Winter Retreat: Note & Reflections

Panchadasi and Panchakarana Retreat in Seattle

February 26 – March 2, 2015

Over the years, Babaji has presented India’s cosmology from various perspectives.  First, via Sankhya and the 24 Cosmic Principles, then via Patanjali’s 8-Limbed Yoga system that takes each cosmic principle up for analytical contemplation for the purpose of involution to attain states of samadhi.  In synthesis mode, he has presented the Vedantic and Yogic view via the teaching of “Dissolving the Mind Stream” that reveals how embodiment and evolution from AUM to the physical realm takes place in “fives” – groupings of five cosmic principles.  In this retreat, Babaji once again focused on this teaching of “fives,” or “pancha” in Sanskrit, and revealed important facets to enable sangha members to practice involution in meditation more deeply and discrimination between the Self and non-Self more seamlessly.  A few statements from this retreat are offered below.

Vedanta is an underground movement.  It makes a Christian a better Christian, a Hindu a better Hindu, etc.  Vedanta does not want to overcome other religions, but to clarify religion.

Mithyajnan is false knowledge due to vivarta, false superimposition, symbolized in these examples from the Vedanta: seeing a snake in a rope; the son of a barren woman; a man in a stump.  Mithyajnan is like seeing a snake in a rope.  Only Brahman is real; the world is like the projected snake.  Simply put, form covers the formless Essence.

[One of the first sets of fives that Babaji presented were the five aspects of Maya:  name, form, time, space, and causation.]  If you take up a name and a form you get restricted to them, and become identified with them.  You then move in time and are subject to its phases of past, present, and future.  You also assume space to be real, and fixate on only the physical space, forgetting the internal spaces within you.  All of this makes you subject to cause and effect, and your acts produce karma that brings you back into form later, in future lifetimes.  Basically, a form is produced and is assigned a name.  Assuming an ego around this temporary condition, it then moves about in space and spends its time creating karma for itself.  This is called life in relativity.  Unfortunately, and in most cases, dharmic life, divine life, and Eternal Life are forgotten in relativity.  So quickly, count to five and then take stock of where and who you are…..

What is the efficacy of knowing all these “5-s” that appear in India’s cosmology and philosophy? You thereby come to know the non-Self – Anatman.  Additionally, knowing these enables one to achieve a conscious death.  One then sees how embodiment marches out from the Mind as mental projection.  With this knowledge intact again, one can have a conscious death and an illumined birth, like the Tibetan Masters, for instance.

Beyond morality is dharma; Beyond heaven (sattva) is transcendence.  Beyond your intense and necessary spiritual discipline phase is the innate perfection of your Self – Atman.

Nowadays people do not have time to practice the full dissolution of the mind stream meditation, in knowledge of all qualities and characteristics of the Cosmos.  Most of the cosmos exists within; only the physical part of it — the tip of the iceberg — exists externally.  By dissolving the mind’s projections back into its Source, man realizes the mutable nature of worlds and objects.  He can then master the mind and its processes, and realize his own true nature as being transcendent of thought, energy, and matter.

The hidden truth about objects is not only that they are empty and unable to bring fulfillment, but especially that all objects are pointers to Brahman, to Eternal Existence.

God cannot be a form or be caught in time and space.  What we are actually seeing is Maya, Nature, Mind, Energy, etc.  The nondual, formless Brahman lies beyond all these, yet infills them all as well.

How am I going to see God in objects?  With Love eyes.  And I will hear God with Love ears, as Sri Ramakrishna explained.  But I can never assign God to name and form, except by Divine sport, or playful assumption.  The only way to see God in form is via the Avatar.  The Word, AUM, also suggests form – not when “….it was God,” but when “….it was with God.”

The awareness of cessation spoken of by the ancient seers and masters of meditation summates as the awareness that I am always left when everything else dissolves.

Q: How do I reconcile that the non-Self reflects Brahman and that the non-Self has the Essence of Brahman within?
Babaji: Light gets revealed according to the vehicle it manifests in, and Consciousness, or Awareness, is the determinator.  Where veils are lifted, God is present.  Where they art not, God may as well not exist at all.

Coming to retreat is not so much about leaving the world outside, but about getting a grip on what is real.  Having right orientation is one of the most important qualities required in spiritual life, especially at the beginning.

Intelligence is not contained anywhere; it is a flow.

I teach by the “inundation method”: We inundate you with dharma teachings as often as you attend.  You can never know it all, so this wash of unique wisdom thwarts the rise of the ego.  The problem of “my knowledge,” which vacillates between pride and shame when meeting people with more or less knowledge, then gets truncated.  Now the student is free to gather gems from the dharma storehouse without feeling the need to count them.  Later, and due to this inundation method, the student naturally shifts to the “sponge method” and squeezes out what he or she cannot hold at the time, concentrating fully on what remains.  As Holy Mother often said, “The Guru teaches many things, and all of them are true.  But it will be enough for you to grasp one of those great thoughts and dive deep with it.”