in themselves.

You did not know your parents before your birth, nor did the parents know you. In spite of this, how did the knowledge "you are" sprout in that particular situation? What is this amazing thing? I am again putting the same question. The parents did not know the child, and the child also did not know his parents before his birth. Now the child says, Here I am. How is that?

This itself is the greatest miracle, that I got the news "I am." Have you any doubts that you are?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Cover Story

Cover Story
Jesus Represented the Height of Love - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Jesus and love are synonymous. If you say love, then you need not say Jesus—if you say Jesus, that means love. Jesus said, "If you call God in my name, if you ask God in my name, whatever that you shall ask will be given, for God is love". Such an expression of love you can find in Jesus.

Whatever little glimpse you may get here and there indicates the fullness: The ultimate expression of the inexpressible. That life is striving to express throughout the time. Love goes with courage and look at the courage of Jesus. He completely overthrows the common concept that the strong will inherit the earth: The meek shall inherit the heaven for love makes you weak. However strong you are, when you are in love you are the weakest. Even a macho man will cry when he is in love. Love makes you weak but brings you to the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus says, "Love each other as much as I love you." It was impossible for someone not to recognize the love that Jesus was, since love makes you weak. It is also seary. Among thousands, few followed him. Many heard but just a few came. So he says that very few shall pass through the narrow path. Many will come and hear but a few will understand.

Even after showing all those miracles a handful of people, 12 or 13 really could recognize and follow Jesus. They were not high intellectuals but were simple and innocent people.

When Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is within you, they would not understand. They said, "which side of God will we be sitting, right or left?" Once you go inside, there is no right or left, there is no front or back. He had to tell parables in many ways and had to repeat it and make them understand a little more. That much of patience and compassion can come out of love. "I have come to put man against man, father against son, daughter against mother."

He said these words—very few have really understand what it means. Who you think is your friend is really not your friend. They make your faith in the matter strong and spiritless. "I have come to put one against another—I have come to put fire and not to make peace." If he had to say this, he has seen the depth of slumber. Do you know, when you talk something nice, peaceful, everybody will go to sleep. If there is something sensational, people wake up and hear. Newspapers are filled with such stories. This is the human mind, and Jesus had made all efforts for one to cross the mind and get into the soul, the spirit, the source of life, the Self.

You break through the limited relations. You identify yourself with something or somebody or identities and recognize the divinity within you — that you are much more than just a human, you are a part of the divine and you inherit the kingdom and that is right here, right within you. Somewhere he has said "Better for Judas if he was not born at all." Those words are not coming out of anger or frustration. Many times you also say when you don’t like somebody, "It’s better they were never there, they were never born." Because he could feel the pain that Judas was undergoing. Judas played the role he was ordained to play. He had no choice and Jesus could feel that pain, that suffering that Judas was undergoing and his compassion was so great, his love for him was so great. This is the height of love. This is the best way to bring out the teaching. This is the best way to share the love. With the Lord, you have respect, but with a friend you share your most intimate feelings, thoughts, ideas, secrets. Jesus said, "I am your friend." Where there is authority, there cannot be love. Where there is love, there is no authority. Jesus, opening his arms, said, "Come, you are my friend. Don’t put me on the altar. Give me a seat in your heart. See me in everyone you see around. Love everyone as much as I love you, or as much as you love me. Share that with everyone around."

Monday, January 08, 2007

The story of Robert Adams


WAS born on January 21, 1928, in Manhat-

tan, New York. From the very beginning, as far back as I can remember, when I was in my crib, a little man with a grey beard, white hair, about two feet tall, would appear before me at the other end of the crib, and speak gibberish to me. Of course, being a child, I didn't understand anything he said. I thought this was normal, that everybody had this experience.

When I was about five or six years old, I told my parents about it. They thought I was playing games. I told my friends and they laughed at me. So I stopped saying anything about it. The visitations stopped when I was about seven. My father died and all of a sudden the little man stopped coming to me.

I asked my mother, "What am I doing here? I don't belong here." I didn't understand what I was saying but I felt that I was out of place. My mother thought I was crazy and so did a lot of other people. She took me to a doctor. The doctor told her that it would go away.

Something very interesting happened. When-ever I wanted anything, a candy bar or a toy, I would say God's name three or four times and somebody would bring it to me or it would come from somewhere.

Once, I wanted to play the violin. My mother told me that it would be too hard for me to play, so she wouldn't buy me one. I said, "God, God, God," and a few hours later my uncle appeared, whom I hadn't seen for about five years. He had thought I needed a violin and brought me one. This went on and on while I was going to school. When I was at school, I never really fitted in because I was always daydreaming. I never used 'o study. When we had a test I would say, "God, God, God," and the answers would come.

When I was fourteen, a strange phenomenon
yccurred. I was in my junior high school class.
There were about 35 children. The teacher's
name was Mrs. Riley. She weighed about 300
ounds, and when she got angry she used to
.mp up and down. So, of course, we used to
her angry [laughter]. I would borrow a
pin from a girl. There was a hinge in the

back of the seat. I would stick the bobby pin in the hinge and twang it, and she would go crazy. She didn't know where the noise was coming from and she'd jump up and down — a very interesting phenomenon [laughter].

Anyway, it was the end of term and we were taking our final test. It was mathematics. I never studied it, so I didn't know anything. I said, "God, God, God." Instead of the answers coming, the room filled with light, a thousand times more brilliant than the sun. It was like an atomic bomb but it was not a burning light. It was a beautiful, bright, shining, warm glow. Just thinking of it now makes me stop and wonder.

The whole room, everybody, everything was immersed in light. All the children seemed to be myriad particles of light. I found myself melting into radiant being, into consciousness. I merged into consciousness. It was not an out-of-body experience. This was completely different. I realised that I was not my body. What appeared to be my body was not real.

I went beyond the light into pure, radiant consciousness. I became omnipresent. My individuality merged into pure absolute bliss. I expanded. I became the universe. The feeling is indescribable. It was total bliss, total joy.

The next thing I remembered was the teacher shaking me. All the students had gone. I was the only one left in the class. I returned to human consciousness. That feeling has never left me.

Q What score did you get on the math test? [Laughter]

R [Laughs] Zero. I didn't take it.

When I was about fourteen, I went to the library to do a book report. I passed the philosophy section and saw a book on yoga masters. I didn't even know what that meant at the time. I opened a book [Who am I?, by Ramana Maharshi] and there was a picture of Ramana Maharshi. My hair stood on end, because it was the same person who appeared to me when I was a baby in my crib!

Since then I have never been the same.

went back to school and made believe I was normal, whatever that is.

Joel Goldsmith was actually my first teacher. He was a Christian mystic who has written several books on mysticism. He explained to me what was going on within, my feelings, because I used to think I was crazy. Joel Goldsmith told me about Paramahansa Yogananda.

I went to the Self-Realisation Fellowship in Encinitas to see Yogananda. I was initiated and was going to become a monk, but after Yogananda talked to me, he said, "Robert, you don't belong here. You've got your own path. Go to India."

So I did. Through the grace of Paramahansa Yogananda I went to Sri Ramanasramam. It was with Sri Ramana that my eyes were opened to the meaning of my experience. I confirmed my feelings. Ever since I was born, I had never believed I was a body.

When you first saw Ramana Maharshi, did he remind you of the person you had communication with as a baby?

Definitely, yes.

Did you speak of this later with him?

No, I never did. We just smiled at each other. I had some personal conversation with him, but even at the end of 1947 he was sick. He couldn't walk very well — he had a cane — and had to be assisted by his devotees.

Ramana Maharshi was a doer.

On the contrary, Ramana Maharshi didn't do anything himself.

Yet things happened.

He denied he had anything to do with it.

Q: He can deny all he wants, but other people had the experience of him doing things.

R: They believed things happened because of him. It was their belief that made it hap-pen. A sage does nothing purposely, yet all kinds of things can happen around him.'


If one has strong faith in these teachings, then nothing can stop Self-realisation, right?

It is not that simple. It has to do with God's grace, which is always available. You awaken into that grace. You can't pin-point what leads to Self-realisation.

Are you a student of Nisaragadatta Maharaj?

I wasn't a student of his, but I was with him for a while.

Was that before you were with Ramana Maharshi?

No. Many years later, I spent six months with him.

What kept you there for six months?

I was interested in watching his actions. I was there when Ramesh Balsekar was his interpreter.

What was your conclusion after watching him?


My conclusion is that all is well, and everything is unfolding as it should.


When seekers came to Ramana with difficulties in their lives, was he able to help them?


He never helped anybody voluntarily. He simply sat on his couch and everybody did what they wanted to do. He asked them a couple of questions now and again, and kept silent most of the time.

When people came to him with all kinds of problems, he used to look at his attendant and say, "They come to me to help them with their problems. To whom should I go?"


I am confused.


He was not the doer! How could he help people with problems? He was not a psychologist.

Q: I know someone who is not a doer. Some-

Please refer to Talks, No. 466:

"Devotee: Is not the Self the witness only (sakshimatra)?

Maharshi: 'Witness' is applicable when there is an object to be seen. Then it is duality. The Truth lies beyond both. In the mantra, sakshi cheta kevalo nirgunascha, the word sakshi must be understood as sannidhi (presence), without which there could be nothing. See how the sun is necessary for daily activities. He does not however form part of the world actions; yet they cannot take place without the sun. He is the witness of the activities. So it is with the Self."


one came to him with a physical problem. This person went up and did some-thing to the other's body, and that per-son was helped.

R: By Ramana's presence people were helped. Ramana was silent most of the time. People did all kinds of things in the silence. Just by sitting in his presence, all their troubles vanished.


In the presence of someone like that, you seem to feel something...

You are feeling your real Self, your own bliss and happiness. That is beyond words.

I have different feelings in the presence of different teachers.

That is confusion. You have never changed. The whole idea is to get the feeling to go deep within yourself. A real 'sage gives you the feeling you want to dive deep within yourself, deeper than you have ever gone before.

Q: Could you talk about the importance of a teacher for Self-realisation, and how the relationship between teacher and student works?

R: The teacher is really yourself. You have created a teacher to wake you up. The teacher would not be here if you were not dreaming about the teacher. You have created a teacher out of your mind in order to awaken, to see that there is no teacher, no world — nothing. You have done this all by yourself. Congratulations!

This is your dream. You have a teacher in front of you, explaining all these things to you, saying that you have to awaken sooner or later. If you go further, you will see, in truth, that you are already awake. Then all the rest will disappear.

While this is going on, there is a relation-ship between the student and the teachings. You are playing a game you created yourself. You create a teacher to wake you up, but you are already awake and do not know it. A teacher gives you teachings, gives you grace, and lets you under-stand that you are already awake and in peace. In return, you take care of the teacher. It is a reciprocal game. It is your game, it is your dream. Therefore, awaken now and be free.

1 was at Sri Ramanasramam during the last three years of Bhagavan Ramana's life. Through his grace I was able to confirm and expand my own experience. Subsequent to my years with Bhagavan, and other masters in India [over the next 17 years], I have travelled, moving frequently, avoiding any notoriety. A few devotees gathered around me at various places, but I have been able to avoid crowds of seekers.

When I was in Benares, I went to see a jnani no one had heard of, named Swami Brahmananda. He was called "the Staff of God". He was about 90 years old and had three disciples who had been with him for about 50 years. I was invited to sit by him. I think I was the first Westerner to get permission to stay with him. So I sat with him for a few days, listening to him say nothing. He was mostly silent.

On the third day that I was there, he announced to his disciples that his body was in pain, that it was arthritic, but that he still had work to finish on this plane. He said he was going to leave his body the next day at 3 pm and take on the body of a younger person. He said that someone would slip on the street and crack his head. "I will take up that body," he said. I listened as I usually do, and we couldn't wait for the morrow to come [laughter]. Nobody cared that he was going to die. We wanted to see if he could do what he said [laughter].

At 3 pm the next day, he was sitting in the lotus posture, he stiffened, and he did die! I felt for a pulse but there was none. I pinched him. Nothing happened. His body was an empty shell. We fooled around with his body for about a half hour to see if we could bring him back to life. Nothing.

We heard a commotion outside. Sure enough, a young man had slipped on the street — it was raining — and hit his head. A crowd had gathered and a doctor was there. He was pronounced dead. All of a sudden, the young man got up and ran into the forest. No one ever heard of him again.

Many times I have visions where I am walking

with Ramana Maharshi along the Ganga. We discuss simple things like the weather. A vision is not a dream. A vision is an actual experience in the phenomenal world. Anything is possible. Never believe that something is impossible. It limits you. Even if you haven't experienced it yourself, have faith that within you lies infinite possibilities.

My body has exhibited symptoms of Parkinson's disease for the past few years and it has, therefore, been forced to settle in one location to receive the appropriate care. I still wish to avoid crowds of seekers. I prefer to work with a small number of dedicated devotees. I do not write books or publish anything. Nonetheless, some of the satsanghs which I hold weekly have been recorded and transcribed. Thank you again for your enquiry. My blessings to you and all at the ashram.

Excerpts from satsang transcripts:
The Highest Teaching

The highest teaching in the world is Silence. There is nothing higher than this.

A devotee who sits with a sage purifies his mind just by being with the sage. The mind automatically becomes purified. No words ex-changed, no words said. Silence is the ultimate reality. Everything exists in this world through Silence.

True silence really means going deep within yourself to that place where nothing is happening, where you transcend time and space. You go into a brand new dimension of nothingness. That's where all the power is. That's your real home. That's where you really belong, in deep Silence where there is no good and bad, no one trying to achieve anything. Just being, pure being.

The only freedom you'll ever have is when you go deep into the Silence and you transcend, transmute the universe, your body and your affairs.

It is when you begin to feel in your heart that you are boundless space, that something begins to happen. As you feel yourself as boundless space, all your stuff begins to drop away. Yet you do not affirm to yourself that you are bound-less space. You merely observe, you watch, you become the witness. You look out at the world and you see that the trees, the mountains, the planets, are all hanging in space. And you begin to consider that your body, what appears to be your body, is like the trees, and the moon, and the sun. It seems to be a thing of itself, and it is also hanging in boundless space.

Because you are able to observe this and see this and feel this, the realisation will come to you that you must be this boundless space, which your body and your mind and the rest of the things of this world are attached to. As you begin to consider this, the mind becomes quieter and

quieter and quieter, until the day comes when it falls away completely. Then you become bound-less space. And yet you appear to be a body also. This is a paradox. This is why it's better to sit in the silence and not talk at all.

It's All A Dream

You are real. What you appear to be is false. Identify with the real, not with the false. Do not accept anything you see as reality. The only freedom you've got is to turn within. One day you will awaken from this dream, for this is also a dream, and you will be free.

There is no such thing as birth, and there is no such thing as death. Nobody is born, no one dies, and no one prevails in between. Nothing that appears exists. Only the Self exists. All this is the Self, and "I am That".

You are absolute reality, ultimate oneness. You are consciousness, emptiness, sat chit

That is your true nature. Why not abide in it and be free?

Empty your mind. Become still, and every-thing will happen of its own accord. There is really nothing you have to do. Just be still. "Be still and know that I am God." I am as the Self! Accept that and be free.

Why do you think of other things? Why concern yourself with the body? Or your mind? Or the world? Quit trying to solve problems. This doesn't mean that you are going to do nothing. Your body is going to perform the acts it came here to do. If you are meant to be an accountant, you are going to be an accountant. If you are meant to be a preacher, you'll be a preacher. If you are meant to be a homeless person, you will be a homeless person. You have absolutely nothing to do with it.

Allow your mind to say and think the way it will, only don't identify with it. Allow your body to do what it must, but do not react to it. Everything will happen of its own accord. When you allow your mind to think of its own accord, the thoughts begin to dissipate, and soon you have empty mind. Empty mind is consciousness, realisation.

As soon as you begin to identify with reality, with consciousness, all fear leaves you, all doubt leaves you, all false thinking leaves you, and you become free.

Only One Self

There is only one Self. What you feel toward somebody else, you are feeling toward yourself. What you do to anybody else you are doing to yourself. If you help somebody else, you are helping yourself, and if you hurt somebody else, you are hurting yourself.

What your body does is karmic. It has nothing to do with you. When you realise, "I am not the body, I am not the mind, and I am not the doer," then you are safe. But as long as you think you are doing something kind for some-body, then you want a reward, you want recognition. But when you know there is only one Self, you are automatically kind to everybody. Virtue is its own reward.


So Self-realisation is the erasing of me as a separate entity?

Yes, exactly. It's also the erasing of the idea, "I'm self-realised." There is only Silence. It's beyond explanation. It's a mystery. The finite can never comprehend the infinite. There are no words to explain it. All is well. Consciousness is bliss, love — not as we know it, but a million times stronger. And that's our real nature. Be your Self.

Transcript from Ramana talks:
"So long as there is vibhakti, there must be bhakti. So long as there is

viyoga, there must be yoga. So long as there is duality, there must be

God and devotee. Similarly also in vichara. So long as there is vichara,

there is duality too. But merging into the Source there is unity only. So

it is with bhakti too. Realising the God of devotion, there will be unity

only. God too is thought of in and by the Self. So God is identical with

the Self. If one is told to have bhakti for God and he does so straight-

away, it is all right. But there is another kind of man who turns round

and sail's, 'There are two, I and God. Before knowing the far-off God, let

me know the more immediate and intimate 'I". For him the vichara-

marga has to be taught. There is in fact no difference between bhakti

and vichara."

— Sri Bhagavan, in Talks, No. 154.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Self-Knowledge by Nisargadatta

Self-Knowledge by Nisargadatta


Divine vision means acquaintance with, and crystalline understanding of, the universal energy. God and the devotee are one, in his very nature the devotee is identical with God. So long as one has not realized God, one does not know what justice and injustice are, but with realization the devotee comes to know the distinction between justice and injustice, the essential and the contingent, the eternal and the evanescent, and this leads to his emancipation.

The divine vision eliminates individuality; the manifest is clearly distinguished from the unmanifest. When the sense of individuality is replaced by that of impersonal consciousness the devotee knows that he is pure consciousness. Manifestation is pure consciousness manifesting itself in all the different names and forms; the spiritually enlightened take part in it sportively, knowing that it is only the play of universal consciousness.

The name and form of the spiritually enlightened Saint experiences the pangs and sorrows of life, but not their sting. He is neither moved nor perturbed by the pleasures and pains, nor the profits and losses of the world. He is thus in a position to direct others. His behavior is guided exclusively by the sense of justice.

The temporal life must continue, with all its complex interactions, but the Saint is ever aware that it is only the pure consciousness that is expressing itself in different names and forms, and it continues to do so, in ever new forms. To him, the unbearable events of the world are just a tame and harmless affair; he remains unmoved in world-shaking events.

At first people, through pride, simply ignore him, but their subsequent experiences draw them toward him. God, as justice incarnate, has neither relations nor belongings of His own; peace and happiness are, as it were, His only treasure. The formless, divine consciousness cannot have any thing as its own interest.

This is the temporal outline of the Bhakta.

The consciousness of one’s own being, of the world, and of its supporting primal force are experienced all at once. Awareness of one’s own being does not mean here the physical consciousness of oneself as an individual, but implies the mystery of existence. Prior to this, in the ignorance of one’s own being, there is no experience of Brahman as being there. But the moment one is aware of being, he is directly aware of the world and Brahman, too.

At the stage prior to this cosmic awareness, the self and its experiences are limited to the worldly life. This worldly life starts with birth and ends in death. To become aware of ourself, the world and God all of a sudden is a great mystery indeed. It is an unexpected gain; it is an absorbing and a mysterious event, extremely significant and great, but it brings with it the responsibility of Self-preservation, sustenance and Self development as well, and no one can avoid it.

One who leads his life without ever wondering about who or what he is accepts the traditional genealogical history as his own and follows the customary religious and other activities according to tradition. He leads his life with the firm conviction that the world was there prior to his existence, and that it is real; because of this conviction he behaves as he does, gathering possessions and treasures for himself, even knowing that at the time of death he will never see them again. Knowing that none of this will even be remembered after death, still his greed and avarice operate unabated until death.

When we concentrate our attention on the origin of thought, the thought process itself comes to an end; there is a hiatus, which is pleasant, and again the process starts. Turning from the external world and enjoying the objectless bliss, the mind feels that the world of objects is not for it. Prior to this experience the un satiating sense enjoyments constantly challenged the mind to satisfy them, but from the inward turn onwards its interest in them begins to fade. Once the internal bliss is enjoyed, the external happiness loses its charm. One who has tasted the inward bliss is naturally loving and free from envy, contented and happy with others’ prosperity, friendly and innocent and free from deceit. He is full of the mystery and wonder of the bliss. One who has realized the Self can never inflict pain on other

With heartfelt love and devotion, the devotee propitiates God; and when he is blessed with His vision and grace, he feels ever happy in His presence. The constant presence establishes a virtual identity between the two. While seeking the presence of the Supreme Soul, the Bhakta renounces all associations in his life, from the meanest to the best, and having purged his being of all associations, he automatically wins the association with the Supreme Self. One who has attained to the position of unstinted emancipation can never be disliked by others, for the people themselves are the very Self-luminous soul, though ignorant of the fact.

In this world of immense variety, different beings are suffering from different kinds of ailments, and yet they are not prepared to give up the physical frame, even when wailing under physical and mental pain. If this be so, then men will not be so short-sighted as to avoid their savior, the enlightened soul.

That overflowing reservoir of bliss, the beatific soul, does confer only bliss on the people by his loving light. Even the atmosphere around him heartens the suffering souls. He is like the waters of a lake that gives nourishment to the plants and trees around the brink and the grass and fields nearby. The Saint gives joy and sustaining energy to the people around him

Spiritual thought is of the Highest. This seeking of the Highest is called the “first half” by the Saints. A proper understanding of this results in the vision of God, and eventually matures into the certainty of the true nature of the Self in the “latter half”.

One who takes to the path of the spirit starts with contemplation and propitiation. It is here, for the first time, that he finds some joy in prayer and worship. At this preliminary stage he gets the company of co-aspirants. Reading of the lives and works of past incarnations of God, of Rishis, of Saints and Sages, singing the glories of the Name, visiting temples, and a constant meditation on these result in the photic and phonic experiences of the mystic life; his desires are satisfied to an extent now. Thinking that he has had the vision of God, he intensifies his efforts of fondly remembering the name of God and His worship. In this state of the mind, the Bhakta quite frequently has a glimpse of his cherished deity, which he takes to be the divine vision and is satisfied with it. At this juncture, he is sure to come into contact with a Saint.

The Saint, and now his preceptor, makes it plain to him that what he has had is not the real vision, which is beyond the said experiences, and is only to be had through Self-Realization. At this point, the aspirant reaches the stage of the meditator. In the beginning, the Sadhaka is instructed into the secrets of his own person, and of the indwelling spirit; the meaning and nature of prana, the various plexuses, and the nature and arousal of the Kundalini, and the nature of the Self. Later on, he comes to know of the origin of the five elements, their activity, radiation, and merits and defects. Meanwhile his mind undergoes the process of purification and acquires composure, and this the Sadhaka experiences through the deep-laid subtle center of the Indweller; he also knows how and why it is there, only that the deiform element is kindled. This knowledge transforms him into the pure, eternal, and spiritual form of a SadGuru who is now in a position to initiate others into the secrets of the spirit. The stage of Sadhakahood ends here.

As the great Saint Tukarama said, the aspirant must put in ceaseless efforts in the pursuit of spiritual life. Thoughts must be utilized for Self-Knowledge. He must be alert and watchful in ascertaining the nature of this “I” that is involved in the affairs of pleasure and pain arising out of sense experience.

We must know the nature of the active principle lest its activities be led astray. We should not waste our energies in useless pursuits, but should use those energies in the pursuit of the Self and achieve identity with God. Spiritual life is so great, so deep, so immense, that energy pales into insignificance before it, yet this energy tries to understand it again and again. Those who try to understand it with the help of the intellect are lost to it. Rare is the one who, having concentrated on the source atom of the cosmic energy, enjoys the bliss of spiritual contemplation. But there are scores of those who take themselves to be spiritually inspired and perfect beings. They expect the common herd to honor and respect their every word. The ignorant people rush towards them for spiritual succor and do their bidding. In fact, the pseudo-Saints are caught in a snare of greed, hence what the people get in return is not the blessings of satisfaction, but ashes.

The self-styled man of God, speaking ad nauseum about spiritual matters, thinks himself to be perfect, but others are not so sure. As regards a Saint, on the other hand, men are on the lookout for ways to serve him more and more, but as the ever contented soul, steeped in beatitude, desires nothing, they are left to serve in their own way, which they do with enthusiasm, and they never feel the pressure.

Greatness is always humble, loving, silent and satisfied. Happiness, tolerance, forbearance, composure and other allied qualities must be known by everyone; just as one experiences bodily states such as hunger, thirst, etc., one. must, with equal ease, experience in oneself the characteristics connoted by the word “Saint”. As we know for certain that we need no more sleep, no more food, at a given moment, so too we can be sure of the above characteristics from direct experience. One can then recognize their presence in others with the same ease. This is the test and experience of a tried spiritual leader.

The blissful mystic clearly sees the difference between his characteristics before and after realization. All that is transient has an origin in time and is subject to change and destruction, while he is free from change and can never perish. The unchanging one views the ever changing world as a game.

All the characteristics of the Saint naturally spring from his experience. As there are no desires left in him, nothing in the world of sense can ever tempt him, he lives in the fearless majesty of Self-realization. He is moved to pity by the unsuccessful struggle of those tied down to bodily identity and their striving for the satisfaction of their petty interests. Even the great events of the world are just surface lines to him; the number of these lines that appear and disappear is infinite.

Individuals are only the faint streaks of these lines, and only as such lines are they recognized. When the streaks vanish there remains nothing to recognize as individuals. The interval between the moment of emergence and the disappearance of a line is what is called life. The wiped out line can never be seen again.

The Saint who has direct experience of all this is always happy and free from desire. He is convinced that the greatest of the sense experiences is only a momentary affair, impermanence is the very essence of these experiences; hence pain and sorrow, greed and temptation, fear and anxiety can never touch him.

Sport or play is natural to God, our experiences are known as the Lila (play) of God. Without any prior intimation, we suddenly have a taste of our own being; excepting this one instance of the taste, we have no knowledge of the nature of the Self. But then, even this bit of experience is hidden away from us. We are forced into a series of activities and experiences: that I am a homosapien, I am a body, my name is such and such, this is my religion, my duty, etc. One action follows another, and there is no rest from them, no escape, we have to see them through. This goes on inevitably, until perchance, it loses all its charm, and we seek the spiritual treasure.

If the purpose of all this be inquired into, we get different accounts from different people. Some claim it is because of the actions of millions of previous lives – but nobody has the direct experience of these past lives; it is obvious that this is fiction.

Dazzled by the ingenious inventions and discoveries of the scientists, some base their interpretation on empirical facts and offer them as explanations, but the suddenly experienced taste of our own being cannot be interpreted in this way. When the world is called by the word Maya or illusion, it is condemned to be mean; when the same thing is called by the words “play of God”, it becomes great! In reality the facts are what they are. Who is the recipient of the high designation – who confirms the uselessness for the condemnation – who is He – what name should we give Him after first-hand experience?

That we have experiences is a fact; others tell us about their experiences, we receive information concerning relations, and instruction in the performance of activities, and we organize our behavior accordingly. Someone from these guides initiates us into what is said to be the core of the indwelling Spirit, but that too turns out to be a transient affair. For the acquaintance secured thus does not possess the experiential core of the taste, and the initiator himself proves to be part and parcel of that bit; thus both he and his knowledge are lost to us. Now we are free to go our own way, but for want of the necessary taste, this self-help is equally helpless. We are where we were.

What is it that we call the Lila of God? How are we related to this sporting God whom we saw, talked to, had friendship with, and intense love for. In spite of all this closeness and fondness, what is our relation to Him? All the previous experiences with their peculiarities have vanished. The Lila of God disappears along with the pseudo experience with the advent of the present experience.

The ever-awaited first moment was the moment when I was convinced that I was not an individual at all. The idea of my individuality had set me burning so far. The scalding pain was beyond my capacity to endure; but there is not even a trace of it now, I am no more an individual. There is nothing to limit my being now. The ever present anxiety and the gloom have vanished and now I am all beatitude, pure knowledge, pure consciousness.

The tumors of innumerable desires and passion were simply unbearable, but fortunately for me, I got hold of the hymn “Hail, Preceptor”, and on its constant recitation, all the tumors of passions withered away as with a magic spell!

I am ever free now. I am all bliss, sans spite, sans fear. This beatific conscious form of mine now knows no bounds. I belong to all and everyone is mine. The “all” are but my own individuations, and these together go to make up my beatific being. There is nothing like good or bad, profit or loss, high or low, mine or not mine for me. Nobody opposes me and I oppose none for there is none other than myself. Bliss reclines on the bed of bliss. The repose itself has turned into bliss.

There is nothing that I ought or ought not to do, but my activity goes on everywhere, every minute. Love and anger are divided equally among all, as are work and recreation. My characteristics of immensity and majesty, my pure energy, and my all, having attained to the golden core, repose in bliss as the atom of atoms. My pure consciousness shines forth in majestic splendor.

Why and how the consciousness became self-conscious is obvious now. The experience of the world is no more of the world as such, but is the blossoming forth of the selfsame conscious principle, God, and what is it? It is pure, primal knowledge, conscious form, the primordial “I” consciousness that is capable of assuming any form it desires. It is designated as God. The world as the divine expression is not for any profit or loss; it is the pure, simple, natural flow of beatific consciousness. There are no distinctions of God and devotee, nor Brahman and Maya. He that meditated on the bliss and peace is himself the ocean of peace and bliss. Glory to the eternal truth, Sad-Guru, the Supreme Self.


The Bhakta pours out his devotion, molds his behavior in every respect in accordance with the will of God. In turn, he finds that God is pleased with him, and this, his conviction, takes him nearer to God and his love and friendship with Him grow richer and richer. The process of surrendering to the will of God in every respect results in His blessings.

One who is blessed by God is a blissful soul. Being at peace with himself, he looks at the objects of enjoyment with perfect indifference. He is content with whatever he has and is glad to see others happy. If a person believes that he is blessed by God and is still unhappy, it is better if he give up this delusion and strive for the coveted Grace with sincerity and honesty.

Divine plenitude and favor is not judged by the objects of sense, but by the internal contentment. This verily is the blessing of God.

Him have I seen now whom I so earnestly desired to see, I met myself. The meeting requires an extremely difficult and elaborate preparation.

I pined to see the most beloved one. It was impossible to do without it, I was sure to die if I were not to do it. Even with the innermost sincerity of my whole being I was not able to get at it, and the situation was unbearable. Yet with love and determination, eagerness and courage, I started on my journey. I had to get through different stages and places in the undertaking.

Being quite deft, it would not allow me cognition, at first. But lo, I saw it today, I was sure, but the very next moment I felt perhaps it was not it. Whenever I saw it I was intent on observing it keenly, but not knowing its nature with certitude, could not decide either way. I could not be sure that it was my Beloved, the center of my being. Being an adept in the art of make-up, it dodged me with a quick change of form ere I could arrive at a conclusion. These were the visions of various Incarnations of Rishis and Saints, internal visions in the process of Dhyana and Dharana, and external ones of the waking state eventual to the siddhis, such as the power of prophecy, clairvoyance, clairaudience, and the power to cure normally incurable diseases, etc. Some were eager to serve me, to have faith in me and to honor me, and this led me to believe that I had seen it for certain; it is here its skill in make-up lies. It is so deft in the art of changing the form, quality and knowledge, that the intellect does not know where it stands, let alone the penetration through its nature. But, what is this miracle? Wonder of wonders! The flash, curiously glistening, majestic splendor! But where is it? It disappeared in a flicker before I could apprehend it. No, nothing could be known about what happened to me or to the lightning. I could not say whether the extremely swift flash and the means of my reconnaissance were one and the same or different. In the glow of the flashing miracle the whole of the cosmic array is experienced directly. The contact is immensely interesting. The flash experience makes one feel it should be as spicy forever; this is the characteristic feeling of the cosmic experience. But in the very attempt to arrest the glowing flash for a basic understanding, one loses it.

It is extremely difficult to get at the root of the cosmic energy, that perfect adept in assuming an infinite variety of forms. The consciousness to be apprehended and the power of concentration are one and the same. Being polymorphous by nature, it cannot be pinned down to any definite form or name or place, as for instance, the internal experiences of the Dhyana yogin. In the first instance, the attention of the meditator is silence in excelsis, this is transformed into light, the light assumes the form of space, the space in turn changes into movement. This is transmitted into air, and the air into fire, the fire changes into water, and the water into earth. Lastly, the earth evolves into the world of organic and inorganic things. The water from the rain takes the form of the juices in the grains and vegetables, which essences supply nourishment and energy. This energy takes the form of knowledge, courage, valor, cunning, etc. The limbless process goes on. Neither form, name, nor quality is enduring. Nothing is permanent or determinate.

The felt experience of the spiritually enlightened is difficult to negotiate with. This may mean either that it is beyond our capacity to get at, or it is beyond reach; yet one must go on with concentration. The identity of the “I” as the miracle in the process of the dazzling glitter, and the “ego” of the empirical consciousness prior to the experience, must be firmly established in Dhyana Yoga (meditation). Is the spiritually saturated soul the same as the experience or is it even beyond that? There is no duality to the experience one has in the process of Dhyana Yoga. At the enlightened stage even the sense organs are involved in the meditation of the spiritual adept, for the sense organs and the five elements are one and the same at the core. The material elements, subtle matter and consciousness, the three qualities, Satva, Rajas and Tamas, and the three sources of knowledge, perception, inference and testimony were seen, are being seen, and lo! They are not there.

The characteristics of origination, sustenance and destruction come under Dhyana Yoga itself. The activity of Prakriti in all its forms, manifest and unmanifest, and the consciousness of Purusha are also included in it. In the Dhyana Yoga process the eight chakras are activated simultaneously and are experienced as such. All these, in a single, unitive experience, I constitute the contemplation. Meditation, consciousness, experience, are all but a single unity.

Dhyana Yoga is the supreme activity of life. Concentration is the central thing in experience.

The transformation of Dhyana Yoga into Mama [sic] Yoga is a difficult process. In the consummation of this process alone is the Atman cognized with certitude. As long as Dhyana Yoga is not completely transformed into Jnana Yoga, so long there is no Self knowledge. The test of Dhyana is knowledge, then follows the duality of knowledge and the Atman. In the experiential knowledge, there is a race between knowledge as Self and Self as Self. But in deep samadhi there is an understanding between contemplation and the Self. This results in the realization of bliss. The bliss is transformed into supreme beatitude and the self is absorbed in the supreme Spirit. Knowledge to itself, contemplation into itself, the primal Maya, God, the Absolute state and the original throb are all a single whole of Self-experience. The ever cherished and desired Being is realized here.

Prior to this, in the process of the attainment of the siddhis incidental to Dhyana Yoga, there ooze forth experiences in the form of arts, love, and memories of past lives in different regions such as Patala, Swarga and Kailas. In some cases one has a taste of different siddhis and Avatars and of a series of meetings with others in different regions. There are experiences of being the Brahma of Satya region, Shiva of Kailas, and Vishnu of Vaikunth from time immemorial. Again, there are different phases of the yogin’s feelings, the best and the worst, and the endless panoramas, not pleasant nor enduring; and the inevitable adjuncts of Dhyana Yoga must go on until it is transformed into Jnana Yoga; i.e., the transition from the Samprajuata (silent mind in meditation) to the Asamprajuata (altered state of consciousness, silent and alert mind) state of samadhi. Until then there is no Self-realization. But, on the other hand, if in the process of this transition the nature of this phase of Dhyana Yoga be known, Self-realization is automatic.

All the experiences and visions arising out of Dhyana Yoga are transitory. In the contemplation, there is an infinite variety of phases and forms, and none of them is lasting. Whatever is taken to be helpful and great and determinate vanishes in an instant and a new form takes its place to yield place to the next. That knowledge from which all the varieties issue forth in experiences, such as earth, water, fire, air, ether, and their various specifications, is itself unstable. Starting from meditation, the contemplating soul, having experienced a taste of previous lives, is further transformed into the primal Maya, primordial energy, and Godhead, and even into the characteristics of the supreme Self by the power of meditation, and all this for a trice, and it disappears. It is here that it is called Kala, the final liquidation of individuality. It is here that the separation from itself is compensated for, and finds itself with spiritual certitude, never to be lost again. The imperishable, indissoluble, eternal Paramatman shines forth with perfection beyond the reach of empirical experience.


The continuous process of getting to know the environment goes on from the birth of the “I” consciousness. Though the “I” consciousness is automatic, hence effortless, one has to learn to do various things; one also must learn about one’s own person and its care. Some things are mastered of necessity, and of one’s liking; others which are not essential must also be learnt.

In the process of conscious learning, over and above the world of things, we are told we must also learn of the things beyond the world; but before trying to know the things beyond, we must know the controller and support of the universe called God, so that other things may be known with His help.

Who is God and how is He to be propitiated? We are told that this is to be achieved by forming friendship with saintly persons and by regularly and devoutly carrying out their instructions; but then, we are told, it is a matter of rare good fortune that one comes across such a saintly soul, and when one comes across such a person, by rare good fortune, the saintly soul tells us, “You yourself are God. Think of Him alone, meditate on His being. Do not engage yourself in thinking of anybody else.”

For a while I used to deal with various matters and perform activities such as knowing and learning with the idea that I was a human being, born of the “I” consciousness; next I started meditating on myself as God in order to know myself. Now I know that I am the knower of whatever I remember, perceive, or feel; hence, ignoring all that is remembered, perceived, or felt, I contemplate on the nature of the knower.

I am sitting in a secluded place where none can see me, with my eyes half closed. Whatever I remember, perceive, feel or experience comes into being from within myself. My meditation is my torch and what I see is its light, all that I see and remember is just the light of my meditation.

Now I do not feel the necessity to meditate anymore, for the nature of meditation is such that it is spontaneous. In its process, it gives rise to innumerable forms and names and qualities....and what have I got to do with it all?

Now I am convinced beyond doubt that this meditation of mine is born of God; and the world of things is the product of my meditation only. The cyclic process of origination, sustenance and destruction is the very core of the world’s being. However more I may try to know, the same process must repeat. My inquisitiveness has come to an end.


The spiritual aspirant is absorbed in his spiritual experiments and experiences, and the journey continues. One already has the experience of the world through his senses, hence he tries, as far as possible, to depend only on himself, he tries to gauge the extent to which he can go with the minimum of help from others and eschews the use of many things in the world. In due course, the aspirant is sure to win peace; nothing is wanting, he has enough and to spare. He is satisfied and his behavior reveals it. He expects nothing from those with whom he deals. Is expecting material returns from others any different from begging? If it is true that he has attained to happiness beyond the reach of ordinary mortals, why should he expect a beggarly share from material gains? If he has in his possession the blissful spring of eternal life, why should he ask a price from his dealings with others? It is impossible that one who has realized his Self should rely on others; on the contrary, he feeds others on spiritual food with absolute ease.

As the happiness of the people increases, they begin to love him with greater sincerity, they know his importance in their lives. Just as they acquire and store food, so too they take care of one who has attained the position of eternal peace, identity with the universal spirit, perfection. Yet some people get to know some occult processes from great Saints and practice them, enabling them to acquire certain occult powers and they are misled into thinking they have what they have been striving for, and style themselves as Raja yogins, and engage in the avid pursuit of material pleasures; but one who has tasted the pure bliss of eternal life in Brahman is forever satisfied, the perfect soul does not desire worldly honors.

It is impossible that the spiritually perfect soul should ever desire to be called the preceptor or to make others bow down before him or to expect all to honor his word in every respect. One who gets the highest kind of happiness from his life source has no interest in material happiness. That is spiritual happiness which makes everyone happy. These are the external qualities characterizing the enlightened satyagrahin (seeker of truth).


The heart of a mother is full of tenderness, but it is limited to her child only; but the heart of the Saint is all inclusive, it knows the how and whence of the origin of each one and the vicissitudes they have to go through.

The Saint is full of spiritual knowledge and pacific repose, there is nothing wanting. He practices his sadhana in such a way as not to be discovered by others; he has no use for the external marks of saintliness, he dresses in keeping with the time and climate.

Being in touch with the atom, the first cause of the universe, he knows its nature quite well. Blossoming forth is the very nature of the core of this atom, hence changes and differentiation are bound to be there. Knowing this well, the Saint is neither elated by pleasing events nor depressed by the opposite ones.

He has gauged the depth of the knowledge of the common man. He knows its nature from beginning to end. He knows the how and the why of the mentality, also the worthlessness of its achievements and failures. The needs of the body prompt the creature to acquire means of sustenance, but the greed for these makes the creature pursue them to the point of uselessness, and all of this without the least idea of what awaits the life in future. What the creature deems essential and strives to acquire, the Saint knows to be sheer trash.

The Saint is never a victim of passions. Life is a mixture of passions and emotions; Atman, the origin of passions and emotions, is the very core of the Saint’s vision, the nature of which he is thoroughly acquainted. He knows its activities and varieties of manifestation, as well as their consequences. The life principle is the principle of feelings, passions, emotions. Desires and passions engendered in this principle are just emotive experiences, they have nothing of substance in them; yet the poor creature thinks them to be of great significance in his life, embraces the basically worthless desires, indulges in sense enjoyment, and runs after them helplessly.

The mother, with sincerity but in ignorance, feeds the roots of misery, while the Saint, with the same intensity, weeds them out. The Saint knows what the welfare of the people lies in much better than does the mother of her child. That is why the heart of the Saint is said to be kind.


During the process of Bhakta, Bhajan, and renunciation, the experience of the immensity of God is on the increase, but as the vision becomes more frequent, it gets narrower day by day. Here vision and knowledge are identical. In whatever name and form God is propitiated, that name and form he presents himself in. The various forms and names are woven into prayers and hymns and are sung by the common man.

The devotee by his firm determination, and God by his fascination for devotion, are attracted to each other and the moment they come face to face they merge; the devotee loses his phenomenal consciousness automatically, and when it returns he finds that he has lost his identity, lost into that of God and can never be separated again; God everywhere and no separate identity.

The creator, enjoyer, and destroyer of all names and forms, the controller of all powers, is revealed now; this is God, the Self, Self-luminous, Self-inspired, and Self-conscient. Here is where the primal gunas originate. Though atomic in character, he has in him the absolute power to do what he wills, in accordance with the emotive character of the gunas, and to take any form. This is the atomic center, atomic energy, the first and final cause of the universe.

The God of Gods, the soul of the movable and immovable, the all-pervasive, qualified Brahman, the beloved of the Bhaktas, the ocean of love and devotion is born here. This is Adinarayana, residing in the hearts of the devotees; the Saints call him Balakrishna (Baby Krishna), for in the beginning he is seen to be the atom of atoms. By nature, he is innocence incarnate. He is easily moved by emotions and becomes many (immense), in accordance with the direction taken by the emotions. The nature of the expansion is determined by the excess of one or another of the three gunas. He manifests himself through each of the three gunas at different times in a non-partisan spirit. As the Saints are closely acquainted with him, they know what guna he would induce at any given moment and what the consequences would be, and hence they dissuade him from the excess of his nature. Excess of growth in any guna is dangerous. Satva guna is absolutely good, yet even that is harmful when hypertrophied; Rajas is restless and overbearing, while Tamas is blind and arrogant. Knowing this well, the wise man keeps his soul away from the effects of the gunas, hence the energy of the soul remains undiminished and develops in the right direction.

Satisfying various desires increases the taste for them, and the thirst for enjoyment slowly decreases the power of the soul in imperceptible degrees, but when, setting aside the temptation of the gunas, the devotee finds his pure soul, he fondly takes to its rearing with love and sincerity; only when the devotion is successful is the Atman realized. He is seen as a child at the dawn of victory, hence he is called the child of victory.

The Bhakta is alert not to allow it to be polluted by the craving for sensuous pleasures; the firmer it is in its nature, the greater becomes the power and strength of the soul, hence the Saints do not allow it to lose its steadiness. The crux of rearing it lies in keeping it firm, undeflected by the presence of the gunas. If the spiritual gain of the soul be eclipsed by sensuous desires, it is shaken to its very roots. It is difficult to keep the gunas at rest, that is why the Saints advise stabilizing in Self-knowledge.


Those who have realized and stabilized in Self-knowledge are those whose glory is sung from time immemorial; it is their names that form the basis of divine meditation. Sri Krishna, Sri Vishnu, and Sri Rama are some of the innumerable names given to God; originally, these were the names given to the human form, but they became Self-realized and came to know the root cause of all experience. Those who came to possess this knowledge of the Self and kept it pure and secure are known to be Gods and Saints, while those who utilized it for the sake of sense enjoyment are called devils and Ravanas. The highest and rarest gain is difficult of achievement, but, if achieved, it is superlatively beneficent, and if not properly cared for, is equally harmful. One who does not get excited by the possession of spiritual knowledge of the root cause can, with love and devotion, cultivate and brighten it. Devotion and prayer and renunciation are firmly established in him, he is always free from desires, and wherever he is the aura of peace and happiness is about him; the auriole shown about the heads of great Saints is a pictorial representation of this fact. Whoever approaches him gets an unsolicited touch of the divine bliss. The Saint never acts as an individual, all his actions are the expression of the divine Lila.

This universe came into being through the activity of the primal atomic (atmic) consciousness. There was nothing, not even a trace of appearance before self-consciousness, and in this state there came into being the consciousness of one’s own existence, the awareness of one’s own being. In fact, there was no time, nor space, nor cause. The awareness has no cause for it, hence it is futile to name one. There was no time, hence it cannot be dated. There was no space, hence its location is meaningless; yet the atomic consciousness was felt as such and nothing more – why so? For there was nothing over and above it to be aware of! The awareness only of being was there. How long this state lasted, there are no means to ascertain; but the great miracle is that the self-consciousness was there; with it was the cosmic will, followed by its realization. The atomic consciousness, on account of its will and its instant realization, became many and pervasive. Although apparently many, it is all one in essence.

When the atomic consciousness became many and pervasive on account of its will and its instantaneous realization, the energy of the single atom diversified itself into many centers, each with its own peculiarity and will; hence the conflict. At any given moment, the innumerable centers express their will in a variety of ways; generally, the willing atom does not know the “whither” and “what” of its will, but the effect is bound to be there. The tangible result of the wills of the willing atoms is to be witnessed at the moment of cosmic destruction, when the whole universe is reduced to ashes. The loving wills are not canceled altogether; the great moments of happiness in the world are the result of these wills. The characteristic of the individual energy to will is always operative. It is its essence and it owes it to the primordial energy.

The primal energy that scintillated first is one and homogeneous, but appears to be heterogeneous due to ignorance.

The quivering atomic energy is designated as the Great Principle by the Vedantas: the essential characteristic of the Principle is consciousness. The felt awareness expands itself into ether, the expanse of the ether is the space. With a single quality this Great Principle became time, space and cause. Next came the three gunas and the five elements. The speed was simply immeasurable.

The original scintillation moved in space and that was the air, the air gathered momentum and fire came into existence. The throbbing of the fire increased and became cold and that was water; the water cooled even more and that was earth. All the characteristics of the previous forms are crystallized in the earth and vibrate there; in virtue of this peculiarity there came into being innumerable varieties of living beings and vegetation, and the original quiver pulsates in and through their vital sap. The original will pervades the whole range of moving and immovable things and is constantly active there.

The scintillating characteristic prior to ether is filling every electron and proton and is constantly increasing in strength. As long as the quiver in the atoms is operative, so long the constituents must be in motion. The original will pervades the whole range of moving and immovable beings and is constantly active there.

The original consciousness sees nothing except itself. It has no organs, yet it is in action with innumerable Spiritual Knowledge and the Pacification of the Desire to Know 131 organs. It is never polluted. The various conscious centers hedged by the limiting adjuncts only think they are different from the original source, but there is only one being, one spirit, one quality; formless, timeless, non-spatial, the one, pure consciousness. There is no scope for difference or distinction. The creature, deluded by the narrow interests of “I” and “mine”, suffers pain for nothing, it is limited only to itself. Everything takes place at the proper moment, in accordance with the law that binds all, and everything materializes at the proper moment. When Ravana becomes unbearable Rama is there to give relief. When Kamsa rules supreme, Krishna is there as an antidote. This is how the rhythm of ups and downs is maintained.

The controlling force of all these events is the same, it never changes. It cannot be that there is one God in one age and another in another age.

Just a single quality gives birth to the glow of the expanded universe; in the absence of that one quality, all is pure silence. When this one single quality is known and befriended, the heart mingles with the Heart; there is that supreme sense of inalienable mutuality of oneness of quality in all, and all as belonging to the One. The supreme unity is realized; hence it is called the Supreme Self.

All time, all space and all cause have become one for eternity, the One alone is all-active. It has no gain nor loss nor death. It is unborn, eternal, and yet is born every moment and manifests itself in every epoch. All spiritual and intellectual knowledge comes to rest here

“The Hymn of hymns, oh Uddhava, is the Gayatri hymn. I shall explain it to thee from the beginning to end; pray hear.” (Ekanathi Bhagawata XXI).

The Lord says, “Oh Uddhava, Gayatri hymn is the bedrock of all hymns.” All means many. That in virtue of which this number comes to be experienced is Gayatri. The tri-syllabic A+U+M means Omkar – The Logos. The next step starts with two numbers. The first one is the consciousness of one’s own being. It is the natural characteristic, the unuttered word. It is the unknowingly spoken word given out everywhere and every moment and no one knows about it. This word, uttered unawares, is the Gayatri hymn, the basis of all hymns. Innumerable words are spoken subsequently; and all the universes spring from them, but the prime source of all is the Gayatri Chhandas, the unspoken word, the unuttered sound. Everyone has the same experience, and what is the experience born of this unspoken word? One’s own being.

There are innumerable varieties of being from the ant to the gods, but what is the original being? It is Gayatri. The experience of this being is one’s own being. This Gayatri Chhandas comes first, the rest only follows. The characteristic of that being is explained by the Lord as follows: “What is the nature of that hymn? Even though there be the power to create innumerable universes, it cannot be left hold of.” The original sound of the unasked for, unspoken, unthought of and unuttered word was born in the form of Chakrapani and it is unique to him; but not recognizing it, the Perfect has come to be a deplorable creature through graded degeneration in the course of the temporal process.

The pursuit of the Chhandas is fascinating. For everyone, it is the same awareness of being, the unspoken word, yet spoken. In spite of the efforts of the four Vedas, six Shastras and eighteen Puranas, its interpretation remains incomplete ? Still there is the uninterrupted fascination for the Gayatri Chhandas.

What does Gayatri Chhandas mean? It is the awareness of your own being, it is whatever you understand without speech. Wherever there is life, there is the hymn to support it. It vibrates in us, and in spite of years of miserable drudgery, we do not feel like parting with it. In virtue of this Gayatri hymn Sri Rama and Sri Vishnu came to this earth as incarnations, but they mastered it. This unwitting consciousness of your own being is the same in us and in them, but they did it consciously and experienced it as such. Other beings get only to the surface of the meaning, which is only a perversion thereof; the yawning of the creatures lets out the syllables A+U+M.

Meditate on the meaning as you have understood above. You are Chakrapani, the being with a thousand hands and heads, the unuttered sound. The word and its resounding sense are the first Person, and are experienced as such. The sign of the experience is complete satisfaction of the mind. Gayatri hymn is the substratum of the satisfaction of all and it bursts forth spontaneously, for the sound is ever glorious. The name that resounds in you without being uttered is your own indwelling spirit.

It is enough if you silently listen to the ten sounds, five resoundings, dual reverberation and the single voice, and the symphony of them all. This basic Gayatri hymn is with you only.

Three groups of eight syllables make one series of twenty-four sounds. Gayatri Mantra consists of twenty-four syllables as follows: Oam, Bhooh, Oam, Bhuvah, Oam, Swaha, Oam, Mahah, Oam, Janah, Oam, Tapah, Oam, Satyam, Tat, Savituih, Varenyam, Bhargah, Devasya, Dhimahi, Dhiyo, Yo, Nah, Prachodayaat. Great Rishis and Saints acquire immense power by reciting this hymn of twenty-four syllables. Innumerable worlds are created and destroyed by its power, but consider the power of the bisyllabic word Rama that easily cancels all this power and rests in perfection.

VEDAS AS BASIC: They were basic to the subsequent interpretation, hence they are called basic, but the primal root, first cause of everything is this hymn.

THE BEATITUDE OF BRAHMAN: The experience of one’s own being, of the vision of one’s own Self and the eventual peace that is unparalleled is called Brahmananda. The experience of one’s own nature without the help of others is later on interpreted as the Great Beatitude, (Paramananda).

SPIRITUAL LIFE: Just as there is the luster of luster, so also is Gayatri Chhandas the very life of spirit. The Lord says, “I am hidden and it is my treasure, but that which hides me also reveals me. How do I appear when seen? Surely as non-dual, non-different. He who listens to the vibrating hymn is hidden. With the devout recitation of this hymn everything will be distinctly clear, for it is already there; but if one wishes to realize my vision without it, he will have it, and it will be Advaita – non-dual.” (The reference is to Nama yoga as an easy alternative to Dhyana or Raja Yoga.) What do the syllables of this immovable one signify? Absolute bliss of the Self, it is Sat (being), Chit (consciousness), and Ananda (beatitude). This is the essence of the Gayatri hymn. Its contemplation confers absolute bliss.

Self-Knowledge by Nisargadatta

First published on the Internet by Edward Muzika, August 22, 2005 -