Spring 2009

From Babaji’s Classes on the Mainland, April-May

From the unreal to the Real

These darshanas [philosophical systems] of India form one composite mass of realization of the Seers of India.  Call it Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Truth).  It is not based on one savior or teacher, or a single scripture or book.  It’s wide open and catholic.  It is the Mother of Wisdom.  These nondual scriptures are not called Eternal for nothing; they are concerned with That which is beyond time, space, and causation.  In Vedanta teachings, in Yoga, Sankhya, and Vasishtha’s Yoga, the Primordial Souls, or the First Born of the 10 Manus, teach what is subtlemost.  Western people haven’t penetrated the limits of either causation or matter.  The Seers see what is Eternal, and while embodied, they demonstrate this view.

These scriptures were created so we could pierce through maya and see our true nature.  The rishis saw their true nature first, and then expressed these scriptures.  When we see the Atman, we will have no problem with maya.

Swami Vivekananda said that there are two tendencies in life: the attempt to bring Truth down to one’s comfort zone, or the attempt to raise oneself up to It.  You have to meditate upon It.  Struggle and wrestle with It in meditation.  Be like the oyster that takes the irritating grain of sand and turns it into a pearl.  Take the irritation of the world — passions, pleasure and pain, life and death — and make of them the occasion to realize the Atman within.

Vedanta entertains the topics of how Maya fools us and how to get unfooled.  Maya is simply name and form in time and space based upon causality.  Maya is a veiling power first, a distorting power next.  And if you take it far enough, you will find it is a revelatory power as well. Why?  Because everything is a reflection of Brahman.  “The moon in a mud puddle makes you look at the real moon.”  But Maya makes what is good (sense control, detachment, sadhana) look bad, and what is bad (uncontrolled passions, desires, superficialities) look good.  Maya doesn’t change Brahman; for Truth is unchanging.  It just obscures It.  Waking up is all about seeing through appearances.

As long as we’re in the realm of name and form we are in maya.  Whenever you see forms, time, space, matter, energy, thought — this is maya.  It is like being in a fog bank and not knowing which way to go.  Climb a hill and get up above it.  Then you will know how it works.  While you are in it, it is futile.

It is the nature of name and form to veil Reality.  The manomaya kosha (sheath of dual mind) is filled with the obscuring power of tamas and the distorting or decentralizing power of rajas.  These two powers of maya are also called avarana (veiling) and vikshepa (distorting).  A mind full of these two powers cannot detect true Reality.  So the task of the sadhaka is to render that mind clear, or at least sattvik.  If your mind can be controlled and held in sattva (peace, equipoise, balance) the better chance you have of seeing your true nature, Absolute Reality.  This process is called purification.  Purity in India is defined as how close to the Source something is, rather than on dualities like clean and dirty, moral and immoral.

Why is studying maya ineffectual?  [studying nature as science and social science do for some ultimate answer] Until you get a glimpse of your stationary Self you will be observing an ever fluctuating panorama from a mechanism [mind] that is also always shifting.  Therefore you will be unable to get a reliable (solid/stable) reading of anything.

Pushing a bunch of garbage — this is what we usually do with our mind.  There is no such thing as a good world.  It is like saying “hot ice.”  The Seers want you to get into a stable “place” — unchanging — and witness all phenomena from that steady wisdom.

The densest form of ignorance is to take the body for the Self and the Self for the body.  The first thing maya does is to delude you into thinking you are a body.  Disease and pain are not the real danger here; forgetting “who I am” is the real danger.  So how long will it take me as an embodied being to realize who I am?

From Babaji’s elucidation on the chart, The 12 Levels of Vairagya:
The Tejobindu Upanisad states that liberation is achieved via vairagya (detachment), utsaha (enthusiasm), and gurubhakti (devotion to the Teacher).  Knowledge is the result of non-attachment. 

The middle stages of vairagya, detachment, are based upon satiety — nothing satisfies or can satisfy.  But at the upper levels of vairagya you are getting a transmission of jnana from your own Self, and that Intelligence is the basis of all.  Ultimate detachment comes from that.

Sadurmi, the Six Transformations of birth, growth, disease, old age, decay, and death — none of these are fun.  Growth may seem the best of them, but you are complete already.  If this is the truth, then why did you get into a body and think you have to grow?

Waking up is what spirituality is about.  There is brain, and then mind, and then beyond the mind where one is heading for Eternal Existence.  Brains are many, but mind is one.  And as you make your mind pure, you realize it is one with the Cosmic Mind.

Turiya, samadhi, is exceptionally joyful and blissful.  It doesn’t take any thing to make you happy.

Good, Better, Best
Vedanta wants to set the record straight cosmologically, philosophically, and spiritually.  These can be termed good, better, and best. 

It is good to know the cosmology; people get so confused without it.  It is better to know philosophy.  But it is best to know Spirituality.
[A cosmology shows the origins of the universe and living beings.  Indian cosmology, found in the Sankhya Philosophy, enumerates 24 cosmic principles for the purpose of showing that these are all the non-Self.]

When your ignorance dies about cosmology, philosophy, and spirituality, you might as well say you are enlightened.  There are always higher and higher levels of enlightenment, but ignorance and doubt are gone.

Get yourself an Ideal [a spiritual Ideal, God in Form or quality].  It’s not a crutch, it’s an aid.  If a fundamentalist Christian says Jesus is they only way, I say, “Amen brother.” But “my” Jesus, if I look at Him straight on, looks like Jesus.  But if I look at Him from one side He looks like Buddha.  And from another side He looks like Mohammed.  Vedanta is nondenominational.  It just wants you to choose an Ideal.  The best thing you can do with your time is to attain Realization.

While discussing The 9 Ways of Dealing with Desire:
When you begin yearning for God, this separates you from those who are yearning for objects.  You can’t enjoy what doesn’t exist, what to speak of what gets taken away from others as you enjoy.  All objects are empty, substanceless, and besides, they get lost, stolen, destroyed, or you become bored with them.  Or, you can look at it this way: don’t try to satisfy your desires while thinking the world is real.  You can only satisfy them in Dharma.

Asamavedana (non-receptivity to desire) – This is like stepping aside when desire comes at you.  If you are watering the flowers (practicing sadhana; concentrating on Truth), as you bend over, the desire goes right by you.  But if you’re watering the weeds, it smacks you!

Destroying desire by austerity — This makes you feel strong, and it is like taking the water away from the weeds of desire and putting it all on what is Real, Brahman.

There are two kinds of desire: desires that cause you to attach to the world, and desires that help you let go of the world.  By thinking that all desires are the same and that desire for God is a common “desire” you will short circuit your spiritual life.

Sadhana (spiritual practice) is spirituality’s gift to you on how to remake yourself under your own steam.  Sadhana is different from therapy and conventional religion — it is not about dredging up good and bad, or moral and immoral, but about watering the flowers (placing one’s attention on one’s ever pure, ever free nature).  Name and form should not impinge on knowing yourself as formless Spirit.

Tasmat, tat twam Asi; prashantam, amalam, brahmadvayam yat param. (Therefore, That thou art: Peace, free of imperfections, one without a second, and Supreme.)  Meditate on this — don’t focus on malas (imperfections).  Concentrate on what’s Real, True, and Beneficial.  Water the flowers and you won’t have to do any weeding.

Triputis — Teachings that come in Threes
1 — Dualists pray to a God outside themselves.  They do not yet have a connection with God inside themselves.  Thus, Jesus would say to these devotees, “Pray to your Father in heaven.”

2 — Qualified non-dualists have made that connection with God inside.  To them, Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches.”

3 — For non-dualists, it is no longer a matter of “connection” but full identity.  Thus, Jesus said, “I and my Father are One,” and “Be thee perfect as thy Father in Heaven.”

The closer you get to God, the more you feel that I am That. The great Upanisadic statement “I am God” is a matter for realization, not for merely talking or pontificating about.  One has to unify the wave with the ocean by realizing water.  <><><>

1 — Put your mind on the Lord — this is the Bhakta’s Way, the way of the devotee following the path of devotion. 

2 — Observe your consciousness — This is the Yogi’s way, the way of meditation. 

3 — Put your mind on the Wisdom Teachings — This is the Jnani’s way, the way of study and discrimination between the Real and the unreal.

Is spirituality a luxury, as some people feel in this day and time?  No, it is a necessity.  Spiritual Practice keeps confusion and depression at bay.  By keeping your center in Atman, you will become a witness of phenomena instead of its victim.  <><><>

1 — The first self is the ego self.

2 — The second Self is Purusha, the individual Soul, the Seer/Witness that stands above mind and intellect.  It is above phenomena.  It has a trace of I-ness and my-ness.  Though high, it thinks in terms of form.

3 — The third Self is the Atman, the pure individual Self – Param, Supreme.

The first and second selves disappear in deep sleep and in the Absolute.  The Absolute is the support of all. <><><>

Therefore, be thou a yogi…..
Yoga wants you to separate the seer from the seen. Ignorance is the seer identifying with the seen instead of the Self.

In an immature state, separating oneself from matter is called abhava/emptiness.  In a mature state, one sees that nature has come out of oneself.

The thinking process causes everything to appear.  It takes the place of creationism in our tradition.

The ordinary person sees the smaller and smaller particles of nature, even down to the nanometer, and thinks, “How can I make money from this knowledge?”  But the yogi asks, “How can I realize what’s beyond particles and ever unified?”

If you meditate on the elements yogically, you get transcendence.  You master them in turn, looking at their good/bad qualities.  The aim is to render the elements insentient, as they are.  There is nothing mystical about them.  They are just natural.  When you get to ether (space) you see there are actually five akashas (spaces or dimensions) and not just this space of matter humans have thus far been concerned with and consumed by.

From dreams Awake, from bonds be Free……
The waking state may be a dream, but it’s not like the dreams of the dream state.  In the waking state we are dreaming veins, nerve endings, blood, bile, excreta, etc.  It is painful because the mind is set in this — the waking state.  This is the nightmare central; horrors are dreamed here. And it isn’t just your dream, but a collective dream.  We are doing this together.  But we are like the wizard who creates a world and enters into it for sport, and then forgets he created it, getting trapped there.

Life and death are dragging your soul through a series of dreams.

Do you wake up in the middle of the night?  Maybe Mother is trying to wake you up.  Meditate — don’t medicate.  At the time of Brahma Muhurta, most beings are asleep and energy is more calm.  Meditating between 1 and 4 am is thus very good.

“Aham Brahmasmi” (I am Brahman)  Does the wave call itself the Ocean?  No, but it can say “I am water.” And if all the waves stop, is the wave the Atman?  It just doesn’t come up.

We’re all dreaming.  There is just one Atman and all these objects.  But Atman doesn’t go from state to state.

Purusha, the witnessing soul, drinks in knowledge, unmoved and unchanged.  Atman doesn’t do this, because it is One without a second.

You can’t say Brahman is the cause of anything.  That’s a no-no in Vedanta.  You should say it is the Uncaused Cause, the Unmoved Mover.

Pithy Points to Ponder

We have to make a distinction between Shakti and maya.  Maya is Shakti’s realm where thought can become solidified.

Why would you have intentions for a world that is unreal?

If you see yourself as Spirit, you will give up the world.

Brahman is not a thing to be discussed, or something to be conceptualized or debated about.  It is the Reality Itself — you have to be there.

Mind is conditioned to think in terms of time and space.  Our problem is that we don’t realize that Consciousness doesn’t take up space.

Teenagers come to me with “No Fear” written on their T-shirts.  What does that mean to you? I ask.  Does it mean to take a skateboard down a handrail?  I can give you another definition of “No Fear” — transcending the body, ego, birth, and death.

[Speaking of the Impersonal God]: It is not that It isn’t personal, but that personalities come out of It.

Mind is a container of the worlds.