Winter 2008

Selected Class Notes from Babaji’s Winter classes in Oregon, San Francisco, and the Prison classes – Dec. 2008 to Jan. 2009

SRV Ashram[Babaji’s arrival in Portland coincided with the snowiest weather in Portland in decades.  For two weeks snow chains and tires, skis, sleds, snow shoes, and snow shovels were a daily experience and sight for all. It was a challenge for many students to come, and those with four wheel drive helped the others. Those of us in the ashram experienced that rare hush that falls upon an urban dwelling when snow blankets the rooftop.] 

[“Sarva Shukla” — All white, is the epithet given to Saraswati, Goddess of the Word, who sets in motion that Knowledge that becomes the worlds of name and form and the Wisdom teachings that lead us back to our Source.  Our weeks with Babaji were, as always, a constant flow of Mother’s Wisdom.  Following are some excerpts.] 

We’ve had a lot of precipitation, but we want another kind of precipitation: that of a rain of Knowledge.  It can’t be seen like rain and snow, nor is it impeding like the elements.  It is all-pervasive, vyapti,  and all inclusive, changeless, eternal, deathless, indivisible, and not subject to transformation like everything else in the realms of name and form.

Other groups will take you through one darshana (philosophical system), but in SRV, we’ve been going through several of the main darshanas including Buddhism.  In terms of Yoga, we’ve arrived at the study of the the 7th and 8th Limbs.  In terms of Vedanta, in our study of the Vivekachudamani (Crest Jewel of Discrimination), we have studied slokas numbering in the 300s, which are the verses dealing with attaining and possessing Brahman.  In terms of SRV’s evolution, for over 18 years we’ve tackled different methods.  But we have now reached these verses when many of us are at the point of our individual awareness where we’re applying them in terms of meditation, and how to bring the mind under control.

If you have dhyan (meditation practice) and jnan (sacred study) in your life, then the teachings will adhere to your mind and reach deep.  Sri Ramakrishna would describe those devoid of dhyan and jnan like the pigeon who eats all the peas you feed it, yet when you pick the pigeon up you find the peas have not reached the stomach to be digested; they are stuck in its craw.  In other words, beings who simply hear the teachings but do not practice will be unable to assimilate them.  So you must meditate on these Truths.

Lex Hixon (founder of SRV Associations) used to go up to people who had just been initiated, grab them by the shoulders, and say “Do you know what’s just happened?  You’ve just been illumined!”

Holy Mother stated, “Don’t seek God, see God.”  She’s putting you in the moment.  Maybe you have hope for a postmortem emancipation, but that puts freedom at arm’s length.

Chambers of Knowledge
[One of Babaji’s teaching themes during the Winter trip concerned Chambers of Knowledge.  From the yogic and rishi view, all objects, gross or subtle, are manifestations of knowledge. Before the object, is the idea and knowledge of the object.  The idea is a vibration in the individual or cosmic mind, and all vibration begins with Om.  Thus the different gross, subtle, or causal realms and their inhabitants are manifestations (chambers) of knowledge existing simultaneously in our minds.  Therefore, we can choose to have darshan with our ancestors, or with the elementals, with saints or minor deities, with sages, seers, or saviors, or even with the cosmic Trinity and Ishvara.  The purpose of this teaching is several fold: to free oneself of the fear of death (for our existence is not dependent upon this physical reality); to encourage aspirants to qualify themselves for authentic spiritual experiences (before death comes) via training the mind to enter more subtle states; and to recognize and become absorbed in That which lies beyond all changing realms and experiences.]

Mind is an open door to the different realms.  You can tune it.  It is a receptor of inner states…like wisdom and revelation.  We shouldn’t leave revelation to the moment of death.

Western man, even contemporary man in general, is not driven to have divine experiences, but to have sensual experiences.  But the seeking after spiritual realization is the goal of human life.

You can’t dislocate ether (space); it is so subtle.  But physical space is a key into more subtle akashas (realms). Prana, or lifeforce, is more subtle than physical space.  It is not made up of magnetic, electric, or kinetic energy.  Further, mind is more subtle than prana, and is the doorway into inner realms — like stacked states of consciousness.  Individual mind is powerful, and more powerful is collective mind, and most powerful of all is the Cosmic Mind.

Your mind’s thoughts are particles, gross to subtle.  The world of the ancestors is like the pranic particles, a realm of lifeforce, lower and higher wherein one also finds the elementals and other pranically preoccupied beings like the siddhas, munis, and shamans.  Heaven is not a very high place; it is just a place of more pleasure and less pain.  After the realm of the ancestors, is the celestial realms made of high beings who still enjoy the power of domination, and they have their votaries.  When they return to earth, they are “great” beings, like explorers, conquerors, etc., like “big men,” Vivekananda called them.  No big deal.  They are just people interested in and vested with more penchant for power than others.  But beyond this realm is the subtle space of Intelligence.  It is occupied by saints, seers, sages, saviors.  They have causal bodies made of particles of pure Intelligence.  Subtler than this realm is the Trinity that operates the cosmic process.  Those are great, illumined Souls that oversee this process.  What is beyond the Trinity?  Meditate [and enter the higher samadhis].  “My Father’s mansion has many chambers.”  What does that sound like to you? A house on a hill?  No, the entire sweep lies inside of you.

When you die, if you want to see your relatives or the angels, you will go there — it’s just one step in.  But the devotee is not going to go to death crying “mommy, mommy!”  The devotee will be thinking of Krishna, or the Almighty Father, and this will take him or her up through all those levels to Om, and the Godhead – Brahman.

You can only go so far after physical disembodiment if you’ve only thought about your ancestors or relatives while you were living on earth.  But if you have been meditating on the great beings (Krishna, Jesus, Ramakrishna, etc), you are going to be led to formlessness.  All Hindu Deities have the sacred syllable Om on their hands.  This is the bija for formless Reality.  So meditating on Ishvara is meditating on Om — the Source of all form and the gateway to Formless Reality/Brahman/Tathagatagarbha/Allah….

In meditation you have an opportunity to prove to yourself that you are beyond matter, energy, and thought.  Intelligence is the beginning of formlessness and the end of grosser particles.

Mind has created everything; all this is desire.  Space comes from the desire to move; time from the desire to act; causation from the fructification of desire.  Mind creates all this, not God.

The dichotomy of inner and outer is always flummoxing the mind and causing it to fixate on dualities.

Thoughts form the worlds of name and form, so we have to look at our thoughts, inspect our thoughts, then detach from them.  Be the witness of thoughts (ego), refine your buddhi (intellect) and finally return the manas (dual mind) to one-pointedness — then you render the antahkarana as a cognizer of Reality.

Vedanta separates the brain from the mind and the mind from Intelligence.  The brain can be damaged, but the mind is different, and Intelligence is Mother, Herself.  She is the power of comprehension at the very core of everything.  Intelligence is beyond thoughts.

The simplest way to express the philosophy of yoga is: a problem has cropped up between the Seer and the seen; they have gotten mixed up with one another, and now you need to concentrate on the Seer and let the layer, the false superimposition (the seen), over what is eternally perfect (the Seer), drop away.

The whole thing about Yogic practice is first to gain control and then to get Peace.  Peace is the spring board to everything else. 

The human brain can narrow to the lowest levels, to just a few of the senses.  But even at higher levels it is still only operating at the intellectual level.  But all this is still the realm of the changing.  So we need to stop the brain, that is, stop vibration.  Meditation and samadhi are the best ways to stop vibration.  Practice collapsing space [first gross, then subtle] and thought vibration will cease.  Having an inner life will put you in noble company.  Meditate on or envision this:  “I am a sun; I know no darkness.”

To practice samadhi is to practice formlessness.

Holy Mother states, “The universe is simply mind made manifest.”  This congealing power of the mind is called sankalpa.  If we recognize this power, then we realize that God is not a Creator and nothing is ever really created at all.  It is projected by the mind [gross, subtle, and causal realms and all they contain].  Now, if the senses are hooked into a pure mind, then one sees everything as God. [“pure,” shuddha, in Sanskrit, refers to what is closest to the Source, Brahman, while the word, impure, refers to all that is far flung from its source.]

How do you qualify the mind for formlessness?  You have to ingest and digest the different levels of particles [particles of matter, prana, thought, intelligence].  And if you replace klistha vrttis [pain-bearing thoughts] with aklishta vrttis [non-pain-bearing thoughts], then you get rid of the kleshas, the obstacles to meditation [dullness, restlessness, attachment, aversion, attachment to subtle bliss].  And this is the process of qualification.  When you get lost in higher thoughts, you get samadhi — one opens into another realm.  The yogi looks out and in simultaneously.  You’ve now qualified yourself for chit matra.  When you feel peace in meditation, you’ve dropped attention away from gross thought and you’re firing up the mind — charging up the chitta.  To do this you plug yourself into some source, like wisdom.  A dull mind is like the chitta without a charge.  When you charge up the chitta, everything looks different and buoyant.  Pretty soon you develop a samskara for a buoyant, upward mind and thoughts.  There’s a difference between this samskara in a worldly person as compared to a Seer.

Consciousness can take any form It wants.  Life is but a dream, a mental projection.
Your mind is a particle-generating machine.
Your mind is a particle-distributing machine.
Your mind is a particle-destroying machine.

If you knew what matter was, you wouldn’t want to be one with it.  Matter is insentient, it decays, it is finite, nonexistent.

Out of the Mayic Fog Bank
How is Maya unfigurable?  It is unfigurable from within it.  But if you stand back, you can get some perspective.  It is like standing in a fog bank.  If you stand above the fog bank you can see it, and you can see the sun burn it away.  Sri Ramakrishna tells us not to study maya, but rather to recognize its presence and detach from it.

The whole problem of good and evil and suffering is to not take them as real.  You should see them as darkness in a cave, or a fog bank.  You have to find a transcendent point to get a perspective.  If you are lost in a thick forest you must climb the highest tree to the very top.  From this statement you get my gist….

If you want to see Brahman you have to dig out of Maya — that’s sadhana, spiritual effort.  Without this, you only have spiritual complacency in the world.

The mind has been forged in maya.  It can’t figure things out from within maya.  You have to get above the fog bank of maya.  You think it’s real, but it isn’t; you call it unreal, but then it seems real.  It is diaphanous.  If name, form, time, and space were real, they’d be real in deep sleep too.  In deep sleep, death, samadhi, the world, and ego go away.

I salute the deities and cosmic forces, but they are all in maya.  But they can act as gateways out of maya.  Matter, energy, and thought are maya.  Brahman, the ultimate Reality, is not any of these.

The human mind has the potential to transcend individual and cosmic mind and to get to its Source.

Pithy Points to Ponder……
When you think of Jesus, you think of Christianity.  When you think of Buddha, you think of Buddhism.  But when you think of Sri Ramakrishna, you think outside the box — you think of universality.

Neo-Advaitists and some Buddhists want to take all form away.  This is pulling the carpet out from under people.  Most beings need to keep the Son to get to the Father.  You want the ancestors and gods and goddesses in order to trace your origins to Reality.  You transcend them as you go.  They aren’t Real — like a mirage that doesn’t moisten the sand at all — but all of form can point you to the Real.  It depends upon how the mind uses them.

[Overheard by Babaji in India on a bus:]Student: How do you change the world?
Guru: The world is change.  How do you change change?  It is not possible.  You have to change your mind instead.  If you change your mind, then everything else will change for the better.

Those who shun pain and seek to avoid it by pleasure create circumstances where they cannot trace the causes of the effects they are undergoing.  This creates cycles.  And the cycles are long.

When a person gets satiation of pleasure, he feels how insipid it all is.  It’s like feeling fat all the time — gluttonousness — and so renunciation begins to grow.

God is not in the world; the world is in God (Vivekananda).  You can’t realize the Infinite in the finite, but the finite is in the Infinite (Aseshananda).

Prove Truth to yourself:
by renunciation as the monk/nun does,
by Dharmic life as the householder does,
by listening to Om the way the yogi does,
by study of scripture and wisdom the way the jnani does.

You can’t understand Advaita unless you understand karma and its workings first. 

If you get to the Father through the Son, you’re all right.  But if you negate the Son and try to get to the Father, you’re in for trouble.