The Superlative Practitioner

Friends, students, devotees, and disciples:

       Babaji Bob KindlerTo all those who are actively and consciously living a spiritual life in the world, and even to those who are merely attempting to do so, I offer my profound salutations and the eternal support of my tradition and lineage gurus.

       Over recent days my mind has been dwelling on the theme of perseverance, teamed up with the natural spontaneity that comes to the practitioner who has maintained a practice, day by day, over a number of years. Like so many attainments in this world, authentic spirituality comes to bear on the human soul via concentration married to substantial self-effort. But unlike the merits and gains of this world, it is not a prize or addendum to be added on to other acquisitions, nor is it an “acquired taste”; it is more of a deep and ancient memory that recurs once the soul enters into sadhana, remembering over time and with practice its inherent connection with Divine Reality.

       In the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna tells his young charge (Arjuna) that there are basically two ways to form an enlightened attitude, or mental asana, around Truth. The first is to know, without a doubt, that the embodied soul is one with Reality, never separate, and that it has its apparent life and apparent death in That only. Secondly, and failing such a grand position, and while temporarily trying to realize the import of such a nondual stance, the soul is to look upon all things alive as destined for death, and all things dying to be headed back into life. To cap off this double teaching, He states: “Where is the grief in either of these positions?” One is nondualistic, the other, qualified-nondualistic. Permanence and perseverance take on whole new meanings under the auspice of such an illumined twin perspective.

       Swami Vivekananda’s way of expressing this selfsame message runs something like this: “In this universe where nothing is lost, where we live in the midst of death-in-life, every thought that is thought, in public and in private, in crowded thoroughfare or in the deep recesses of primeval forests, lives. They are continuously trying to become self-embodied, and until they have embodied themselves they will struggle for expression, and any amount of repression cannot kill them. Nothing can be destroyed. Those thoughts that caused evil in the past are also seeking embodiment, to be filtered through repeated expression and, at last, transfigured into perfect good. As such, there is a mass of thought which is at the present time struggling to get expression. This new thought is telling us to give up our dreams of dualism, of good and evil in essence and, the still wilder dreams of suppression. It teaches us that higher direction and not destruction is the law. It teaches us that it is not a world of bad and good, but good and better — and still better. It stops short of nothing but acceptance. It teaches that no situation is hopeless, and as such accepts every form of mental, moral, or spiritual thought where it already stands, and without a word of condemnation tells it that so far it has done good, now is the time to do better. What in old times was thought of as the elimination of bad, it teaches as the transfiguration of evil and the doing of better. It above all teaches that the kingdom of heaven is already in existence if we will have it, that perfection is already in man if he will but see it.”

       Of course, the final sentence above describes the first stance that Sri Krishna tells Arjuna on the battlefield of life (kuru, attached; kshetra, field of life/mind). In the nondual perspective, Advaita, all considerations such as beginnings and endings, i.e., life and death, are rendered nil. Only the eternal Soul, Atman, is; “none else exists.”

       This nearly unimaginable truth and its sublime “attainment” is approached, tenderly and gingerly, with great reverence and divine anticipation, by all sincere souls who hold an ongoing practice. More than holding it, the superlative practitioner will impress it so deeply on the mindstuff(chitta-vrittis) that soon, and almost without knowing it, nonduality will take the soul over, and thereafter become the modus operandi for all that the embodied being thinks and does in the worlds of name and form.

       This is the dawning of Enlightenment, and the inner import of the term and principle called spiritual self-effort, or sadhana. All forms of ignorance are annihilated in its wake — avidya, samsara, maya, etc. As the great Swami has said, again: “You may go on for eternity inside this net for happiness, and you will find much — and much evil too. To have good and no evil is childish nonsense. It is all misery, this samsara, don’t you see! Bless me that my heart may wax strong with the supreme strength Divine, and all forms of maya may be foiled off from me far away.”

Om, Peace, Peace Peace
Babaji Bob Kindler
Spiritual Director, SRV Associations
Hanuman Jayanti, April 25th, 2013