Notes from Babaji's classes in Oregon, San Francisco, Hawaii, and various prisons.
At the yogic level, if you are disconnected from something, then you reconnect with it and then transcend it. "Freedom from the senses, not freedom to the senses," is the yogic way. (Swami Aseshananda)
People often attribute sentiency to things in Nature, such as fire, but where is sentient intelligence coming from? It is coming from you. "Fire illumines not, lightning illumines not, the sun illumines not -- Intelligence (you) illumines all those.
To reconnect with nature means to connect nature back within yourself. It all arises from you, after all. "The world is your very own." "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." From the standpoint of nature, nature is an illusion, but from the standpoint of the Self, "All is Brahman." Neti-neti, appears in conflict with iti-iti. [Note: From the standpoint of Nature, there are many separate objects coming in and out of time, hence it is all illusory. From the standpoint of Nature, we practice neti-neti, discrimination between the Unchanging and the changing. However, from the standpoint of the Self, where only Brahman exists, one practices iti-iti, "all this, all this."]
It seems sometimes that the great ones speak in contradictions, but this is only because one moment they are speaking from the relative point of view and the next from the Absolute view. The aspirant must develop the ability to discern the difference.
Krishnamurti spoke about reconnecting with Nature. Connect how? Not via entertainment, enjoyment, pleasure, or leisure. Connect Nature to the senses, and senses to the mind, and thereby see that nature is not separate from you, but has come out of you. Then you will go beyond the creation theory and comprehend the principles of projection and superimposition - a much more valuable understanding.
The power of the eye to see, of the ear to hear, etc., point us inward to the mind and then to God. If I've lost touch with Nature, I have to reconnect to it first in order to get free of it. Knowledge of the world and nature is not for purposes of moneymaking, but for mastery and freedom. The idea is that if I don't know a thing, then it has power over me. Instead of taking objects as things for ownership or pleasure, I take them as objects of meditation. So I connect up earth to smell, water to taste, fire to sight, etc. -- this connects me from the physical body to the subtle body. Then I begin to find that I am not Nature at all, I am Spirit. And then I can make that final connection that Nature has come from me via my own innate knowledge. This is a mature form of neti-neti. How is it that we say "All is Brahman," but then we say I am not the body, prana, mind, etc.? So, this process of connecting up with Nature proves to us that all these gross and subtle principles have all come out of us. It is only then that we are able to enter the early stages of samadhi. Sasmita is not just samadhi with a trace of ego -- it is samadhi with a ripe ego. You finally see how God disports via ego. If we feel that Vedanta has left us with a feeling of aversion for the world and beings, then our understanding has not matured. We have to understand that we have three bodies: physical, subtle, and causal, and that as we encounter them in turn we move inward towards the Atman.
Krishnamurti, whose ashram we visited on our last pilgrimage to India, says that man needs to reconnect with nature. But when you reconnect to nature you don't want to make the mistake of thinking "I am nature." All your nightmares happen in dream and waking because you are trying to take on nature, to be nature. But nature is insentient, while you are the ever Conscious Self. Fire represents the power to see, and so is a symbol of intelligence; it's inside of you, but you are the Seer. The sun, therefore, is saying "wisdom" because it lights up the world. It is Wisdom in the physical realm.
The West was never taught that objects were for anything other than pleasure, ownership, and convenience. They were not taught that all objects are a symbol for the Divine, the Purusha, Atman. When we see an object we either have attachment or aversion. But these are two of the kleshas (obstacles). We think that to connect with an object we have to attach to it. The beauty of the Yogic Way is that you observe all things in waking, dream, and deep sleep without detachment. [note: Kleshas are: ignorance of the Self, egotism, attachment, aversion, clinging to life. All karma-producing thought are based on these five.]
Why do Buddhists say that objects are empty? Because, besides being nothing but swirling particles, they can't fulfill you; you can't really grasp them. Vedantists add another point: all these objects have come out of your mind. They are yours already. So why are you attached to them, and why do you lament their passing and apparent disappearance?
The Seers/Yogis made this inward journey for the purpose of freedom, and not for any other purpose (like using and enjoying).
[Commenting on his chart, "Yogic Connections," wherein the connections between each element are made to its associated active and cognitive senses, then to the subtle sense object (tanmatra), and then to the cosmic idea in the mind, Babaji made the following points, with regard to how we are to meditate on these principles:]
Patanjali says to observe objects in waking, dreaming, and deep sleep states. We hear about other states of awareness in the various philosophies, but we don't know or understand them -- but here are three that we do know about. Not to examine them is to be disconnected.
- Regarding its appearance in waking, dream, and deep sleep: You won't see the cosmic principles in deep sleep, but that gives us a point of reflection. In deep sleep -- this is the realm of Ishvara -- one discovers there's something greater than "I" projecting all of this, and then you have to resolve this and merge it in the Ultimate.
- Its changing nature: Before you observed the changing nature of the cosmic principles, you had faith in objects. But when you see the changing nature of objects, you gain natural detachment.
- One experiences backsliding and inability to move forward due to what one's mind is holding. Examine it and rout them out.
- It's power and hold over the mind: This is the realm of obsessions and attachment. Nature, objects, senses -- these things are absent in the Atman. The senses are holding a lot; they are heavy. Mind may want to seek higher things, but habits/instincts congeal in the senses. It is something like an obese person having his or her mind dictated to by the sense of taste. If you don't recognize these things how can you get rid of them?
Jagrat, svapna, sushupti, Sominex -- nowadays disconnected people have a new 4th state of awareness called the sleeping pill. You neither dream nor sleep. You fall into some other kind of strange bardo.
When you connect something to yourself, you're not going to want to harm it. If you disconnect yourself from the 5 elements, this is a kind of himsa (violence) -- you're alienated and thus capable of doing harm.
The real significance of nonviolence is not "thou shalt not kill," but rather, thou cannot kill.
Siddhanta -- Arriving at a conclusion
Karma and Samskara
Siddhanta vakya shravana: If you hear the words of a teacher and they make you concentrate upon something with the aim of reaching a conclusion regarding its reality, you marvelously make a shift from being a worldly person to a spiritual seeker. You begin to inquire, "Is this really real?" Your questioning is now based upon a sound philosophical basis. Even making a wrong or incomplete conclusion is better than "sitting on the fence," where one never makes any headway. In other words, stating a conclusion in front of those who can't make a conclusion will shake things up. And even if it is not a mature conclusion, having stated it will cause any error in it to show up. Then one can move forward. So give up your pride and ego about always having to be right....
Death of an Ego
The ego death is so painful. So don't have one. Don't espouse an ego; if you can't do that, don't cling to the ego; if you can't do that, then go to work. That will help wear it down.
There's one thing you can renounce -- the hollow self. Should something that is empty be allowed to cause such suffering?
If you can't have a "no-death" of the Atman (Enlightenment), then at least have a death from self-surrender.
Speaking of authentic swamis, they have no ego death, for they have no actual investment in the world.
We have to dedicate ourselves if we are to live a spiritual life. And if we can't give all of our life like the swamis do, then we will have to do it in terms of renouncing the ego. This task is accomplished in the mind.
The characteristic of a ripe ego is self-surrender, humility, and detachment.
You don't have to get rid of ego, you have to ripen it. When ego is refined it is full of Light -- the Cosmic Personality.
If you know that everything sprouts from the mind -- all action -- then mastery of action results in fearlessness. However, mastery of action without knowing that it all stems from mind results in a continued and misguided belief in the field of action. Hence, fear of repercussion remains. Knowing that all arises from the mind -- everything is a mental projection -- then understand that desire for action will cause you to create a world and a body to inhabit so that you can have relations with objects. Thus karma is born.
A more advanced spiritual person gets the results of his or her karma right away. Those who are not advanced, their karma accrues in the background and rises up gradually and at all the inauspicious times. These beings are not making the conscious connection between the act and its results. They aren't meditating or studying the scriptures.
Samskaras are mental impressions that have gone deep enough to manifest in the next life. And you can figure this out by examining your mind now. What are you averse to, attached to -- how do you react to events? This discrimination is similar to how a farmer looks at his soil and sees what needs to be added or taken out. A psychologist will give you a pill, but will that get rid of your subtle mental impressions? More likely it will cause an impression of it's own, called addiction....
In Yoga Psychology you juxtapose your human nature against your stainless nature, and then perceive the nature of mind and character from a totally new perspective.
Habit is a result of samskara. In the current lifetime a samskara gets awakened, and habits form from that. The knowledge of this fact takes away the tendency to engage in praise and blame. People are just being pushed by samskaras. But Indian Philosophy goes even farther than this by looking at origins and inceptions, and discovers that there is that primal inception that is free of this. There is a Consciousness that is separate from the consciousness that is brooding, studying, even meditating. This drossless Gold of Consciousness is what is going to free you. The "I" goes on thinking itself to be stupid or brilliant in turns, but both of these are lies. Consciousness verily looks on, untouched.
Your choices are limited by your past samskaras until that moment when you truly recognize that mind can go to freedom or bondage of its own accord. Those limitations are really what point to relative free will.
Having made this analysis of the mind's samskaras, one can choose which to water. Am I going to water my worthlessness or my potential for spiritual realization?
The camel eats thorny bushes and loves the taste, even though they make his gums bleed. And so he fosters this desire for thorny bushes during his brief spell on earth. Dying with this desire unsatisfied, he returns for more pleasure and pain of the palate. And this is why there are so many camels, horses, cows, trees. Yes, the tree has a problem too; its desire is in its seeds. It wants to make more of itself. Buddha didn't want to produce any more bodies. "Architect of the Universe -- I have seen thee. I will make no more bodies, not of wood, of stone, of flesh and blood...not even of wise concept."
Mind, Maya, Meditation
In the act of healing and in other modes, people are trying to take others from a confused and imbalanced state to a meditative state. This is not working well. Everything requires a foundation of concentration - meditation, mantra, service, study. As Holy Mother said, "Do you think that anything of substance can be achieved in this world without concentration of mind?" The opposite is true as well: Can anything be achieved via depression of mind?
There are three levels of maya: the maya of mundanity; the maya of restlessness; and the maya of knowledge. This latter form of maya helps one to dissolve mind and ego.
If you get immersed in Brahman it may be difficult to bring the mind back. If you get immersed in Maya it is also hard to get your mind back. Either way, you see, you have to transcend the mind.
Intelligence is the "go to" for a spiritual person. Before realizing oneself as Atman, one lives in the Intelligence. One goes more and more into meditation, into the subtle worlds. You feel more peaceful, more secure. You find more and more Consciousness as you encounter more and more of the subtle Cosmic Principles.
Dissolve the body into the senses, senses into their energy, energy into mind, mind into intellect, intellect into self (ego), and self into the Great Self (Atman/Brahman). This is a fine teaching, and one that is easy to remember, thus follow.
You have the Eternal, the Sport of the Eternal, and the eternal maya. So move from the Nitya to the Lila without getting lost in the maya.
If your mind is mundane then your work is mundane. But if you bring refined awareness to bear then you will lend a greater awareness to your actions.
Deep sleep, death, meditation, samadhi -- these all smack of formlessness, and are the 4 cases where we realize that there is something else looking on.
The most important discrimination is that between Purusha and Prakriti, the Soul and Nature. Purusha is the Witness of everything.
Going inward means you get to the Father through the Son. But you get to the Son through your mind. And all minds, from the ant to the Avatar, encounter these despoilers that must be overcome. Despoilers intrude at various levels of our being: physical, mental, intellectual, and spiritual.
The mind has to examine its own awareness. This marvelous ability, that Ramana Maharshi described so well, entails that your consciousness suddenly shifts to the Witness mode. You then cease being a participant and see Nature differently -- and you gradually destroy suffering.
Maya has a tendency to pull you in. Scientists study the atom, and its particles. They refine it all down to the nanometer technology, and then what? They use it for creating a better car wax. But the truth-seeker focuses on shunyata, the emptiness of objects, so as to get free of matter. Thus, micro-measurements can lead to money-making, or to man-making.
When you find your innate Intelligence, you will find that fate, destiny, dependence upon grace, etc., are inferior to your own intelligence. Use this intelligence to pierce through Maya and be free.
Once you have realized yourself as Self, then you can have a relationship with Nature without falling into Maya. Otherwise the marriage is a bad one which will have to end in a forced divorce.
You need to get a divorce from nature. It is a new age presumption that makes one say, "I want to be one with nature." What you really mean is, "I want to realize that Nature has come out of me." So transcend it, then look back in upon it from a superior position.
The first evolute of Maya is "I am the body." But early on in Indian Philosophy you learn this isn't true. You make a distinction between the Real and the unreal. You are the Witness -- everything comes out of you, including the body. So make as many of them as you want, but do so only in full consciousness.
When people have near-death experiences ("I died for two minutes and saw a great light") -- they are seeing Mahat, the Cosmic Mind. If you step from Kapila (father of Sankhya) to Tantra, you would call these cosmic principles [Mahat down to earth] vibrations. All these are vibrations of your own mind.
The stronger your detachment, the more peace you have.
Past, present, and future all pose problems in meditation. "Now," the eternal moment, is something different from the present, the flow of moments. Time goes away in the former. In people's estimation of what they deem "living in the present," time still works its nefarious influence on their thoughts and actions. This is telling....
Guru, God, and Sadhana
Guru Anushashana -- the scriptures will not be an open book until you get a real teacher. Combine the revealed scriptures and the living God (Guru).
We [SRV Associations] try to renew peoples' interest in the scriptures.
The scriptures are like a lava tube that keeps the lava hot till it reaches the ocean, and adds land to the island. The scriptures of India have been sheltered over the ages right to this time of the Kali Yuga and the West...a time of spiritual darkness (kali yuga). They've remained pure due to the practice of certain principles by singular individuals over long periods of time.
Most people read something and they're done with it. But that's not how it is done with scripture. You read one verse, or you hear it, and then reflect upon it for a long time. How long?......according to Shankara in the Vivekachudamani scripture, "a long, long time...."
So if you want to ripen your malas (limitations) you will do japa, meditate, study, and perform selfless service. If you can't do these then surrender to Sri Ramakrishna. This is a practice too, one with its own special characteristics and benefits.
But there is also Buddhi Yoga/Mano Yoga as taught by Holy Mother. You examine what is in your mind and you give up what is detrimental. Can you do that? Brooding, worrying, low self-esteem, self-worth -- if you can renounce such as these you will become a true renouncer.
The 4 Treasures are not practices. You either have them or not. If you want a practice, you have to go to Yoga. [Note: The Four Treasures are: discrimination, detachment, the six jewels (inner peace, self control, contentedness, forbearance, concentration, faith), and longing for liberation.] With practice of Yoga these Four Treasures will develop in you naturally...almost without your knowing it.
Bhajan, puja, and arati (devotional singing, ritual worship and offerings) - these three alluring offerings are important to do in order to keep the bhakti side of our practice going.
When a true devotee moves to or buys a new house, he/she establishes the Deity first -- this ensures purity of location. Do your Siva puja everyday and establish Hanuman in your home. This gives great strength. Once you create this sacred space, then purity of action can manifest there. Envisioning Thakur (The Lord) in your mind, and establishing Him there in that sacred space conduces to purity of mind.
The third stage of life in traditional Vedic dharma is vanaprasta. The vanaprastin's children are grown and are probably raising their own children. There was no fogginess in this stage, no inadvertence like is seen in elderly worldly souls who go into retirement. Vanaprastins say to themselves, "Our life is almost over, we should definitely use our time to study and meditate." They don't brood and then ask "where am I going?" That's a stupid question. They are the Lord and Mother in a human body. Where do you think you're going to go? Back to the Lord and Mother, of course.
My teacher would state from the podium: "Don't idealize the Real; realize the Ideal." You see, if people do develop some measure of belief in or devotion to God, they usually relegate it to the sensational, the phenomenal, the mystical. They attempt to tack add-ons to something that is already complete and perfect. This is idealizing the Real. Better to see Reality as it is, and raise yourself up to It -- realize the Ideal.
God is eternally existent, pure, perfect, divine. You don't have to create It. People's mistake is that they are recreating God everyday via their mental projections or, as Swamiji described, "...throwing up such queer ideas of our fancy such as gods, angels demons, etc...."
You get to the Father through the Son. Then you can become a free soul in your own right. You should neither abandon the teacher nor cling to the Guru. Just look at where he/she is pointing, not at their finger.
Holy Mother said, wisely: "Do you expect that anything substantial will come without concentration of mind? The mind, at this stage of life, is essential. You will have to take the mind with you when you realize Brahman"
Consciousness is all-pervasive, but it lights up different aspects -- the gross state, subtle state, etc. -- depending upon the quality of mind.
If we do spiritual practices that turn the senses inward upon the power of the senses, then, when we let the senses focus externally once more, we see that they have changed their perspective. But you should know that the change is not in the senses or in Brahman, but in the mind and its power of sankalpa.
If you believe the scriptures come from the intellect of man, then they will change with man's intellect. You should instead maintain the perspective that the scriptures are the Word of God; in this way they do not get tampered with. The seers caution against the dualistic scriptures. They advise the revealed scriptures. You will know them because they deal with one's union with God. They also describe the nature of the world (maya) and the obstacles to realizing this union with God. So God, the soul, and the world -- these three things are treated in the scriptures. God stands on one side, and the soul on the other. The world lies in between. Ask it to move out of the way.....
Worldliness and suffering
The worldly go to the world. The spiritual go toward God. We need have no anxiety about this. Now, can we change human nature? This is what the Ramakrishna Order declares to be the only miracle: the transformation of mind resulting in the building of character.
Politics, maya, etc. -- good and evil -- do not get sucked into the world. As a spiritual devotee you have to renounce it. Then from that position do your work.
Leave the stand against evil to those who are qualified for it. Can you watch your countrymen die and suffer without becoming violent yourself, like Dalai Lama or Gandhi did? These beings are qualified. Forbearance of suffering qualifies certain beings to be special leaders of men. Their actions are all based in sacrifice. They suffer in knowledge, and take it all on as sacrifice.
Worldliness was the problem in Sri Ramakrishna's time, but now we are seeing the effects of this prolonged, inordinate worldliness: extreme restlessness, even a form of insanity masquerading as normality.
You can neither perform actions nor give up actions so long as you are in ignorance. Both of these crucial modes are only consummated in knowledge, and beyond.
Deceitful, worldly, even intellectual life, cannot compare with religious life, dharmic life and divine life, what to speak of beyond life as Sri Krishna shows us.
Sri Ramakrishna spoke of going from the Nitya to the Lila and back again. In this regard He did not mention Maya. But everyone else goes from the Nitya, which they don't know anything about, straight to the maya, and stay there for many lives. They just suffer there.
The famous Vedantic saying is "Brahman satya, Jagad mithya - Brahman is real, the world is unreal." People complain when they hear "The world is unreal," and cry out in protest. But what about the good news? "Brahman is Real." This just shows how attached they are to the world....and how little they love God!
Nothing that proceeds by attachment ever works. Only that which proceeds by detachment succeeds, but you have to hold this attitude of detachment for a long time.
When people come across the great teachings of spirituality they want to emulate all the virtues cited therein, but they try to reach for these before they have purified their minds. You see, there are all these unresolved karmas and samskaras lurking in the impure mind, the beginner's mind. Practicing devotions and meditation with an impure mind often proves futile. Disillusionment is the result, and people give up the path. This lack of follow through is called alabdhabhumikatva in Yoga. Beings try unsuccessfully again and again, but this inability to reach the goal is due to the lack of gaining initial qualification. And if one repeats this shortcoming one develops a samskara for failure. It is thereby that people who were once aspirants merely go back to the world, because it is easier to get success in the world. The "Pearl fo Great Price" therefore always alludes them and, as Sri Krishna states, "they fall into wombs that are shrouded in darkness, and worse...."
What is a spiritual life? It consists of: meditating daily, study of scripture, practicing devotions and performing daily japa, and turning all work into worship. Notice that these represent the four classic yogas: raja yoga, jnana yoga, bhakti yoga, and karma yoga. If people would embrace and enact these their suffering would disappear....their unnecessary suffering, that is. One can't get rid of necessary sufferings; they are the grain of sand in our bed, the hair in our food....but they help us build up our character.
Form and Formlessness
If mankind had begun life by learning that God is Consciousness instead of a form, we would not be having these many problems we face. Consciousness, here, doesn't mean consciousness of the brain; that can be "knocked out." But the Light of Consciousness never goes out. We are all sharing this one undivided Consciousness, but It gets apparently divided up by all these different dreams and overlays. So, as the Upanisads advise us: "Render the interior and exterior into one indivisible state. Then meditate upon that state, pass your time contentedly, and be free."
If you had been taught that God is formless you would never have run afoul of religion and philosophy. You would know God as essentially formless. Though God manifests in all forms, and in varying degrees (i.e., plants, insects, animals, mankind), It is not the form.
Anytime you have or perceive a form, it covers the formless Reality. If you recognize formless Reality, but via Maya (a conjuring) a form springs up, then what happens to formlessness? It merely moves into the background. It is the seer, only, who keeps Brahman forward....
What are the two most important things I need to know before I take on a body and go dream journeying? First, that Reality is changeless, the Soul is changeless; and second, there is no birth or death. These take place on the surface of existence, like waves appearing and disappearing on an ocean's surface.
Consciousness is One, but It can break into many. However, this diversification never changes the One. It is explained by the luminaries as an all-pervasive oneness, not a numerical oneness.
You have to transcend the six transformations. Why? Because the Soul does not suffer them. The Soul does not undergo birth, death, growth, disease, old age, decay, or death.
Om is the word of Brahman, signifying the gateway into formlessness.
As Vedantists, we don't strike off dualism; we don't throw away form. That would amount to pulling the rug out from others prematurely. Form is important. And besides, we too, at the most rudimentary level, have connected earth with smell; water with taste, fire with seeing, etc. By doing this we have seen how Consciousness trickles down into form.
If you're talking spiritually, then when you involve, you are transcending the five sheaths. [note: 5 sheaths: body, vital force, dual mind, intellect, ego]
The rishis taught their children that they were not the physical body, and taught them what it consists of and how it is affected by the 6 transformations. Naturally, they saw that one should not want to be the body. [note: 6 transformations: birth, growth, disease, old age, decay, death]
How does one get beyond the six transformations? By learning about the Three Bodies (gross/physical; subtle/mental; causal/undifferentiated). These three are called the non-Self. These bodies are projections of the mental complex. Science, religion, psychology, etc., look at existence via just the material cause. But there are, on Vedic record, at least four other preceding causes.
"From the Infinite the finite has come" -- and this is our connecting point back to the Origin. It's all infinite, from inner space to outer space. It is just that as one goes deeper into inner space one beholds more and more intelligence, whereas in outer space one finds only a monotonous few elements.
Consciousness is an all-pervasive Verity, but ego gets involved and lights up only one section or portion of awareness at a time. Now I'm with my ancestors, now I'm with the gods, now I'm with Siva. Try to stay with Siva!
Brahman, which is all-pervasive, takes form, "as it were." Brahman is pure being, indivisible, but the body-mind complex naturally tends to limit the principle of all-pervasiveness.
Manifestation and nonmanifestation
You are not born and do not die. You are only projecting a body and dissolving a body. When you give these two tendencies up it is called realizing the Truth.
Everything we see, taste, smell, etc., is manifested Prakriti (primordial nature). And everything in Prakriti/Nature is either manifest or unmanifest. If we understand this, then we know this world is not the only reality and we give up our preliminary belief in birth and death. These become words that pertain to the body only, and the rest of your being doesn't suffer them.
Manifest Prakriti is just the tip of the iceberg. It tells us that we don't have to be bitterly disappointed when things we love go out of manifestation. In the unmanifest state is where everything is held in potential. That is why they say that all of your departed friends and family are still present to you, just unseen for now....
From dense or gross vibrations, to worldly mental vibrations, to no vibrations -- this is the way to proceed. Don't move outwards only -- that is where the five elements are. Attempt the inward journey for a change. To do this you reduce the vibrations of the mind and refine them. There is great bliss in this accomplishment.
We've forgotten how to go inward. It's like forgetting the city of Delhi we are presently in and only knowing this one room we are occupying this minute. That is, we only recognize the waking state and have lost our ability to navigate between dream and deep sleep, what to speak of Turiya (samadhi).
If we say God is everything, we should not fall into the error of concluding that the "thing" is God. God is not in things. Things are just vibrations. Only Consciousness is real. God, i.e. Nirguna Brahman, is the vibrationless ground of Existence that the Seers denote as pure Consciousness. Only That is Real, because It is irreducible.
The problem of evil
"Resist not evil," for evil is not real. In Vedanta, evil is not an incarnate devil; it is only something to be seen through and thereby transcended.
If you're given the choice of good and evil, say "I'm not interested" and go to the Lord.
Coalescing the Four Yogas
Coalescence of the Four Yogas -- This is actually a contradiction in terms in that Yoga is perfection, as opposed to Yoga as practice. Therefore, Yoga as a natural unity, rather than a practice, has to be an underlying point.
All five sects of India operate the 4 Yogas: Vaishnavas, Shaktas, Shaivas, Ganapatyas, and Sauryas. These five sects view them via the six Darshanas and in accord with the three Stages of Philosophy, and the proponets of these sects are coursing up and down the two great streams of Vaidya and Tantra -- Tantra being more involved with upasana (worship), and Vaidya with jnana tattvas (wisdom principles). Taken all together, the above teaching forms a great overview of Indian Philosophy. [note: 4 Yogas: selfless action, devotion, wisdom, meditation; darshana means "way of seeing," i.e. philosophical systems; 3 Stages of Philosophy: dualism, qualified nondualism, Nondualism]
[While teaching from the chart, "Golden Rules for Sadhana and Transformation of Mind," Babaji made the following points:]
- Sadhana will not net one Freedom. It is for purification of the mind so that the mind won't throw up veils to the perception of our inherent Freedom. This first idea is to inculcate the idea of unity at all times, despite appearances. There is but one Soul -- call this Advaita Yoga or Advaita Vedanta sadhana. Enlightenment is a matter of grace married to right timing. All effort is to be accomplished as a mental practice first and foremost. Do not engage in goal-oriented sadhana (which wrongly assumes that effort produces Freedom/Enlightenment). Mental sadhana is needed; mere physical effort isn't enough.
What is the difference between peace of mind and quiescence of mind? Peace of mind is general -- "I'm okay, you're okay." One is generally content. But quiescence bespeaks of a meditative state. Here, a man has gone beyond all concerns over whether he is okay or not.
Mother's Sword of Discrimination reveals the edge of the sword, denoting purification of mind. The main point here is non-reaction. Resist reaction to things that are inherently changeful. To react is to accord them a kind of reality. But you have accepted aparinama as truth, ajativada as truth. So do not react to the changeful. They have nothing to do with you. [note: aparinama: reality is changeless; ajativada: there is no birth or creation]
Here and now, in this moment, I am talking of Yoga with you. But what if I walk away and forget Yoga? The same space where my body was before I got up and moved away is still there. Does my awareness move? It remains stable and steady. The Upanisads state that in the heart is the Atman, stable and stationary, but becoming manifest. "It moves; It moves not!"
Sometimes when the ego goes away in meditation you experience a blank. But you could join the ego to the Witness and remain alert.
Regarding the synchronicity of Neti-Neti and Iti-Iti, these two aspects or approaches are a way to coalesce the Yogas -- which are always unified anyway. Vedanta wants us to take neti-neti to the "Nth" degree: i.e., give up our consciousness relegated to the body, senses, prana, and mind. Here, you should affirm that wisdom is compassion. Just like doing japa of your mantra, do neti-neti for the good of others. [note: neti-neti: discrimination between Eternal and noneternal; iti-iti: All this is Brahman]
Sometimes we are detached and sometimes engrossed. We need the facility to attach and detach at will. So the jnani performs action as Witness and the Bhakta as sacrifice to the Lord.
Intense bhakti can destroy karma. Certain kinds of knowledge can destroy karma. But there are subtle karmas that cannot be gotten rid of without samadhi.
A society that doesn't last long has not realized ahimsa (nonviolence).
Concentration means to get the essence of something, be fulfilled by it, and take it into life.
Raja Yoga uses mantra to dissolve everything (mind) into the nondual state. I think it is very telling that those who are incarnations of Ishvara all tell us that all form dissolves into Brahman, and yet their followers will insist on clinging to Form.
Think of yourself as the archer. Appeal to yourself to refrain from taking arrows from your scabbard. Arrows in scabbard represent karmas awaiting possible fructification. Let them lie.
Your body, features, etc., are your prarabdha karma. Make sure that your mantra does not become "why me" or anything to do with "what, why, and when." Ask who, who is that archer? Your present karma, called prarabdha karma, is the karma playing out in this lifetime. That arrow has already been shot. I hope, at least, that your aim was good....
Use your positive karma, your punya, to propel you towards neutralization of karma.
The raja yogi has his sights set on colorless karma; it is nonbinding. The karma yogi wants the good, initially, while in the mode of serving, but later sees the benefit of colorless karma.
If you fall asleep when your mind and intellect go to sleep, you won't witness what the mind is suggesting to you -- the utter quiescence of Brahman. Intelligence stops vibrating in deep sleep.
Where do you go in deep sleep? In the dream state you can be anything and meet anyone. But in deep sleep there is nothing of form. Try to note the backdrop.....
Your mind creates your body. You've got so many lives; can't you give one up for your own good and the good of others? Is your life so wonderful that you cannot give it up for the higher good? And if you bring up security, if security is such an important thing to acquire, then why aren't you securing your future -- that is, spiritualizing your future births?
Learn to love yourself first; then you can love others. It is the altruistic way to love outwardly first, which is not based in oneness/unity, and still hate yourself for things that went wrong.
What is resurrection to Vedantists? It is an occult power, and this can lead one astray. Sri Krishna said to Arjuna that the possession of even one occult power will make it impossible to reach the Goal of Self-Realization. To understand Jesus' resurrection think in terms of projection -- a reflection on the intellect. This is Chidabhasa, and includes all forms you see -- including your vision of Divine Mother, Krishna, Jesus, and so forth. In other words, Christ did not rise from the dead; how silly! He never died in the first place, can never die. When His body expired he projected a vision of Himself to His disciples -- those of them who had developed their spirituality to a higher degree.
Pithy Points to Ponder
Teachers don't give opinions, they give Truth. Compare the words of the luminaries across religious traditions and you will find the essential points remain the same.
The bumper stickers around here say, "Keep Portland weird." How about "Make Portland wise?"
"With the production of all these charts, my students quip: "You're going to give us a chart attack!" I hope so. It would be like a jnana coronary.
Talk about time-saving devices, the memory is one of the best. Use it.
For Sri Ramakrishna, samadhi was a normal condition. Coming out of divine union seemed painful for him.
Here, in this world, you are like the Self, in the Self, but imagining yourself as everything but the Self.
Union is not something that happens after separation. Separation is an illusory sojourn from our true Self.
Ekagra (one-pointed) mind equals devotion to the guru and path, and can also manifest as devotion to "I am."
You cannot really see ignorance disappear because it doesn't really exist.
Sin isn't a black mark on your soul; it's something that emerges from the impure mind.
A Yogi knows that change will always happen -- apparently.
The world is a state of mind. When you go into deep sleep and death, where does it go? It must be in your mind.
Why is spirituality so superior to altruism? If you serve human beings as God they can see themselves as God, but if you keep serving them as human beings they will continue seeing themselves only as human beings.
It is probably perseverance that nets you afterlife in higher births.
Maya is the ultimate 4-letter word of all 4-letter words.
People have to change their mind to realize the changelessness of Brahman.
There's a great power in the Word; there's a great power in Atmajnan: it transcends lifetimes.
If you've looked out on Nature, it is beautiful. But if you've been out in nature you find that it is not always so. It is where birth, death, disease, and death occur.
Why would you want take away someone's suffering? It's what's driving people out of maya.
Rather than thinking of how you can make your mind higher, think of how others might benefit from your higher mind.
To the worldly, sankalpa -- desire-based imagining -- is a habit, a dangerous game. But for the Seers it is a powerful and helpful art. The former is called mayic sankalpa, and the latter, Atmic sankalpa. May we all acquire the latter.....