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In San Francisco
We tend to see our spiritual life in terms of our earthly life -- that nothing really matters. Or, we see that what we do in earthly life has obvious effects, like working to put money in the bank, etc. Sadhana is not so obvious, yet each practice we do accrues worth to our character.
At first, spiritual practice seems ethereal, hazy, but over time you begin to see that every experience in that form of practice is a stake in the heart of ignorance. And you begin to feel adept. All of this, as Lord Buddha says, falls like drops of water into a bucket. You learn to see all the things that come up in life as cyclical, changing. But you must learn to look for what is unchanging -- the Atman; Buddha nature. So you approach with caution those things that cause you to think in terms of cycle, change, evolution. Scientists would have you believe that to see your ancestors you must go to a zoo. But a billion years ago you were still Atman, and will never be anything else.
Should you enter into Maya? Only armed to the teeth. You can associate with name and form, with experiences and objects, but do not ever identify with them. Remain the Witness. Become Siva -- steady, unchanging. For -
- Maya is a cycle
- Dharma is a circle
- Atman is the center
Extract yourself from the cycle of maya and mount the circle of dharma. The circle of dharma is full of precepts, practices, and teachings that are intent on convincing you to awaken. The dharmic circle consists of holy company, contentment, atma vichara, etc. The center, Atman, lies right below the surface of that.
The world has nothing to give you, it came out of you.
The existence of objects proves the non-objectifiable. The existence of form proves the formless:
Om purnamadah purnamidam purnat purnamudachyate
purnasya purnamadaya purnamevavashisyate
Om shantih shantih shantih
What is visible is the infinite. What is invisible is also the infinite.
Out of the Infinite Being the finite has come, yet being infinite, only infinite remains.
Om peace, peace, peace.
You are already That, but the psycho-physical being is stubborn, resistant. You have to make yourself into Brahman. Destroy resistance via persistence.
"In the beginning was the Word." "I and my Father are One." These two statements pertain to two different levels of Existence. The first pertains to origins, and the second shows the difference between the Word and That which is the Awareness that reveals the Word. Unfortunately, Christianity focused on origins alone, leaving Nonduality out of its picture. As a result we now have a religion based upon creation instead of projection, set in time instead of transcendence, operating in space rather than in the Eternal Moment, and founded in cause and effect rather than in immutability.
That there are many of you present here should not confuse the mind. In the waking state there appear all these different bodies and minds. Dreaming too. But in deep sleep all minds dissolve into the Great Mind, and with them all the bodies that it projects.
You act, and it has a bad effect. Then you react to that. This keeps the wheel of karma going. Do not react to anything. Remain calm, in equanimity, and then accomplish all acts in that.
"I'm all right, you're all right." That is the new age mantra. Nonsense! Nothing is all right in Maya. Everything is on the verge -- on the verge of falling apart. Haven't you noticed? Is this false sense of security really healthy for realizing your changeless Nature?
[During a class on the Vivekachudamani, The Crest Jewel of Discrimination]
Action and karma only occur in Nature. Contrast this with the principle of Aparinama, nontransformation. Shankara [in the Vivekachudamani] is saying your real Self is changeless.
Question: How do you pray for others?
Babaji: Japa (repetition of the mantra) is our prayer. Do japa with the particular individual in mind, sitting alongside of Holy Mother and Sri Ramakrishna. Do it for 40 days after someone's passing from the body. Perform it like a vow.
True japa puts emotion and sentimentality out of the equation. There is a difference between emotion and devotion. The ordinary soul is like a needle with rust on it which will not seek out the magnet. One uses a salt solution to remove such rust; then the magnet will attract it. Like that, wash away the rust of the mind with your tears of devotion. If you are crying tears of loss, regret, or anxiety for a departed or suffering person, that is not helpful. It may even be contrary to true aid! But if the movement of your heart is asking Sri Ramakrishna and Holy Mother to please save this person I love -- those tears are higher, more along the nature of real compassion. A Vedantist, of course, does not weep because so and so has died or is dying -- for this is not true. Death is an illusion. So pray for their swift and lofty passage....