Notes from Babaji's Classes in Oregon; arranged thematically
AUM & Intelligence
The power of the Word is very underestimated. In the beginning is the Word, which is Ma's own pool of potential, like a hidden cosmic chest of drawers. In the depths is that changeless Reality, Akhanda Satchitananda; It links us all together. But when Christ talked of the Word, He didn't mean that ultimate substratum, but the pool of potential where everything rises and falls.
Any triputi* you look at could be placed under Aum. This is why we chant "Om purnamadah...." (What cannot be seen by the senses and mind is infinite, and what can be seen by them is also infinite. From the Infinite the finite has come, but being Infinite, only infinite remains.
) This is also why the Seer stated in the Mandukya Upanisad, " All this world is the syllable Om. Its further explanation is this: the past, the present, the future -- everything is just Om. And whatever transcends the three divisions of time -- that , too, is just Om."[*Triputi: triple teaching or system, i.e. time, space, causation; past, present, future; creation, preservation, destruction; knower, known, act of knowing, etc.]
The scientist splits the atom and brooks destruction, but the spiritual scientist splits the Word and releases tremendous spiritual power.
The Power of Mother is in the Word.
Words do not only stretch out to objects outside of us, but stretch inward to the subtle worlds.
What does it mean to merge in the Word? This means to return name and form, and all the karma that goes with it, to Brahma/Mahat. Then meditation is possible. And in this way we prove to ourselves we are birthless, deathless beings, and not merely a mind and body.
Your body is the sign that you have prarabdha karma. The arrows of past karmas have been released from the bow of the present life and now you have to live with it. So just affirm, "I am He," and stay close to Him/Her -- this does away with all karmas from all lifetimes.
Words - matras, padas, varna-mala - are so important. If our words and conversations are mundane, they are mere "low grade mantras." By reciting them over and over we lose both the sensitivity of our awareness and the knowledge of deeper realms of wisdom within us.
When mind, senses, intellect, and mental force increase in capacity, then the mind becomes imbued with "the Peace that passes understanding," with the Light of Intelligence.
Consciousness is indivisible, and the mind is a tool that can tune into all the different levels possible within It.
Because you didn't recognize the presence of Intelligence in prior lifetimes, you entered this life without knowing or remembering.
Intelligence never develops. The kind of intelligence that does develop is called "my intelligence," and is lorded over by the limited and selfish ego.
Form and Formlessness / Evolution and Involution
God is not a creator; the mind does that. It will take an adept inspection of consciousness, like on the level of Sherlock Holmes, to get the mind to let go of form. We need the foundation of formlessness.
We have to transcend a conventional superstition in this culture. We have to come to grips with formlessness, with meditation and samadhi, and realize it in this life. We must plumb the depths. As Kubir sings: "Dive deep O mind, dive deep into the ocean of God's beauty. If you descend to the uttermost depths, there you will find the gem of Love."[Using the analogy of a pot full of water that is reflecting the sun:]
Maya leads you to Brahman (by touching the reflected sun and finding it is unreal
), as in lower truth to higher Truth. But if you take maya as all there is, you will never find Truth -- that's the rub!
Sakshi, the Witness: Here you see the difference between Self and phenomena. Before practice and insight, you saw yourself as one thing and counted yourself as part of phenomena. Now, maintain Sakshi-bhutam in meditation. Do not allow yourself to go blank or go to sleep. Stay present until the Kutastha comes forward. (Kutastha is the undifferentiated presence in and as the intelligence of all beings
When one says "Maya" it infers that the formless Reality got covered. People take form to be real, but scientists, even unknowingly, have proved otherwise. It is all swirling particles in different configurations. Our eyes are tuned to solidity. But you will transcend the gross particle in dream, and dissolve the subtle particle in deep sleep.
Shut down the senses and make the world go away. We are marvelous meditators -- in dream and deep sleep -- but we don't know we are doing it. If we could freeze-frame what the mind does when it shifts from one realm to another, and study it frame by frame, as in a movie, we would be amazed at what our consciousness accomplishes all the time. With that clue we could deconstruct the universe and cut time away. This unfortunate decentralization away from our true Self would then become a thing of the past - the past being a mere memory. So go ahead: "crush the stars to atoms and unhinge the universe!"
All you need to make the prison walls go away is to meditate them away. Sri Aurobindo did that when he was in prison, and also had a vision of Sri Krishna.
It is the natural power of form to cover formlessness - called avarana-shakti. Scum simply forms and covers a pond; it does not plan to. So do not attribute sentiency to insentient things, like a devil. And You are the only sentient principle in this universe.
Your core is Sentient, exquisite Sentience, that can drive you into ecstasy and to formlessness.
The rishis left footfalls in the ethers. After the "stars are crushed to atoms and the universe unhinged" -- there, when the atomic particle is no more -- there is a particle of a subtle kind where the ancestors are, and further (more subtle
), where the munis are, and further where the gods are, to a particle so fine that only the Seers can detect and abide in (i.e. where beings like the Dalai Lama go so they can return
). All of this is within us. In formless meditation we go nowhere, but knowing the underlying particle is the gateway to coursing through the bhuvanas (subtle worlds
Thought in terms of particles is a great way to connect science, theology, and cosmology. There's always a way to integrate these ways of seeing.
Question: How do we get rid of our death grip on atomic reality?
Babaji: By seeing that it is not reality at all, but relativity. This is done in practice little by little, using "nitya-anitya vastu viveka" or "brahman satya, jagad mithya." (discrimination between the eternal and the noneternal, and Brahman is Real/True, the world is false.
When Vedantists talk about emptiness, we mean that the objects point us to Brahman, not that they are illusory. In terms of evolution, this means that the Big Bang, down to the final-most outward waves of matter, lead us to involution [like dropping a pebble in the middle of a pond and the waves returning after reaching the shore]. It all came out of you, all the worlds, and you have to mentally enact the process of involution. And purify the mind before attempting this....
When we let go of the atomic aspect of an object, the revelatory aspect appears. All aspects have a mix of rajas (distorting
), tamas (concealing
), and sattva (revelation
). These secrets are covered by heavy layers of maya shakti. But one needs only change one's perspective and the maya shakti removes herself.
We're projecting the world all the time -- that's the waking state. Then we're drawing it back within us -- that's the dream state. When all is withdrawn, that is deep sleep. When the nescience that covers deep sleep is penetrated, that's samadhi.
Ajativada & Aparinami (Non-birth & Non-Transformation)
Atman is Brahman, but right now It is identified with the Five Sheaths.
Upanisad: If you take this word apart, it means that if you draw near the teacher, the knots of ignorance will be destroyed. [Upanisads are the 4th part of the Vedas and are the scriptures expressing the nondual realizations of the ancient seers.]
The rishis started with two laws:
1 - Reality is birthless and deathless. (Ajativada)
2 - Transformation doesn't happen in Reality. (Aparinama
Sankalpa (creative imagining)
can be a positive evil; everyone is doing it, from the Trinity to the earth dwellers.
Taking the internal and the external and making them one, meditate on that, and remove all distinctions. (Vivekachudamani
) This is the business of the spiritual aspirant.[Speaking of those engaged in the various sciences who regard matter as the highest reality:]
It's just change. You're studying something that changes with a mind that changes -- a mind that is restless or dull. And then you go on describing nature and matter from that constantly alternating state of mind.
We think in terms of gods and goddesses because we don't understand anything higher than a body. But when you get beyond body, you realize yourself by degrees and gradations as all-pervasive Consciousness.
Fear and Renunciation
"Life after death" -- we say that tongue in cheek because faith in God is nothing to argue about. As Holy Mother said, "Is Brahman a topic for conversation, like bartering for fish and greens in the marketplace?"
People's fear comes from brooding on death, which is nothing but fear of losing objects. But only one thing is fearless: renunciation. Renounce the sense of agency and ownership and live free.
There is a great opportunity to practice kriya shuddhi (purity of act) here (prison
) because you have to practice amongst all kinds of people: fierce, cruel, deluded, good-hearted, falsely blamed.
If you see the world as unreal you might as well renounce it. Get it over with. Until you do this, you can't enter real spiritual life. Austerity is needed.
The devout Hindu performs worship, salutes the sun, etc., before starting the work day. The modern man rushes to work without ever seeing the sun, and never thinks of God.
Yes, you can renounce your whole family and still live with them, but "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me." Just follow the "1" rule. Put a "1" (God
) before the zeros. Spouse, wealth, etc., are all empty.
Really, it is not so much a matter of world negation, but of Brahman affirmation. So, what are we "x"-ing out of the equation? Suffering. You negate the unreal. If you've created a rift between God and yourself, that is what you have to renounce.
As Vedantists we want to negate the profane in preference to the sacred. But the profane for the Western Christian is evil, while for the Vedantist the profane is worldliness. Christ was a renunciate.
The Seers divided Reality into two: nirguna and saguna; pravrtti and nirvrtti. Nirguna means Brahman without attributes, and saguna means Brahman with attributes, the worlds of name and form. Pravrtti means that which leads the mind outward, creating vibrations, and nirvrtti is that which leads it inward, quelling the vibrations of mind.
We constantly live in denial of Brahman rather than exercising a denial of what is changing, as if changes were real. Renounce any world that is separate from Brahman and you will be fine. Then you will find all the worlds in Brahman, thus in your Self.
To have and to hold? How about to abandon and let go? Well, this latter statement is a testament to those who seek the nondual. The former has to do with fealty and loyalty. You have to apply these where they hold true. Thakur (Sri Ramakrishna
) was vehemently against men abandoning families out of a desire to "renounce" -- "Fie on you!" He would say. So separate the so-called world-negating statements and see them as nondual statements and apply them where they belong.
And what about dynamic reality? That is in Ma's hands. If you want free of the worlds, you propitiate Ma. That is salvation, that which you get from another Soul or a Savior. But Liberation is another matter. You have to realize that for yourself.
Tantra and Vedanta go side by side. Vedanta kills quickly, and Tantra gives you all the rope you need to hang yourself in the end. "With jnanam (knowledge) and dhyanam (meditation) combined with bhakti (devotion), you shall reach Me."
(Ma Durga in the Srimad Devi Bhagavatam
To know the Mother is to know something very subtle. Connect Her with Advaita, nonduality.
There can be no liberation without knowledge of the Wisdom Mother.
Worship of Kali gives Kaivalya, mukti, nirvana, etc. Worship of lesser deities confers gauna mukti (release amongst the lesser deities). [In the Srimad Devi Bhagavatam, Mother Durga teaches the Himalayas about the stages of bhakti. About Supreme Bhakti She states:]
"The one endowed with supreme bhakti hears always My Glories, recites always My Names, desires nothing, not even Samipya (to be dear to Me
) or other forms of salvation, nor even liberation. He doesn't forsake service. He loves Me only and thinks of himself as Bhagavati (the beloved Universal Mother
) and sees all as filled with My Consciousness...."
The problems found in religions are put there by God. They are there to help us first to strengthen our spiritual muscles and then to transcend dharma. As Sri Krishna says to His beloved disciple, Arjuna, "Abandon all dharmas and take refuge to Me."
There's a difference between morals/ethics and dharma, and between dharma and Truth. [Dharma adds the dimension of spiritual practice that purifies the mind. Truth is ever pure, and thus transcends dharma too.]
Pithy Points to Ponder
People cut themselves in the image of the Lord or Mother by repeating the Name of God.
Those who say you can't prove Truth haven't done their sadhana [have not engaged in spiritual disciplines
As Swami Aseshanandaji would say, "No mind, never matter; no matter, never mind." That is to say that if there is no mind, the universe of names and forms will not be there, since mind projects all this. And on the flip side, if there is no matter about, then You will know that mind is not vibrating anymore. Then you can rest easy, free of birth, growth, disease, decay, old age, and death.....
"Think outside the box," say the ordinary beings.
"Think outside the mind," says the seer to the materialist.
"Think outside the bun," says Taco Bell to the burger chains.
Samadhi is not an experience, but one's natural awareness. Therefore, take all experiences, good, bad, and mixed, as signs along the way to realization.
We are having samadhi of objects all the time, and overlaying on it boredom, anxiety, etc.
The intellect drags you around, from this world to that world. The ego enjoys the ride!
If you know a thing, then immediately it stops haunting you and you have power over it. [Understand the tattvas, the Cosmic Principles]
Keep track of Principles and you'll get liberation. Keep track of personalities and you'll get recycled. [Babaji often quotes Swami Vivekananda, "Principles are more important than people." This has multiple layers of meanings, one interpretation referring to the importance of knowing the Cosmic Principles of Sankhya for the purpose of being able to discriminate between the Self and the non-Self.]
(suddenly producing a newspaper during class, Babaji indicated an advertisement there, and said:) This ad declares, "What is real mocha? Well, I say they got it wrong. It should read, "What is real Moksha?! The worldy beings are always missing the point....
In spiritual pursuits, True, Real, and Beneficial replaces good, pleasant and happy.
"Whatever there is of God here in this world, I will find it." This should be our attitude.Antaryami
: Inner Ruler immortal, seated in the heart. This is not the ego-self. So do not get inflated; get inspired!