Notes from Babaji's Classes (thematically arranged)
Hawaii, Oregon, and prison classes from June to August, 2009NON-ORIGINATION & NON-TRANSFORMATION
There are 2 laws of Nondualism:
): There is no birth and no death. Creation (out of nothing) is not possible; something is always present, though most often unseen, unnoticed, due to the human mind's preoccupation with objects and senses. There is no origin to anything; everything always exists. It all exists in the Word, which is the remote cause of everything. So it is only a matter of manifestation or nonmanifestation in cycles - the cycles themselves being unoriginated (without beginning or end). Thus, the greatest of mantras, "Sarvosmi - Everything Is."
2 - Aparinama
): Reality is changeless. So why all this constant flux and change? It is apparent only, not actual. Penetrate these appearances to that stable foundation of everything, which is Consciousness. Birth, growth, disease, death -- these all seem to be but never are, as in a reflection, dream, play, projection, etc.....
The fundamental fact that Brahman doesn't transform should become one's barometer in life -- and that fact will make of you a disbeliever, and a nonparticipant in the perplexing play of Maya.
Reality never changes: thus, about anything that does change -- mind, life, intellect, life/death -- one will make a distinction. Thereafter all objective phenomena will show up as unreal.
We've been raised under the influence of this misleading idea of beginnings, middles, and endings, when these junctures are never actually happening. We've been raised among the concepts of birth, life, and death, but they do not really occur. There is just one indivisible Existence. Called and pointed out as "existence," it merely and always "exists." Upon the surface of That, names and forms rise and fall. This is called play or sport, like children let loose from class. After recess is over, however, it might as well never have occurred. Like a bird flying through the air, no external trace of it is ever seen.
Question: So what is the reason for reincarnation?
Babaji: Remember that all the worlds are in your mind. That is where manifestation takes place, only seemingly. We don't talk about karma and reincarnation on the same page as nonduality. They are relative truths. If you want to prove to yourself that reincarnation and relativity are unreal, you have to realize the nondual/actionless state to be True.
Reduce everything that appears before, and within you, into the Atman. The changeful is not the Atman. What lies behind it, the Unchanging, is That. That is why Sri Krishna states blissfully, "The unreal never is; the real never ceases to be....."
Do appearances actually change? How can they, when they spring from That which is non-transformational by nature?
Everything exists all the time, sometimes manifested, and sometimes unmanifested. Scientists, religionists, etc, only know about the state. But the seer and yogi perceive the unmanifested - and what lies beyond it.
The ancient rishis didn't teach their children that they were "growing up." They taught them they were changeless. All growth occurs in nature. The Soul is like a central stationary pole and everything is moving around it.
Aparinama, non-transformation, is the highest truth. Nothing changes. It only seems to. So we have to stop telling our children that they are growing, and thinking that our ancestors have died, when they have only bi-located to another part of their consciousness - like walking from one room to another.
As my guru remarked, the view of the Evolutionist seems to be that if I want to go visit my ancestors, I have to go to the zoo. At least religion admits that we are humans. Here is where Adam and Eve have it all over Darwin.....
What does "cut in the image of God" mean? That you are birthless, deathless, inexhaustible, indivisible, unchanging, etc. Hold this "image" in your mind.
The problem with moods is that when we are in a foul mood and do an act, we feel guilty and bad about it. And if we are in a good mood and do something, we feel pride, pleasure, etc. The ego has its finger in all these pots. But the freeing teaching of the gunas is that the gunas are a part of nature, not the Self. Tamas conceals and rajas distorts. Most people who live a happy (sattvic) life still never know themselves. They are simply happy, healthy animals. Goodness, righteousness, even contentment and dharma are not enough to gain Freedom from all things. To gain Enlightenment one must get into a nondual state, pure and simple.....
The ego is most subtle. It is the last thing to dissolve before deep sleep and the first thing to emerge upon returning from deep sleep.
The nondual state is reached in four ways: deep sleep, death, meditation, samadhi. Unfortunately, the first two of these are still attended by cause and effect, thus conditioned awareness. Practice the latter two and realize the unconditional Self.
THE NATURE OF OBJECTS, EXPERIENCE, RENUNCIATION
Question: Why were people so into Cosmic Consciousness some decades ago?
Babaji: Many beings tend toward drugs, pleasure, and sensationalism, which means that if you are not ready for renunciation you will lean more toward dipping the brain and senses into the occult. Cosmic Consciousness is an experience, but Realization is not an experience. It is where the distinction between experience and experiencer disappears.
If you want authentic spiritual experiences you will have to transcend the experiences of nature. The Soul does not really abide in the body or in nature, so how could one get a spiritual experience from a substance of nature? True spiritual experiences are rare, and nondependent upon external stimulae.
Your Consciousness is transcendent of matter, energy, and thought.
If you go to see a Swami Aseshananda, Karmapa, or Swami Brahmananda, you see someone who has surpassed "world weariness" and is truly happy. You become a believer when you see such people and work towards such faith. This is why spirituality only comes from another Soul, not from books, temples, etc.
There should be a label on all objects:
WARNING: This product cannot fulfill you.
In India, parents taught their children to meditate on objects, like the sun, moon, candle flame, etc....and what did they learn? "All of that is insentient, and I am Sentient." This solves all problems. Your mind may be full of objects, but your Self is full of the light of objectless Reality
This is our predicament: that all objects have come out of us, yet when they are taken away we become upset. Imagine the predicament of that man who grasps after things which are already within, and mourns about losing what is always and ever his!
The world can't fulfill you. You are the fulfillment of the world -- it has come out of you.
OM - WAKING, DREAM, & DEEP SLEEP
By meditating on the "M" (dissolution) of AUM you have the opportunity to go back to "A" (creation/projection) -- a new life -- but you also have the opportunity for samadhi, to become like a hailstone falling into the ocean.
Here we are, abiding in the "U" (preservation) of AUM. Our birth has happened and death is yet to come. But why should you accord reality to this? When the past is a dream, and the future is an imagination, why should you imagine the present to be real? The present is also a phase of time. Consciousness is beyond the three phases of time.
The waking state is fastened to the atomic particle. The dream state is fastened to pranic and thought particles. The deep sleep state is not fastened to any particle...and you awake very refreshed from it! But the Ever-awake One is something "completely other," where all particles, even the subtlemost, have dissolved - like sugar granules into hot liquid.
Renunciation is actually deification, like connecting objects, beings, and worlds, to the subtlemost - Anoraniyan. In the waking state people believe in separation. In the dream state divisions begin to break down. They go away completely in deep sleep. Samadhi, beyond these three states, is our true nature.
Time and space are more of an issue in the waking state. Things move slowly here. Space, external space and circumstances, seems more real to us. The dream state doesn't have any solid dimension. Time is as if nonexistent there, as fleeting as a wisp of thought.
The process of mentation gives rise to bodies and worlds. All things are contained in the Word, from which they all get drawn into manifestation. As long as mind functions, one is constantly experiencing manifestation and nonmanifestation.
If one's consciousness is allocated only to the physical in space and time, one suffers a type of "dementia." But dimension
is different. This means the lokas, or subtle realms existing within the mind. There are five of these, and they, too, all exist in you.
If one learns to maintain the same awareness in waking, dreaming, deep sleep, samadhi, etc, then at the time of death one simply sees the rise and fall of forms. That is all. The Self only stands by as witness. So why do you fear death? Simulate it in sleep and meditation and become both aware of and acclimatized to your very own Consciousness.
Your mind is not the brain; it is actually a vast collection of worlds stretching back within your individual self to the Ultimate Self. Lord Brahma ("Creator"/Cosmic Mind) is the last form you will see. Notice the Om sign written on his hand of benediction, and enter the formless state in ecstasy.
The whole point of all this is that you are God embodied and you are enjoying the world through these three states: waking, dream and dreamless sleep. You must inspect and ask, "Where is that light of consciousness coming from in my dream state? Where is it originating from in my deep sleep state? Why did I shut it down or out when I awoke? Why do I tend to always limit my field of awareness in this life?" In this way expand your mind's awareness and get free again.
In deep sleep you are like a fetus in a womb -- completely connected into the Cosmic Mother.
Hindu and Tibetan Traditions haven't lost their cosmology. They have numerous deities and realms. When you die, if you have not realized the Self, you will go to the ancestors unless you have come to know a Deity of a higher or inner realm. With the mantra for that Deity, you can get into that realm. Seek out a teacher.
You have to acclimatize yourself to the higher bhumikas (worlds), have higher thoughts and become noble. If the Kingdom of Heaven is within me, I should go within and perceive it. Otherwise, it is such a predicament: all things have come out of me, yet I cling to objects. But here is the trick of nonattachment: the object came out of me, starting as my own knowledge/idea; so why should I stress so much about the physical manifestation of it? Let it be.
People lose their connection to Truth when they lose their cosmology. Study of cosmology is necessary. You have to connect your physical reality to the deities (sense of smell to the deity of the earth; sense of taste to the deity of water; sense of sight to the deity of the sun, etc.). Deity yoga, or upasana, is very important. So begin to comprehend again the import of a cosmology, and follow that trail of bread crumbs back to your Source. Everyone rues hearing of a culture that has lost its cosmology. And here in America we had none to begin with...which is why we find ourselves in the godless state we are presently in. So transplant one out of your own fertile mind, and use it to connect the self to the Self.
A Seer makes a connection between inner life and external life. People need to make sense of cosmology, whether they are nondualists or dualists.
- Creation - Lord Brahma - Waking state - Immanent World
- Preservation - Lord Vishnu - Dream State - Transcendent World
- Destruction - Lord Shiva - Sleep State - Absolute/Causal World
Cosmology is very important to connect you back to your Source. Everything is soluble into Brahman. When you chant or articulate the Word, Om, that Reality comes forth within your consciousness and you get a taste of your true nature. This is how powerful the Word is -- or we should allow it to be. Go ahead and allow it to be powerful.
What are the three worlds?
Immanent (gross): objects, senses, and our preoccupation with them.
Transcendent (subtle): the inner realms of mind. This is where you "crush the stars to atoms," like when you enter dream and then deep sleep.
Absolute (causal): where objects, senses, and mind are naturally unmanifest, dissolved but free of destruction.
The mind in maya and the mind in laya are two different things. The mind in maya believes name and form is real and can fulfill you. The mind in laya (dissolution) sees the unreality of objects. That the world is "unreal" doesn't mean that it is illusory, like water in a mirage, but that it is changing and ultimately unfulfilling. We shouldn't dismiss it out of hand, but we can dismiss it out of mind and be free.
If you ask the Vedantist what came first, the chicken or the egg?, he will say "neither; the thoughts 'chicken' and 'egg' preceded the objects 'chicken' and 'egg.'" Relative to this, if you come into this life and come to believe that you are the result of a sperm's union with an egg, you are a materialist. Materialists don't have awareness of the subtle causes for physical things, causes such as mind, senses, prana, desire, karma, etc. Of course, if you ask the Advaitist which came first, the chicken or the egg, he will say, "There is no beginning or end to anything; all is nonoriginated."
You don't need a particle accelerating or de-accelerating machine to know about these subtler particles (causes); your own mind is that machine, and it does this all in the waking, dream and deep sleep states every twenty-four hours. But we need to engage this process consciously. The yogi practices projection and withdrawal consciously. First he gets control of the senses, and then prana, and then mind.
If you haven't connected smell to earth, taste to water, sight to fire, touch to air, hearing to ether/space, then you aren't a yogi. You are living a random life. The elements are one thing, senses are another.
CONNECTING THE DOTS
You can't separate yourself from nature until you connect the dots. You have to do the work. Why the need to separate from nature? Because, in the end, and throughout, the realm of nature is where the six transformations are constantly taking place - birth, growth, disease, decay, old age, and death, called Sadurmi
in Vedanta. But transformation does not take place, and your Soul Atman is not subject to these six despoilers. So make sure that It is not, not even in pretend mode....
Divine life is a connected life -- earth is connected to smell, water to taste, etc. Without this knowledge one lives a random life, or even worse, and if one lives a life of distraction, then you have a fragmented life. If you go to death in a fragmented state, then what else to expect than that you are born in a similar condition thereafter. Read in the Gita what Sri Krishna says about the different types of wombs in which beings get reborn. This much ought to begin to formulate a little dispassion in you, and when that occurs you are on your way towards setting foot on the spiritual path.
Get an inner life! That is what the real Christ said, and wanted for you. Become a free soul. Enough of this foolish and painful evolution into outer space, and of constantly grinding out bones and nerves and flesh as condiments for death's endless feast. If you want free you are going to have to involve
a channel through the external object to the eternal Subject, from the seen to the seer. Reality is subtle. It demands painstaking powers of detection. Who knew that there was oil in a tiny sesame seed? To know this you have to meticulously gather a 1000 seeds, invent a press, and squeeze them firmly to get even a drop of that nutritious oil. In like manner, if you can distill your consciousness to just one drop of Essence you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.
[Babaji presented the next subtle step in this practice of involution:]
After connecting earth with smell, water with taste, etc., one must plumb the subject of the gross elements to subtle elements - earth is solidity; water equates to liquidity, fire to luminosity, air to homogeneity, and ether to all-pervasiveness. These are not mere cosmological facts to memorize. We make this connection for the initial purpose of being able to say, "I am not the body," "I am not matter." Cosmology is not just about planets and galaxies. There is also religious cosmology, which is a breadcrumb-like trail of inner connection leading us to the Self. In this regard, the interconnectedness of all things deals effectively with all that changes. But what you want to realize ultimately is your true Self that is Changeless.
Give up the idea of the Self in the body, prana, or mind. The Self isn't in matter! The Self is in the Self -- where else would it be? Lord Buddha talked about the self in the Self in the Dhammapada.
I am not nature; Brahman is all. How to make sense of this? Nature has come out of me. This is the state of "U" in AUM, and this is how we connect the dots of what is inside and outside
. The Vivekachudamani puts it like this:
Drsyam pratitam pravilapayan san
san-matram ananda-ghanam vibhavayam
samahitas san bahir-antaram
kalam nayethah sati karma-bandhe
Reduce the world which you see all around you into Brahman, which is an indeterminate mass of pure, conscious Awareness. Rendering the external and the internal into one indivisible principle
, meditate upon That. Then pass your time contentedly and be free.
First, finding yourself in a body, you think that you and nature are separate; this is ignorance. Then, through experience and practice, you see that all of nature has come out of you; this is awakening. Then, you see that Spirit and Nature are entirely different; this is enlightenment. After that, you realize that only Brahman exists, and this is liberation.
What's the difference between Cosmology and Philosophy? Cosmology cites origins, lokas (worlds), particles, etc., -- all which pertains to time, space, and causation. Philosophy is the transmission of the Truth spoken of in the nondual scriptures -- how ideas, thought, and wisdom connect to reveal that all worlds exist within. You can idealize
the Real for a time, but that will only get you as far as form can take you. Then you must realize
the Ideal. If you want true spiritual realization you will have to transcend form.
Cosmology explains the apparent movement in Reality.
Philosophy explains the immovability of Reality.
Spirituality is the result when one has implemented philosophy.
"Good" is when you want to know the inner worlds and how they lead up to Brahman. "Better" is philosophy which is the living knowledge that permeates all the worlds. "Best" is spirituality, which makes realization your own.
Everything emerges from your mind. All the worlds are within you. Regarding the mind, there's cosmic, collective, and individual mind. If you think only in terms of your individual mind it will stultify you.
Understanding the manifested, the unmanifested, and the Supremely Unmanifested is important. What we call birth and life is the manifested. What we call death is only the unmanifested. The Supremely Unmanifested is the acreate Brahman, your Self.
The rishis took Consciousness for granted, but materialists take the worlds in the bhutakasha for granted. If you want to merge in formlessness, form has to be merged into the Word. It's just a practical matter. So experiment making all form soluble into Brahman.
There's no mystery in the Universe. The greatest of mysteries is you. The universe has come out of you.
Luminaries have traced the gross to the subtle and found this process of involution in themselves -- found Truth in themselves. This world is a projection of God. They saw that earth was a projection of solidity in God's mind; water was a projection of liquidity in God's mind, etc. To prove this to yourself you practice involution -- earth to smell to the thought of solidity, water to taste to the thought of liquidity, and so forth. In this way you connect the dots to your Source. The result is Consciousness.
When you no longer have length, width, height, or any dimension or proportions, then space has effectively collapsed and you see particles of prana, then particles of thought, then particles of light-filled intelligence. This is involution -- returning to the first cause, the primal origin. Then there is Brahman....
Buddha embodied and talked about the interconnectedness of all things. The upshot is that all of this that we see is a projection, not a "creation," and it all consists of vibrating particles emanating from mind. The process moves from thoughts and ideas to gross object. You won't see this if you don't connect the dots. Once one sees the interconnectedness of all things, one wants free of all things...for the Self is not a thing.
If you have mastered this interconnection of all things, you have knowledge. If you have knowledge of something, you have mastery over it. But if you are in ignorance of it you are in fear of it, thus in bondage to it
All knowledge lies within you. This sets on its ear the notion that there is a creator god that creates something out of nothing. When you realize the interconnectedness of all things, you will want to get separation from them. Doing this removes all doubts, as in khyati - clarity.
BREAKING THE POT OF MAYA
[Babaji referred to the clay pots the children had made during the summer retreat, representing the 24 Cosmic Principles (see children's retreat article). Sri Ramakrishna gave the analogy of 24 clay pots full of water, each reflecting the sun above. Thus, there are 24 reflected suns and one real sun. The practice of discrimination between the real and the unreal, as well as involution, is indicated by the breaking of the pots: the five elements, the 10 senses, the subtle sense objects, and the fourfold components of the mind. Ego is the last pot. What happens when it is broken? How many suns are there? We are tempted to say "the one real sun," but this is not correct. Why? Because we have just destroyed the last reflector of the sun, called the separate ego self. Without a reflector, who is there to experience a real sun? The Self alone remains, objectless].
"But I like experiences," beings will say. However, samadhi [what happens when the last pot is broken] is not an experience. You break the last pot and the perceiver of the sun is gone -- experience is gone. In the sincere aspirant, this comes about naturally, like the fall of a palm frond. As long as dharma is held to first and foremost, you will move inexorably toward this formless Reality. With the "hound of heaven" after you, you will get free.
When you are in Sakshi (Witness) mode, the distinction between Seer and seen is very subtle.
Mind creates the worlds, but intelligence is what moves you from place to place in them. Thus, Intelligence is changing; it engages in sankalpa, creative imagining. Refined intelligence, however, develops spiritual discrimination, and the fascination (moha) and vain-glory (mada) with conceptualization wanes and falls off. This is the state in which you see a true luminary like Sri Ramakrishna
By indulging in Sankalpa, you are overlaying finiteness on the Atman. You should be cutting yourself in the image of God, but instead you are imagining God via your limited thought. It is the nature of Atman to be pure and blissful, but people cover it up via sankalpic projection.
Kaivalya means freedom from nature. If we want to be friendly to the idea of becoming one with nature, initially we say, "Man needs to get connected to Nature." Man has alienated himself from it, and now is suffering from that betrayal. In truth, nature has come out of man, but then he hates it, or wants to master it, control it, attach to it, etc. He nevers sees it as his own. This is, as Swami Vivekananda wrote in a poem, "piling gloom on gloom."
If you lose your discriminatory wisdom, you run afoul of Reality. You stop being the Witness; you forget it has all come out of you and are thus at the mercy of all your false projections.
You are not the object, but the Subject. You can even say that you are not the Subject, because it is only the ego/intelligence complex that is telling you that. So you want beyond the Subject-object duality. When you break the pot of ego/intellect complex, then no subject/object remains. Only the Eternal Subject/Seer. Try to envision this in meditation. Then actuate it in samadhi.
[Referring to the study of spiritual philosophy] As a kid you resisted learning certain things. You would say, "I don't wanna do that." Now you are just a big kid and you say, "I don't wanna learn the 24 Cosmic Principles; it's too much for me." But when you know the cosmic principles you can break maya's hold! How exciting this freedom! Further, when you see that by breaking the "pot" of mind all form goes away, then you understand that God is not a creator; the mind is.
It only makes sense that to go to a subtle inner state that you have to give up gross form.
There are three things to be transcended: matter, energy, and thought.
This is what Lex Hixon said to dharmic householders: "Whatever the mind broods upon, renounce that. You don't need to renounce external things unless they pose a problem for you. Search out every tendency in the mind to brood, to fear, to be in sorrow. Then renounce those."
Forget "seek your bliss;" that will come naturally later. In the meantime develop some enthusiasm for restraining the outward going senses.
Procrastination, prevarication, complacency -- these are the words I use as a teacher when I want to whip you into shape a little.
[referring to "nice" teachers and "harsh" teachers] Swamiji was so nice to everyone - until you became his disciple. When you belonged to him, however, he wanted you up and out of maya as quick as possible.
That all religions have twists and turns is a good thing. It turns you into a spiritual athlete who, through self-effort, can attain to the open space beyond religion. "It is good to be born in a church, but not to die in a church." All the great luminaries want you to realize what is beyond religion. Those who want to do this in one lifetime usually take to monasticism.
Brahmajnan (knowledge of Brahman) is what we're missing when we are focused on the finite to the exclusion of the Infinite. Science, society, and even our religions are focused on the finite. The West needs to develop samskaras for spirituality. Like cows who tread the same path everyday and run a deep groove in the earth, the people of the West have become entrenched in the path of materiality. We need to fill in that groove and create a new groove via spiritual philosophy and practices. Thus, I would like to see us build samskaras around such great and noble principles like Aparinama (non-transformation) and Ajativada (non-origination). Then we will see some enlightened souls being born here in the America.
A physical canyon wall only mimics what you call out. But a spiritual samskara is like a subtle canyon wall that you can receive an answer from. You call out, "Who am I?" and it sends back, "You're Brahman, you're Brahman, stupid!" Without such samskaras, spiritual life, and life in general, is all so difficult. One has to go through so much suffering and ignorance when there is no samskara from which to understand the call to nonduality.
The spiritual seeker looks for a challenge, for the razor's edge. This is the practice of the four yogas: wisdom, selfless action, meditation, and love. Some have proposed that the world itself presents its own yoga, or path to God), calling it the yoga of Samsara. But this is really a contradiction in terms, or an excuse to remain asleep. Yoga means final union, and one that fulfills completely. Samsara can't fulfill you. Besides, who wants union with ignorance? Is it wise?
1 - Dual mind must be made nondual (Karma Yoga)
2 - Thoughts must be made buoyant (Raja Yoga)
3 - Buddhi (intellect) must be honed into a tool that can pierce through maya. (Jnana Yoga)
4 - Make the unripe ego ripe. How? By loving God. (Bhakti Yoga)
Vedanta has always concentrated on "I and my Father are one." There are many people in this room, but these are just body-mind mechanisms; The Soul we all share is the same, and all-pervasive. This is a popular notion with New Age circles, but it must be proved by meditation.
If you are serious about spirituality, you take up a regimen of sadhana and you do spiritual disciplines every day until you crack open the secret of your own innate awareness.
Om - to hit this mark is a good goal for householders and others still at work in the world. But the formless Brahman (beyond Om) takes us right out of the world.
What does the practice of the nondualists consist of, in part, that allows them to live in the world as Brahman?
1 - As Sri Krishna states, we must detach from the Gunas. The one of steady wisdom hates not light, activity, or darkness, nor longs for them if they are absent. The gunas are of the mind, not the Atman.
2 - And we must have steady abidance in Brahmajnan in the form of holy company.
The difference between ordinary or dualistic and revealed scriptures: the revealed scriptures tell you about your identity with God.
Because it is difficult for the householder to give up everything, the path of self-surrender is advised. The path of the householder is about deification.
The greatest distractions are false superimposition and sankalpa. Sankalpa is creative imagination that is going on all the time, keeping oneself in a dualistic mode.
A person who wants to become religious, spiritual, or philosophical, will have to examine the terrain of his own mind. This is called deep meditation.
If you want to calm your mind, you will have to practice the yamas and niyamas -- purification of mind -- so you can take the mind off of objects and put them on the Source. These teachings often come from a monastic tradition. But there should be a path that the householders can follow. The path of sacrifice and self-surrender is based on Four Keys: conscious ingestion, conscious sacrificing, conscious generosity, and conscious austerity. Apply these four keys to the various locks of your own dungeon, and get free right away.
Conscious ingestion includes everything you take in at the physical, pranic, intellectual, and emotional level. You can't become conscious if you're selfish; you'll just be conscious of your ego. Sacrifice is the way of humility and selflessness.
Holy Mother stated, "Your salvation is guaranteed when you take Thakur's (Sri Ramakrishna) Name. But as you move towards the highest goal, turn around and help others.
You have three choices: Divine life or immersion in Brahman. The third option is not advisable -- worldliness and complacency.
There are five main spiritual moods or modes: shanta, the peaceful mood, dasya, being the servant of God, sakya, being God's friend, vatsalya, looking upon God as your child, and madhur, looking upon God as your Beloved. Your mind is like a crystal. You can form it in accord with one of these moods and attain sattva. From there the path lies open....
Yoga starts with yamas and niyamas -- ethics and morals, like the 10 Commandments. But there is a difference. In Yoga, "Thou shalt not kill" (ahimsa/nonviolence) is later discovered to be "Thou cannot kill." The codes of ethics in Vedic and Tantrik culture all are based upon the birthless, deathless Atman.
Titiksha (forbearance) is the default zone of the illumined ones who retain the body for the benefit of others. You can't be in samadhi all the time. A soul like this can change poison into Nectar - transform the poison of relative existence into the contentment/bliss of divine life.
The gods and goddesses have their backs permanently to Brahman, and the light of Brahman shines through them, turning into the worlds of name and form. Therefore, humanity looks back into them and thereby towards the Light -- one gets to the Father through the Son. This is an eternal Truth, written in stone.
If you have children, you want to raise them in the dharma, in Truth, not in the world. Besides, the Seers tell us the world is not real, and even scientists are telling us this, i.e., nothing that appears solid is actually solid. So, when science cites the changing particle, and psychology the various defects of the mind; when religion states that birds have nests and foxes have holes but that man has no place to rest his head here, and the seers recommend complete renunciation of the world - what are you waiting for?
In deep sleep you have no form, no problems. That is why people love it. See how beautiful God is? It is formless, and all problems are gone in It. How to reach this state? The monks do it via renunciation; but what about others? Sri Krishna says, if you can't contemplate Me naturally, then perform spiritual practice. If you can't do that, then do all work as sacrifice to Me. If you can't do that, then offer all work to Me. If you can't do that, then give up all results of work and be free.
If you are a householder, you have to learn the art of sacrifice. People sacrifice so much for their kids, but they're not giving them spirituality. Is all the sacrifice undertaken for your children only to prepare them for living in an unreal world? Give them authentic spirituality first and foremost, and teach them to practice. Then you can call yourself a true parent. Otherwise, you are the reason for their bondage and suffering.
Whatever you love, God makes that the place where He receives you. The Eternal Religion (Sanatana Dharma) is a gem with many facets.
To meditate you have to stop the mind from vibrating. If you can't do that, then you have to at least refine the mind's vibration so you can see the Savior - Jesus, Buddha, etc.
When you go into meditation, leave the senses and mind outside the door, like shoes outside a temple.
Sri Ramakrishna and Ramana Maharishi were not restless; they were blissful. They owned nothing. And on any given day when they might not be having bliss, they were content.
Why are so many scriptures set in the midst of war? It is to illustrate the principle of sacrifice. It is the Adiyajna (the Lord) who suffers on the battlefield. Those who get into step with sacrifice become God-like, and to their capacity, take on the karma of others vicariously. Parents do this for their children all the time. But are they routing them back into maya, or directing them towards dharma and svadharma?
Westerners are attached to the bhoga marga (path of pleasure) and to work. "Wretched are the result seekers." But Sri Krishna advises the path of knowledge along with works. For, na hi jnanena sadrisyam pavitram iha vidyate - "knowledge is the greatest purifier."
In the West, our Jnana Marg (Path of Knowledge) has gotten confused with secular knowledge.
Don't study maya, study the scriptures. Just observe maya. Maya has the power to draw you in. Have you noticed the scientists?
Einstein saw beyond time and space, but didn't get past causation. This is the difference between a genius and a seer. It is the the province of the Seer is to see beyond cause and effect.
Question: How do I shut off my senses?
Babaji: They can still be there, but don't dwell so much within them. Witness them.
The rishis gave us the system of Nirguna Brahman (Brahman free of attributes, formless) and Saguna Brahman (Brahman with attributes, with form). When we are in the waking state and see names and forms, we see Brahman as all this. And when we go into deep sleep, we enter formlessness. But we must learn to do all of this consciously. That begins spiritual life.
You can call it (the world) maya when you don't know the Truth. But you can call it Brahman when Truth is known. The knower of Reality is like Shiva who turns poison into Nectar. When you think of Shiva as the great renunciate, He sits on Mt. Kailash. When you think of Him as a Yogi, He is a family man and a yogi.
Not having a spiritual life is like not having a rudder on your boat. You will just float here and there and have no basis or orientation for life's experiences.
There is the maya of politics and money, but when Vedanta talks about maya it is more about the cosmic and collective level of mind -- the superimposition of name and form over indivisible Reality. You can oppose industry, oppose government, politics, etc, but what Vedanta wants is to oppose ignorance and begin to see the one sentient Soul in and throughout everything.
Without mumukshutvam, intense desire for moksha, freedom, you will fall back from difficulties - and this can become a habit. If you develop mumukshutvam you exceed 90% of all other aspirants.
You don't need to transform your spirit; It is already pure. You need to transform the mind. Sri Ramakrishna pushed aside the green scum on the pond to see his reflection in the water, but then it came dancing back to conceal. This means that if you don't make an effort, you can't see your Self, and when you see the Self, make sure you keep up the effort that maintains it in view at all times. It is the nature of name and form to conceal Brahman. As long as you are embodied, then, you must get very adept at the game of hide and seek.
The revealed scriptures will declare your identity with God, but they may also talk about this wonder from the standpoint of obstacles, methods, and attainments.
Advaita Vedanta is all-inclusive. It includes all the yogas. You can't x-out devotion to God with Form; it is like pulling the rug out from under your own feet, and that of others moving towards the goal.
Desires that stimulate enjoyment for enjoyment's sake cause karma. Natural day to day enjoyments will not harm an unattached person. That is why Holy Mother told us, "Desires? What are those to you (a spiritual aspirant)? The more they come and go, the better for you."
All action done with intention or motive has kickbacks. Thus nonduality is very efficacious. If you want to "cut to the chase" in spiritual life, you have to practice a wisdom path, some meditation, and renunciation. Bhakti is good also, but unless it is intensified it is a slow path based mostly in duality. Then there is Karma Yoga (selfless service/action); it is the real nut to crack in this age.
If you know that all action takes place in nature, and not in the Soul, then you will be free. Instead, you remain in a rajasic or a tamasic state, and rush into action anyway and suffer the results. Well, in this case your mantra becomes "why me?" rather than, "Who am I?"
Pithy Points to Ponder:
This competition of the ego for the throne of Atman is futile!
Brooding is a waste of time.
Where the Atman is, the world isn't.
An actor who doesn't drop his role after the play is over is crazy. But a good actor fully identifies with the role, then drops it at will.
About Holy Company, you can't wake up in a land of sleepiness. You have to journey to where people are awake to wake up yourself.
Maya is like the Bermuda Triangle; you don't want to go there. Seek instead the "Brahmuda" Triangle - hearing, contemplating, and realizing the Truth.
"Man does not live by bread alone." Man is Consciousness, which doesn't require food for its existence.
Boredom and fear are companions. Now you're bored, then you're afraid of what's going to happen next!
Moksha (freedom/liberation) is not transformation, not reconciling oneself to an angry father God, not about sloughing off sins and transgressions either. It is a permanent state already and always at hand.
The Atman is in all things, but is not the thing itself. It is the eternal Subject, not the external object.
Atman is present in the sentient and the insentient, but by "present" we mean all-pervasive, not limited.
If you react to things it only means that you restlessly believe in cause and effect. If you don't react, it calmly relates that you don't believe in cause and effect.
About rage and its problem, remember that it is not you who are in anger, but anger that is in you. You should never have let it in. Your nature is pure and ever peaceful. Sri Ramakrishna has said in the Gospel, "Anger is demonic; never give in to it."
I came from enlightenment and will return to enlightenment -- but I have to remember it is my true nature. What is more, since enlightenment is my nature, should I not live life in an enlightened state?
I see everything as knowledge -- it is all a form of my own knowledge. For one who has gone beyond wisdom, he/she sees everything as Brahman -- like a Ramakrishna.SOME MISCELLANEOUS NOTES
Ahamkara, in Vedanta, is that moment you separated yourself from Brahman. When the grossest sheath (physical body) and the subtlest sheath (ahamkara/ego) confuse each other, then there is an imbalance and loss of intelligence (mental body).
There is a reason that Sanskrit is such an important language, and is called, Devabhasha -- the language of the gods. If you use your language mainly to speak about God, as the Rishis did, then it becomes pregnant with indications of God.